When an operator puts up a free version of a slot game, it issupposed
to be identical to the real-money versions and additionally, all online
slots are supposed
to have received a (TST) certificate of fairness before casinos will take them. In
reality, that is what we are lead to believe but as players, it may be hard to prove otherwise - it could take
10's of millions of spins. All we players can do is look at the evidence and form an opinion.
We all have long losing streaks on slot machines... that is the nature of the beast, especially when we play high variance games (every slot player should make sure they understand the concept of slots variance
before they play online!). Many of us get frustrated and
even angry because we are losing money. In free-play, we don't notice the losing streaks as much because
we are not losing money so straight off the bat, our conception of what is happening is influenced by
our loss. To sum up, losing in real-money mode is far more painful!
Leaving that caveat to one side for a moment and looking at the bigger picture, most online slot games
are distributed to online casinos by a handful of well-known casino game software developers or
via well-established distributors. Names like Novomatic, Aristocrat, WMS, Microgaming
along with the developer that provide most of the free slots here at Free Slots For Fun
(RTG) are all well-known outfits. They all get their games certified because they
to if they want them featured on the big, reputable and legitimate online casino sites.
The majority of online casinos are also required to be licenced by a regulatory authority: Malta, Gibraltar,
Curacao, Alderney, Jersey, Kahnawake (Canada) the Isle Of Man... all are well-known although some are less "player-friendly
" than others but in all cases, they stipulate that games should be tested for fairness. The exception to the rule is Costa Rica which doesn't actually issue gambling licences per se: they are simply business licences.
Some of these jurisdictions also insist that the free-play versions perform exactly
the same and
produce exactly the same long-term theoretical returns to the player ("RTP") as the real money versions.
This is where is gets hard to prove and we have seen a couple of examples of high-profie casinos offering
a slot that performs better in fun mode in the past so clearly the testing procedures leave room for error.
However, you would expect the big brand casinos, the licensing jurisdictions and the software developers
to be very, very careful to ensure they build a strong reputation for fairness and I suspect that in most
instances they ensure free-play slot machines replicate their real-money counterparts.
That said, not every casino or software developer is necessarily that scrupulous. A few
might well be inclined to take a chance and we may never know. For the player, it boils down to whether
you trust the casino and the platform you are playing on.