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What Happens When A Slot Machine Malfunctions?

What Happens When A Slot Machine Malfunctions?

Slot games can be fun to play, but like any other machine, they’re not always perfect. Sometimes, they can randomly malfunction. If it’s never happened to you before, it might be confusing if a game malfunctions while playing. Some players may even confuse a malfunction for a slot machine win

In this Wizard Slots blog post, we’ll be discussing what happens when a slot machine malfunctions, so continue reading to find out!

What Happens When A Slot Machine Malfunctions?

It can usually be pretty easy to spot a slot machine malfunction because a sequence of activities can typically follow. For example, if playing in a land-based casino, the lights on top could start flashing, a unique code could appear, the reels might stop, and the machine might signal you to call the attendant.

Generally, there are three types of malfunctions that can make players think they could have won. These include;

Setting Errors

This can happen if a player lands a winning combination, but the machine indicates the wrong possible jackpot value. In these scenarios, the programming usually fails randomly.

Display Errors

The game displays a win as a huge number of credits even though a winning symbol combination didn’t land on a single payline. As a result, the credits shown could be way larger than the machine’s potential jackpot value.

Mechanical Errors

Mechanical errors are common among electromechanical slots. For example, sometimes, the reels can land on symbols that are not what the computer intended. Usually, the link between the computer and what the physical reels display fails.

So, if malfunctions can occur, how do you know the slot is playing fairly? First, slots use Random Number Generators (RNGs), i.e., mathematical algorithms used to produce random outcomes on each spin. The Random Number Generator is separate from the component controlling how many credits appear. In addition, RNGs undergo thorough testing by manufacturers and licensing bodies to ensure games are completely random and fair for players.

Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays

If you’re an avid slots player, you’ve probably seen the words “Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays” on the side of your machine or in the game rules. It’s common to see this disclaimer in nearly all slot machine games. But what do these words mean?

Every time you click the Spin button or pull the Spin lever, you initiate the machine’s process of randomly choosing the next symbol combination. However, if the machine malfunctions, it may fail to complete the selection process and go into ‘tilt’ mode. That’s usually the point where any of the 3 errors we highlighted earlier could show up.

So, display, mechanical, or setting errors could fool players into believing they’ve hit a potential jackpot win, usually higher than the game’s maximum possible payout. In such a scenario, it’s important to remember the ‘Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays’ disclaimer, which protects the casino from compensating players who technically haven’t won despite the slot’s malfunction.

Can A Casino Refuse To Pay Out Your Winnings?

Yes, casinos can potentially refuse to pay out your winnings, especially in the case of a slot machine malfunction. The “Malfunction Voids All Pays And Plays” disclaimer acts as a reminder of the possibility. Casinos cannot predict malfunctions because it’s difficult to tell when the programming may fail. So, they’re not liable to pay if these problems occur, especially if the disclaimer is clearly stated.  


A slot machine malfunction can be hard to predict, especially since it usually happens on rare occasions. Malfunctions can occur for various reasons, like computer chip failure, tampering, jamming coins, power outages, or accidental bumping. Any player who ends up with a malfunctioned slot machine may find the situation frustrating. However, this article may help you know what can happen next.