Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

  • FOBT's are Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, found in betting shops in the UK
  • There are 34,000 FOBT's across the whole of the UK
  • Customers can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on digital games such as roulette and slots

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals have long been controversial since their introduction to the UK betting market back in 2001 when gambling tax laws were changed, making the roulette machines a viable option for high street betting shops such as Ladbrokes and William Hill.
Although the design and number of games on the betting terminals has increased, the way in which they work has remained the same. This guide will look at the working of bookies roulette games, you can also take a look here to find out how Fixed Odds Betting Terminal bonus roulette games work, and any associated tips here.

All British Fixed Odds Betting Terminal roulette games are governed by the same laws, so obvious things such as the maximum stake and maximum prize per spin are consistent across the industry; £100 per spin, £500 maximum win per spin.
Less obvious controls are the maximum spins allowed per minute, as well as reminders about how long and how much you have spent on the betting terminal. Incidentally, the maximum number of spins allowed per minute is three, one every twenty seconds. That’s a massive rate of speed, and if you compare it with land based casinos who attempt to have an average of one spin every ninety seconds, you see the vast difference and why they constantly court controversy. The controversy has brought about a change, as discussed in the Guardian regarding the change of stake.

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

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How Betting Terminal Roulette Works

If we take a standard bookies roulette game; 20p Roulette as an example. 20p Roulette is a computerised version of standard European roulette, and as such has 37 possible positions Roulette Machinesfor the ball to land in, 0 through to 36. The odds returned to the player are 35/1 plus your winning stake back, making the odds returned 36/1. The house edge (bookies profit) is the remaining one number, which gives the player a long-term average percentage of 97.2%, with the bookies making on average 2.8%. The speed of play, combined with the amount of fixed odds betting terminals across the country converts this small percentage into huge profits for the four (soon to be three) major betting chains; Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Betfred.

FOBT Stats

  • There are a little under 9000 betting shops in the UK
  • Each betting shop is allowed a maximum of four betting terminals per premises 
  • The maximum win per game is £500, the maximum spin per game is £100
  • Currently roulette can be played at one spin every 20 seconds, allowing for £300 per minute to be gambled
  • There are roughly 50 games on each betting terminal, including multiple roulette and slot games
  • Money can be inserted directly into the FOBT or over the counter with cash or debit card

Due to the computerised nature of the betting terminals, it’s easy to cry foul when your numbers don’t come in, but you can be sure that the games are carefully regulated by independent third parties who put the random number generators through multiple tests. Read the Ladbrokes RNG test report here.

So how do the fixed odds betting terminals work? Each number on the roulette wheel is assigned a number to the RNG. Roulette is easy to work out as each number corresponds to the number on the wheel, slots however would have a number assigned to each position on the reel. You could work out the odds of hitting features and jackpots on slots providing you were able to see the complete sets of reels, then multiply each symbol the further along the reels you go.
Now each roulette position has been assigned a value, press start for the RNG to select a number. This number will correspond to a position on the wheel, with an animation then taking place to give a visual representation of the final outcome. The randomly selected number has no bearing on the value of the bet placed, and is entirely independent of any previous or future spins. People like to see patterns, even when there are none. The manufacturers play on this behaviour by showing how many spins since zero, or the percentage of red and black numbers over the previous 500 games. These stats to the RNG are meaningless and are better off ignored.

Bonus roulette games will work to the same principle, however the odds are extended due to the extra position on the wheel. The RNG concept described above applies to British bookies, it does not cover arcade or bingo hall roulette machines which may be running on a fixed percentage, these are known as compensated games and are mostly produced by Project Coin, although SG-Gaming has produced a few non-random games.


  1. Reply
    at 9:01 pm

    I ask you to forget all these comments I have been playing these machines from day one and any one who thinks they are random is away with the fairies,there are certain times when they will payout it doesn’t matter what number your on it will come in,but that is very unlikely these days it will just keep drinking your 100 pound spin like water all day long,i have wasted thousands just to see it do that so I know what is going on with them,this is all anyone needs to know

  2. Reply
    at 4:50 pm

    There is absolutely no doubt that these roulette machines are rigged. I have played real roulette in casinos many times. I only cover 4 numbers and generally win fairly regularly ( obviously there are days when I lose) When playing bookies roulette I cover at least 12 numbers and hardly ever win. I have covered 12 numbers (almost a third of the wheel) in Ladbrokes and won twice in 75 spins with both winning spins being the same number. The odds of that happening must be billions to one if the spin is random. This sort of thing happens constantly, recently in William Hill with 10 numbers covered I had one win in 44 spins?
    I could go on giving examples of the way these are rigged.
    If the machines are independently checked as all bookmakers say then these companies are either involved in the crime or the software programs used to operate the machines are altered once they are installed in the shops.

    I am an ex investigator with 30 years experience in the field of criminal investigation and I have never seen anything so obviously criminal. The bookmakers know however that it would be very difficult and costly to investigate. They also have the get out clause ‘well it was checked by an independent company’, most if not all of which by the way operate from outside the UK and are not governed by UK law.

    The only way to stop them is to not play them!

    • Reply
      at 10:20 am

      I’d love to get a team together prove there rigged and take WH to court

  3. Reply
    Trevor sanders
    at 2:37 pm

    Random for them the sharks and their corrupt institutions who give them the license to milk and dry the punters and now all sudden we are talking to reduce the bet to £2 after the virus spread and done damage to this society and now all sudden they are bringing the new legislation in October 2019 rather than April so the thief’s can milk more and robbed the punters and it happen they are not paying either roulette or other games complete con so boycott this bookies shop and avoid the temptation and open new chapter good luck to you all

  4. Reply
    at 5:55 pm

    Anyone have any idea’s when these machine are going to £2 a spin ??

  5. Reply
    at 8:24 am

    All i would like to know is how long the “period” of 89-92% payout is based upon? A front loaded system would payout to be “down” (against the provider) whereas a rear ended system would look to favour the “payout” towards the end of a cycle. If the computer is setting a run period of say 100 years it may look to payout the greater percentage (based on volumes taken) at the middle or end of that period. Providers “rake” in this situation is far larger…(and then the game is removed….)

  6. Reply
    Edward Bradford
    at 10:38 am

    It’s the observer effect… When things are by random then this comes into effect. There is definite patterns that’s why people get hooked. If was random no one will play. God deliberately suffers people and keep us thirsty for more when we sin and do gambling which we are not allowed. Black magic comes into play of random things as well as God. If you ever open a book randomly you can get messages theres supplications you can read so God guides you when you open a book. Dua istakhareh.

    Gambling is a good spiritual teacher it breaks down the ego and opens us to new possibilities in life…. But we should do this with yoga or meditation but if one doesn’t they are guided to gambling..

  7. Reply
    Chunky 1977
    at 7:46 pm

    These machines are completely fixed and totally robbing Bastards

    I saw a guy out £50 in and played Zeus11 he didn’t even win a £1 after 30 spins then for a second he thought his luck changes as the main feature roles in ( 3 Blue Lightnining bolts)

    The feature gave him £4.30

    Wow how is that a pay out of 92 – 97%

    And don’t give that bullshit if we have no control over it and don’t know how much they take blah blah blah

    It’s amazing how they also encourage gambling by giving you a Ficking Cash Boost worth £5 if you come back tomorrow

    I hope every bookies shuts down as they are all a bunch of crooks who don’t pay UK tax and are based in Gilbralter your even worse than Amazon

  8. Reply
    at 12:23 pm

    rubbish, theyre is no fixed element to these machines at all, punters are greedy, simple as, the less numbers you back the bigger the odds are, say i back £1 on 8 diffrent numbers, so £8 stake if i win i get £1 + £35 back so a profit of £28, you only need 4 losing spins on the trot and you are playing catch up so in effect you are backing a 7/2 chance or thereabouts, but say i back 20 numbers with £1 on say 15 of them £2 on the remaining 5, so staking £25 a spin, if one of the £1 numbers comes out my profit is £11 and one of the £2 numbers comes out profit is £49, so in effect £2 odds is a little under 2/1 and £1 odds is 4/9 on, would you back 4/9 on in any other sport no you wouldnt so why on roulette and then punters wonder why they lose!!!

  9. Reply
    at 3:46 pm

    They are fixed, I have seen a machine go 300 spins with out zero coming out. Fixed fixed fixed

  10. Reply
    at 8:21 pm

    I’ve noticed that they now move on there axis halfway through a spin ,something they never used to do,when that happens I come off straight away .I don’t think they are being regulated the way they used to.The bookies suppliers have them rigged in favour of the bookies who rent them.
    It will come out in the wash eventually,then the bookies will say it’s not our fault we only rented them

    • Reply
      at 10:53 pm

      They are the graphics just to illustrate the actual play, when you press bet the number is selected randomly, graphics are just for show, and for zero not coming out ive seen 2 machines with 0 not come out in excess of 240 spins, still makes me laugh when people say they are fixed and i play roulette as well

  11. Reply
    at 8:18 pm

    For The people who actually believe it’s not fixed they obviously haven’t played looking forward to when it gets to the point where victims and we are victims can claim our money back like the ppi scandal because it is no different just another way to fraudulently extract money from us.people will say well you chose to play and yes I did but I chose to play a game of chance not to be deliberately conned.

  12. Reply
    at 10:05 pm

    They are fixed. No doubt.
    I know someone that works at William Hill IT department. Why are the bookies all running scared about FOBT stakes being reduced.


    • Reply
      at 10:59 am

      ok gambled £1300 on bets at 2/1 and all I managed to get to was £350.00 quid this proves that these machines are rigged to the hilt then lost it all including the £1300 I mean all I got to £950 I tried to win more than the £1300 I used as my stake money but the software is rigged and designed that way for you to lose it is a scam in my view rigged to the hilt this was test to prove they are rigged for you to lose they are a con these machines are totally rigged glad to see the stake getting to £2.00 a bet on FOBT machines this proves the high street bookmaker is just robbing you they are the cancer of the high street this statement is 100% true these machines are rigged for to lose the bookmaker is robbing you blind I now know from the evidence in my game play that these machines are rigged you can not I even have seen repeat numbers coming in after a large bet very suspicious in my view the way they operate these FOBTS win now most people know this and therefore not playing them as much now because they know themselves they are rigged the bookmaker is just taking advantage in my view and robbing the public blind the bookmaker has lost the fight to keep the stakes the same at £50.00 to £100.00 per bet spin etc the conservative government has made the stake £2.00 a bet well done but I don’t think it comes into force l next year I just hope it is sooner thanks

  13. Reply
    at 10:42 pm

    “The randomly selected number obviously has a bearing on the amount placed on it” , this is rubbish they dont need to cheat to win , punters are greedy in nature and until that trend stops bookies will always win, anyway you only get 36/1 for one number (includes your stake) so the odd 2% amkes them large profits anyway

  14. Reply
    at 10:39 pm

    in general punters are greedy, if everyone stopped when they had made a good profit, bookies profits would drop a lot but people being people gamble until theyve lost it all, i saw a middle aged woman playing roulette today covering 20 numbers and i said you cant possibly win over time, she grunted and said of course i can, the next 6 numbers were none she had bet on and walked out £200 odd poorer, i will bet a large amount of punters dont have the first clue about odds on roulette, if you dont know you will never win in the long term, they are not fixed its the punters that feed bookies profits and of course that odd 2% of leeway they have on roulette anyway.

  15. Reply
    at 7:25 pm

    On line games are they like fob?

  16. Reply
    at 10:38 pm

    This is true,these machines are run merely by a computer which is designed to generate any number it wants to when it wants how it wants,why if these machines generate a random number each spin does the ball eithere give you a near miss,e.g. Next door to your numbers or the machines favourite of all time,inbetween,they have to pay out sometimes for 2 reasons,1 to get you hooked,and 2 because if it never payed out you would never play them,ask yourself this one question,have you ever been in a bookies and what I have said about numbers next door and in between coming in more times than your winning ones every time you play says one thing and one thing only,these things are fixed and are purely put in the bookmakers for there own benefits and profits,I’ve lost a fortune on them and I’m obviously not the only one ?

  17. Reply
    at 6:06 pm

    If the odds are electronically fixed and DO NOT relate to previous bets/spins, then it is being claimed that there is a possibility that a punter could keep winning if he or she had a flukey series of bets that went in their favour. No this has happened in real world casinos where the casino has lost a huge amount of money. So why don’t we hear of it happening with FOBT machines. This is because of the “hopper” effect which governs the payout. The ratio of payout is fixed, and this prevents you losing money as quickly as some will have you believe. If the hopper is full, it is primed to payout to keep to the payout ratio. If the hopper is empty (after a big payout) then the machine is primed NOT to payout for a while. Any so called “tests” wont take the “hopper” into consideration because ith test is done under a neutral “hopper” situation where the hopper is neither full or empty. During this scenario it is fair to say you will get similar odds to a casino, until…….the hopper has either been filled up and is ready to burst out a payment to some fortunate punter, (or the mug who has been milked dry) But…..the overall payout will remain in the bookies favour. If,,, then,,,,the hopper has just paid out all its spare cash after ripping some mug off,,,then…you come along and you wont win!!!! Repeat,,you WONT win becuse the overall taking are also fixed and IT HAS JUST PAID OUT!!! so it wont pay out again until the hopper has been refilled.

    So,,,,question,,???? Is it not fraud when you enter the bookies and play on a machine that has just emptied its hopper in a big payout and you don’t know this *because you just walked in* You are NOT getting odds that reflect the game of casono roulette. *CON, CON, CON* (I went with out adequate clothing, haircuts and supervision because of a gambling father)

    • Reply
      at 12:11 pm

      there is no hopper effect, several punters in theory could win big in the same shop within the same time frame, roulette is just luck , most punters havent a clue about odds, you will see say £40 spin most of the numbers they cover will only bring tiny profits & 2-3 numbers will produce a decent win, they are backing odds on most of the time and unless a decent win comes out they will get screwed in the short term

  18. Reply
    at 10:21 am

    The randomly selected number obviously has a bearing on the amount placed on it, otherwise bookies would not be able to consistently report huge profits, huge profits which continue to increase year on year. All font produce individual numbers that 1 punter is betting with or against so the bookies simply cannot lose, one machine pays one machine doesn’t. A casino produces one result that all punters have bet with or against.

  19. Reply
    at 10:19 am

    The randomly selected number obviously has a bearing on the amount placed on it, otherwise bookies would not be able to consistently report huge profits, huge profits which continue to increase year on year

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