# How Slot Machine Works

How Slot Machine Works – Most amateur gamblers believe that when a slot machine hits the jackpot, it immediately ‘goes cold’. They also believe that the opposite is true; if a machine runs cold for hours, it will be of great benefit. But if you look inside modern gaming machines, you will learn the cold, hard truth. Each pull of the lever has an equal chance of winning, and those odds are steep.

Since the earliest mechanical slots, game manufacturers have weighted the machines to modify the odds. If you look closely at the reels of the old machines, you will find many more empty and low-scoring symbols than pots of gold, especially on the third or last reel. This creates the famous “near miss” effect.

## How Slot Machine Works

Modern slots have replaced gears, cranks and bumpers with precision stepper motors and random number generators (RNG). When you pull the crank on a modern slot machine, the built-in RNG selects three numbers between 1 and 64. Each number corresponds to one of the 22 points on the three dials. The trick is that half of the numbers between 1 and 64 correspond to empty spots and only one random number matches the jackpot symbol. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1/64 x 1/64 x 1/64 or one in 262:144.

## Example Code: Making A Slot Machine That Works

The arm is for presentation only. Three internal stepper motors spin each reel and stop them at precisely the positions chosen by the RNG. Still feeling lucky?

There is no such thing as a “loose” or “tight” slot machine. In modern casinos, slot machines are programmed to give an accurate return percentage somewhere around 95 percent. This means that 95 percent of the money that goes into the slot machines is returned to the players, and the rest is kept by the casino.

But this is where things get complicated. The payback percentage is not the same as the payback, which is the actual amount of money you win or lose each time you play a slot machine. If you were to sit down at a slot machine forever and pull the lever an infinite number of times, your return percentage would be exactly 95 percent. Similarly, in a casino full of gamblers, the collective machines pay back roughly 95 percent of the money played in a day.

Unfortunately, you’re only human and you don’t have infinite draws. So your odds of winning are equally good or bad on every draw. You can lose all day and it doesn’t mean the machine is connected. And it doesn’t mean that the guy who won the jackpot found the “loose” machine. He was very, very lucky.

#### How ‘slot Like’ Are The Gambling Parlors About To Open Around Virginia? Very.

On a “progressive” slot like Megabucks, the odds of winning the jackpot are one in 50 million, although if you are, you’ll probably be very rich.

68 percent of people who gamble in Las Vegas play slot machines most often. And there is a large target market, as almost 90 percent of Las Vegas visitors gamble.

In the United States, gambling was a \$92 billion industry in 2007, double what it was a decade ago. And there were 143 casinos operating in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2009.

Even though Nevada is widely considered a gambling state, 37 states in the United States have some form of legalized electronic gaming device, such as slot machines or video poker.

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The Nevada Gaming Commission maintains a list of 35 people who cannot enter any casino or gambling facility. Only one of them is a woman.

Discover even more amazing technology in the latest issue of How It Works. Available from all good retailers or can be ordered online from ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version to your iOS or Android device. To never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, subscribe today!

Also, be sure to check out our digital-only specials like Explore Mars, A Guide to The Galaxy, and Earthquakes, which are now available for download on your digital device! I was inspired to write a post about how slot machines work by talking to a friend of mine who had some strange ideas and misconceptions. I think you are not alone in this. In fact, I would suggest that casino and slot machine designers prefer that their customers do not understand how slot machines work.

The first thing to understand about slots is that they cannot be beaten – legally or by normal means – at least not in the long run.

#### Gambling Machines And How They Work

In fact, slot games have a higher edge than almost any other game in the casino. Not that you would know because the games don’t make their ROI percentages easily predictable or obvious.

There are probably more myths and misconceptions about how slots work than any other game in the casino.

Slot machines were originally mechanical and powered by springs. The spinning reels were actually large metal hoops with symbols printed on them. Most of these early machines (the size of the metal rings – the spindles –) were limited to about 20 stops – on each spindle. Some of these had symbols on them, while others were blank.

The earliest slot machines had a single payline. This is an imaginary horizontal line in the middle of the window. If matching symbols line up in all 3 rows, you win.

## How To Get The Most From Slot Machine Bonus Features

It was usually pretty easy to figure out the probability on these machines. The probability of an event is calculated by dividing the number of possible outcomes by the number of ways it can happen.

If you have a slot machine wheel with 20 stops and each stop has the same probability, you have a 1/20 chance of getting the symbol on a random spin of the wheel.

If you want to calculate the probability of several events occurring at the same time, these probabilities must be multiplied. Let’s say the big jackpot on a theoretical mechanical slot machine is the cherry symbol, which has a 1/20 probability of appearing.

Since there are 3 reels, you multiply the probability of getting a cherry on all 3 reels:

## Strategically Select Which Slot Machines To Play

Now let’s say there are 10 symbols on the machine and 10 empty stops. There are 10 possible winning combinations of 3 symbols. The probability of each of them is 1/8000, so the probability of one coming up is 10/8000 or 1/800. (Most slots also give you an automatic win if you find 2 symbols on a payline, but I’m just showing you how the math works here.)

The designer then has a paytable for each symbol combination. Payouts are applied at a rate lower than the winning probability.

The paytable lists the paying symbol combinations. Some combinations pay off big, but most are pretty low. In fact, slots like a high hit rate to make you feel like you’re winning, even though you’re actually losing money at a gradual, steady rate.

If all combinations pay out 7,200 coins, the game would have an obvious mathematical advantage. 7,200/8,000 = 90%, which means that the house pays out – on average over the long term – 90% of the gamble. They keep 10%.

#### Skill Based Slot Machines: What Are They And How They Work?

Most table games have an edge between 1% and 10%, provided you don’t place bad bets. In most table games, the action is much slower than in slot machines.

A smart casino gambler thinks about games based on their entertainment value. Think of slot machines like a movie. Think of blackjack, craps, and roulette as different movies.

It’s actually easy to calculate. You multiply the number of spins made per hour by the amount made on each spin. Multiply this by the house edge and you get the mathematically expected loss per hour.

Most slot players perform 600 spins per hour. (This is a fast game.) Let’s say you play for \$3/spin. That means you are investing \$1,800 per hour.

## How To Play Slots

At an average roulette table, you can make 50 bets per hour. That’s way less than 600 bets per hour, by the way.

But most roulette tables require you to bet at least \$5. (Many tables have minimums higher than this, but we’re assuming you’ve found a good low-roll casino to play at.)

Roulette has a house edge of 5.26% on most tables, at least in the US. This makes the expected hourly roulette loss 5.26% of \$250, or \$13.15.

You can plug any numbers into these equations, but it should be clear that the high edge and high speed of play on slot machines makes for an expensive, long-term proposition.

### What Are Slot Machines And How Do They Work?

Modern slot machines have done away with spinning reels on video screens. Some modern slots look like they have physical reels, but that’s just for show. They can even be video screens.

The results of modern slot machines are determined by random number generators (RNG for short) computer programs. A coincidence

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