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Principles of operation of slot machines

Principles of operation of slot machines

The first slot machine appeared more than 100 years ago, since then this type of gambling has undergone many changes. Devices have evolved from mechanical machines to online computer games. Due to the popularity of this entertainment for money, many gamblers are trying to figure out how slot machines and slots in the casino work.

Variety of slot machines and slots

Mechanical “one-armed bandits” are a thing of the past. They can still be found in some casinos in Las Vegas, but more often in the form of exhibits. Nowadays, all devices in land-based casinos have electronic filling, and the handle for launching the reels in some of them is just a tribute to tradition and imitation of the first slot machines.

The principle of operation of mechanical, and subsequently electro-mechanical devices is based on the independent rotation of three drums on the same axis and the sequential stop of the coils. In the event that the same symbols appeared on the visible part of the reels, the gambler was given a win.

These are fully electronic devices, since the appearance of which manufacturers are not limited by physical characteristics when determining the number of reels, rows and lines for a future game. However, five-reel slots with three rows of symbols are the most popular.

The principle of operation of slot machines on the Internet

Video slots are the most popular form of gambling in online casinos. They are created by software developers, or providers. The most famous are NetEnt, Microgaming, Novomatic (Greentube), Playtech, Yggdrasil Gaming. These companies are responsible for ensuring that the results of the draw are random each time the slot is launched.

The computer program operates on the side of the provider, and the casino only provides customers with access to the video slot interface. That is, an honest licensed online casino cannot affect the chances of a gambler to win.

Such a scheme allowed the largest providers to launch progressive jackpot systems. These are platforms that combine part of the developers’ devices into a single network. When launching a progressive jackpot machine in any licensed online casino in the world, a small amount is deducted from the bet of each player to form the total prize pool. Then this money is raffled among gamblers. In this case, multi-million jackpots are paid not by the casino, but by the software manufacturer.

These are the general principles of the operation of slot machines on the Internet, but the probability of winning is not affected by them, but by the specific characteristics of the slots.

Random number generator

Winnings on slot machines are calculated using a random number generator. This is a computer program, thanks to which the developers manage to make the outcome of the rotation of the reels unpredictable. The random number generator continuously performs calculations, even if no one is playing the machine.

As soon as the player presses the Spin button, the RNG gives the result. The dropped out numerical value determines which symbols and in what sequence will appear on the reels, and hence the player’s win.

What is RTP

The abbreviation stands for Return to Player, or return to the player. This is a characteristic showing what part of the funds spent in the machine is returned to the player as a result of a very long session.

However, RTP is a statistical indicator that works only on large numbers, which means that it does not contradict the very principle of gambling. A gambler can launch the machine and, after the first spin, hit a huge jackpot or remain without winnings for a long time.

However, the higher the RTP, the better for the player. Modern slots have a return of up to 99%. An indicator of 97-98% is considered high, around 96% is considered average, and less than 95% is considered low.

Winning combinations and bonuses

All slots use similar principles for forming winning combinations: a specified number of identical symbols must line up on the playing field in the sequence indicated by the rules. Most often, three or more similar symbols make up a combo on an active line. Sometimes you need identical icons to appear just on adjacent reels or touch each other in any position. The more icons the combination contains, the higher the win.

An important characteristic for the player of the slot is the presence of special symbols and bonus features in it. There are three types of special characters:

  • Wild, or wild symbol. Complements the combo of standard icons. Sometimes it makes independent chains with the highest payout ratio or acts as an additional multiplier, which allows you to win large amounts.
  • Scatter, or scatter symbol. Makes paid combos out of sequence stipulated by the rules. That is, it is enough for the required number of scatters to fall anywhere on the playing field. Most often, this sign launches the most profitable free spins mode for the player, or free spins.
  • Bonus sign. Responsible for activating the bonus round, which is different from the standard game and brings big wins. Bonuses make the gameplay more exciting and increase the return of the slot.

Prizes include a large number of features. Their set and characteristics are limited only by the imagination of the developer.