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How Do Slot Machines Work?
By Brodey Sheppard - June 29, 2016
Slot machine games today are a little bit different from the old mechanical slots that used to sit side by side on the casino floor. The old mechanical slot machines used springs and tension to determine where the reels would stop. Now, modern slots software like Microgaming slots and Playtech slots make use of a sophisticated electronic method to determine the outcome of a spin.
The Random Number Generator
The heart of an online slot game lies in the Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG starts working as soon as you click the “Spin” button. The RNG spits out random numbers, anywhere between zero and several million at lighting speed. The RNG never really stops working and it is not influenced by outside factors, so the numbers are completely random. Slots don’t get “hot” or “cold” like lottery numbers do. Slot combinations are really not something you can predict with any degree of certainty.
Once you have placed a bet and clicked on the “Spin” button, the slot machine game takes the next few values from the RNG and processes them through a complex computer program to determine the symbols that the reels should have.
Even though the computation only takes a few seconds, the games are not pre-programmed to pay out at any set time. This is why every spin you make has the same chance as winning nothing as it does winning the jackpot.
How a 5-Reel Online Slot Game Works
Classic slots have three reels, but most video slots today have five. Monopoly Plus Slots, Star Trek Slots and Incredible Hulk Slots all have five reels. The reel is the image that spins in the screen. It has multiple symbols on it, and if you can line up these symbols in a certain way, you win money.
When you press the “Spin” button, the slot machine will grab the next five numbers from the RNG and store it in its memory. The slot game uses the first number to determine the position of the reel, the second number it takes determines the position of the second reel, and so on.
To determine the position of the reel, the computer divides the random number by a set value. This is usually a standard program value of 16, 32, 64 and so on. This works because of the way that computers mainly work in powers of 2. This makes it easier for the computer to work out a value that tells where the reels are supposed to stop in branded video slot games.
What are the Odds for Winning in Slots?
As mentioned earlier, mechanical slot machines use springs and tension to determine where the reels will stop every after spin. Online slot reels, on the other hand, use a RNG and a weighting system to determine the likelihood of landing winning combinations. When it comes to winning at online slots, knowing the odds and the payback percentage is a good strategy in choosing the right slot game for you.
The Weighting System
Classic slot machines typically had 10 stops per reel. But because video slots like Marvel slot games have a wider variety of symbols, these games would have anywhere between 30 to 50 stops per reel. This is why video slots are controlled by modern programs that can adjust the odds using a weighing system.
The weighting system is what determines how likely a particular stop is going to be picked. Let’s say that you are playing a mobile slot game with 5 reels and 10 symbols, but one of those symbols is special and only comes up once every 10 spins. That means the odds of getting five of that special symbol are 1:10 x 1:10 x 1:10 x 1:10 x 1:10 or simply 1:100,000.
Another symbol could be programmed to only come up half the time, so your chances of landing five of that symbol can be as low as 1:2 x 1:2 x 1:2 x 1:2 x 1:2 or 1:32. This means that you could win that combination on a regular basis.
What’s great about online slots is that they typically have 10 to 30 paylines. Some games like Fantastic Four Slots even have up to 50 paylines! This means that winning combinations are not limited to landing the same symbol in all five reels. The more paylines you activate, the more chances you have of getting a hefty payout. Check out more awesome slot game selections at the Slots Heaven site.
The Payback Percentage
The Return to Player (RtP) or payback percentage is a mathematical prediction of how much money the slot game will “pay back” over a number of infinite spins. Most online video slot games show what the RtP is, and it is usually between 90% to 97%. For example, if a game has a 96% RtP, that means that the slot game is going to return to players 96.00 in winnings for every 100.00 they have wagered on that slot game.
Take note that this is a theoretical percentage. The actual payout percentage per individual playing session you play on an online slot game is going to vary greatly. But you can use it as a basis when choosing what online slots game you want to play next.
If you want to know more about online slot machines, then check out more blog articles from HitYah! Slots, such as the top features of a great online slots game. We will tell you exactly what to look out for when picking a slot game that will give you the most bang for the buck.