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How Slot Machines Work

Published on November 12, 2013, in Blog.

How Slot Machines Work

Slot machines these days are controlled by internal computers. Each spin result is determined by a sophisticated electronic system. The old slot machines were mechanical with springs and tension that would determine the point where the reels would stop.

Although many people believe that slot machines stop on certain reels based on how much money they have put in or what they have previously bet, the simple fact is slot machines are totally random. The internal computer chooses a result based on a Random Number Generator.

The Random Number Generator is a computer program that is constantly running in the machine unless the slot machine has an error or it is turned off. The program is constantly generating random numbers and chooses a new number several times each second. The number that is chosen at the exact millisecond that your bet is placed determines what you win. You win or lose based only on the time you hit the spin or bet button.

The internal slot machine computer matches the random number that is selected at the moment you hit the spin button to a set of slot machine reel stops. These reel stops are the numbers, letters, symbols or blanks that create the combination you receive. The internal computer uses virtual reel that is matched to the actual reel and your slot machine combination will appear. The result of your spin occurs at the moment the random number is generated even though your reels have not stopped spinning.

You are paid for your winning reel combination based on the slot machine paytable. The paytable is actually the roadmap used by the slot machine to determine how much each combination will pay.  The paytable determines the payment amount for each combination, the payback percentage of the machine and the statistical likelihood the combination will occur.



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