How a Slot Machine Works
One of the most popular types of casino games, the slot machine, dates back to the late 19th century when it was first invented in San Francisco. The first slot machines featured three reels that were spring mounted and included a variety of symbols printed on the wheels. Players had an equal chance of having any of the different symbols appearing. If the machine had 20 symbols then the chances of hitting the jackpot was 1 in 8,000.
Significant developments were made in the way that slot machines work during the 1970s and later in the 1980s. During this time the number of reels that were featured on a slot machine increased. As the number of reels increased, the chances of hitting the jackpot decreased. The benefit was that although the chance of hitting the payout was lower, jackpots were typically higher.
Understanding How a Virtual Slot Machine Works
In the last few years a number of developments have changed the way in which slot machines work. One of the latest developments is the virtual or video slot. Instead of featuring actual physical reels with the number of symbols being limited, this type of slot machine commonly has up to hundreds of symbol possibilities. Although virtual slot machines look as though they have reels they are actually operated using a random number generator or RNG. This type of slot machine produces completely random results in the same way that a physical spin on a slot machine would produce. The difference is that the number of possibilities is much larger than would be possible with a traditional mechanical reel slot machine.
The Random Number Generator or RNG
In a slot machine with three reels, the random number generator will choose three numbers in a random manner. The first number will correlate to a position on the first of the three reels and the second on the second reel and so on. At that point, the computer in the slot machine will calculate the equivalent position on the imaginary reels and will produce the visual that is seen by the player. Finally, the computer will check to see whether the virtual spin was a winner.
Every slot machine is different in terms of payout. Each slot machine is set to have its own payout percentage. The machine administrator decides in advance what that figure will be. The payout percentage is based on an average over an infinite number of spins. Consequently, if a machine is a 99% payout slot machine that does not mean that the machine will pay out 99% of the amount that the player has put in. Instead it means that over the lifetime of the slot machine, it will pay out 99% of the amount that is put in the machine. Whether the machine is a low hit or a high hit machine is also important to how it works and pays out. Hit in this case refers to hitting the jackpot. A machine that is programmed to be a lot hit machine will provide large jackpots on a rare basis only. A high hit slot machine pays out smaller amounts but pays out on a more frequent basis.
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