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It must be said the online slots are some of the most popular games in the world. Even before online casinos came about, slot machines were an incredibly valuable addition to every land-based facility globally. Online slots can take advantage of some of the latest graphic technology, and they have used this to propel themselves to global stardom when it comes to video games. The technology behind slot machines is interesting, so how do slot machines work?

The Set-Up

You are probably familiar with the setup of a slot machine, there are reals, and generally, this will be three or more, each of which contains a series of symbols relevant to the theme of the machine. Currently, slot machines are made in all genres, from movie and TV franchises to cartoons, sports and more. To fill a reel, there are likely to be at least 20 different symbols, but when it comes to online slot machines, this can increase to numbers above 250 different symbols, which generates an infinite number of possibilities. To win money, you must get the reels to stop on specific combinations of symbols, and these are called the paylines.

Random Number Generator

The technology that decides which symbol a reel stops on is the same for physical and virtual slot machines. It is a thing called a random number generator, and this can handle multiple transactions every second. So, when a player triggers a spin of the wheels, all the slots will cycle through symbols until the random number generator decides to stop them. Therefore, there is no way to predict what might come next. A random number generator does not depend on previous or future spins of the real; every single spin is a unique event making this a real game of chance. Each slot machine has its combinations of paylines, and there are slight variations to each game you play. Some machines allow users to determine how many pay lines they want to play, and some have a fixed price while others are more variable. Wherever you play a slot machine, be it virtually or physically, pay tables should be displayed near each machine that tells you precisely what you are playing.

Can You Win?

The simple answer to the question ‘can I win any money on a slot machine?’ is yes. However, the likelihood is it will not be a very high amount. Generally, the lower the playing cost, the more frequently you will win, but relatively small prizes will be. Some slot machines cost several pounds or dollars to play, but in return, the jackpot that you could win is significantly bigger, and the odds are higher. For example, it would not be uncommon to see that the odds of winning a prize are one in 12 spins, but the odds that this will be a top prize were massive money increase to one in 650,000. You should also understand like any gambling-based game; the odds are in favour of the house. That means the company who owns the machine will always make more money than they pay out, for obvious reasons.

For this reason, it is a particularly difficult area to regulate as there is a lot of scope for the machines to be programmed to offer higher or lower odds. Generally, most venues accept that the average house advantage for a slot machine game sits at about 8%. So, this means that every £ paid in 92p is returned to players in winnings. This isn’t bad compared to some of the other games offered, which is one of the reasons that they have become so popular. The lottery tends to carry a 50% house advantage, so you can see when compared to slots, the lottery isn’t such a good deal (only 50p in every pound is paid out to players). Still, blackjack tends to carry a 0.5% house advantage (99.5p returned in winnings), making the slot machine seem quite tough.

The Myth

If you have ever watched slot machines on movies and television shows, you will see the common myth that if you lurk by a machine that doesn’t payout, you can swoop in and claim a massive prize when the original player gives up. As explained, a random number generator does not work this way, so this is a total myth with no truth. You may hear someone say that a slot machine is due to payout, and again this is rubbish. Each spin is a unique and independent transaction, and therefore a machine may not pay out for days or payout five or six times in a row. There is simply no way to predict what will happen next. This myth was likely developed because a machine paid out soon after someone stopped playing, and they had a case of the sour grapes!

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