How Do Online Slot Machines Work?
Our Casino Gorilla is at it again. Today he woke up with a ceaseless urge to discover how online slot machines work. So he woke up early, munched every puddings he had in store as he set sail towards this exploration. Of course, slot machines are considerably different from the way they used to be when the Gorilla was just a toddler. The traditional mechanical slots machine (in brick and mortar, land-based casinos) used springs and tensions to determine the winning reels.
The modern, technologically-based slots use much more sophisticated mechanisms to determine the outcomes of each spin. So as you’d guess, the ‘know-it-all’ Gorilla had a busy day in the office trying to bring you this detailed guide on how online slots operate. As such, the sole purpose of this article is to shed light on this topic and dissolve all the myths and misconceptions that most people believe govern the way online slots work.
What Is a Slot Machine?
For what it’s worth, let’s start by defining what a game of slot denotes. A slot machine, also known variously as a fruit machine, is a casino game with three or more reels which spin when its button is pushed or triggered. Slots, whether traditional or modern, pay off depending on the patterns of symbols displayed on the screen when the spinning stops.
Slots remain the most popular gambling method in casinos and are preferred by many punters because they are less complicated and require no strategy or game plan to be played. The beauty of online slots is that they are computer programmes and can be modelled into various types. However, the most common types of online slots are described succinctly below:
The most common types of online slots:
- 3-Reel Slots—this is the classic version of slot machines that only have 3 reels and between 1 and 5 pay lines. These types of slots are easy to understand, features fewer symbols, and have clearer payouts.
- 5-Reel Slots—at present, these types of slots are more prolific with advanced animations and graphics, and often with storylines and video clips interspersed. These have more paylines which can sometimes as many as 50 or 100 pay lines.
How Does It Work?
As aforementioned, the game of slot required no strategy or game-plan to be executed; the results are determined by pure luck. Basically, most slots work in much the same way. Symbols are arranged on vertical spinners (reels), which are spin and stop to reveal a random series of symbols that are arranged on the pay-line.
A player wins by hitting different symbols combinations and patterns. In order to perfectly understand how slots machines work, it is important to understand various terminologies associated with the same. These include:
- random number generator (RNG)
- pay lines
- bonus rounds
- coin value
- bet levels
- progressive jackpots
- return to player percentage (RTP).
Random Number Generator (RNG)
Although the technology behind slot machines have considerably changed over the years, the principle behind how they work remain the same—randomness. The reels spin and stops randomly to form a winning (or losing) pattern/payline. Unlike in traditional machine, where this randomness was determined by cams, gears, kickers, and brakes, the modern machines use a computerised mechanism known as random number generator (RNG). The main purpose of the RNG is to create random sequences in intervals of a millisecond every time a reel spins.
All online slots at casino sites have RNG software that determines the scores they produce; each result is different and isn’t dependent on the previous spin or spins outcomes. It is crucial to note that the RNG doesn’t have a memory and it will therefore not note whether you spent the whole day winning or losing or whether you’ve placed a huge or tiny stake—everything about RNG is random.
To ensure utter randomness, game designers use what in math is referred to as vectors (sometimes called arrays) to represent the reels. While a single slot have a specific number of symbols (normally between 10 and 15), a single reel contain many more symbols. In composing a slot game, developers compose a set of virtual reels (vectors) that contain symbols in codes.
The length of reels vary by game that’s why game differ, but all that matters is that the vectors are distributed on the reels in such a way that some are found more than others. Typically, the high-value symbols occur less often than the low-value symbols. Some players may have an out-and-out understanding of how slots work, but the most important thing to note is that slots outcomes are completely random all because of the RNG.