Online Casinos Regulation, Gambling legislation and Quality labels
It’s important to follow this article on the online casinos regulation, gambling legislation, and quality…read more
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Slot machines – Instructional article on how slot machines work!
In this article we are explain how slot machines work and also answer some common questions that slot players have, like for example:
Do casinos really put the best-paying machines near the entrance?
Now, the first thing we need to mention is how slot machines work.
Every machine has a computer chip inside it called a Random Number Generator, or RNG, and that chip is making mathematical calculations very quickly, about 1,000 times per second, to determine which combination of symbols should appear in the reels.
Then, when you push the spin button or pull the handle, that causes the chip to stop at that exact instant and choose a combination to display on the reels.
This means, when you see the reels spinning, the actual result of what will appear on those pay lines has already been chosen by the RNG.
So, in reality, a slot machine wouldn’t even need the spinning reels to show you whether you won or lost, but it’s certainly a lot more exciting to see those spinning reels.
When a casino orders a slot machine, the manufacturer will have a choice of computer chips to put into the machine. This then controls the percentage of how much that machine is set to pay back.
The range of the payouts on these chips will vary depending on the machine and the manufacturer. But it’s usually pretty standard in the industry to offer chips paying out from a low of about 85% to a high of about 98%.
The answer is that it is done by denomination. The higher the denomination of the machine, the more it’s set to pay back.
If you play a penny machine, you can be pretty sure that it’s set on the low end of the scale to pay back around 87% to 90%. And if you play a $25 machine, the payback on that machine is going to be on the high end, around 95% to 98%.
If you want proof of this, all you need to do is look at the public record of each state’s gaming statistics. We check with gaming regulators
in every country each year, to find out more about machines that paid back to the public and we post all of that information on our
website from time to time. If you want more information about this, you can Just go to AmericanCasinoGuide.com and click on the link that says “Slot Payback Info.”
That will bring up a list of states in the US, and you can just click on the state that you are interested in to see what the machines pay.
For Nevada, you can also get information on a particular city, and if you look at Las Vegas, you can see that the penny slots returned
around 88% while the $25 slots returned around 96%.
So, now you know how a slot machine works and you know how casinos decide what they should pay back to the public.
Well, the answer to that is very simple. You get lucky.
Keep in mind that the slot machine is basically just a computer that is programmed to randomly pay out less money than it takes in. And unlike
video poker where there is a skill involved in how you play your cards, there’s no skill involved with a slot machine.
Therefore, when you play a slot machine, you are hoping that you can get lucky and stop that random number generator on a winning combination.
So, if you ever see an ad from someone selling a “system” to beat slot machines, don’t believe it. There is no system for winning on slot
machines, and if there was a winning system, don’t you think someone would keep that information to himself, rather than sell it to you for
$10 or $15?
Now, let’s address some common questions that people have about slot machines.
Are slot machines set to pay out at set intervals or once they’ve collected a certain amount of money?
The outcome of each play on the machine is completely random. There is no
predetermined point at which a machine is set to pay out.
If a $1 slot has a chip inside that is set to pay back at a rate of 93%, does this mean that if I put $100 through that machine, I’ll have $93 left when I’m done?
The 93% is a long-term number and actually represents the results after several million pulls on that machine. Some days the casino will lose money on that machine. But on most days, it will make money, and the
longer the machine is played, the more likely the result will be that the machine will have an average payout of 93%.
If I play a slot machine and it’s not paying out, does that mean it’s due to hit soon?
Every play on a slot machine is an independent event, which means that its past performance can’t be used to determine its future performance.
If I play a slot machine and win a jackpot, will that machine stop paying out to make up for the jackpot I won?
Every time you play a slot machine, the odds remain constant as to whether or not you’ll win. If the odds were 20,000:1 for you to win a jackpot and you were lucky enough to win it, the odds will still be 20,000:1 for you to win another jackpot on the very next spin.
Do casinos change the payback percentages on a slot machine at the flip of a switch, or can they loosen machines during the week and then tighten them up on the weekend?
Once the payback percentage chips Answer set by the casino, they are rarely changed. In order to change the payback percentage, a casino technician would have to physically go into each machine and replace the chip. This is an expensive and time-consuming process, so it’s rarely done.Now, I need to mention that there is a new technology called server-based gaming, where the payback percentage could be changed by the flip of a switch on a central computer, but it’s very new, it’s very expensive, and only a handful of casinos have it and only on some of their machines.Also, the gaming regulations for these machines would not allow any changes to be made while someone was actively playing a game.
Do slot manufacturers purposely program a near-miss feature into their slots to make it seem like you almost won a jackpot?
Well, before we answer that, let me
first explain what a near-miss is on a slot machine. That would occur when the random number generator knows that the player’s spin will be a loser, and the machine is then programmed to show you two winning combinations directly on the payline, with the third combination appearing just above or below the payline.
This would make you think you almost won and possibly encourage you to play more on that machine. Actually, there was a story on this subject many years ago on the ABC News program 20/20.
The answer to this question is no.
Nevada Gaming Regulations do not allow a manufacturer to purposely program a near-miss feature into a slot machine, and any manufacturer licensed in the state of Nevada would not be able to do that in any other state.
Suppose I play a machine for 30 minutes, and as I’m leaving, someone sits
at my machine and they hit a jackpot. Would I have won that jackpot if I had stayed at that machine?
The random number generator is cycling through various combinations at about 1,000 times a second. In order for you to have won that same jackpot, you would have had to push that button at the exact same
microsecond that the other person did, and it would be virtually impossible for that to happen.
Do casinos really put “looser” machines by the entrance doors or on the aisles?
No. Like we mentioned before, the payback percentages on slot machines are fairly constant within a particular denomination. This means
you won’t find some penny machines set at an 89% payback in one area of the casino and 98% in another area. They are all set to pay back within about a 1% range of each other.
When I get to a bonus (*pls check T&C ) round on a video slot and I have to choose from various symbols to determine my bonus, does it really
matter which symbols I choose, or is it all predetermined?
It really matters which bonus (*pls check T&C ) round symbols you choose. The machine does
not predetermine the outcome, and it’s up to you to keep choosing winning symbols until you pick the losing symbol that ends your bonus (*pls check T&C ) round.
So, there you have it. Hopefully, we’ve answered most of your questions about slot machines and you’ll be a little more knowledgeable the next time you sit down to play your favorite machine. Don’t forget that you can get more information on slot machines as well as all other casino games on our blog section.
Also, if you have any questions, you can post them on the comments on our website, and we’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Thanks for reading, and best wishes for good luck on your next visit to the casino.