The Technology Behind Slot Machines


Slot machines with video cameras

While mechanical slot machines have spinning reels, video slot machines use visual reels on a computer display instead. Because slot Malaysia online designers aren’t constrained by mechanical requirements, games tend to have at least five reels and may also employ unconventional layouts. A machine can now have up to 50 symbols on each reel, resulting in odds of up to 300 million to 1 against — more than enough for even the biggest prize. Because there are so many possible combinations with five reels, the reward symbols don’t need to be weighted (although some may still do so). A few of the highest paying icons may show on each reel, while the more common ones that pay out more frequently appear numerous times. Video slot machines, on the other hand, typically make greater use of multimedia and can include more complex bonus games. Curved screens (which can provide a more immersive experience for the player) aren’t rare in modern cabinets, which normally use flat-panel displays. 

Rather than picking the middle of the three symbols on each reel, a line on a video slot machine typically encourages players to play numerous “lines.” A line can go from the top left to the bottom right, or in any other pattern set by the manufacturer. Because each symbol has an equal chance of appearing, the manufacturer has no problem enabling the player to choose as many of the available lines as they want, as the long-term return will be the same for both the manufacturer and the player. Players benefit from playing more lines since it increases their chances of winning on a particular spin (because they are betting more).


While on a single-line machine, 100 credits would be 100 bets and the player would feel like they had made an important win, the payout of the same amount on 20 lines would only be five bets and would not seem as significant. To avoid this appearance of money simply ebbing away from the player, manufacturers commonly offer bonus games that can return many times their bet. Even if they are losing, the bonus game may help them to recover their losses, therefore the player is motivated to keep playing to get to the bonus.


Devices that produce seemingly random numbers

The PRNGs used in today’s computers generate a sequence of simulated random numbers at a pace of hundreds or thousands of times per second. This ensures that no two machines are exactly the same. Once the “Play” button is hit, the most recent random number is used to determine the outcome. In other words, depending on the time of day or night when the game is played, the outcome can change. The outcome would have been different if the clock had been moved forward or backward by a fraction of a second.


It’s critical that the RNG implementation on the system be top-notch. An advanced player may be able to “guess” the future outcome because all PRNGs must ultimately repeat their number sequence and if the time is short or the PRNG is otherwise defective. A former slot machine programmer who had access to the PRNG code and seed settings uncovered equations for certain gambling games like Keno that allowed him to forecast the next set of picked numbers based on prior games played by Ronald Dale Harris.


The majority of machines are programmed to prevent the player from knowing where they are in the sequence even if they know how the machine was programmed.

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