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How slot machines work?

One of the most popular games of chance in our country is slot machines, slot machines or, slots game. They can be found in almost any bar in our territory, their sounds and lights being something that is very familiar to us.

In today’s casinos they have a very important presence, since the possibility of making them unique with different settings and themes, thanks to technology, has made them one of the favorite games for fans.

The online version of these games allows you to enjoy a very similar experience and with the plus of making possible audiovisual effects of the most varied. Some of them also include intros as mini-movies that tell you a little about the context in which they are framed or if there is a mission to be achieved (the special phases where prizes and turns are multiplied).

But if the online version of slot machines works with programming, how do classic slots and how online slots work? We are going to explain it to you next.

How slot machines work

The simple explanation says that, through a mechanical or electronic mechanism, the rollers that rotate on their axes are put into operation and, when stopped, they leave in line a series of symbols that can form winning combinations. All this starts with the disbursement of money, usually coins or pre-paid tickets.

Bylines we do not refer only to the horizontal lines in which the symbols are aligned (they are separated from each other in the rollers equidistantly and always stop where there is a payment line), but can be diagonal crossing the rollers so that they always include a symbol of each of them, or even in forms that are not exclusively straight lines (angled, zigzag …).

The ingenuity that causes the rollers to start up is nothing more than an engine subjected to a system known as RNG (Random Number Generator or random number generator). That’s way, every time you hit the play (or operates the lever in the more traditional), the motor rotates the rollers, placed in parallel, and on a common axis (although in multi-screen machines there may be several groups of rollers).

The point is that you never know when it’s going to stop, and in fact, you cannot know. As much as the popular “tricks” among the dwellers to the arcades and casinos included strategies such as waiting for the machine to take a certain time or number of turns without having given any prize; The truth is that they are based on chance … or not? This leads us to tell you about the two main types of slots that exist.

Types of slots

There are two types of slots according to their operation (although with other criteria we could establish multiple categories).

  • Of chance: here the turn and its arrest are totally random.
  • Dependents of an internal program that establishes that, after a certain number of turns, rounds or plays, it must necessarily give a prize to the player. It is also established that it must be a specific amount that is a percentage of what has been spent on it. These generators are constantly making sequences of random numbers, an amount of hundreds or perhaps thousands per second. When you hit Play or Rotate on a machine, the number that has just been determined will be used to determine how many turns will be made by the reels. The quality of the programming will determine that it cannot be predicted by the players when the sequence of numbers will start again.

The second ones are the most common ones (nowadays it is very difficult to find purely mechanical machines since the microprocessors are easy to program and their reliability allows to know in advance the percentage of return of the player.

According to their mechanics, we can also divide them into two different groups:

  • Classic slots: those that keep the physical rollers, rotating and offering prizes.
  • Video slots: those that replace rollers and sometimes also buttons and informative boxes by animations on video screens. We do not necessarily refer to online slots since in casinos and physical salons it is possible to find video slots.

Vocabulary and parts of the slots

Much of the vocabulary surrounding both the functions and the parts of the slots has come to us in English, so we are going to try to make a list that will help us to know what is most important:

  • Bonus: with this word you will see that a special feature or special phase of the game is frequently referred to. The phase of bonus would be the equivalent in Castilian and makes reference to moments of the game that are reached generally by to have obtained a certain combination of symbols. In these phases, the prizes are of greater importance or you get free possibilities to continue playing thanks to the free spins.
  • Slot: part through which the ticket or currency that enables the game is entered.
  • Credit meter: screen or place on the screen where the player is shown how much credit or coins available to continue playing.
  • Drop Box: tray in which the coins that the machine issues are deposited, either by prize won or by return.
  • Spin, Free Spin: Spin means to turn; it is equivalent to ordering the machine to put its mechanism into operation. If we talk about Free Spins we are talking about free spins or games, usually obtained after obtaining a specific combination of symbols.
  • Payment line: each of the lines (straight or not) that, joining different parts of the rollers in which the symbols are, allow to follow a specific combination of them. Prizes are paid depending on whether a combination appears on a payment line. They have different forms and modes of reading (from right to left, both or vice versa) and can be optional or fixed. In the electives the player decides how many lines he plays, increasing his bet as the number of lines grows.
  • Rollers: The rollers or drums are wheels that, placed in groups in parallel on the same axis, contain the symbols object of the combination. Between symbol and symbol, there are slots or spaces.
  • Wild Symbol: it is a symbol that acts as a wildcard, making it possible to replace it with any other symbol that makes it possible to obtain a prize (usually the largest possible).
  • Scatter symbol: a symbol that is generally required in a number equal to or greater than two and that must not necessarily be combined in the same payment line. They offer the player the possibility of obtaining free spins.
  • Pay table: table that contains, one by one, the winning combinations and their corresponding prizes.
  • Benefit for the player (RTP): percentage of the money raised by the machine or game house that is returned to the players. It is usually calculated according to a wagered amount. It is usually expressed as a percentage, understanding that out of every ten credits (euros, for example) a percentage X is expected to be returned to the player or players.

At present, online slots copy this operation but simply – as they have done before the video slots that can be found in recreational salons – putting the different elements and commands on a game screen. The software developed for them allows you to connect the credits that the player has in a certain online casino, giving you access from the game to the “cashier” or place where the money is deposited.

In addition, the advantage of online slots increases when adding to the game itself the possibility of being connected to a chat with more players, or immediate access to customer service or the rules of the game to any questions that may arise. It is one of the most popular games that exist in the online casino catalog and there are many titles available, each with its theme and previous features within a common operating mode.

Rony Bhuyan

Rony Bhuyan is a writer, online marketer and part-time graphics designer with a background in Finance. A regular contributor to Speaky Magazine and Tech Magazine. His real passion, however, lies in helping his clients.

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