Slot machines are one of the most popular forms of gambling. No matter what casino you go to, you’ll find them scattered around the game floor. In fact, a majority of the space that is used on the game floor goes towards the hundreds of slot machines that casino owners have to create space for. There are a wide variety of slot machine games that get distributed to casinos by gambling game developers. These machines provide users with a unique experience and keep the game entertaining, giving players dozens of options to choose from when visiting their local casino.
Every slot machine has their own odds and jackpots that keep the game interesting. Despite the varying odds, it should be noted that the game is always in the casino’s favor. Slot machines aren’t there to make you money, they are there to give the casino a profit – which is done through house favoring statistics which we’ll get into later. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make money from slots, but rather it is more improbable than anything. The odds of winning or losing money on a slot machine is generally not super steep for the house, typically by no more than 20 percent on the worst contenders. This means that there are people who walk away with more money than they put in, but there is a greater number of people that walk away with less. Statistically, a player will almost always lose money in the long run due to the house edge, even if they do have a few lucky streaks to buffer their bankroll.
So why do people play slot games if the odds are against them? The incentive behind slots is in making money, with the biggest goal being jackpots. Jackpots can completely change a person’s life, but the odds of actually winning one is far and in between. Still, having the opportunity to win money is enough to keep people playing, even if the there’s a more likely chance of them losing money. An interesting fact of gambling is that the brain will release a high amount of dopamine on a win which can create the same form of dependency on gambling as addictive substances, and it even releases dopamine on a loss. Our brain obviously reacts differently to both wins and losses, but the excitement of a win has a larger effect than the frustration of a loss.
It’s a rush to spin slots and watch as each row lines up, while hoping for a positive outcome. Slot machines also have hundreds of lights and sounds to add to the excitement. They are strategically designed to keep people playing and to be fun and enjoyable.
After a long losing streak some people become skeptical that maybe the casino is cheating or the game is changing up the odds whenever they put in a big bet, but these games are highly regulated and aren’t controlled by anything other than the software. Slot machines use what is known as a random number generator to determine whether or not a person will win and exactly how much they are going to win. Even earlier slot machines that used mechanical methods used a form of random number generator, but these days this is all done within the computer behind the scenes. These numbers don’t exactly determine a win, but rather determine whether or not a certain icon will appear in a position on a reel. For example, having a cherry on the reel might be a 1 in 6 chance, while having an orange on the reel might be a 1 in 12 chance. You have double the chance of winning the amount set for a row of cherries than you do winning the amount set for a row of oranges.
In order to win on a slot game, a player must line up a certain number of icons on what is known as a pay line. A pay line is a line of icons that determines how much a person will win, or whether or not a person will win. Pay lines can be a bit confusing for those new to slots because they aren’t always straight lines across the reels, and can even be zig zag lines.
There are many forms of slot games, but most of them follow the general rule of having three or five reels. Three reel slots may have just a single pay line in the center of the slot game, or they can have multiple. Five reel slots will pretty much always have a large number of pay lines that players can win on, and even have the option to adjust which pay lines to bet on which can change the amount of their bet but will also adjust their odds. For five reel slots, pay lines are read from left to right. If a player has at least three icons lined up on a pay line starting from the left side, they will win a prize. Any additional icons on the line will only add on to their winnings.
Players can usually let a reel spin out until the game stops it itself, or they can stop the reel early themselves. Generally, reels spin much faster than the eye can accurately make out, and so it’s impossible for a player to stop it exactly where they want. There isn’t a real advantage to stopping a reel early except for the fact that they’ll save a little bit of time.
The icon that a reel stops is called a “stop”. On some slot machines, usually just three reel versions, slot machines can stop between symbols on a blank space. This will mean that a prize won’t be won on that payline since it didn’t actually stop on a symbol that was worth something.
Slot games will have a numerous amount of stops, but this isn’t always a good thing for the player. The more stops, the less likely that a player will be able to line up at least three of the same ones. Say you have 10 stops on a three reel game with each having the same odds of appearing, you have a 1/10 chance of a specific symbol appearing on a pay line. That means for each reel there is a 1/10 chance of that symbol appearing, or a 1/10 * 1/10 * 1/10 = 1/1000 chance for that symbol row to appear. In order for a player to break even on that single pay line and single stop icon, the payout would need to be 1000 to 1 on their bet. Anything more than that and the house is losing money, and anything less and the player is losing money.
Let’s take a trip back in time and look over the history of slot machines.
History and Development of Slot Games
The original slot machine game actually originated off of another popular gambling game called poker. The slots game was invented by Sittman and Pitt out of New York state in the United States back in 1891, and was the first of its kind which led to modern slot machines. It was a poker based game that had five drums which held 50 card faces, which gave players the goal of winning a good poker hand in exchange for a prize. Players would put in a nickle and their prize won would be determined by the hand that they received from the game. Once they inserted the nickle they would would a hand lever that would spin the drums within the game, and those rotating the cards on the front panel.
The game became incredibly popular and was purchased by bars and other venues all across the country that would use it as an attraction within their own establishment. Of course, the game would favor the bar, and so it was also a great way for them to turn an extra profit while keeping their customers entertained.
At this time the game didn’t give a direct prize. It was impossible for the developers to create a system that would pay out a certain amount depending on the outcome for the player, so the machines weren’t completely automatic. Instead, players would win a prize that was determined by the house, which was often a free beer or some cigars. Most places didn’t actually return money back to the player as a prize, so this form of gambling was more for a product. This is far different from modern games that will drop out money for players once they win.
If you didn’t catch it earlier, the game only had 50 cards in it rather than the total amount in the deck of 52. The developers pulled a fancy trick by removing the ten of spades and the jack of hearts, which basically cut a person’s chances of getting a royal flush in half. This wasn’t public knowledge, and so many of the players didn’t even realize that their odds had been reduced by that much. Reasons such as this is why gambling is so limited and restricted today, to ensure that players are getting fair odds – or at least reasonable odds.
Shortly after this game came out there was a simpler version that was created by Charles Fey out of California in the United States. This machine had three reels with a total of five symbols — diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes, and the Liberty Bell. The game was named after the Liberty Bell symbol. This game became a big hit because of how much easier it was to read a win compared to the competitor’s version. The original slot game had 10 different cards, while the new version only contained 5 symbols which was significantly simpler. Another reason this game became such a big success was due to it being the first slots game with an automated payout system. The biggest payout was getting three Liberty Bells in a row, which would pay out 10 times the bet, which was always a nickle making the payout 50 cents. The success of this game is what really sparked off the revolution for mechanical gaming slot machines.
Liberty Bell would go on to be copied time and time again by dozens of other companies across the country. The demand for these games was so high that the original developer couldn’t keep up, and this came after his home state had banned the game due to gambling addiction concerns. One popular copy that came about as a result of this game was Operator Bell, which was created by Herbert Mills in 1907. Many of these original Bell slots games are kept in the Nevada State Museum’s Fey Collection to showcase the original start of the machines.
These former slot machines were completely mechanical and worked with gears and levels, but then in 1963 Bally had developed the very first electromechanical slot machine. This machine was called Money Honey, and it would become the first slot machine that could do automated payouts of as much as 500 coins without needing the assistance of a human. There had been attempts at creating an electromechanical slot machine since the 1940s, but none had been very successful in their journey.
Video slot machines, which is what most modern slots are, came around in 1976 out of Kearny Mesa of California. The game had a 19 inch Sony Trinitron color receiver that was used as the display of the game for players, and it contained logic boards that would handle the functions of the slot machine. The original versions of the games were shown off at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel as a trial run, and then they went back for some anti-cheat proofing before being finally approved through the Nevada State Gaming Commission and becoming popular throughout Las Vegas. The machine’s rights were later purchased by the International Gaming Technology company in 1978.
Bonuses weren’t really a thing with slots until 1996 when WMS Industries Inc. released Reel ‘Em. This was the first slots machine that would feature an alternative screen for bonuses. This was a landmark version of slots because it has now motivated modern developers to create special bonuses and screens for their own games.
All of this has finally led up to where we are today. Starting out as just a mechanical project that was scattered throughout bars across the United States, we now have video slot machines with specialized bonuses and themes that offer a major amount of excitement and fun. However, perhaps one of the most modern revolutions for slot machines came to us within the last decade or so.
Online Slot Games
Nowadays we have hundreds of online casinos that have popped up all over the place. The reason for this is that there is a huge market for gambling on the Internet. Those that prefer to stay at home or don’t have a local casino can go online and play their favorite games from the comfort of their own home. Convenience is something that many companies have taken advantage of in all areas of the market. Convenience stores sell their products for slightly higher prices and get customers because they close the gap between the consumer and the store, and are generally within walking distance for many people. ATM machines are able to charge customers a fee to withdraw their own money because it saves them a trip to the bank when they need cash. Netflix and other movie streaming services can charge a subscription fee to users to save them the time and money of having to go to the store and purchase a movie or wait for a show to come on the television.
Online slots and casinos are no different. These types of casinos will generally charge a small processing fee for handling deposits into the casino, and at the same time they will charge a larger withdrawal fee when you take out your winnings. Most people don’t take it too badly when they have to pay a small chunk of their winnings when they withdraw from a casino after playing online slot games and getting a lucky streak because they are bringing home so much more, but these fees play a significant role in benefiting the house’s edge.
A casino might charge as much as 20% of your winnings for a withdrawal transaction fee, and this won’t hurt too much when you’re bringing home a bunch of money. However, it’s unlikely that it will be the last time you decide to play at the casino, and you will go back and play again. Over time, your winnings and losses will even out in favor of the house edge, and that money taken out of your winnings now turns into profit for the casino rather than dampening their losses.
Another disadvantage that casinos use for the price of convenience is that they will generally have a minimum amount that you have to win before they will let you withdraw. At a regular land casino you can put $20 down on a game, double your money off a single win, and walk away. It’s not so simple with online casinos because of their minimum requirement to withdraw with certain methods, not to mention the associated fee that will make it not worth withdrawing unless you get a good amount stacked up. This encourages players to keep going and trying their luck with slots, and the longer a person plays the greater the chance that the house edge will catch up with them and take down their winnings. This results in the casino having to pay out less money since there are less winners, and even when they do pay out they can charge a fee.
That’s just the cost of convenience, but at the same time players can save a lot of money by playing slots online. It saves the hotel cost of staying at a resort, and it also saves on both gas and dinner. For a lot of people this can make up for the withdrawal and deposit fees. Also, high stakes gamblers, or at least people who plan on playing with a decent amount of money instead of pocket change, won’t really be affected by the minimum withdrawal rates. These casino benefits won’t play out as much for big rollers.
However, online slots games do have one significant advantage over big gamblers – virtual money. When you play online slots you’re required to make a one time deposit to the casino, which will add it to your balance. In a sense this takes away the feeling that you are actually losing money when you play. It’s no longer a physical currency in your hand, and so the loss isn’t such a big deal. This encourages people to place higher bets on slot games and to be more spontaneous. This rarely pays off for the player and is another advantage for the casino. You are no longer pushing physical money into the machine.
Online slot games are of course completely software based rather than mechanical. There isn’t a level you pull and there aren’t any gears or weights moving around to perform an action. These types of games are easier to develop and replicate, and so there is a lot more variation in online slots games than other forms.
Developer companies and casinos work independently from each other, so you’ll often find slots games on multiple gaming platforms. Developers will sell the rights to use the games to casinos so that they can include them in their selection. This does take a bit of the weight off of the casino because they have another company that is controlling the odds and payouts behind the games, and is responsible for false payouts which is why many developers have some sort of insurance policy.
Software bugs can come up at any time, and online slots are especially prone to this. There are stories out there of people who haven’t received their winnings because the casino claimed that the software bugged out and awarded them a jackpot when it shouldn’t have. It’s actually most likely that the casino in these stories is telling the truth, but that doesn’t mean that they always get away with not paying a customer. If they are forced to pay, that falls back onto the developer which is exactly why protection insurance policies exist.
Now as a player you are of course looking for your best chances of winning, and there are so many online slot game choices that this can be difficult. One good thing about online slot games is that their odds are always posted. You can either find them directly on the casino website, or you can try looking under the developer’s site. Not all slot games have the same odds, and while they always favor the house, there are some games that have a higher chance of paying out than others. In fact, some slot games may pay out quite often when compared to others, but that won’t always mean that they are the better choice. In the world of online slots there is a little term called “variance”.
There are basically three kinds of slot variance. The first kind of variance is called “low variance”, and these types of games are more appealing to long term players. The best way to describe low variance slots is that they are low risk, but also low reward. Low risk variance games will pay out much more often than the other two forms of variance, but the payouts will be smaller and the jackpot will only be a moderate amount rather than millions. Often, when a player wins on a low variance game they might actually win less or equal to the amount that they bet making it hardly worth it at all.
The second form of slots variance is medium risk variance. These are the most common types of slot games because they sit in a happy medium area. This is the type of variance that most online gaming slots revolve around. These types of games will offer both high and low jackpots, and will usually include bonuses and special bonus events. Bonuses are generally the best way to make money on medium variance slots. Of course, players that are playing on medium variance slot games will be gambling with more money and so they have a better chance of losing more money, while at the same time also holding a better chance of winning a high amount of money. It’s unlikely that a medium variance slots player will walk away with the same amount of money that they started with. Medium variance slots games will have less frequent low valued wins like with low variance games, but will not see as many high valued wins as with high variance games. Players that want to win more than they want to just play would enjoy medium variance games or high variance games over low variance games.
High variance games require a player to have a large bankroll before playing. These types of slots will require a large amount of money each spin, but they can offer a significant reward in return. High variance online games offer players with the reward of gaining massive wins for lucky spins. This has a downside though, in which it gets compensated by lots of losses or low to medium valued wins. These types of games are more geared towards gamers that love the rush of getting a huge win on a slot game and can handle a string of losses. Due to the high stakes, they take nerves of steel to play.
A majority of online slots players tend to play with a small to medium sized bankroll and wager small bets over a period of time. This is why the most frequent kind of online slots game you’ll come across are those of the medium variance kind.
There is one theory that people have with online slot games in which they believe that once a high number has been hit or a jackpot, the slot will turn cold. Vice versa, it’s believed that if a player is winning a lot on a game that it is running “hot” or losing a lot and it’s considered running “cold”. The truth of the matter is that no matter what you’ve received from a previous spin, the next spin is completely independent and doesn’t take any information in regards to those spins when determining your winnings. Slot machines never favor odds or reduce odds, as it always remains consistent. The reason that slot machines may sometimes pay out a lot all comes down to statistical luck, and has absolutely nothing to do with the slot machine itself. If you hear these terms, this is not how slot games work and your winnings won’t be affected by staying or leaving that specific machine.
One cool thing to note about online casinos is that in general they are programmed to pay out more than land based casinos, although this isn’t always true so don’t take it to heart. The average payout amount for land based slot games is 85%, while the average payout amount for online slot games is 96%. In most cases you will actually have a higher chance of winning money from an online casino than you would a brick and mortar casino. The reasoning behind this is that people who play online are more interested in making money than people who are out for a night on the town to have fun. That isn’t to say that everyone isn’t looking to make money, but you get the picture.
Another cool component of online slot games is that they usually have more interactive and interesting bonuses. Computer keyboards and mouse give more control to the user than the few buttons that are typically on slot machines. This gives developers more freedom with bonuses, so they can have objects that users can click to open and all sorts of fun interactions.
So if it’s all luck, how can you make money and be successful? The truth behind that question is that there is really no guaranteed method for winning online slots. However, there is a lot you can do to better your chances. It really all comes down to how online slot games are designed. Here are some general tips:
Choose Simple Games – It’s a general rule that simple games pay out more. The fancy, flashy games are designed to bring in as many players as possible, and so they can afford to give worse odds to the people that play them. Simple games hold on to their players by giving out more payouts, and so these are your choice if you’re looking to turn a profit.
Money Management Systems – Managing your money properly is vital for any form of gambling, online slots included. There will always be times where a slot game may pay out for a long streak, and at other times it might give off nothing. You need to be able to survive the lows by being smart through the highs. One common money management strategy is called “the straight 60”, which basically means that once you’ve either won or lost 60% of your bankroll you walk away no matter what. Another piece of this system is that if you ever spin 9 times and come up with losses each time, you walk.
Play For Fun Expecting Nothing – This is probably the best piece of advice for online slots. Go into the game to play for fun and pretend like you’ve lost all the money that you put into the casino already. If you go in expecting to make money, you will get angry with losses and be more prone to making irrational decisions and putting in more money when your bankroll clears out. Emotional betters tend not to last long, so be smart and have fun.
Casino Promotions – Most online casinos will offer special promotion offers in order to get people to play. They do this because it acts as an incentive for players to choose their casino over the competitors, but these types of offers are ripe for the picking for players such as yourself that are looking to score some free extra playing money. Keep in mind that casinos will have special stipulations with these types of promotions though, such as requiring you to bet a certain amount before being able to withdraw.
Good Starting Bankroll – With online slots you can’t just pull out at any time and withdraw your winnings. Casinos have minimum withdrawal limits for various payment methods, and even charge a fee on these making it only worth your time if you can walk away with a decent chunk of change. This is why you shouldn’t make a minimal deposit, but instead should deposit the minimum amount required to make a withdrawal. This way, it’s easier to withdraw your money after winning rather than having to rely on a long winning streak to hit that minimum amount.
Watch Out For Progressive Slots – Progressive slots have the highest rewards in terms of lucky winners because they have the largest jackpots, but this comes with a price. In general, they tend to pay out much less than regular slot games. Unless you’re dead set on trying to be lucky enough to become a millionaire, these types of online slot games should be avoided.
Don’t Play With Money You Can’t Afford To Lose – Any money you put into an online casino for slots should be considered gone the second you make that deposit. You have to go in with the mindset that you likely won’t get that money back. You should never gamble with money that you can’t afford to lose.
You Can’t Cheat the System – There are tons of betting systems and ideas out there that slots gamblers tend to try out because they think it will improve their odds. While some of these techniques can certainly be helpful, you will never have better odds than the house no matter what you do. Casinos have stayed in business for decades, and during all of this time there has never been a strategy that was good enough to cheat them out of their money. If there had been, they would no longer be in business.
Take Breaks – Whether you are on a winning streak or a losing streak it is important to remember that you need to take occasional breaks. On losing streaks, people often get mad and begin to bet higher amounts in an attempt to regain their lost bankroll, which ends up in them losing the rest quite quickly. On winning streaks, people feel as if their luck is really high and begin to bet big amounts until they end up losing all their winnings. A good gambler doesn’t let their emotions dictate their betting methods.
Loyalty Programs – Casinos will often offer loyalty programs as incentives to hold onto your business. You should take advantage of these types of programs. They will sometimes give you a rebate for some of your losses that will allow you to play a bit more, or offer some special reward such as free spins. This won’t give you an edge over the house but it will definitely reduce the odds that are stacked up against you.
These tips will help you be a smarter online slots player because you have general knowledge about how they work and the design of these machines. Long term online slots gambling should never be considered as a way of making an income, so it’s important to remember that even if you’re doing really well it won’t last forever and this isn’t a career. When you’re ahead in online slots and have enough of a bankroll to make a withdrawal you should do just that. When you’re behind, control your emotions and continue to bet small or cut your losses and pull out.
Slots Gameplay Process
The slots gameplay process is relatively straightforward on the surface, but there’s a decent amount of work going on behind the scenes. Let’s take a look at how slot games work so that you can understand the process involved with each spin of those reels.
The first step in the entire process is to select the lines and amount to bet per line. For new players this can be pretty confusing. When games refer to lines, they mean the “pay lines” of the game. These are the lines that you must have at least three of the same icons on in a row in order to win. Starting from left to right, if you at least three icons lined up onto a pay line you will be guaranteed to win some sort of prize. This prize amount of course depends on the specific icons that are lined up because they are all worth different amounts.
When you select the lines, you are basically determining how many pay lines that you are willing to bet on. Most slot games will have some sort of chart that will show you how many pay lines there are and where each pay line is located. You’ll notice some of the simpler ones go straight across while other pay lines might zig zag or do weird designs. This is what confuses most people, but just keep in mind that these lines just outline where you can win with three or more icons. These pay lines will start from left to right, and so even if your last three icons are lined up you won’t win a prize unless the first three are lined up.
When you adjust the number of pay lines to bet on you are lowering or raising your odds of winning. You can’t choose the exact pay lines that will be used aside from dictating the number which will remove and add in certain pay lines according to the chart.
We’ll use a game that has 25 pay lines for our example. Say you lower the number of betting pay lines to 24, then pay line 25 will be the one that is no longer in play. As you reduce pay lines, you will take away the largest current number until you are down to just one pay line which will usually just be straight across the center. Most slot games will generally start out with the maximum number of pay lines as the default and let you reduce them from there.
The amount you bet is dictated by the “bet line” amount multiplied by the number of pay lines. Basically, you are betting a certain amount on each line whenever you spin, and this will add up to your total. You can reduce your total bet by either taking away pay lines or lowering the amount being bet on each pay line. When you take away pay lines you are essentially lowering your odds of winning, and when you take away the bet line amount you are lowering the amount you will win if you get a lucky spin.
You may also notice that there is a “bet max” and a “bet min” button on most of the slot games. These buttons are basically quick click options that will raise your bet to the maximum amount available on the machine, or lower your bet to the minimum amount. These options are included because this is usually how people at least start out their bets.
It should be noted that most casinos will post the maximum jackpot you can win on the game to bring in more players. You won’t win this amount by betting the minimum, but will instead only have a chance at this number if you bet the maximum amount. You can win a jackpot with any amount, it will just be based off of your bet.
Once you have set your bet it’s on to the next step, spinning the reels. If you’re using a physical machine there will sometimes be a level on the side that you can pull, but many modern machines just have a standard spin button. Once you press this your bet will be accepted by the game and you can’t take it back, so only push the spin button if you have the proper betting amount set up. As soon as you push this button there will be a short animation and the reels will start spinning.
On the backend side of the game it has now just determined which symbols will appear on which positions of the slot game. This is done using something that is known as a random number generator, which we will cover more on later. Each symbol is assigned a value, and when the game selects that random value for a position it will be placed there. Software is fast, and it only takes a few milliseconds to assign hundreds of symbols to each position on the reels. As the reels spin you will see all the assigned symbols fly past.
Now, the game hasn’t determined how much you won yet. The reason for this is that many slot games will include the option to “smart stop” while the reels are spinning. Smart stopping is a user process in which the player can stop the reels early to try and use a little bit of skill to hit the symbols they want. This is pretty impossible to do, so it’s more of a fun feature for users rather than something that actually increases or decreases their odds. Nevertheless, smart stopping can actually change the outcome of the game which is why slots won’t determine whether or not you’re a winner or how much you’ve won until the reels have finished.
Some slots games will allow players to smart stop each reel individually, while other games will stop all reels at once if the player uses the smart stop option. It depends on the game you’re playing, but either way won’t actually offer any sort of benefit or hindrance to the player.
While this is true for most slots games, there are some games that will determine whether or not you’re a winner right after you press the spin button. This can be a little confusing since you have the ability to stop the reels on command, so wouldn’t that change the outcome? The answer is no, these games have predetermined outcomes that will appear on your screen whether you stop the game yourself or not. The reels are spinning so fast that to the user it appears as if they are stopping the reels where they want it when in actuality it isn’t having any effect on the outcome and is just saving time. It all depends on how the game gets coded.
As the reels spin the player will see symbol after symbol fly down the rows. These symbols have been placed onto the reels using a random number generator that has specific numerical values for each one, and varying odds for each symbol depending on the payout value. For online and video slot games that actual reels usually aren’t spinning at all, but instead the coders will just have the symbols moving down in a fast fashion so that it appears as if it is spinning. The end user won’t notice the difference, but it becomes more apparent if the reels are slowed down.
In order for video reels to hold on to the appearance that they are spinning they have to be moving at a speed that is faster than the human eye can keep track of. This is also the case with slots games that have actual smart stops that effect the outcome of the game. It is a general rule that the human eye can track things up to 60 frames per second, and after that the eye begins to lose track with increasing inaccuracy as the number escalates. That means that in order for a reel to look like it’s actually moving at a normal pace the game has to have a refresh rate of 60 fps or greater or it will look choppy and the user will gain the advantage of being able to track where symbols are and will lose the illusion of smooth movement. The speed that the symbols flow down the reels is important as well, and differs from game to game. Developers have to move the symbols down fast enough that the user can’t track them, but slow enough that the user is able to see what the symbol is so that it won’t appear as a constant blur. The exact speed to spin reels to obtain the best effect is debatable, but no symbol should be on the reel for longer than a quarter of a second or they become trackable and players gain an advantage with smart stopping.
Another important factor that developers have to consider is how long the slots games should be spinning before stopping. It’s about finding the right balance between keeping the player interested and preventing them from getting bored and constantly just smart stopping to save time. This is an opinionated part of development that will vary from developer to developer and even between games designed by the same developer. However, the spinning time should never be more than a couple seconds, as longer spinning slots bring less enjoyment for the player. It should also be noted that casinos have an interest into the speed of slots games, as games that play faster will bring in more revenue. The more spins a casino can have going the more money they can make off an individual player.
Eventually, the reels have to come to a stop. There are several ways that a developer will program a slots game for stopping the reels. It is modern practice to use what is known as a “staggering stop” in which each reel stops independently rather than all at the same time. This method has shown to be more enjoyable to the player and helps hold on to the suspense. Usually, the reels will spin for a decent amount of time determined by the developer before staggering the reels over the course of a couple seconds. The other option that slots games have is to stop the reels all at once, but this isn’t as common with modern slot games.
There are several methods that a developer might use to stop the slots games from spinning. One way to do it is by using a set timer. The timer starts as soon as the game begins spinning. It might be set for 2 seconds before stopping the first reel. Since developers tend to use a staggering stop, they might set the second reel to stop at 2.3 seconds, the third to stop at 2.6 seconds, and so forth. Now one issue that arises with this method is that if a player chooses to stop the first reel early this will create an awkward effect for the rest of the reels. Say a player stops the first reel using smart stop at just .2 seconds into the spin, if they don’t use smart stop again they now have to wait 2.1 seconds before the second reel will stop, and then only .3 seconds for each following reel. This isn’t a smooth effect and is a bit weird, and so there is a better method of programming a slots game.
This next method doesn’t use a single timer, but will instead use five independent timers. The first timer will start as soon as the game begins to spin, and will stop as soon as it reaches a certain value or the user tells the timer to stop. Once one timer stops, the next timer for the following reel will begin. A developer might set the first timer length to be 2 seconds, and then the following four timers to be .3 seconds in length for a staggering effect. The first timer is set to start once the spin begins, and the other four timers are set to start as soon as the previous timer has stopped. This way, if a player uses the smart stop feature it won’t create awkward pauses between each reel but will instead keep the same consistent staggering pace.
Now the reels have finally stopped and the game has to figure out what the user has won and where. The game will do this by checking each active pay line using a series of arrays. An array is basically an organized list of all the symbols in the game, which will most likely be represented on the backend as numerical identity values. Each reel is an independent array, and the game will start out by figuring out what positions in the array are being shown on the screen to the user. Then, using an algorithm, the game will compare values along the arrays to see if they match up. It will start from left to right and will go along the pay line until it reaches the fifth value or comes across a mismatch. Once completed, it will move on to the next pay line since players can win in multiple spots each game. We’ll go more into this later, but this is the general practice for determining prizes along the pay line.
The game not only has to calculate the pay lines, but it needs to show the user which lines they have won on as well. This is all part of the user experience that makes the game fun. Slot games will do this by drawing a line along the pay line that goes across the symbols from one end of the game to the other. This gives the user a visual indicator as to where they have won so that they can understand why they are being given a certain amount.
The main problem with pay lines is that they can overlap, and this can create confusion for the user since they can’t see the entire line. This is why many games will choose to flash the lines one at a time in a rhythmic fashion rather than showing them all at once. Lines can overlap if they use the same symbol as another line.
Things get a little bit more complicated with wilds thrown into the mix. Since each symbol is granted a numerical value and the game is looking for equal values when checking pay lines, wilds can be a small problem for a developer. Wilds will obviously have a different value than the previous value that the game is looking for so the slots game will give a false outcome that shows a loss. For this reason, when checking each position along the pay line the game also has to look for the value of a wild. So now the game is making two checks, it wants to know if the current pay line value is equal to the previous pay line value or is the current value a wild.
Another problem wilds prevent from the software end of things is what happens if the first reel slot value is a wild. Now the game is checking all following slot positions for that specific wild value and anything that isn’t a wild will return a false value, resulting in a loss. For example, say a player got the outcome “wild – cherry – cherry” this would result in a loss under the current game logic because the second value isn’t equal to the first. In order to correct this problem, developers have to put in a third check that will see if the first value was a wild to move on to the second value and use that as the comparison, and so on and so forth. As you can see, a simple slots game can grow in complexity rather quickly when new elements are added into the game.
The next step in the game is to add up all the winnings from each pay line and come up with a total amount won. This is pretty straight forward.
The game isn’t quite ready to award the player the total winnings yet, there’s still one more factor to consider – bonuses. Most games these days have bonuses that are meant to award players with extra money if they’re lucky, and the super lucky players might find themselves walking away with a jackpot. The game logic behind the scenes has to do various things in regards to bonuses depending on the specific game. Most games will have bonus symbols spread out across three of the five reels, and getting three of these will result in a bonus being triggered. Another way that bonuses can be triggered is through a random number generator that will roll to see if a bonus should be activated. These types of bonuses are less common, but some games do allow for them and so it’s a factor that is sometimes considered by the software.
If a game has found that a bonus has been triggered, it will play the bonus. Otherwise, it will move on to the next step in the logic which is to award the player with their payout. This will effectively end the round. This amount will be added to the player’s balance, and from here they get the option of cashing out or playing again. Should they select to cash out, the game will either add the amount to their online casino balance or it will spit out the credit from the machine in a land-based environment. If the player chooses, they can also try their luck again by spinning another round.
This would put the machine into the final logic step, in which it now has to reset all the values. It will have to clear out the arrays that hold the current symbol information, it will need to reset the winnings, and it also has to reset the former timers. Once all the information is reset, it will spin the game again.
Mechanical Design vs. Software Design
If you look back earlier in this article at the first slot games you’ll notice that the first slot machines were completely mechanical. They were developed long before computers and software became a big part of our culture, and so a mechanical design was necessary in order to get the functions of the game to operate correctly. Also, do to the limits of technology at the time these types of games didn’t have all of the features that we enjoy today with modern slots.
The mechanical design was much different than what we have today. It was built using a configuration of gears and levers that operated the reels and payout. The main part of the game would be the metal rod that would sit in the center of the game. It was used to support the reels and create a spinning motion. The rod would be connected to a level, that when pulled would start the game. These machines also used a braking system that would stop the reels from spinning, and sensors that would tell the game which symbols are being shown on the screen. These games also had a coin detecting system that would allow the user to pull the lever once a coin has been inserted, ensuring that payment was processed before allowing a user to play.
While there have been dozens of dozens of different approaches to change up the design of mechanical slot games, the main way that they would be built would include three notched discs that would attach to the center rod. These discs would act as the reels, and the outer part of the discs would have symbols so that the user could see what they spun. Below each reel would be a kicker, which was basically another spinning device that had paddles to catch the notches on the discs. As the kicker spun, it would push the reel so that it would spin as well. The second shaft that held the kicker also included stoppers that would be used for a braking system on the game so that the reels would stop.
This is the overall outlook of these machines, but it doesn’t quite tell you the process for getting a mechanical game going.
The game starts as soon as the handle is cranked. The handle is attached to a hooking mechanism, which will pull the kicker forward in the player’s direction. At the other end of the kicker is the control came that will pivot in a forward motion as the kicker rod is pulled forward. This will rotate the gears that are connected to the control cam. Through the use of a spring, the cam will be pulled back into position, but this will be slowed as the gear assembly creates a mechanical delay.
When the control cam is pulled out of position this will pull the stoppers away from the discs so that they can spin, which means that as it falls back into position the stoppers get pulled back to the reels so that they can stop the spinning.
Pulling the handle winds up the kicker in a way so that when the handle is released, it spins to go back to its original position. When the handle has been completely pulled and the kicker has been moved past the discs, the hooking mechanism on the handle will ride up a slanted surface that will cause it to release the kicker.
The springs on the kicker will pull it back at a rapid speed. As the kicker pulls back it spins the notched discs that act as the reels, causing them to spin. In the meantime, the control cam is being pulled back into position, and once it has been put back to where it started the braking mechanism will catch onto the notched area of the discs and put an end to the spinning, locking the reels in place. In order to create a “staggered stop” effect the stoppers will be positioned in different places so that they catch at different times.
Of course, all of this looks completely different from the perspective of the player. From the viewpoint of the user they will pull the handle, which will have a slight bit of tension. Once pulled all the way they will hear and feel a clunk, and the reels on the machine will start rapidly spinning. The reels will eventually stop one at a time, and a payout will be awarded if they win. By having the reels stop independently the game has created a bit of suspension and enjoyment. If three symbols line up, you have a winner.
Now mechanical slot machines may have started out completely made of levers and gears, but later on they adapted and used mechanical means in order to operate. The main difference with these games is that instead of using a kicker the game’s reels will be spun by a motor, and then stopped from solenoids. Solonoids are basically electromagnets. Other than that, the game plays out the same way and doesn’t appear much different for the user. While it was harder to give payouts to players on older mechanical machines, the use of electrical machines made it easier for more sophisticated payment methods. Electronic slots also introduced special sounds and lighting effects that increased the excitement of the game, and is partly responsible for the addictive nature of these types of games.
The logic behind both of these systems is very much the same. They go through the same pattern in order to spin and stop, the big difference is just how they do it. These machines have led to modern slot games that are mainly run off pure software and a computer, often referred to as “video slots”.
The software design of slot machines doesn’t use gears and levers like their mechanical predecessors, bur rather relies entirely on a computer to run the game. The logical process behind them is much different, and aside from the computer itself it is a lot less complicated.
The biggest advantage that software design has brought to the slot machine industry is the capability to mass produce and easily create variations of slot machines. Development companies will often design a template for at least a handful of their games, and only have to make small modifications to the game in order to completely change it – at least from the user’s perspective.
One way of doing this might be to just change the background and the symbols that appear on the reels to something new. From the user’s perspective, they are playing an entirely new game, but from the developer’s perspective they are distributing the exact same game with a fancy new cover. The only cost to the developer is in the artwork, making it relatively easy to make new games.
The amount of distribution that became possible with video slots has really slingshot the slots industry. It has opened up a world of online gambling where players are now able to play their favorite games from home without having to go down to their local casino. Developers are able to easily sell the same games to a wide variety of companies, and at a much lower price. Online casinos don’t have to purchase physical machines and just obtain licenses to use the games on their platform, which is a significantly cheaper alternative.
There is a major risk that comes to software designed slot machines. These types of games are complex and engineered by humans, which leaves them prone to random bugs and issues that might appear in special circumstances that may have gone untested. These bugs can be almost impossible to detect in testing due to the unique circumstances that have to be in place in order for a bug to pop. For example, getting the same three symbols on a reel five times in a row has a very low chance of happening, but this might trigger a software error that results in a jackpot win due to a logic error made by a software engineer. This raises some risk for the casino, which is why most developers hold on to insurance policies that protect their clients from these types of risks.
This is also why casinos will include a disclaimer with every game that they can refuse a payout due to a software bug. While many people claim this to just be a scam to rip off jackpot winners that the casino doesn’t want to pay, it is actually there to protect against these sort of incidences.
Mechanical games aren’t prone to the same types of bugs, but they do have other problems that could result in false payouts. If a spring gets stuck or something snaps it would be quite easy for a false payout to be given to the player. If the payout mechanism breaks on a mechanical game the player might walk away with much more than anticipated.
Software design has also given more control over to the casinos rather than having it all be mechanically set. From the comfort of a user interface a casino can change up the settings of various slot games to whatever they want, as long as they properly promote the currently assigned settings. They can adjust the odds to be more favorable for the player or the house, they can raise the minimum and lower the maximum amount per bet, they can adjust the odds of getting a random bonus, and so much more.
One of the most exciting parts about software designed slot games is the video bonuses that have developed from them. They are basically games within a game that will increase the amount of money that a player wins off of a spin. They are meant to be rare and happen only every once in awhile to keep the game interesting, and can often make up for a lot of dead spins that happen between bonuses. Developers are given a lot of freedom with bonuses since they are able to make pretty much any game they want for the bonus as long as it is simple and gives some user control, while mechanical machines didn’t have these types of bonuses.
Software design has given the industry a lot more variety. No longer requiring mechanical engineering to make certain events occur and having the freedom to use custom themes and video bonuses has brought slot games to a whole new level.
Although they were found in electronic slot games as well, software designed slot games have pushed the five reel phenomenon much further than ever before. In the earlier days of slot gaming you would almost always find three reel slot games because they were mechanically a lot easier to develop and simpler to understand for the everyday person that might come across them in a bar. It is also a lot easier to understand a win on a three reel slot game than on a five reel slot game. However, now we have software that can draw a line along the pay line to outline a win so that it’s easier for players to understand why they are receiving a certain amount, and five reel slot games are easy to duplicate from the software side of things.
Software engineering has created entirely new types of slot games all on its own. We now have progressive slots that allow for a single jackpot to increase over time as players spin, with the size of the jackpot being dependent on how many players have tried their luck at the game since the last big win. We also have mega spin slot games that allow for players to play on multiple spins at once, going up to as many as 9 games at a time for an extra high amount of excitement.
Predetermined Process in Slot Machines
There is a myth that some people have that the slot machines will stack against them when they are betting high and will purposely only allow them to win when they bet low so that the casino can make more money. This is obviously fabricated and no casino would pass regulation if this were to be the actual case, but that doesn’t mean that the rounds you are playing haven’t already been predetermined for specific outcomes – your betting amount just has nothing to do with it.
Many slot games have the reels generated on the fly when you spin, but some have predetermined outcomes. Now as a player you are probably wondering how this could be fair and pass regulation. After all, isn’t there strict regulation to ensure that the casino doesn’t cheat you out of your money beyond the house edge that they advertise?
Well some slot games don’t generate each round on the fly, but will instead generate a large number of rounds that it stores in memory and pulls from over time until it runs out of rounds and has to generate more. These rounds are predetermined before you even touch the game, but they haven’t actually hurt your odds of winning at all and aren’t based around the number that you are betting. What these types of games are doing is that they are generating the reels ahead of time so that there is less loading and processing time between rounds on the user’s end. These reels use the same random number generator that is used for games that create them on the fly, they are just done ahead of time and stored.
The reason that these games pass regulation checks is that they aren’t altering the odds of winning at all and are just predetermining outcomes before they appear in the game, and they are still just as randomized. Casinos are not allowed to create the outcomes themselves and have to rely on chance just like the player.
Of course, knowing this might take away from the fun as a player. It’s not very exciting to spin the reels knowing that you are just going through a list and your spin isn’t having any effect on the outcome. Holding the spin button down for a couple extra seconds for good luck or kissing your lucky coin isn’t going to make the outcome any different for you, but it’s always fun to think about luck this way.
While it will differ from game to game that uses this type of predetermined process, the game will usually generate a list of stored values that are going to appear on the slots game. This might be 1,000 different outcomes that will be pulled in a certain order, usually the order that they were generated in. The game will pull the reel values and then spin for the player. Once a value has been used, it will be deleted from the stored memory so that the next values will be at the top of the stack.
Another way of using this technique is to instead use one long list of reel values rather than storing them separately. This will essentially create a list of symbols on a reel that is intended to go on for a thousand games, continually spinning through the list every time the player clicks the play button. Once it reaches the end of the list the game will have a minuscule amount of loading time as it regenerates the lists. On the player’s end, they only see three symbols per reel at a time of course, and so they have no idea that the next million symbols to go across their screen is already determined.
In order to ensure that the game will not reach the end of the list for each reel the developer will usually program it to create a much larger amount of values than what is actually needed, and then when it hits a certain point to regenerate rather than waiting until it hits the end. This will make sure that the game will never draw a blank value from spinning further than it has generated.
There are a few ways that developers can design a game to do this. The first of which is to use universal values that will be drawn from a database that every user has access to. This isn’t very common though for a couple of reasons. The first of which is that the software engineer has to consider the amount of time that it is going to take the game to fetch the value from the server compared to the amount of time that it will take the game to actually generate the values. It is almost always faster to generate the values than it is to fetch the values from a distant server, and so universal values aren’t optimal.
The other method is to use local values that are only in the specific game that the player is playing that will be refreshed if the game itself is refreshed. These values are created when the game is loaded and regenerated with a slight pause whenever needed. This way, the game has the values available to it locally instead of having to fetch them from a server, which is significantly faster. Most computer generated processes are much faster than fetching information.
There is a significant problem with predetermined values though. If there is any memory storage that holds the predetermined values anywhere that means that those values can be fetched by a hacker as well. Casinos have a lot of walls and barriers to prevent software hackers from cheating their games, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible and hackers are constantly finding new exploits to take advantage of. It only takes one small hole for a hacker to walk away with millions almost unnoticed in many circumstances. This is why it may be more beneficial to generate numbers on the fly from a security point of view, even if that adds a few extra milliseconds to each spin for the user.
One advantage behind predetermining outcomes for users is that it does make it easier to check if a game gave the proper outcome that it was supposed to, or if a glitch caused it to give out a different outcome. If a game gave out a jackpot when it was only supposed to give a small amount, this would raise a red flag for the casino who can check that the specific spin did not give the predetermined outcome and so there must have been some sort of bug or hack in play here.
Alongside the reels are the bonuses that are actually more commonly predetermined. It’s common practice these days to generate reels on the fly more than keeping lists for security reasons and player satisfaction, but it is also just as common to create predetermined bonuses that player interaction has no effect on.
Instead, what is used is fake user interactivity that makes the player think that their decision will affect the outcome of the game. This is much easier and faster to develop from a software engineer’s perspective, and it still follows the rules of random number generation even if it doesn’t let the user unknowingly select the random number.
Let’s pull out an example to make this easy to explain. Imagine you just won a bonus on a slots game and are shown three eggs, each that holds a value that will multiply the amount you bet for additional winnings. This might be x10, x15, or x100. Of course, hoping to pick the x100 value since that will give you the most winnings, you will pick the right egg since you are right handed and feel like that egg is lucky. The egg cracks open and you get the x15 value and smack yourself in the head for not clicking the left egg, which you KNOW has the x100 you wanted.
Let’s break the rules a minute and say that you can go back in time to the point before you picked an egg. Knowing that the right egg doesn’t have the x100 value in it, you will now pick the left egg. It cracks open and – x15! Wait a second though, if the right egg had x15 and there were three different values, how is it possible that the left egg also had x15? Obviously the developer is cheating you and none of the eggs had the x100 value.
Well, you’d be half right. None of the eggs held the x100 value, but the developer didn’t cheat you. Regulation would prevent them from doing so. Instead, what happened behind the scenes is a random number generator chose between the three values of x10, x15, and x100. Each value had a one in three shot of being a certain value, the same chance that the user would have to pick a specific value from an egg. The value the game randomly chose was put in each egg, so while the odds of getting x100 didn’t change, the user’s ability to choose that value was taken away. From a user’s perspective, their choice determined the outcome, but behind the scenes this outcome was randomly chosen for them through a predetermined process.
This is the way that a large number of bonuses will work. They pretend that your selection has some sort of determination on the choice when in actuality it didn’t change it at all. They are following all the rules of regulation because they aren’t changing the odds of a user being given a certain value, and are using the same chance.
These types of bonuses aren’t always allowed depending on the region a player is gambling from and the type of bonus that is being used. For example, some areas prohibit a certain card value from being predetermined by the game because the slot game has to play it out exactly like a dealer would. The user’s choice in the selected card has to be just as effective as it would be at a dealer’s table.
How can you tell whether or not a bonus was predetermined for you? Well, in all honesty unless you have the source code it’s unlikely that you would ever be able to. However, one common technique that developers will use to show the user that their choice had some say in the matter is they will reveal the other hidden options once a user has made their selection. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a developer didn’t predetermine the outcome randomly, but it’s quite likely that they didn’t since they are going through the effort to show off the other outcomes beneath the icons the user could have chosen.
Another way to tell is by reading the fine print of games. Games can often come with a terms of service or long description that most people don’t take the time to read because it involves a lot of boring terminology and legal matters that are just time-consuming to read. If a game is using predetermined bonus outcomes, it will generally say so since to do otherwise could be seen as fraudulent.
Even if you find out that a game is using predetermined outcomes it’s important to note that it isn’t changing your odds and the developer isn’t cheating you. They are just as randomized as if the game was generating them at the time of your spin. The casino is not able to adjust these outcomes at will or create customary predetermined outcomes to screw over a high roller that they want to make a lot of money off of. These wouldn’t fall within regulation standard and the casino would lose their business, and the developer that has nothing to gain from cheating you would lose their license.
Random Number Generators
We’ve spoken a lot about random numbers and how they’re used in slots, but what do they mean? Why should randomized numbers play any significant role in deciding what values will appear on a reel, after all, they’re just numbers? Random numbers play the most crucial role in almost all software based gambling applications, slot machines included.
Computers work with numbers no matter what is being coded. Going down to the very basics, computers use something called binary computation to create values. These are strings of numbers consisting of ones and zeroes. Binary is used for logic gates where it gives true/false values and digital circuitry.
Even as we reach higher levels of programming we never move away from numbers, they just become a little more readable and begin to make logical sense for the average person so that coders can focus on the program rather than deciphering long, complicated binary numbers.
So when it comes to picking symbols for a user, programmers do so using numbers. Each symbol will be assigned a specific number. We might have 10 various symbols for our slots game, and so we might assign the cherry the number 1, the orange the number 2, and the apple the number 3, and so forth. These are identifiers that we will use for selecting the values and won’t have any actual importance to the user and is only used by the program.
So now the program has to determine the chances of the random number generator selecting a certain value. In an evenly distributed system we might have each value given a 10% chance of being picked, which we’ll do in this example for simplicity. However, it is possible to alter values to say 15% chance of being picked if we reduce another value so that they still all add up to a 100% total.
If the random number generator roles a value between 1 and 10, we are going to use the symbol with the identifier of 1 on the reel position that is being rolled on. If it is between 11 and 20, we will use the identifier of 2 on the reel position that is being rolled on. If it is between 21 and 30, we will use the identifier of 3 on the reel position that is being rolled on. So on and so forth.
Now it comes down to the random number generator itself. Random number generators are used for creating an unpredictable value, but they aren’t as random as some might lead us to believe. It’s true that the outcome is unpredictable, but it’s quite difficult for a computer to create a real random value.
The first method of random number generation is done using the physical environment which gets tested to create a randomized value, or at least seemingly random and unpredictable value. It will use some sort of source such as atmospheric noise, thermal noise, or various other properties. Of course, this method would be really inefficient for computers, especially slots games that are required to create thousands of randomized numbers in under a second. In fact, this method would produce a lot of duplicates due to the speed that the random number generator has to create these values.
The way that computers create randomized numbers isn’t actually a randomized process at all, and the pattern can be completely duplicated if certain information is known by a user. These numbers will be generated using a seed or key value, with the actual determination for that seed or key value being determined by the developer of the random number generator. The value is then ran through a very complex algorithm that will spit out a sequence of seemingly random numbers based off the original value that was put into it. With this being the case, it is completely possible for anyone to take the algorithm and the seed value to get the exact same sequence of randomized numbers.
It’s weird to think that randomized values aren’t truly random when it comes to computation but are instead just – unpredictable. They should be referred to as “unpredictable number generators”, but of course that wouldn’t catch on quite as well.
Although not used for slot games, some randomized number generators will even take a hybrid approach to create an unpredictable number from a randomized physical feature of the tested environment. They will get a random number that is determined by a measured factor, and then use that as the seed value in the algorithm to get a string of unpredictably created numbers.
When you think about it, it’s actually nearly impossible to create a truly random value in the real world as well. Nothing comes up with a certain value for no reason at all.
Take flipping a coin for example. From a normal person’s perspective flipping the coin would seem to create a completely random outcome. However, this outcome is just unpredictable and there is actually nothing random about it. The coin is going to land on either heads or tails, and it can only do this when acted on by a force that will determine which side it lands on. There are many factors that come into play here. The weight of the coin on either side is a direct influence on the decision, since the heads side of the coin weights slightly more there is a fraction of a higher chance that the heads side will fall face down and the tails side will be face up. The velocity at which the coin is spun will determine how many degrees it spins before landing, which the height at which it is spun has to be considered as well. We also don’t know if the coin will land safely on the surface or will slide off to another surface, getting extra spins on the way down. All of these factors and many other small things create an outcome which didn’t have any randomness at all.
This fact remains true even for some of your favorite card games such as Blackjack or Poker. The cards that come up aren’t randomized, they are just shuffled into an unpredictable assortment so that you can have no real human computation method of knowing what order the cards have been placed in. The order that the cards are placed into is completely determined by the shuffler.
Does this mean that true randomness can never be achieved? Well, so far scientists have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for a truly random event to occur because it has to be caused by something, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find something that follows a true random pattern at some point.
Randomness as we know it is a concept that exists due to our own ignorance for a certain thing. We create unpredictable events that can create seemingly randomized outcomes. This fact holds true for computed randomized numbers that are created for slot machines and other gambling software.
The formula that is most commonly used in computer generated random numbers is X(n+1) = (a * Xn + b) modulus m.
Shooting backward a little bit, we now have to set limits for our random number generator to ensure that it creates a randomized number within the bounds we are looking for. In our example, we are looking for a value between 1 and 100, which includes both 1 and 100. Every ten percent increment will represent one of the symbols that we are going to put on the reels of our slot game. Let’s say that our random number generator spit out 5.61. This number falls between 1 and 10, which is our first increment for the symbol with the identifier of 1. This means that the position on the slot will hold the number 1. Moving on, we need a second symbol for the reel. We get the number 74.3. This number falls between 71 and 80, which is the increment for our 8th symbol. We will put symbol number 8 onto this second position on the reel. This pattern continues for as long as we need it to.
For us, this seems like a really complicated process that would take a long time to come up with thousands of randomized numbers. For computers, this only takes a couple of milliseconds. However, compared to other processes, creating a randomized number is actually considered to be one of the more memory intensive processes that takes the most amount of time for a single result on the local end of the program.
When it comes to regulation there are several factors that a random number generator must satisfy in order to be considered random enough to be used for gambling purposes. These may differ from region to region, but these are the main properties that regulators look for:
• Is the number unpredictable with the amount of information held at any point in time by the developer or user. Neither should be able to determine the outcome with information that they possess. If the outcome can be predicted, the number isn’t considered to be randomized.
• The outcome has to be completely independent from outside influence. Nothing the user, developer, or casino does should have any influence on what the number is going to be.
• The probability of any specific number being chosen has to be equal to every other number in the set. If any number has an advantage of being picked for any reason, the number is considered not to be randomized.
• Above all, all three of these conditions must be verifiable to certify that the number being generated is random.
This all seems to be pretty straightforward but there is an issue that is raised by the condition that every number has to have an exact equal chance of being picked, and this occurs when only whole numbers are being decided. The way that whole numbers are created from decimal values is that rounding needs to be done, which is done in a somewhat even fashion. If the decimal is .5 or greater you will round up, but if the number is less than that you will round down. Since rounding up includes the value .5, we aren’t giving equal opportunity to every value. This gives a fraction of a percent in favor of a value being rounded up instead of down. In essence, this means that the lowest possible value in a set, which has nothing that can round up to it for an advantage and can only be rounded down to, has a fraction of a chance lower than the rest of the numbers. This might not seem like a big deal, but it doesn’t quite meet the requirements put forth for randomization.
One way to overcome this is to have a secondary randomized role, which can be 0 or 1, which determines whether to round up or down on a .5 outcome. This does definitely complicate things and adds processing time for something that is very small and insignificant, and so most regulators won’t enforce this and we just have to deal with the fact that the lowest possible value has a slight disadvantage to being chosen due to the factor of rounding.
Another alternative to the rounding problem would be to create an algorithm that can only produce whole numbers and doesn’t use any rounding factors within it itself. However, this would require that the seed that is put into it can only be a whole number – or does it? One idea is to take whatever decimal value a number has and turn that into an integer. Say a number is 34.415. We would drop the 34 and the number we use would instead be 415. This way, no matter what the decimal is, we would always have a whole number. The only issue that comes from this solution is that infinite repeating decimals would use an infinite amount of memory, which then crashes the program. This is why this alternative solution isn’t used but is more of a concept than anything.
Something every gambler has to know before hopping onto a slot machine is that they were made to make the casino money. As such, the odds are against you, and there is a slight statistical advantage to the casino. While it’s completely possible to win money in the short term, in the long term the house will come out on top at least 95% of the time. Don’t play slots to try and make money but rather do it for enjoyment and the excitement that comes with gambling.
Not all slot games are created equally. There will be some games that give players a greater statistical edge than other games, and there’s actually a fairly easy way to figure out which games are heavily stacked against you and which offer a slimmer house edge.
When it comes to slot games, the general rule is that the easier a game is the higher odds for the house to win. This is due to the fact that easy slot games attract more beginners and are overall just more popular. They aren’t looking for smart gamblers but are rather trying to get players that are trying to learn the ropes or prefer to keep it simple. These players aren’t really thinking about the house edge against them but are more involved with the game. These types of games are usually player as easily as just pressing a button with fast reel spins. With a combined high house edge and a fast rate of play, this is the fastest way to lose your money at slots gambling.
As a smart gambler, you should be looking for the more complex and less attractive slot games if you want to make money. The incentive with these types of games is that they give the player higher odds to compensate for the learning curve. They will usually have less flashy lights and won’t be displayed at the top of the casino’s gaming page.
You should never play on a featured slot game if you are looking to make money – these games are featured because they make the casino money.
Some theories that people have come up with for making money on slot games despite the player odds that are against them is to use betting strategies. These strategies use statistics to create a system in which the player will statistically win, but each one has problems of their own as we’ll see.
The Martingale strategy is a betting system in which the player doubles their bet after every loss, which is why it is mainly used for games where there is close to a 50-50 odds of winning more so than with slots games. Every time a player loses they will double their bet so that they get their original bet back plus winnings. For example, if they start with 10 and lost they would double to 20. Now if they win they would get their original bet of 10 back plus 10 in winnings. Say they lost that round, they would up their next bet to 40. Now if they won they would get their 10 + 20 back, and then an additional 10 for winning. This keeps on going until the player wins. The problem you may have noticed is that the amount the player is betting is growing quite quickly, exponentially in fact. Players that have a long lose streak will lose their entire bankroll very fast. Statistically, you are going to win as many as you lose when it’s close to 50 – 50 odds, but people don’t consider the statistical possibility of a long losing streak which can happen just as easily as a long winning streak. It will eventually happen, and when it does the player will go bankrupt. Not to mention that this strategy requires players to risk a lot for a minimal reward. This strategy would actually work if the player had an infinite bankroll.
There is another strategy players use that is called the Anti-Martingale strategy which follows the logic that losing and winning streaks happen. They will reduce their bet after a loss, and will increase it after a win. It is meant to take advantage of hot streaks and reduce losses on cold streaks. Of course, this strategy is flawed itself because there is no such thing as hot streaks and cold streaks since each spin is independent of every other spin, so it’s more of a myth than anything.
Aside from betting strategies, players will also use techniques to determine whether or not they think a game is “hot” or “cold”. We just explained that there is no such thing since every spin is independent, but let’s look into this a bit just to see how other people are trying to increase their player odds.
The first is called the Hot and Cold Theory. It runs off the thought process that a machine that is cold has to turn hot so that it outputs what it is statistically supposed to. When you see someone hop off of a cold machine after a long run of losing, you’re supposed to start pushing coins into it to force it to turn on the hot streak. Being smart gamblers, we know that there is no such thing as hot and cold streaks, and so this is just utter nonsense.
A similar method based off theory is called the Zig Zag Method. This method relies on players to observe various machines and look for those that are showing specific patterns. The most common are payouts that have a “v” formation or a diamond. This is thought to mean that a machine is about to offer a big payout and players should hop on it as soon as possible. Once again, this is just a myth and based entirely off theory, with no programming or scientific analysis to support this method.
In essence, there is absolutely no true way to increase your player odds on a slot games unless you have an infinite amount of cash so that you don’t go bankrupt with Martingale. However, that doesn’t mean that the casino won’t offer ways to buffer your odds.
The casino will always have the advantage against you no matter what you do. If someone had found a long term solution for getting an edge over the house, casinos would no longer be in business – and many of them have been doing this for decades. However, casinos do offer ways to improve your odds as a player and reduce your losses on losing streaks. Here are a few ways you can improve your chances of winning.
The first thing you should be looking out for are welcome bonuses. These are special deals the casino gives new players so that they can convince them to begin playing on their slots rather than playing on slots with another casino. This is a huge advantage for a new player such as yourself. These deals will usually work by matching your first deposit up to 300% for the highest valued deals, but the standard is an even match of 100%. Now, there are a couple things you have to look into before choosing a casino to try one of these deals with. All of these deals come with strings attached, meaning you have to make a certain amount before you can withdraw or setting a maximum limit on how far the deal can go. Read the fine print first.
Once you’ve exhausted a deal with one casino, you can hop to another one. While the platforms are different, most of them have the exact same games since they use services from the same developers.
Some casinos will even offer free spins that will give you some extra chances at winning on slot games. Make sure you make use of these types of offers as well.
Another big advantage that casinos might offer players is rebates on their losses. Rebates are generally a certain percentage of your losses back into your casino balance to give you an extra opportunity to try and make some money with it. This won’t be a huge amount, but these rebates do shift the odds slightly further towards your favor.
Players have the lowest odds of winning on progressive slots and games with large jackpots. The reasoning behind this is that a lot of the losses to the player are being put into the jackpot amount, and so casinos need to compensate themselves for this by improving their own odds. This way, when someone does finally win that jackpot amount, it doesn’t put the casino under on that specific game. These games should only be played if you are dead set on becoming a millionaire. For more consistent wins, go with games that have smaller jackpots, thus better odds for the average player.
Avoid emotional betting. Casinos love it when players get irritated on a slot game and decide to put in a major bet because they obviously have a major advantage on winning with a single spin. This is a quick way to dump your bankroll down the drain. As a smart gambler, you should carefully manage your bankroll and never increase or decrease your bets based off a gut feeling or emotional stress. If you find yourself becoming irritated with a game, either take a break or call it quits for the day. You can always come back. As a player, if you are unable to walk away then you shouldn’t be gambling because it means you’re developing an addiction.
We talked about welcome bonuses and rebates that casinos offer, but they also have other rewards for players such as loyalty cards, VIP cards, or player rewards cards. These will often have rebates and special comps tagged with them, so at least you walk away with something if you lose.
Pay attention to the odds of any game that you play. Many will have their odds posted, and if they don’t you can get general information online. Obviously, the better odds for the player, the more you’ll reduce the house edge against you.
Casinos will often offer special slots tournaments as a way to bring in some excitement for players. These are used to encourage players to play the slot games, and to play more frequently. Most won’t have a buy-in fee, so you have nothing to lose from participating. If you are lucky enough, you may win one of these tournaments which will give you some extra buffer money. This will improve your long term odds on the slot games.
This next piece of advice should be common sense but you’d be surprised at how many people do it. Do not drink and play slot games. Drinking takes away your rational thinking and makes you more inclined to place large irrational bets. Whenever you’re playing with money you want to stay at your most alert.
Despite all of these pieces of advice, the games just aren’t programmed to be in your favor. With this in mind, the best way to improve your odds is to not go for the long term and only play on occasion for fun. The only way a player can ever make money gambling is through poker, and this is only because the players are against one another and not against the house. The house just takes their fair cut from the pot for hosting the game. You can’t cheat the system, and even if you are lucky enough to find a glitch in a game, the casino would catch on and you wouldn’t see a penny. The best way to play slots is to play the free ones that are just for fun because you won’t lose real money, and the odds on these games are more fair since there isn’t a casino trying to make money off of you.
We’ve talked about the player odds of slot games, but we haven’t gone very far into the house odds that allow for the casino to make so much money from slot games. The house odds is why it is so difficult for players to make money from slots games and what keeps casinos in business.
In order for the casino to make money in the long run they need to have a statistical advantage over the player. This may only be a couple percent, which is enough to push the scale in their favor. The house edge for a standard game of baccarat is 1.06%, and so for every $1,000 put into this game the casino can expect to take home $16. The casino will lose from time to time, but it will win more often than not and the odds will even out the losses over time.
When it comes to casino games, slot games often have some of the greatest odds for the house, although this isn’t always true of course since it will depend on the exact game and settings being played. Overall though, slots are definitely not in the player’s advantage, which is why they are built to be attractive so that casinos can get as many players on them as possible.
Not only that, but slot games also have the highest variance when it comes to odds as well. Some can be quite close to 50 – 50 odds while others may have as much as a 15% house edge. The reason slot games can get away with this is that the casino has the freedom to adjust the odds as they see fit, whereas table games have globally known odds dependent upon the rules.
As previously mentioned, the slot games that the casino tries the hardest to promote and the ones that have all the flashy lights and bells with the simplest game mechanics are the ones that the casino puts the greatest house edge odds on. These games are the most likely to attract beginner players so it makes sense that the casino will want to capitalize on that.
Let’s say that you are playing a slots game with some really good odds towards the player, which means a low house edge of about 5% in our example. You bring $100 with you. Following the rules of statistics, you can expect to walk away with $98 but what will usually happen is that you walk away with $0. As a player you probably feel cheated and as if you just got really unlucky. What most people don’t realize is that they often bet a lot more money than what they bring with them. Over the course of your time playing, you might have bet as much as $2000. It’s unlikely that you’ll striaght up lose your full $100 unless you put up high bets, you’ll usually win and lose back and forth until you decide to leave or run out of money. This money adds up quick to your total amount bet, and once you’ve shuffled your money at about $2,000 worth the statistical house edge will finally catch you. That 5% edge the casino has against your $2,000 worth of bets will take away your full $100 over time.
One way that people might look to get past this long term house edge is to play with big bets on slot games. After all, the casino only wins in the long term, and your odds don’t look too bad on any single spin. This is where the casino has you again. Your odds of winning on any single spin isn’t necessarily 45%. Slot payouts can often be pretty high compared to your bet, which reduces that house edge over you. You will still lose more spins than you’ll win, and even if it was true that your big bet would win 45% of the time you are taking a less than 50 – 50 chance at making money and the casino will still make cash off of the people that try this method and don’t win. In this case, 55% of the people using big bets to beat the long term house edge will still lose.
Slot games can have a really bad house edge compared to other games. Blackjack usually has a .5%, or somewhere around that ballpark depending on the rules, house edge for the casino. Craps has a .8% house edge, video poker has a .5% – 5% house edge, Baccarat has a 1.06% house edge, Roulette has a 5.5% house edge, and so forth. Slot games will have anywhere from a 2% house edge to as much as a 15% house edge, and sometimes even more depending on the casino you’re playing at. When you compare this to other games, 15% is a huge amount for the casino to have over your head as a player. They get away with this because not enough players take the time to figure out what their odds are on a single machine.
Some players want to know their exact odds on a game and will look up information on it from the developer. Sadly, even if you find this information it’s unlikely that the odds will be the same at the casino you are playing at. Casinos have the ability to adjust the amount that you win from a game. They can change up settings to shift the chance that you’ll win anything from a spin, or might just adjust a single setting for the house edge. You can never know the exact odds without asking the casino, which won’t generally straight up give you this information. Because the casino has the advantage of keeping this information from the player a lot of the time, they make the most bank off of their slots games.
Online players have the best advantage when it comes to figuring out the odds on a game. Many slots based casinos will market their low betting odds, and in fact the general house edge on online slots games is better than those found in land casinos. Another advantage is you can use the Internet to look up information about the developer’s games, which will sometimes give you some indication as to how high the house edge is for the casino.
The world of online slots is very competitive. Most land based casinos don’t have to deal with nearly as much competition because their traffic will come from people in the region who usually don’t have as many options, but when an online player goes to pick a casino they have hundreds of choices to choose from with very little limitation based on the area they are living (aside from country limitations on online gambling). For this purpose, there are a lot of online casinos that publish their payouts so that they can build player trust and encourage them to play from their casino.
Aside from the competition, playing online can afford to have the least competitive house edge because they have a lot less expenses. Rather than paying for large slot games the casino purchases licenses from developers which is significantly cheaper. The number of active employees they need working in the casino is less than a land casino since everything is mostly automated. This gives these types of casinos a little more leeway in reducing costs to the players.
One common way that casinos, particularly online casinos, bring in more players is through the usage of promotions. These promotions offer a cash reward to players to give them a little extra playing money. The most prominent are welcome bonuses that give special rewards to new players. These are used to encourage players to try out the casino platform. They will usually match a players first deposit with extra playing money, and may do so up to 300% in some cases. This might be confusing to players who know that the casino always holds a house edge, so if you’re being given double what you put in how is the casino keeping an advantage over you, even if you play on slot games that only have a 2% house edge?
The reason is pretty simple. Casinos will require you to play with a certain amount of money before they allow you to withdraw. On its face this makes sense, you can understand how a casino wouldn’t want you to just walk away with the bonus money they gave you. They would lose a ton of money as players just make new accounts and then withdraw to almost double their money each time. However, it goes far beyond that.
A common example is that a casino will require you to wager 50 times your deposit when you accept one of these bonuses. This doesn’t mean that you have to win that much, you just have to put that much down on the games that you play. Let’s pretend that you put down $1,000, and the casino matches you with another $1,000 to make your total balance $2,000. This is a pretty rad deal, but now before you can withdraw you have to spend at least $50,000. You’re a smart gambler, and so you are going to play on games that only offer the casino a 2% advantage over you as a player. If you were to play the minimum of $50,000 to withdraw with a 2% house edge in this long run, you can expect the house to make $1,000 of your deposit leaving you with your original $1,000. The casino has pretty much given you even odds on your deposit in this case. You can now choose to withdraw your $1,000 and walk away almost even, excluding the fees associated with withdrawing money from an online casino.
However, you are playing the lowest house edge games under the assumption that you have managed to find this game on your first try and the casino has set it to the bare minimum for a house edge on slots. In the best of circumstances you were only able to walk away with even money. Players are never this lucky, nor do they stick with a single game. With this in mind, it’s safe to assume that the casino is going to make more than the $1,000 matching bonus they gave the player. Now, not only has the casino been effective at making money off of the deposit match they offered you, but they have also encouraged you to make a larger first deposit than you normally would have locking more of your money into the casino while also pushing you to play using their services instead of a competitor’s. This is a pretty smart marketing strategy that in almost all cases will still keep the house edge over the player.
In fact, when given these types of bonuses you’ll often find that the casino will only allow the money you have to wager to be counted on slot games and not live casino games. This is because they have a large enough advantage with these types of games to get their money back. Even when the casino is giving free money to you, you are not able to overcome the house edge that exists on slot games.
If things look so grim for slots players and the house always wins, why do people insist on playing? Aside from the addictive nature of gambling and the enjoyment people get out of playing these fun games, the casino doesn’t always win in the short run for many players. Statistically, there has to be some winners if the house edge isn’t 100%. There is always the chance that you’ll walk away with some spare cash if you play slots, even if that chance is less than the odds that you’ll walk away with nothing. Just remember, that even if you do manage to make some money and leave, if you choose to come back and continually play the casino will eventually make that money back from you.
Progressive jackpots are jackpots that increase by a small amount every time a player makes a bet on a progressive jackpot slot game, which will continue to increase until a winner claims the prize. This will usually work with a conjunction of machines that all work towards the same jackpot prize. As players spin on any of these machines, the jackpot available to each of them will go up to create a progression type of prize. The jackpot prize will start at a minimum level set by the casino, and once a prize has been claimed it will reset to this level and start all over again.
Most slots gamblers would advise you to stay away from these types of games. It doesn’t make much sense though, why wouldn’t you want to play on a game that is giving out a massive prize to a lucky winner that increases even if you lose? Statistically, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning that jackpot prize, but you’re definitely going to be paying for it.
The casino still has to make money on progressive jackpots, and if they’re offering a huge prize that gets bigger and bigger they need to ensure that they’re making a good amount of money from it. In order to do that, casinos need to lower the odds for players to win on a progressive jackpot games to make up for the large jackpot that the casino eventually has to pay out. Progressive jackpot slot games are well known for having the greatest house edge and offering the least amount of payouts to the average player.
Casinos will get to choose how much of the profits on the game will go towards the progressive jackpot, and this is typically done using the house edge. If the house is expected to make a 5% profit based off of their 5% house edge, then a generous contribution to the jackpot prize pool might be 1%. This is one fifth of the expected profit from the machine, and it’s highly unlikely that a casino would share this much of the profit with the progressive jackpot – but you get the point.
The reason the house can afford to put some of their profits into the jackpot isn’t just dependent on the odds in their favor, but also because of the large amount of attention that these slot games will get. The thought of winning a massive life changing amount of money is more than enough to bring in a wide range of players onto these types of games, especially those new to the casino scene. The jackpots are also advertised quite well, sometimes done using a large LED screen in the progressive jackpot area in order to bring extra attention to these games. These games are also quite unique and offer a different way to play than the standard slot games.
A big advantage that the house will have with these games is that not everyone who plays on them has a chance at the big jackpot. The slots will only give a chance for a jackpot if a player is using the bet max option. A player is required to bet the maximum amount of credits on these games in order to opt in for the jackpot, and so thousands of players that do lower bets have absolutely no chance at winning and might not even realize this important fact. The higher the max bet, the larger a jackpot will usually be as a result of more money being put into the game.
Even when a player doesn’t have a chance at winning the jackpot on a progressive machine their money still contributes to the overall total. These players are playing with reduced odds on these games due to the progressive jackpot and are contributing to its progress even though they have no chance of winning. This is why a player should never jump onto one of these games if they don’t intend on playing with the maximum number of credits.
There are various types of progressive jackpot slot games:
Stand Alone Progressive Slots – These progressive slot games are not connected to any other games, and so the jackpot can only be won by players on that specific game. These are only available in land based casinos since online casinos cannot reserve a specific machine for just one player. The jackpots on these progressive games are generally lower than on other forms of progressive slots because less players opt to play them since there is only so much availability for the game.
Inhouse or Local Progressive Slots – These types of slot games are also only found in land based casinos, and they work by connecting multiple machines for a single progressive jackpot. Only players that game on these specific machines can have a chance at winning the astronomical amount. Another variation of these types of casinos isn’t exactly local but instead is only available in casinos that are owned by the same company. These types of games will have a pretty large progressive jackpot.
Wide Area Progressive Slots – These slot games have the largest jackpot amount of any of the variations. These games are typically linked through the developer and not the direct casino, and they aren’t owned by a single gaming company but instead by an independent operator. The advantage for the casino allowing these types of games in their platforms is that they get a share of the profit from the game play, even if they aren’t going to be required to make payouts for players. These jackpots will be enormous, but players will also have very slim odds of ever winning the big prize on them. In fact, these types of games have some of the worst average player odds as well. The cost to developers for paying the casino to host the game as well as the administrative cost required for maintaining these games makes their overall payout much lower than that of most games, which means a higher house edge for the developer.
It is perfectly alright to try your luck at progressive slots every once in awhile but don’t expect to walk away a winner. All you can do is cross your fingers and hope lady luck is ready to change your life.
Despite the extreme house edge found on progressive slot games, there comes a point where there is actually an advantage to the player to play them, and even though the player is in a positive expectation scenario the casino still holds the advantage.
There is a thing called the “break even point” with progressive slot games. Obviously, as long as someone doesn’t win on the progressive slot games there is going to be an ever increasing jackpot. Eventually, the size of that jackpot will outrank the cost to play combined with the chance of a jackpot.
Putting this into perspective, let’s say a lottery game is handing out 1,000 tickets each day before rolling to pick a winner. Each ticket costs $2, and the amount won starts at $500 and increases by $500 for each day that a winner isn’t chosen. To figure out the actual worth of a ticket we have to calculate the prize amount compared to the person’s odds of winning. With a 1 in 1,000 chance of winning and a $500 prize, we would evaluate each ticket to be worth 50 cents which then makes the lottery manager $1.50 a ticket on the first day.
On the second day the total prize for this hypothetical lottery would be $1,000. With 1,000 tickets being printed on this day we keep the same odds of winning the prize as 1 in 1,000 for the player, but this tie the total prize will be worth $1,000. Dividing $1,000 by 1,000, we calculate that each player’s ticket is actually worth $1 and the lottery manager is making $1 per ticket sale on the second day.
Moving on to day three, the prize has now grown to a total of $1,500 since nobody has won the lottery yet. The player’s odds on this day are still 1 in 1,000 but not the prize total is $1,500. This leads to an evaluation at each ticket being worth $1.50, making the lottery manager a profit of 50 cents per ticket over the actual value of the ticket.
We are now on to the fourth day of this lottery, which is the critical point. The prize has now hit $2,000, and another 1,000 tickets are being printed. The lottery manager is still selling tickets for $2 a piece, and the new evaluation for the value of each ticket is $2. The price of a player’s ticket is equal to the chance that the player will have of winning the grand prize. This would be the break even point because on this day the lottery manager no longer has an advantage over the player in terms of profits.
This is exactly how progressive jackpots work, although on a much large scale. When a game hits this point the player’s cost per spin is equal to the worth of each spin, and so a player can presume that if they were to play the game until they won that statistically they would come out with even money. Once we pass this point we have now reached advantage play for the progressive jackpot.
Advantage play occurs when a player can expect a positive outcome when playing on a slots game. This is a very rare circumstance in which the player actually has a statistical advantage over the casino when it comes to the jackpot. We’re gonna hop back into the lottery example to show this a little more.
Nobody won on day four of our lottery example, and so we are now moving on to day five. As you recall, each ticket is worth $2 each and we are printing out a total of 1,000 tickets. The prize has now been put at $2,500. This would mean that each ticket is worth $2.50, and players are buying the tickets at $2 each which shows that they have a 50 cent advantage over the house for each ticket. If a player were to buy all 1,000 of the available tickets they would have a 100% chance of winning and would spend a total of $2,000 on the tickets, and would win the prize of $2,500. They would make a profit of $500 off of their monopoly on ticket sales.
This doesn’t make much sense as a player. We have already stated multiple times that the house always has an edge over the player, and logically it doesn’t add up that a casino would offer a jackpot that they would lose money on. It should be noted that even in this circumstance the casino is still making money off of the players, even if the players have a statistical advantage.
Although your odds of winning have caught up with the prize money, there was still a large amount of time in which the casino was making money when it wasn’t at the advantage of the player.
In our lottery example we are going to pretend that someone did actually buy all the available tickets and won on day five. Up to this point, the casino made about $2,000 a day off of ticket sales meaning that they made a total of $10,000 during the duration of the game. The prize that they paid out was $2,000, meaning they have a net profit of $8,000 from the sales.
If a progressive slots game ever reaches an advantage play point it usually doesn’t sit there for long. This attracts tons of gamblers to begin playing once they have an edge over the house, and the large jackpot in itself is enough to bring in players of all kinds. It is also very difficult statistically for a game to reach this point, which makes the occurrence even more rare to come across. Beyond that, as a player you will often not know the exact odds of winning the jackpot unless the casino has it posted, making it hard to figure out that break even point that starts turning into advantage play.
There are groups that will form teams on these machines when it comes to advantage play. They will have a group occupy all of the available games and will stay in constant communication to ensure that the games are never left unoccupied. The goal here is to have one player win the jackpot while they have a advantage play edge over the house, and then share the profits. Players will communicate via cell phone when they need a break so that another team member can come and occupy the seat. Most land casinos will have rules against this and will kick players out if they feel that this is happening. It should also be noted that these types of tactics won’t work on wide area progressive slots or online play because it would be impossible to occupy all of the seats, especially online casinos that don’t have a limit on how many people can be on a game at a time since there is no physical means to prevent it.
With this advantage play concept in mind, you have to also realize when the least efficient time to play on progressive slots is. Immediately after a win the jackpot prize will be reset to the casino’s set minimum, and this is when you’ll have the lowest value per spin compared to the progressive prize. Casinos have the greatest edge over players in this time, and so you should never hop on to a progressive game after it has paid out until it has had time to build up again.
By taking a look at progressive slot machines we can see a rough idea of just how much casinos are making off of these types of games. Progressive slots are only a sliver of the number of games that any platform will offer, and yet their jackpots can make a person a millionaire in a matter of minutes. Casinos will only offer a small amount of their earnings from a game to add on to the progressive jackpot, maybe as small as 5%. So if a game has a $1 million jackpot and the casino is progressing it with 5% of their house edge, the casino has already made about $20 million from that set of games.
Casinos are always obligated to pay out progressive jackpots. They can’t avoid paying by removing the game because regulation prevents them from doing so. When a progressive slots is not at the minimum, the casino is required to wait until a winner hits the machine before they are allowed to move the game out of the casino. This will prevent the casino from ever being able to cheat the players out of a progressive prize. There are some games in Las Vegas that haven’t put out a winner in over 20 years.
Although we haven’t touched on it yet, there is a less common and interesting twist on progressive slots out there called “mystery progressive”. Basically, these games are set so that they will go off once they reach a certain point, guaranteeing a winner when rolled at that point rather than relying on simple luck. The casino won’t choose this point but instead it will be rolled randomly. While this doesn’t give an edge to the player at all as their odds are still the same, it does mean that the player can almost calculate when a jackpot is going to pop at a certain point.
The mystery progressive game will share the starting point and the maximum point. As the game’s jackpot gets closer and closer to the maximum point the odds of the player winning the jackpot increases. Once a game gets close, they will typically bring in more players and will go off pretty rapidly.
While the progressive jackpots with the huge winnings are the most exciting, most of them actually have fairly moderate winnings. The advantage behind these types of progressives is that there are more winners. In fact, there will probably be a couple of winners a night, but the amount of money that they win won’t be life changing by any means. They are simpler and less risky progressives.
Because of the massive amount of money that can be won on the major progressive jackpots you can guarantee that someone will always check to make sure that the slots game was operating correctly when it awarded the win. Casinos have to be careful of bugs and hacks that might alter the odds because if a player somehow got a false win and was handed that much money it would be a huge loss to the casino.
If you’re a player with a small bankroll and are looking to make some money, don’t invest your time into progressive slots. As explained, your chances on winning on any progressive slot games, no matter the odds of a jackpot, are always going to be less than other traditional slots games. Statistically, these games are always at a greater disadvantage to the average player and will never be worth it unless you are that one in a million player that happens to win the jackpot. Particularly, never play on a progressive slots game that has a reset jackpot value, even if you’re a high roller. The only time that progression slot games are ever worth it is when that advantage play is occurring as talked about earlier. As a slots player you should be looking in investing your time into games that will have a higher rate of payouts for the typical player, or you’re going to burn out real fast. If you don’t gamble much and just want a shot at the big money then go for it.
Slot machines are never supposed to payout more than they take in. This is due to the house edge over the player, which statistically makes it so that these games will pay less money to players than they are going to earn. With this in mind, slot machines will be programmed to pay players about 82% to 98% of the money that gets wagered on them, depending on the settings the casino has put in place for the house edge. This number is known as being the “theoretical payout percentage”, or some might refer to it as the “return to player”.
The minimum return to player number is something that gets regulated by gambling commissioners to ensure that players are getting reasonable odds of winning, even though those odds will never be in the player’s favor. The actual minimum number set will vary by jurisdiction as this is left up to the regulators for the casino’s region. This does mean that the exact same game can have a lower minimum return to player value in one casino than it will have in another casino, even though it was created by the same developer.
Nevada has a lower than average minimum return to player percentage of 75%. In New Jersey we’d see the minimum return to player set at 83%, and just below that in Mississippi at 80%. This tells you a little something about where to play slots in the United States.
Using Mississippi’s number of 80% an placing a value of $1 per spin, over the long term we would expect that for every $1 put into the game that the player would be getting 80 cents in return. After $1,000,000 worth of spins the player would be getting back $800,000 and the casino would be pocketing the remaining $200,000 as profit. This won’t always hold true in the short run because players will sometimes get lucky and beat the house edge, and in unfortunate circumstances there will be players that lose far more than they should have against the house edge. Over time though, this tends to level out.
Sometimes casinos will try to reel players in by doing special promotions that will say something along the lines as “Come play our slots with as much as 93% payback!” when the actual fact might be that the casino only has two slot games in the whole place with a 93% payback and the rest have a 80% payback.
The payout percentage at for most land based slot games will be set to a certain amount at the factory in which it is developed, which is when the software is written to the machine. Once the game has been placed on the floor it requires a bit more effort to change out the payout percentage. It would require a physical swap of the software on the game, which would put stored onto an EPROM or even a CD. This would depend on the capabilities of the machine and the developer. Overall, this process takes up a lot of time and effort, especially if it is going to be done on all copies of the games within the casino. This is why casinos will rarely change up the payback percentages on their games unless there is a sufficient reason to do so. In some jurisdictions the casino might not even be allowed to change up the software without doing so in the presence of a Gaming Control Board official that oversees the action. Also, to make sure the casino is being kept consistent and advertising the correct odds, many regions will send auditors to do random checks on machines.
In most places you won’t be able to find the exact rate of payback numbers for individual games. Historically, casinos have tried to keep these numbers away from the players because it might discourage them to play or pull people away from their lower odds slot machines. This makes it very difficult for the average player to know whether or not they are playing on a “loose” machine that is expected to payout a lot or if they are playing on a “tight” machine that will be more difficult to make money off of.
Despite the tightly kept secret of rate of payback figures, some casinos have begun to release this information over the last decade – generally referring to online casinos that release these numbers – or from studies that have been conducted by outside organizations on certain games.
While having a return to player figure in place is important for casinos to ensure that they are making money off of a game, there is a another big statistical number that casinos have to consider with payouts. They have to look at the overall probability of different payouts on their games. For example, imagine if the probability of all payouts was set to 0% and only the largest payout of $2,000 was available with a 100% probability of payout that would have a one in 2,000 chance of being won. While the player would essentially make 100% of their money back in this situation it would make for a pretty dull game considering the fact that the player is rarely actually winning anything and they are only getting the same amount every time. Not only would this be dull, but having values on the pay table that are set to 0% would be pretty deceptive to the players and might not be accepted by regulation officials.
This is another number that casinos will keep closely guarded from players. They might advertise really high possibilities, but don’t always want you to know your chances of winning these amounts. One unfortunate fact about these numbers being kept a secret is that casino slot games with high payback rates might just be fooling players by creating a high rate of winning a large jackpot while generally having a very low rate of payback. Almost all players will lose, but every once in awhile someone will get a jackpot that attracts people to the game. Casinos know that large winnings have a much better chance of bringing people in to the game than a bunch of smaller winnings. It builds excitement and grabs attention.
These payout probabilities are placed onto something that is referred to as the Paytable and Reel Strips Sheet, otherwise known as PARS for short. Mathematician Michael Shackleford once decided to study the PARS of a slots game that was called the Red White and Blue Machine to check the odds on the game. This machine is by far outdated and so these numbers won’t help the clever gamblers out there that are already looking it up. The machine had 13 payouts on the payouts table, starting with a payout of 1:1 and going up to a payout of 2,400:1. The 1 to 1 payout would come up about once every 8 plays. The 5:1 payout was of course less frequent and would come up once in 33 plays. Surprisingly though, the 2:1 payout was actually less frequent than the 5:1 payout and would come up once in 600 plays. In fact, the 2:1 payout was even less common than the major excitement payout of 80:1 that was put in place to really get people going. Once he got up to the 150:1 payout the odds became pretty steep, only occurring once every 6,241 plays. The highest payout of 2,400:1 was very high and would occur about once every 262,144 plays. As such, players that play this game would most commonly have a 1:1 payout to keep them interested and then would get occasional medium sized payouts to keep up their excitement, but would be very unlikely to ever have a large payout on the game.
What this goes to show is that the payout probability for each number doesn’t go up solely dependent on the value of the payout. Developers carefully choose the rate of payout for each number so that they can keep the excitement of players high enough to continue playing without discouraging them from their continual losses. As seen from the odds, players would lose on this game a lot more than they would win, so being thrown an occasional bone would prompt many players to keep on going.
Even though most casinos will choose to keep the PARS private, sometimes there will be casinos that post them. However, these can often be invaluable to the player for a number of reasons. Even though a player might be playing the same game as the posted payout, it’s quite possible for a casino to set different rates on different machines which would make it rather difficult to track down the PARS for the exact game you are playing on. Not to mention that developers will give casinos the same games with different variations that in themselves will change up the odds of winning each value.
For example, a game that has jackpots will have a lowered chance of winning any specific amount than a game without jackpots. This isn’t because the casino has necessarily changed any settings to make up for the jackpot value, but jackpot symbols appearing on the reels would mean that other symbols can’t take those positions and thus will lower a player’s odds in turn for a slight chance at a big win.
Michael Shackleford had done another study between October 2001 and February of 2002. In this study he had used four Austin Powers slot games made by the same developer, and he came up with four different variations for the PARS table. This was due to adjusted settings on different games that would switch things up.
The thing that makes slot gaming so much harder to profit from than other tables games is that you can never be sure of your payout for a game. With something like Blackjack you will know that you have close to a 50-50 shot of making money in the game because players have figured out the odds for these types of table games, with only minor adjustments based on the rules which is fully testable since players are given all the information with the rules. With slots, the rules are basically hidden from the player, and so while it’s possible to have people test games with millions of spins we would get no definite answer as to the odds on the game since the settings can easily be adjusted by the developer or casino.
Of course, there is a trick player’s can use to try and figure out the payout percentage of some of their favorite games, but it involves investment and won’t have guaranteed results unless a player can afford to do millions of spins. Every time you spin the reel make note of what percentage you got back from the game. So if you spun for 10 cents and got 20 cents back, you’d put 200%. If you spun for 10 cents and got 1 cent back, you’d put 10%. If you keep track of these percentages for say a thousand spins, you can get a rough estimate of the payback rate on the game for the average player. Take all of the percentages that you have created in your list and then divide them by the number of list items to get your result. It should be noted that this will only give an approximate result and can only be done through long-term gambling, as short-term results are going to be greatly inaccurate. The more round that are processed, the higher the accuracy will be for your results.
An alternative way of doing this would also be to start with a high bankroll and then play the game for a set amount of spins. It’s recommended that you use at least 1,000 spins for this type of experiment. Once you have played out the spins, you see how much of a balance you have remaining and compare it to your starting balance. Although you’d most likely need a larger balance than this, let’s say you started with $100 and ended with $73. You would divide 73/100 and would get .73, or 73%. This is the payback percentage of the slots game.
The advantage casinos have with this is that most players aren’t going to do that, and the casino is certainly going to make money off those that do since it requires long-term betting. If the casino ever felt that information regarding one of their games became too well known they also have the option of changing up the settings.
Of course, there are certain other tricks that casino will use in order to make their payout percentage appear higher than it actually is.
One trick that slot games will use in order to make a player feel like they are doing well on a game is to offer payouts that are actually less than what they originally bet. The reason this works is because it treats the spin like a win, when in reality the player lost money they just didn’t lose all of the money they wagered on the spin. In fact, a majority of payouts that are given to players off of a single spin are actually less than what they originally bet, and is a way to slowly drain their bankroll without them even noticing.
An example of this might be that a player bets $1 on a spin. The game lights up and the winning sounds whirl, and their winnings area goes up until it stops at 80 cents. They see the amount added to their total balance and they feel as if they’ve won off of that spin. The pay lines light up to show which symbols are making them their winnings. In reality, they’ve now just lost 20 cents and the game has basically made it feel exciting to dampen or hide the loss.
This leads to another payout concept that is a bit deceptive to players that slot games use to make players feel as if they’re winning more money than they actually are. When a player makes a spin the money is immediately removed from their current balance. Once the spin ends, if the player has won an amount it adds it onto the balance. Now something important has occurred here that went unnoticed by the player. While they were busy clicking the spin button and watching the reels take motion, the amount they bet was already removed from their balance in a way that goes mostly unnoticed. This isn’t to take extra money from the player in any way or anything like that, but once the winnings come in their balance shoots up. It looks as if the amount being added to the player’s balance this round is the amount of the winning, without making any noticeable effort to show the amount that it cost to spin.
Losses are being removed from the player’s balance while there is other activity going on as a distraction while winnings are added on to the balance while nothing else is happening.
If a player doesn’t win anything on a spin, it will just show the current winnings as 0 rather than a negative number. The game doesn’t tell them how much they are losing each spin, but definitely exaggerates how much they are winning.
All of this is just to hide how much a player is losing. If you’ve ever played a slot game and after awhile looked at your balance and were surprised by just how much you’ve lost, this sort of explains it.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to win a massive amount of money on a slots game then you will have had to wait a brief amount of time to get your money rather than have the machine immediately pay out like it typically does. Casinos have to ensure that their machines are accurate before they will pay a player a high amount because otherwise they could run the risk of making an undeserved payment that would create a deficit off of the machine. Most slots games will have a notice saying something along the lines of “call an attendant” rather than give a payout, this way someone can be alerted to come check the machine. Other games might make loud noises that brings the attention of an attendant to come check it out.
When it comes to online casinos, payouts are a bit more difficult. With a land-based casino you can take your money and walk at any time, but that isn’t quite so true when playing on online platforms. The money has to be transferred out of your casino balance in some way, and casinos will almost always charge for these transferring services.
One option is to have a check mailed to you. This will usually have a small fee, but a long processing time. It can take weeks before your money arrives, and in the meantime you are probably left wondering if it is even going to come.
Another option is to use a wire transfer operator such as Western Union. These are a bit faster but have an even larger fee.
Many people will choose to opt for the bank transfer option, which might have a lower processing fee on its face but has other fees attached behind the scenes. Most banks will charge a recipient a small percentage for accepting the wire transfer on top of the amount that the casino is going to be charging. Even this method can take a couple weeks from some casinos.
This makes online slots gambling payouts more troublesome to withdraw, as well as costly. If you’re going to have to wait several weeks for a payout to be sent to you then what’s the point of even withdrawing if you can just keep playing? This is the mindset that most people have, which leads to the casino winning more money through their long term house edge.
Not to mention that the fee an online slots player has to pay for their payout only adds to the casino’s edge. While it might not be a big deal at the moment since you won money, it adds to the casino’s house edge over players. When they take say a 1% fee from a player that often plays on slots games with a 10% house edge over the player, they are adding that 1% to the house edge for winning players that choose to withdraw. This is partially the reason that online slots can afford to have better payout odds for their games than land based casinos.
Three-Reel and Five-Reel Slots
If you’ve ever played slot games before you will have noticed that there are some games that have three reels, and some games that have five reels. Five reel slot games are generally pretty confusing for beginners due to the odd pay lines that don’t make a whole lot of sense at first, and the sheer amount of activity going on. Three reel slots tend to be a good place to start for new slots players. Aside from the complexity, there are actually a lot of differences between these two types of games.
People will argue that three reel slot games are better while others will say that five reel slot games are better. In all honesty, it comes down to a matter of opinion and what you are comfortable with. The number of reels doesn’t actually have any effect on whether or not you’re going to win, but we’ll go a little deeper into that in a minute. Let’s start by getting a basic understanding of how both of these slot games play out so that new players can grasp how they’re supposed to win on either machine.
Three reel slot games were the originals in the industry. Back before electronic and computer programmed games came about all games were entirely mechanical and fairly simple in design. The basic game would have three reels that would spin before the viewer, whereas the five reel slot games wouldn’t come for over a decade.
Winning on a three reel slot game is pretty simple. If you get three of the same symbol lined up, you’re a winner. Some three reel games will have multiple pay lines, while the simplest of games will only have a single pay line right down the center. If you play on a game that has more than the single centered pay line you might see patterns such as getting three across the top or bottom part of the reels, or maybe a V shape going up or down. There isn’t really a whole lot of differentiation that these can have because the options are fairly limited. With these types of games, you won’t typically have the option to select the pay lines that you play on. Instead, all of the pay lines will be defaulted as active.
Winning on a five reel slot game is actually very similar, with just a couple added things that might make it feel more complex. For now, picture a five reel slot game in your head. Now ignore the last two reels on the game, the ones that are the farthest to the right. This is just to keep thing simple, we’ll come back to those in a minute. If you were to spin these three reels and got three symbols lined up on a pay line, just like with a three reel game, you’d win. To win on a five reel game you only need to have at a minimum of three symbols in a row starting from the left side and reading over to the right. Bringing those other two reels back, think of these two as bonus reels. You will continue along the winning pay line to see if you got more of those symbols lined up, and for every additional symbol lined up you will add more to your winnings. When you think about it this way it makes the game seem a lot easier to understand. Five reel slots aren’t so scary, just a little different.
So is it true that you can win more by playing on five reel slots than on three reel slots? Most gamblers would argue that five reel slots are easier to win money on, but this isn’t how they actually work. In fact, the number of reels is pretty irrelevant. As we pointed out, both games require three reels to have symbols lined up in order to win, so why might many gamblers feels as if five reel slots are better for making money?
The answer is that the developer or casino will control how much a game will statistically pay out and they keep similar odds on both types of games. The reason that many players would argue that five reel games pay more is because they are designed to pay out more frequently, but three reel games are designed to pay out more for each win. The frequency of payouts from the five reel games makes them feel as if the player is earning more money, and this is entirely intentional. In fact, the reason that developers create so many more five reel games than three reel games is because they can have more frequency for payouts rather than seldom medium sized wins.
The reason that five reel games will pay out more frequently but in less amounts is because of those two bonus reels. Those two reels aren’t changing the odds of a single win at all, but developers are purposefully adjusting the odds of winning. With five reel games, you generally won’t win more than your bet if you only get three in a row, while three reel games will almost always pay out more than your bet if you win. The player becomes reliant on getting at least four symbols in a row using those bonus reels in order to make a profit off their spins, and even that isn’t always enough. The incentive of bigger payouts by lining up more symbols on those two bonus reels allows for developers to lower the amount you can win on the first three reels.
If developers tried this with three reel games it wouldn’t work out very well. Think about it, if a player is rolling less than even money on a win on a three reel game they aren’t going to be too thrilled about it. They had no chance of earning more than even money off the three symbols they lined up. This would even make that symbol more of a detriment than anything because the use knows that lining three of them up is almost pointless. They aren’t going to make money off of them anyways. Doing this type of practice on a three reel game would take away from the fun and would lose players quite quickly.
Frequency of payout is a very important concept for slot games. When a player goes on a long losing streak they are more likely to quit a game than if they are given small payouts, even if those winnings are less than what they bet. They need some sort of incentive to keep playing otherwise they are basically just handing money to the casino one spin at a time, and without a distraction they become very quick to realize what is happening. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons that five reel slots hold a lot more popularity over three reel slots, even though the odds generally aren’t any better. In fact, some casinos would most likely have better odds on their three reel games due to the simple fact that they are played less.
Five reel slots quickly picked up the name of video slots. The reason for this is that they were done using video programming rather than mechanical spinning means. Granted, most three reel slots are done with video programming now, but this practice didn’t really surface until five reel slots came onto the scene.
The first video slot game to hit the floor was Fortune Coin by Walt Fraley, and this game actually wasn’t very popular because players were skeptical about the authenticity of the odds since the games no longer had mechanical reels but were instead spinning based off programming that nobody else had access to. With new technology such as this, the people had a reasonable cause for wanting to safeguard their money against these types of scams. The game was of course honest, and was later sold off to IGT who would use it to develop a bunch of new games.
The reason that video slots are such a big deal in a section comparing three reel and five reel slot games is the fact that video slots have given five reel slots a lot of extras that has made them as successful as they are today. Even though three reel slots are made into video slots as well they are usually simpler and don’t have as many perks.
The first thing to note is that both three reel and five reel slots that take on a video slot design have many cinematic and animations that didn’t formerly exist in the slots world. In fact, the spinning reels is an animation in itself as there isn’t an actual reel being spun. However, the things that we are talking about are the cool little effects symbols will sometimes get when lined up as well as an opening cinematic when a game starts up, and those types of things.
The animations that are built into symbols and on pay lines add to the excitement for the viewer. This has taken on popularity in both three reel and five reel slot games because it overall just makes the games more enjoyable. On top of that, video slots has also brought us sound effects to both of these games. Of course mechanical and electronic games had sound effect, but they were clunky and limited.
Now this is where video slots start to take a turn to favor five reel games over three reel games. Three reel games are meant to be simple, and as such bonuses have been kept out of a vast majority of them. Bonuses are probably one of the best things to ever hit five reel slot games. It gives players an opportunity to win massive amounts, is very exciting, and brings about some unique player interactions within the game.
There are many ways that bonuses can be popped on a five reel game. The most common method is to get three bonus symbols along the reels. These will usually be scattered across the first, third, and fifth reel of the game. The odds of getting a bonus symbol on a reel aren’t very high, which is why bonuses have potential to give a player such large winnings. Of course, a bonus doesn’t necessarily have to pay out either and can be a complete bust. In the best of circumstances a player might be able to get a jackpot off of a bonus.
Bonuses are another reason that a majority of players will choose to play on five reel games instead. They might lower your overall chances of winning on an ordinary spin but they make the game a lot more fun. Nothing is more exciting then spinning and have a magical fairy pop up on the screen with an option to choose a bonus from behind a cloud of fairy dust.
While this is starting to lean a bit heavy towards five reel slots, there are big advantages that play into the hands of three reel slot players as well. One of which is that each spin is much faster. Not only are the reels generally calculated to stop sooner than on a five reel game, but there are less reels to wait for on a stutter stop. The fast game play adds it’s own little bit of excitement without doing anything too special to the game.
While 5 reel games do take the cake with bonuses, this isn’t to say that they are non-existent in three reel games. While most three reel games won’t have a bonus and will instead take a classic route, casinos have found interesting ways to put in simple bonuses. One such feature is if a win is close you can try to nudge the game to give you a winning combination. Another example might be a free spin every time you get a winning combination, so it automatically goes again until you lose.
Another major difference between three reel and five reel games is the themes. Five reel games will tend to have some sort of theme to them that they revolve everything around. For example, a Marvel Hulk-based five reel game might have various symbols that would surround the character such as — a green fist, a Marvel symbol, Hulk’s head, Hulk’s pants, etc. The bonuses for the game would follow this theme, and might have the hulk pounding on the ground in anger which causes the reels to spin every time he pounds his fists to basically give the user free spins. It’s very rare to find a five reel game that doesn’t have a theme like this attached to it because they have become very popular among players. Even if the odds are against them, sometimes players will choose to hop onto a specific machine just to play something that is based off a character or show they like. This is actually a very big marketing technique used by companies for all sorts of products, but that’s another discussion.
Three reel games don’t tend to follow any sort of major theme. They use classical things such as fruits, bar symbols, and those types of things. This isn’t to say that this is true in all cases, but a majority of these games are like that. The reason behind this is that these games are meant to be simpler and easier to follow. The people that play them tend to want to keep things basic, and so those are the type of people that they get geared towards.
Something else that three reel games seem to lack compared to five reel games is large jackpots. You’ll never see a large multi-million dollar jackpot attached to a three reel game because it would be difficult to set up odds for winning such a prize. Of course, you could make it so every reel has a one in ten-thousand chance of getting a jackpot symbol and getting three in a row triggers the jackpot – but this simply isn’t fun. Most five reel jackpots are won off of special bonuses, sometimes multi-triggered bonuses. Jackpots may be the sole reason that a person chooses to play slot games and so taking these out of the picture for simple slot games turns a lot of players away.
Three reel slots do have large winnings though. On classic machines these are represented using either a 7 symbol or a bar symbol, and lining up three of these will trigger the relatively medium-sized winnings on the game. These are basically the jackpots of three reel games, and while they may be smaller you have a much better chance of winning one of them.
Another unique component about three reel games is that they can sometimes land in-between symbols. When this happens, the game reeds it as a blank space and it is impossible to win a prize along that pay line, even if the player managed to unfortunately get three blank spaces lined up. This is one way that casinos lower the odds of winning off an individual spin for three reel games without adding a bunch of symbols to complicate it. Their other option would be placing a large variety of symbols onto the reels rather than the few classic ones, and as they do this it would complicate the game more and become frustrating for players who are looking for some simple fun. That doesn’t go without saying that landing on a blank space isn’t irritating, but it’s not enough to turn people away.
Five reel games on the other hand will always have symbols lined up on the pay lines. They can’t land on a blank space, or at least traditionally don’t. If you come across a game that does you have found a rare gem indeed. Instead, five reel games take that alternative method we talked about by adding a bunch more symbols onto their reels.
The more symbols that get added into a game, the lower the player’s odds of being able to line any three up. When you add in symbols you reduce the chances for any other symbol to appear. When you reduce the chances of individual symbols, you in turn reduce the chances of a winning spin. For example, if we only have three symbols then each symbol has a 1 in 3 chance of appearing on the reel. With three reels, that would be 1 in 3 multiplied by three for each reel, which comes out to be a 1 in 27 chance of getting a winning combination for any specific symbol on any specific pay line. If you have four symbols, you would now have a one in 64 chance of getting any specific combination on any specific pay line. Symbols don’t usually have completely equal odds of appearing but this is the general idea.
Having bonuses on games actually reduces a player’s chance of winning off specific spins as well. It’s unlikely to get all three bonus symbols to trigger a bonus, and much more likely to get a single or two bonus symbols. These are worth no value and so they just take up space unless you are lucky enough to trigger the bonus.
Along with bonuses, you are much more likely to see wilds placed onto a five reel slot game than you are to see wilds on a three reel slot game. Wild symbols are almost a standard for five reel slots and they help compensate the player a little bit for the vast amount of symbols that are on the reels that lowers their chances of winning. Three reel slots won’t generally have wild symbols, but a few do.
Five reel slot games will often implement wilds into the bonuses. Some bonuses will put wilds on the reels, or might even make a whole reel into wilds. As a player the more wilds that you receive the better your chances are of winning money. A wild will count for any symbol (except for a bonus symbol), and so it’s basically a free slot.
There are many types of wilds that are awarded from bonuses. One type of wild is called “sticky” wilds. They will settle into a fixed position on the board, and then the player will get to spin knowing that those wilds will occupy those spots instead of whatever symbol lands there. Usually, this will be done in sequence with free spins so that the player gets multiple tries to win some money while they have sticky wilds in place.
Another fun wild bonus technique is to use “cascading wilds”. Whenever a player wins an amount with a wild on the line, the wilds will disappear and the reels will settle for a potential additional opportunity at a prize. If a player is able to accumulate multiple wins this way they will make a lot of money off of one spin. This bonus technique doesn’t have to just apply to wild symbols. Sometimes, developers will program a game so that when any symbols are lined up on a pay line they will disappear and allow new symbols to fall into place, sort of Tetris style.
There are other variations but we’ll get into wilds a little bit later.
The reason that most 3 reel slot games will not have wilds attached with them is that it would provide the player with too high of a chance to win, as well as the fact that wilds were never prominent on classic slot games and developers want to stick to this theme.
If you’ve ever played on a five reel slot game you have probably noticed the wide array of betting options. Five reel slot players get to choose everything from the number of pay lines that they will play on all the way to the amount that they will bet on each pay line to create a total payment. The options on a three reel game are much simpler. You will only get to choose the amount to wager per spin. Since three reel games will generally only have one or a few pay lines, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to give players the power to choose which lines to play on.
Being able to pick pay lines shouldn’t be seen as an advantage that five reel slot players get to abuse. Some gamblers would argue that choosing pay lines will increase their odds of winning, but you have to remember that the casino isn’t including extra features when it comes to your own benefit.
Nobody would argue the fact that the more pay lines you bet on the higher your chance off winning on any specific spin, but you are also increasing the cost of your bet. In reality, the odds of winning off a single spin with 25 pay lines is the exact same as betting on one pay line and spinning 25 times. Both would cost the exact same and have the same odds of popping up. Actually, betting on just one pay line would give you a higher chance of popping a bonus since you can spin more times for the same cost, but that comes with the consequence of winning a significant less amount of money from the bonus so it doesn’t really provide a benefit either. Also, most games won’t allow you to win a jackpot unless you are betting the max anyways.
Probably one of the biggest advantages to three reel slot games is that they have a low maximum bet. You will find that the maximum bet set on three reel games is lower than any maximum bet you will find across five reel games. A large part of this is due to the smaller huge wins that comes from betting the maximum. If you’re a baller on a budget that is trying to play for a good length of time while also aiming for those big values advertised on the games by the casino, then three reel games will be a perfect fit for you.
When you play online or video casino slot games you might notice another common developmental difference between three reel and five reel games. Three reel game developers will often make the screen show a fake slot game rather than just the reels. This means the casino and lever, looking like you are playing in front of the machine directly at the casino. The reason for this comes down to design and limitations more than anything in particular logic wise the separates three reel and five reel games. Five reel games obviously have more reels than three reel games which takes up more space on the screen. Along with that, they also have bonuses and more information to display that requires even more of the developer’s limited room. For this reason, they don’t have as much freedom to provide the user with a view of full games because there are so many other things that have to be displayed to the user that are more essential.
This is an important concept with slots game design for online casinos. The screen sizes of users vary a lot more than just on a machine. You will have some users that will play with a wide screen computer, and you’ll have other users that will play their favorite slot games while waiting for the bus on their cell phone screens. The exact same game needs to be responsive and capable of showing quality gameplay on both of these types of screens. The game needs to not look tiny on a large screen while also being small enough to fit onto a small screen without requiring the user to roll up/down or left/right. This is much easier to do with three reel games where developers have a lot more freedom with space and adjusting the game. On five reel games the space becomes a lot more limited and developers have to pick and choose what assets are important for the game and what might be unnecessary and can be cut from the design.
Slot games are going to be re-sized depending on the size of the screen that they are being placed on to. Developers have to do this without stretching the game assets or distorting them, and they have to use very high resolution assets that aren’t going to lose quality on enormous screens. It really is a lot to think about and has some drastic impacts on the design of the game for both types of slots.
When it comes down to the logic of these games they are very similar. Both three reel and five reel games will use the same type of random number generators to place symbols on to their reels before spinning. Of course, five reel games have to come up with more symbols since they have more reels, but you get the idea. They will go through the process of taking a bet, creating the reels, spinning the reels, and then awarding the payout dependent upon the pay lines that were successful. Games that have bonuses, which are more commonly five reel games, will take an extra step into this mix before awarding credits.
As for popularity, you’ll find that a lot more players will play on five reel slot games and casinos will tend to fill up their game floors with a vast number of five reel games and slim pickings for three reel games. Overall, people just tend to find five reel slot games more exciting and enticing and so casinos have to appeal more to that larger target market. It’s also more common for older generations of gamers to have a higher preference for three reel slot games than the new younger generations. With this in mind, it will be expected that three reel games will become less and less prominent in casinos, but they are definitely here to stay and won’t be completely removed anytime in the foreseeable future.
If you’re a new player, should you be starting on three reel games or five reel games? In all honesty it comes down to how comfortable you feel. A lot of new players will tend to get overwhelmed by five reel slot games. There are a ton of pay lines and a bunch of things going on all at once, sometimes with random bonuses popping off that makes no sense to an unseasoned user. However, if you think that you have a good grasp on five reel slot games and are looking for an exciting edge then that is where you want to start. It’s a lot more common for new players to try out three reel slot games because they are so much easier to understand. The most amount of pay lines you will ever find is five, but most will only have one. The general concept behind lining three symbols up along three reels is easy to grasp. The payout you will receive will be the same, although you’ll win more on a five reel game so be prepared to have long streaks of losses in between those medium to high wins.
As an intermediate player you probably have some sort of experience with five reel slots by this point. Even if you have never hopped onto one of those games you have certainly seen them around the block and might have watched a buddy play. It’s recommended that once you have a grasp on the game you begin to play on five reel slot games because most people tend to lose interest in three reel games pretty quickly. They are a bit too simple for a lot of people’s liking and don’t offer many huge bonuses or jackpots, which is the real excitement behind slots gaming.
For those expert players out there you probably don’t need me to tell you what types of games to play on. Those with years of experience have developed a taste for what they like and will have a fairly good understanding of the odds and practices used in different types of games. If you play slots a lot the best recommendation is to play on games that you know have high payouts so that you can try to make some money, bearing in mind that statistically you aren’t going to make money. Don’t worry so much about the number of reels as much as the odds that are placed against you. If you play online slots you can often get information on the games you’re playing either through casino records and released information or through the developer.
No matter your experience level, remember that slots are there just to have fun and no matter how many reels the game has you are probably going to walk away with less money than you came in with. Instead of fretting over the technical stuff of games, play something that you will feel comfortable on and will enjoy. Many users that prefer three reel games will play a five reel game that has a theme they know they will love because it is enjoyable for them, just like many five reel players will hop on to a three reel game if it looks exciting. There are a lot of differences and sometimes it might even be fun to switch it up back and forth just to try something new.
When it comes to making themed slot games it isn’t quite as simple as coming up with a theme and building the game. Many developers will choose to use themes from popular things that people like. Some of these might include superheroes from Marvel, popular television shows like Family Guy or Friends, or maybe even a well-known book. A developer is not allowed to just take one of these concepts and turn it into a game. The rights to use these characters are owned by their creators, and so special permission is needed before these assets can be used.
This is what is known as Copyright Protection. It constitutes that the creator of a work owns the rights to publish and distribute it. This includes placing the assets on web sites, video games, clothing, and these types of things. Slot games are generally a for-profit type of operation, and so in order to use work that is protected through Copyright the developer will seek out permission to use it.
Copyright Protection extends beyond the usage of just visual things too. Sounds that are produced for television shows cannot be used without the explicit permission of the owner. This could even include just the naming of the characters, although pursuing legal action against a developer that used the same naming would be much more difficult unless it is completely obvious.
No specific action is needed for the creator of a copyrighted piece of work, as this concept happens at the moment of creation. For names this is a bit different, and so these will require a Trademark. A Trademark can be placed on specific names, symbols, words, or even devices. They are used to differentiate one product from another so that a company can brand itself and gain recognition for their work. When someone else tries to use that brand in order to bring in a market for their own business they would be reaping rewards for the marketing efforts of another company and would be in violation of a Trademark.
While companies may offer up their Copyrighted material to be used for a game they will never give full rights to their Trademarked material since they will want to hold on to their brand awareness. For this reason, you won’t ever see company logos on games.
The reason that a company would allow for a slots games developer to use their copyrighted material is based off of profit. Almost all companies will charge some sort of fee to use their work. This might be a subscription fee for the continued usage of their assets, it could be a single upfront fee to use it on one game, or it could even be a commissioned fee where the developer is required to pay a certain amount of their profits to the original creator of the copyrighted work.
There are several steps that a slots games developer has to take before using copyrighted work:
Determine If An Agreement Is Needed – Basically, the first step is to identify whether or not the artwork that is going to be used would be a violation of a copyright infringement. If this is ever a question, the answer will almost always be yes. If a software developer isn’t creating the artwork themselves and isn’t paying someone to create the artwork then they are going to have to seek out an agreement with the original owner before proceeding.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, depending on the jurisdiction, copyrighted material only lasts for so long before it becomes public property. There will come a time when it will be entered into the public domain, becoming available for anyone to use it. There are also some works that won’t meet the minimal requirements for copyright protection, and so these types of works won’t be protected.
A developer should always start with the presumption that something is protected and then work to prove that it isn’t before trying to proceed without an agreement.
Identify the Owner – Now that a software developer has determined that they will need an agreement to use the assets in their slots game, they have to figure out who actually owns the copyrighted material. Sometimes this can be simple, and other times it might not be. Copyrighted material might have been passed on several different times to its current owner which might require a little bit of detective work to figure out.
Identify the Rights Needed For Usage – The next step is to figure out what types of rights the slots developer will need in order to use the assets for their project. Every copyright owner has the right to reproduce, modify, and distribute their work. A developer will want to seek the least amount of rights as they can get away with because it will be cheaper that way. When figuring out this information there will be three main concepts to think about – territory, term, and exclusivity.
When it comes to exclusivity there are two options – exclusive or non-exclusive. When a license is exclusive only the license holder will be allowed to use the copyrighted work. The owner will no longer be allowed to offer the same licenses to other organizations as they can only give one exclusive license out at a time. It may even limit their own ability to use their work in certain products. Of course, this would come at a high prize and a lot of negotiating.
Luckily, slot developers don’t really ever need exclusive rights to a copyrighted work. They only want to be allowed to use it in their own project, so they will seek out a non-exclusive license. This will let them use the work, but anyone else who wants to obtain a license and comes to an agreement with the owner can also use the work.
Territory – Developers need to identify the territory that they are intending to use the copyrighted material. As a developer this can be a harder part of the process because you probably have no idea where your slots are going to be used. Developers outsource their projects to casinos, which can be located all across the globe. This is why most developers will need an agreement that isn’t restrictive by territory, otherwise they’ll be forced to turn certain casinos down based off region.
Figure Out The Payment – Before an agreement will be signed both the developer and the copyright owner have to figure out how much the payment is going to be. In most cases this will be a one time upfront payment. Once a set price has been negotiated they can draw up a copyright agreement and both parties will sign it, and the developer will now be free to use the copyrighted material in his slots game.
Let’s go over some popular games and developers that have reached licensing agreements to bring us some of the exciting games we have come to enjoy and love.
Zombies have been a fad for a long time, and the popular television show The Walking Dead has capitalized on that. Back in 2013 the Australian Gaming company known as Aristocrat reached a licensing agreement with the creators of The Walking Dead to bring us The Walking Dead slot machine. AMC signed off once a payment fee had been negotiated. The slot game has high definition video and audio and includes actual clips from the show to bring players and show fans on a wild and exciting ride.
IGT was granted a licensing agreement to make a game based off of Family Guy and they did not disappoint. The bonuses are quite hilarious and fans of the show will recognize them. The first of which is the Drunken Clam bonus that is based off of the bar that the characters in the show consistently visited. There are multiple rounds and during each round the player must select a beer tap. The characters will all drink, and the rounds continue until your character passes out. If other characters pass out you will be granted a multiplier, increasing the amount won. Another bonus is based off of the well-known chicken fight battles that occur randomly in the Family Guy series. The player will get to choose to be either Peter Griffin or the Giant Chicken, who they will play in a three round fight with a winner being picked after each round. The player has one to seven picks during the round with each pick holding a multiplier that will increase the amount won for the bonus, and by getting the larger multiplier than their opponent they will gain an even larger multiplier. The final bonus is Lois’s Hot Free Spins, and the title of this one pretty much explains itself.
In the later part of 2015 Scientific Games announced a new partnership with Gracie Films and the well-known Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products company to developer a Simpsons slot game. The game will host all of the popular characters from the show including: Homer, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Apu, Moe, and many more friendly faces. This is meant for a land-based slots games that will feature three screens and plenty of interactivity.
In some cases, developers might hit a brick wall when it comes to obtaining licensing agreements for certain characters. This is exactly what happened with Disney back in 2013. Marvel was originally its own independent company when it began giving out slot game licenses to developers, which had a set period of time before requiring renewal. Disney bought up Marvel, and as a result they have decided that they will be blocking casinos from being able to renew their licenses with Marvel. Disney has always shown a strong opposition to gambling. Such situations have occurred where Disney has disallowed its cruise ships from hosting casinos on their decks or where Disney has refused to allow any casino shops to be setup within their amusement parks. The reasoning behind this is that Disney believes that gambling ruins their family friendly type of environment, and so it does seem a bit counter-intuitive that they should allow one of their businesses to give out licenses to slot developers.
Even if there is a profit in it there are companies that won’t be open to granting these types of licenses to developers. If this happens, then a developer will not be allowed to create a game around the desired copyrighted material. This type of stuff happens all the time. When a developer decides to use a copyrighted asset for their game without the express permission of the creator, there can be big problems.
This is exactly what happened with The Lord of the Rings themed slot game near the end of 2010. The Tolkiens had no idea that the slot game even existed until they were spammed with emails and forced to bring some attention to it. Many fans were outraged and claimed that the game was ruining the art of the franchise. The Tolkien Estate seemed to agree that using their characters in something that was seen as being morally questionable was a bit too far, and they filed a lawsuit. The tricky part about this specific situation is that the Tolkien Estate had given certain licensing rights to filmmakers, and it’s believed that the filmmakers were the ones that gave the licenses to slot developers.
Copyright licensing can be a very tricky business for developers. That have to ensure that the license they are obtaining comes from someone who is able to provide it, and they have to meet certain requirements and renewals in order to keep their products alive. This is why we constantly see slot games disappear once licenses expire and aren’t renewed or there is some sort of legal trouble, and we will constantly see new games pop up as new developers get licenses to some of these classic favorite shows and movies.
The Addictive Nature of Slot Games
Slot machines are perhaps the most addictive part of gambling. It absolutely stomps games such as Blackjack and Poker, and Roulette doesn’t even come close. Some would refer to slot machines as being the “crack cocaine” of gambling, and they would be right in a sense. These games are actually built to be addictive because that’s how developers and casinos are able to hold on to their players. The more that you play, the more money that they make. These games also need to be fun and exciting, and with that comes an addictive nature in itself.
The underlying most prominent addictive component of slot games is a concept that is known as “intermittent reinforcement”. This is a concept that was first derived by the psychologist B.F. Skinner, who developed many theories based around conditioning and behaviorism. The idea behind intermittent reinforcement is that you only give the person what they want some of the time, so that they will work for the reward all of the time. The opposite would be continuous reinforcement where the person is continually given what they want in order to push them to keep working for a reward.
The problem with continuous reinforcement is that people tend to take it for granted and don’t appreciate it as much, resulting in less effort put forth. Psychologists would agree that continuous reinforcement is best applied during the early stages of learning for a person and should later be dropped. We’ll get a little deeper in to how the casino applies continuous reinforcement for players in just a minute.
When it comes to slots continuous reinforcement would never work. There would be several big issues. First of all, the casino wouldn’t be able to make any money if they were putting out wins left and right every time a player stepped up to the game. Of course the game could decide to give reduced wins that are less than their original bet, and some games do actually do this, but this wouldn’t exactly follow continuous reinforcement since the user isn’t getting an actual reward as they lose money each spin.
Slot games will apply intermittent reinforcement. They will give players a lot of losses just so that they continue to play and push for those far and in-between large wins that they really want. When players are finally given this reward it gives them enough enthusiasm to want to keep playing. By not continually rewarding the player the casino is making money and the player isn’t going to become bored of the game.
Children can teach us a lot about the effects of intermittent reinforcement. When a child asks for a new toy they see in the store and get the answer “no” they don’t just give up and move on, as all parents will know. They continue to ask until they can be assured of a definite answer. The reason for this is that sometimes parents change their minds or simply mean “not yet” when they say no. By continually asking over and over the child can work towards that intermittent reward. Although parents may change their minds, in these types of situations its important that they stick to their answer so that they don’t produce this type of conditioning.
The thing with intermittent reinforcement is that the behavior to get the reward will continue for an extended period of time. Even in situations where the reward is removed the person will strive for that prize because they have been conditioned to do so, which is why gamers continue to play even on long losing streaks.
The slot game will allow players to win only every once in awhile, and in the meantime they are bringing in their cash. The win that is presented to the user goes off with lots of lights and sound, and creates a rewarding environment along with the money that is received. These games also minimize the losing environment by making nothing happen.
When you lose a game you don’t get the same effect as when you win. There isn’t a bunch of red lights and a frowny face that covers your screen saying “tough luck” or something along these lines. The game draws the least amount of attention to losses as possible because it wants them to feel insignificant compared to those large wins and exciting moments. If the player was given just as much excitement surrounding a loss as a win these games would probably be a lot less enticing.
While the reward system is probably the biggest addictive factor of these games, there is also the interface that these games have that should be considered into the addictive sequence. Slot games always have lots of lights and sounds because these are exciting to people and draw their attention. They also help to distract from the massive amount of money that is being drained from their wallet as they lose over and over again. Sounds and lights have been found to be quite effective at holding the attention of players and bringing them back to games. Many gamblers crave excitement and adrenaline, which is exactly what these types of features provide.
Dopamine is a chemical that the brain releases when it experiences enjoyment. It is the entire reason that reward systems such as intermittent reinforcement work. It is also the biggest culprit to addictive behavior no matter what the person is doing to get the dopamine kick.
The thing with working for dopamine kicks is that they begin to require more and more to reach the same level of satisfaction as previously received. The first time a reward is received our bodies treat is as much more exciting than the twentieth time that we receive that same reward. We grow bored of it and build up a sort of immunity that slowly makes it more and more important to get a higher rush.
This is sort of the downward slope that occurs with addictive slot players. We hear stories from time to time about people that spent their life savings or retirement funds gambling and now have nothing, or people that ruined their lives and lost their house and marriage as a result of using all of their funding on gaming. It seems impossible that someone could reach that point without fixing it, but the sad fact of the matter is that they seek more of a rush over time until it becomes too much for their budget and they lose it all.
Some would argue that gambling addictions are just as severe as physical dependencies on drugs and alcohol.
Casinos have many other tricks they use in their games as well. They intend for players to want to keep playing and offer a lot of ways to keep their interest.
Near misses are a common practice in modern day slots. A near miss occurs when a specific symbol that is needed, sometimes a jackpot symbol and sometimes just a regular symbol, is just one spot away from where it needed to land. A lot of games will slow down the reel or bring special attention when this is happening. The thought is that the player will think that they were really close to winning, and this triggers the reward part of their brain that releases dopamine to encourage them to keep playing even though they didn’t actually win anything. The reality behind these tricks is that the player wasn’t any closer to winning than any other spin, the game just makes it seem that way.
False wins are something we’ve briefly covered as well. You will find these on every single five reel slot game. These occur when a player is given a win off of a spin, but the win is actually less than what they originally put down on the machine. It plays the same exciting lights and sounds as any other normal win and excites the player, even though they technically lost. This is a really manipulative trick because it provides that intermittent reinforcement trigger without actually giving a reward.
Unbalanced reels are used in a lot of games for the purpose of triggering close jackpots that actually have a super low chance of every really occurring. The trick behind this is to give two reels a really good chance of having jackpot symbols so that they show up often, and then giving the last reel a extraordinarily low chance of having a jackpot symbol. This concept falls in line with near misses, where the game will slow down that final reel if the other two reels have jackpot symbols so that it can put emphasis on the fact that you almost won the jackpot.
Whenever you play on a slot game, whether it be online or at the casino, you will always notice that the game uses the term “credits” rather than showing you the actual currency. A credit might be worth one cent, and so if they show you 100 credits why not just show $1.00? The reason behind this is that they are trying to take away the value of the money you put in the machine. It makes it much easier to make someone addicted to the machine if they put less value on what it is costing them to play. It also excels winnings because 100 credits won looks much more exciting then 1 dollar won.
The stop button is another critical element of slots gambling. It gives players a feeling of control over the game in which their decision will impact the outcome, but this isn’t really the case. Most games have already created the outcome for the spin and stopping the reels doesn’t put them in a certain position but rather just saves time. Giving some control over to the player helps build that addictive response by making them feel as if skill has some play into the outcome rather than just pure luck.
The rate of small wins compared to large wins is a big encouraging factor as well. Small wins give the player more money than what they bet on the game, and is a really good incentive to get them to keep pushing for a large win. Large wins are mainly promotional means to get people to play on the game, even though they have almost virtually no chance of actually hitting one of these high numbers. It’s been found that players who take in small wins are a lot more likely to continue playing than a player that gets a large win. Not to mention that it’s in the casino’s interest to pay out less money of course than to pay out a high amount of money.
Perhaps the biggest addictive factor is the thought of being able to hit a jackpot. Everyone knows that the chances of getting one of these bad boys is near impossible, but just the thought that this life changing amount of money is a potential outcome is enough to push players to bet thousands on these types of games. Players know that they will most likely never win and yet they are still willing to try for it.
Luckily, many regions have taken notice to the addictive nature of slot games and offer programs to help those with a gambling addiction. The problem is that most gambling addicts won’t seek help until it is too late. If you or someone you know is addicted to gambling and needs help, look up a gambling addiction hotline for your area and find help. Addictions are serious and usually can’t be resolved on their own. If you’ve been prone to gambling addiction you can play on free slot games online to get the same rush without losing any real money. One fun place to try out is ifreeslots.com.
Bonuses in slot games is what has really pushed the industry and modernized slot machines. Basically, a bonus is an event in the slot game that gets triggered from time to time based on a certain event. The bonus will be used to increase the amount that the person has won off of that spin by a significant amount. Since bonuses do offer a much larger payout to the player, they are usually far an in between making it difficult to actually hit one. However, they add a whole new level of excitement and fun to the game that many players tend to enjoy.
It is very uncommon to see many bonuses placed onto three reel games, but it is the industry standard to use bonuses for five reel slot games.
Bonuses will generally work off of what is known as a “multiplier” to produce a reward for the player. Multipliers work really well because they give the player a reward based off of their total amount bet. So say a player bets $1 on a slot game and gets a multiplier of 3, they would be given $3 in return. The more that a player bets on a round that spins a bonus the more that they will be given in return. A lot of jackpots advertised on slot games work off of multipliers which means that in order to hit that maximum number you would need to bet the max on the machine.
There are various ways that a bonus can be triggered. The first method is to allow for bonuses to go off randomly with each spin. A spin will have a set chance of activating a bonus round, which will generally be quite low. If the user is lucky enough, they’ll pop the bonus and it will go off at the end of their spin. Another way for bonuses to activate, and probably a much more common method, is for the bonus to go off when the user is able to get three bonus symbols on their reels. These will appear on the first, third and fifth reels. The odds of getting all three will be pretty low. Another way to pop off a bonus is by activating if the user manages to get a certain score or they get enough won pay lines.
There are a numerous variation in bonuses. Developers will design bonuses so that they match the theme of the game. Due to this practice, bonuses between games are kept pretty unique and have their own variation. Despite this, it is common practice for games to either award the player with a multiplier of some sort, or to give them a number of free spins.
Free spins are a fun bonus that can be very beneficial, or absolutely worthless. A free spin means that the game will spin the reels at no cost to the player. This will almost always be done automatically without the player needing to spin the reels themselves, and the total amount will continually be added up until the free spins have finished. The reality behind this is that it’s completely possible for a player to get nothing from their free spins. If they are unlucky in their spins, they could walk away with a big fat 0 for their bonus. On the other hand, they could also walk away with thousands and may even be able to pop additional free spins.
There are also times when a bonus may just give the player a flat amount. These are less common because casinos tend to prefer multipliers since they reward players based upon the amount they bet, but these do still exist.
The most common type of bonuses are clicking variations. These bring about a sense of user interactivity with the game, rather than just watching a bonus go. Once a click me variation bonus has been triggered the user will be moved over to another screen where they can play the bonus. From here, the user will be given a variety of options and must choose which ones they will be selecting.
One fun way of doing click me bonuses is to give the user a cumulative prize until they reach a point that determines that they lost. An example of this might be to open boxes, and as the boxes open the player is given a multiplier amount that gets added to a total multiplier. This number keeps going up until the user opens a box that has a “loser” symbol. Once this box opens, the bonus will end and the multiplier will be added up to give the player their total winnings.
Some click me bonuses are even used to activate other bonuses. Games like to make the player feel like their choices effect the outcome, and so they might offer three different bubbles that the player can choose from. The player will select a bubble, and the bonus they have earned will appear. This could lead to a different sort of click me bonus or it might start up an entirely different variation.
The player’s choice in click me bonuses doesn’t always have an effect on the outcome. Sometimes, the outcome will be the same no matter what you choose, but as a player you have no idea this is happening. Whether or not the game is actually giving you a choice isn’t a huge deal because your odds of getting a specific outcome are the same, even if the game itself has already chosen what will be revealed to you behind the scenes.
Another type of bonus is a free spin activation bonus. This bonus will give the player a certain number of free spins and then start rolling. The free spin number might be a set amount, or it could be a randomized number awarded to the player. They will host a countdown that will go down with each spin, giving the user some sort of visual indicator as to how many free spins they have left in their game. These types of bonus can choose to either spin on their own or allow the player to manually spin them.
One variation of the free spins type of bonus is to put wilds on the reels and then perform the free spins. The wilds might be scatted in different positions on the reels, or they might take up entire reels for the duration of the free spins. These types of free spin bonuses will obviously give a significantly higher reward than normal free spins because they increase the odds the player has of winning each spin. Sometimes the player will get to choose where to place a couple wilds, or they might have some sort of randomized factor that makes the decision for them.
It should be noted that many games will disable their bonuses during free spins. This means that it’s impossible to earn another bonus during a free spin. The reason behind this is that it can cause logic issues in the game if it tries to activate a bonus while another bonus is currently going, as well as preventing players from being able to get cumulative bonuses.
For especially eccentric slot games you will have a bonus that is completely skill based. The user may be required to shoot at certain targets and try to hit as many as they can in a certain amount of time, or might be asked to complete a maze before the time expires. These types of bonuses are a lot of fun and will mainly be found in online slot games since these games have the capability of using a mouse, whereas land based casino games have limited controls.
A lot of games have implemented a fairly new type of bonus that has sort of a Tetris feel to it, and applies every round. There are a couple different ways it can work. The first of which is that when a player gets a win on a pay line, the symbols along the pay line vanish and new symbols drop down to take their place. This gives the player an additional chance at winning more money with new symbols. Some games will do this in the same way, except for they will only make wild symbols disappear after calculating the win before allowing symbols to drop down.
This type of bonus can activate multiple times. For instance, if a player wins on their spin and has some symbols drop out and new symbols fall into place, and then they win again, the new symbols will disappear as well and allow for additional symbols to drop down. This pattern can continue until the player no longer receives a win.
This is another way that a bonus can be triggered as well. Some games will track the number of times that you get symbols to drop in, and each time you win goes towards a count that will activate a bonus if you reach a certain number. For example, say you won five times in a row off a single spin with new symbols dropping down onto the reels, this would pop a special bonus that would activate.
Although this might fall into the category of being a click me bonus, another variation is the Pick and Match bonus. In this type of bonus round the symbols are all hidden, and the player has to try and match up pairs of symbols along the board. They are given a certain number of fail attempts before the bonus ends. Every time they match up symbols they might gain free spins or have a multiplier added to their spin. Some games will only reward the player if they are able to get all of the matches. As these games go on it becomes easier and easier to get matches because you start to remember where certain symbols are and there are less choices to pick from once you start getting matches. Players that can get lucky enough to pick early matches find the most success on these skill and memory based bonus rounds.
Spin the Wheel bonuses are another classic favorite. These bonuses will have a large wheel with many different options on it. The player will either hit a button or drag the wheel to activate the spin. They are granted whatever reward that the wheel lands on. Sometimes the game pre-selects what bonus is going to be picked, and other times the speed the player spins the wheel might have a direct effect.
Finally, some games will take on an arcade style of bonus for the player. These can be either skill based or luck based, but will always take on the general feel of playing an arcade game. Slot machines do look exactly like arcade games, which would explain how this type of bonus began to grab some attention.
Most jackpots are only awarded as a reward for doing extraordinarily well in a bonus round. They might activate off a cumulative bonus, meaning you have to do well on the bonus a number of times before you reach the jackpot.
The chances of getting a bonus will be different depending on the game you will play. The general practice is to make it so bonuses will have a low chance of popping up and offer a high reward to the player when they do. They are meant to be rare occasions that add a level of excitement to the game from time to time. This won’t always be the case though. Sometimes bonuses will be frequent, such as the symbol dropping bonus we talked about, and just be considered as part of the natural flow of the game. Either way, most players will agree that bonuses definitely add some more fun to slot games. Some players will choose specific games just based off of the bonuses that they offer, either because they think they offer higher payouts or they just enjoy the bonus itself.
Free Games vs. Paid Games
With the rise of the Internet and the popularity of online gambling, many types of free slot games have popped up all over the web. These games are a great way to learn the basics behind slot games for new players and to offer an alternative to costly gambling by playing on slots that don’t charge a fee every time you spin them. The problem with free slot games is that they can be a bit deceptive for players and lead to raised expectations.
Most players will find a lot of success with free slot games. They feel like they are super lucky and can take this into a casino. The successful results the player is experiencing usually has nothing to do with luck at all, but rather statistics. Casino based slot games will be tailored to offer more payouts to the house than to the player because that is how the casino makes money, but free slot games that are placed on websites do not have the same incentive for a casino and so the odds are leveled out a bit. In some cases the odds might actually favor the player because that would make the games more fun.
It is important to understand that free slot games and paid slot games will differ greatly, even if you are playing on a free slot game that is the exact same one that you saw in the casino. Owners are able to change up the settings of these games so that it fits their needs. Casinos will change the settings so that there is a statistical house edge against the player so that the casino can make money, and free slot games will push the statistical edge into the player’s favor so that they find more enjoyment in the game and stay on the website for a longer period of time. Sometimes, the games might even be pushed into the player’s favor to encourage them to go play on a casino because the owner will be compensated for referrals.
This doesn’t mean that free slot games are bad in any way, in fact they are quite the opposite. People that have gambling addictions and find themselves craving slot games can get enjoyment out of playing these types of games. For others, they might just have fun playing slot games and enjoy not having to pay real money for them. Free slot games can be a lot more fun because the chances of winning as a player are higher than in a casino and you get to play as long as you like. If you lose on a free slot game and go bankrupt you can simply refresh the game and start all over again. It’s just essential to remember that the odds aren’t going to transfer over to a casino and not to raise your expectations too high.
A free slot game will give the player a certain number of starting credits that they can play with. This amount is the base default for all players. From here, you can bet them as you choose, but once you run out of credits you might have to refresh the game in order to continue playing. It’s quite easy to cheat these games in a way due to this policy of refreshing your credits once you run out. What you can do is place the maximum bet and bet large, hoping you get a good streak of wins right off the bat. If you are unlucky and lose off these big bets, you simply refresh the game and try it again. Once you have a large bankroll you can lower your bet and play normally. There really isn’t an advantage to playing this way since there isn’t any real world value to these credits, but it can be a fun way to get an edge over other players on the same games.
Some sites will allow for you to record your points through an account, which will track your progress for the next time that you play. This way, if you decide you want to take a break and come back to your favorite slot games at another time you are able to do so. These types of free slot websites can be a lot of fun because they will record your score and place you on a leader board so you can see how your luck compares to other people that play on the site.
As a new player you should really appreciate what free slot games bring to the table for you. A lot of people have to learn five reel slot games while playing with real money, which can be stressful. With the availability of free slot games over the past decade you can now hop on to your computer and get hands on experience with some popular classics as well as many variations created by independent developers. You’ll quickly find that slot games aren’t that complicated and will differ greatly between developers and themes, but once you understand the pay lines and get the hang of it you will be able to play on any game out there.
What’s the point of free slot games if you aren’t able to win real money? Some people just don’t like slot games and only play for the money, and that’s perfectly okay. However, these types of players will be the ones that won’t enjoy free slot games since there is no monetary benefit to playing them. The only benefit behind these types of games is that you get to have fun and enjoy racking up credits that mean absolutely nothing except personal satisfaction. You can learn from these games and get your daily slot game fix without having to spend real money in the casino. Sit back and enjoy some popular classics from the comfort of your home. You’ll save a lot of money and have more fun with free slot games.
Debunking Common Slot Machine Myths
Hopefully by now you have a good understanding of how slot games work. With all that you’ve learned you can apply your knowledge to many of the myths that surround these types of games and help unravel the truth. Here are some of the most common myths that surround slot games.
Myth: Playing on a slot game at a certain time of the day will have better outcomes for the player.
Well this myth is actually true in a way, but probably not the way that most players think. Slot games do pay out more during parts of the day over other parts of the day, but this has nothing to do with anything the games are actually programmed to do nor is there any way for players or casinos to predict this. It all comes down to luck when the games are going to pay out, and most slot games tend to have large payouts that will occur at some point during the day to a couple lucky people. The time of day won’t be consecutive, but if you look at slot games you will see that they will have certain peaks at various points in the day just when someone has gotten really lucky. You playing at the same time of day that a person got super lucky won’t have any influence on the outcome.
Pulling the lever on slot games rather than pushing a button is more likely to generate a positive outcome for the player.
There is nothing out there to support this claim, and the opposite is more likely true. Games that use levers these days are typically the high promotion slot games that the casino is really trying to make unique and get people to play on, and so the payout on these games is likely to be lower than on the standard push button ones.
There is a way that a lever might benefit a player though. Let’s pretend that a push button game and a lever game had the exact same odds set by the developer. Over the course of an hour the push button player has lost $100, and the lever player has lost $80. How is this possible? Well, lever games play a lot slower because pulling the lever takes longer than pushing the button, and they often lack the ability to smart stop like push button games have. The lever player doesn’t have better payouts or odds than the push button player, they are just playing slower so the casino house edge is taking a smaller amount from them. The push button player is capable of spinning a significantly higher amount of times, and due to the statistical edge of the casino, is losing money at a faster pace.
If you play using your slots club card you are going to have lower odds than if you don’t use it.
The idea behind this myth is that players believe that the casino wants to make up for the rebates and special rewards they give slots club players. In truth, these cards have absolutely no influence on the payouts that the machines are giving as the casino isn’t able to control this, and regulation would not allow for it. The casino doesn’t mind paying common slots players rebates and rewards because they are the casino’s highest money makers. These rewards are essentially paid for by the player just for playing on these games.
Asking a casino employee about which slot games are best will help you find the loose games.
This is far from the truth. In fact, most casino employees are prohibited from playing the games themselves and will have no idea as to which games are going to pay out the most amount of money. They might know a couple games that have given out jackpots, but that’s based on luck not the game’s odds of paying out. Even if you came across an employee that had heavily studied the games and watched people play for hours, the information he provided wouldn’t be very useful because no matter what the odds are going to be against you.
The length of time that has occurred since the last jackpot matters.
In a way the length of time does matter, but it doesn’t effect your odds. Slot games have the same odds of rolling a jackpot on the spin that gave the jackpot as the very next spin immediately after. The odds never change, but the value of the jackpot might. If you’re a progressive slots player then of course you don’t want to bet on a game that just spit out a payout. Not because you have a less chance of winning, but mainly because you are going to get a lower payout for winning and your cost to winnings compared to the odds isn’t very favorable.
The same games in different casinos will have varying odds, meaning that you might have a better chance of playing on a specific game at one casino over the other.
This myth is actually true. Casinos can often choose the house edge that will be set on a game, and different casinos will set it at different rates. Just because you’re playing on a certain game doesn’t mean it will have a specific payout. There really is no way to know the numbers set by the casino so choosing to play a game on one of the two different platforms might be tricky, it will mainly take some trial and error by playing on both and then guessing which one you believe has the better odds. If you choose to do this, use long term data rather than short term because you want to eliminate the luck factor.
Machines can be either hot or cold, meaning that sometimes they will pay out a lot of money and at other times they will tighten up and offer less pay outs.
This one is just a myth. While it’s true that sometimes games will pay out high amounts and sometimes they will pay out near to nothing, this doesn’t have anything to do with the programming of the game. It’s just a good or bad luck streak with the random number generators. Switching on to another game because your current game isn’t paying out very much won’t improve your odds at all, unless of course the new game has a lower house edge anyways. Hot and cold machines are just terms for how well a machine has currently been paying out but they don’t actually mean anything in terms of the current odds of winning on the game.
If I’ve been winning a lot on a machine I can expect that it will begin to pay out less money to make up for the losses to the game.
Each spin is independent of every other spin. The game doesn’t have any recollection of how much you’ve been earning, and doesn’t try to make that money back. You may have just gotten lucky for a few spins. Now, this doesn’t mean that a cold streak won’t happen because statistically it will occur at some point, it just means that the game isn’t going to be making any adjustments in order to prevent you from winning or lower your odds. Statistically though, if you continue to play for a long period of time after a hot streak you can expect that the house odds will eventually catch up to you and you’ll lose all the money you made.
If I use a player’s card my earnings will automatically be reported to the IRS.
Using a player’s card is irrelevant to what is reported to the IRS. The casino is required to report it any time a player wins $1,200 or more playing on their games. The cards don’t record this, but at least they can track if you’ve had a losing year which might save some money on your taxes if only your winnings are being reported and not your losses.
The machines closest to the entrance of the gaming floor have the best odds and the most traffic, and the games hidden in the corner of the room are tighter.
While the game’s don’t do anything directly dependent on their positioning in the casino, it is quite likely for a casino to adjust the odds of games based on their positioning. However, the opposite is much more likely to be true. Games that have heavy traffic and are the easiest to spot are more than likely going to have the worst player odds because a larger portion of players play on them, while the less promotional and hidden games are more likely to have the best player odds. Casinos will front the games that they want players to play on because it means more profit for them. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if the rumor that the entrance games have the best odds came straight from the casino.
The player has better odds playing on a five reel game than they do by playing on a three reel game.
The reason that people feel this way is because five reel games are designed to give more frequent payouts, and so it feels as if you are winning a lot more. However, the odds are generally the same and only differ depending on what the casino has set as the house edge. If you enjoy five reel slot games more you should play them, and if you enjoy three reel slot games more you should play those instead. Picking one over the other based off profit won’t make any difference.
A slot game that hasn’t been paying must start paying to balance out the odds on the machine.
Once again, each spin is independent and isn’t effected by previous spins. Just because a machine has been cold doesn’t mean that it is going to start paying out to balance itself out. Each spin has no idea whether the previous spins were winners or not and doesn’t make adjustments based on that fact. It’s true that the game will statistically balance itself out over time, but that won’t be immediately and it won’t be due to any adjustments in the game altering the odds.
The amount of money that I bet is going to effect the payout of the game, so that if I bet more money I’m going to win less frequently and if I bet low amounts I’ll win more frequently.
The amount that you bet doesn’t influence the game, but it does change how much you’ll walk away with. It’s likely that a player that is betting higher amounts will walk away with less money if they played for the same duration of time as a player that played with lower amounts. This is only because more money is being put up to the house edges, which is statistically taking a percentage of what is bet. Betting the max isn’t going to adjust your odds to make you win or lose more, just like betting the minimum isn’t going to do this. Some people even bet a middle amount to avoid pressing the bet min or bet max buttons due to the theory that they effect the outcome, but this isn’t true. If a game were to do this it would quickly be shut down due to regulation requirements, so as long as you’re playing on authorized games you don’t have to worry.
My selections in a bonus don’t even matter, the outcome is going to be the same no matter what I do.
This one will vary depending on the developer of the game, but in many cases is true. Some developers will program slot games that will randomly determine an outcome for a bonus before it even starts, and the choices you make in the bonus doesn’t effect how much the bonus is going to pay out. It’s more for a feel of interactivity rather than offering any sort of skill or player luck. This isn’t the case with a lot of games though, as many do let the choices of players have an influence on how the outcome of the bonus is going to play out. Whether or not you’re playing on a game where your choice matters is hard to tell. Most games that offer choices will show the alternative choices the player could have received afterwards, so this is something you can try to look out for.
The odds of winning a progressive jackpot increases over time, so that eventually a player is going to be picked.
This one is both true and false and comes down to the developer on the game. Some games have guaranteed jackpot winnings and choose a certain spin that is going to trigger the jackpot out of a certain amount. So pretend that a developer has set a game to have a maximum number of spins before a jackpot is triggered to be at 100,000. The random number generator might put the jackpot number at spin 87,987. As more people spin and the current spins nears that 100,000 mark, your odds of winning increase simply because there’s less spins remaining.
However, in a majority of games this type of system isn’t implemented. The odds of winning off any single spin is the same no matter how long the game has been played. Of course, if you play five spins your overall odds will be higher than if you play a single spin because you’ll have a five in 100,000 chance over a one in 100,000 chance, but your odds on each of these spins isn’t going to change.
The casino is watching players on slot games and is selecting which games are going to be profitable and which are going to suck money in.
This would be highly illegal and against regulation rules. It is true that some games can be controlled remotely, but casinos are required to shut down a game while doing this and can’t adjust odds for certain players. Don’t believe the hype that the casino is out to get you and that’s why your friends are winning and you aren’t. It all comes down to dumb luck. The casino can’t switch up the odds if you’re a high roller without your knowledge, just like they can’t adjust the odds against you if you make a large bet.
If a computer program is determining the RNG of a game, then it can’t be truly random.
This fact is true, it’s impossible for a computer program along to determine a true random number. Computers generate random numbers using a random number generating algorithm that they feed a seed value in order to get an unknown result. However, while computers might not use true randomization, they do use unpredictable numbers. This means that humans couldn’t possibly know the outcome of the algorithm beforehand, and every number has an equal chance of being selected. The outcome of a random number generator could not be altered in this case.
If a player hits a jackpot on a game right after I get off of that, it means that if I kept playing that I would have hit that jackpot.
This answer is only going to pertain to randomized jackpots, not jackpots that pick an automatic winner after a certain number of spins. It’s a common myth that if you were to keep playing on the same machine you would get the same outcome as the next person. This actually isn’t how these games work. Random number generators often use time or other outside factors as a seed for their algorithms, so unless you are spinning at the exact moments that the next person is then you aren’t going to get the same outcomes. That person that won a jackpot after you got up from the game didn’t steal it from you, it’s most probable that you wouldn’t have won that jackpot so don’t feel bad about it.
The number of symbols on a game will influence a person’s odds of getting any specific amount.
This is a true statement. As the number of symbols increases, getting a specific row of symbols becomes harder and harder. Think about it by starting simple with 1 symbol. If you had 1 symbol you would get a row of three in the center row every single time, or 100%. If you add one symbol, you will get a row of three in the center once every six spins, or 16.66% of the time. If you have three symbols you will get a row of three once every nine spins, or 11.11% of the time. This number continues to decrease every time you add a symbol, so a game with 20 different symbol combinations is going to have worse odds of any specific outcome than a game with 10 different symbol combinations. This doesn’t mean that overall you’ll win more or less on a game. While this was true with older mechanical games, these days it’s all determined by RNG and the game will pay out a certain percentage of the time.
It is impossible to improve your odds as a player, no matter what you do the casino will always have an advantage over you.
No matter how you play the casino always has an advantage. If there was a way that a player could get a boost over the casino then the casino would have went out of business years ago. Because the casino is still in operation for you to play at it, it’s safe to assume that no such way exists. It is possible to raise your odds of walking away with more than you spent though, even if those odds will never surpass the casino’s edge. You can take advantage of promotional offers and special rebate programs. These do offer some incentive to the player and helps bolster your chances a little more, but they will never be enough to give you an edge over the casino.
Heating up or cooling off a coin will effect the outcome of the game.
Believe it or not, this myth is still out there and going strong. The temperature of the coin has absolutely no effect on the RNG of the game. The coin being hot or cooled isn’t going to make it magically expand or shrink to tick some special mechanic in the game that is going to determine whether you are going to have good or bad odds. This is one of the more laughable myths out there, but there is no truth to it.
The payback on slot games is going to be better if you bet the maximum.
Betting the maximum doesn’t effect the outcome of the game, but it does give a slight odds advantage for some games. There are many slot games that offer jackpots, and the only way that you can be eligible to win the jackpot is if you bet the maximum amount. Betting less than the maximum amount reduces your odds only because if you get the jackpot you won’t win anything, and so your overall chances on that machine aren’t the same as someone who would be betting the maximum. Other than the jackpot the max bet doesn’t effect your game.
I have better odds if I play slots on online websites over land based casino slots.
It all depends on the casino, but in general online slot platforms do offer better odds to their players than land based casinos. The reason for this is that online slot casinos have less costs to cover and can server a larger market of players, while also having to fight for traffic in a highly saturated market. Unlike with physical casinos that gain their traffic based off of regional limitations, an online player can go onto almost any casino platform that they choose. Online casinos are forced to offer more player incentives so that they can convince them to play at their casino over their competitor’s. This combination of lower overhead and market saturation typically contributes to slightly higher player odds, although they will still always be in the favor of the casino.
Progressive jackpot slots have worse odds for players than standard slot games.
These games do have a greater house edge in general than most other types of slot games. This is why many professional gamblers will instruct you to stay away from progressive slot games. The incentive to these games is that they have the largest jackpots of any type of slot game out there, but this comes at a cost. For the average player you are going to lose your money at a much faster rate than most other slot games.
A percentage of player’s bets goes right into the progressive slot. This is money that gets taken out from the casino’s own profit, and so they have to compensate this amount by reducing the chances that a player will have of winning on any average spin.
This has been quite a long ride and you have hopefully learned a lot about how slot games work and what your chances of making money on one of these games really is. Slot games are designed to make money for their developers and the casinos that use them, and aren’t designed to make money for the player. Despite the statistical advantage these games have, it is completely possible to make money in the short run on slot games. Players that play for an extended duration are quite likely to lose all their money eventually as their odds even out.
Slot games have an elaborate history and have gone through a lot of modernization to reach the point that they are at today. The original slot machines were completely mechanical and didn’t even give real money payouts, but instead relied on the operator to reward the players with something such as a free meal or beer. They then moved to a point where they were electronically controlled and could spit out coins as a real money reward. The next big change came about when these games became capable of using video interfaces rather than actual mechanical spinning reels, and this has led to modern games that have bonuses and other cool features that their predecessors didn’t even touch. These games will continue to develop and grow as time goes on. There is a lot of money in slot machine development, and so it’s likely that new and exciting methods of adding unique features to these games will continue to pop up.
Random number generators, although not true random, are the main component of slot games that allows for the casino to set odds and create unpredictable results. Each symbol on the reel is designated as the result of a random number generator. Casinos have no direct control over slot outcomes and can’t guess when a big win is going to happen, which means that it’s impossible for the player to determine this as well. This randomized nature of the games is what makes them so much fun as we hope for a big jackpot with each spin of the reels.
Don’t walk into a casino and play slot games because you want to make money. This is a deadly mistake that a lot of gamblers fall into. Put money into a slot game pretending that it’s just the cost to play, and then play these games for fun. If you happen to win from time to time then enjoy it, but don’t expect to walk away with a profit or make some sort of living off of these games. As a player all you can do is have fun and enjoy.