How Does a Slot Machine Work?


Using the computer and random number generator, slot machines generate random numbers to decide which combinations to pay out. There are two basic types of slot machine: mechanical and video.

Mechanical slots have three reels with 10 symbols on each reel. The symbols vary, from stylized lucky sevens to fruits.

Modern video slot machines have more than one reel, and may have nine, 15, 25, or as many as 1024. The number of paylines is also a factor. The more lines of play, the higher the chances of winning.

The slot machine has been around for quite some time. But how does it work? The basic premise is simple: a lever activates the game. Once the player spins the wheel, the machine makes a decision. If a winning combination is selected, the player earns credits based on the paytable.

To generate the best possible odds, the slot machine uses a random number generator. This allows the programmer to build a payout percentage that is as close to random as possible. Changing the theoretical payout of a slot machine requires physically swapping the software, which is time consuming.

A slot machine’s true jackpot is significantly smaller than the average payout. In 2010 the Colorado Gaming Commission investigated several incorrect jackpots. They discovered that the machine had a “missing” feature, meaning that the true jackpot was substantially smaller than the advertised one.

A typical multi-line slot machine will pay out between 1 and 15 credits per line. A buy-a-pay slot will give you access to additional winning combinations.