Slot machines are undeniably one of the most popular games in online casinos. As the uptake in online gambling continues to grow, more new players begin their journey by playing online slots. Players can bet on these slot games for real money or play free games as they improve their skills.
However, though they are popular, very few players understand the mathematics behind them all. This article will explore the mathematics behind slot machines and how they work.
1. How Do Slot Machines Work?
In all online casinos, players face two types of online slots. The first is the modern computer technology runs slots and the other runs on mechanical systems.
A player can probably win a game each time they spin the reels. For each spin, the machine randomly chooses a series of numbers determining where symbols will fall on the screen. The payout amount then depends on the symbols landing on the slot’s paytable. A player gets a payout each time they achieve a winning combination.
This principle stands whether a player uses modern or traditional machines.
2. How Older Slot Machines Work
These older mechanical slots use gears and levers to operate. The coin detector registers whenever a player inserts a coin into the game, unlocking the brake and allowing the handle to move. The machine then has a metal shaft at the center supporting the spinning reels and a braking system to stop it.
The machine has inbuilt sensors that then communicate the position of the reels to the payout system. These machines traditionally have 20 symbols per reel.
3. Modern Slot Machines
The newer online slots resemble the old machines in outward appearance. However, they use a central computer with a random number generator (RNG) program to determine each spin’s outcome.
They rely on step-up motors to turn and stop the reels and pre-determined points. The computer within the machines precisely controls the digital pulses that drive the motors. The most virtual reel symbols the technology allows is 256.
4. Use of Mathematics in Slot Machine To Ensure Fairness
Bettors enjoy playing fair online casino games. Online slots use random number generators to ensure fairness in the games. Each spin is independent of the previous one and doesn’t influence the game’s outcome. Each spin in slot machines can also win a game like any other. However, the odds of winning the game differ as they depend on the house edge.
5. Randon Number Generators
RNGs or random number generators are crucial in slots. The slot machine games have programmed possible outcomes each time a player spins the reel, and the RNG determines the outcome. Random number generators are complex and ensure fairness and unpredictability throughout the game.
6. House Edge
Apart from RNGs, slot machines use mathematics to determine the house edge. This edge ensures the online casino is profitable in the long run. This edge is expressed in percentage form, representing the percentage of all bets the casino hopes to keep over time. For example, in an online slot game with a 5% house edge, the casino aims to retain $5 of each $100 wagered.
The payout percentages of each symbol on a reel determine the house edge. Notably, each slot symbol has a specific payout percentage determined by the game’s developers. Additionally, the probability of appearing on the reel determines each symbol’s payout percentage.
For example, if a reel has 10 symbols, and one is a jackpot symbol, the probability of winning is 1 in 10. Therefore, the payout percentage of the jackpot symbol is 10%. The game’s developers can adjust each of the game’s symbols to get the desired house edge.
Moreover, the number of symbols on each reel and pay lines can also determine the house edge. The more symbols a reel has, the lower the chance of landing a particular symbol, increasing the house edge. Similarly, the more pay lines a slot has, the lower the chance of landing a winning combination on any pay line, increasing the house edge.
Additionally, the house edge is also affected by the frequency of payouts. The machine will have a higher house edge if online slots are programmed to pay out small amounts frequently. However, the machine will have a lower house edge if it gives out larger amounts less frequently.
7. Concept Of Variance
Mathematics behind slot machine games also includes variance. Variance refers to the degree of risk involved in playing that particular game. A high-variance slot game has a larger payout though infrequently. However, a game with a low variance pay’s out small amounts frequently.
Players who love to take risks can play games with high variance. Players with a lower tolerance to risk can play low-variance slot games. The game developers can change a game’s variance by adjusting the payout percentages of the game’s symbols or changing payout frequency.
The mathematics behind slot machines can be a complex topic for most players. However, players need to understand that the house edge, variance, random number generator, and payout percentages all determine the outcome of each spin. Understanding these aspects allows players to enjoy themselves more and make better decisions when playing slot games.