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How Do Slot Machines Work?

Slot machines today are a lot different from the old mechanical slots that used to be around. The old mechanical slots used springs and tension to determine where the reels would stop. The new electronic machines use a much more sophisticated electronic method to determine the outcome of your spin.

The heart of the slot machine is the Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG starts working as soon as the slot machine is turned on, and spits out random numbers, usually between 0 and several million, at a rate of 300-500 per second. The RNG never stops working, and is not influenced by any outside factors, so the numbers are always totally random.

Modern slot machines at casinos and online both work in the same way. When you place your bet and press the "Spin" button, the slot machine takes the next few values from the RNG and processes them through a complex computer program to determine the values that the reels should have.

Even though this computation does take only a short time, the games are not pre-programmed to pay out at ny set time. This means that every spin has the same chance of winning nothing as it does of winning the jackpot.

We have researched the way that slot machines work out the values and have provided this example as a general idea of how slot machines work out the position of the reels and the way that the payout's will happen. Our example uses a standard 5-line slot machine.

When you press the "Spin" button, the slot machine will grab the next 5 numbers from the RNG and store these in it's memory. The slot machine uses the first number to determine the position of the first reel, the second number determines the position of the second reel, and so on.

To work out the position, the computer divides the random number by a set value. This is usually a standard computer value of 16, 32, 64, etc. This works because of the way that computers mainly work in powers of 2, and this makes it easier for the computer to work out a value. As an example of how this works, say our random value is 3,486,421 and the computer divides by 128. When you divide the random number by 128, you have a remainder of 81. The machine has set values of where to stop the reel for every value from 0 to 127, because these are the numbers that will be left over after dividing the random number by 128. This tells the machine to stop the reel at that position.

As there are is usually always more numbers to decide from then positions on the reels, each position on the reel has more then one number assigned to it. This means that the machines can be changed by changing the numbers that are assigned to each position on the reel. This is the only way that operators can control the way that the machines work.

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