Slot Machine Odds
The odds in modern slot machines are all determined by how the machine is set up to use the virtual reel. This goes on the principles that were explained in How Slot Machines Work with the numbers that correspond to the positions on the reel. As we said there, the number or stops on the actual reels isn't always the same as the amount of virtual numbers that could be computed for that reel. That means that the odds of any symbol coming up are directly related to the way that the numbers are set up on the virtual reel to correspond to the positions on the actual reel. That means that the more numbers that correspond to the position of the reel the grater the likelihood that that symbol will come up.
This is explained a whole lot better if we use an example to show you what the odds are going to be on one reel. Say we have a reel that has 22 positions on it, and each symbol is worth a different value as set by the pay table. As we used in our example, we say that there are a total of 128 different numbers that could be produced by the computer after getting a number from the Random Number Generator. This means that there are only 22 positions that have to correspond to 128 different numbers.
The way that odds are made in slot machines is that the lower valued symbols are given more virtual numbers to correspond to them, and higher valued symbols are given less numbers. That means that the small numbers such as "8" or "9" will have 10 to 15 virtual numbers set to them, while the main Jackpot symbol will only have one number set to it.
This means that the chance of hitting the jackpot on that reel is one in 128. For a 5-reel machine this means that the odds of a jackpot are 1 in 3,459,738,368. As you can understand, that's some big odds against getting the jackpot. Of course, every machine is set up to pay out normally between 90% and 100%. This depends on where the machines are displayed in the casinos, and what they can do to get people playing on these machines. As long as the payout figure is worked out to be less then 100%, the casino will win over time. Of course, people will win big jackpots every now and then and that will put the odds well over the 100% for a short period of time, but people will also loose on the machine to keep the odds relatively the same when taken over a long period of time.
A lot of time and money has been put into making sure that slot machines have the most accurate payout figures possible, with most casinos aiming for a payout percentage of 95-97%. this way most players will see money coming back to them, and the casino will always make a profit on the machine as well. This is the best of both worlds, and keeps everyone as happy as possible.
Because of these completely random numbers and the way that the positions are calculated, there is no way of predicting a jackpot. The idea that a machine is "ready to pay out" is all in a players head. A machine that has just paid out a big jackpot is just as likely to pay it out again as a machine that has not had a payout for a long time. Remember, it's all about averages over the life of the machine, not in the small time that you're playing for.