Toronto Mike

Here’s How Your Favorite Slot Machine is Programmed

Walk into any casino in the world, and there’s one feature you’ll always see. It’s universal, it’s how you know you’re in a casino even if you speak none of the local languages. It’s the classic slot machine. These brightly lit, noisy, money makers (or takers) have been in circulation for well over a century, entertaining and devastating punters in equal measure. But how do they work behind the scenes? We take a look at exactly what happens underneath the hood of a classic slot machine.

The Evolution of Slot Machines

To truly appreciate just how advanced and nuanced the modern slot machine is, let’s first take a look at its humble roots.

The first slot machine came about in 1889 when two brothers put their minds together to birth something of beauty. Adolphe and Arthur Caille called their creation “the Black Cat”, which became commercial in the early 1900s. The genius of this machine was that instead of a standard payout, it leveraged variable payouts, as well as a visible reward. Much like the sound of coins being churned out of a machine will always pique the interest of surrounding gamblers in a casino today, the Black Cat also used coins to garner attention.

Gamblers would insert coins into a slot, which would then randomly drop into one of six visible capsules. These capsules would fill up with coins in front of the gambler’s eyes, leading them to continue gambling in anticipation of winning the jackpot.

Introducing the Random Number Generator

While early slot machines relied on electromagnetics, now, the random number generator is at the heart of slot machine technology.

Behind the scenes, every time a slot machine is spun, a random number-generating algorithm is triggered. Say that a slot machine has three rows and five reels. Whenever the machine is spun, the random number algorithm will produce results for each of these variables at random. What this does is ensure that the slot machine remains fair and is unable to be manipulated. In fact, for a casino or online gaming operator to be licensed, they have to prove that their random number generating algorithms are air-tight, and not able to be easily influenced by the operators.

For those who would rather sit comfortably in front of a slot machine enjoying a few spins than head out to a concert, your ability to enjoy this experience knowing you’re not being cheated is primarily down to the existence of the random number generator technology.

The Crucial Factor: House Edge

Last but not least, one of the most important behind-the-scenes factors to understand about slot machine programming is the house edge.

In essence, this is how much the random number generator is altered to deliver a profit for the casino operator over the long haul. Leveraging the law of large numbers, casinos can make their slot machine results entirely random, yet conforming to a 5% profit over the course of a month or a year.

This margin is a critical factor to consider when deciding which slot machine to play. Check out the best casino slots in Ontario for a rundown of the most exciting games that take the smallest house edge from gamblers. Now that you know how slots are programmed you will have a better chance of understanding them, when to stay and when you walk away.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.