You don’t have to be a poker-faced pro to enjoy a few spins on a slot machine. With the simple pull of a lever and a little luck, you could potentially win a life-changing jackpot! But the question isn’t, “Why do people play slots?”, which is easy enough to answer. They’re bright and noisy, often have cool and engaging themes, and you can win even if you’re a total newbie. The real question to ask is, “How does a slot machine work?” Keep reading to find out how your favorite slots came to be and what you can do to increase your chances of winning big!

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A short history of slot machines

Slot machines have been around for a long time, first appearing in the early nineteenth century. Though these machines served a very similar function to the ones you see today, they were operated by a totally different mechanism. The early models of slot machines used weights and levers to spin round barrels with symbols painted on them.

Originally, when machines were starting to become mass produced, America was in the middle of an era where gambling for money prizes was outlawed. To get around this, Mills, the biggest manufacturer of slot machines at the time, gave out prizes in the form of chewing gum. The symbols on the reels became pictures of fruit which are still popular to this day. Depending on what combination of fruit you got with each spin, you would receive a different flavor of gum.

Slot machines have come a long way since then. Over the course of slot history, the technology that operates them has taken three major and very distinct leaps forward. The first was the advent of slot machines with weights and levers. The second occurred in the early 1960s, when weights were pushed aside in favor of electromechanical technology. With this generation of slot machines, there were still real barrels that spun around with various symbols. Because of the nature of electromechanical operational systems, gambling establishments could better control the odds of a player striking the jackpot. You may also know these odds as a “house edge,” which is what makes slot machines so profitable for casinos.

The third leap of slot technology came with the rise of computers. Nowadays, slot games are often run by a computer algorithm rather than the original weights and levers. This technology has not only allowed for the creation of video slots, it’s what lets gamblers play their favorite casino games from their computers, with online slots real money, poker, and roulette.

slots history

Modern Slot Games

The most common kind of slots you will encounter today are video slots, or slots operated by a computer algorithm. This entire program is based on the use of a random number generator, or RNG. The RNG technology is constantly producing random numbers. It translates into slot results when the player clicks the “spin” button, and the game records three, four, or five consecutive numbers (depending on the number of reels present in the game).

slots algorithmEach number produced by the RNG corresponds directly to a symbol that may appear on any of the reels. The good news is that the use of random number generators keeps the game fair. Gamblers often fear that online casinos real money can easily get away with tweaking the computer program to make sure players never win. But to give players some peace of mind, casinos often submit these programs to third party institutions for testing. The certificates that come from passing these tests tell gamblers that the game’s odds are fair and that the program is not rigged by the casino.

Within the category of RNG operated games, there are a few variations which provide gamblers some choices to keep things interesting. You are most likely to come across basic video slot games, which come in two main flavors. In land-based casinos, you may see a physical slot machine but, instead of moving reels, it has a computer screen which depicts reels. There are also the slot games found at trusted online casinos, like Planet 7 Casino. Despite one being physical and the other existing on a computer screen, both are operated by RNGs, and the outcome is determined the second you press “Spin”. Planet 7 offers players the most popular online slot games on the market. If you’re looking to understand what online slots look like or how video slot machines work, then head over to Planet 7 and check it out for yourself!

how does a slot machine work: myths

Now that you know the basics of how a slot machine works, it’s time to learn how you can take advantage of that as a gambler and how to avoid losing all of your money in a few short rounds. Listed below are some common myths that might break your bankroll.

Some common misconceptions that surround slot machines have managed to stick around for generations. If you’ve ever strolled down aisles of slots in a Vegas casino, then you’ve no doubt come across people who are on the hunt for a loose or hot machine. These are slang terms that describe a slot machine that either gives out prizes easily or is on a winning streak. However, this is a myth, due to RNGs.

Another myth about how slot machines work is that after a certain amount of plays, it is due for a jackpot win. The truth is, with the use of RNGs, slot machines reset the odds of winning with every spin. It’s like assuming that any previous flip of a coin will affect the next one, which isn’t true and might cause you to spend your entire bankroll in hopes of winning big.

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    Take advantage of slots

    Even though some of the most popular tips and tricks for playing slots may come up short, that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to make the most out of your bankroll. Because slot machines use RNGs, your results are going to be completely random, but at least that means there is some consistency in what seems like absolute chaos.

    You can’t control the outcome of a slot game that uses RNGs, but you can find out the odds you’re dealing with. Slot games often follow a house edge very closely. Even though each individual spin may not reflect this percentage, if you keep at it you will start to notice the overall house edge. Find a machine with a higher payback percentage. Slot games usually fall in the range of 92-95% return to player, meaning that for every dollar you bet, you will receive back 92 to 95 cents in winnings.

    slots jackpotsYour best bet when playing slot games is to find a high denomination machine and bet max. Every time you make a bigger bet with a slot game, the casinos make more money. Because of this, casinos want to encourage gamblers to bet at high denomination machines, so they offer better payback percentages on high denomination machines. That being said, always bet max if you’re trying to win big when playing slots. A lot of games only let you win the jackpot if you bet max, meaning you bet the highest dollar amount that’s allowed on the maximum number of paylines allowed. You’d be a fool to not want that jackpot, so bet max!

    Another trick that will help you win big is to play progressive slots. With progressive jackpots, a certain percentage of each bet is allocated to the jackpot. The best part about progressives is that there is no cap to how big the jackpot can get! If you wait long enough and play it smart, a huge progressive jackpot can lead to a positive expectation bet!

    A final piece of advice

    If you’re hoping to win big when playing slots, the best advice anyone can give you is to practice, and to learn how to win at slots! Even though slots are random, it’s important to understand how does a slot machine work, the rules of the game and know what will help you win. It’s also important to find a game that really suits you. You can never be too careful when your hard-earned cash is on the line!

    At Planet 7, you can check out the most popular online slot games with instant play mode. This means you can play all you want, understand how does a slot machine work and really learn the ropes and at no risk to you! Log on to Planet 7 Casino and start spinning today! After all, you never know when you’ll get hit by a stroke of luck and win that jackpot!

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    A staff writer at Planet 7, Kate Church is an avid reader, professional writer and lover of games. After taking her Bachelor of Arts degree in English writing and a minor in journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, Kate has traveled the world, seeking out adventure, knowledge and games of skill and chance.
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