How do Slot Machines Really Work?

How do slot machines really work?
3 years ago

The innerworkings of the humble slot machine have gone through one hell of a makeover across the years, going on to take the online world by storm, and even branching out into live gaming options, with UK casino offering fantastic casino promotions – as if there wasn’t enough on offer already!

The initial video Slots were – unsurprisingly – not available online, as the very first machine was developed all the way back in 1891, thanks to developers Sittman and Pitt. This primitive version of the slot machine consisted of five metal drums that were then filled with 50 playing cards. The cards would spin and present themselves much like the symbols we recognise today, however the aim would be to line up winning Poker hands in order gain that final jackpot prize.

However, there was one problem with the way these machines worked – they couldn’t pay out their own prizes. Instead, players would have to go up to the bar in order to claim their winnings – as this was where the majority of machines would be found. There was also no cash to be found, instead players would be given free drinks, cigars or sweets to congratulate their winning hand.

The next step in the Slots evolution came at the hands of Charles Fey, who went on to create the first machine that could pay out its own prizes. In order to make this possible, Fey had to simplify the mechanisms, switching the five drums into just three reels. Gone were the playing cards, and in came the symbols – some of which we still see today. At this time, there was just five symbols to look out for, including: hearts, diamonds, spades, horseshoes and a liberty bell. The latter symbol was the highest-paying on this machine, therefore influencing the name of the machine – The Liberty Bell.

The following revelation for the world of Slots came in 1907, when the Chicago-based manufacturer Herbert Mills came out with his very own version of the slot machine. He called this machine The Operator Bell and it worked a lot like previous versions, however due to changes in laws, cash pay-outs were eliminated once more. The mechanisms stayed in place, but instead of cold, hard cash, the players were now being rewarded with sweets that matched the fruity symbols that had led to their win.

Finally, in 1963, things went electromechanical. Thanks to Bally generating a new wave of software, slot machines continued to progress and began to take the shape that we have begun to recognise today.

Moving online, the main piece of tech involved in ensuring these games run smoothly is the Random Number Generator (RNG). As the name suggests, this software continuously generates numbers at random, which then go on to influence the outcome of the gaming machine. This ensures that the game is fair and unbiased.

Any reputable online gaming sites are also required to have a license that allows them to operate legally, and under regulation. This is also another way to keep things fair. Unless you find an RNG being signposted on your chosen site, we recommend steering clear as their games’ fairness cannot be guaranteed.

Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly.

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