Slot machines have been around since the 1800s, and were originally installed in casinos and saloons for use by those without enough gambling knowledge to tackle the craps, blackjack, or daunting poker tables.
Nowadays, slot machines are still in use the world over, although online slots, or virtual slots, are proving to be an ever-growing internet hit.
Here are a few bits of information for well informed gambling:
In first production, slot machines contained a series of drums, which rotated around a main cog at varying speeds. The drums would slow down until eventually come to a halt, and winnings were determined by the 'payline'.
This payline is still in use today but has been converted to video reels, and has increased from a single horizontal line, to a series of multiple horizontal and diagonal lines which provide various combinations of betting tactics and payoffs.
Modern paylines are able to produce over 50 combinations of results from a single spin.
A pay table shows the player what the winning combinations are, how much their bet will garner, and the hierarchy of the hands. Traditionally, the pay table would be printed onto the face of the machine for easy reference. These days the pay table is generally available at the push of a button, especially on online or computerized slots.
Random Number Generator
Today's modern slot machines select the next combination with the use of a random number generator. The number generator runs whether the game is in use or not, and generates thousands of variations every few seconds.
Near Miss Programming
You may have heard some people referring to a machine as 'hot' or 'spending', by this they mean that the player on the machine is on a winning streak. Although payouts do fluctuate, the random number generator keeps the machine from either paying out too frequently, or not paying out at all.
Near miss programming is the process of calculating a series of low-winning combinations, and then running them at a certain time. For instance, the player may be on an upward streak and hit one number short of the jackpot prize. The player may also hit a high-winning combination, but only while betting the minimum credit.
Even though the programming in the modern slot machines can be edited and manipulated, there are laws in most countries to keep casino owners from short changing the unsuspecting player. The payouts must be within certain parameters depending on the government. For example, New Jersey has a legal limit of 83% while Nevada has a better percentage for players at 75%. These figures are usually between 82 and 98%.
These percentages can not be altered to suit the casino's busier or quitter times.
Representations how many credits the player has available in the machine.
The lights and alerts which resonate during a winning spin is called a Rollup. It was originally used while the machine counted out the money to release, but as today's machines are quicker Rollups are kept purely for tradition sake.
Tilt alerts were built into slot machines to deter players from vandalizing machines in order to either win the roll or gain access to the money storage. The tilt system is still in use by a lot of coin operated machines such as pinball machines and vending machines.
The casino's in house brand of slot machines, or casino branded slot machines.
Higher and Lower Denomination Machines
Most casinos, physical or online, will have different types of machines. Not only are these differentiated by the machine themes, but the game style, pay table and the minimum credit.
It is known that higher denomination machines do have a higher payout percentage than lower denomination machines, but one needs to take into account the rate at which one gambles; both time wise and financially.
Online Slots and Casinos
One can find slot machines, not only in casinos, but everywhere from corner pubs to airports all over the world.
Online casinos are becoming the new way to play the odds. Most online casinos offer free rooms, or training rooms, for newcomers. Why not try your hand at some free online slots and get into the swing of things before venturing into real thing.