Revealed – how slot machines really work

By Mitch Rice

Whether you’re new to casino gaming or familiar with the games of chance, there’s no doubt you’ve seen or heard of slot machines. Standing proudly in pubs, bars, arcades, and casinos, players have been wondering how the machines really work for hundreds of years.

As the mechanisms and inner workings have evolved over time, gameplay has stayed more-or-less the same, whether you play online Slots or spin the reels at a land-based establishment – with the addition of the odd multiplier and bonus round here and there. But either way, there’s always been the question as to whether the games are fair or fixed.

Read on to find out more.

Drums and levers

The origins of slot machines can be traced as far back as the 19th century, when a Poker machine could be found in many bars. The machine cost a nickel to play and consisted of five drums with 50 playing cards. The idea was to form Poker hands by pulling the lever, which stretched a spring and in turn spun the reels. Prizes weren’t paid out from the machine itself but from the bar or counter at the establishment in which the machine was found.

Electronic Slots

In 1964 the first fully electromechanical slot called Money Honey was released. The game still began by pulling a lever, but the reels were operated entirely by electricity. Money Honey was the first slot machine to have a bottomless hopper, meaning it could make automated payouts of up to 500 coins.

The first true video slot was developed in 1976, and it used a 19-inch Sony TV for the display. This slot machine became widely popular on the Las Vegas Strip, revolutionising the Slots industry. But the question remains: how did it work?

Well, electromechanical Slots were kept fair by the use of computer software known as a Random Number Generator (RNG). A RNG works by creating unpredictable sequences of numbers or outcomes every single second. It doesn’t matter what’s been generated previously as the computer has no memory, all that matters is the exact second you decide to spin the reels as to what random combination you’ll land. Clever, right?

Online casinos

So, when online casinos came about in 1996, slot games were one of the first to jump on board. With the advancements in technology, games were able to add more bonus rounds, multipliers, jackpots and special features. A wider variety of themed games became available, and gameplay in general, was taken to a whole new level.

When playing online casino Slots, it’s the trusty RNG you can rely on to ensure gameplay is fair and fun, and those reels are spinning out random outcomes to make the ultimate game of chance. With exciting graphics, the potential to trigger bonus rounds and higher payouts than ever, you never know what might happen when those reels are set in motion.

So, now you have an understanding of how slot machines evolved through time, how they worked in the past and have adapted to modern times, it’s clear that the games aren’t a fix. In fact, each trustworthy casino site has to be regulated in order to ensure safe and fair gameplay, so you can rest assured that this, combined with a RNG, makes Slots as exciting as ever!

Data and information are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended for investment, medical or other purposes.