There was a time when slots were easy to understand. They were made of three reels and a lever. If the roll results in three images, mostly fruits, lining up together, you hit a jackpot.
Today, mechanical slots are a rarity. They are mostly displayed but not played. Most online casinos, including ones like Cashpot Casino, use special software that functions as a fruit machine. The game has also evolved into several forms. Today you can play on a 5-reel or 7-reel machine and take your chances against hundreds of thousands of possible combinations.
But how are slots made and what happens inside those machines?
A Brief History
The first slot machine was made in 1891. It was comprised of five drums that had a total of 50 card faces. The winning combination was based on poker. You pull a lever and the drums roll. Then you have to wait for all the drums to stop.
The result of each drum is a card face. And if the five card faces from the five drums are combined, you determine the best poker hand you can make out of it. Each poker hand merits a reward.
The awards were not in the form of cash since there was no payout mechanism invented yet at that time. The winners were rewarded with free beer or cigar. These machines were mainly found in pubs.
Because of the many possibilities of five drums and 50 card faces, it was nearly impossible to create a payout. Due to this, the three-reel slot machine was born. The first one ever made had three drums and five symbols. This design made it easier to determine a winning combination.
Fast forward later, these machines have kept up with technology. Online casinos exploded over the last ten years. And the easiest one to play is slot machines. It does not require any special skill as the results are based purely on luck. Despite this, many people are still superstitious about it and have spread myths about winning.
The Concept of Random Outcome
The old slot machines, if not rigged, generated outcomes based on the randomness of the spin. The drums roll and nature will take care of the results.
Today, these machines run on computer programs. These programs run on the same concept as the mechanical slot. This is called the concept of randomness. And aptly enough, the computer software that runs the modern slot machine is called a Random Number Generator, commonly referred to as RNG.
This software is made with highly complex programs. Its job is to ensure that the outcome of a spin is completely independent of the previous spins.
A Look at How RNG Works
Since the RNG is man-made, how can it be random? It is difficult to dispel the doubts of patrons. Nevertheless, all casinos use RNG because this is an industry standard that went through multiple reviews by gambling authorities.
It is important that the software does not have a memory. This means that the computer machine does not know if the previous spin won or lost. And because it has no memory, it cannot analyse anything. It cannot determine if you won just once or several times. It does not know if you won the jackpot or not.
Suffice it to say that the RNG was programmed like a person who has both long-term and short-term memory loss. The results of your spins have nothing to do with something that consciously decides the outcome.
So why numbers and not pictures? It is because computer language is made of numbers. These are binary combinations that represent anything you see on your screen.
When you press the spin button, the RNG randomly determines a number for each reel. If there are five faces for each reel in a three-reel slot, the RNG assigns a number for the first reel, the second, and the third reel.
If the first reel was assigned a number 4, the fourth face will show up. The same concept applies to the second and third reels. The same rule governs unusual machines that have multiple winning lines.
The Slot Machine and the Sum of Its Parts
The old machines were made of drums and gears. Today, electronic machines are made of video graphics, animations, and the RNG program all incorporated together. If you go to a physical casino, the entire body of the slot machine may look huge. But the inside of that is not made of gears.
Inside of that body is a monitor, a compartment for the coins, and the computer program. The computer program is made of nothing more than a motherboard with microchips. A series of wires connect this motherboard to the screen and the controls. Another series of wires connect this motherboard to the payout mechanism, provided that the machine pays out in real cash. If the machine pays out to your casino card, then the machine does not need a space for coins.