First of all I'd like
to clarify that online casino slots machines are not "fixed"
- when you press the spin button a random number is generated
that decides where the reels will stop. This means each press
has an equal chance of winning - if the machine has just payed
out the odds of it doing so again are just the same as if it hasn't
paid out for ages - its purely chance. This doesn't mean that
the odds of the reels stopping on the jackpot are the same as
getting 3 cherries they're obviously not and the odds are calculated
so that over time the casino will win but slots are still your
best chance of winning big at an online casino.
This number is generated
by the Random Number Generator (RNG) this normal uses the time
of the button press to generate a random number. The random number
corresponds to a position on the Virtual Reel Table.
Most physical slots
machines and there online counterparts have 22 stops - this means
there are 22 positions in which the reel can stop. So there are
22x22x22=10648 possible combinations. If each wheel has 1 jackpot
symbol the odds of getting the jackpot would be 1 in 10648. Because
casinos wanted to give jackpots bigger than 10000 x they had to
come up with a new system or else make the reels bigger and bigger
or add more reels to create more possible combinations. This is
known to affect players as when you have bigger or more reels
the chance of winning apppears greater to the player and so they
are played less. And so the Virtual Reel Table was created, it
allowed slot machine makers to give large jackpot on machines
of a small physical size with only a small number of positions
on 3 wheels. Because the reels of an online slot machine can have
as many positons as need you don't really need to use a virtual
reel table you can just have the number of positions on the reel
that you need. But many do use still use the virtual reel table
as they hope users will know notice that the number of reels positions
are small. The method for calculating the exact weighting of each
win as well as the overall payout percentage using the Pay Table
is the same regardless.
The virtual reel table
is used to assign a weigting to each position on the reel. This
determine the odds of the display reel stopping at that positon.
A virtual reel table can have any number of positions but it is
normally a power of 2 with 64 being the most common.
Consider this example.
We have a very small slot machine with only 5 physical stops on
each of the 3 reels. So there are 5x5x5 = 125 possible outcomes.
If we wanted to give $150 jackpot on this machine the casino would
allways lose because for roughly every 125 spins a jackpot would
come up paying out $150. So we use a virtual reel table to help
us. Each physical reel has 5 stops and each virtual reel has 64
stops. There are 64x64x64 = 262144 possible outcomes from the
virtual reels. Its important to remember that the physical reels
are only display devices.
Reel layout (all the same)
Reel 1 ranges
Reel 1 weighting
Reel 2 weighting
Reel 3 weighting
The RNG generates a
number between 1 and 64 for each of the 3 reels. This number is
mapped to a physical reel position using the table above. So a
value of 27 gives physical position 2 which is an orange, a value
of 12 would also give an orange.
weight virtual reel 1
weight virtual reel 2
weight virtual reel 3
The probability of
getting 3 cherries is (30/64) x (30/64) x (30/64) = 0.103 or 1
in every 9.7 spins. The chances of getting the Jackpot are only
1 in 32768. Notice that most of the payback come in the form of
low payouts as even though the jackpot is $2000 it occurs so rarely
it doesn't effect the payout as much as more regular small payouts.
When you are making
a slot machine you have to adjust the values in the virtual reel
tabel & paytable to give you the desired payout.
As you can see only
values of 63 or 64 from the RNG would give the physical position
5 - the jackpot. So even though the reel has 5 stops the jackpot
symbol will only come up every 32 spins for each reel. This behaves
exactly as big reel with 64 stops - its not really fixed, its
just a more convieniant way of organising the reels. The only
trouble is you don't know the real odds you are facing to win
as casinos tend to keep the pay tables secret. The payout for
each symbol gives you some idea of how likely each outcome is
but its no guarantee that's why you should only play the slots
at casinos recommended by GameDice. We go to great lengths to
establish which casinos have the best payouts and only recommend
The Hit or Win Frequency has to do with how often a slot machine
will return some number of coins back to the player. In our example
the hit frequency is about 1 in 6 (1 divided by the sum of all
the probabilities). Online casinos try and set the Hit Frequency
so that the player maintains an interest in continuing to play
the machine. Of course all slot machines can be setup with different
Hit Frequencies. But you should be able to get an idea by looking
at the paytable. If this contains a large number of different
winning combinations and a relatively small Jackpot then this
machine is likely to have a more frequent Hit Frequency than a
machine that has only a few winning combinations and a larger
How can I
use this knowledege to help my slot playing?
Well to be quite honest
because slots playing is fairly simple there's isn't a great to
learn. So by far the most important thing to do is to make sure
you are playing at the casinos with the best payouts. But there
are a few other things you should do and I'll discuss those now;
the maximum coins will normally increase the payout percentage
for the slot. For example if a machine has Jackpots of ; 1 coin
10000, 2 coins 20000, 3 coins 50000 then the payout percentage
will be slightly greater when you play the maximum coins so you
should try and do this.
2. When progressive
slots get to very high levels they can actually be exhibiting
a very high payout percetage perhaps even over 100% at that point.
In these situations the odds are likely to be much better than
you'd ever get in a national lottery. Check out the big progressive
slots such as Major millions etc at one of our recommended
casinos for slots.
3. Try and play each
machine for at least 10 spins before moving onto to another. Most
machines with low first first line payout will have a hit-frequency
of between 6-10 so try and play that many times to give yourself
a chance getting some kind of return from your money.
4. Don't play keep
playing until you get a win above a certain level. You can keep
pumping coins in never to get the win you are after. Start with
a certain amount of money - play that number of times then log
5. Quit when
you're ahead. If you've won some money make the most of it and
log out. If you keep playing then eventually the casino is likely
to get its money back.
6. Don't think that
it doesn't matter if you lose money that you've won as it not
your money. As soon as you win its your money and when you lose
you are losing money regardless of what you started with.
online slot machine misunderstandings
stop on the reel has an equal probability of stopping at that
As explained above this is not true some stops are far more likely
than others, depending on the virtual reel table.
machines are programmed to go through a cycle of payouts ?
This is not true. Every spin is random and independent of all
past spins. 2 Jackpot could come up one after the other although
the chances of this happening would be very high.
machines are programmed to pay out a particular percentage of
the money bet. So after a jackpot is hit the machine will tighten
up to get back in balance, and when a jackpot has not been hit
for a long time it is overdue and more likely to hit?
The machines are indeed programmed to payout a given percentage
but this is done through probability and the odds don't change
whether a Jackpot has been hit recently or not. Over time the
machine will tend towards the payout percentage but this doesn't
mean the machine will tighten up after a Jackpot.
are books and website telling me the "secrets of slots machines"
will they help me win?
No, absolute rubbish and a complete waste of time and money. By
far the best thing you can do is make you bet at the casinos and
machine with the best payouts.
it stops just next to the Jackpot then it was near miss and the
machine wants to pay out?
No, its tempting to think that, and the casinos know this which
is why they set up the slots with a high weighting for the positions
next to the jackpot. It might be only the next position to the
jackpot but the fact is this means nothing and more importantly
it wins you nothing.
I hope this
article was informative and helped dispell some of the common
mis-understandings people have about slot machines. Good luck
and most of all enjoy your playing, you should play for fun not
as a way to make money, that won't happen unless you are very
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