What determines when a slot machine will pay out?

Return to Player (RTP) is the factor that decides how much the slot pays. There are dozens of different payment systems used in slot machines.

What determines when a slot machine will pay out?

Return to Player (RTP) is the factor that decides how much the slot pays. There are dozens of different payment systems used in slot machines. In one of the simplest designs, a canister is detected by measuring the depth of the notches in the discs that drive the reels. For simplicity, we will analyze this type of payment system in a basic slot machine.

The machine only accepts one type of currency and there is only one winning combination of images. The random number generator program scrolls through these numbers at a speed of thousands of times per second. When you pull the lever or press the spin button, the machine shows the symbols and pays based on the number on which it stopped. Therefore, at their high level, slot machines are controlled by gambling regulators by imposing legal requirements for payback percentages.

However, sometimes, these state-specific gaming regulators don't set limits on paybacks. In other words, they have deliberately chosen not to set legal limits. Standalone slot machines are the most commonly found in older casinos, but technically they are slot machines that include within their cabinets the ability to set and provide odds of winning with a random number generator. However, when the odds are changed hourly or set above 100% for promotional purposes, then there are better times to play a slot machine, and all that slot enthusiasts need to do is figure out when is the best time to win more and potentially get some level of benefit.

The slot machine is alarmed, so any manipulation without official access (employee card key, entry code, physical key) is necessary even to open the door of a slot machine. They created and trained a workforce of slot mechanics to adjust the odds of winning on their new slot machines to meet desired performance metrics. Slot enthusiasts loved being able to choose how many credits to bet, as well as playing on a slot machine with more than one payline. This post on how to tell if a slot machine is about to arrive reveals the truth about winning at slots by observing when games should win.

So, within this general context, who controls the odds of slot machines? At a high level, gambling regulators determine the legal limits, if any, for the performance of payouts on slot machines. Slot machines don't keep track of time, so the notion of the best time to play slot machines for higher payouts is an urban legend. Physical slot machines may look and sound a little different from the games you play at online casinos, but in reality, they are quite similar in how they work under the hood. With wired connections from slot machines to a mainframe, the reduced cost of a smaller workforce of slot mechanics, a much faster adjustment of casino performance metrics to daily or even hourly updates, and happier customers due to the efficient execution of events, the question remains.

Going further, these regular reports can break down these actual payout returns by casino, table games, slot machines, gaming machines, by the denomination of slot machines within a specific casino, or even if the machine has a progressive jackpot. Traditional roller slot machines are controlled on site with a central computer, while video lottery terminals, which externally look exactly like video slot machines, are controlled off-site by the central computer systems of the state lottery. In the case of slot machines, which is the only game offered by the casino that interests me, they have broken the constant long-term randomness of the odds of winning on a slot machine. Some online slot games have certified payback percentage information posted on Internet casino sites.


Shawna Atwill
Shawna Atwill

Lifelong beeraholic. Proud travel junkie. Freelance pop culture geek. Wannabe food buff. Infuriatingly humble zombie advocate.

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