Learn the Basics of Slot Machines to Avoid Being Ripped Off by the House

From the earliest mechanical pull-to-play versions to today’s towering video screens and quirky themes, slot machines have become the most popular and profitable games in casinos. But before you start pulling those handles or pressing those buttons, learn about the mechanics of slot machines to avoid being ripped off by the house.

The most important thing to understand about slots is that the results of any spin are entirely random. There are countless possible combinations that could occur on each reel, and a computer program, called a random number generator, selects them at random each time you press the spin button. Only the combinations that match the pay table, or win, receive a payout.

Modern slot machines use microprocessors to generate thousands of different numbers every millisecond. When a player presses the spin button, the computer compares the sequence to the paytable to find out what symbols must line up to trigger a winning combination. Then, the reels spin repeatedly until the correct combination is displayed. A successful spin yields a payout that can be as high as the machine’s maximum jackpot.

Some players believe that a machine is “due” to pay out after a big jackpot, and they will try to play it until it pays out. But that’s a bad strategy for your bankroll. It’s much better to look for a machine that has recently paid out and is still showing its cashout amount alongside its credits.