Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Slot Machines Inside Out

Crank and bank baby. That's one of the many slogans that you'll hear echoed throughout casinos in Vegas. Slot players tend to be a weird bunch. My favorite are the little old ladies that wear the "slot glove" on one hand, AKA Michael Jackson.

Okay, let's put aside the silly things we all do and get down to brass tacks. This article is about how slot machines actually work. By understanding some basics, we can dispel common myths and nonsense and have much more fun-heck, we may even hit a mega jackpot.

Rip apart the slot machine and you'll find the "money component" known as the RNG, which stands for Random Number Generator. The job of this little baby is to basically sit back sipping on Margaritas while cranking out numbers nonstop. Every millisecond a new number is generated. That's some hard work.

When you pull the lucky handle or smack the money button to play, the number that was generated by the RNG that millisecond is passed and this becomes your outcome. That number tells the system what to do. At the precise moment you did one of those actions, your fate for that spin was sealed. Now, the slot machine simply needs to play it out for you-and that's where the suspense and fun comes in.

Right next to the RNG is the memory chip that logs how much you've won or lost-no, no, I'm just kidding. If you look for this memory chip, you'd be hunting until the cows come home. There's no memory chip. That's right folks. The slot machine doesn't know if you just walked up and put in a $1.25 or if you've been there on an eight-day bender. It only operates one spin at a time and from spin to spin.

The "honestly" in the game comes from mathematics. Casinos don't need to know if it's "your' time to win or if you've won too much. The mathematics guarantee an outcome. Slot cycles can go on for eons, so never, ever think you're all set to win. It's just not so. Technically, a slot machine could hit three mega jackpots in a row or go without one for days, weeks, months or years depending on play and such.

The cycle is actually hundreds of thousands of spins. I don't know about you, but I'm not playing on machine that much at once just to make sure I get my bars lined up. Slot machines are fun to play-especially the new ones-but just remember that they are random machines.

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