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Did you know that about 70% of the casinos’ income comes from slot machines? These are probably the most popular contemporary form of gambling, and as modern times brought new challenges, slot machines evolved, too.

Older models were mechanical as they used physical reels, but nowadays we have modern slots, equipped with complex microchips which make the winning combinations land on the reels in a random manner, using something called the Random Number Generator or RNG.

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slots_random_number_generator All the slot machines in all the casinos now operate by utilizing the RNG, a microchip that generates numbers all the time, even when nobody plays the machine. These numbers are created at a rate of several billion hundreds of times per second!

Be it a classic slot, a video slot, or perhaps a progressive slot, the generated numbers are what actually determines the position of the reels.

When you pull the lever or press the button, the machine actually displays the position of the latest numbers generated, as the random numbers correspond to positions on each of the machine’s reels.

The RNG is a microprocessor, the brains of the slot machine so to speak, and it is very important to understand that no matter what you do while playing, you can’t really affect any of the processes and the numbers generated in a random manner.

The hit frequency and the payout ratio are set and can’t be changed, no matter what!

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functions_of_the_rng For as long as the machine is turned on, the RNG will keep producing random numbers each and every millisecond, as that’s its major function. The values derived from the numbers get translated into different combinations of symbols on the machine’s reels.

The outcome of each spin is predetermined by the randomly generated numbers, so the machine is very accurate and impartial at the same time.

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It’s a number that shows how often a winning combination lands on the slot machine. The higher the hit frequency, the more often the game will render winning combos.

Even though it seems perfect in theory…

…keep in mind that slot machines that have a high hit frequency aren’t necessarily the best ones to play.

If we were to observe it all in a mathematical manner, your chances of hitting the jackpot while playing a slot machine are 27,000 to 1. Even though the winning combo gets generated relatively often, it all comes down to the fact that the probability of pressing the spin button at the precise moment when the jackpot combo is up is extremely low.

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what_is_payback_rate The payback rate is payback percentage of any slot machine. It commonly grows with the amount of money that’s been fed into the machine. Simple as that.

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It would be silly if all the slot machines were programmed to have the same payback rates and hit frequencies, so they are actually all different.

When we speak of slots that have a higher hit frequency, we usually refer to them as “loose”, but do remember that these machines don’t come with a high payback percentage.

On the other hand, we have machines with a low hit frequency, and we call these “tight” machines.


…you’ve guessed it right, they come with a payout rate that’s better than the one of the so-called loose machines.

When it comes to choosing a slot you want to play and applying some proper strategy, let’s just say that it makes so much more sense to play a tight machine than a loose one, because higher payback percentage certainly beats higher fit frequency.


Quite simply, if you’re playing at a licensed casino, then relevant gaming boards and test laboratories guarantee the randomness of all games. Every new machine is checked before it can hit the floor and audited on a regular basis throughout its entire operating life.

No. The RNG does not deal with money, it simply does not know the size of your bet. It only generates random numbers that appear on the reels as the combinations of different symbols.

Yes, casinos have such a possibility, of course, within the boundaries established by regulatory requirements of gaming commissions since every jurisdiction has its own standards for a minimum payback and the frequency of wins. Anyway, they do not do it often since it’s a complicated procedure accompanied by miles of red tape.

While the RNG always works in the same way and guarantees absolute randomness of every spin, the EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) chip inside the machine is in charge of determining payouts valued in money. By replacing the EPROM chip, a slot manager can change the theoretical return of the game, but, of course, not the randomness of the outcome.

Land-based slots are driven by Hardware Random Number Generator or HRNG, which can be described as some kind of external device connected to the casino server’s USB port.

On the other hand, the core of virtual one-armed bandits is Pseudorandom Number Generator or PRNG – a program code created by software developers, so complex mathematical algorithms “tell” reels when to stop.

Typically, both types of RNGs in slots are designed to be able to generateup to 4 billion numbers for every single spin. They always start with a so-called “seed number” used by the program to engender a new, random number, which in its turn becomes a seed to supply the complicated algorithm with more data for the endlessly repeating process.

No. Do not confuse randomness and equality. Even when some symbols (usually low-paying) show up more often than others, the results still can be random.

Yes, they are. Sometimes it is hard to believe but streaks, both winning and losing perfectly fit in the law of probability and come as an inevitable component of the game.

No. Although some slots strategies can contribute to a better and safer experience, they cannot influence on the house edge. Betting systems can be generally divided into two categories: positive and negative progression. The main difference between them lies in the moment of increasing stakes.

The truth is, none of them is able to affect the outcome of a game, regardless of whether it is a single spin or long series of spins. Once and again, sophisticated RNG is the only one that makes sure the result of every single spin of reels is random and absolutely independent from the previous rounds.

No. Many punters believe that casinos try to attract them by making the new releases “looser”. Well, in the eyes of players it could certainly be a nice way of promoting slots, but it is too far from being the truth.

Keep in mind, that payback percentage for the same game can vary from casino to casino as every playing house can decide between several options provided by slot makers.

Yes, your choice does matter!

The overwhelming desire to control our own destiny is in human nature, so the good news is your decisions affect the outcome. The RNG sets the possibilities but the final result (the size of your prize) is not predetermined and depends on your selections.

No. Even though numerous cabinets are linked in a progressive system, each machine works on its own and generates combinations independently. The moment RNG of one of them chooses the sequence that triggers the jackpot, the „lucky“ machine sends a message to the monitoring center, which then informs all other devices about the big hit.