Slot games are becoming more and more advanced thanks to ground-breaking designs, interactive bonus features, and superior graphics and animations. Software providers are continuously pushing the boundaries of technology to provide the ultimate gaming experience for Irish players.
However, beneath the charming and captivating exterior, there are hidden mechanics that greatly affect your chances of winning. Despite these mechanics, we still try our luck on a variety of slots, hoping that we eventually trigger a substantial win.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at the mechanics behind slots followed by why we tend to lose on these popular casino games. We will also look at how much slots pay back over the long term and why we tend to keep on playing slots even when we experience a losing streak.
The Random Number Generator – It’s All About Chance
Slots do not have any memory. They are not aware of how much you previously lost or won and, therefore, this cannot alter the outcome of a spin or gaming session. Every spin you initiate will have a unique outcome and it will always be decided at random. This is guaranteed by the addition of a Random Number Generator which is embedded in all slots, regardless of whether you play online or at a land-based casino.
For instance, let’s say you roll a dice. The chances of rolling a specific number are 1 in 6 each time you roll the dice, regardless of what was rolled previously. Slots function in much the same way. However, the numbers on a dice have been replaced by symbols and the roll of the dice has been replaced by a “Spin” button.
Instead of only having 6 numbers, though, you will find that slots come equipped with thousands of different outcomes and numbers.
You will also come to find that the probability for every outcome on a slot is never the same. This is because a slot features a Hit Frequency. The Hit Frequency is essentially a value that has been set to determine the probability of a specific outcome occurring on a spin. Let’s return to our dice and imagine that 6 is the highest paying symbol, while 1 is considered the lowest paying symbol in a slot.
Instead of having a 1 in 6 chance of each number being rolled, we reprogram the dice so that 6 is rolled half as often as the other numbers (1/12), while 1 is rolled twice as often as the other numbers (1/3). When we roll the dice now, the outcome will still be completely random. However, the probability of rolling a 1 is now twice as high as rolling a 2, 3, 4, or 5 and four times higher than rolling a 6.
You could even do your own experiment by creating your very own slot machine. Let’s call our slot “The Green Machine” and keep things very simplistic by only adding five symbols to the reels, including dollar bills, platinum bars, gold bars, silver bars and bronze bars.
|Five Dollar Bills||2500||0.001%|
|Five Platinum Bars||1000||0.015%|
|Five Gold Bars||400||0.05%|
|Five Silver Bars||50||0.5%|
|Five Bronze Bars||5||7%|
As you will notice from the table above, “The Green Machine” slot has a Hit Frequency (Probability) of 0.001% (1/100,000) to hit a winning combination that consists of five of the highest paying symbols (Dollar Bills), while the Hit Frequency (Probability) of getting any winning combination that consists of five of the same symbols overall is around 7.566% (1/13).
This is a great example of how a real slot machine will function in the background. However, it’s worth mentioning that slots will come with various hit frequencies and payouts. In fact, it’s rather common for slots to have a 40% hit frequency on any winning combination with any symbols.