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Unlocking the mechanics behind slot machines

Slot machines are a common feature in land-based casinos and arcades around the world, as well as online. They’re one of the most popular games on offer, with players choosing to spin the reels for more than a century.

All it takes is a pull of the lever, press of the button, or tap of the screen to play, but what about the mechanics behind that screen? Today we’re examining the mechanics that operate slot machines, so you know exactly what’s going on when you play games like Megaways Slots online.

Random number generation

The core mechanic at the heart of every slot is the element of random chance. Players never know what combination of symbols will appear on the reels when they initiate a spin.

What makes sure that the results of a slot machine are truly random is the random number generator (RNG). This computer program is responsible for producing a string of thousands upon thousands of numbers per second, which are entirely random and impossible to predict.

The RNG is what determines the result of a spin. At the exact moment a player activates the game, random number sequences are generated, with each number corresponding to the potential symbols on each of the reels.

No matter how the spin looks visually on the screen, its result is set the instant the play button is pressed or the lever is pulled. This is how the outcome of any given spin is kept fair and unpredictable, relying entirely on the random nature of the RNG.

The RNG has to undergo rigorous testing to ensure that it produces truly random results. All reputable casinos will use certified RNGs in their slot games, which are regularly audited to check that they are still functioning properly.

Return to player percentage

Something else that plays a big part in the function of a slot game is the return to player (RTP) percentage. This has less to do with the actual gameplay and more to do with the odds of players landing a winning combination on a spin.

The RTP percentage determines the rough portion of wagers that a given game will return to players over time. What this means is that a game with an RTP of 90% will theoretically pay out £90 for every £100 wagered.

The most important thing to remember about the RTP is that this is an average based on numerous gameplays, and does not guarantee any specific level of return to a player. Thanks to the role of the RNG in determining the outcome of a spin it’s impossible to calculate whether a matching combination will occur or not, no matter what any of the game’s previous results were.

Still, a game with a higher RTP rate will generally have better odds of a winning combination than a machine with a lower percentage.

Unlike the purely mechanical slot machines of old, modern slot games rely on advanced computer technology to deliver their results. This translates into a gameplay experience that is both fun and fairer for players.