While the slot machines of today have been
developed in the image and style of the original machine prototype, they
function via an entirely different system. Nowadays, the resulting
symbol combinations are dictated by a computer chip inside the slot
itself, rather than by the activity of the spinning reels.
Predetermined stopping points controlled by
the computer chip are used to stop each reel, which in turn, are
regulated by small, digitized bursts of electricity. Not like the
currents of electricity which operate standard electric devices, the
controlled bursts generated by the step motors are able to halt the
spinning reels at exactly the right pre-appointed position.
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Although this sounds like pre-programming,
which it is, the pre-programming that involves the payout percentage of
a machine is determined by another device - the random number generator
(RNG). With the RNG in place, each spin of the reels has an equal
chance of striking a big win.
With the RNG engaged, hundreds of numbers
ranging from one to several billion are being generated each second.
The number that is generated the exact millisecond a player presses the
spin button or pulls the slot arm is the same number that will then be
processed into a program that syncs the number with where the particular
stopping point will be for each reel.
This is how the operations of
a 3-reel slot machine take place.
You pull the handle or
press the button, and the computer records the next three numbers from
the random number generator. The first number is used to determine the
position of the first reel, the second number is used for the second
reel and the third number is used for the third reel. For this example,
let's say the first number is 123,456,789.
The player begins by pushing the spin
button or pulling the handle of the machine, at which time the computer
chip will record the very next three numbers that were generated by the
RNG. Each number corresponds to one of the reels (3 numbers for 3
reels), which are then processed into a simple calculation that will
ultimately create a number that tells the reels where to stop. Let
us say the first number corresponding to the first reel is 333.
The calculation that is used next involves
dividing the RNG generated number by multiplied values of 32, up to a
value of 512. Since each machine is programmed differently, for
the above example we shall say the computer chip uses the value of 32.
After running this particular calculation,
we get 14 with a remainder of 2. The remainder is an important
consideration for it shows there are only 32 possible end results of
this calculation (it cannot be larger than 32 or smaller than 0).
The computer then maps the 32 possible values out as stops on a
computerized reel of 32 stops.
These computerized stops each correspond to
the actual stops on the reel (they tell the reels which stop to cease
spinning). Since there are less actual stops on a reel than the 32
stops on the computerized reel, some of the actual stops will correspond
to more than one of the computerized stops. And when you add all three
reels together, the possibilities are exponential.
This mode of operation is a great advantage
to modern day slot machines. The computer system is responsible
for governing whether a machine is going to be loose or tight, and just
how much money it pays out over the long run. Not only is less
oversight required, the outcome will always be mathematically presice.