Slot machines are among the most popular contemporary form of gambling. About 70% of the casinos’ income is generated exactly by slots. Slot machines have a history that is more than 100 years long and have seen many changes. And while the very basics of the machines, as well as the game’s objectives remain unchanged, the technology that drives the machine has greatly advanced due to the Random Number Generator.
While the old models were purely mechanical and worked using physical reels, which were spun after pulling the handle. The modern slot machines are equipped with a complex microchip which runs the machine and makes the winning combinations land on the reels.
What Is the Random Number Generator (RNG)?
Currently, all slot machines operate under a Random Number Generator (RNG). As mentioned above, the RNG is a microchip that constantly generates numbers, even when the machine is not played at. Normally, numbers are generated by the RNG between 1 and several billion hundreds of times per second.
These numbers are used to determine the reels’ position. What really happens is that the player presses the button or pulls the handle only to make the machine display the position of the latest numbers generated. The random numbers generated correspond to positions on each of the machine’s reels. It is important for players to know that they are not really initiating anything to happen, because the outcome has already been predetermined by the RNG.
All this is the reason why that the RNG is considered as the brains of the slot machine. The RNG is actually a microprocessor, which is quite similar to the one running in the home computers. A special program is processed on the machine in order to generate the numbers at a particular moment.
This basically means that both the payout ratio and the hit frequency have been already set and are to be active for a long term. Practically, the machine can go running for days without a winning combination generated, or a hit may be made within a short time. The play speed is not relevant to improving the player’s chances for winning or generating larger wins.
Functions of the RNG
The RNG is perpetually moving. As long as the machine is running, the RNG will continue to select random numbers every millisecond. Generating these numbers is the major function of the RNG. The numbers’ value is translated into a specific set of numbers in order to make them correspond to the symbols shown on the machine’s reels.
Every spin’s outcome is predetermined by the number generated by the RNG, which is chosen once the player pushed the spin button or pulls the handle.
The generator’s functions are carried out through a special algorithm – a series of instructions used when generating the numbers. This is what makes the machine impartial, and what guarantees for its accuracy.
What is Hit Frequency?
The Hit Frequency is the number that comes to show how often a winning combination will be landed by the machine. Normally, the higher the number, the larger the hit frequency. In other words, the game is to land a winning combination more often, if the hit frequency of the RNG is bigger.
Players must be aware of the fact that slot machine games that feature high hit frequency are not always the best ones to play.
Purely mathematically speaking, the chances of the player hitting the slot game’s jackpot are 27,000 to 1. Considering the fact that the numbers are generated by the RNG quite rapidly, the winning combination is also being generated relatively often. Still, low is the probability of the player pressing the spin button at the precise moment when the jackpot winning combination is landed.
What is Payback Rate?
The payback rate is the percentage figure, which shows the actual payback percentage of the machine. On average, the slot machine will pay back a certain percent of all money that has been played in it. Normally, the larger the amount of money, the larger the payback rate.
How Do the Latter Two Interact?
Different slot machines are programmed to have various payback ratios and hit frequencies. This means that machines with higher and lower hit frequencies exist. The machines that feature higher hit frequencies are called “loose” machines, because they are considered more “generous” than others. However, the payback percentage of this type of machines is not very large, which is normal, considering the fact that payouts are generated more often.
The machines featuring lower hit frequencies are called “tight” machines. However, their payout ratio is usually better than the one of the loose machines.
When it comes to choosing what machine to play, slot players need to have in mind that it makes much more sense to play a tight machine that has lower hit frequency and a higher payback percentage than a loose machine that features higher hit frequency and lower payback percentage.