When you enter a casino, the first things you are likely to see are slot machines; lots of slot machines, as they are by far the most popular game in a casino. Originally, casino owners only installed slot machines as a way to keep the spouses of the table players busy, yet they quickly became a favorite. Now, the online slot machine found at an internet casino is becoming wildly popular as well, generating over 70% of the casino’s revenue.
A privately owned company called Microgaming was the first to manufacture “genuine” casino software; however, with the increased popularity of internet casinos and games, there are now over 150 companies that also provide different software and solutions. Of course, no two slot games are exactly the same. Even though they all have a slot for the coins, flashing lights and a handle, they are far from alike. Experts also tell us to be wary of those mail order systems that guarantee slot wins. Of course, if you are looking for a game that you do have a better chance of winning by using a “system,” then check out video poker that seems to work, at least part of the time, both in the traditional and virtual casinos.
It seems hard to believe that around 20 years ago the slot machine accounted for about 30% of a casino’s revenue and now, especially with the increase in popularity for the online slot machine, they are responsible for approximately 70% of the profit. The jackpots that are offered are becoming increasingly higher; close to life-altering amounts. Of course, as with any type of technology, there are misconceptions and myths that abound about online slots.
If someone hits a jackpot on a machine that you just left, then would you have gotten it if you had stayed? No, because they have a computer chip that runs the random number generator (RNG), which continuously cycles through numbers even when the slot games are not being played. In other words, in the amount of time it takes to get a sip of your drink, the RNG has already cycled through thousands of combinations, so it is doubtful that you would have stopped the machine at the exact nano-second that the winning player just did.
Some believe that you can predict the odds of winning when playing online slot machines by counting the symbols on each wheel. That is also false because the RNG generates a number for each spin and the number corresponds to the symbols on the reel. There may be literally hundreds of virtual stops on each wheel, even though you may only see a few symbols.
For example, if you see 20 symbols on each wheel of a three reel machine, then you figure 20 times 3 equals 8,000 combinations, so your chances of hitting the jackpot is one in 8,000. In reality, the casino software may program 256 stops for each wheel, which changes the odds to 256 times 3, equaling 16,777,216 combinations. Being able to generate millions of different combinations is one reason why slots can offer large payouts.
Another common myth is that the casino can change the online slot machine payout percentage simply by flipping a switch. The percentage is set by the manufacturer and if the casino wants it changed, then the chip itself has to be changed and approved by the casino commission, making it expensive and time consuming.