How to work out the odds on the slots
02 March 2012
What are the odds?
When talking about gambling odds, you are usually talking about one of two things: either the odds of winning or losing, or the odds that a bet pays out. The difference between these two things is the house or player edge.
Modern slots do not work the way that the old-time mechanical slots worked. The reels that used to physically spin are now video screens, and the mechanical stops that chose winning symbols have been replaced by random number generators or RNGs.
The odds of hitting a specific symbol or group of symbols depend primarily on how the virtual reels are set up. In your average casino slot, there is only one stop for the jackpot image, so one chance to catch the top jackpot. So the chance of hitting the jackpot on one reel is 1 in 64, on three reels 1 in 643. Machines with a bigger jackpot can have more stops, sometimes many more, greatly decreasing the odds of winning.
Things get even more interesting when the random number generator is programmed to cause symbols to come up regardless of the number of symbols present. So, if the slot machine only has one cherry, the RNG can be programmed to have the cherry comes up once every 20 random spins.
When less-likely combinations can be programmed, it becomes less likely to hit the programmed combinations, so the casino can afford to pay out more money to the winner. On the old mechanical slot machines, the million dollar jackpots would have been impossible, but are simple to program into the random number generators of video slots.
Calculating the odds to win
Calculating the odds for old mechanical slot machines was a matter of simple math. The machines three reels each had 10 symbols on it. The odds of hitting a specific symbol would be one divided by the number of symbols. So the odds of hitting a particular symbol on a single reel would 1/10, or 9 to 1. Hitting 2 of the same symbol on a spin would be 1/10 x1/10 =1/100, or 99 to 1, hitting 3 on a spin would be 1/1000, or 999 to 1, and so forth.
Video slots have their odds built into the slot machine program housed on the machine’s computer chip. The casino usually cannot change the odds without replacing the whole chip. This is why the popular opinion that machines can be tightened up or loosened up is incorrect.
Slot machines come with varying numbers of reels and multiple pay lines. Players can frequently choose which play lines they would like to play on a multiple pay line machine. A minimum bet means you could play one line, but the more money you play, the more lines above, below and diagonal you can play. To be eligible for the biggest jackpots, experts advise that you always bet the maximum.
Author: J Bowman - J Bowman - I work hard and so want to play hard too and love discovering new hobbies and interests. This year already I have tried my hand at indoor dry skiing although I couldn’t master the standing up part! I tried zumba as well at my local gum and met some great people and come this Easter I’m going to visit my local casino for a new girls night out and hit the slots so fingers crossed we win a few bucks but whatever our luck we’ll have fun, I’m sure!
Tags: slot odds, slot maths,
Posted In: Slot Machines, Slot Mathematics,
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