How Do Slot Machines Work - galabingo

How Do Slot Machines Work

If you've never played slots before, it may look all a little bit confusing. With lots of spinning reels, bright lights and sound effects, slot games may seem all somewhat mysterious.

However, slots are straightforward to play, and even if you've never set foot in a casino before, you can start playing within a matter of minutes. There are no complicated rules, and the game takes care of checking for wins, so you never need to worry about missing out.

Slot machines have come a long way since the old-fashioned fruit slots, and now there's an enormous variety available to play. But no matter which style of game you choose, the basics of slot machines are still the same.

We’re going to show you just how simple the concept is with our guide explaining how do slot machines work.

How Do Slots Work - galabingo

How do Slots Work: an Overview

There have been substantial changes to slots over the years, and if you'd asked the question "how do casino slots work?" half a century ago, you would have gotten a different answer.

This is because the original slot machines were based on a mechanical process of turning the reels and producing a winner. Players quickly cottoned on to how the mechanics worked and figured out a way to manipulate the result by using magnets.

Over time the mechanics of slots got more complex, in a head-to-head battle with the would-be scammers. Eventually, casinos came up with the one thing that couldn't be easily overcome: the random number generator.

Rather than relying on a physical mechanism, the process for spinning the reels was made digital. When you play online, this is exactly what you experience: a digitiser that works behind the scenes to ensure that every spin of the reels is genuinely random.

The RNG continuously generates numbers at breakneck speed, and there's no way of predicting what's going to land next. The sequence of numbers generated by the RNG determines the symbol that will be produced, creating a failsafe method of delivering a genuinely random result.

And this is an important concept to understand: every spin is truly random. Even if you haven't won on a particular set of reels for some time, you aren't "due" a win. There's no such thing in the world of slots; every time you spin the reels, you have the same chance of winning as the previous 100 times.

One word of caution: it's imperative that you're at a casino that is properly regulated and licensed. This ensures that the RNG is fairly operated and not rigged. The regulators are hot on making sure the RNG works as expected; unauthorised casinos could easily manipulate the results to prevent you from getting a big win. 

Understanding Volatility and RTP

It's not just the RNG that is fundamental to the question of how do slot machines work; volatility and RTP are also key components.

These two elements are different, but related, and should always be considered together.

The RTP - Return to Player - figure is expressed as a percentage and describes how much money you can expect to win on average. Because every casino has a house edge, the figure will be less than 100%, but the higher the RTP, the bigger the potential payout rate.

It's important to remember that the RTP is calculated as an average, which is worked out over a huge number of games. You may have a very different experience during your sessions, winning much more or less than the average RTP. Therefore, you should never take the RTP as a guarantee; it's just a valuable way of comparing one game to another to find those with a generous pay profile.

For reference, anything over 95% is pretty decent - but the really good slots will be at 96% or more.

The volatility tells you how frequently the slot pays out. If you have very infrequent, significant wins, the RTP may be high, but you'll need a big budget to wait for the next big prize to land. Conversely, you might be on a slot where there's a constant flow of prizes, but they're all relatively low, making it impossible to land the big money payouts.

Only by looking at the volatility and RTP together can you finally answer the question of how do slots work.

Of course, you'll find all types of online slots here at Gala Bingo! But before you dive in, why not check out some of our other guides, such as How To Win At Online Slots and Slots Tips And Tricks.