Revealed – how slot machines really work

Revealed – how slot machines really work

Slot machines have been a popular pastime for many years, with a variety of games standing proudly in the likes of pubs, bars, and even once-upon-a-time – post offices. In the modern day, slot games make up for over 70% of what’s available to play at an online casino site, with even more games than ever before spinning onto our devices. 

At any online Slots website, you’ll find a range of games featuring bright animations, retro designs, bonus features and unique mechanics, all waiting for you to explore at any time you’d like, anywhere you have internet access. 

But how do slot machines really work, both online and offline? Read on to find out more. 


Both online and land-based slot machines are kept fair and fun thanks to the use of a trusty Random Number Generator (RNG). An RNG is computer software that creates unpredictable combinations of numbers, each second. This means that the very second you press spin is the same second that the outcome is decided. 

RNGs don’t have any memory, so it doesn’t matter how many wins have or haven’t occurred in the past, the number generation remains completely random. 

This is a similar concept to an Automatic Card Shuffler (ACS) that you’d find in land-based casinos, so you can rest assured that this game of chance always remains just that. 


When it comes to themed games or games with special features, it’s the RNG that kicks into action and creates combinations based on the themed symbols in the game. 

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This is essentially why there are so many different types of slot machines, as they all fundamentally work the same, but with different mechanics that trigger a range of features, each represented by individual symbols, helping gameplay remain unique and exciting. 

How to find the best slot for you

Finding the best slot game for you can be tricky – it ultimately comes down to the kind of theme that takes your fancy, as well as considering the game’s Return to Player Rate (RTP) and volatility. 

The RTP is usually represented by a percentage and refers to the prizes that will be returned to a player, on average, depending on the funds that have been initially deposited in the game. 

And, if a game is highly volatile, or has high volatility/variance, it means it generally pays out large sums, but this is rare. If a game has low volatility or variance, it is due to pay out more frequently, but with smaller sums. 

That’s all there is to it. Although the mechanics and state-of-the-art technology might seem complex, the inner workings really are a lot more straightforward when you know how. 

And perhaps just as efficient as the machines were in the past – before technology played any part and a lever was used to pull a spring which made the reels spin. But, it’s thanks to technology that modern-day themes and bonus features could be spun into play. 

Will you be trying your chances and seeing if you can reel in a winning combination on an online slot anytime soon?

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