How Slots Work: Everything You Need to Know

How slots work

5 minutes

Posted by: Ivan

Slot games are one of the most popular casino games in the world, both online and in land-based venues. They’re easy to learn and very enjoyable to play.

But, due to the simplicity of slot gameplay, there are many misconceptions that these games are fixed or that you are set up to fail. This isn’t true in the slightest.

That said, slot machines operate in a unique way with which many players aren’t familiar. So to clear up this topic and help you understand the intricacies of how slots work, we’ve prepared a detailed page covering every critical component of every slot’s mechanism.

How Does a Slot Machine Work?

Back in the day, slot machines only had three reels with one payline and several symbols on each reel. If the three matching symbols line up, you get a payout according to the symbol's value.

Nowadays, most electronic and online slots have five reels with at least several dozen paylines.

Still, the principles of the game have remained unchanged since its early beginnings. This is because most games are controlled by several elements that make slots fair and unpredictable. Let’s take a close look at the key aspects of every slot:


While older mechanical slots used physical reels, nowadays, everything happens through computer technology and software.

Today’s modern slots, such as Jammin Jars free slot, employ RNG (Random Number Generator) technology.

This is either a software program or hardware device that generates billions of possible outcomes and combinations every second, even when nobody is playing the game.

The RNG ensures that neither the casino nor the players can fix the outcomes in their favor. The outcome of each spin is determined by randomly generated numbers, with each combination being completely independent of the previous spin’s outcome.

This also means that the game doesn’t work on any pattern or cyclical basis. You can never predict the outcome of a spin, no matter how long you observe the game.


The RTP (Return to Player) percentage is used to describe the percentage of your total wagers the slot pays back in the long run.

For example, if a slot game has an RTP of 98%, which is a very good percentage, it means that it will pay out $98 of your total $100 over an extended period.

The remaining $2 of every $100 the casino takes to ensure an ongoing profit in the game. This is what gamblers mean when they say that the house always has the edge.

When it comes to the RTP in slots, the terms “variance” and “volatility” also come into play. These two are similar but have some inherent differences.

Secrets of slot machines

Slot variance is more closely tied to the RTP and shows how much money you can expect in return. On the other hand, volatility is used to express how often the slot pays out.

For example, a high volatility slot pays more significant amounts of money but less frequently. With low volatility slots, it’s the opposite.

Payouts and Odds of Winning

The potential payouts and odds of winning primarily depend on the slot game you’re playing. Payouts, in particular, are affected by how many reels and paylines there are and how many credits you wager.

Odds measure how much value the bet pays off depending on its chances of landing.

That said, regardless of which slot machine you decide to play, always remember that the odds will always be at least a few percentages in the house’s favor.

This is crucial to remember as, in the long run, most slot players end up losing more money than they win. Only a small number of players remain profitable through sheer luck.

Slot Myths That Aren’t Real

There are many theories floating around regarding the way slot machines operate. Some of these have become prevalent among slot players. So much so, in fact, that many players believe them to be true.

That said, when you know how slots work, you understand that these myths simply aren’t tangible and real. Here are some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to how slots work:

Slots Are Programmed for Streaks

A surprisingly big number of slots players think that these games are programmed to have hot and cold streaks.

While they can go in either direction, slots aren’t programmed to be hot or cold. As we previously discussed, all outcomes are entirely random.

Popular slots myths

Don’t Play the Same Machine After Someone Wins Big

Many players believe that if a machine just paid out a big jackpot, it won’t pay out again for a significant amount of time. But, again, this has no base in reality, as a new spin is not connected to the previous one in any way.

Playing Longer Gives You Best Winning Chances

This is a classic misconception that makes players push through for long sessions that end up losing them more money than they planned to bet.

A slot machine is never due for a win, no matter how long you play. That’s why you should play for as long as you enjoy the game and never regret walking away from a session.

There Are No Strategies to Improve Your Winning Chances

These machines may be predominately luck-based games, but there are specific tactics you can employ to give yourself the best chances of winning at slots.

While you can’t affect gameplay in any way, you can consciously choose slots that offer the highest payout rates or take advantage of different casino bonuses to obtain the best value for your money.

How Slots Work – Don’t Fall For Common Misconceptions

There’s a lot of nonsense floating around in the gambling community regarding how slots work, whether they’re fixed, and many other conspiracy theories.

You should never let yourself get swayed with any of this information and only base your choices on credible and proven facts.

With the details you’ve learned on this page, you now know more than most slot players and can make smart and informed bets recognizing how these games operate.

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