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Slot Machines: What's a Random Number Generator?
by Wilson of

In the old days of the slot machine world it was a common thought that odds on a machine had to do with the amount of symbols on each reel. However, in today’s technologically improved modern slot machines it is no longer the case. Before, when slot machines were operated by mechanical devices, reels, and levers the players would assume that their odds were totally dependant on the reel and symbols. Now, slot machines are all computer driven.

RNG stands for random, number generator which is actually a microchip that acts as the nucleus of the slot machine. This microchip is the single most important part of today’s slot machines and video poker machines. Why? The random number generator is responsible for every result after a player pushes the button or, (if the casino still has some) pulls the lever.


A computer programmer at the factory programs the RNG or assigns it certain combinations for every situation that may occur on the reels. The RNG reacts immediately after the first coin is dropped into the slot machine. It doesn’t matter if you are playing three coins for one spin, the RNG will stay the on the same programmed combination until that spin is finished. The programmer has assigned numbers for all combinations and the RNG even searches for numbers when no one is playing the game.

Slot machine combinations are based on the number of reels and the number of symbols on the reels. For example, if a slot machine has three reels with twenty symbols on each reel the possible amount of combinations would be 8,000. Now, eight thousand different combinations sounds like a lot but in the world of slot machines it’s actually pretty good odds. If you were playing a slot machine with four reels which had thirty symbols for each reel then you’re odds would be significantly higher.

How do you know which machines have the least amount of combinations? Well, you will not know how many symbols are on each reel but you can clearly see how many reels are on the machine. However, some slot machine reels have as many as one hundred or more symbols on each reel. Obviously the more reels or more payout lines there are on a machine the higher your odds are to hit the big jackpot.

When you are looking for that “winning” machine remember to look for the number of reels, if the machine has three reels you will have better odds. Don’t get roped into playing machines because of the glitter and outrageous prizes. The best machines will be the ones placed away from all the hoopla and glitter, and chances are they will have three reels without a progressive jackpot.

So, the next time you walk into the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas, keep walking by the gigantic $1 slot machine with four reels and go find that three reeled bandit who is holding all of the loot! Luck to ya.

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