How Are Slot Machines Really Made?


Slot machines are among the most popular gaming attractions in both land-based casinos and online casinos. Gamblers enjoy the opportunity to test their luck without much effort. But while playing slots takes very little effort, the machines themselves are far from simple.

Slot machines are technological gadgets that utilize advanced software to provide millions of people with minutes to hours of entertainment. But how are they really made?

A Look Inside A Slot Machine

Before you can begin to understand how a slot machine works, it’s helpful to gain a bit of insight into the many parts that work together inside one.


In a typical slot machine, there are 3-5 reels. Classic slot machines used metal hoops as the reels, but modern video slot machines use virtual reels.

Play Button

The play button on a slot machine allows a player to determine the number of lines they want to play with, as well as how much money to bet for each line.


Symbols are the pictures/characters on the reels that add entertainment to the game. They are also used to show players if they won once the reels stop.


Paylines are made up of all the possible winning combinations on the reels. A typical slot machine has 25-50 different paylines. More reels mean more paylines. A game’s pay lines can be found at the game’s paytable.


Every slot machine and slot game has a paytable that displays the rules and features of the game, as well as the value of each symbol and the different paylines.

Random Number Generator

A random number generator is a software that randomly chooses which symbols will show up on the reels. You can read more about random number generators below.

What Is A Random Number Generator?

One of the big draws of slot machines is the excitement that comes with an unexpected result. Online casinos like those found on Zamsino.com/ca as well as the internationally known Las Vegas land-based casinos utilize random number generators to keep the game both fair and exciting.

One major aspect of a slot machine and slot games is a random number generator (RNG). A random number generator is a super complex software program that ensures every spin creates a result that is entirely independent of the spin before it, by randomizing all outcomes. Basically, the RNG ensures the results of the game are completely random and cannot be influenced in any way.

The world’s top technology and software companies dedicated years to simulating randomness in a man-made creation. They were challenged with the task of designing a software that ensures fair gameplay, and came up with the RNG, which is now built into all licensed and regulated slot machines.

How Does A Slot Machine Work?

When slot machines were first created, the outcome of the players spin was determined by the movement of the reels. But with advancements in technology, slot machines are able to look, feel, and sound the same as the originals, but operate a bit differently. Now, a computer side the machine uses step motors to rotate the reels.

The entire process, in a typical three-reel slot machine looks like this: You pull the handle or push the play button and the computer records the next three numbers from the RNG. The first number determines how the first reel will land, the second number is for the second reel, and the third number is for the third wheel.

In recent years, the computer systems built into slot machines have made them connected. Newer machines no longer require the player to insert a coin before every spin. Now, players can bet using money right from their credit account, which makes it easier for them to know and monitor their wins and losses.

Slot Machine Odds & Payouts

The odds for a slot machine are built into the program installed on the computer chip located inside a slot machine. That program is carefully and specifically designed to attain a set payback percentage. A payback percentage is the predetermined percentage of money that is paid out to the player.

In the majority of gambling jurisdictions, it is required by law to have payback percentages that aren’t any lower than a given percentage (often 75 percent). In most casinos, online and land-based, slot machines and games have a payback percentage that is a lot higher than the minimum. You can usually expect the payback to be around 90 to 97 percent. Casinos recognize that if their payback percentages are too low, players will simply go elsewhere.

While the random number generator ensures players have a fair chance of winning every time they play the game, players are typically only eligible for the maximum jackpot when they place the maximum bet. It’s for that reason that gambling experts recommend always betting the maximum.

How To Win At Slots

Even though slot machines are designed to ensure the results are entirely random, there are a few strategies you can utilize to better your chances of winning.

Stick To Games With A Fixed Maximum Payout

It will always be more profitable to stick to slot machines that have a fixed minimum payout, instead of progressive games.

Look For Smaller Jackpots

To increase your chances of winning, select the games with the smaller jackpots. The smaller the jackpot, the easier it is to win.

Play Within Your Bankroll

When you play slots, you should expect to lose some money. Sometimes you will win, you may even win big, but always expect to lose. That sounds a bit harsh, but it’s the right mindset to have to avoid betting money you can’t afford to lose.

If you see things starting to go south, you should consider lowering your bet or walking away all-together before you make a financial decision you will come to regret.