What Is a Slot Machine?


A slot is a machine with a series of reels that spin and stop to rearrange symbols. If a player lines up matching symbols, they earn credits. Depending on the type of machine, they can win a jackpot or other prizes.

How It Works

Modern slot machines are computer driven. You activate the play by pulling a lever or pushing a button (either physical or on a touchscreen).

When the machine is in play, it uses a Random Number Generator to generate results. These numbers determine how the reels are programmed to rotate, and therefore, what symbols land on them.

RNGs are used to insure fairness, ensuring that the probability of winning a large prize is high. They also ensure that the probability of losing a small prize is low.

The RNG does not have a “near miss” effect, which occurs when a reel has more blank spots than winning symbols, or more pots of gold on the final reel than winning ones. In fact, the probability of winning a jackpot is much higher than the probability of getting a single blank spot or a pot of gold.

Symbols and Paylines

The reels of the slot are vertically running and can have up to 3 or more rows. Each row has a specific set of symbols that match the payline.

Symbols vary in theme, such as fruits, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slots have a paytable that lists the amounts you can expect to win when landing certain symbols on a payline.