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Can you beat the slot machine algorithm?

Can you beat the slot machine algorithm?

Can you beat the slot machine algorithm?

Thu Sep 16 2021 07:05:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

In life, there is a pattern for everything. There’s an algorithm for all casino games. Pure luck is not the only thing between you and that jackpot win. It’s numbers, formulas, and systems coded behind those spinning reels. 

A casino game's mechanics may seem simple. You pick a slot machine of your taste, maybe a classic fruit-themed slot. You place a bet, then click a button and watch the reels spin. If the odds are in your favour and symbols on the reels line up, you win. There is, however, a whole system that comes into play once you hit that button. 

Slot machine algorithms, then and now 

The classic slot machine before the creation of computers and electronic innovations depended solely on gears and levers. At the pull of the slot handle, different mechanical pieces start to work. Notched discs connected to the reels were pushed by kickers and eventually halted by stoppers inside the machine. After pulling the handle, the reels would come to a halt, one at a time. There was always an element of surprise because players would have to wait and see if the landing symbols matched up.

As technology started to take over and replace physical machinery inside these casino games, so did the process of determining payouts. Pulling levers was no longer necessary as engines started to replace gears, and starting a game became as easy as pressing a button. 

Modern slot machine algorithms operate on a completely different principle from their mechanical predecessors. As of 2021, wins no longer depend on where the notches end up stopping the reels. They depend on codes, numbers, and mathematical algorithms. This electronic takeover ensures foolproof gameplay. Computers calculating the outcome of a slot ensure that every person and spin has an equal chance of hitting a payout. The guiding mechanics behind today's slot machines revolve around a Random Number Generator.


The Random Number Generator (RNG) explained

slot machine’s RNG is a program that operates based on a governing algorithm. The core component of the slot machine, it generates random numbers between 1 and up to several million at lightning speed. Right after you press the button for a casino game, the RNG will record a bunch of numbers to determine where the reels will stop. 

To understand the process of RNGs, let’s say you’re playing with a 3-reel slot machine. You place your bet and press a button to spin the reels. The RNG will think of three numbers. The first number will determine where the first reel will land, the second number will determine where the second will land, and so on. 

Since the RNG can come up with numbers as low as 1 to as high as several million, it divides each of the three numbers according to a fixed value. These fixed values for slot machines are usually 32, 64, 128, 256 or 512. The remainder of the generated number and its coinciding fixed value can determine where the reel stops. 

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Slot machine fixed algorithms

Contrary to its name, Random Number Generators aren’t really ‘random’. Algorithms are fixed systems. This means that it isn’t possible for them to be truly random in nature. The outcomes of the RNGs are deterministic. The results of where the reels will land are not infinite. This does not mean RNGs can easily be predicted or cheated. 

A fixed sequence of numbers already exists in the slot machine algorithm, but it is constantly being changed and upgraded by developers. The ‘seed’ or the fixed sequence of numbers are mixed in with hidden, ever-changing inputs. These altered seeds make the outcomes almost impossible to recreate.  Even though the nature of the RNG is not random because it is an algorithm, the results are still unpredictable. The point of a good casino game is its randomness. You’ll never know if you’ll get the same win or the same combination on the next spin. You’ll never know whether you’ll win the huge jackpot twice in a row. 

Regulated and licensed casinos make sure the RNGs encoded in slots are fair and frequently evaluated. Sometimes, third parties are hired to test RNGs. All formulas and algorithms set for a given RNG need to ensure that all outcomes are unbiased. 

Slot machine algorithm hack 

Slot machines are near impossible to hack. The only exceptions that apply to this rule are the malicious rigging of existing slot machines by shady casino entities. Obviously, this is illegal and put into practice by unlicensed online casinos. It’s for this reason that players need to make sure they are playing on a reputable site with a fully licensed gaming entity at all times. 

Sites like and others go through rigorous internal quality checks to ensure that slot algorithm hacking never takes place. 

Thanks to mixing and shifting thousands of sequences and seed numbers, the outcome of a slot machine algorithm is extremely difficult to track in a pattern. Because of its complexity, the results are still random and uncertain. 

And at the end of the day, slots are all about fun gaming that is left entirely to chance. Part of the excitement of the online casino experience should always be the randomized nature of the games.

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Can you beat the slot machine algorithm?