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Ask the Slot Expert: American slots and English fruit machin

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-01-17

Question: I am an English college student currently studying in London. As part of a research task, I decided to look into the way mathematically true randomness was integrated in slot machines.

As I have gathered, you are an expert in slot machines both in how they work and how to maximise the player's profit from it.

I had a few questions concerning this research. If you would have the time to answer them, it would be greatly appreciated:

To your knowledge, how do slot machines operate: is there a mechanism behind the spin that predetermines the outcome, or is it totally random so the odds between the player and casino are even?

If the outcome isn't random, have you been able to establish a method to determine in advance the outcome of a spin?

In your opinion, would it be better if the machines were random or if they weren't to maximise the player's gain?

And lastly, to do with the addictive side of gambling would you say this happens with slot machines and what is your view on this?

Thank you for taking the time to read my email and to answer it if you come to have the time to do so.

Answer: Cheers!

Your e-mail gave me the opportunity to take a memory off the shelf and relive it using my Pensieve. (I figured that a Harry Potter reference would be more appropriate than the Wayback Machine from Sherman and Peabody.)

About 20 years ago (20 years!! Sheesh), one of my co-workers told me about his friend who programmed slots in England. I was just beginning my career as a slot journalist and the company we worked for was a market research company, so probability, statistics and gambling were frequent topics of conversation.

My co-worker's friend said that the slots in England worked differently from the ones in the United States. In the United States, the output from the random number generator (RNG) is used to determine the result of the spin, and the result determined by the RNG must be displayed without any alteration. Back in the 1980s, the early days of computer-controlled slot machines, machines from a company called Universal had an additional step after polling the RNG. If the spin was a losing spin, this extra step discarded the result from the RNG and chose an exciting losing combination from its pool of losers. So, instead of landing blank-blank-bar on the payline, the player might get jackpot-jackpot-blank. Much more exciting. Both results are losing results, so Universal didn't see any harm in the alteration. Regulators determined that the altered combinations gave an incorrect impression of how likely symbols were to land on the payline. All jurisdictions in the United States prohibit so-called "secondary decisions" and require that the result from the RNG be displayed.

The past few weeks we've talked about how machines that don't get much play can show widely varying paybacks from month to month. Machines go through hot, warm, cold and tepid streaks and there's nothing in the programming of a U.S. slot machine to try to correct a streak.

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