Page 25 - Southern California Gaming Guide •  April 2020
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HSowSlotsWork UnderstandingYour Favorite Casino Game May Change theWayYou Play lots are America’s favorite casino game and one of the most widely recognized symbols of gambling. Yet most people know very little about them. A close look at these machines reveals types of slots, how they work, and how they are created.  Types of Slots There are two basic types of slot machines in today’s casino: mechanical reel and video slot machines. Mechanical reel machines have actual physical reels that spin when play begins, while video slot machines have virtual reels that are displayed on a video monitor. Within these two slot categories are additional types of machines, including progressive slot machines, in which the top payout award continues to grow as more players play a machine, as well as machines that offer interactive bonus games when certain symbols appear on the payline. No matter what type of machine you play, most slot machines operate in pretty much the same way. Understanding Slots To u n d e r s t a n d h o w a s l o t m a c h i n e w o r k s , i t ’ s i m p o r t a n t to understand the Random Number Generator (RNG), the tiny computer that determines where the reels stop during each slot machine play. Even before a player approaches a slot machine, the rng is cycling through millions of number combinations. Each number in each combination corresponds to the different symbols on the slot machine reels. Multiple numbers can correspond to the same symbol, which is called a virtual stop. Here’s a look at what happens onceslotmachineplaybegins: ♦ A player pushes a button or pulls a lever to start play. ♦ In that instant, the rng picks the number combination highlighted in its system at that given moment, and each reel stops in the position that corresponds to that number. ♦ If the numbers and accompanying symbols on the payline match a winning combination, the game processor notifies the player of a win. ♦ The game processor simultaneously calculates the amount won based on the odds of the game and the amount wagered, and the win is paid, or added to the player’s credit meter. ♦ With each new play, this process repeats in exactly the same way, independent of the events that happened before. Concept to Casino Floor Slot machine development and production is a complex process involving many decisions, from betting options to designing artwork and a theme. Designers pay attention to cultural and technological trends to ensure that new games are entertaining and on the cutting edge. It takes approximately 12 to 18 months to produce a new slot machine game. Once a game is crafted, it often is tested with a focus group of casino customers. Then, it is sent to a private lab to confirm it works properly and meets various state regulatory requirements. Slot machines have come a long way in the past 100 years, and their evolution will continue. On today’s casino floor, you can find games that are server-based games that let players pick from a variety of games on a single machine. Wherever technology takes us, slot games will certainly continue to be fun. Source: American Gaming Association, Taking the Mystery Out of the Machine  Since most people don’t understand how slot machines work, it’s easy to explain a loss or a win with some false logic. Most of these myths can add to frustration and take away some of the enjoyment of a casino visit. Here are some common slot machine myths. Using a players club card will decrease the chances of winning a jackpot. False. The rng that determines the outcome of each play is not linked to the players club card reader. The rng cannot tell whether a card is inserted or not, so the outcome of the game is not affected. After hitting a jackpot, a player should move to a new slot because it’s not likely to hit again. False. The odds of winning another jackpot on the next play are the same as they were before hitting the jackpot. There is no such thing as a “hot” or “cold” slot machine. If a slot machine hasn’t paid out for a while, it’s due for a win. False. Slot machines operate randomly at all times—no matter how many wins or losses have occurred in the past. A machine that has not paid out for a while has no greater chance of paying out in the future. A slot machine can tell the difference between maximum and minimum bets. False. The number of credits played — or the amount of a bet — does not affect the outcome of a spin. It only affects how much you may win or lose. Casinos can loosen or tighten slot machines with the flip of a switch. False. Slot machines have a computer chip that determines the pay-back percentage. These are preset at the factory. In order for a casino to change the pay-back, they would have to change the chip. In most jurisdictions, if the chip is altered, there is paperwork that has to be filed and submitted to the casino control commission for each machine. It is time- consuming, and the chips are very expensive. For this reason, it is more economical for a casino to decide on the pay-back percentages before purchasing the machines and have the factory ship them with the desired pay-back chip. Slot Machine Myths: True or False? APRIL 2020 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GAMING GUIDE PAGE 25 

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