Top 10 slot machines facts most people don't know about

When you go to a casino, the first thing you want to do is head over to the slots and try your luck. You begin to play, you win or lose, but you continue to enjoy yourself even for the slightest whim, thinking this might be the day you win. While that is happening, you begin to look around and see others playing, realizing that most people are unaware of the inner workings of a slot machine or what a casino has to do to maintain them. There are some interesting facts about slot machines people might not be are not aware of.

Table of Contents

1. The U.S. has only a has a small group of companies manufacturing slot machines

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2. Casinos make the majority of their profits from slot machaines

With player cards introduced into the equation, casinos have been able to track all the money spent when someone plays — thus leading to better ways for casinos to view their profits increase. On average, 75% of a casino's income consists of slot machines and gaming machines such as video poker.

3. When someone wins the casinos do not change the payouts

 There is much misconception about casinos and slot machines. This misconception Includes casinos changing the odds for a slot machine someone has already won, or there are times throughout the day/night where the slot machines tend to play better. All of this is misinformation, and there are two factors to consider.  

  1. Federal law requires casinos to have all games fair. With local and state authorities regular inspection, this levels the playing field. 
  2. Slot machines come with an RNG (random number generator) or a PRNG (pseudo-random number generator). These generators are set up by the manufacturer, so casinos do not have control over them. 

4. Japan is the country with the most slot machines

In Japan, up till now, casinos were illegal. The only legal forms of gambling where slot machines called pachinko, which is considered a national past time. With pachinko, players play with balls instead of money. The pachinko balls can be sold for cash.

Japan has about 5 million machines with 12,500 pachinko parlors.

Japan legalized casino gambling in July 2018. With this legalization, you can bet that the number of slot machines will continue to increase.

5. 2003 was the year of the largest ever slot machine jackpot

A software engineer from Los Angeles was playing a Megabucks Jackpot slot machine. He won with only $3.

The pay off was $39.7 million, which is considered to be the highest award given to a slot machine win — the slot machine connected to 157 casinos throughout the state of Nevada.

The jackpot surpassed the previous amount of $39.9 million and the other prior win of $22.6 million.

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6. A bug exists in the slot machines that cannot be fixed

A couple of engineers were able to reverse engineer the PRNG (pseudo-random number generators) to beat the machine.

The first incident was reported in 2014 in St Louis at The Lumiere Place Casino. The casino realized that one of their slot machines started paying out above the average. Even though the payouts were not significant, the software should have continued the payout with the average percentage.

An issue was reported by the casino to the state casino commission prompting a nationwide warning to all casinos. Eventually, other casinos began reporting the same problem.

A security expert from another casino compared the information from The Lumiere Place Casino and found 25 instances of the same issue had occurred in other slot machines around the globe.

The information was given to the slot machine manufactures they advised they were working on fixing the solution, that was in 2014. There hasn't been any progress on any updates or fixes to prevent this from happening.

The main reason is the PRNG. There is no solution to fix the problem without "reconfiguring the entire game" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019) due to the fact the software is part of the slot machines.

7. Slot machine levers and handles do not make a difference when you play

The majority of slot machines use buttons to press. These machines also have levers along with buttons. People think that using the buttons instead of the levers diminishes your chances of winning. The truth is the buttons are used to "increase the speed of the game" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). In turn, using the buttons does not affect your chances of winning.

8. No one knows who really invented slot machines

The first story states that a company in New York by the name of Sittman and Pitt created the first slot machine in 1891. The machine had "50 different playing cards in total with five different drums" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). The player would insert money into the machine and pull the lever to play.

For the house to win, the company used 50 standard playing cards from a deck. There were two cards not included, the "jack of hearts and the ten of spades" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019).

The second story states that a man by the name of Charles August Fay "invented the first slot machine" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). The year he invented the machine was between 1887 – 1895. The device allowed automatic payouts. The design incorporated made reading the win more comfortable.

Fey used three reels and "replaced the playing cards with symbols like spades, diamonds, hearts, liberty bell, and horseshoes." (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). He named the machine Liberty Bell due to the payout being the largest when the player had three bells.

Fey never patented the idea, and with the increased popularity, the design was used by others.

9. You changes of winning are not affected by your players club card

The casino uses player cards to track your play, "so you can get cashback" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). Using the card allows you to take full advantage of what the casino has to offer. The card has no direct interaction with the slot machine parts or the results from spins.

Regarding IRS, the "cards have no impact on taxes" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). Federal taxes are taken out from wins that exceed $1,200 by the casino.

10. There is no difference between casino slots and online casinos

People think that online casinos are designed to payout differently than those of a brick and mortar casino. The truth of the matter is the "random number generators governing physical slots, and online slot machines are identical" (Randy Ray in Casino 2019). Many of the slot machines manufacture to create the same software for online casinos.

The casino gaming industry has had changes in part to the slot machine technology utilized. These changes have contributed to the overall profits of the casino. When you play the slots, there isn't anything hard about playing, yet most people are unaware of what happens behind the scenes.

Source Material

“10 Things You May Not Have Known About Slot Machines.” Gambling Sites, 19 June 2019,


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