Understanding How Slot Machines Work


Before you play any slot machine, it is important to understand how they work. Most of them will have a glass panel above the screen that explains the game’s methodology, including the payouts and jackpot amount. Different machines will have different payouts and bonus features, but they all have the same basic concept. You can also group machines by denomination, style, and brand. Some machines also have a HELP or INFO button that can walk you through their paytables, play lines, and special features.

Video slot machines

Video slot machines differ from classic three-reel machines in that their payouts depend on RNG software to determine winning combinations. In addition, these games use credits instead of coins to calculate the payoffs. Video slots are also distinguished from reel-based counterparts by their themes.

Reel machines

Slot machines are reel machines that use spinning reels to produce winning combinations. The reels can vary in size and there may be multiple paylines. The more active paylines you have, the higher your chances of winning. Many of these games include bonus features such as free spins or a return on bets bonus game. Some machines also have progressive jackpots.


A Buy-a-Pays slot machine is a machine where you can buy coins in order to win. They are similar to other multi-payline slots. Players place a coin in each payline to start the game, and must place another coin if they fail to make a winning combination. There are different paylines and combination types, and you can find instructions on how to play them on the paytable.

Progressive machines

Progressive slot machines offer a high chance of hitting the jackpot. Unlike traditional slot machines that pay out according to the credits wagered, progressive slots will pay out no matter what you play. The amount you win or lose per spin is determined by your bet amount, and in most cases, you have to place a max bet in order to win the maximum payout.

Random number generators

The Random Number Generator (RNG) is a critical component of slot machine software. It generates random numbers that have no relation to a previous win or loss. As such, players cannot influence the outcome of a slot machine game. The only level of certainty is provided by the symbols and the randomness of the game.