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Slot Machines

Traditional slot machines are coin-operated machines with three or more reels, which spin when a lever on the side of the machine is pulled. The machines include a currency detector that validates the coin or money inserted to play.

The slot machine is known in the United States as Slots. In Britain, slot machines are called Fruit Machines and in Australia, they are known as Poker Machines.

The slot machine is sometimes referred to as the "one-armed bandit" because of its traditional appearance and its ability to leave the gamer penniless. The slot machine typically pays off based on patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops.

Modern computer technology has resulted in many variations on the slot machine concept. Today, slot machines are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70% of the average casino's income.

How to play the Slot Machine

To play the slot machine you must first insert coins, cash, or in newer machines, a bar-coded paper ticket, into a designated slot on the machine. The machine is then activated pulling a lever or pushing a button, or on newer machines, by pressing a touch screen on its face.

The object of the game is to win money from the machine. The game usually involves matching symbols, either on mechanical reels or on a video screen. The symbols are usually brightly colored and easily recognizable, such as images of fruits like melons and cherries, and simple shapes such as bells, diamonds, or hearts.

Slot machines have a variety of winning combinations of symbols. This is called the payout table and is often posted on the face of the machine. If a player matches a combination according to the payout table, the slot machine pays the player cash or some other sort of value, such as extra games.

Standard slot machines do not get "hot" or "cold". The odds of hitting a winning combination is determined by a random number generator contained in the machine's software and is exactly the same with every spin. Such slot machines are never "due to be hit" if they haven't paid out a jackpot in a while.

Consider these two scenarios:

In both cases, you did not "miss" an opportunity to win. The results of modern slot machines depend on exactly when you play them. It is very unlikely in either case that you would have received the same result if you had played just one more time or just one more coin. This is because the random numbers being generated are constantly changing thousands of times per second. It is impossible to assume that the instant you would have made the play would be the same for the other opportunity, thus getting different results from the machine.

However, there is a science to the placement of slot machines on the gaming floor, but the highest paying machines are not necessarily placed in high-traffic areas. Typically, machines of similar payback percentages are grouped together, with 1% or less difference from machine to machine in the group.

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