Online Slot Machines Algorithm
Whether you have been part of the iGaming world for a long time, or not, it is always worth having a peek under the hood, so to speak, and learning more about the mechanics of slot machines and how they work. With that in mind, this blog will delve into the realm of the online slots machines algorithm, to shed some light on this all-important mechanism which maintains fair and random gameplay while allowing you to have plenty of thrills and entertainment.
What is an online slot machine algorithm?
The one thing everyone wants to be certain of when they gamble online is that the online slot they are playing is random, to guarantee fairness and give players confidence that their game cannot be rigged to the benefit of the casino.
This randomness is guaranteed via the use of the algorithm underpinning the slot game, which is called a random number generator (or RNG).
RNG’s are like the digital version of a dice, which will give you any one of six numbers at random. However, in the real world, as we all know, the roll of a dice can be affected by any number of external factors. In the virtual world of online slots, RNGs do not incorporate this kind of natural phenomena (known as natural entropy); instead, they have been designed to produce an entirely random sequence without an underlying pattern that could possibly be predicted. As a result, the full name of these algorithms is actually PRNG, or pseudo-random number generators.
The seeds of success
Here is where things get really technical.
Games which are developed using a PRNG algorithm have their spins decided by a small starting value which has been put through a tricky equation. That initial value is known as a ‘seed’- though it is also referred to as a key – and it is these seeds, or keys, which produce random results when you spin. Developers of online slot games can use these seeds when they need to debug a game or fix an error.
When it comes to the potential outcomes of any spin, there are literally thousands (maybe even millions) of possibilities. In fact, if you take a common 5-reel slot, which could have any one of one hundred different symbols appearing on it, that gives you a grand total of 10 billion combinations – a mindblowing figure.
How random are online slots, really?
As you can see, the algorithms used by online slot machines have been created to provide an entirely random result every time you spin. However, there can always be bugs in any system, which is why slot developers have their slots independently tested to make sure of completely random results. If you are interested in a particular slot, but you want to be sure of its fairness, then all you need to do is check out its developer. They should have their credentials on their website, and you can find out who has certified their games.
How fast does an online slot machine algorithm work?
In the heat of the moment, it may seem like it takes an age for those symbols to appear on the reels when you have hit Spin – but the reality is that the algorithm of an online slot game is capable of generating a result not just every second, but every millisecond. In fact, the algorithm continues to work even when you are not pressing the button. Impressive, huh?
Is it possible to cheat an online slot algorithm?
The short answer to this question is, no. Because of the truly random nature of the symbols which land on the reels, there is little or no opportunity for foul play. Attempts have been made to crack a slot machine’s algorithm, but such an enterprise is guaranteed to be incredibly challenging (it is also against the law!), and most likely fruitless.
All you can do is study the slot as you play, and perhaps you can tip the odds slightly in your favour by using the various bonus features on offer, and by keeping composed when it comes to betting. However, at the end of the day, there is no place for strategy in slot games, and you will need to rely on Lady Luck to bring you those sought-after payouts.
Where does RTP come into it?
While the outcome of your spins cannot be predicted, thanks to the efficacy of the PRNG, there is one way in which you can potentially enhance your gameplay, and this is by selecting the right slot to suit your experience and your budget.
All slots come with a Return To Player (RTP) percentage, with many slots in 2021 having an RTP of around 96%, though some will stray below this mark and a very select few can have RTPs as high as 98% or more.
If you are not quite sure what RTP actually means, this refers to the amount of money which is returned to players during the course of gameplay. In simple terms, a slot with an RTP of 96% returns £96 out of every £100 a player invests in it. Of course, the RTP is a percentage which has been calculated by the developer over the course of thousands, even millions, of spins, which means that, for the actual player, outcomes can be a little more uncertain – hence the thrill and the risk. However, at the end of the day, a slot is programmed to give back the RTP it comes with, so even if you are just playing a short session, it is still more sensible to go for a slot with a higher RTP (95% or more, for instance) than a slot with an RTP of 90% or less.
V for Volatility
Even if you are brand new to online slot games, you have probably heard the terms ‘volatility’ and ‘variance’. Often confused with the RTP of a slot, volatility/variance is slightly different; in fact, it is a slot’s volatility or variance which determines how its RTP is returned to the player. For example, a low volatility slot will generate more frequent, albeit smaller, payouts than a high volatility slot, which produces larger but more infrequent wins and often incorporates bonus features, where most of the RTP comes from.
Knowing a slot’s RTP and volatility can be helpful in determining if it is going to be the right slot for you; in other words, if it will be worth playing. Players with more limited budgets or experience are recommended to opt for lower volatility slots with higher RTPs, as these will offer more likelihood of payouts. High rollers, meanwhile, are often keen to play high volatility slots, as they can splash more cash in order to, potentially, score a few very lucrative wins.
Beating the Slot Machine Algorithm: Bonuses, jackpots, and multipliers
As we have already established, an online slot’s algorithm cannot be cracked, and luck is crucial to scoring any winnings. However, you can give yourself a helping hand by selecting slots with lower volatility or higher RTP; you can also give yourself a potential boost by opting to play online slots with plenty of bonuses and multipliers. These special features help you gain more ‘bang for your buck’ if you do happen to land a winning combination, potentially bringing you 1000x or more of your stake.
Another top tip is to go for the smallest possible jackpot. No strategy will help you win it, but you are perhaps more likely to score a small jackpot than a big one, which has greater odds stacked against you.
Using Slot Machines Insights to your Advantage
Here at Slotzo, we hope this blog on the online slot machines algorithm has shone a light on how online slots work, as well as providing some handy tips on how to choose the right slot for your particular circumstances.
As you probably already know, at the end of the day, the thrills and excitement to be had while playing online slots are a direct result of the random nature of their results – which help to keep gameplay fair, and also help to keep you on the edge of your seat!
Now that you know more about the mechanics of online slots, why not stick around and start playing some? If you are an existing player at Slotzo, you can dive right in, but if you are a new player, all you need to do is follow our quick and easy-sign up process. This will not only grant you access to our impressive games lobby, but will also entitle you to our unbeatable welcome package, which bequeaths you 150 bonus spins on your first 3 deposits. Your first deposit brings you 50 bonus spins on Aloha Cluster Pays, your second deposit brings you 50 bonus spins on Legend of Shangri-La, and your third deposit brings you 50 bonus spins to use on Starburst.