## Casino Slot Machine Strategy -Odds on Slot Machines
In my experience slot machines are the most misunderstood form of gambling in the casinos. The false statements on how the machines actually work in several books make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Most books
on slot machines incorrectly state that you can figure out their average
payback by taking the payoff table and frequency of each symbol on each
reel and doing the math. For example one book states that if a three reel
machine has 20 symbols on each reel and one gold seven on each one then
the odds of hitting 3 gold 7s is (1/20) This statement is based on the assumption that each reel can stop on any symbol with equal probability, which is simply not true.
For evidence,
visit the IGT
home page which indicates the progressive jackpots on a variety of
slot machines. Typical slot machines, like the Triple Diamond, have three
reels with 22 stops on each reel. Assuming each stop on each reel were
equally likely and only one combination qualified for the jackpot then
the odds of hitting the jackpot would be 1 in 22
## How Slot Machines WorkFor IGT, Bally, and Anchor slot machines:
^{32}-1).
There is not a one to one relationship between remainders and positions on the reel, many remainders are typically mapped to the blank positions directly above or below jackpot symbols and only one remainder will be mapped to the jackpot symbol itself. The manufacturer designs these mapping functions to achieve desired payback percentages requested by the casino. For machines
with very large jackpots relative to the coinage the divisor is much
greater, for example 256 or 512 for games like Quatermania and Megabucks,
to achieve very long odds of hitting the jackpot. Assuming one number
out of 256 were mapped to each jackpot symbol the odds of hitting the
jackpot would be in 1 in 256 IGT owns the patent on the process described above and has allowed Ballys a license stipulating that the divisor could not be greater than 32, thus not allowing them to create machines with huge jackpots with small coinages. IGT leases the use of their idea to many other makers of slot machines.
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