If you’re reading this site, you likely find how slot machines work to be an area of interest. I’ve written plenty of pieces around how slot machines work, but I wanted to share a video that I recently watched and found broke down the topic quite nicely.
This video from Vegas Education takes an example PAR sheet from a three-reel slot and shows how a slot machine works, from the concept of weighted reels and how the various combinations ultimately build up to the overall payback of a slot machine.
He shows how he developed a simple computer program to work through every combination of this example slot machine to calculate the total number of wagers, and total amount paid back, to determine the game’s overall payback.
He also shows how with this setup, and the random number generator working through the various possibilities, how a casino can make oodles of money without having to do anything like changing the paybacks.
A lot of this just comes down to math and statistics, which can be out of reach of many (and I can say this as someone who considers himself math-minded but struggled in my college statistics class at times).
It’s for some people, especially after a bad run, easier to blame a boogey man (in this case, the casino) and claim they’re up to all sorts of nefarious things, but the reality is it’s just math, and the casinos will make oodles of money without having to do a thing but set up the machine and get enough people playing it.
If you’re curious how casinos can be assured they will make money of “random” slot machines, this video goes into great depth and does it in a way that’s very easy to understand. Other videos on the Vegas Education YouTube channel cover other topics as well that will be of interest to players.