Yesterday, I spent some time in a local bookmakers after receiving a tip on a horse that I wanted to check out. I used to spend a lot of time in these places until you could do most of your gambling online, but was surprised how little they had changed. Although to be fair, most are cleaner and more pleasant than was the case a few decades ago – they’re still fundamentally the same. One thing that is different is the presence of the electronic gambling machines which sit in the corner and seem to be a focus for many people.
I watch with interest a group of young lads playing a selection of these machines and listened to their conversations on tactics with some mild amusement. They were under the illusion that you can be a ‘clever slots player’ or use some systems but I’m afraid there’s little truth in that in the new generation of slot machines. So dear reader in case anybody out there is also under this misconception I want to just briefly summarize how these machines work.
So What’s the Deal with Electronic Slot Machines?
When you’re playing virtually any electronic gaming machine, it’s important you’re playing against a mini-computer running something called a random number generator (RNG). What happens is that this computer contains a list of all the possible outcomes of each and every game. Some of these outcomes are wins but the majority are losses, and the outcome is determined by the RNG. This is effectively cycling through all the possibilities a second, and the computer selects one based at the precise time you press the button. In fact it doesn’t need to be a button but can be a mouse click, pulling a lever, pressing the screen etc, it’s merely a human input used to select one of these outcomes.
The exact moment that you press the button, the outcome is determined. You may watch reels turning, or the ball spinning in a virtual roulette wheel but it has no impact on the result because that has already been determined the moment you pressed the button. Everything that happens after is for entertainment purpose only, to inspire the feelings of excitement and anticipation. So also any choices you make are irrelevant too, the button is pressed and the outcome determined – that’s it.
There are some benefits to this, the game is essentially fairer to each person. There are no advantages or tactics that can modify the result and you are just as likely to win a jackpot each time you press the button. The overall results are based on a long term assessment, where there are far more losing combinations than winning ones. There are no best roulette bets like this on an electronic machine – all that matters is what combination is lined up at the precise millisecond that the button/wheel/lever is pressed. The young men playing seemed that they could have an impact by the way they played or when they played, which alas is completely untrue.