The idea of slot machines was originally brought into the casinos as part of a distraction to regular gamer. Unlike other table games like blackjack, poker etc. slot games never required any knowledge of the game. You just put in a coin and pull the handle and that’s it. But, this simple gaming technique had on the other hand become so popular that it brought more than 60 percent of the gaming profits in the United States.
People love to play slot games
A typical slot machine is built of gears and shafts. The central element is the metal shaft which supports the reels. The shaft is connected to the handle through which you make the reels move. A braking system is also provided to stop the spinning and a coin detector to initially register the input of a coin.
In olden days, these slot machines are purely mechanical devices which over a period of years have now turned to be completely computerized with complex permutations and combinations.
What happens when you pull the handle.
The handle rotates a hook mechanism which releases the kicker and brings it forward to the player.
A catch on the opposite end of the kicker grabs a control cam piece and pivots it forward. This rotates a series of gears connected to the control cam. A spring pulls the control cam back to its original position, but the gear assembly slows it down considerably — the gears act as a mechanical delay.
- When the control cam is pivoted forward, it releases a spring-mounted cam plate extending across the back of the machine.
- The control cam also pulls the stoppers away from the notched discs. As the kicker keeps moving, it pushes the stoppers against several catches on the cam plate. These hold the stoppers in place, so the discs and reels can rotate freely.
- As the handle continues to move the kicker, the kicker paddles push the discs forward briefly. When the handle is pulled all the way back and the kicker has passed the discs, the bottom of the hook mechanism moves up against a slanted surface. The slant pivots the hook forward, which causes it to release the kicker.
- The kicker spring jerks the kicker backward at a good speed. The kicker paddles hit the notches on the discs, spinning the reels rapidly.
- While all of this is happening, the control cam is slowly returning to its original position. When it does return, it pushes the cam plate back, which releases the stoppers. The different catches holding onto the different stoppers are positioned so that the cam plate will release the stoppers one at a time. Each stopper springs forward and locks into a notch, holding the reel in position.
Whether it is a mechanical or an electrical or a computerized slot, it needs to decide if the player is a winner or a looser. Lets see how the machine decides on the winner.
Older mechanical machines decided the winner based on the depth of the notches. These kind of machines are very simple and they accept only one type of coin and only on set of winning combination.
In some other popular electrical slot machines, the discs have certain metal contacts and when the reel stops, it triggers a contact to one the circuits in the system. For each and every stop there is a temporary contact created in the circuit. Certain combinations of switches to the circuit will release the jackpot lever open so that the coins fall out.
Modern computer machines have a different set of working model. They choose a random number on where to stop a reel and the actions are controlled by a centralized computer inside the machine. These random numbers are generated once you pull the handle and the game is not pre-programmed to stop at a specified time interval.