How Do Slot Machines Pay Out?


One of the most common pitfalls for slot players is to become too immersed in their game and get a little “zoned out.” This can lead to blowing through their bankroll in just a few minutes. To avoid this, players should be aware of how their games pay out before playing them and choose machines that suit their style of play.

In the old mechanical slot machine days, there were only a few symbols on each reel. Each symbol had a specific probability of appearing on the payline, which limited jackpot sizes and the number of possible combinations. Manufacturers then incorporated electronics into their machines and configured them to weight symbols differently. They also used step motors to turn the reels, which allowed them to stop in a precise location with great accuracy.

These changes helped to boost payouts and create bigger jackpots. But it wasn’t until the advent of microprocessors that manufacturers were able to change how frequently their slot machines paid out. Today’s slot machines use a computer system that randomly assigns a different probability to every symbol on each of the reels. In addition, the computers use step motors to move the reels a set increment each time a button is pressed or the handle pulled. This allows the computer to know when a reel has stopped and that it was a winning spin.