How Does a Slot Machine Work?

Slot machines accept cash or paper tickets with barcodes. A lever or button activates the reels and when a winning combination appears, the player earns credits based on the paytable. Slot machine symbols vary depending on the theme of the machine, but often include classic symbols like fruits, bells, or stylized lucky sevens. Bonus features are often aligned with the theme as well. The pay table can be found on the machine’s face, but they are also available in the help menu.

The first slot machine was invented in San Francisco in 1894 by Charles August Fey, a mechanic. He made the first coin-operated gambling machine, known as the 4-11-44, in his basement. After the machine was a success in a local saloon, Fey went on to build a factory to produce more machines. Eventually, he patented the Liberty Bell slot machine, which featured playing card suitmarks lined up to form poker hands.

The computer behind a slot machine’s RNG (random number generator) uses an internal sequence table to determine the sequence of numbers. It then divides the large numbers by a standard number to produce a final quotient. The computer then executes the process, generating a three-number sequence that the player will win if he or she has one of the matching symbols. As long as the computer performs these calculations automatically, the slot machine’s payout percentage is high enough to be considered a winner.