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How Does A Mechanical Slot Machine Work?

How Does A Mechanical Slot Machine Work?

A mechanical slot machine is an intriguing amalgamation of intricate mechanical components that include a metal shaft, braking system, and sensors, among other things. This article seeks to shed light on the fascinating world of mechanical slots, their randomness, the possibility of tricking them for a win, and a comparison with their modern digital counterparts. 

How Do Mechanical Slot Machines Work?

Mechanical slot machines, unlike modern slot machines that rely heavily on computer software and random number generators, operate using tangible moving parts. The process begins with the player placing a bet and pulling the handle. This action sets the reels in motion, which then come to a stop due to the machine's braking system. 

The machine's core components include a metal shaft that supports the reels, a braking system that halts the spinning reels, and sensors that collaborate with the payout system. There's also a coin detector in the machine that registers when a bet is placed and allows the lever to be pulled. 

The machine's outcome is determined by whether the symbols match on a payline. If the symbols on a line match, that's a win, and the player receives a payout. 

Are Mechanical Slot Machines Random?

Mechanical slot machines used a clock-like mechanism to delay catching the reels after the lever was pulled and they began spinning. The mechanism slowly ticked a hook back towards the reels (after being pulled away when the lever was pulled), and the hook latched onto part of the spinning mechanism, causing it to slow to a stop. This results in the reels coming to a stop and displaying the outcome. 

Given the clock-like mechanism would wind the hook further back depending on the speed of the lever being pulled, this was deemed to be random enough for mechanical slot machines at the time. 

Are Mechanical Slot Machines More Random Than Digital Slots?

The randomness of modern slot machines is governed by a computer that notifies the reels when to stop. This computer is equipped with a Random Number Generator (RNG) that ensures the randomness of outcomes. The RNG, a chip inside the slot machine, constantly generates random number sequences, even when no one is playing. As long as the slot is on, millions of number sequences are generated every second. 

When the Spin button is pushed, the RNG stops on the random number sequence generated at that instant. This then presents itself as a combination of symbols when the reels stop spinning. 

Given the fact that the mechanical slot machine would react to the speed of the lever being pulled, it gave players some level of control over the outcome. Whereas modern digital slots use an RNG that doesn't take any external factors into account in its operation, meaning it offers more random results than mechanical slot machines. 

Can A Slot Machine Be Tricked To Win?

There have been numerous rumours about people claiming to have cheated on a slot machine. However, due to the RNG, which generates all outcomes, it is virtually impossible to cheat a slot machine. Here are some of the methods that have been attempted: 

Cheating A Slot With A Mobile Phone

Hacking a slot with a mobile phone is very unlikely. Methods such as using specific apps, Bluetooth devices to manipulate the results of a spin, and mobile phone jammers to disrupt wireless signals have all been tried, but none have been proven to work. 

These methods are also easily detectable by modern slot security features, so the chances of getting caught are high. 

Cheating A Fruit Machine With A Magnet

On older slot machines, people could cheat using a magnet due to it operating on a mechanical basis with metal parts. Cheaters would spin the reels and then place a strong magnet on the machine to manipulate the reels into a win. However, this method is no longer possible with modern slots, as they work electronically. 

Do Slot Machines Have Cheat Codes?

No, slot machines do not have cheat codes. 

EMP Slot Machine Jammer Apps & Devices

Mobile phone jammers are devices that disrupt wireless signals. It is believed that they can interfere with the slot machine's signals, potentially giving the player an advantage. However, using these apps and devices is strongly discouraged as cheating goes against a casino's terms and conditions. If caught, the player could face severe penalties, including expulsion and banning from the casino. 

Not to mention, there are yet to be any confirmed cases of slot machine jammer apps and devices working consistently and being able to guarantee wins. They are typically scams used to swindle players out of their money. 

Mechanical vs Digital Slots - Which Is Better?

In terms of gameplay, the choice between mechanical and digital slots ultimately boils down to the personal preference of the player. If you love the feel of old-school fruit machines, you may prefer mechanical slot machines. However, if you prefer playing the latest slot games with complex designs and features, then digital slots may be worth considering. 

However, from the casino's perspective, digital slots are far better than mechanical. They have greater security features, require less maintenance, and can offer numerous different slot games in a single unit, which makes them appeal more to players and can lead to more money for the casino. 

Whichever you choose to play, the most important thing is to gamble responsibly. Slot machines are games of chance, and winning is never guaranteed. So, set a budget and stick to it.