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Random Number Generator (RNG) in a Slot Machine

25 December 2002

Hi,

We have a local floating casino with mostly the old-style slot machines that have the 3 spinning wheels, so you can peek inside the machine and see some of the internals.

I noticed there are 3 "odometers" inside, upper right side. Do you know what these are tracking?

Is it possible to correlate a machine that might be ready to payoff with particular readings?

Thanks, Dale

Dear Dale,

The meters you see are used for accounting purposes. They might be counting the number of coins played in the machine, the numbers of coins paid out, the number of plays on the machine, etc. The meters count different things on different machines. Sometimes there's a label on the meter or the window to let you know what the meter is tracking.

There's no way to find a machine ready to pay off by looking at the meters. Each result on a slot machine is determined by the Random Number Generator (RNG) and the RNG doesn't care--or even know--how much the machine has paid out. The odds of hitting any particular winning combination are the same on each and every spin.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots by John Robison
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
The Video Poker Answer Book by John Grochowski
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots