How Do Slots Work?


Slots are a casino favourite because they are easy to play, fast and offer some of the biggest, life-changing jackpots. But what makes them tick? The key to understanding how slots work lies in the pay table.

A slot is a narrow notch, groove or opening, as a keyway in machinery, slit for a coin in a vending machine, etc. It can also mean a position in a group, series or sequence.

In a slot game, the pay table is a short table that describes how a slot’s symbols pay out and what combinations of symbols can form a winning combination. Often, the tables are designed to be visually appealing and easy to understand, with bright colours and clear explanations.

When you’re playing a slot, remember that it’s not a race. The odds of hitting a particular combination are not the same for everyone, and it takes a split-second timing to hit the jackpot. So, don’t rush through the machines and try to line up three identical symbols in a row as quickly as possible. Be the tortoise, not the hare, and your bankroll will thank you for it.

While it may seem like there’s a lot going on in modern slot games, strip away the fancy features and they all work a similar way. A random number generator produces a string of numbers each time the machine is spun, and this determines how the symbols land and what combinations win. The return to player percentages advertised by casinos usually range from 90%-97%, and the machines are calibrated in advance to hit these returns over millions of spins.