Casino Image Gallery Girls playing slots at a casino in Vegas. One armed bandit slot machine, casinos installed slot machines as a diversion for casual gamers. This idea proved to be a monstrous success — slot machines eventually moved off the sidelines to become the most popular and the most profitable game in town, bringing in more than 60 percent of the annual gaming profits in the United States.
The technology of slot machines has also changed a lot over the years. The classic mechanical designs have been almost completely replaced by computer-controlled machines. But the game has remained the same. Winning or losing is determined by which pictures line up with the pay line, a line in the middle of a viewing window.
The amount you win — the payout — depends on which pictures land along the pay line. In this article, we’ll find out what sets the reels in motion in modern slot machines as well as in the old mechanical models. We’ll also see what determines the odds of winning on a slot machine and look at some popular variations on the traditional game. The classic slot machine design works on an elaborate configuration of gears and levers.
The central element is a metal shaft, which supports the reels. This shaft is connected to a handle mechanism that gets things moving. A braking system brings the spinning reels to a stop, and sensors communicate the position of the reels to the payout system. A coin detector initially registers that a coin has been inserted and unlocks a brake so the handle can move.
There are any number of ways to arrange these elements, and manufacturers have tried dozens of approaches over the years, so we’ll focus on one representative design. The basic design includes three reels mounted on a central shaft. The central shaft also supports three notched discs, which are connected to the three reels.