How Online Slot Machines Work

online slot

There is a lot of nonsense floating around in the gambling industry regarding how slots work. Some people think they’re rigged or that they have hot and cold streaks.

In reality, slot games are powered by unique technology. When you press the ‘spin’ button, a random number is selected by the RNG, which then calculates the outcome of your spin.

Random number generator

Online slot games have become increasingly popular as people stay indoors and look for ways to pass the time. They have a high Return to Player (RTP) ratio and offer players the chance to win big amounts of money. These machines are software-based and regulated by independent expert agencies. They are designed to produce random results that are unbiased and cannot be tampered with by players or online casinos.

RNGs are a key part of every online slot machine and should be understood by all players. They work by generating random numbers based on a short initial value that is processed through a complex algorithm. This is a cost-efficient way to simulate authentic randomness. However, it does not provide a guarantee of fairness. However, reputable casino game software providers use RNGs that are iTech lab tested for accuracy and repeatability.


The reels on an online slot machine are what determine the outcomes of spins. If the symbols match up with a winning combination in the paytable, you win. Some players confuse rows and paylines. Rows must be strictly horizontal straight lines, while paylines can be either straight or any curved line the slot developer has chosen to design.

While there are many differences between a physical older slot machine and an online version, they still all have three to five sets of reels that spin and stop to determine if you have won or lost. The difference is that an RNG is used in the online version and gambling regulators test the software to make sure it is random. Regardless, quick-stopping the reels does not help you and can hasten your losses.


In online slot machines, the symbols used are usually designed to fit the theme of a specific game. Typical standard paying symbols include the number seven, diamonds, bells and bar symbols. They can be complemented by bonus symbols that activate different types of bonus games and Scatter payouts. These are often much more rewarding than standard symbols.

Moreover, these symbols can offer free spins and multiplie the prizes of winning combinations they join. However, they require a predetermined number to appear on the reels. The other type of symbols in online slot machines is the scatter symbol, which doesn’t need to be aligned with a pay line to trigger a bonus game. Multiplier wilds are also another popular type of slot symbol. These are special symbols that have a multiplier value and can be stacked on the reels.


Paylines are one of the key elements of slot machines and should be understood before you play. While they don’t have as much impact on the potential return as some people think, they can help you determine which machine suits your budget and playing style.

A payline is a pattern on the reels that creates a winning combination when symbols line up across it. The more paylines there are, the higher your chances of hitting a winning combination.

However, some slots don’t have paylines and instead use a system known as ways-to-win. This means that matching symbols anywhere on consecutive reels will award a payout. This can be more confusing, but it can also be more exciting. Some online slots even offer multiple lines with different orientations, including horizontal and diagonal.

Bonus rounds

Some online slot games feature a bonus round that adds a different game theme or odds. These mini-games usually open in a separate screen and display several symbols that players must pick to win a prize. These prizes range from coins to multipliers. They may also be in the form of treasure chests or playing cards. The winnings are credited to the player’s real money balance once the bonus round is over.

A bonus round can be triggered randomly or by a specific action on the reels. Occasionally, it can even be awarded by a slot’s character. Often, these features increase the chance of winning and make the slot game more exciting. They also add a layer of depth and complexity to the game.