The Science Behind Different Types of Slot Machines


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According to the latest studies, slot machines are the most popular type of casino games played in the United Kingdom. Due to the technological advancements since the turn of the millennium, the majority of casino games are now played online via slot sites.

In 2020, online searches on Google in the UK for casino related keyword terms reached an all time high. Online casino gaming in the UK remains immensely popular.

This article will aim to introduce the science used in different types of slot games. This includes how randomness and probability occurs. The types of slot games we will be looking at include progressive jackpot slots, slots with high return to player percentages and aesthetic branded slot games which are popular but offer fewer potential wins for players. Each of the following online slot game types offer a distinct but different gameplay experience.

Randomness in Gambling

Randomness equates to non-patterned or non-predictable. This means a random property or behaviour of a system which we cannot accurately predict. Online slot machines use a random number generator technology (RNG). This tech ensures complete randomness which is of course essential. In casino games, the randomness can be defined as bounded randomness. This means that the randomness is quantifiable to a certain extent and defines the limits. For example, an online slot machine uses reels and symbols which are chosen at random but there will only be a certain number of symbols which will be shown by the RNG.

Slot machines exclusively feature output randomness. The game state is always known which means that the output cannot change depending on a certain scenario. The opposite of output randomness is input randomness which is a feature of a game such as Blackjack.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

Progressive jackpot slots offer casino players the opportunity to win life changing sums of cash. Progressive jackpot slots work differently to regular slot machines. The likelihood of any casino player winning the jackpot is extremely low. The jackpot is triggered at random and varies depending on the slot. Some progressive slots are triggered once per month once the jackpot reaches a certain amount – sometimes into the millions of pounds.

Although the probability of winning the jackpot is very unlikely, the sheer amount of cash available to the winner is what ensures players keeps on playing. Of course, players can increase their chances of winning by playing for a longer duration of time. In the same sense as Richard Lustig’s lottery tips in which he says that one strategy to win the lottery is to invest in as many tickets as possible, the same can be said of progressive slots, although we wouldn’t advise taking the advice of Lustig.

High RTP Slots

Although casino slot machines are always tilted to favour the casino slightly, there are certain slots which offer a higher RTP ratio than others. RTP stands for return to player and is the percentage which will theoretically be returned to the player. For example, if one slot machine states it has an RTP of 97%, this means that for every £100 spent on the slot, a theoretical value of £97 will be returned back to the player.

Of course, online slots are completely random which means that the above sum is only theoretical – the randomness ensures this.

Branded Slots

Branded slots are often those which offer players the least chance of winning, which poses a significant psychological question – why do gamblers play slot games which they are less likely to win on than others?

More often than not, branded slots offer low RTP and a poor choice of extra features, so why do casino players play them? Well first of all, branded slots showcase state of the art graphics. These slots are often based on popular culture such as Hollywood movies or famous video games. The aesthetics is what attracts players to these slot machines rather than the potential payout. Branded slots will usually cost much more money to produce and this is the reason why the payouts are lower. Despite this, they know they appeal to a lot of casino players.

This asks the question: do casino players play to win money or have fun? Of course, the answer is to win money AND have fun at the same time.

The Psychology of Playing at Slot Sites

In a survey conducted by Oregon State University, it was found that more than 60% of slot machine players favoured frequent smaller payouts to larger infrequent payouts. In addition, it was found that only 33% of gamblers preferred progressive jackpot slots whilst 18.9% preferred branded slot with themes.

It is clear that slot sites hosting science-based games offer their players a large selection of different types of slot machines to play. This gives players a feeling of choice which is important for long term happiness. Evidence shows that people are much happier when they are offered options. Choice and autonomy are directly related to happiness – with this being said it is fair to draw the conclusion that there is a correlation between gambler who plays a slot machines that makes them happy and then returning later to the same website offering a choice of slots.


The science behind slot machines consists of efficient technology which ensures the machines are 100% random. Output randomness is a feature of all online slot machines. There is no skill to playing these games of chance, nor is there any way to cheat them. We hope that you found this scientific guide to slot machines useful. If you have any questions, please let us know!

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