Slot Machines and Microprocessors


A narrow opening, groove or depression, especially in a machine. Also, the position of a football player on a team’s depth chart. (In US sports, often referred to as “nickel backs” or “slot corners”). A slot receiver runs shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. This allows them to stretch the defense vertically while utilizing their speed.

Online slots take the classic design of a three-reel mechanical game and apply it to a digital platform. The result is a game with many of the same features as traditional machines, but the possibilities for bonus events are much more varied. Online slot designers can let their imaginations run wild, producing games like a mystery chase through the Crime Zone in NetEnt’s Cash Noire or outer-space cluster payoffs in ReelPlay’s Cosmic Convoy.

In the early days of electronic slot machines, the number of possible combinations on a reel was limited by the number of symbols that could be displayed. In the 1980s, microprocessors enabled manufacturers to weight particular symbols more heavily than others. This made a winning symbol appear to be very close to appearing on the payline, when in fact the odds of getting that symbol were far lower.

In order to minimize this effect, some manufacturers have added additional reels or redesigned the display on a single reel. The use of a microprocessor also made it possible to program a slot machine so that the probability of hitting a certain symbol on any given spin was closer to what would be expected based on its frequency in the overall game. This reduced the appearance of near misses and increased the likelihood that a player would continue to play.

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