# Anyone here know how an one-armed bandit (slot machine) works?

• posted

I was wondering what kind of electronics are inside a slot machine and how the circuitry works. As an engineer I would think that it has some MCU inside with a random number generator and a simple algorithm which has a fixed percentage (chance) of winning and losing.

The problem is that some gamblers seem to think that their chance of winning depends on how much money's in the machine (i.e. the weight of the coins). This makes them think that they can 'beat' the system and win, even though they can't. OTOH I reasoned that if a machine has a fixed chance of winnings then it may run into problems when the machine is empty and someone hits the jackpot, the machine then wouldn't be able to pay out the winnings.

So do the winnings of these machines depend on the weight of the coins inside of them?

Thanks in advance, Guy

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• posted

Google for articles on how to cheat them - best source of info?

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Thats a fair assessment !

NO !

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Baron:```
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I would think not. Take the extreme case you mentioned, and the sucker won a jackpot. The machine would send an alert that would be recognozed by the casino workers, and the casino would make good on the jackpot. Probably the machine would be "primed" or filled with the minimum jackpot amount; large jackpots are never paid by the machine anyway.

• posted

some of them are DOS based PCs with, 2 to 8 Megs of rom-disk

I think there are two (or more) seperate coin reservoirs

Immediately after someone has taken the pot it may do

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Jasen```
• posted

On 29 Oct 2006 02:37:28 GMT, jasen Gave us:

I think all you guys are silly.

Here's how they work.

1) You put in your money...

2) It takes your money...

3) Each state has laws on how often it has to pay a jackpot. It could be a 100,000 pulls... less... more...

They count on all the little pay offs being put back in so line one and line two above are the most true.

The only truly random "One Armed Bandits" are the old, fully mechanical versions. They give you the best odds of hitting the pot.

They cycled like one out of every three coins to the main payoff pot till it gets full. The others go into the house pan and short payoff tubes. Then, it was just a matter of time and luck.

These new electronic versions are real bandits, that's for sure. I'll take Roulette any day.

• posted

I saw a thing on TeeVee the other day - I think the show was "Masterminds" - about some guy who hit a bunch of slots in Vegas for a couple of million dollars. It was a very sophisticated hack. The guy had about a dozen accomplices, who blocked the view while he used a skeleton key to open an access panel and a stick to stick a piggy-back sort of ICP on the game's micro or EEPROM, and program it so that the next play would be a jackpot. He'd button the machine back up, put the stick back in his pocket, and go outside. The dozen or so accomplices would continue to mill around, except for the designated winner, who'd hit the jackpot, and the hack was smart enough to reset itself, so everybody thought it was a real jackpot.

The only reason they got caught was because the mastermind guy was getting an incredibly huge percentage - like 75% - and the goons were splitting the rest, so one of them flipped him. Caught by gold fever! ;-)

Cheers! Rich

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The moral to this story, of course, being: "If you're going to turn to a life of crime, be sure to pay your help more than the competition does."

Cheers! Rich

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Belive me those mechanical machines were anything but random. You could control the drums quite accurately to determine payouts. In fact it was quite common to set them up to give lots of small wins and very few or no large ones ! The Jennings and Chieftan machines were a joy to work on !

I would agree with you ! Electronics and micro's have allowed much better control than was possible with mechanics !

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Baron:```
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That would leave too much to chance ;-)

Here (DK) the machines are legally required to pay out 80% of the money put in and they are tested by the IRS. So if a machine has not paid out any winnings for a long time the probabilities are adjusted. The machines also rat to the IRS about winnings/takings - just to keep things "fair".

There is usually a red button to call the attendant on such a rare occasion.

A.F.A.I.K. Not really, in the Casino they just *might*: It is good advertising if someone occasionally pulls down a million!

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If memory serves, in Nevada, for instance, the law only requires that a game be random. I personally, would be surprised, if casinos even comply with that. Most of my gambling experience goes back 30 years, and it wasn't with slots, but I would bet that nowadays, they probably plug slots into a PC to make adjustments, or the slot has a friendly GUI built into it, or both.

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I didn't realize the slots went to stepper motors and CPU's until my brother bought one and I had a view of the inside. I don't know what years they switched from pure mechanical. Probably when they had some good CPU's. I alwasy used to pull the handle, and at different speeds. Now I just push the button. Most of todays slots do not drop coins back out at all. Its gone to credit type cards or other tokens. Much of the sounds have vanished. Many machines will not payout until a certain amount of money has collected. This payout extends to many of those skill type machines going for prizes like cameras. It would seem the card game machines also have the same type of rules. When I go to Vegas, I usually put in my allocated \$20, and thats it.

greg

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I forgot to explain the obvious. Some slots are set to payout a lot of small rewards, and not really pay out anything big. Slots near entrances and isles command tne most attention. I have sat at some sets of slots and seemed to play for hours, and then returning to the same machines later, I last about 5 minutes. They go through cycles.

greg

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...

I wouldn't. I've worked around the gaming industry in the past, and they go to great lengths to make sure the games are "honest" - i.e., everybody's got the same chance of winning, which, as it happens, is less than 1.0. ;-) With the number of gamblers, it doesn't have to be biased by very much to be a guaranteed win, over time, for the house.

Good Luck! ;-) Rich

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I use to have an old pinball machine. I got it on a trade of a Lionel transformer. The machine had a bad transformer. I used to go out shopping at the local Olsen Radio store. I go there one day anfd was looking in the parts section. i see a transformer labeled somthing to effect of pinball transformer. it had all of the 4 or 5 voltages my machine needed. The part I never got was how this mechanical box gizmo inside, separated by the other things worked. I thought it was some kind of payout decision making thing, but thats all I know. Perhaps it controlled currents to rotary mechanisms.

greg

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That is correct. The casinos use simple math to insure they get rich. With the volume of money that flows through these machines it doesn't take much of a statistical edge to keep the owners rich. They can tune the machines to give a healthy balance of big and small payouts simply by how the different games play, but the overall margin stays roughly the same. The player will pick the type of machine and the bet to adjust what kind of payoff they want. Think of the lottery. If you want to win small payouts often you play scratch tickets. If you just want to take a chance on a huge payday but lose a lot, you play powerball. The overall payout is about the same (typically 50%). That makes the state lotteries the worst bet you can play. The guy on the corner selling "numbers" is a better deal. They usually pay out a higher percentage and it is tax free money. Casinos will be paying out a whole lot better than a lottery. They count on you staying there long enough for the odds to catch up on you. The smart play in a casino is to play until you are ahead and leave. Nobody does.

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Thants not quite right. Look at your stepper reels and the symbols and you can calulate the probability of winning any given prize. Each wheel is spun completely randomly. The new vdeo machines work on the same principle, except the wheel is simulated.

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Actually, none are DOS based. Most run proprietary software. Some run linux and one manufacturer use embedded XP.

Not quite. One coin hopper in the machine. When that is full the coins drop to a conveyor or a bucket under the machine.

Nope. Its all completley random.

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all.

We have these slot machine display mechanisms available on eBay.

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They are legal anywhere as they are only the display and stepper mechanism.

The steppers include a homing position sensor in the form of a one bit shaft encoder.

Cleaned, refurbed, all bulbs good.

These are a perfect beginner's PIC project.

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Many thanks,

Don Lancaster                          voice phone: (928)428-4073```
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And where do you suggest we find a perfect beginner?

;-P Rich

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