Behind the familiar slot machines are hidden secrets that few people would ask. Are there people who make a living playing slot? Is there a virtual reel going round and round behind the screen as you press the spin button?
Let us satisfy your curiosity by providing several interesting slot machine secrets.
What Is The BAR Symbol
You often see the BAR symbol across numerous slot machines or online slot games. These are not even restricted to only classic themed slots. BAR symbols make their way to any slots that have a casino or Las Vegas theme. Various patrons likely have wondered about the symbol and what it represents, which is gum. Slot machine BAR symbols are a rectangular pack of gum or a company logo.
To know more about the iconic slot symbol, we need to talk about the prohibition of the US that targets any form of gambling in the early 1900s. Stores were able to make a profit out of slot machines by making them reward players with sticks of gums. This is why most vintage slots have cherries and lemons since they are the most common flavors during this time.
There are two running theories on the origins of the BAR symbol. This includes the Bell-Fruit Gum Company owning the symbol. Their logo is their namesake, Bell-Fruit-Gum, with a white font set on a black bar. You can see how their logo is a good match with the familiar BAR logo.
For the second theory, it was said that the Mills Novelty Company was responsible for the BAR symbol. They created a mechanical fruit slot based on the one made by the Industry Novelty Company, which was the first fruit mechanical slot. Mills Novelty Company used the same symbols and included new ones such as the BAR symbols. A photo of a Mills Novelty Company mechanical slot, which has the aforementioned BAR symbol, backed this theory.
There is a reason why the second theory is just a hypothesis, there were no sticks of gum or gum bars sold during that time. Experts gave an explanation where the slot is promoting a new form of candy. However, there is no recorded evidence to consider the claim is true.
There Are Professional Slot Players
Professional gamblers are quite common since they found a way to get the edge against the house and other players. You will often see professional poker or blackjack players since these games provide participants with more control. On the other hand, you will rarely hear about a professional "slot" player.
Slots do not provide players with enough options to boost a player's edge, allowing anyone to make a living out of playing these games. While there are high RTP slots that offer higher returns for your bets, the chances of increasing or doubling your initial bankroll are the same as playing mid or low RTP slots. Despite the odds, there are professional slot players that found a way to make a living by playing these games such as providing in-depth advice to players.
Earnest Cobb, also known as the Slots Guru, states that he made a fortune of more than $10 million by using a slot machine system. This system is covered in his book, Secrets to Hitting More Jackpots Getting the Winning Edge. Those who read the book have different opinions regarding its content where critics see it as providing generic advice on being successful in life. Others commend Cobb for his advice on getting an edge over slot machines.
Another popular columnist who is making a living in playing slots full time is John Grochowski. He got his start in gambling literature as the first casino gambling columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. Grochowski launched a series of books starting with Gaming: Cruising the Casino with a Syndicated Gambling Columnist in 1996.
What makes John Grochowski standout is his sound advice on playing slots. Apart from books, you can find his advice for slots in online videos and casino articles. Grochowski's knowledge of casinos made him the 9th ranked gambling expert on a casino website in 2017.
AI Bots Track Every Bet and Spins
Every time you spin the reels or set your bets, an AI keeps track of all your actions throughout the slot game and sends it back to the casino manager or operators. While this secret may be alarming for any player, this is for the protection of both the casino and players against cheaters.
Online casinos' AI feeds on daily slot usage among thousands of players across the platform. It uses an advanced machine learning system to find any unusual behaviors among these accounts. This includes consistent betting amounts and unusual betting patterns.
To know what an AI is looking for in a cheater or hacker, we need to know about the RNG system a slot uses to determine the result of a game. These systems use a seed to create unpredictable results. Hackers are targeting seeds that can generate high payout results by spinning the reels at certain periods. Once it pinpoints a target seed, it will bet a significant amount of money at a targeted time. This behavior is one of the indicators an AI uses to flag an account. Casino AIs are also great for protecting players against cheaters such as finding poker bots in online tables and revoking their accounts.
AI bots also allow casinos to prevent problem gambling by going through players' data. Any problem gambling behavior such as spending an excessive amount of time and money on slots will get an account flagged. Casino administrators and moderators can send a warning message to flagged accounts or suspend them for a period depending on the severity of their cases.
One example of an AI that looks for problem gambling is BetBuddy from Playtech. This program utilizes random forest algorithms, neural networks, and other systems to find problem gambling signs in real-time. With BetBuddy's fast analysis, operators can efficiently stop players from crippling themselves financially.
Slot Machines Have a 90% Average Return
Slots across all casinos are designed to make the establishment or operators money while rewarding lucky players with returns on their bet. With this in mind, one of the popular slot machine secrets is the return of 90% for the players. This metric is usually given alongside the volatility or variance rate which states how often can players expect a winning combination to appear.
Take note that this figure is taken from hundreds of machines or games across the casino as well as the numerous people playing them. Every slot player is covered by the 90% return where certain individuals lose their bankroll while others double their initial bankroll.
No matter who wins or loses, the 10% house edge provides casinos with a significant daily revenue on slot machines. If a slot machine sees around $2,000 worth of bets in a day, casinos can expect $200 from that one machine. Multiply that number to around 30,000 to 50,000 machines, casinos can get $6 to $10 million per day if all of their machines also get $2,000 daily wagers.
Results Are Generated Instantly
When you click or press the spin button, you see a rotating reel that contains all symbols of the game spinning on the screen. Because of this, players believe the game is using a virtual rotating wheel to get the results or to know what symbols will land on the reel.
Let us reveal an interesting online slot secret...
The game already has the results in less than a second after you click or press the spin button.
Upon pressing that button, the slot takes a seed or key-value from an undisclosed source and feeds it through a complex math equation. One of the numerous results is sent to the program, which processes it into a visual result or what you will see on your screen. This whole process takes only milliseconds to complete.
9 US States Prohibits You From Buying Used Slot Machines
For man caves themed around casinos or gambling, nothing beats a working slot machine running within your home. Imagine having your friends and relatives come over for poker night, that slot machine adds to the atmosphere of being in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately for those living in 9 specific states, no one is allowed to buy a slot machine under any circumstances:
- New Mexico,
- South Carolina,
- Indiana, and
Fortunately for the other 41 US states, people can buy and bring home a working slot machine for personal use. These states include Alaska, Kentucky, Maine, Texas, and Nevada. Certain states only allow residents to purchase slot machines that are 25 years old or older such as Florida and California.
Why are there states that restrict anyone from owning a slot machine? This regulation prevents anyone from setting a slot to have a large house edge and have other people play it with real money.
Make sure you go through our guide about the best slot machines in Vegas!
WMS Introduced the Second Screen Bonus Round
Bonus rounds, features that remove the reels and replace them with a mini-game or bonus mode. These mini-games include choosing one to five of several mystery objects that contain instant cash prizes, free spins, or jackpot payouts. Bonus modes consist of prize wheels that give you a chance at winning one out of 20 or more payouts. Modern slots have bonus rounds that are skill-based where you have full control over the payout rate.
While bonus rounds are quite common among a majority of online slots, what game started it all? For this slot secret, it is Reel'Em In from WMS Gaming. This slot is a 3x5 reel with 10 paylines. When you manage to have at least three baits on the screen, you trigger the first-ever bonus round in slots history.
True to the name of the slot, Reel'Em In involves choosing between five fishermen. Each one has varying cash prizes. Despite the simplicity of the bonus round, this game inspired other software providers to add their unique spin to the bonus feature. Nowadays, casinos use many different bonuses to appeal to gamblers.
The First Slot Reels Used Poker Suits
One of the interesting slot machine secrets is what the first game used for its reels. Instead of fruits, bells, or playing card suits., it was
Charles August Fey is the inventor of the Card Bell, the first coin-operated slot machine, in 1898. This machine automatically gives players their winning when they get the right symbols. These symbols are card suits and the winning combinations are three of a kind.
A year later, Charles improved upon his slot machine with his Liberty Bell. This slot uses playing cards, horseshoes, and the aforementioned Liberty Bell symbol. Unfortunately, the massive San Francisco earthquake broke 96 of the constructed Liberty Bell machines. One of the surviving machines is on display at the Liberty Belle Saloon and Red's 395 Club.
An incredible number of slot machine secrets can be shocking or a revelation for veteran players with regards to how slots determine your results and the casino's use of AI learning machines. Other secrets offer an interesting look back at how slot machines' symbols and bonus features got their start in history.
And if you want to read more insider stories about casino slots, read these Reddit threads:
- Gamblers of Reddit, any tips or strategies for slots?
- By Request: IAmA former Slot Machine Technician, AMA
- My job is writing software for slot machines and casino systems
This article was published on August 17, 2021, and last updated on March 15, 2022.