The first gaming machine ever made was a poker machine that found its place in bars across the United States in the late 19th century. It had five drums and 50 cards, and the rewards were usually cigarettes and/or booze. The first-ever slot machine would come about just a few years later (1891). It operated with five symbols and three reels (only one row), and it had an automated payout.
Since then, it has moved on to become the most popular casino game, with slot machines taking up more than two-thirds of most casino gaming floors. In addition, when the Internet arrived and blessed us all with its convenience thitherto inconceivable, it also changed the entire gambling world.
Online casino sites started popping up in numbers, as game developers began focusing on online gaming software. As is the case with land-based casinos, online casinos’ game libraries consist mainly of slot machines. When you search through an online casino, you’ll find anywhere from 100 up to 2000 top online slots for real money, often from different providers.
So how hard is it to create a slot game? Say if you want to make a custom slot with your personal photos for symbols. When you’re creating a game of your own, you need to think about every single detail. There are a lot of little things we take for granted and don’t notice when we are on the consumer end of the game. But to make a game that works properly, you need first to figure out how you want to make it (and all little parts of it) work and look.
So before you can delve into the coding that goes into the game, you first have to know how slots actually work.
Random Number Generator
Random Number Generator (RNG, for short) is the heart and the brain of an online slot machine (it’s also in use for other online gambling software, such as roulette and video poker games). Your whole game depends on how well you develop the RNG.
The RNG is a computer mechanism that makes sure that every single outcome of a slot round is genuinely random and that it always throws out an end result that is independent of any outside factors. You see, the RNG is a standalone system that doesn’t communicate with other sections of the game. It isn’t interested in how much money you’ve placed on a bet (you could be putting in the maximum bet, or you could be playing for free, the principle of the RNG doesn’t change). It also doesn’t care whether you’ve been on a roll and won all previous attempts or not.
The way the RNG works is that it’s continuously cycling through numbers, not only when there’s someone playing the game. They’ve made it in such a way to make it impossible for players to spot any kind of pattern. So when a player presses the spin button, it’s a signal for the RNG to stop at a certain number. In essence, although the visual presentation would make you believe that you start the game by pressing the button, that’s actually when the game finishes. When you’re looking at the reels spinning, that’s just an animation to make the game interesting and suspenseful.
As we’ve already said, the RNG is the backbone of a slot game, and its stability and reliability are key to a good slot machine. When you’re implementing the RNG, you need to make sure it’s safe and that no client can corrupt it. You can find source codes online (and there are even websites that simulate how you can create a game), but these are usually simple and not as reliable as the software prominent casinos use. As you’d expect, they keep their RNG a secret, and you can’t just download it off the Internet and add it to your game.