Progressive slot machines often give away jackpots of such a high amount that they can radically change the life of the player who manages to win it. But the reason why jackpots often reach millions of euros is simple: the odds of winning it are low, not zero, but really low. Let's start with a simple example: let's take a mechanical slot machine that has 3 reels, 20 symbols for each reel and only one payline. To win the jackpot, you need to get a combination of 3 certain symbols. The probability of success. If we increased the number of reels to 4, the probability would drop to 1 in 160,000. With 5 reels, you would have 1 chance out of over 3 million. Unfortunately there are few mechanical slot machines still operating in casino traditions and of course the online game is completely virtual.
If it is so difficult to win the jackpot, why do so many players love the new generation of slot machines ? The attractive graphics, the bonus games and the idea of being able to win a stratospheric sum have an irresistible charm for casino customers. Based on the calculation of the odds of winning, however, this type of game represents the worst option among all the alternatives available in casinos.
Following purely mathematical reasoning, it would be best not to play slot machines. If you really have to do it, choose slots that do not have very high jackpots and with as few symbols as possible. Obviously, a more realistic reasoning must take into account the fact that the jackpot is not the only prize up for grabs, there are various combinations available and by the law of large numbers, not all games can be losers. In addition, a probability of 1 in 20 million does not mean that every 20 million exact games the jackpot will be cleared: this could never happen as well as occur twice in a matter of seconds.
The outcome of the bets depends on a random number generation software (RNG), the code of which may be different for each game. Special features, the high number of symbols and multiple paylines confuse the waters a lot. The progressive jackpot is often shared with multiple slot machines belonging to a casino network and it is impossible to estimate how many games are played by all players.