Didn’t They Design the Slot to Show This Near Miss?

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All Aboard Dynamite Dash by Konami two dynamite symbols

We know that the Random Number Generator ensures that outcomes are random within the range of possibilities a slot can offer. But if that’s the case, a player wonders, how does that mesh up with intentional near miss moments?

I understand that it is a random number generator but don’t you believe that certain screens ‘if you will’ were meant to come up that exact way? Example, when playing Dragon Link and 5 fireballs come up and 2 pots come up on a screen – was that truly random?

Stacey B.

You’re halfway there about the RNG. The part you’re missing is that the RNG is random within a set range of outcomes. The set range of outcomes will include near miss scenarios like being one away from a bonus. 

Those outcomes will be more often than actually hitting the bonus because you need less symbols to almost get the bonus than you need to get the bonus.

It’s not unusual on a game that requires three bonus symbols to see one or two. In fact, one way game makers can ensure more near miss scenarios is to put more of those symbols on some reels than others, making the scenario of one or two symbols showing up much more likely.

Quick Hit Wild Blue reel strips

Take a look at this example of the reel strips on a classic Quick Hit machine. Notice how the bonus symbols on this game are on the middle three reels only. Two of the reel strips feature two bonus symbols on them, but the fourth reel only has one.

Quick Hit commonly has an outcome where the first two bonus symbols come out but the third does not. That’s because the number of symbols aren’t distributed evenly. Reel weighting – where certain spots on the wheel can land more often than others – can further amplify this scenario.

Similarly, the strip that is used as the middle reel (shown as the second one in this picture – the middle reel has the three Quick Hit symbols stacked together) only has one of each 7 symbol on them. This is designed to reduce the amount of pays on the 7s symbols, which pay higher than the others. This reduction in symbols, along with reel weighting, creates near-miss elements on the 7s as well.

So while the RNG has a role in which outcome comes up, another part of the puzzle is what outcomes the game is designed to deliver. And with slot reels there’s all sorts of ways to introduce near miss scenarios and still have the outcome be randomly selected from the potential ones available.

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