Why Do Slots Reboot At Awkward Times?

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Piggy Bankin' slot out of service

If you’ve ever had the experience of a slot machine crashing, it’s an interesting experience. Slots are designed to pick up right where they left off, so you’re (usually) not going to miss out on anything. But it does seem like they crash at unfortunate times:

Why do machines decide to reboot right when your bonus is adding up? That happened to me last week and I thought I was going to lose my money. It finally came back on but I thought 😳 WTH!

Ellissa T.

Here’s our thinking on this. The normal game you play and wager on is pretty straightforward. Bonuses are when a lot of extra bells and whistles are going on – special graphics, animation, taller reels, all sorts of things like this.

Games are running on computers just like most modern electronics, and those computers are running 24/7. When pushed to their limit, it’s the most likely time for something to go wrong.

We’ve seen some spectacular crash and burns over the years. We watched a Mighty Cash Double Up machine struggling (background animations disappearing and so on) until it finally hit a wall when a player got a bonus. She got nervous, like you did, but 15 minutes later things were right back where they were before.

So if you think about it, the bonus is where the machine is working harder, so if it’s on edge that’s where it’s most naturally going to crash. And the count-up is the last part of that process of all the extra stuff happening, so that’s where it’s probably at its most stressed before it returns to a less impactful state of play.

YouTube player

The only time we’ve ever seen a machine not fully recover was the example captured in one of Brian Christopher’s videos where the machine just outright would not return, crashing each time it rebooted, which led the casino to make a deal with Brian. But this sort of thing is very unlikely to happen (in fact slot makers go out of their way to design slots to avoid this outcome).

So the good news is this sort of thing isn’t common, but it’ll happen. And in most cases, you’re protected by the machine’s memory and knowing it will bring things back to life where you were before. But that’s why it is more likely to crash at the end of a bonus.

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2 Replies to “Why Do Slots Reboot At Awkward Times?”

  • Randy D says:

    Great explanation of the crash Brian. As a slot tech I can concur what You are saying. These machines run hard 24/7 and can overheat at inopportune times also.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Overheating’s a good one we forgot about, and makes perfect sense given these are computers at a basic level!

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