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Traditionally, slots are the horizontal lines that pay out winning combinations on a machine. Modern games, however, feature multiple paylines and many different symbols. These can vary by game and theme, but classic symbols include fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Most slot games have a theme, and the symbols are usually aligned with it.
In addition to the basic symbols, most slot games have special features that can increase the payout odds. These include wilds, multipliers, and free spins. The amount of money that can be won depends on how many of these symbols land on the reels.
The math behind slots is relatively simple. First, the random number generator (RNG) selects a sequence of numbers. This is then mapped to the stops on each reel. The number of times the symbol appears on a reel is then determined by a probability distribution. This information is compiled by the machine and displayed on the screen. Using this data, players can make educated decisions about when to stop betting and when to change their strategy.