Traditional Online Slots
Slots, slots, slots! There are two distinct types of slots: traditional slots and progressive slots. Whereas this page will give everything you need to know about the world of traditional slots, please visit our page on progressives as well. Remember, the more you know, the more you win!
There are a variety of ways to refer to slot machine games, depending on where in the world you happen to find yourself. Here in the US they’re commonly referred to as slots, slot machines whereas the British prefer the term Fruit machines. Australians call them poker machines, even if the game of poker is not being played or even referred to. Classic slot machines are coin operated games that, once a coin is put into them, has independently spinning wheels rotate independently from one another to stop at a random combination of symbols and (hopefully) winning the gambler a prize payout in terms of the bet placed. The older machines required that a lever, located on the side of the machine, was pulled down in order to activate the spinning wheels, but advancements in technology has made it possible to activate the machines simply by pressing a button, and in some online cases, the spins can be programmed to roll automatically for up to 2,000 times! This doesn’t eliminate the tradition embedded in the game, however; slots are still referred to as one-armed bandits referring to the lever on the side and their ability to render a gambler broke quickly. When a bettor wins, the payment of the winnings were often in the form of tumbling coins flowing out the machines, but nowadays are credited to the amount in the machine for continual playing. The winnings are determined by combinations of the symbols on the wheels- there is a menu located on the front of the machine or on your computer screen, depending on your method of play, that tell the gambler which combinations to hope for- that is, which combinations win. The menu also gives the payoff amount for said win, depending on the bet placed. The bet can vary not only in the number of coins played, but also in which pay lines are activated. With new technology, it is not limited to the center line for winning combinations to be hit- diagonals, verticals, criss-cross and any number of patterns can be programmed into a machine to win. The possibilities are nearly endless, making slots the most popular of online casino games- and earning land based casinos up to 70% of their revenue.
Usually, the symbols to be matched on the spinning wheels or video screen are brightly colored, easily recognizable objects such as images of fruits, and easy shapes, like hearts, diamonds and stars. Some of the more popular slot machines now are multi-lines. These games allow the player to win on more than one line- meaning that the symbols do not have to come up on the center horizontal line only, but can also be won on the diagonal, double-diagonal, top or bottom center lines, etc. The mechanical machines can be programmed to have three or five paylines, while the computer games can have as many as 25 or 100 different paylines. Typically, video slot machines, and the online versions are themed games with graphics and music based on pop culture. Most games allow the player to bet more than one credit on a turn- allowing the possibility for a greater payout depending on the schedule.
There are differences between reel slot machines and the video slots: the way payouts are calculated. With the mechanical machines, it is to the players advantage to play as many credits as possible- the only way for the gambler to win the maximum jackpot is to play the maximum number of coins. In video slots, however, the fixed payout values are multiplied by the number of coins per line that are being bet. So it increases the wins to play as many lines as possible (increasing the chances of a combination being hit among them) but not necessarily with more than one credit. There are a few game designs that take exception to this programming, requiring the maximum bet to be played to win the jackpot, but they are the minority.
Example: On “Wheel of Fortune (reel version),” in order to win the jackpot, you must win the bonus round, and that is achieved by playing 3 coins per spin. On the video version, you are eligible to win a bonus round regardless of how many coins you bet per turn.
Land-based casinos can offer slot machines with any denomination of minimum bet- it ranges from .01 (penny-slots) to $100. High limit slot machines are typically set apart from the main floor in a “High Limit” area for the comfort of their patrons. Technology now allows the wins to be calculated in credits rather than having a flood of physical coins be dumped out of the machine after each win. The credit system allows gamblers to play more quickly, without the hassle of dealing with the physical coins, and permits gamblers to switch machines easily. When a player is done with a machine, any remaining available credits will print out on a ticket, a receipt to be inserted in another machine or taken to the cage and redeemed for cash- bills, rather than coins.
A new version of slot machines has recently become available, and is becoming more popular: “multi-denomination” machines. Instead of a player choosing the amount to play first and going in search of machines that suit their betting style, (choosing nickel slots first, then finding a game within that category) players can choose a multi-denominational machine and tell the game how much they’d like to bet on each turn (player chooses a Roman-themed game and chooses to bet one dollar each spin.) If their game is going well, or not, they can then change their bets, increasing or decreasing the wagers as they please.
- Slots Background
- Slots Vocabulary
- How Do You Win at Slots?
- Slots Machinery
- Slots Around the World