Slot machine, byname one-armed bandit, known in Great Britain as a fruit machine, gambling device operated by dropping one or more coins or tokens into a slot and pulling a handle or pushing a button to activate one to three or more reels marked into horizontal segments by varying symbols. The machine pays off by dropping into a cup or trough from two to all the coins in the machine, depending on how and how many of the symbols line up when the rotating reels come to rest.
How to Play Slots
Slots are very easy to play and in many cases they are automated and can be played without your assistance. The only thing you need to do is select how many lines you want to play, how much you want to spend per line and whether or not you want to include optional extras (such as wild reels, nudges, holds and more).
After that you just need to press “Spin” or click the “Auto-play” option, and the reels will start turning.
From there you can sit back and watch, and in most cases the game will play out before your eyes. In some cases you will need to get involved. This is the case with some bonus slots and video slots, where you will be asked to make selections, to choose from certain bonus round features, and to get involved in other ways.
The degree of interactivity changes from slot to slot, but they are becoming more interactive, more immersive and more reliant on your attention. Such is the case with games such as Beehive Reactors, where the bonus round is a side-scrolling mini-game where you fly, hop, jump and collect coins like you would in an old Nintendo game.
Types of Slot Machines
The types or slot machines available at online and land-based casinos are more varied than most players would initially assume. That’s because gaming establishments are always searching for new ways to draw in customers, just the same way that an auto manufacturer looks for new wrinkles to make their products appealing.
Keep in mind that a large number of slots fall into multiple categories, such as a multi-line slot that offers bonus rounds and a progressive jackpot. Some casino clients, however, like games that are more straightforward and less complicated. That’s the great thing about variety, as it provides those with differing tastes the opportunity to find the machine that’s perfect for them.
Only found in land-based casinos, these were the original slot machines that used physical reels instead of video displays. No new versions of this type are produced, although they’re still valued by some collectors.
The modern form of slot machine, this type of game computer technology to display virtual reels. It’s not uncommon for them to also include animation and clips from popular movies or television shows.
The most basic version of the modern slot, this type of game awards prizes as determined by the pay table. In addition to normal wins, these games often feature scatter symbols, multipliers, wild symbols, and even bonus rounds.
The most basic type of slot, this machine offers a single payline across the reels. While this option can still be found, it’s becoming increasingly uncommon. Much of this is due to the fact that modern slots all feature virtual reels, so making 30 paylines doesn’t cost that much more than creating one.
Instead of a single line that pays from left to right, this popular option offers numerous paylines that stretch out in all manner of bizarre patterns on the reels. Just hitting one still results in a win, but it’s possible to win multiple times on a single spin. These have become the industry standard, and the 30-payline game is the most common. There are 50-paylines games, though, and I’ve also seen machines that paid right to left.
When the reels have stopped spinning on this version of the game, the player may choose to spin again while holding one or more reels (usually those containing symbols with the largest payouts). Since the odds of getting a winning combination are increased with this option, the payouts are almost always set at a lower amount.
While certain combinations of symbols offer a set amount, there’ also a top prize that can be obtained. This is known as the “jackpot,” and it offers the largest of the game’s available payouts. This amount is often a fixed number, although the size of your wager can result in a potential increase.
Each time someone plays a progressive slot, a small percentage of their wager is allocated to the progressive jackpot. That means the prize continues to grow, and it doesn’t stop until the winning combination has been hit. Once that happens, the payout resets to a minimum amount and begin to build again. It’s not unusual to see a progressive jackpot offering a six-figure payout, and some may even climb into the millions.
Instead of just accepting a single denomination, this type of slot machine allows player to select how much they want to wager. This amount could be as low as a penny, or it might climb as high as several hundred dollars.
If the necessary symbols appear on the reels, a bonus round is unlocked. In some cases, this is as simple as free spins with one or two of the reels displaying different icons. In other cases, the bonus round may unlock animated games that offer free spins or bonus amounts of money. I’ve even seen games where you had to unlock the bonus round before you could be eligible for the progressive jackpot.
Buy a Pay
This type of slot includes multiple payout tables. Higher wagers make you eligible for better payouts, and the maximum amount must be risked in order to have a chance at the jackpot.
Loose and Tight Slots
These aren’t actual types of slots, but players often use these terms to describe different games. A loose slot offers frequent payouts, while a tight slot is stingy when it comes to awarding money to customers.
No matter where you choose to do your gaming, most of the types of slot machines included on this list are bound to be available. The best strategy is to find the game that works best for you, whether it has to do with the payout potential or some other factor, and stick with it. Before you settle on one type, however, there’s nothing wrong with sampling all the available options.
Online slots strategy: Winning at online slots
The size of your bankroll is crucial in helping you win at slots. The more money you have available, the bigger the chances of winning at this game. This is where taking advantage of casino bonus offers and promotions, can come in handy.
Go for the best Return-on-Player (RTP)
One of the things that many beginners don’t understand, is the fact that all casino games have a fixed payout rate. This means that over a period of time, the casino game returns a percentage of the money spent by the player back in the forms of winnings.
Instead of going by theme or flashy graphics, you need to find out this information before you start spinning the reels of a new online slot. Not all games have the same payouts, so you definitely should aim for a game that gives back the most.
Pick your games wisely
Similarly to our previous point, there are plenty of things you need to pay attention to. For example, three-reel slots might not have stunning graphics, but they are usually the best ones for players who play to win since they pay out on a regular basis.
These days, five-reel slots are all the rage. They offer exciting features and although they are enjoyable and highly entertaining, their payout rates tend to be lower than three-reeled slots. Jackpots games offer even lower payouts due to the possibility of winning big. This is due to jackpot games being highly volatile. By high volatility, we mean that a slot game might pay less frequently but when it does, the wins are bigger than average.
Even if you’re going after a jackpot, you should aim to play three-reeled slots, especially if you have a set bankroll. Games with lower variance are more likely to boost your bankroll.
Pick games with smaller jackpots
If you have to play jackpot games, your best chance of winning lies with smaller jackpot games. It is easier to win a jackpot that is small since the bigger a jackpot is, the worst are the odds of winning it.
Bet on all pay lines
If you have opted to play a 25-payline slot game, then place bets on all the lines if you can afford it. You could easily miss out on a massive payout, simply for not betting on all the lines. If you cannot afford the max bet of a particular slot game, go after another one.
Mix up your bets
If you cannot bet on all pay lines as previously advised, mix up your bets. If you are on a winning streak, then up your bets, but once you feel that your luck is running out, lower your betting amount or else, move on to another casino game.
Stop when you’ve exhausted your bankroll
One of the best advice we can give you, is to have a set bankroll before you start playing online slots. Once you’ve run out of money, don’t make any more deposits or go chasing after your losses. Slots tend to be highly volatile at times, so there is no guarantee that you will get all your money back. Remember, slot games are games of chance. Even if you had to employ the best strategy available out there, you have no guarantee of winning big.