Slot machines began their life as a game for mere entertainment, with small stakes and modest prizes. Most of them were mechanical devices, which consisted of three reels. However, nowadays Slots have been transformed into multi-reel, multi-line electronic devices, which are controlled by computer. Contemporary Slots bring larger bonuses and have a variety of features, payouts and Progressive Jackpots.
Before starting to play the modern Slot machines, every player should be aware of the fact that no matter that the individual stakes can be low, the play’s speed is often very fast. This can result in the player losing a colossal bankroll really quickly, especially when playing a multi-line machine.
Slots often become addictive and make some players bet uncontrollably. This is exactly the reason why slots require players to have strong self-control skills in order to put a full stop whenever they start losing large amounts of money.
Is there a way to beat the Slots machine? The answer is no. There is a small number of players, who are believed to have beaten the Slots, but in the common case it is almost impossible to beat the machine. So, the best advice for the beginners, who have decided to go and try their luck, is to choose the machines and strategies carefully, and manage their bankroll effectively by doing their best to lose less money.
How Does a Slot Machine Work?
As mentioned above, contemporary Slot machines are not mechanical. The modern machines are “smart” – they select the result that is to be displayed on the reels or the video screen the moment the player touches the start button. The machine chooses a random number for each reel and stops it at a particular time.
There is a Random Number Generator (RNG) inside the Slots machine, which creates thousands of random numbers, so that at the same moment when the player hits the start button, one number is selected for each reel. If we have to put this in other words, the player’s chances of winning a prize are predetermined the moment they press the machine’s button.
No one is able to predict the outcome of the Slot machine’s spin. That is why it is said that players have equal chances of losing multiple consecutive spins or winning a jackpot several times in a row. There is absolutely no way of predicting whether you will be lucky or not.
Here are several principles the players should be aware of before starting to play a Slot machine:
- The previous spins of a Slot machine have nothing to do with the future ones
The machine’s short term actions are not bound to the long term results of the players.
- Beating the machine by hitting the jackpot does not necessarily mean you will lose right after that. It does not mean that you will win again, either
A Slot machine does not have a “memory” of the jackpots it has already paid. It continues producing random numbers, which determine if the player is going to win or lose.
- A Slot machine does not work on pre-determined sequences
Every spin of the machine is absolutely random and cannot be predicted in any way.
- There are no machines which are more pre-disposed of beating the players and which are not
All Slot machines give you equal chances of winning or losing, there is no connection with previous payouts made by a certain machine. And in this sense, if another player wins a jackpot after you, this is mere luck and has nothing to do with the fact what your luck was right before that.
- The concept that the longer you play at the Slot machine, the bigger your chances of winning are is completely wrong
The time spent by a certain player at the machine is not connected with larger chances of hitting the jackpot. It also makes absolutely no difference which machine you are playing.
- The way you push the button is not related to the outcome of the spin
As we have already mentioned, pushing the machine’s button is the moment when the random numbers are chosen. However, the player cannot know the exact moment when the jackpot is determined by the Random Number Generator.
- The payouts cannot be changed by the casino
The payouts can be changed only if the casino replaces the computer chip in the motherboard with a new one. This is not impossible, but such a process requires many time and expenses, which is why it is highly unlikely to be done.
The Random Number Generator operates continuously, running through dozens of numbers and number combinations within a second. Then, the player just needs to press the button in order to make the selected combination “pop up”.
Types of Slot Machines
The machine could be a classic-style spinning reels one, or a video screen one, but its type does not make a difference when it comes to percentage paybacks.
The only difference between the different types of machine could come in the symbols they carry, as well as the style of the machine.
- Classic Slot Machines
The classic slot machine features 3 reels and only 1 pay-line. These slots are pretty much traditional and are also related to the ones that first appeared in casinos.
There is a great variety of symbols you can encounter when playing at classic slot machines. Some of them are absolutely unique, but there are often some traditional fruit-based symbols like cherries, melons or oranges. Other commonly used traditional symbols are single double, triple bar, lucky 7’s and high playing card symbols.
- Bonus Slot Machines
The machines which have bonus games or other bonus features are usually called Bonus Slot Machines. Such machines have a large number of special features such as free spins or gamble specifications. There are also Slot machines, which may contain a combination of a gamble feature, a bonus game (or multiple bonus games) and free spins.
- Bonus Game Feature – This is a type of an additional feature incorporated in the normal functions of the Slot machine. Usually, it takes you to a different screen to play and usually result in providing the player with an opportunity to get some extra credits.
- Free Spins Feature – This feature gives the player an opportunity to win extra spins free of charge.
- Gamble Feature – This type of feature usually comes as an offer to a player to choose a card. The feature is usually played once the player has had a winning combination.
- Fruit Machines
These types of machines are the most traditional ones in the UK, which makes them extremely popular among people who want to have fun. The Fruit Machines are based on skill more than any other Slot machines and are equipped with unique features, which usually make them different from other types of Slot games.
The player usually gets random awards of a nudge or a hold over the game. The hold feature is traditional for the Fruit Machines. It provides the player with the opportunity to hold one or more of the machine’s reels on their next spin. They may even get the chance to hold more than one reel for a multiple amount of spins.
The nudge feature is also typical for Fruit Machines. It allows the player to nudge either one or more of the 3 reels on their next spin. A certain number of nudges may be awarded by the machine, including random nudges for a multiple amount of spins.
- Loyalty Slot Machines
Loyalty Slot Machines normally operate on a popular theme. A total of six pink star symbols need to be collected by the player. Once the latter manages to gather all of them, a loyalty jackpot can be one.
- Multipayline Slot Machines
This type of Slot Machines are different from Classic Slot Machines, which feature only a single playline. There are multiple paylines available at this type of machines, which means the player has a chance of getting several winning combinations.
- Progressive Slot Machines
Progressive Slot Machine are usually found pretty attractive by players, because they are believed to provide a really big chance for win. The progressive jackpot can get extremely big in a short period of time. However, the jackpot is almost never gathered by a singe machine.
- Video Slot Machines
Video Slot Machines are considered as relatively new. They do not have any moving parts, because they are based on a screen and graphically represent a genuine slot machine.
A large number of Slot machines usually carry some special symbols that link them to the theme they are based on. Still, there are several standard categories of symbols Slot machines have:
- Wild Symbols
Any symbol that is part of this group is one that substitutes for any other symbol needed to create a winning combination for the player. An important thing to note is the fact that the wild symbols of some machines are especially said not to be a substitute of cherries, or jackpot symbols, or feature-launching symbols.
- Multiplier symbols
These symbols have become more and more popular on modern Slots, and especially on those, which displays are made to look like the classic spinning reel-style ones. An important thing to know is that the higher the multiplier symbol, the less likely to be hit.
“Double Jackpot”, “Double Win”, “Double Diamond”, “Double Trouble”, etc. are the Slot machines that feature double symbols. If the player hits two double symbols, their corresponding win is multiplied by four.
“Triple Jackpot”, “Triple Diamond”, “Triple Gold” and “Lucky Trebles” are the machines, which offer three times payouts for the combinations that include one symbol, and nine times the payout in case of hitting two of these symbols.
“Five Times Pay” symbol multiplies the players’ wins by five when hit. It multiplies your win by 25 times, if there are two of these symbols in the final combination.
The player’s win is multiplied by 10 by the “Ten Times Pay” and by 100, when two of these symbols are present in the spin.
Styles of Machine
There are different styles of Slot machines a player may encounter:
- Classic 3-Reel with Fixed Jackpot
The player could play one, two or three coins per spin, while all wins increase proportionately to the number of coins. However, the jackpot may not rise correspondingly for the third coin played.
There are also machines, which offer the opportunity to choose between one and nine coins to be played. The wins also increase proportionately, apart from the jackpot.
- Classic 3-Reel with Bonus Awards for Maximum Coins
The payouts offered by these machines can be for one or two coins. There are also some extra possible combinations for a maximum of three coins, which brings the player a chance of getting extra prizes.
- Classic 3-Reel with Progressive Jackpot
Progressive jackpots are quite popular among players mainly because of the fact most people are usually attracted by the constantly increasing jackpot. Such a jackpot is paid when maximum coins are inserted in the machine.
Slot machines, which carry progressive jackpots, usually have smaller wins, so be careful when choosing such a machine.
- WAPS (4-Reel Classic Slots)
WAPS stands for Wide Area Progressive Slots, which basically means that the progressive jackpot is not gathered from one machine only or one bank of machines. In such cases, the progressive jackpot is accumulated from carousels of Slot machines in the casinos located in the entire State, or even the entire country.
There are such machines on the territory of the U.S., the U.K., Australia and South Africa. Most WAPS are not managed by the casinos themselves, but by the manufacturer of the machines or the company that distributes them.
- Classic Slots and Video Slots with Accumulator Bonuses
Such machines are sometimes called “Variable State Slots” due to the fact that they may be more or less favourable for the player depending on the moment they chose to play them.
These Slot machines work on the principle that the bonus is paid to the player only when a certain number of symbols or combinations have been accumulated in a “bank”.
- 3- and 4-Reel Classic Slots with Bonus Games
This type of Slot machines is slowly becoming the backbone of many casinos’ Slot stables. Usually, these are classic machines with the addition of a bonus game in case a certain combination or a specific symbol is hit.
- Video Slots with Multi-Line and Multi-Coin Functions
This type is becoming more and more popular among players due to the fact that there is a larger possibility for a win to be hit. Unfortunately, the winnings are usually smaller than the money players put in.
Video Slots can vary, and each machine is for one denomination only. In addition, such machines normally use a lot of credits per spin. There are several options which offer you to play between 1 and 200 coins.
- Play one to ten coins per spin – The player is able to increase or decrease the number of credits for each game.
- Play one to twenty pay-lines – The pay-lines include the top and bottom lines, the centre line, zig-zag and diagonal lines, as well as lines with drops at the beginning and at the end.
Still, no matter what the prizes are, a player should always be aware of the fact that if the bonus rounds are much promoted, the Slot machine is usually hard to be beaten.
Choosing What Machines and House Edges to Play
Usually, the house edge is expressed in terms of percentage payback that is to be made by the machine. The paybacks normally vary, but you should be very cautious when Slots offer very large returns because this rule may apply to only one machine in a bank of machines or to several machines in the entire casino. If you are not sure to which machines the payback applies to, ask a Slots manager.
When playing at the Slot machines, one of the most important things you should do is choose denomination wisely. The general rule is – the higher the stake, the higher the percentage payback.
When playing Slot machines without a Progressive Jackpot, it is usually a better decision for the player to play one coin on the higher-denomination machine. Try to stick to simple machines in order to give yourself the best chance of success.
The payouts percentages have increased after the casinos’ discovery that it is more profitable for them to hold 5% of a dollar.
How to Play
Playing at a Slot machine is easy as child’s play. The only thing required by the player is to just press the button and wait until the reels stop turning.
Almost all Slot machines are equipped with currency acceptors. The player must slide a bill into the slot and then the machine displays an equivalent amount of credits on a special metre. The player chooses how many credits they want to play and push the “spin reels” button, or pull the handle.
When it comes to Video Slots, the player must push a button in order to choose how many pay-lines they want to activate, and then a second button in order to choose how many credits to bet per line. The most common configurations have nine pay-lines, which can be wagered 1 to 5 credits per each. Video Slots, on the other hand, are usually available with 5, 15, 20, 25 and even 50 pay-lines and could be inserted with up to 25 coins per line.
Slot Games Themes
There are hundreds of different Slot Games Themes in order to meet the personal taste and requirements of each and every player and bring them excellent gaming experience. Here are some of the most popular ones:
The theme varies from mammals to marine life and offers entertainment for all lovers of Slot machines.
The great variety of Arctic themes offer the players to have a great time with the beautiful interface, which consists of polar bears, penguins, reindeer, Arctic wolves, seals, whales, etc. There are also special Christmas Arctic editions with a large range of symbols.
Many casinos offer different Cleopatra themes Slots, which are actually some of the most popular machines among the lovers of ancient Egyptian history. The machines also include interactive bonus rounds and special features inspired from the legend of Cleopatra.
This is another type of Slots interface for the lovers of Ancient Egypt. There are currently hundreds of Slot machines that feature the Egyptian theme based on the imagery and mythology of the Ancient Egypt.
This type of Slot Machines are especially for the adventurous players who like to explore the world. There are different styles of scenery, animals and objects related to exploration, which will bring you excellent experience.
These slots will bring you to the magical world of fairy tales. They feature a great variety of characters that are typical for the mysterious fantasy world such as trolls, fairies, genies, unicorns, witches and wizards, mermaids, and so on.
Here you can find some of the most popular fantasy fiction characters, which could make your blood boil of terror and excitement. Choose a Slot machine that features such a theme and meet dark lords, vampires, warlocks, magic, etc. The Tolkien mythology is also honoured especially for all fans of The Lord of the Rings.
History themes are featuring all major historical eras and artefacts that usually attract history lovers. From the ancient lands of the Mayans and Aztecs to the Vikings – you will be provided with the opportunity to dive into their history and enjoy an amazing experience.
- Jewels and Gems
This is also one of the most popular themes especially made for the people who admire the beauty of gemstones and jewels. Diamonds, rubies, and sapphires – you name it! All you have to do is choose a machine based on such a there.
Pirates are usually related to freedom, open waters and fun. Now all players who have ever been inspired by the pirate life get the change to dive deep into it by choosing such an adventure by playing a pirate-theme-based slot machine.
You can now celebrate every season by choosing such a Slot machine. There is a great variety of seasonal themes with beautiful pictures related to every season. Fresh spring flowers, hot sands, red and yellow leaves, or snowmen and red-nosed reindeer – it’s entirely your choice!
Slots Tournaments are pretty attractive to both players and visitors if properly organized, turn into thrilling events for all participants.
If you decide to attend such an event, note that the casinos usually separate a section of the main floor and set it up with bans of special Slots especially for the tournament.
The Slots Tournaments can be organized in one, or several sessions during the day and evening. The Tournaments sometimes are run over several days.