The basic idea of playing the slot machine is simple: you put coins in the machine, you pull the lever or push a button, and the reels are set in motion. There are symbols mounted on the reels. These can be anything, there is no law that says they have to be cherries or lemons or good old lucky 7. The object of the game is to have all the symbols the same on the payline. Not all machines are created equal. The number of reels, and lines can vary from machine to machine. The most important thing that you can do when you start is to read the rules. This cannot be stressed enough, especially in land-based casinos.
The jackpot on a slot machine can be static or Stud , or a combination of both (check the Slot Terminology page for a more detailed explanation). Depending on the machine chosen, you can bet up to three or four coins on each spin. To be eligible for the Stud Jackpot, you must play the maximum number of coins per spin and be betting with $1 or $5 denominations. You may hit the "bet max" button to play for the maximum amount of coins and the reels will automatically begin to spin. If you prefer, you may deposit one coin at a time and then pull the lever to start the reels spinning. Each game has different payouts which are displayed on the machine. Winning combinations are displayed in the center of the reels as marked by the pay line.
The difference between land-based slot machines and virtual slots is that in an online casino you play with virtual chips (v-chips) that take the place of actual coins. You open an account with a cashier, and v-chips are deposited in your account for you to bet with.
A couple of important rules:
This is the biggest one for online or for land-based casinos: READ THE DATA ON THE MACHINE. Slot machines are not all created equal, or the same. Read the available information on the machine you want to play so that you can be sure that you wonít be setting yourself up for some major heartache. Nothing feels worse than seeing the payline come up roses (or cherries, or 7s) and you did not bet the right amount to win.
Jackpots are elusive. Donít bet your house on one, you probably wonít win. Smaller jackpots will be paid out more frequently, giving you a greater chance of winning.
There are no real systems. Online Slot machines are powered by computer programs that supply random generated numbers, so luck is going to be the major force at work for you. Someone once told me something that I found to be true: ďthe harder I work, the luckier I get.Ē You can take this one step further, and say that the more you know the more you can increase your luck! Play the right machines for you, bet the right amounts, and read all the instructions, and don't bet more than you can afford. That's as lucky as you are going to get.
A Random Number Generator is a computer program built into a slot machine, or that is part of the software that powers an online slot, that selects the outcome of a given pull of the arm. It does exactly what itís name claims: it generates random numbers. These numbers are constantly being generated, even when the machine is not being played. So it is impossible to create a system that will crack the cycle. Even if there was one, how would you know where you were in it when you sit down to play?
These programs are set according to the percentage of payout that the Casino has decided on. Although they can set any maximum they want, there is a minimum that is established by the Gambling Commission whose jurisdiction they are under.
This percentage can vary from one Casino to another, and from one machine to another. You have to remember that the percentage applies to the payout over time. 95% does not mean $95.00 out of every $100.00 you bet. It means that over a period of time the average payout rate will equal 95% of the money deposited. A player who deposits $150 could win $50, while the next person who plays could deposit $5 and win the jackpot. The average of both players would equal 95%, but the division of winning would not necessarily be in proportion to the amount of money wagered.