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Terminology of Slots

Slot Machine: “One Armed Bandit” ring a bell? For obvious reasons, that used to be the most commonly used name for slot machines. Playing the “slots” is often a term that is used by players. In a land-based casino, the machines are physical entities that receive deposits in the form of coins through a slot. Thus, “slot machine”. Modern video machines have eliminated the arm, and online slots are played from money deposited with the cashier via credit card for the most part, so the slot is gone too. But the basic premise is still the same, and the name has remained.

Jackpots: Everyone wants to win one. Very few do. There are two basic kinds of jackpots: Stud , and static.

Stud : The amount of the jackpot is set at a base amount and increases with each coin that is inserted. Sometimes the potential jackpot is limited to a maximum at which point it converts to static (see below)... and sometimes the sky is the limit! It depends on the machine. The jackpot is always growing, and large payouts result…when they payout! The rule of thumb is: the bigger the jackpot, the less likely you are to win it. Goes with the territory. The payout is less often, and the number of people who win is not as high. But on the other hand, the money is greater. Yes, you can become an over-night millionaire.

One important point to remember about Stud jackpots is that you MUST read the requirements that the machine dictates for you to win the jackpot. This is especially true if you are not familiar with the machine. If haven’t deposited the right number of coins, those three red 7’s are not going to do you any good.

Static: The amount of the jackpot is set and doesn’t change. No matter how many coins have been deposited, the jackpot will be the same. These machines payout more frequently than the Stud jackpots, but with smaller amounts. This can be more fun for the average gambler as there is a very real possibility of winning something.

Different machines payout at different rates. The number of lines affects how big the payout will be as well. The more reels, the lower the odds of winning. Inversely, the 2 coin, 3 reel, single line play, non-Stud , low jackpot slot machine will offer you the best odds.

No matter what the jackpot arrangement, playing the slots should be fun. If you are obsessed with winning the jackpot you might like to use this link: Huge Prize.

Pay Cycle: Many people believe that the slot machine MUST payout after a predetermined number of coins have been deposited. The rational is that this is how they meet the percentage of payout that has been programmed into the software.

Take Cycle: This is the inverse: that the slot machine will not payout until it has completed accumulating a certain number of coins. It may payout some very small amounts, but the main function of the machine is to reach the percentage of “take” programmed into it before it can payout a sizable jackpot.

Hold: By law there is a percentage that the house must payout in winnings. The slot machine is programmed to hold a certain percentage of the money on deposit as house profit. The exact amount of the house profit held by the slot machine is decided by the casino. See the article on Random Generated Numbers.

Pay line: This is often the line in the center of the window, but there can be multiple lines on some slot machines. Only the designated symbols on this line will activate a payout by the machine.

Reels: The symbols that show up on the lines are mounted on reels, as shown in the graphic. The most common number of reels is three, but there can be more or less than that. Always remember that your chances of winning go down as the number of reels goes up.

Symbols: Although lemons, cherries, and 7s are familiar symbols that can be found on slot machines, the symbols set on the reels can be whatever the casino or the manufacturer chose. There is no absolute industry standard.

Tilt: Bet you thought that only happened to pinball machines. Nope. In a land-based casino, when the slot machine runs out of coins, or a coin becomes jammed, the machine will shut down all play and the “Tilt” light will come on. The machine has memory capability, so that when the problem is rectified, any winnings owed to a player will be remembered. Of course, for slot online players, this is of no concern at all. Virtual machines have no hopper to run dry or overflow.

Fill: The opposite, the hopper is overflowing and the excess coins have to be removed. Again, this is not a problem for online gamblers.

Hopper: This is the basket where the coins are stored inside the slot machine. When the hopper is full the excess coins fall into a basket in the bottom of the machine. When it is empty it flashes “Tilt”.

Playing Slots online

Playing a game at a slot machine is really easy.

Decide on the coin size that you wish to play with by clicking on the COIN buttons.

Decide how many coins you wish to bet by clicking on the BET ONE or BET MAX buttons.

Use the BET MAX button if you want to wager the maximum number of coins for the slot machine on the next spin. The BET MAX button allows you to win on all pay-lines available for that game.

Press SPIN to start the game.

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