How to Read Slot Machines
For those new to slot machines, sitting down to play can be a bit confusing. There are numerous symbols and buttons on the game and someone who has never played might not be able to understand everything. It all may be a bit of a shock to the system for new players. While the machine itself can tabulate winning spins, understanding the machine also makes for a more rewarding experience at a casino or when playing online. Learning a few of the essential concepts will help players as they spin those reels. Keep reading to learn more about how to read all key aspects of a slot machine. 1 – Reels Someone new to a slot will notice a set of three to five lines in the center of the screen featuring various symbols. These “reels” spin vertically on every spin. These are what a player is watching to see if they are a winner on the spin. These reels derive from original slot machines that featured mechanical working reels that actually determined the winner. Nowadays, a random number generator (RNG) actually determines a winner, and most reels are now of the digital graphic variety. These are actually visual representations of what the RNG determines for that spin. Slot manufacturers have improved this experience greatly since the days of actual mechanical reels. Players will see unique graphics, video, and other features on these reels in modern games. Slot machine reels are a key feature on a slot and display the result of each spin. The popular slot Zeus II, available on Jackpot Party, serves as an example throughout this article. Here’s a look at the 4x5 reels on this game. 2 – Spin Button Now that you know what the reels are, it may be time to give those reels a spin. The spin button gets the game underway, initiating the reels to spin after you’ve selected the number of credits you’d like to wager. Once that spin button has been pressed the reels spin and eventually come to a stop. Players will then be able to see if they won any credits on that particular spin. Once credits have been paid out to a player’s account, he or she can then hit the spin button again to initiate another spin of the reels. Online, players may find a spin button that is located on the game itself. For example, in this version of Zeus II, the button looks like a triangular “play” symbol typically associated with playing music online. Simply click this button to see the reels spin. Players on Jackpot Party will find a similar spin button on most games. 3 – Bet Button When taking a seat at a slot game, you’ll first insert some cash or a credit voucher. Online players can also select the amount they want to use on that particular spin of the reels. If you are playing a penny machine and insert a $20 bill, you’ll then have 2,000 credits to play and this should show up on the screen. That amount will increase and decrease depending on your winning or losing spins. Players can determine how many credits they want to wager per line on each spin. More credits wagered per spin means you’ll receive more on each winning spin. Players can easily adjust the number of credits bet by tapping this bet button. At Jackpot Party, simply click the chips/coins icons above and below the play button on the screen to adjust your wager per spin. Click the top icon to increase and the bottom icon to decrease. An image will show up noting the total bet above the buttons as seen in this image from Zeus II. You can also click on the menu button to the left of the play symbol to adjust your bet as well. 4 – Pay Lines Pay lines are what visually show the ways that a player wins based on the reels on screen. On classic slots, there was usually a single line across the center of the reels and paid out when certain symbols showed up. Eventually, that evolved into multiple paylines. With the advent of video slots, slot manufacturers were able to get even more creative. Most games now offer numerous paylines. That can include horizontal paylines as well as lines that seem to zigzag across the reels. Different slot games offer different ways to win. Some symbols may allow lines to link across the reels in seemingly random patterns. Players also have the chance to see multiple payouts with various paylines connecting across the reels. Multi-line payouts mean more winnings are possible per spin. Here are a few of Jackpot Party's most famous Vegas slots: However, don’t worry that you won’t be able to recognize which symbols align on each spin. Games now determine the winners via the RNG and display which symbols are connected to the screen after each spin. This makes it easy to see which spins are winners. Players will easily see winning lines and credits put in their bank before spinning again. This also allows players to start recognizing which symbols pay off at higher rates than others. Some symbols, such as Wilds and Scatters, can offer players not only winning pay lines but also higher payouts than they might earn otherwise. Modern slots, whether in a live casino, online, or in social media platforms, feature plenty of creativity and numerous ways to win. Players can also increase the number of credits paid per line to win even more. In the Zeus II game, here’s a look how the game shows how a person has won by highlighting the lines and icons which align to make the spin pay off. The game will also highlight multiple wins as well. 5 – Pay Table For more information about how a slot machine pays out, players may want to check out a slot’s pay table. This can be found on the exterior of the game itself sometimes, but can often be viewed on the screen of a video slot as well. The pay table shows the player the number of paylines on a certain machine as well as prizes and payouts. Players will find the betting requirements for the game as well as the symbol combinations on the reels and how they pay out. Obviously some symbols pay more and players will be able to observe these. The top row on the pay table will offer players some insight on the largest jackpot payouts. The symbol also shows how much each combination pays depending on the number of credits played. Most machines allow players to pay from three to five credits per line. The pay table shows how each jackpot pays out for these varying bets. Players at the max bet will often find some of the higher payouts that are multiple times better than the other payouts on the same line at smaller levels. A pay table is key to learning more about the possible wins and payouts on each game. These pay tables are also available for online games at Jackpot Party. For Zeus II, click the menu button (three horizontal lines) to the left of the play icon. This brings up a small box in the middle of the screen. There are five more icons at the top allowing players to adjust bets, volume, and more. Click on the “i” tab at the top to see more information on the game and scroll down to the pay table, which looks like this. 6 – Scatters Slot developers have gotten creative through the years, moving beyond just allowing players to win with certain symbols that show up on screen. Some symbols can be used in multiple combinations to produce wins and even trigger bonus games. The scatter symbol is just one of those. These act as triggers and their exact use depends on the game a player is playing. Seeing some of these may bring about different types of bonus features including free spins and other bonus rounds (more on those below) as well as other interesting gameplay aspects. These are typically some of the highest-paying symbols and players traditionally need to see multiple symbols appear on the reels to reap some real rewards from them. In Zeus II, the lightning bolt serves as the scatter symbol. When lining up at least three of these scatters, players will earn a free spins bonus. In this game players can earn up to 150 free spins when five scatter symbols show up. Here’s a look at one of the symbols, located in the upper right. The symbol is pictured in the informational box as part of the pay table. 7 – Wild Symbols Slot manufacturers work to make their games fun and exciting. Adding more ways to win helps accomplish this and wild symbols go a long way in accomplishing this. These symbols are similar to the Joker in a wild-card poker game, they can serve to substitute for other symbols to make a winning combination. A player finding a few symbols on the reels will find that a wild often helps reward them with some winnings. In Zeus II, the Temple Wild symbol accomplishes this task. These can replace all other symbols, except for the lightning bolt, to form winning combinations. Here’s a look at the Temple Wild in Zeus II, located in the upper left via the information box. 8 – Bonus Rounds/Free Spins To make games more exciting, slot manufacturers build in differing features that can be triggered through various means. This may range from making a pick for a prize, free spins, respins, and more. Some games even feature a completely different screen video clips and other exciting features as part of a bonus game. These offer players a chance to win even more in the game. Winning free spins is a common bonus game. This means players earn a number of spins that don’t take away from a player’s credits. Free spins offer players even more chances to win and those awarded can range from just a few to 100 or more. In some games, the most lucrative symbols appear more often during the free spins section. Additionally, players can often earn even more free spins during the free spins bonus. This means the round gets extended and gives you even more opportunities to win. In Zeus II, players have a chance at a free spins bonus. This happens when you find three lightning bolt symbols on reels one, two, and three. Players will earn 10 free spins for accomplishing this and can earn even more with scatter symbols and wilds showing up as well. Zeus II also includes another bonus, the Hot Hot Super Respin. Respins occur on this game during the free spins bonus. Respins occur when certain bonus symbols appear, locking them in place and spinning the other reels again for a shot at more winnings. The Hot Hot Super Respin occurs when a Zeus symbol appears on reel one, triggering a few respins to the free spins bonus. The Zeus symbol locks in place while the other reels continue spinning, with some wild symbols hopefully showing up to add even more winnings to your bank. Here’s a look at the free spins feature on Zeus II. 9 – Conclusion Slot games, whether playing in a casino or online, may be intimidating at first but learning just a few of the key features will help a player understand what they are doing. Here’s a quick review of some of the key concepts to remember. For a full list of slots terms, please visit our slots terms page. 10 – Frequently Asked Questions What are reels? Reels are the vertical spinning sections of a slot machine screen that feature various symbols. They determine the winning combinations for each spin. What is the spin button? The spin button is an icon or button that initiates the spin of the reels after the player has selected the number of credits they want to wager. What is the bet button? The bet button is a button or icon that allows the player to determine their bet per spin. They can adjust the number of credits they want to wager per line. What are pay lines? Pay lines are the lines on the reels that determine the winners depending on which symbols appear. They don't necessarily have to line up straight across, but can run in random directions depending on the game and symbols that appear. What is the pay table? The pay table is a table that shows what prizes a player can win based on the symbols that appear on the reels. It also shows the highest jackpot on the game that a player can win. What are scatters? Scatters are distinct symbols on a slot machine that can trigger bonus features when they appear on the reels. They are usually the highest paying symbols on a slot. What are wild symbols? Wild symbols are symbols on a slot machine that can substitute as other symbols on the game to create winning combinations. What are bonus rounds and free spins? Bonus rounds and free spins are extra games that a player can win, giving them extra opportunities to win credits without affecting their balance. Bonus rounds can offer various features such as pick-for-a-prize, respins, and more. Free spins give players more chances to win with every spin.
15 of the Biggest Casino Slot Machine Jackpot Wins in History
Every slot machine player dreams of hitting it big – lining up those reels exactly right to see those bells and whistles go off signifying a massive jackpot win. Winning a few thousand dollars can be a great feeling, but for some those figures can be even higher. For an even luckier group, those winnings even go way beyond a six-figure jackpot. These players have defied the odds and scored some of the biggest amounts ever seen by slot machine winners. Here’s a look at some of the biggest slot machine winners in history: 1 – Excellence at Excalibur: $39.7M Location: Excalibur, Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $39.7 million This massive score came in 2002 making a nice Vegas vacation so much better. This lucky slot player hit it big after putting just $100 into the machine. That was quite a score and certainly made for a nice Vegas vacation. Bonus Bucks: The lucky player agreed to receive his winnings in 25 annual installments. That means another few years of getting some big checks in the mail. 2 – Keeping Cool in the Desert: $35M Location: Desert Inn, Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $35 million Cynthia Jay Brennan was a 37-year-old cocktail waitress who joined her boyfriend for some slot play to celebrate his mother’s birthday. After only an hour of play, she became extremely hot at the Desert slots. She hit it big for a cool $35 million, certainly much more than she'd ever earn in tips serving drinks. Sadly, not long after her win, she and her sister were stopped at a red light when they were struck by a drunk driver. Her sister was killed instantly and Brennan was paralyzed from the chest down. Since the accident, she’s worked to help others by donating more than 1,000 wheelchairs to others in need. Bonus Bucks: Despite her massive good fortune, Brennan showed some real commitment to her job and still showed up for work the next day after her jackpot win. 3 – Retirement Riches: $26.7M Location: Palace Station Casino, Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $27.6 million This slot player became real royalty at the Palace Station, a local casino in the Las Vegas area. The 67-year-old woman had recently retired and was a longtime Vegas resident. She hit it big while playing a dollar machine with her husband. Despite the big score, the new millionaire wasn't planning on making any major purchases. “I don't know what I'm going to do,” she told the Las Vegas Sun about her big win. “I have no big wish list -- maybe some travel that we had not already planned. I have not notified the jewelers or the car people. It will brighten my life. But my life was good before. I was just in the right place at the right time.” Bonus Bucks: The former flight attendant planned to only wager $100 on the machine, but decided to drop an additional $100. The big win came just $40 into that second hundred. 4 – A Mad Win: $23.6M Location: Online Game: Absolutely Mad Mega Moolah Winning amount: $23.6 million Online slots have become one of the fastest-growing sectors in gaming. This score from April 2021 now checks in as the largest online slot jackpot in history. A Belgian player scored $23.6 million after wagering only €15 wager. “The feeling at that moment is just indescribable,” the new millionaire said after the win. “At first you can hardly believe it and I think it will take a long time to sink in completely. It was on my last spin that it happened.” Bonus Bucks: The Absolutely Mad version of Mega Moolah is an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. No doubt this winner was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. 5 – Even More Mega Moolah: $23.5M Location: Online Game: Mega Moolah Winning amount: $23.5 million This lucky player also cashed in on a Mega Moolah game in September 2018. The player’s country of origin remains unknown, but the manufacturer confirmed a gigantic win on its popular online slot game. The game has awarded numerous jackpots and the name certainly fits. Bonus Bucks: The big win earned recognition by Guinness World Records at the time. 6 – Big Finnish: $24M Location: Online, Scandinavia Game: Mega Fortune Winning amount: $24 million The luck of the Finnish? That may not be the expression but was certainly the reality on Jan. 20, 2013, when an online player from Finland bet 25 cents to win this gigantic eight-figure payday. This progressive slot game registered a 100,000,000X return on investment. Bonus Bucks: Perhaps this player may have gotten a bit tired of the cold weather. That $24 million score could easily afford an extra $7 million Italian-style villa on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca complete with pool, jacuzzi, views of the golf course, and located just minutes from the beach. It’s a good bit spending even half that would probably bring a pretty nice getaway home as well. 7 – Banking Big at Bally’s: $22.6M Location: Bally’s, Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $22.6 million Memorial Day turned out to be quite a holiday for Johanna Heundl in May 2002. Things hadn't gone too well when the 74-year-old retired printer from Covina, California, decided to take in some slot play at Bally’s Casino on the Vegas Strip. She was already down $177, but things turned around quickly. Heundl originally thought she’d hit a smaller, yet still nice, jackpot of $2 million. She was quickly corrected and couldn't believe her good fortune. "Everybody said, no – it's $22 million,” she recalled after learning of the much larger sum. “I still can't believe it.” Bonus Bucks: At the time of her win, Heundl had been on her way to breakfast but stopped to play a bit. She usually visited Las Vegas five or six times a year with some friends. Her husband and son were both deceased, however. When no one could make the trip with her in 2002, she decided to go it alone after Bally’s sent her two free hotel rooms for her birthday. That turned out to be quite a celebration. 8 – Doubling Down on Jackpots: $21.1M Location: Cannery Casino, North Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $21.1 million Why win just one huge jackpot when you can win two? That was the case of 92-year-old World War II veteran Elmer Sherwin in 2005. The Las Vegas area local scored this massive jackpot for more than $21 million. But this wasn’t his first big win on a Megabucks machine. In 1989, Sherwin landed a $4.6 million jackpot at the Mirage in Las Vegas. The lucky man described it as his life’s dream to win a jackpot for a second time. The odds of winning the game’s grand prize is less than one in 10 million. Bonus Bucks: "I'm glad I finally hit,” Sherwin said after the second jackpot. “I've been trying to do it again.” Most slot players would settle for just one of those massive wins. Here are a few of Jackpot Party's most famous Vegas slots: 9 – Hail Caesar: $21M Location: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $21 million Another Las Vegas gambler hit it big at one of the city’s premier resorts in June 1999. The 49-year-old man from Illinois man may have been planning his own trip to Rome after crushing this Herculean jackpot. A self-employed business consultant, the lucky winner dropped 10 bucks in the machine and saw those Megabucks symbols line up just right on his first spin. That’s some luck indeed. "This is just the greatest feeling in the world," Caesars Palace Vice President of Slots Mike Tomasello said at the time. "A player comes in, puts $10 in the machine's bill acceptor and 'Bingo!' with the first pull he wins $21 million. He's set for life." Bonus Bucks: After winning such a big jackpot, staff moved in quickly to rope off the area as crowds gathered. Casinos try to give these big winners some space – many times other slot players hope to touch the big winner for luck. 10 – Late Night Knockout: $17.3M Location: Online, Norway Game: Arabian Nights Winning amount: $17.3 million Just 20 years old and probably set for life. That was the case in 2011 when a student in Norway decided to give an online slot a few spins after watching a movie. That decision not to go straight to bed paid off in a big way. No doubt he became quite a big man on campus. “It was just impossible to sleep, and I am shaking and sweating,” the Norwegian man said after his life-changing turn of luck. “I haven't thought about what to do with the winnings. I need to try and calm down before even thinking of what I do with the money!” Many slot players can surely relate to those sentiments. Bonus Bucks: This lucky winner was already making some good decisions about his future. Shortly after his win, he’s reported to already have been working with a financial consultant to make his winnings last for the long run. 11 – Soldiering on for the win: $17.2M Location: Online, United Kingdom Game: Mega Moolah Winning amount: $17.2 million Mega Moolah paid off in a big way in October 2015 for 26-year-old Jonathon Heywood from Cheshire, UK. The British soldier was playing 25 pence per spin when he hit the life-changing jackpot. "I couldn’t believe that I’d won all this money at the time – and it still hasn’t sunk in," Heywood said after his win. The win was particularly well-timed as Heywood’s father was awaiting a heart and lung transplant. “The first thing I will spend it on is the best possible medical treatment for my dad,” he said. “That’s more important than anything. Family comes first and I’d give all this money back for him to be healthy again.” Heywood also planned a Mediterranean cruise for his family after the win and upgrading his car to a yellow Bentley Continental GT. Bonus Bucks: Amazingly, Heywood has just deposited £30 at an online casino for the first time when he began playing Mega Moolah. The jackpot turned up just seven minutes after he started playing. 12 – ‘M’ for Mega Jackpot: $17.3M Location: M Resort, Henderson (Las Vegas area) Game: MegaBucks Winning amount: $17.3 million A lucky visitor to this casino in December 2012 didn’t even realize he’d won a jackpot, but quickly became aware when a fellow gambler pointed out his big win. The eight-figure sum certainly made for a nice holiday season and topped another big Vegas MegaBucks jackpot earlier in the year at the Aria for $12.7 million. Bonus Bucks: Casino comps often mean a few free extras for a gambler. In this case, taking advantage of those may have led to a multi-million prize. The lucky winner took advantage of a free play and food voucher before hitting it big at M Resort. The meal that night may have been quite a party. 13 – Birthday Surprise: $12.8M Location: Aria, Las Vegas Game: MegaBucks Winning amount: $12.8 million A woman visiting this stellar casino on the Las Vegas Strip for her niece’s birthday gave herself quite a gift as well to the tune of almost $13 million. Her path to the jackpot seemed to come on a whim. Maybe she had a premonition? “I was on my way to my room when I saw this machine and decided to play,” she said after the win. Initially, the player thought the game had malfunctioned. However, her niece was quick to provide some excellent news – she was a new millionaire. No doubt the birthday girl received quite a birthday present that year. Bonus Bucks: Many jackpot dreamers imagine buying a fancy car, dream vacation, or a palatial new home on the beach. This lucky winner was a bit more practical however. She simply hoped to use a chuck of her winnings to pay off her current mortgage. 14 – Going Downtown: $11.8M Location: Fremont, Las Vegas Game: Megabucks Winning amount: $11.8 million Downtown Las Vegas is a trip back in time, a Sin City or yesteryear with plenty of interesting properties and people. A stroll into the Fremont Casino paid off big for Rodolfo T. in August 2017. The California man was on vacation and a $3 bet turned into a life-changing turn of events. The lucky gambler was playing the IGT Megabucks Double 3X4X5X slot and made the maximum bet on the machine. That obviously proved to be the right choice at the right time. Bonus Bucks: The Fremont is a big part of Las Vegas’s history and when it opened in 1956, the property was the tallest building in the state of Nevada. 15 – Big Check to Cash: $11.6M Location: Online, country unknown Game: Mega Moolah Winning amount: $11.6 million In 2016, a woman named D.P. passed some time playing some slots on her cell phone while her husband was cooking dinner. Just as he announced that it was time to eat, D.P. has a big announcement of her own. She’d hit a massive jackpot after playing for just a few minutes. “I started screaming, crying, and running all around the house!” she said. “It’s incredible! Not possible! Could I be a multi-millionaire?” The couple called the online casino to confirm that what she was seeing was indeed real. Afterward. She and her husband retired and planned a big vacation for the family. Bon voyage, indeed. Bonus Bucks: D.P. told media outlets that she’d always dreamed of making $1 million somehow. She’d been reading a self-help book that set if someone puts their mind to something that the universe will eventually make it happen. After reading the book, she wrote a check for a millions bucks to herself and tacked it to her wall as inspiration. The rest is history.
6 October, 2022
Top 10 Powerful Casino Good Luck Charms
Gambling seems to have always been a part of the human experience – from the Roman Empire to modern casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And the notion of luck has been a huge part of the gambling life. Luck is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but after centuries of betting on sports, dice, playing cards, and of course, slot machines, differing symbols and artifacts have come to be synonymous with the idea of luck. From a rabbit’s foot and horseshoes to clovers and rainbows, these and numerous other icons have come to symbolize good luck. While some choose to believe and others just bank on these for fun, many at least recognize the need or desire for some luck when hitting a casino or online gaming site. Lucky charms and symbols are even incorporated into many slot machines, enticing players with an opportunity to hit it big. Here’s a quick look at some of the lucky charms and symbols one might experience either playing slots in a casino, online, or on a social gaming site. This article explains the history and importance of the most popular lucky charms and symbols and explains how they are still relevant to slot players. Keep reading to learn everything you’ll need to know about some of the most common and popular lucky charms and symbols for slot players. Keep an eye out for some of these next time you head to the casino or play that real money or social slot game on a phone or mobile device. NATURE SYMBOLS & NUMBERS Symbols from nature have proven to be popular for centuries for those seeking a bit of luck when hitting the casino. Here’s a look at a few common symbols. Clovers & Shamrocks Chances are you’ve seen clovers and shamrocks in many casinos and slots. Some Irish-themed casinos even incorporate these into the decor of the property. Why are these small green plants considered lucky? The four-leaf variety is not only rare, but for hundreds of years, the Irish saw them as being even luckier for those who found one. The four leaves themselves were said to represent faith, hope, love, and success. Four-leaf clovers are considered lucky for their rarity,” Parade magazine notes. “In the Middle Ages, it was believed by some Celtic groups that wielding a four-leaf clover would help you see fairies, as well as to ward off evil spirits, and grant the holder good luck. Lucky qualities: seeing spirits and fairies, warding off evil spirits, magical protections Bonus spin: Famed author John Melton may have been one of the first to mention the luck of a four-leaf clover. He wrote in the 1600s: “If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.” Rainbows Seeing a rainbow, or better yet a rare double rainbow brings a smile to the faces of most people. These bright multi-colored spectacles may seem like a mystical phenomenon but are in fact a part of the real world. For that reason, along with their rarity, many cultures may see them as lucky. It’s easy to see that connection to using these symbols in modern slot machines. These natural displays of a light spectrum have been featured in numerous mythologies and cultures including Celtic, Greek, Norse, Christianity, Buddhism, and more. These beautiful specters naturally appear as symbols of good luck – hopefully at a slot as well. Lucky qualities: hope, promise, transition, peace, equality Bonus spin: Much of rainbows’ lucky charms can also be attributed to the Irish, where legend has it one could find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Sevens (777) Numbers play a role in luck in many cultures. Friday the 13th is considered a spooky day where things can go completely wrong. Some elevators don’t even have a 13th floor. Many people have a lucky number also, but 7s are synonymous with luck in a casino and especially at slot machines. This superstition seems to run across many cultures, especially in religious contexts. Lucky number 7 is even the basis for many myths and folklore,” Reader’s Digest notes. “Ancient beliefs from around the world believed that the seventh son of the seventh son would be gifted with magical powers (both good and evil). In the Bible, scholars claim that God created the world in six days and used the seventh day to rest. There are also seven heavens in Islam and Judaism. In Confucianism, the number represents harmony made up of yin, yang, and the five elements. Hindus believe there are seven higher worlds and seven underworlds in and in Buddhism, the newborn Buddha takes seven steps. Lucky qualities: harmony, magical powers, the afterlife, good fortune Bonus spin: This lucky number even had some influence on James Bond author Ian Femimg. Apparently, 2, 5, or 8 wouldn't work for the spy’s secret code – 007 seemed a much better fit. PHYSICAL THINGS & CULTURES Some physical objects can also be held as a symbol of luck and incorporated into gambling imagery as well. Here’s a look at a few as well as an entire country and culture that are often related to being lucky. Horseshoes These symbols have come to signify a lucky turn of events or need for a nice stroke of fortune. This symbol also fits well with horse race wagering. It’s believed this lucky charm dates back to the 8th Century. The Chaldeans, who trace their roots to ancient Babylon, believed the crescent shape represented various moon goddesses and protected against the curse of the evil eye. Horseshoes were even featured on slot machine inventor Charles Fey’s first slot machine, the Liberty Bell, which was manufactured in 1899. Lucky qualities: warding off evil spirits Bonus spin: Others believe horseshoes’ luck comes from St. Dunstan, the patron saint of blacksmiths. He’s believed to have tricked the devil, shoeing Satan’s own cloven hoof with great force and pain. Rabbit’s feet How many poor rabbits lost their lives in the pursuit of luck? That might not be known, but carrying these devices on keychains remains popular for many seeking some positive vibes. Some historians believe Celtic tribes believed rabbits could communicate with gods and spirits because they spent so much time underground. In turn, someone carrying a rabbit's foot could do the same. By the 1600s, some believed these lucky charms could stave off ailments like arthritis as well. Some believe that notion comes from the “Hand of Glory” in the Middle Ages, which involved pickling the left hand of an executed man and keeping it for good fortune. The rabbit’s foot token of luck continues into modern times for some as well. Lucky qualities: warding off evil spirits; keeping good health. Bonus spin: Luckily for those poor bunnies, many rabbit feet now are artificially manufactured. Gold Along with being synonymous with wealth, gold seems to have taken on a sense of luck on its own. Many see wearing gold as lucky, but the idea of this may have deeper roots in the U.S. and Canada In the 19th Century. Americans from all parts of the country headed west to be part of the quickly-growing gold mining trade. Those seeking their fortunes traveled to areas like California, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Alaska, British Columbia, the Klondike, and more. Gold fever brought many hoping for some success. Gambling halls also sprouted up in these areas as well, serving miners with plenty of cash looking to play some cards, dice, or roulette. Not only do many of these areas now offer casinos, including slot machines of course, but the spirit of gold fever stays alive with iconography of this precious metal still a major inspiration. A quick stroll through a casino will often yield many slots offering a chance at a gold strike. Some casinos are still featuring gold in their own themes including properties like the Golden Nugget (Las Vegas), Gold Spike (Las Vegas), Cities of Gold (Arizona), Golden Gulch (Colorado), Gold Country (California), and numerous others. Lucky qualities: wealth, success, money, good fortune Bonus spin: In the early days of slot machines, gold coins could actually be used in the U.S. as a form of currency. Some slots were built to even accept this form of payment. Anything Irish Perhaps no other country or culture is associated with luck as that of Ireland. “The luck of the Irish” has become a regular part of the English language and many of the lucky charms on this list are also associated with the country such as shamrocks, rainbows, and leprechauns. In fact, there have been at least four films produced through the years with that exact phrase as the title. The idea of Irishmen being lucky, however, may have more to do with the North American gold rush than anything. In fact, it’s to America that we may have to look for the origins of the expression 'the luck of the Irish', IrishCentral.com notes It’s well known that in the 19th century wave after wave of Irish immigrants headed over the Atlantic to seek their fortunes. Many chose to take part in the search for gold and silver and there is some evidence to suggest that many of the most successful finds were made by Irish miners. That success became a legend and the Irish have been seen as lucky ever since. Casinos and slot manufacturers have played up the stereotype of Irishmen and the Emerald Isle. Lucky qualities: successful, rich, timeliness. Bonus spin: Numerous casinos have modeled their properties after all things Irish, such as O’Sheas in Las Vegas and Fitzgerald's, a brand used in multiple U.S. states. MYTHICAL CREATURES Animals can play a role for many when it comes to thoughts of bringing about a lucky streak. The same can be said for non-existent creatures, animals, and fairies as well. Dragons These mythical beasts are seen as lucky in several cultures. Through the years, many people in Asian countries view dragons as symbols of power and good luck. Some have even seen them as controlling water-related weather such as rain, typhoons, and floods. Their mythical sense of luck is still recognized by many. For this reason, dragons are regularly featured in numerous slot games, especially those with Asian-inspired themes. Contrary to Asian culture, many Western countries view dragons as dark, mysterious, and even evil. This may actually add to Western gamblers' interest in dragon slots as well. Lucky qualities: good health, strength, power Bonus spin: The creature is also the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac and symbolizes good luck and health. More babies are said to be born in the year of the dragon than in any other. Unicorns These mythological one-horned and flying creatures have fascinated people throughout history. The legendary animals have been depicted in European culture and art for over a thousand years, and are said to have magical powers. Many ancient people believed unicorns, usually depicted with a white coat with a single horn, represented purity and grace. They also believed the mystical animals could heal the sick, among other powers often ascribed to them. Some argue that unicorns even allude to several times in the Bible. Lucky qualities: purity, grace, strength, healing powers, and more. Bonus spin: Hermit country North Korea claimed to have “discovered” a unicorn lair in 2012. The North Koreans seem to be living in a real fantasy world. This propaganda was likely meant to help legitimize the rule of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Leprechauns These supernatural beings come from Old Irish folklore and represent luck. The oldest known mention of leprechauns comes from the Echtra tale in which Fergus, the King of Ulster, falls asleep on the beach. He awakens to find three leprechauns dragging him out to sea. Instead, he captures the mythological trio, which then grants him three wishes for their release. The diminutive creatures are believed to be cobblers and mostly live a solitary existence, but also enjoy practical jokes. In Ireland, these fairies originally differed depending on which part of the country you were in. They also wore red clothing, not the green they typically wear in modern depictions These popular shoemakers are also said to own a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Those lucky enough to capture a leprechaun are entitled to these riches. Lucky qualities: wealth, riches, magical powers Bonus spin: Leprechauns have come to be represented in two American sports teams. The University of Notre Dame, known as the fighting Irish, features a leprechaun who helps fans cheer on the home team. The Boston Celtics NBA franchise also Lucky the Leprechaun. A popular American kids’ cereal, Lucky Charms, also features one of these magical creatures as well. ***** Whether one really believes in luck or not, many slot players and gamblers believe certain objects and icons come with some extra positivity. The belief goes that these lucky charms just might bring a nice winning session or perhaps an even bigger win – a nice jackpot perhaps. Open up your favorite slot game or take a seat at a slot machine in a casino. Which of these popular lucky charms can you recognize when spinning those reels?
12 September, 2022
How to Play Slot Machines for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide
Many gamers may have an interest in playing slot machines, but don’t know quite where to get started. If you have questions about how slots work, payouts, jackpots, how a player wins, and other topics, this article may help you become more familiar with these popular games. Slot machines can mean a fun night at a casino or simply passing some time on a mobile phone or tablet device with some free social gaming. The chance to win some money can only add to the experience. Free-to-play online games can also be quite entertaining and have become extremely popular as well. Want to learn the basics of playing slot machines? Here's a more detailed look at what every potential player should know when heading to a casino or even using a mobile phone to play, including every aspect of a slot machine explained in full. How Slot Machines Work A slot machine is a game making use of vertically spinning “reels” that may line up in a certain pattern to potentially determine a random prize for the person dropping money into the machine. That money is collected into a pool and slot machines pay out a certain percentage. Prize amounts vary depending on each machine. The first slot machine was invented by Charles Fey of San Francisco, California, in 1899. That first machine featured three spinning reels containing a total of five symbols: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and a Liberty Bell. The machine became known as the Liberty Bell and Fey spawned a growing industry. Those first machines were placed in bars and restaurants throughout San Francisco and paid out not in cash, but with prizes like chewing gum and cigars. Competitors followed with different symbols and many of the symbols one might see on a modern slot trace their roots to these early games. Those first machines paid out based on the mechanical functions of the machine. There were real reels and how they spun actually determining payouts. However, modern machines not only often use video reels but also make use of random number generators instead of mechanical workings to determine winners. Modern slot machines have become high-tech machines with advanced video, sound, graphics, and gameplay. A player has numerous games to choose from, something for every taste and interest. In recent years, slot developers have embraced licensing popular movies, celebrities, TV shows, sports teams and leagues, and more. Online slots and social slot-style games have also become extremely popular, with big payouts also coming to players using computers, mobile devices, and tablets. Slots remain the most popular form of casino gaming and are a multi-billion dollar industry. Bottom Line: Slot games date back to the late 19th Century and have become a multi-billion dollar industry. Most modern slots are now high-tech machines with high-tech graphics, sound, video, and more. RNGs (Random Number Generators) A random number generator, or RNG, is a computer technology that is used to determine payouts and jackpots. Money paid out to players isn’t actually based on the reels themselves. An RNG creates a sequence of simulated random numbers to determine where those reels will land, and thus which payouts are distributed to players. The RNG creates these sequences at a rate of hundreds and thousands per second. Early machines used actual mechanical working within each machine to determine winners. Now a payout and jackpot is determined as soon as the player hits the button to spin the reels. Some slots even still have an arm (as in one-armed bandits) that a player can pull as if playing an old-fashioned casino where a player pulled an arm to spin the reels. This arm actually only starts the casino reels via the computer innards and the RNG still determines a winning or losing spin. The RNG creates a fair system for players, making slots payout completely at random as the name implies. There isn't as much room for mechanical error and RNGs help make sure the system is also fair to players. One important thing to remember is that payouts and jackpots are completely random. Some players believe a machine that may seem “due” to pay out. This is flawed thinking and payouts all depend on the RNGs. The idea of “hot” and “cold” slots are also misnomers. A player familiar with the concept of RNGs will know that all payouts depend solely on random number generators and while a slot may be “cold,” that can change at any time and the same goes for machines that may seem “hot.” Bottom Line: Slots no longer use mechanical reels to determine winners. The computer inside a game uses a random number generator to determine the result of every single spin. This allows for complete randomness and also allows for differing ways for players to win on the numerous paylines seen on today’s slots, both at a casino and online. Whether you think a slot is “hot” or “cold” doesn;t matter, a slot pays off only according to what is generated by the random number generator (RNG) in the slot’s computer. Paylines, Credits, and Pay Tables Those new to slots may not quite have a grasp on how much money (also known as coin-in) is required and how the differing payouts work. Here’s a look at a few terms that are a key part in this aspect of playing a slot machine: Paylines These are the various lines that will payout on the slot reels. Early slot machines only paid out when certain symbols lined up perfectly across a single line on the front of the machine. Modern machines however can have numerous paylines with more visible symbols than in early machines. These can go horizontal or diagonal on the front of the reels with some machines even paying out vertical lines. Some payout lines even can even run seemingly randomly, depending on the visible symbols. In most modern machines, the number of lines that will pay off for a player depending on the amount of credits (money or coin-in) wagered on a particular spin. The more wagered, the more paylines that can pay off for a player. Credits This is simply the name for the denomination a player is paying. Someone playing on a 5-cent machine playing 20 credits has $1 on the line on that spin. A play on a penny machine playing 60 credits has 60 cents on the lines on that spin of the reels. Players who win on a certain spin will find any winnings added to the “Credit” sign on the machine. Those using a slot machine can easily check their balance by looking in this area and determining if they need to add more. Players can also withdraw their funds by hitting “Cash Out.” A user will then receive a paper voucher with the balance amount that can be used in another machine. Vouchers can also be converted back into cash at the casino cashier or at a kiosk in the casino. Online slot players can also view their balance at any time and send winning back to their bank accounts as well. Pay Tables Each slot machine has a pay table that shows what symbols need to align for a payout of varying sums. These are arranged with the largest payouts, known as the jackpot, at the top of the tables and subsequent payouts below those. The higher on the table your reels line up, the larger the payout. A table also includes an amount paid out depending on the number of credits a player puts in the machine. Payouts differ depending on the number of credits you play and coin-in can range from one to five credits. Slot manufacturers usually pay out more for players who play “max credits,” meaning the highest number of credits per spin. The highest jackpot, for example, will often be significantly higher for a player at the max-bet amount – someone playing all five credits in the case above. Many slot experts recommend playing at max credits or at least as high as possible so players can receive bigger payouts when they do land on some nice spins. Visit the full article to learn more about slot terms Bottom Line: Knowing the basics of how coin-in and payouts work is essential. Credits are the denomination of “coins” (could also be dollars) a player wagers. Players determine the number of coins they’d like to wager per spin. Paylines are the lines on the reels where a player can win and the pay tables are the charts on a machine that show how much a player wins for certain symbols showing up, depending on the number of credits wagered on a spin. Setting Your Bet Options When making a slot machine wager, players have a few options to choose from. Some slots allow players to select the denomination they’d like to play throughout the session. For example, a player may select a denomination of a penny or a nickel. This means each credit a player plays will be worth a penny or a nickel, depending on which one is selected. Players can also select the bet amount they’d prefer for each spin of the reels. For example, if a machine has a max of five credits allowed per spin, the player can select the bat amount preferred. That could range from a minimum, one credit, to a maximum of five credits. It’s easy to alter the number of credits you’d like to play as well. Simply toggle through the betting amounts to determine which one you’d like to wager. It’s important to remember that the amount wagered corresponds to payouts on the pay table. Payouts will be larger for a player wagering four credits versus someone betting only two credits. Also, a max bet will pay out substantially larger jackpots than even a four-credit bet. Bottom Line: Players have complete control on the number of credits to wager on each spin. Players can generally determine if they’d like to wager from 1 to 5 credits per spin. You can alter this as needed at any time. Slot Features – Bonus Rounds, Free Spins, & More Bonus Rounds Early slot machines mostly consisted of three reals and a few symbols. Line up some symbols and you can win a few bucks. Modern slots however, make use of computers, video, and high-tech sound to offer players more of a sensory experience. Manufacturers go out of their way to make games special to keep players not just gambling, but also entertained. Bonus games offer a great way to accomplish this. These are “extra” opportunities for players to win some extra credits without having any real risk. A bonus game is triggered when certain symbols line up, connect, or via some other method included in the machine’s programming. When these are triggered, look for distinct sounds, video, and other “bells and whistles.” These events allow players an opportunity to compete in some extra games, which could range from touching the screen to making a selection themselves or some other mini-games. Bonus games are extremely popular and add something different to a slot machine experience. Game developers work hard to create a unique experience. These games also regularly include opportunities to win jackpots and also grab some multipliers, which “multiply” the amount won by a certain factor. Free Spins Another popular bonus is the addition of “free spins.” These go beyond the credits that a player already wagered on the current spins. The game may include an icon or symbol for “free spins” or may trigger this extra by some other means. These free spins can come via more subdued means, with the player simply making a few extra spins and hopefully winning some nice extra credits. However, many modern slots make free spin opportunities much more of a production as seen in bonus rounds. Players may see extra visuals, sound effects, and even more rapidly spinning wheels. For example, let’s say a player is awarded an extra 10 spins. This player can really rack up some extra credits as those reels spin and stop during that time. The winnings are tabulated throughout the free spins and then added to your balance once the session comes to an end. The good news as you can even win jackpots during these spins. It’s also possible to rack up added free spins that only keep the session going longer. These same extras can also be found on online slots and social gaming slots. Slot developers are creative and may have even more ways to win in side games and extra options. These not only allow for winning some extra cash, but they’re fun too. Bottom Line: Bonus games and free spins are extra features that allow players to win some extra credits. Bonus games usually involve a completely different game with added graphics and sounds. These can reward jackpots as well. Free spins allow players to earn more credits and even additional spins, with multiple free spins usually running quickly one after another and add to the fun of playing a slot. Slot Odds As noted here, slot machines and online slots are a house-edge game, meaning a player is up against the house unlike games like poker. You also can’t shift those odds in your favor via card counting or superior play as in blackjack or video poker. But what are the odds of winning in a slot machine game? That all depends on the property and the actual machine. Some experts estimate that odds of winning a jackpot can range from 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 34 million, depending on what a person is playing. Progressive jackpots feature extremely long odds, but also massive payouts for winners. Because of the long odds, expecting to win a huge jackpot is probably unrealistic. Hitting millions of dollars is similar to winning the lottery. Players looking to win need to look at the payout percentages of each property, meaning the percentage of coin-in that is paid back out to players. A property boasting a payout percentage of 94% means that the casino is only collecting about 6% of all money going into the machine for the house. Payout percentages can be programmed into a machine and those in the upper 90s can be very favorable to players and offer better odds at winning. Online slot players may find even better payout percentages than what might be found at live casinos. Players should also lower expectations of big wins because of the long odds involved. Slots should be seen as any other form of entertainment, but with a shot of winning some money. Slot gambling can produce huge results occasionally, but even a win of a few hundred dollars is a nice night. Those who enjoy playing social gaming slots may find their odds much better than when playing real money slots online or in a casino. Social games tend to reward players more, with winning sessions and nice scores much more common as players accumulate points and other rewards to advance up certain steps or levels. Bottom Line: Players face long odds when it comes to winning a major jackpot, especially on a progressive machine. However, winning smaller amounts is certainly possible. Determining casinos with higher payback percentages offer players more chances to walk away as winners. Payouts A payout is a term for money paid out to players who score a winning spin. Modern slots offer many more payouts that might be seen in earlier slot games. Developers know that players want to win and work to at least allow players to win some of their money back. A spin may pay back only a portion of the amount wagered on that particular spin, double the total, or even more. This gives players at least some sense of winning and keeps them playing. This also allows for longer sessions so that a player’s bankroll will last longer. Those who take their time and aren't afraid to walk away for a bit can make that money last even longer. (See Slot Tips Below) A player who can find more winning spins than losing spins can hopefully accumulate a winning session. Those who keep finding winning payouts don’t have to put more funds in a machine, and those who continue playing have a chance at some of the larger payouts, also known as jackpots. See more on that below. Payouts are determined by symbols. Hit a spin with more of the common symbols or graphics and a player can expect a smaller win. Those rarer occurrences will bring larger payouts. Winning credits is the same as a payout, and the goal when playing a slot game. Bottom Line: A payout is a total won for a particular spin. A player doesn’t have to win huge amounts to see a payout. Players who score a nice win can hit the “Cash Out” button at any time to take some of those winnings and visit the cashier. Players at online slots will find the same scenario and can cash out some of those winnings at any time as well. How Jackpots Work A jackpot is a big payout determined by certain symbols aligning just right on a slot game. These payouts may vary in size and are a bit rarer than typical payouts on a machine and are generally much larger. A jackpot is built by a certain machine putting “aside” a certain amount of coin in as players battle it out at the slots. That prize pool continues to build in the event those certain numbers are generated by the RNG and one lucky player scores some big money. Obviously hitting a huge jackpot isn't easy or everyone would be winning big. Many machines pay jackpots on several levels. A player may not always hit the biggest payout, but at least has a shot at a few smaller jackpots that still may be larger than typical payouts on an average spin. For example, a game may offer players jackpots using terms like these: Mini – a smaller jackpot, but can still be a nice payout. Major – an even bigger prize that rewards winners nicely. Grand – the largest jackpot available on the machine that really stands out and may trigger a bell for a payout from casino staff. Online slots follow a similar system and allow players to win some major jackpots as well. As noted in the next section, progressive slot machines offer players a chance to win even bigger jackpots with life-changing money heading to lucky winners. Bottom Line: Jackpots are larger prizes that pay out much more than average payout on a typical spin. Those lucky enough to win a jackpot may score thousands and thousands of dollars. Slot manufacturers also include smaller jackpots that can still pay out significant amounts to players. Progressive Jackpots Certain machines offer players a chance at some really staggering payoffs. That could be in the millions of dollars and numerous lucky slot players have taken home seven-figure sums. These games are known as “progressive” slots. How do these payouts get so huge? Progressive machines are linked in a certain geographic region. For example, a player on a progressive in Las Vegas can play a machine that is linked to all of those same machines within Nevada.As more and more players add coin-in (the term for the amount of money put into a machine), a certain percentage is set aside for jackpots. The more these machines are played, the larger the jackpot gets. There is usually a mega jackpot and also some smaller jackpots as well. These pay off when a player hits the jackpot just right This is rare but can have huge payouts when someone does hit it just right. The largest progressive jackpot came in 2002 at the Excalibur in Las Vegas on a Megabucks machine. This lucky gambler took home a score of $39.7 million after spending just $100. That was quite a score and certainly made for a nice Vegas vacation. Bottom Line: Progressive jackpots can pay much more than a typical jackpot because these games are linked with other games throughout a certain region. Each machine “sets aside” a certain amount for the prize pool, which can really accumulate considering there are so many other machines connected to the system. A player hitting it big on these games for a progressive jackpot has a chance to win millions and millions of dollars. Slot Tips, Do's and Don'ts The first thing a player might want to realize when playing a slot is that casinos always have an edge. Unlike games like black, poker, and video poker, a player can't flip the odds in his favor based on superior play or strategy. However, there are a few important concepts to remember when playing slots to offer not only the best chance to win but also a chance to at least make a player’s bankroll last longer. Here are just a few tips to remember. Set Your Limits – make sure the money plan to wager is a major part of your budget. Slots and gambling are forms of entertainment. Make sure losing your slot bankroll isn't more than you can realistically afford to lose. Try not to avoid heading to the ATM machine – your budget is important. Check Out Payout Percentages – A payout percentage is an amount a casino’s slots pay back to players. The higher the percentage, the better chance a player has to have a winning session. The same can be said for slot manufacturers, some pay back more to players than others. A simple Internet search should help you determine this and it’s a good idea to play more of these properties and games. Slow Down – Playing faster only keeps more of your hard-earned dollars flowing into the slots. A more leisurely pace helps a player make his money last longer. It’s also great to take a break or find another game if you hit a losing streak. Get Rewarded – It’s always key to join a casino’s players club. The property’s rewards card offers you a shot at extras as you play, such as free meals, hotel stays, entertainment options, and other perks. Many casinos also offer “free play” options, meaning a player earns a certain amount of slot play for nothing. A player hitting a nice win on these spins can keep the winnings. Move Down If Needed – Those who find their dollars flying away at higher denominations shouldn’t be afraid of moving down in denominations. A person playing at quarter credits may want to try nickel slots if the bankroll is looking particularly strained at that level. Those who can afford higher denominations may also want to consider this as well. Higher credit levels tend to have higher payouts, but again only do this if you can truly afford it. For even more slot machine tips and tricks, click here for SciPlay’s complete slots tips guide. Bottom Line: Set your limits and take things slowly. Join the player’s club for a shot at some free rewards as well as hopefully some free slot play. These are just a few of the good ideas to remember when planning that next slot getaway – or even just playing online at home. Slot machines can be a fun way to pass some time at home or to plan a full casino vacation. Practicing and learning how to play, as outlined here, can make for a much more rewarding experience. Frequently Asked Questions How do I choose a slot machine to play? When choosing a slot machine to play, consider the following factors: denomination, payback percentage, number of reels and paylines, bonus features, and maximum bet. It's also a good idea to read reviews or ask other players for their recommendations. What is the minimum bet on a slot machine? The minimum bet on a slot machine can vary, but most machines start at a minimum bet of one cent. Some machines may have a minimum bet of five cents or more, while others may allow you to bet multiple coins per spin. How do I place a bet on a slot machine? To place a bet on a slot machine, simply insert your coins or currency, select your bet size, and pull the lever or press the spin button. You can also use a player's card, which will keep track of your credits and allow you to bet and play more quickly. What do the symbols on a slot machine mean? The symbols on a slot machine represent different payouts. The combination of symbols that are displayed on the machine's payline determines the payout for that spin. The machine's paytable will display the payouts for each combination of symbols. How do I know when I've won on a slot machine? If you've won on a slot machine, the winning combination of symbols will be displayed on the machine's payline. The machine will also make a winning sound and the credits won will be added to your total.
6 September, 2022
Slot Terminology: Some Terms to Know When Heading to a Casino or Playing Online
Playing a slot machine can bring hours of entertainment and excitement, but like many games, these popular devices have their own distinct terminology. Beginners may be a bit overwhelmed when playing at a live casino or on an online gaming platform. From jackpots and payout percentages to bonus games and progressive games, numerous terms exist to learn and consider when jumping in the action. While not a complete grasp of all the ins and outs of a slot aren't required, having a basic knowledge can be understandable. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the terminology that goes along with playing a slot at your local casino or simply on your mobile phone. This article offers readers everything they might need to know about slot terminology and some of the key concepts synonymous with slot machines. Slot Payout and Money-Related Terminology These terms involve a player's money and credits on a machine. You'll find these terms helpful in adding credits to a machine, determining how much to play for, and what to expect when cashing out. Balance – This is the amount of money you have in the machine. Once depositing your money, you should see this on-screen in the form of credits for that machine. For example, if you slide $100 into a 25-cent machine, the balance should be 400 credits. This amount goes up and down depending on winning and losing spins. Cash-out – This simply means taking your funds out of the machine. There is usually a "cash out" icon on the screen or a real button on the machine itself. Once a player has cashed out, he or she will receive a voucher. This can be used in other slots instead of cash or can be taken to the cashier to exchange for cash as well. Online slot players can also cash out their winnings and go to a different game. Coin-in – This is an industry term for the amount of money input into a machine. Slot machines pay a certain percentage of coin-in back to players. Credits (also known as units) – This is the amount of a coin-in you have inserted into a machine. A single credit is the lowest denomination allowed on a machine. For example, a player on a penny machine may put in $20. That would mean the player would have a balance of 2,000 credits to begin the session. Minimum bet – As the name implies, the is the minimum credit that can be bet on a certain slot game online or in a live casino. Payline – These are the lines on a machine or online slot where the game's symbols must line up to determine a winner. The paylines can be horizontal but also vertical, diagonal, and run in other directions, especially on video slots. On more traditional-type slots, these can be found right on the exterior of the machine in front of the reels. However, on video slots, the paylines can be determined in many ways and the machine will visually display the multiple ways a player has won using paylines. Also, players have the option to play numerous paylines on modern video slots as well. This system can also be found on online free slots. Active payline – These are all the paylines in play during a certain spin of the reels. A player with the max paylines will have all paylines active on each spin. Payout Percentages (also known as RTP, meaning a return to player) – This is the amount of coin-in paid back to players at a particular casino. These numbers are usually available online, and finding properties with better payout percentages may offer a better chance for players to win. Players may want to look for rates above 90 percent. Occasionally, some of these get higher than 95 percent. Pay Tables – This is a chart (or table) found on the machine itself or the screen of a video slot. This details the combinations that will win and how much they return depending on the slot machine symbols that appear on the machine. The table features several rows to show higher levels of combinations and also columns that show various payouts depending on the number of credits paid per spin. Progressive Slots – Progressive jackpots are slot games that are linked over a certain region or jurisdiction. A certain amount of each player's spin is siphoned into a much larger prize pool. With so many players linked together, those player pools can grow extremely large. Online slot players can also benefit from playing these types of games as well. Some of these mega jackpots regularly pay out seven figures; historically, some have even reached eight figures. Ticket or voucher – The paper coupon printed by a slot machine when a player cashes out. This functions as cash at a slot machine and can be input at another slot to continue playing. You can also exchange these for real cash at the casino cashier or at kiosks throughout the property. Slot Gameplay Terminology Auto-play/Auto-spin – This is a setting on a slot where the reels spin automatically and a player doesn't have to keep hitting the "spin" button. Auto-play spins the reels automatically for a certain amount of time, with atop-spin keeps the reels spinning for a certain number of spins. Basic slot – This is a traditional-style slot with only one payline and fixed payouts. Bonus game – This is an extra game aside from the normal spinning of reels on a game. Players can activate these bonus features depending on a combination of symbols that show up on the machine. These games may have players making certain selections or competing in other forms. Bonus games offer players a chance at more significant wins and can help create a winning session. Second screen bonus – A bonus game that shifts the action to another screen, often found above the main screen. These usually offer players options and other secondary games to determine further winnings and possibly a jackpot. Cascading reels (also known as tumbling reels) – This is another fun twist seen on some modern slots where certain symbols disappear, with others sliding in to take their place. Free play – These are free spins often given to players who join a casino's slot club (also known as a players club or a rewards club). Many casinos offer a certain amount of free play just for signing up for the club. You may also earn free play as you accumulate reward points for playing. Free spins – This is a type of bonus that certain symbol combinations in a game can also trigger. The game often begins spinning the reels automatically and counts down from the free spins. Players can accumulate wins and credits without having to dip into their balance. This offers an opportunity for players to accumulate extra wins toward a ncei session. Hit frequency – This is the term used for the number of times a slot may be expected to pay out. Hopper – This type of machine features an option where players can keep certain lines on one spin and then "hop" them into another. This gives players an extra shot at landing highly-sought combinations that might result in larger wins. Jackpot – This is a larger than the typical payout on a slot machine. Players will usually find that games in a live casino and online have several jackpot tiers, from a small jackpot to even much larger payouts. These are often mini, major, minor, and mega jackpots. That range offers players multiple ways to win more than the average amount that can be found on an average spin of the reels. Players on online slots also have a shot at these jackpots. Loose slots – These slots are deemed to have a high payout percentage, meaning that a higher-than-normal amount of coin-in is paid back out to players. These offer players a higher chance at a winning session. Max bet – A player is betting the maximum amount of credits per spin allowed on a machine. There is often a "max bet" button on the machine itself or as an icon on the screen. Max bets pay the most for win on the pay table. Players usually have from one to five credits allowed to be played per spin. Mobile slots – Games that can be played on a mobile phone or tablet device. This is a fast-growing segment of real-money casino gaming, but this can also refer to free-to-play games. In addition, social gaming in the form of fun and free slot games has also seen significant growth in the gaming industry. Multiplier – This symbol or image allows players to see their point total multiplied by a certain amount if activated. Nudge slot – This is a popular feature on many modern slots in which machine may "nudge" the reels up or down into a winning position. What may have looked like a losing spin may turn into a winner once the nudge function repositions the symbols on the reels. Reels – vertical cylinders spin within a traditional slot machine that display various symbols to help determine a player's win or loss. Originally, these were mechanical devices, and where they stopped was totally determined by the mechanics of the machine. In modern slots, however, the random number generator (RNG) determines a winning spin. Many games that look like traditional machines may still have reels, but the RNG still determines where they stop and with what symbols are displayed. Video slots, including digital online and social gaming slots, also feature "reels". Still, these are simply graphical, but mimic a slot's traditional look and feel but with modern gameplay twists. Three-Reel Slot – As the name implies, these are simply games featuring three vertical reels as found in traditional slots Five-Reel Slot – This is just simply a game with five spinning reels. There were three reels when slots were invented, but games have expanded through the years to offer more reels and ways to win. 3-D slots - 3-D slots are modern video slots often found online that feature three-dimensional images and graphics. RNG – This stands for "random number generator" and is the key to how the results turn out on a modern slot game. No longer do machines make use of mechanical reels to determine if a player wins. Instead sophisticated software and algorithms are used as part of the machine's random number generator to determine completely random winners. Slot tournaments – These are multi-player contests in which players spin the reels of a slot machine in competition. Casinos often run these as promotions for loyal players. There are often large payouts and other prizes from the casino for winners. Symbols (also known as icons) – These are the graphical images used on the front of reels as well as on video and online slots that visually display a slot result. If the RNG determines a win then these will align in a certain pattern or combination. Traditional and historic symbols include fruits, bars, 7s, playing cards and suits, and much more. Video slots now use numerous symbols, video, and other graphical elements. Wild multiplier – A wild symbol that can activate a multiplier when triggered, giving a player more winnings than might otherwise have been awarded. Those winnings are multiplied by a certain amount. Other slot terms Here are some other terms players may want to know as they begin playing slot games. Free play – This is free slot play usually given to players as a reward for a certain accomplishment. Many casinos offer free play for those who join the casino's rewards program. Regular players in a players club may also earn free play as they accumulate rewards points. Hold percentage – This is a casino's amount of all money played into a slot machine. This is the house edge and the money a casino collects from all players' coin-in. Hot and cold slots – Generic terms for a machine that has been paying out a lot (hot) and one that hasn't been paying out (cold). However, these notions are mostly a myth with modern slot machines, as the RNG determines random winners. Lever – This is a remnant of early slots in which a player pulled a lever on the side of the machine to spin the reels. Modern technology has made this part of a slot machine obsolete. However, some machines still offer a lever as a throwback to those classic machines. You can pull the lever to activate the reels, but the lever doesn;t actually have a mechanical function. The machine's computer activates the reels with the lever functioning like the "spin" button. Licensed slots – This refers to a game using a popular character, TV show, movie, or other brands in pop culture. This has become a trend in modern slot games, with more manufacturers offering players a bit of pop culture or nostalgia. Mechanical slots – This refers to older, classic slots which feature real mechanical mechanisms inside the machine. Modern slots no longer need mechanical parts or a lever crank to get the reels spinning. Mobile slots – These are just online slots that can be played on a cell phone or tablet device. Multi-line slots – These are games that feature numerous paylines beyond just the traditional horizontal paylines found on older machines. Players club (also known as a loyalty or rewards club) is the casino's program to reward loyal players. Those who play often at the casino can earn free play., hotel stays, food comps, and other prizes. It pays to join the rewards club. Players will receive a player card to insert every time they play a slot game. This helps track your play so that you accumulate points based on your play. Online casinos may also have rewards programs that offer prizes and bonuses. Volatility – Refers to a game's payout frequency. Those with a "high volatility" pay out high amounts but with fewer payouts overall. "Low volatility" slots pay out more often but in smaller amounts overall. Conclusion These are some basic terms a player may want to be familiar with when heading to play some slots. However, don't get overburdened with jargon. Instead, learn the basics, know what you're getting into, and have fun! Frequently Asked Questions What is the meaning of the term "balance"? The balance is the amount of money a player has in a machine in the form of credits. What is the meaning of the term "payline"? Paylines are the lines on a slot machine or online slot where the game's symbols must line up to determine a winner. What is the meaning of the term "progressive slots"? Progressive slots are slot games that are linked over a certain region or jurisdiction. A certain amount of each player's spin is siphoned into a much larger prize pool. What is the meaning of the term "pay table"? The pay table is a chart or table found on the machine itself or the screen of a video slot. This details the combinations that will win and how much they return depending on the slot machine symbols that appear on the machine. What is the meaning of the term "wild multiplier"? A wild multiplier is a wild symbol that can activate a multiplier when triggered, giving a player more winnings than might otherwise have been awarded. What is the meaning of the term "players club"? A players club, also known as a loyalty or rewards club, is the casino's program to reward loyal players. Those who play often at the casino can earn free play, hotel stays, food comps, and other prizes.
4 September, 2022
How Slot Machines Work
Heading to a casino to play some slot machines can be a great way to relax, celebrate, enjoy some time with friends, and take in some entertainment away from home for a bit of relaxation. Slot games also offer a chance at taking home a few extra bucks in your pocket as well. But how do these games work and what can a new player expect when taking a seat at a machine or perhaps playing a slot online or in a social media environment. These games are more than just a few reels with a spin button. There’s a lot that goes into these casino offerings that have become the most popular gambling options in a casino. They’ve also become extremely popular in real-money online gaming as well as a free-play reel-spinning option as a social game to pass some time on a mobile phone or tablet. Keep reading to learn more on how things games work and how to have some fun – hopefully with some winning results. Inside a Slot Machine Whether at a live casino or online, modern slots are advanced computing devices. No longer do machines make use of a handle to spin real mechanical reels (hence the old name, “one-armed bandits). Today’s slots are computerized devices making use of complex software, high-end graphics and sound systems, and much more. Today’s games might have more in common with your home computer or video game system than early slot games. Wins are no longer dependent on those reels really at all. They may line up and display certain graphics and icons, but how a player fares is determined by a random number generator (RNG) programmed into the computer’s software. This guarantees a completely random outcome and is made possible via algorithms within the game’s programming that are based on digital simulations. Payouts are simply based on the inner workings of the game running millions of simulations per second to reach a random result. For more information, read the article: Are Slot Machines Trustworthy A slot’s results on every spin of the reels are completely random outcomes and the idea of a “cold” or “hot” machine isn’t a reality. Some may pay out more but this is more of an act of randomness. The idea that a machine is “due” to pay out is also a myth. That doesn’t mean a casino can’t manipulate a slot machine at least when it comes to payouts. A casino can determine how much of the coin-in (credits used to play on a machine) is paid back out to players. This is known as the payout percentage and the higher that is the better it is for players. The more money paid out means the more opportunities for a player to win (more on that subject below). How Slot Machines Pay Out Winning is certainly a big part of playing a slot machine – at least that’s the goal. So how does a slot machine payout actually work? The first thing to know is that each machine has a limit. Some may be penny machines while others start at a nickel, quarter, or dollar. That is just the minimum coin-in to spin the reels. However, players usually will want more than one active “pay line” on each machine. The pay lines determine whether a player is a winner, depending on how the icons on the spinning reels align. Most games today feature video reels and those whirl around and then come to a stop. Different icons or graphics “determine” which prize a player wins (remember, the RNG actually determines each spin). Modern slots allow players to play numerous paylines, which may feature several horizontal lines as well as some running vertically, diagonally, and numerous other directions. These additional pay lines offer players more chances to win on each spin of the reels. This adds to the fun and keeps players winning at least sporadically as they play on one of these casino games. Players who line certain icons up just right can also earn additional chances to win through such popular extras as Bonus Games and Free Spins. Bonus Games often involve additional graphics, sounds, and player selections to determine larger prizes. These often payout out some form of jackpot as well, usually noted using words like: Mini Jackpot/Award Minor Jackpot/Award Major Jackpot/Award Hitting some of these can really add some extra excitement to a slot session. If you’re lucky enough to find a really nice payout, that score can make for a nice winning session. Free Spins are also a great way to accrue extra winnings as you spin away without touching your current credit balance. These can also win players other extras on the game that can add to their winnings, such as additional Bonus Games. Along with these traditional payouts, players can win smaller amounts on each spin. These more marginal wins at least offer you some sort of payout to keep your bankroll lasting longer. That then allows you to play longer and hopefully land a larger win. What Determines the Amount Paid Out on a Slot? Those new to the world of slot machines may notice a table on the game screen, or somewhere on the game itself when taking a seat. The table features several rows on columns, offering information on what to look for when playing. The rows start with smaller payouts at the bottom and work up to the larger payouts toward the top. The jackpot-level payouts are located at the very top of the table. Each level lists the icons needed to win that amount. The columns in the pay table represent the payouts based on the number of credits, or coin-in, that a player pays per line. There are usually five columns, but there may be as few as three depending on the machine. Players can play the minimum credits per line, but may also want to pay more per line. The more credits per line you wager, the higher payouts you can win on each spin of the reels. Many experts recommend playing the “max” if at all possible. This strategy allows players to win more throughout their sessions at the slots when they do hit some nice spins. Additionally, some games pay out considerably more at higher wins for some of the upper levels on the pay table. It’s important to note that despite all the bells, whistles, and payout structures, the slots software and RNG (random number generator) still randomly determine the actual prize a player will win. The digital aspects of the game may mimic mechanical reels and movements, but the computer inside is the brains behind the operation. When playing a slot it’s important to remember: RNG (random number generator) – determines the result of a spin Pay lines – display visually the result of a “spin” as determined by the RNG Payout percentage – the amount of coin-in that a property pays out to players Pay table – shows how a slot pays out when certain symbols appear in certain combinations Slot Machine Types Those gamers heading to a casino to play some slots will usually find a wide variety of games to check out. There is literally something to suit every mood or taste. Here’s a look at some of the machine types a player might find in a casino. Traditional-Style Slots When it comes to slot machines, many players may think of classic games featuring 7s, fruits, playing cards and suits, horseshoes, and other icons. These original devices featured real mechanical spinning reels and didn’t offer the numerous payout lines available today. They lacked the modern “bells and whistles” seen on many of today’s video-based slots. While slots may have changed, many players still enjoy these types of games and manufacturers still work to give these traditional games a modern twist. Many games still feature some of these traditional setups but also feature multiple payout lines, Bonus Games, and other modern additions to the games. Modern Slot Machines Those thinking of old-school mechanical reel slots may be surprised when heading to the gaming floor at a modern casino. Today’s games use plenty of technology to entertain slot players. These involve highly innovative design, sound, video, and other digital aspects one might expect at a movie theater rather than a casino. Speaking of movies, many slot manufacturers have also added elements from popular films, TV shows, musicians, and much more. That often includes videos that appear on screen while playing. There's a good chance some of your favorite rock bands or musicians have their own slot machines. From Ozzy Osbourne to KISS and Michale Jackon and Dolly Parton, artists across the musical spectrum have lent their names and songs to casino games. On the TV and movie side, look for every major pop culture title from Ghosterbusters, Goonies, and Jurassic Park to Sex and the City, Baywatch, and Star Trek. Developers are going out of their way to appeal to all types of players with their favorite song, artists, storylines, and characters. Slot manufacturers continue to raise the bar each year with many offering new features and innovations every year. Online and social gaming slot developers also continue to offer creative options for players looking to play at home on their computers, mobile phones, or tablet devices. Slots have certainly come a long way. Progressive Jackpots Modern slot machines also allow players to play for truly remarkable jackpots through the use of progressive slots. These are games that are linked via computer technology to others within a certain state or region. A portion of all coin-in is funneled to progressive jackpot payouts. With so many players a part of the jackpot pool, these can build to millions of dollars. Players have regularly been paid out in seven figures and these massive jackpots regularly produce some major headlines. The largest progressive jackpot payout came in 2003 at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. A lucky player from Los Angeles hit it huge on a Megabucks for $39 million on a $100 wager. Progressive slots offer players a chance to play for real life-changing money. Obviously, not every player jumping in a progressive slot is going to hit it big. However, most of these games also have differing levels of jackpots. A player may be rewarded with a smaller jackpot that pays out considerably as well, but maybe in five or six figures instead of seven or eight. Progressives offer you a nice slot experience and plenty of opportunities to dream of really hitting it big. Other Slot Options Beyond these slots, there are a few others players might consider. Video poker often referred to as “poker slots,” is often found in the slot machine area of a casino as well. This is a fixed-odds game based on a five-card draw poker game. Instead of fruits, 7s, and other icons, players use playing cards to work toward a win. Players are dealt five cards and decide which they want to keep and which they want to discard and draw. There are various versions of these games including Jacks of Better, Deuces Wild, and others. Unlike traditional slots, however, there can be some real skill to video poker. Players who can learn and incorporate basic strategy for these games can trim the odds and in some cases (which may require rewards comps earned along the way), flip the odds in their favor. One interesting game that also is similar to slots are the Fortune Cup and Sigma Derby horse racing games. These allow for some group dynamics as players crowd around the game and make their selections. Each selection even comes with differing odds as seen in a real horse race. You can then cheer as your horse races around the track. Konami's live mechanical Fortune Cup adds some nice realism. This can be a fun addition to that next casino slot machine outing. A nice slot jackpot followed by a horse racing quinella could make for a perfect weekend. Slot Payout Percentages As noted above, payout percentages are the amount of money that goes into a machine that a casino then pays out to players. Many online resources are available for finding which properties offer the highest payout percentages, especially in casino hotspots like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. This allows a gambler to determine what properties would be better to visit with the best chance at seeing some of those credits a machine pay off in the form of a nice win. Obviously not every session at a slot machine can be a winner, but higher payout percentages offer you a chance to hopefully some of that returning back to your credit balance, hopefully with some excellent returns along the way. Percentages can top 90 percent in some properties with some of those numbers even climbing above 95 percent. These are nice figures in a slot player’s favor, considering the house always has an edge when it comes to these casino games. Beyond payout percentages for casinos, some slots also pay out a larger percentage of dollars put in the machines than others. This can often be found online and finding a few of your favorites among the better-paying machines may be a good idea for the next time you head out to a casino. Another idea to keep in mind is that machines with higher limits tend to pay out more than those with smaller buy-ins. If you have a budget where you could play nickel- or quarter-slots rather than penny machines. Along with offering higher payout percentages, you’ll also earn more along the way on these higher denomination machines when you do hit a nice winning streak. Slot Credits, Coin-in, and Balances At one time, slot players could be seen carrying around buckets full of coins. These were filled with coins or metal slot tokens that players used to play in their favorite machines. There was an actual “slot” that a player would input the coin or token into, thus the name “slot machine.” The days of needing a bucket full of coins have been gone for many years, save for a few classic slot machine offerings one might see at downtown Las Vegas casinos such as The Plaza and D Las Vegas. Instead, players can now slide cash directly into a machine with the stakes of their choice. You will then find that amount showing up in the “balance” area of the screen and often in another area of the slot near the “spin” button. The display may also show the number of credits you have in the machine based on the money you’re inserted into the game. For example, $100 put into the machine at a $1 machine means you have 100 credits available to bet. If you put $100 into a quarter machine, you’ll have 400 credits to get. Players can usually bet between one and five credits on each spin. Again, consult the pay table on the machine to see what the payouts are for various coin-in levels. Once you’re ready to move on to another machine or take a break for a while, simply press the “cash out” button on the machine or on the screen to retrieve your cash. Don’t look for real money to come from the machine however. Slots now print out vouchers that can be inserted like cash at another machine. This will transfer the remainder of your balance to the next slot you choose to play. If you’d rather have cash, you can either take this to the cashier (also known as the cage) to exchange it for real money. Most casinos also have kiosks where you can input the voucher to receive cash as well. Online and social gaming slot players will find a similar setup. However, depositing money usually involves going through a signup process and using a major credit card, ACH bank transfer, ewallet, or some other safe deposit method. Once that’s complete, you should then be able to begin playing at whatever stakes level you choose. Like brick-and-mortar casinos, online gaming companies also offer a wide variety of games (many times even more than live casinos) and stakes. These online casinos make it easy to move from one slot to another. A player’s balance will automatically move between games and players can also cash out at any point. Many online slot operators will transfer a withdrawal directly to your bank account or via your preferred deposit option. While free-money social gaming slots don’t usually pay out real money, there may be prizes, badges, elevated tiers, extra points, and other elements that players can win along the way on their slot journey that make it a fun experience.. Slot Rewards and Players Clubs When heading to a casino, a wise move is to join the players club first. These clubs are free and you’ll earn rewards points as you play. Simply insert your player’s card every time you sit down and play. Rewards points can earn a player: free play restaurant and hotel comps other prizes Some properties also offer regular special giveaways for club members. Often, simply signing up for a player’s card also earns a player some free play and maybe even a meal or free drink. Online players may also earn rewards as they play as well. Many online casinos also offer bonus offers for players making their first deposit. These can be as much as 100 percent of your deposit and sometimes even more. Players' rewards and bonuses are definitely worth the effort. Frequently Asked Questions Are some slots more likely to pay out than others? The idea of “hot” and “cold” machines is a myth. Modern slot machines make use of RNGs (random number generators), algorithms, and high-tech software to determine winners. Each spin of the reels is completely random. Are there any ways a player can get better chances to win? Check out a property’s payout percentages. The higher the percentage, the more the casino pays back to players. You can also check these out for individual games as well. Players who can afford playing at higher levels will also find that these games tend to pay out a higher percentage of coin-in back toi players as well. It’s important to remember to only play an amount that you can comfortably afford to lose without affecting your regular budget. Slots are meant as entertainment and should be seen as a way to have fun. What determines if a player wins on a slot machine? Older slot machines used mechanical reels and if certain symbols lined up on these reels then a player could win a certain amount. However, most modern slots are completely computer-based. These games feature video reels with numerous possible combinations to win. However, an actual spin is determined by a random number generator (RNG) within the game’s computer system. The video reels simply offer a video representation of what the RNG instantaneously determines when a player hits the “spin” button. An RNG guarantees players a completely random gaming experience. What are progressive slots? These are the games you may see paying out massive six- and seven-figure jackpots. The reason these payouts get so large is that these games are connected to other machines within a wide area across multiple jurisdictions. A certain amount is taken out of each spin and pooled together with funds from all the other games on the network. These can create huge prize pools that are paid out to jackpot winners. The odds are huge to hit this type of prize. However, smaller jackpots from this prize pool are possible as well.
4 September, 2022