It’s the dream of most slot machine players – seeing those reels align just right for a massive payday. Whether playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, online, or in a social gaming environment, seeing a huge jackpot is at least a goal to some degree for many players. Whether it’s a mini, major, or minor jackpot, landing some of those nice winnings can go a long way toward turning that time at a slot into a winning session. Players may face longer odds to winning those truly massive progressive six- and seven-figure jackpots, but it’s at least possible. But smaller jackpots happen more frequently and players face smaller odds in landing some of those less-stellar paydays. So what are the odds of hitting a slot machine jackpot? Do players really have a chance to win? Are there certain ways to play that might lead to a jackpot? This article hopes to answer some of those types of questions. Keep reading to learn more about what odds slot players face in winning a jackpot. What’s a Jackpot? Those new to slots may not realize exactly what a jackpot is. A jackpot is generally considered a much larger payout than one might find on a normal spin of the reels. The pay lines on a modern slot machine offer numerous ways a player can theoretically win. However, not all of those are considered jackpots. These larger payouts are much rarer and may even require what is called a “hand pay” at a live casino. This means that a member of the casino staff has to pay out a player personally “by hand” because the jackpot is so high. That may also require a winner filling out a tax form, although that may not be a major concern considering you’ve just hit it big. These jackpots mean that a player will usually see multiple symbols that occur less frequently on a single spin. A player faces much longer odds in seeing events like this happen. Sometimes these wins may also come in bonus games or free spins. These are extra winning opportunities a player receives by seeing certain symbols in the game to trigger these bonus opportunities. The chances of winning larger prizes may be better in these bonus games, but not necessarily for those much larger jackpots. Types of Jackpots Players hoping for a big jackpot always have a shot at a larger payout at least to some degree. But it’s important to remember that a casino has a house edge when it comes to slot machines. There is no legal way to overcome this such as card counting in blackjack or gaining a skill edge at the poker tables. Luck is a key factor in playing a slot machine and especially in winning one of those massive jackpots that make headlines. However, jackpots of various types are available for those who take a seat at a slot machine or play online. Here’s a look at a few types. Mini Jackpot – These are smaller jackpots one might find playing a typical slot machine in a casino. These usually come about by triggering certain bonuses or finding a certain number of key symbols on the reels. These may include multipliers that increase a player’s winnings. Mini jackpots are much more common than larger payouts. Obviously the higher the jackpot, the longer the odds are of hitting it. This is the first tier usually on a slot machine’s jackpot sequence. Major Jackpot – This is a larger jackpot than the Mini version and the second tier of larger payouts on a slot games. As expected, players face larger odds at achieving this level. While on a penny machine a Mini Jackpot may be $50 to $100, a Major may bring a few hundred dollars. Minor Jackpot – This is the third tier of jackpot and sees that potential payout rise even more. This is a more difficult level to reach because of the longer odds involved. This type of jackpot could register a few thousand dollars for a lucky player. This may not be life-changing money, but any player would be happy to see the bells and whistles on a machine go off to advertise this type of win. Mega Jackpot – This is a really hefty payout as the name implies. A player hitting a Mega Jackpot has really accomplished something and can usually expect a payout of up to tens of thousands of dollars at least heading their way. These can be huge payouts and don’t come around everyday for slot players. They are more difficult to achieve with longer odds. Progressive Jackpot – This are that colossal seven-figure and higher jackpots that might even make headlines in the new media. A progressive slot is tied into other machines throughout a certain state or territory. With so many machines feeding money into the prize pool, these potential payouts can get truly astronomical. The odds of winning these types of jackpots can be astronomical as well. Some jackpots may also vary or have slightly different names than those above, but this is the general sequence and names for slot machine jackpots. Some players may also see payouts called Local Jackpots, which are similar to progressives but may include players in a pool smaller than a traditional progressive but still achieving larger jackpots than traditional games. Huge jackpots in these games can also be rare as well. Odds of Winning a Jackpot As noted above, hitting those massive jackpot payouts isn't easy. The reason those huge paydays make news is because they’re not only handing a player massive money, but they’re also extremely rare considering the number of players pumping credits into slot machines around the world each day. The largest jackpot in history came in 2003 at the Excalibur casino in Las Vegas. A software engineer played about $100 in a Megabucks, a popular progressive machine seen at casinos around the world. When three Megabucks symbols stacked up on screen, this player struck gold – taking home $39.7 million. So what are the odds of actually winning a million-dollar jackpot, not even one at these gargantuan levels as won at the Excalibur? There are numerous intricacies in each game that can make this vary, but in general, many experts concede that the odds of hitting that kind of jackpot come in the range of 50 million to one or even as high as 100 million to one. Just as a comparison, the odds of getting struck by lightning are about one in a million, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. That shows just how difficult it is to win one of these life-changing prizes. Also, playing progressives to win at this level usually requires betting at the max-bet level and at higher stakes. This gives a player an opportunity to win, but those odds at huge payouts are still long. Here are a few pros and cons of playing progressive slots: PROS chances at larger payouts usually better RTP (return to player) usually, better comps/rewards because of higher limits better chances at smaller wins because of higher RTP CONS can deplete a bankroll at higher betting stakes RTP may not be that much better depending on individual games may have more limited game options, depending on the casino or online site Does that mean a player shouldn’t hop in a casino for some fun or fire up the computer or mobile device for some online slots? Certainly not. Slots should be seen as a form of entertainment only with a chance that you could actually win some money on a gambling excursion. Players regularly win smaller jackpots and these are much more likely than a massive progressive jackpot. A few nice scores and a winning session can make for a fun night spinning those slot machine reels. Jackpots: Online Versus Live Casinos As noted, the odds of hitting massive jackpots are long. Online slot players face similar odds, but there are some opportunities to win major payouts at a virtual casino as well. Players playing online or on social media platforms, such as at Jackpot Party, can expect some opportunities to see some major boosts to their credits if those reels line up just right. Do slots pay out better than live casinos when it comes to slot games? Probably not. Your chances of winning largely depend on the RTP of each game, whether in a casino or in an online setting. There are numerous online sources that offer the RTP of individual casinos, whether in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, London, Monte Carlo, or some other location around the world. Many RTP rates are also available for online casinos. An RTP rate can also vary by games, and that can often be found online as well. A game or casino with a 96% RTP has a better shot at winning than at a game or property with a 92% RTP. Players having some fun playing in a social gaming environment are usually playing simply for virtual coins and player rewards within the game. These types of games usually pay out more regularly than a real casino. The operator hopes to keep players at the games and there isn;t really any money involved. Frequently Asked Questions Do I have a chance at winning a huge slot machine jackpot? More than likely not because these levels of payouts are so rare and players face extremely long odds. You do have more opportunities at smaller jackpots, however, which can also come with nice payouts. What are the odds of winning a progressive jackpot? The odds of winning a seven-figure jackpot may be as high as 50 million or 100 million to one. However, smaller jackpots can come with much lower odds and regularly reward players with some big payouts bth in live and online casinos. What’s a way to reduce the odds against a player winning? Play games with higher RTP (return to player). This is the percentage of money in a slot that a casino pays out to players. The higher the RTP, the more likely a player has a chance at a winning session.
A few things instantly stand out when taking a seat at a slot machine or grabbing that mobile phone to play online. The reels are certainly a key part of the game, but those symbols on each reel are also what many players are attracted to. Today’s slot developers work to appeal to a broad range of casino players looking to win at the slots. That includes plenty of high-tech sound and graphics as well as unique features that seem to offer players numerous ways to win. These manufacturers also feature every theme and character imaginable and make use of these as part of the symbols on each machine. Along with numerous characters and other unique images, designs, and patterns spinning on those reels, developers also work in some additional slot symbols to add even more fun and winning options on each game. Designers also still work in classic slot symbols as well and that creativity carries over to online slots and social gaming platforms as well. Continue reading to learn more about slot machine symbols and their significance to these games. History of Slot Machine Symbols The first slot machines were created in 1887 in San Francisco by 29-year-old German immigrant Charles Fey. The machinist envisioned a fun game for patrons in saloons and gambling halls, reaching business deals with numerous establishments to split revenue his slot machines generated. The first game was called the Liberty Bell and the term “slot” machine comes from those early games that featured a slot to insert a nickel. Fey’s original games featured three reels and he was the first person to envision such a device. Liberty Bells paid out players in nickels, but certain combinations awarded a gambler with free cigars or drinks. These were the first “comps” sent a slot machine player’s way. That early machine may have been primitive by today’s standards, but the visionary inventor spawned what would become an industry worth billions of dollars with slots now the most popular games in a casino by far. Fey’s early machines used mechanical reels to determine winners’s chances of winning and symbols to show the result of each spin. Those Liberty Bell games used fruits, playing cards, and, of course, bell symbols to add to the game’s visual presentation and give players some images to associate with winning and losing spins. Fey’s devices were a hit. “His machines were an immediate success, and he couldn’t manufacture enough of them in his small workshop to supply the demand in and around San Francisco,” Scarne’s Complete Guide to Gambling notes. “Gambling equipment manufacturers soon discovered this and tried to buy the manufacturing and distribution rights, but Fey refused all offers.” Interestingly, some of those same early symbols remain on many machines found in casinos today. Playing cards and suits remain very common on many video slots of today, although may not be among the highest-paying symbols. Those looking to win at slots now are usually looking for more exotic symbols to appear. Those playing cards as symbols made a big impact on the games and became so popular in games in Australia and New Zealand that they became known as poker machines. That was eventually simply shortened by most to “pokies.” The fruit symbols must have become more common in England because slots became known as “fruit machines” or “fruities” in that country – and the term remains popular today. One other classic slot symbol is the bar. These may seem like an odd and rather dull item to see on a gambling device looking to draw players in to wager some of their hard-earned money. These horizontal stripes can make a solo appearance on slot reels or come in doubles and triples. So from where does this classic symbol derive? In 1907, Chicago’s Stephen Harper Mills began producing his own machines, adding more fruits and the black bar icons that many slot players still recognize today. His early games were known as Bell-Fruit-Gum machines and paid lucky winners with chewing gum to get around anti-gambling laws. The black bar icon is believed to have originally been a chewing gum packet logo from the Mills Novelty Company since a player could win some gum. As a few sticks of gum and other non-cash prizes faded away, that logo transitioned into the traditional bar seen today. One other early symbol remains extremely popular on many slot games today – the number 7. For centuries this number has been seen as lucky by numerous cultures and still seems as a common winning icon on many games. No doubt on that next trip to a Las Vegas casino or playing games online, you’ll find many gamblers hoping to see 7-7-7 show up on those reels. Here’s a complete look at early slot machine symbols that still often appear on games today: Playing cards Playing card suits Sevens Fruits Bars Bells Symbols on Today’s Slot Games Any trip to a casino will include quite a sensory experience when checking out the slot games on the gaming floors. Today’s games have advanced well beyond traditional playing cards, fruits, and 7s on those reels. Those reels have also advanced as well to include even more options when playing. Games are also not based on mechanical reels anymore with most machines even featuring only video options. No longer do the machine’s mechanical inner works and the symbols landed on determine if a player wins or loses. Instead, the machine’s random number generator creates a completely random result which is then represented by the reels on the machine. No doubt gamblers aren’t thinking about this as they look to see those key symbols show up in front of them, but a modern slot is really just a computer with the software determining wins and losses. But that doesn’t mean the graphics, video, and slot symbols can’t make playing a fun experience. Quite the contrary, slot machines have advanced to almost becoming video games that involve a bit of gambling along the way. Manufacturers offer something for every taste and interest from movies and TV shows to rock bands, mythology, and fairy tales. Online and social slot games are equally as creative and a quick scan of the games offered at Jackpot Party and you’ll find games focused on: Luck of the Irish Wild animals Gold mining Greek mythology Cute and cuddly puppies and cats Cowboys Aliens from outer space Dragons There are numerous other games and themes to choose from as well to choose from. As one might expect, some of the more important and interesting characters, images, or animals associated with a game’s theme or storyline are usually some of the most important symbols in a game. These tend to offer players bigger payouts and some even offer opportunities for bonus games, free spins, respins, and maybe even a huge progressive jackpot. Knowing a game's symbols is fun and can add to the excitement and anticipation of seeing which ones appear on those pay lines, but a machine will guide players who can’t keep up with it all. Today’s games highlight those wins with coins/credits hitting your bank on the machine with no need to worry about coins at all. Special Symbols Beyond some of the simple simples listed above, slot developers also make certain symbols more valuable than others. When these line up they can bring more winnings than some of the more typical symbols in the game. Other symbols offer players more chances to win. A scatter symbol triggers something special, such as a bonus game or free spins. These are the types of symbols a player likes to see show up as there are more chances to win more money. These can also offer a chance to win a progressive to lucky players who see enough of them. For example, players can spin the reels on the popular game Zeus II at Jackpot Party. This game features the god who ruled the sky in ancient Greek mythology. As one might expect many of the symbols revolve around this mythological world, a common theme in the world of slots. As the scatter symbol, a symbol featuring a lightning bolt does the job in this game. A player lining up at least three of these symbols is awarded a free spins bonus. Why would you want that? Because these offer players a chance to spin the reels a certain number of times without spending any more credits. These rounds also often feature better chances of winning more and also even earning more free spins along the way. In Zeus II, you’re able to win as many as 150 free spins when five scatter symbols appear. Another key image on the reels that can also greatly benefit players are wild symbols. These can link up with other symbols to create more winning combinations. A wild symbol can act as any other symbol on the reels, offering a player more chances to win. Sometimes that can include numerous paylines being highlighted across all the reels because a few wilds made such a difference at turning a losing spin into a nice winner. For example, the Temple Wild does this function for players. The temple image can be used in place of all other symbols on the reels, except for the lightning bolt. A player seeing these show up has a much better chance at securing some winning combinations. Different slots may have different rewards for symbols that appear on the reels. Some may trigger other prizes, bonuses, and even respins. This last term refers to a feature in which a symbol is locked in place on the reels. The other reels may spin again a few more times, offering players a chance at some more wins if certain symbols appear again. As noted earlier, a random number generator actually determines the result of any slot machine spin. However, the average player may not even realize. The fun of the game is watching those reels and seeing if just the rights symbols make an appearance – hopefully awarding some riches along the way. Here’s a quick review of the key symbols on a slot game, whether playing in a live casino or online. Traditional symbols – Most regular symbols on a slot game. Some of these pay more than others and the paytable will spell this out. Scatter symbols – These are critical symbols that trigger other winning opportunities like bonus games and free spins. These offer more chances to win additional credits and are highly sought by most players. Wild symbols – Like a wild card in a poker game, these can be used in combination with other symbols to make winning combinations. They can replace most other symbols on the reels to better link up pay lines for winners. Pop Culture Slots and Symbols What’s great about modern slot machines might just be the sheer number of gaming options available not only on a casino floor but also online, where you can also play for free or even real money depending on your location and jurisdiction. A trend over the last decade or so has been to add even more links among slot games and pop culture. As noted earlier, slot developers also work to appeal to numerous slot players by making use of classic characters from movies and TV shows as well as rock bands, celebrities, and more. As an example, Jackpot Party also includes James Bond Casino Royale, The Flintstones, and Cirque Du Soleil: Kooza. This is just the tip of the iceberg on what is available for players looking for something unique or maybe just for a bit of slot-playing nostalgia. Many symbols on this game of course revolve around Bond and the film itself. For example, fans of 007 will get a kick out of James Bond Casino Royale. In this game, players will be hoping the international superspy helps pave the way for some winnings while on her majesty’s secret service. The game features five reels, 25 pay lines, and clips from the film as part of the fun. Conclusion Symbols are the images that appear on a slot game’s reels. While the exact result of a modern slot game may depend on a random number generator, the symbols offer a visual interpretation of the slot’s computer-generated result. Game manufacturers offer plenty of creativity when it comes to themes and storylines and the symbols of the game will represent this. Some of the traditional symbols will pay more than others and offer a chance at some winning along the way when playing. However, players are really hoping for more key symbols to make an appearance. This can include items such as wilds and scatters. Wild symbols can replace other symbols and offer extra chances at winning combinations. Scatter symbols give you a shot at bonus games and free spins,also meaning more opportunities at winning. Slot machine technology has come a long way from those early days in Charles Fey’s machine shop. Players can now even play right on their mobile phones at sites like Jackpot Party. The games may have changed considerably, but plenty of fun remains.
7 November, 2022
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 important 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 a visual representation 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. The reels are a key feature on a slot and display what 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 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 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 older 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 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. 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. Reels – The vertical spinning sections of the screen with numerous symbols a player watches to see if he is a winner. These are the key part of the game and are now mostly in digital video form rather than mechanical. Spin Button – This is simply a button that can get the reels spinning each time a player wishes to wager. This is usually an icon of some sort of icon that a player will click on a computer or tap on a mobile or tablet device. Bet Button – This is a button or icon in which a player determines their bet per spin. Players determine how much they want to wager per line Pay Lines – These are the lines on the reels that determine winners depending on which symbols appear. On modern slots, these don’t have to line up straight across but can run in random directions depending on the game and symbols that appear. Pay Table – This is a table that shows what prizes a player can win based on what symbols appear. This also shows the highest jackpot on the game a player can win. Scatters – These are distinct symbols on the game that can trigger bonus features when they make an appearance on the reels. Wild Symbols – These are certain symbols on a game that can substitute as other symbols on the game and help create added winning combinations. Bonus Rounds and Free Spins – A bonus round is an extra game a player wins that allow for opportunities to win extra credits. Free spins are a common bonus in which a player gets to spin the reels multiple times without it affecting their credits and giving numerous extra chances to win.
2 November, 2022
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. 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, that 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.
6 September, 2022
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. Concerns about machines being “rigged” need not be entertained because there are no mechanical workings and only the software is responsible for a random result. 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 has 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
There’s nothing quite hitting a big jackpot on a slot machine or video slot. Striking it big after investing just a small amount can make for quite a fun night at the machines, on a computer, or simply on a mobile phone or tablet device. Players who enjoy mobile games can also win coins when playing for free with no real money on the line, but with plenty of fun involved. Of course, not all those days at the slots can be winning sessions. However, there are some tips and tricks to have a better chance of winning. Here’s a look at a few tips to keep in mind when heading to that slot machine for some fun. These are some great slot tips on what to avoid and concepts to keep in mind when playing: DO’S: Stay Within Your Budget Check That Progressive Progress Have Reasonable Expectations Take the Rewards Make Use of Free Play Take the Slow Road Practice Makes Perfect Look for Better-Paying Games DON'Ts Play Too Small Spend Too Much Time Losing or at the Same Machine Play Slots at Random Become Too Focused on a Certain Game Get Too Tipsy Play Too Low If You Can Afford Higher Limits Play Too High If It Affects Your Bankroll 1 – Stay Within Your Budget No one wants to go broke playing slots and it’s important to be rational about how much cash you have to play for the night. Gambling should be treated as entertainment. Determine how much money you’re willing to wager per session and don’t be afraid to walk away from a game. While putting in max coin offers a chance at the biggest payouts, it’s important to make sure you’re staying within the range of what you can afford. Also along these lines, stick to limits that fall within your budget. A few losing spins on higher denomination machines may leave you running to the ATM machine. That’s not a good idea and could leave you not only busting your budget but going well above it. This slot tip is critical and makes for a responsible gambler: like any other game in the casino, play within your financial means and avoid playing money that you can’t afford to lose. Bottom Line: Smart slot players pick a certain amount of money they are prepared to play with and don’t go over that budget. Slots are entertainment and should be treated that way. Free play slots allow players to play for coins and other awards, making them an easy way to play without risking any real money.. 2 – Check That Progressive Progress A progressive slot combines prize pools from numerous games across an entire region or area. These machines give slot players a chance at even bigger payouts because this coin-in is pooled to allow for some astronomical payouts at times. A small percentage of each play is pooled into the jackpot prize pool. Players have a shot at winning six figures, seven figures, and even more on occasion. The largest of these on record came in 2003 at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. One lucky gambler walked away with a massive score of $39.7 million. While the odds of hitting these ultimate jackpots are certainly long, there are other levels of jackpots that pay out some nice amounts as well. Those looking to have a shot at these nosebleed-level jackpots would be wise to take into account this one important slot tip: make sure the game you’re on is actually a progressive machine. Also, another key aspect when playing a progressive slot is to make sure you’re betting enough on each spin to actually qualify for the progressive payout. The qualifying coin-in varies by games and machines with some needing a max coin-in to qualify for any jackpots, but others may take less. It may really pay off, in the long run, to make sure your bets are qualifying for those progressives. Bottom Line: Progressive slots are linked to other machines in a certain region, building huge prize pools for players. These can pay off with huge jackpots, but it’s important to make sure you’re playing at a high enough level to be part of the progressive if you’re at one of these machines, whether in a live casino or online. 3 – Have Reasonable Expectations Whether you’re looking for a “hot” slot that pays out often or a “cold” slot that is “due” to hit it big, it’s important to note that all slot machines are based on random number generators. Whether a slot just paid off a major jackpot or not has no bearing on when one might pay out. Slot machines are gambling and there is no best practice to finding a machine that’s going to pay out big. Obviously, that’s why it’s called casino gambling. However, take some measures to find casinos that have the highest percentage of payback (as noted in this article) will help give players at least the best chance at putting some of those bucks in their pockets. Or you can play at higher denominations, as also mentioned here, to ensure higher payout percentages. But the house indeed has an edge and it’s important to remember that. There’s no certain strategy to make sure you end that trip to the casino or session at an online slot as a winner. A jackpot isn’t always in the cards - or in the reels. Bottom Line: It’s important to remember that a slot machine is still a casino game and the house has an edge. This article offers tips to give a player the best chance to win, but have reasonable expectations. Don’t expect every session to be a winner, slots are entertainment and often come with a cost. 4 – Take the Rewards It’s pretty obvious that casinos, both live and online, want return customers. This slot tip allows players to earn some extra rewards for their play. Casinos offer rewards cards and clubs allowing slot players to earn credits and rewards as they play. At a live casino, players simply insert their player’s card into the machine or type in a personal identification number (PIN) to start earning rewards. These cards can also be used to earn points at table games as well. With larger gaming companies, a player can use a rewards card at other casinos owned by that same company as well. When heading to a new casino, it’s always worth a trip to the players club desk to get that rewards card, and hopefully some free play. In an online casino or social gaming platform, players may earn rewards automatically without having to opt-in to any type of rewards program. Those heading to a slot machine should definitely take advantage of a rewards program. These points can be used for free play, hotel and food comps, and other prizes at a live casino. The casino may often even invite regular players to special promotional events, such as slot tournaments. Online and social gaming sites may also reward players with free play and other promotions. Some of these sites may even offer tangible prizes and swag as seen in live casinos as well. It pays to get a rewards card. Bottom Line: A player’s card offers you a chance at some rewards from the casino including comped meals, hotel stays, and more. Players should take advantage of these rewards programs. Many also award players with free slot play, which gives you a chance to earn some winning cash for free. Online casinos also have rewards programs, which are also good for players. 5 – Make Use of Free Play When heading to a casino, those who sign up for the property’s rewards card not only earn points toward comps and other perks, but also free slot play. This slot tip can literally pay off – without putting any of your own money in a machine. Properties and online operators use free slot play as a way to attract casino players. This gives players a real shot at winning some free money. There are some caveats, however, and players usually have to play through the complete amount offered up in free play. Taking advantage of free play offers is a great way to get the night going in the slot area. Heading to another casino? Do the same at that property. Some freebie slot play might just turn into some real free money. Bottom Line: As noted above, many casinos and even online casinos offer players free play as part of their loyalty or rewards programs. Free play is just that – free spins on slots and a chance to win real money. It’s certainly worth it to take advantage of these free money opportunities. 6 – Take the Slow Road When hitting the slots, there’s no reason to really get in a hurry and this slot trick can pay off in the long run. Those dollars will go much quicker if you pound away at the “spin reels” button as soon as they stop. Those looking to preserve that slot machine bankroll would be wise to make that night at the slots a bit of a more leisurely excursion. Chit-chat with friends, take advantage of those casino comps and enjoy a cocktail or two, and just enjoy the game in a more leisurely manner. There are plenty of machines and it’s not a race. Be the slot machine tortoise, not the hare. For those enjoying some online slots or social gaming, maybe mix in some music or check out a television show. Browse online or text with friends. Maybe talk with some family members and let that online slot be more of a fun, background form of entertainment. Those who take it slow seem to get more enjoyment out of slot gaming. And when it comes to making that money last, the tortoise not only wins the race but also has the most cash. Bottom Line: Not getting in a hurry can save money in the long run and make that slot bankroll last longer. Slots should be entertainment and relaxing a bit makes the experience more fun and can also make you cash last longer, giving you a better chance to win. 7 – Practice Makes Perfect There is no shortage of online slots and social gaming opportunities to check out what some of the biggest slots on the market are. These offer players an opportunity to test out games and how they pay out. You can also take a look at numerous game types and styles, maybe determining a few of your favorites for the next time you’re ready to visit a casino or do some real-money video slot play online. It’s important to remember that the casino or online operator always has an edge. Unlike video poker or counting cards in blackjack, players can’t turn the tables and get the odds in their favor. However, playing with a budget and knowing what to expect will help make that money last for the long run. Hopefully, within that time, you may just get lucky and hit a few nice scores along the way. Bottom Line: Online casinos and social gaming platforms offer players plenty of opportunities to play for free. This offers a great way to practice and to become accustomed to the ins and outs of certain games. Playing free-to-play and social gaming slots also makes for a fun experience. 8 – Look for Better-Paying Games Sometimes it pays to do some slot shopping. Look for slots that have the best Return to Player (RTP). Games with the best payback offer you a better chance to win. Some games pay out more than others and these tend to be the ones you may want to check out. Another good idea is to look for casinos and online gaming sites that may have the “loosest” slots. This means that property pays out a higher percentage of coin-in than other casinos. This gives players a better chance of at least getting some of that money back. There are numerous websites and publications, such as Casino Player magazine, that offer analysis of casinos that have the loosest slots. Players can simply look at their region to find a casino that may give them the best chance to win. Some casinos pay out as much as 95% of coin-in back to players (and some even more). That’s a great percentage that benefits players. For those trips to Vegas, here’s a quick slot tip: avoid the games at the airport. These slots have notoriously low payout percentages. Skip the airport machines and save your bucks for the Strip or downtown casinos. Bottom Line: Some games pay out more than others and the same goes for certain casinos. Check out which machines pay out more to players as well as various casinos’ payout percentages when planning your next casino outing. That research could help you score more winning slot sessions. DON’Ts: Here are some smart slot tips to consider when playing and some certain actions to avoid: 9 – Play Too Small When playing a slot machine, there are several coin-in options that players can play on spin of the reels. The payouts progress upward depending on whether you play one coin per line, two coins, three coins, etc. When looking at the pay table, you may notice that the max play payout tends to be a multiple larger than other pay levels. Someone playing out lower levels doesn't have the chance to earn these bonus payouts or jackpots. The potential for these added payouts adds some extra value for each spin of the reels you make. For example, a slot may have three payout levels depending on the coin in. If you’re lucky to hit the top payout for 7-7-7, the top jackpot maybe 200 coins (or credits) for a single coin in. That may then move up to 400 coins for someone who put in two coins for the spin. However, a player paying max payout would receive a payout of 1,200 coins. That’s a jackpot of three times the payout for playing only two coins. Those returns will be more all along the payout tables, but especially so for the larger jackpot payouts, which tend to come in larger multiples of the lower payouts. It pays to max it out when playing a slot. Bottom Line: Those really looking for big payouts are advised to play at the highest-coin in level. Most slots pay out more for those who “max out” the credits they put into a machine for each spin. Those playing lower will miss out on some of these bigger jackpots. 10 – Spend Too Much Time Losing Hit a tough streak where none of those reels seem to be lining up? There’s no shame in taking a break. Grab some lunch or take a walk. Maybe it’s been a long day and a nap back in the hotel room is in order. Don’t simply throw good money after bad in a machine. The slot machines will still be there later when you return and simply feeding the beast will only deplete your bankroll and have you headed to those dreaded ATM machines and their sky-high fees. If you’re in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or other major casino center there are plenty of other options that don’t involve gambling. Maybe plan a couple shows or excursions during your trip. There’s always time later for more slot fun – hopefully with better results. Be smart and live to fight another day. Bottom Line: If things don’t seem to be going your way in a slot session, look for some other entertainment options for a while. There’s no sense losing money, so look for some other excursions to preserve that bankroll. A walk or visit to another location will help offset some potential losses in a playing session. 11 – Play Slots at Random Just as players can check out a casino’s payout percentages online, savvy players may also want to check out individual manufacturers to see how their machines payout. These companies’ Return to Player (RTP) rates can also be found online with a quick search. Maybe you just want to take a look at some of your favorite games and see how they stack up. Perhaps one fares better than the others and it might be wise to rank some of those slots according to the game developers’ RTPs. Having the best chance to win means being a bit smarter than the average gambler. Some quick research may mean a bit of a better chance at beating the casinos, certainly not an easy proposition. Even just an extra percentage point can pay off in the long run. Bottom Line: Players heading to a casino can check out the payout percentages of certain slots and find some interesting ones that also have bigger chances of winning. A little research can go a long way. 12 – Become Too Focused on a Certain Game If those 7s don’t seem to be lining up or those bonus games and free spins just don’t seem to be showing up, don’t be afraid to tap the “cash out” button and head to another machine. Most casinos have no shortage of games and perhaps that next machine is a bit more ready to send a few bucks your way. The same can be said for online slots and social games. Grab that cocktail and lucky charm and make the switch. Sometimes the “hit and run” method can use a bit of several of the slot tips and tricks mentioned here. Put in a few bucks and give the reels a few spins. Not a winner after a few minutes? Maybe cash out and transfer your dollars to another. Is that one not going well? Make the switch again. This method can spread that bankroll over a longer time but also offer plenty of variety and hopefully some fun along the way. If you hit a nice win and then the machine stops paying, it’s easy to make another move only this time playing from the plus side rather than the negative. Bottom Line: Don’t keep losing money at a machine or online slot that doesn’t seem to be paying off. Switching things up offers a chance to win at another game. This also slows your progress a bit, making your bankroll last longer. You’ll also be exposed to other slot games in the process as well. 13 – Get Too Tipsy Indulging in a few cocktails or beers may be a regular part of hitting the slot machines for many. But it’s important not to overdo it. There’s a reason that those drinks are free. Buzzed bettors tend to gamble more and wager at higher denominations. Slot players who are more moderate in their drinking are less likely to go over their gambling budget. That’s a key to a nice night out and those who can practice temperance are much less likely to be separated from more of their money than planned. “Those who drank while gambling were more likely to be problem gamblers, even when holding constant frequency of gambling, size of the average win or loss, and average alcohol consumption,” a study by the Research Institute on Addictions in Buffalo, New York, notes in a study. “Those gamblers who are drinkers, but did not drink while gambling, had a prevalence of problem gambling of close to zero.” In summary, don’t simply keep the drinks flowing. A smart gambler drinks less – and hopefully wins more. Bottom Line: Having a few cocktails at a casino (or home for that matter) can add to the fun, but don’t overdo it. Those players who drink too much tend to wager more than their bankrolls allow. Getting tipsy can lead to costly trips to the ATM machine. 14 – Play Too Low If You Can Afford Higher Limits Those with bigger budgets would be wise to play higher denomination games. These tend to have higher payback percentages than a typical one-cent machine. Of course, more risk as far as depleting a bankroll comes with playing at higher levels. That’s why it’s important to determine your budget as outlined earlier and to stick with it. But if you can afford putting some cash in that nickel machine, it might be worth it if you indeed have a nice night and hit some decent spins. If you have the bankroll for a quarter or dollar machine, so much the better. However, don’t take this as an invitation to bust that budget. If penny machines fit your own personal financial situation best, then stay the course, and good luck! Bottom Line: Playing at higher limits, if you can afford it, offers a chance at higher payout percentages. These games also offer player higher payouts and a greater chance to record a winning session. But it’s key to stay within your budget and guard that bankroll. 15 – Play Too High If It Affects Your Bankroll On the flip side of this previous slot tip, it’s also important to know when to say when. Those higher denomination games may have higher payout percentages, but those dry spells can also really sap a player’s funds. Someone hitting the quarter machines may want to adjust to nickel machines if he or she sees a quicker draining of funds than might have been expected. In other words, don’t play like a high roller if you can’t afford it. Slot play should be fun and having to worry about losses you really can’t afford can certainly have the opposite effect. Be smart with your funds and don’t let playing higher than you afford to become a serious strain on your night out at the casinos. Bottom Line: As already noted, playing within a budget is key to having fun at slot games, whether in a live casino or when playing online. Preserve your bankroll for a fun experience and hopefully with more cash than when you started. Good luck! *** Spinning those reels should be fun without worrying about overdoing it. These slot tips and tricks offer players a chance for a great night out at the casino or some fun playing some games on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet device. Whether for real cash or just for free money, slot machines can be great entertainment and a great way to spend some time with friends. Frequently Asked Questions Are certain machines “due” for a jackpot if they haven’t paid out? Modern slot machines make use of random number generators that trigger all the action on the machine randomly – as the name implies. Many players may think certain machines are just waiting to pay off, but this is a myth. Slot machines are fun, but there is still a house edge. Embrace that fact, but also know that a good night could mean winning a few bucks as well. Should I look for “hot” machines that have paid out recently or “cold” machines than may be ready to pay off soon? Just as with the idea that games are “due” to pay off, this type of thinking is also largely irrelevant because of the complete randomness of how these computerized games pay out. What’s a good budget or bankroll to plan for when heading to the slots or playing online? That all depends on a player’s own financial situation. Whether you have the bankroll to play at higher denominations or plan on sticking to the penny machines, knowing how much you have to play with is critical. The general idea is to realize that gambling is a form of entertainment just like any other. Determine what amount you’re willing to pay for a trip to the casino or during a quick slot session online. What amount could you lose that won’t significantly set you back financially. A night playing some slot machines shouldn’t come with a big case of buyer’s remorse. What are a few quick slot tips that might give someone the best chance to become a winner? While the house always has an edge when it comes to playing a slot machine, there are a few considerations when heading to the casino. Here are a few to slot tips to remember: Practice online for free to learn about some of the games you plan on playing. Research casinos that have the best slot payout percentages. These are the properties returning the most coin-in to players. Also, check out which games also tend to pay out more to players. Take advantage of casinos’ free play and rewards cards to earn more as you play. Be willing to walk away and take a break if you hit a downswing. Also, play a bit slower to make that money last over the long run. Lastly, have fun and good luck!
7 August, 2022