Today’s slot machines have numerous types of games to choose from regardless of a player’s preferred stakes, theme, or features. There is literally something for everyone and slot manufacturers offer players numerous types of slots with differing gameplay and options.
Knowing about these different types of slots can help a player better plan out what to play on that next trip to the casino or when playing a slot online.
When playing slot machines, the goal is to make that bankroll last as long as possible and know which games make your cash last longer might be worth knowing. Also, knowing which games complement your own gaming interests and style will also make your gaming experience more entertaining.
Keep reading for a complete guide to the different types of slot machines available to players.
1 – Single Coin Slot
As the name implies, these machines allow players to wager only a single credit on each spin of the reels. With the casino industry now embracing video technology and the ability to play multiple credits, these types of games are basically obsolete. Players may find some of these games at a casino offering a vintage slot experience.
Pros: Bankroll lasts longer because of limited credits per spin.
Cons: Smaller payouts, fewer options.
Extras: These games offer a more vintage slot machine experience.
2 – Multi-coin/Multi-line
These types of games have been around for about two decades and have only become more advanced in recent years. These games put slot players in control over how many paylines or stakes (coins/credits per line) they’d like to wager. The paylines you play, the more chances you have to win. Playing a higher number of coins per line also means higher payouts for wins. These are the usual types of games a player finds in modern games and the use of computer technology makes these options much more prevalent.
Pros: Numerous stakes and payline options.
Cons: Players may be tempted to play higher stakes, bankroll could be sapped faster.
Extras: Some games have numerous paylines, meaning even one cent per line can really add up.
3 – Multi-line
These are older machines that were the precursors to multi-coin/multi-line slots. These games allowed players to select multiple paylines, but were limited in stakes. Players could only select one coin per line when spinning the reels. The games have since been passed over in popularity for the ability of players to select more than one coin per line.
Pros: Ability to play multiple paylines but with limited stakes, bankroll can last longer.
Cons: Players may want higher stakes, and smaller payouts than what multi-coin/multi-line games might offer.
Extras: Multiple paylines were created as a way to offer slot players more action per spin.
4 – Buy-a-Pays
These types of machines base the number of winning combinations possible on the number of coins or credits played. For each additional credit, a player unlocks more winning possibilities. A machine’s payback percentage may be quite a bit lower because of one less coin put in the machine. Check the pay table to determine if you’re at a Buy-a-Pay game.
Pros: Players choose the number of coins to play.
Cons: Missed winning opportunities because not playing more coins can frustrate players. May drain bankroll faster seeking more payout options.
Extras: Some bonus features may not be available if not playing the maximum number of coins.
5 – Hidden Buy-a-Pays
This is a version of the Buy-a-Pay style of machine, but these machines require players to wager the maximum number of coins to achieve some of the bonus events available in the game. This can be frustrating for some players because of the cost that can be involved with playing max coins, but this also can unlock much higher payout percentages.
Pros: Higher payouts, more bonus options available.
Cons: May cost more per spin and sap a player’s bankroll more quickly. Playing these games can be a more frustrating experience.
Extras: Some games with may offer much higher RTP (return to player) percentages when playing max coins – as high as the upper 90s and even 100%.
6 – Straight Multiplier
Unlike the Buy-a-Pay machines, these games unlock all bonuses and game features with a single coin. A player can also double the payout possibilities or a second coin and triple those opportunities with a third coin. There is no major change on the paytable, a player simply risks more per spin with the opportunity to win even more when a winning combination lands on the reels.
Pros: Players decide the number of coins they want to risk and can see more winnings per playing.
Cons: No additional bonus opportunities for playing max coins per spin.
Extras: Double Diamond machines offer a popular straight multiplier game.
7 – Bonus Multipliers
These games are very similar to the straight multiplier games but come with a bonus up top on the pay table for players wagering the maximum number of credits per spin. These jackpot payouts are rare, however, and the other payout levels do not see a similar bump in pay.
Pros: A chance for a bonus payout, which could be considerably higher than other amounts on the paytable.
Cons: Takes more coins per line to achieve just qualifying for the bonus, which can drain a bankroll more quickly.
Extras: Because the bonus payout is so rare, most slot experts suggest skipping the max payout and play at lower levels.
8 – Progressives
Progressive jackpots are games in which players at least have a chance to win massive jackpots as often seen in news headlines. These machines take a small amount out of each spin of the reels and that money is placed in the jackpot prize pool. The prize pool can be drawn from games across a large area, such as entire U.S. states, making the prize pool even larger. Progressive payouts can reach into the millions of dollars, but other nice amounts can also be awarded.
Pros: Huge payouts that can be life-changing are possible, but extremely rare.
Cons: Players may have to play the maximum stakes and need a larger bankroll. These games also feature higher stakes as well.
Extras: The largest progressive jackpot in history came at the Excalibur in Las Vegas in 2003 for $39.7 million.
9 – Combination Slots
As the name implies, these games combine elements of other slots all in one game. It is often recommended to wager the minimum amount to unlock all bonus features. Looking at the paytable offers some insight into which features are available and whether the game skews more toward other slot types, such as Buy-a-Pay or Multipliers.
Pros: Several options all in one game, sometimes the best of a few types.
Cons: The same negatives from the other game types can apply in these games as well depending on what features are available from the other games.
Extras: Keep your wager small if possible, but high enough to see the bonus possibilities unlocked.
10 – Wild Play Machines
These are a major part of the modern repertoire of video games, offering wild symbols that can offer players a chance to win even more on the reels. The wilds are symbols that can be substituted for other symbols and help create even more winning combinations as you play. Most modern video slots feature some form of wild symbol. The addition of wild symbols by slot manufacturers has been a popular move among slot players who enjoy seeing more action.
Pros: More winning opportunities and added entertainment value.
Cons: Wilds don’t always mean winning spins. Players could also be tempted to wager more per spin with more wilds in the mix.
Extras: Some games even feature more than one bonus and the appearance of some of these symbols can even bring about more bonus features.
11 – Video Poker
While many may not realize it, video poker is grouped among slot machines but features much different gameplay. These games offer a much different experience and are based on the traditional Five Card Draw Poker with a random number generator determining how the cards are dealt. Players actually interact with the game and decide which cards they’d like to hold and which they like to discard and draw. There are numerous versions of Video Poker including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and more. The games pay out more for more coins in the game, just check the paytable to determine what works best for your own bankroll.
Pros: A more analytical game that tends to bring a more laid-back gaming experience. Players can get better odds with practice and learning basic strategy.
Cons: There are fewer favorable games today and learning the correct strategy can be time-consuming.
Extras: Unlike slots, savvy players on games with better rules and payouts can actually reduce the house edge significantly and sometimes even tip the edge in their own favor.
12 – Multi-Game Machines
These games often feature several options for players to choose from and are often found at bar tabletops and other locations where players may be relaxing and might want to drop in a few bucks on a whim. Players will often find slot games along with Video Poker, Blackjack, Keno, and other options.
Pros: Laid-back gaming with several options to choose from. Simple gameplay doesn’t always mean you have to be located in the main gaming floor of the casino.
Cons: Some games, such as Video Poker and Blackjack, may not include the most favorable odds.
Extras: For those who enjoy a nice drink at the bar, these games can often include some free cocktails for those playing.
13 – Video Slots
Video slots are more of a generic term used to describe modern slots that feature excellent graphics and features. The ”reels” on this game are found on the video screen and players will also find plenty of extras not found in classic mechanical reel games, such as bonus games, multiple paylines, and free games..
Pros: Advanced graphics and sound. Numerous features like bonus games and more.
Cons: No classic mechanical gaming for those who enjoy some vintage-style play.
Extras: Available in multiple stakes and themes.
14 – How to Choose a Slot Type
Considering some of these options will help you determine which games might best fit your own personality – or better yet, your bankroll. Those on more limited budgets will want to make sure those bucks are stretched over a longer length of time to make for a better gaming experience.
Players with larger bankrolls may not be as concerned about drought in winnings and instead may be searching for even bigger scores when some payouts do come their way.
Perhaps your personality is just in favor of more action on the reels and you get bored a little when those winnings don’t always show up – even when some of the horse wins may not even be large enough to cover the cost of a spin. Some players just like seeing some wins along the way.
Maybe bonus features and wild symbols are a bit more fun for you when spinning some reels. There are slot machines in the above categories for all types of players. Choose some that fit your own wagering style and personality. Here’s a quick guide on games to consider.
Personality type or trait
Games to play
Seeks more action and wins
Multi-coin/Multi-line, Wild Play Machines, Video Poker, Multi-Game Machines
More interested in bigger payouts
Single Coin Slot, Combination Slots
Bonus Multipliers, Progressives