Gambling seems to have always been a part of the human experience – from the Roman Empire to modern casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And the notion of luck has been a huge part of the gambling life. Luck is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but after centuries of betting on sports, dice, playing cards, and of course, slot machines, differing symbols and artifacts have come to be synonymous with the idea of luck. From a rabbit’s foot and horseshoes to clovers and rainbows, these and numerous other icons have come to symbolize good luck. While some choose to believe and others just bank on these for fun, many at least recognize the need or desire for some luck when hitting a casino or online gaming site. Lucky charms and symbols are even incorporated into many slot machines, enticing players with an opportunity to hit it big. Here’s a quick look at some of the lucky charms and symbols one might experience either playing slots in a casino, online, or on a social gaming site. This article explains the history and importance of the most popular lucky charms and symbols and explains how they are still relevant to slot players. Keep reading to learn everything you’ll need to know about some of the most common and popular lucky charms and symbols for slot players. Keep an eye out for some of these next time you head to the casino or play that real money or social slot game on a phone or mobile device. NATURE SYMBOLS & NUMBERS Symbols from nature have proven to be popular for centuries for those seeking a bit of luck when hitting the casino. Here’s a look at a few common symbols. Clovers & Shamrocks Chances are you’ve seen clovers and shamrocks in many casinos and slots. Some Irish-themed casinos even incorporate these into the decor of the property. Why are these small green plants considered lucky? The four-leaf variety is not only rare, but for hundreds of years, the Irish saw them as being even luckier for those who found one. The four leaves themselves were said to represent faith, hope, love, and success. Four-leaf clovers are considered lucky for their rarity,” Parade magazine notes. “In the Middle Ages, it was believed by some Celtic groups that wielding a four-leaf clover would help you see fairies, as well as to ward off evil spirits, and grant the holder good luck. Lucky qualities: seeing spirits and fairies, warding off evil spirits, magical protections Bonus spin: Famed author John Melton may have been one of the first to mention the luck of a four-leaf clover. He wrote in the 1600s: “If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.” Rainbows Seeing a rainbow, or better yet a rare double rainbow brings a smile to the faces of most people. These bright multi-colored spectacles may seem like a mystical phenomenon but are in fact a part of the real world. For that reason, along with their rarity, many cultures may see them as lucky. It’s easy to see that connection to using these symbols in modern slot machines. These natural displays of a light spectrum have been featured in numerous mythologies and cultures including Celtic, Greek, Norse, Christianity, Buddhism, and more. These beautiful specters naturally appear as symbols of good luck – hopefully at a slot as well. Lucky qualities: hope, promise, transition, peace, equality Bonus spin: Much of rainbows’ lucky charms can also be attributed to the Irish, where legend has it one could find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Sevens (777) Numbers play a role in luck in many cultures. Friday the 13th is considered a spooky day where things can go completely wrong. Some elevators don’t even have a 13th floor. Many people have a lucky number also, but 7s are synonymous with luck in a casino and especially at slot machines. This superstition seems to run across many cultures, especially in religious contexts. Lucky number 7 is even the basis for many myths and folklore,” Reader’s Digest notes. “Ancient beliefs from around the world believed that the seventh son of the seventh son would be gifted with magical powers (both good and evil). In the Bible, scholars claim that God created the world in six days and used the seventh day to rest. There are also seven heavens in Islam and Judaism. In Confucianism, the number represents harmony made up of yin, yang, and the five elements. Hindus believe there are seven higher worlds and seven underworlds in and in Buddhism, the newborn Buddha takes seven steps. Lucky qualities: harmony, magical powers, the afterlife, good fortune Bonus spin: This lucky number even had some influence on James Bond author Ian Femimg. Apparently, 2, 5, or 8 wouldn't work for the spy’s secret code – 007 seemed a much better fit. PHYSICAL THINGS & CULTURES Some physical objects can also be held as a symbol of luck and incorporated into gambling imagery as well. Here’s a look at a few as well as an entire country and culture that are often related to being lucky. Horseshoes These symbols have come to signify a lucky turn of events or need for a nice stroke of fortune. This symbol also fits well with horse race wagering. It’s believed this lucky charm dates back to the 8th Century. The Chaldeans, who trace their roots to ancient Babylon, believed the crescent shape represented various moon goddesses and protected against the curse of the evil eye. Horseshoes were even featured on slot machine inventor Charles Fey’s first slot machine, the Liberty Bell, which was manufactured in 1899. Lucky qualities: warding off evil spirits Bonus spin: Others believe horseshoes’ luck comes from St. Dunstan, the patron saint of blacksmiths. He’s believed to have tricked the devil, shoeing Satan’s own cloven hoof with great force and pain. Rabbit’s feet How many poor rabbits lost their lives in the pursuit of luck? That might not be known, but carrying these devices on keychains remains popular for many seeking some positive vibes. Some historians believe Celtic tribes believed rabbits could communicate with gods and spirits because they spent so much time underground. In turn, someone carrying a rabbit's foot could do the same. By the 1600s, some believed these lucky charms could stave off ailments like arthritis as well. Some believe that notion comes from the “Hand of Glory” in the Middle Ages, which involved pickling the left hand of an executed man and keeping it for good fortune. The rabbit’s foot token of luck continues into modern times for some as well. Lucky qualities: warding off evil spirits; keeping good health. Bonus spin: Luckily for those poor bunnies, many rabbit feet now are artificially manufactured. Gold Along with being synonymous with wealth, gold seems to have taken on a sense of luck on its own. Many see wearing gold as lucky, but the idea of this may have deeper roots in the U.S. and Canada In the 19th Century. Americans from all parts of the country headed west to be part of the quickly-growing gold mining trade. Those seeking their fortunes traveled to areas like California, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Alaska, British Columbia, the Klondike, and more. Gold fever brought many hoping for some success. Gambling halls also sprouted up in these areas as well, serving miners with plenty of cash looking to play some cards, dice, or roulette. Not only do many of these areas now offer casinos, including slot machines of course, but the spirit of gold fever stays alive with iconography of this precious metal still a major inspiration. A quick stroll through a casino will often yield many slots offering a chance at a gold strike. Some casinos are still featuring gold in their own themes including properties like the Golden Nugget (Las Vegas), Gold Spike (Las Vegas), Cities of Gold (Arizona), Golden Gulch (Colorado), Gold Country (California), and numerous others. Lucky qualities: wealth, success, money, good fortune Bonus spin: In the early days of slot machines, gold coins could actually be used in the U.S. as a form of currency. Some slots were built to even accept this form of payment. Anything Irish Perhaps no other country or culture is associated with luck as that of Ireland. “The luck of the Irish” has become a regular part of the English language and many of the lucky charms on this list are also associated with the country such as shamrocks, rainbows, and leprechauns. In fact, there have been at least four films produced through the years with that exact phrase as the title. The idea of Irishmen being lucky, however, may have more to do with the North American gold rush than anything. In fact, it’s to America that we may have to look for the origins of the expression 'the luck of the Irish', IrishCentral.com notes It’s well known that in the 19th century wave after wave of Irish immigrants headed over the Atlantic to seek their fortunes. Many chose to take part in the search for gold and silver and there is some evidence to suggest that many of the most successful finds were made by Irish miners. That success became a legend and the Irish have been seen as lucky ever since. Casinos and slot manufacturers have played up the stereotype of Irishmen and the Emerald Isle. Lucky qualities: successful, rich, timeliness. Bonus spin: Numerous casinos have modeled their properties after all things Irish, such as O’Sheas in Las Vegas and Fitzgerald's, a brand used in multiple U.S. states. MYTHICAL CREATURES Animals can play a role for many when it comes to thoughts of bringing about a lucky streak. The same can be said for non-existent creatures, animals, and fairies as well. Dragons These mythical beasts are seen as lucky in several cultures. Through the years, many people in Asian countries view dragons as symbols of power and good luck. Some have even seen them as controlling water-related weather such as rain, typhoons, and floods. Their mythical sense of luck is still recognized by many. For this reason, dragons are regularly featured in numerous slot games, especially those with Asian-inspired themes. Contrary to Asian culture, many Western countries view dragons as dark, mysterious, and even evil. This may actually add to Western gamblers' interest in dragon slots as well. Lucky qualities: good health, strength, power Bonus spin: The creature is also the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac and symbolizes good luck and health. More babies are said to be born in the year of the dragon than in any other. Unicorns These mythological one-horned and flying creatures have fascinated people throughout history. The legendary animals have been depicted in European culture and art for over a thousand years, and are said to have magical powers. Many ancient people believed unicorns, usually depicted with a white coat with a single horn, represented purity and grace. They also believed the mystical animals could heal the sick, among other powers often ascribed to them. Some argue that unicorns even allude to several times in the Bible. Lucky qualities: purity, grace, strength, healing powers, and more. Bonus spin: Hermit country North Korea claimed to have “discovered” a unicorn lair in 2012. The North Koreans seem to be living in a real fantasy world. This propaganda was likely meant to help legitimize the rule of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Leprechauns These supernatural beings come from Old Irish folklore and represent luck. The oldest known mention of leprechauns comes from the Echtra tale in which Fergus, the King of Ulster, falls asleep on the beach. He awakens to find three leprechauns dragging him out to sea. Instead, he captures the mythological trio, which then grants him three wishes for their release. The diminutive creatures are believed to be cobblers and mostly live a solitary existence, but also enjoy practical jokes. In Ireland, these fairies originally differed depending on which part of the country you were in. They also wore red clothing, not the green they typically wear in modern depictions These popular shoemakers are also said to own a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Those lucky enough to capture a leprechaun are entitled to these riches. Lucky qualities: wealth, riches, magical powers Bonus spin: Leprechauns have come to be represented in two American sports teams. The University of Notre Dame, known as the fighting Irish, features a leprechaun who helps fans cheer on the home team. The Boston Celtics NBA franchise also Lucky the Leprechaun. A popular American kids’ cereal, Lucky Charms, also features one of these magical creatures as well. ***** Whether one really believes in luck or not, many slot players and gamblers believe certain objects and icons come with some extra positivity. The belief goes that these lucky charms just might bring a nice winning session or perhaps an even bigger win – a nice jackpot perhaps. Open up your favorite slot game or take a seat at a slot machine in a casino. Which of these popular lucky charms can you recognize when spinning those reels?
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
Playing a slot machine can bring hours of entertainment and excitement, but like many games, these popular devices have their own distinct terminology. Beginners may be a bit overwhelmed when playing at a live casino or on an online gaming platform. From jackpots and payout percentages to bonus games and progressive games, numerous terms exist to learn and consider when jumping in the action. While not a complete grasp of all the ins and outs of a slot aren't required, having a basic knowledge can be understandable. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the terminology that goes along with playing a slot at your local casino or simply on your mobile phone. This article offers readers everything they might need to know about slot terminology and some of the key concepts synonymous with slot machines. Slot Payout and Money-Related Terminology These terms involve a player's money and credits on a machine. You'll find these terms helpful in adding credits to a machine, determining how much to play for, and what to expect when cashing out. Balance – This is the amount of money you have in the machine. Once depositing your money, you should see this on-screen in the form of credits for that machine. For example, if you slide $100 into a 25-cent machine, the balance should be 400 credits. This amount goes up and down depending on winning and losing spins. Cash-out – This simply means taking your funds out of the machine. There is usually a "cash out" icon on the screen or a real button on the machine itself. Once a player has cashed out, he or she will receive a voucher. This can be used in other slots instead of cash or can be taken to the cashier to exchange for cash as well. Online slot players can also cash out their winnings and go to a different game. Coin-in – This is an industry term for the amount of money input into a machine. Slot machines pay a certain percentage of coin-in back to players. Credits (also known as units) – This is the amount of a coin-in you have inserted into a machine. A single credit is the lowest denomination allowed on a machine. For example, a player on a penny machine may put in $20. That would mean the player would have a balance of 2,000 credits to begin the session. Minimum bet – As the name implies, the is the minimum credit that can be bet on a certain slot game online or in a live casino. Payline – These are the lines on a machine or online slot where the game's symbols must line up to determine a winner. The paylines can be horizontal but also vertical, diagonal, and run in other directions, especially on video slots. On more traditional-type slots, these can be found right on the exterior of the machine in front of the reels. However, on video slots, the paylines can be determined in many ways and the machine will visually display the multiple ways a player has won using paylines. Also, players have the option to play numerous paylines on modern video slots as well. This system can also be found online and on social gaming slots. Active payline – These are all the paylines in play during a certain spin of the reels. A player with the max paylines will have all paylines active on each spin. Payout Percentages (also known as RTP, meaning a return to player) – This is the amount of coin-in paid back to players at a particular casino. These numbers are usually available online, and finding properties with better payout percentages may offer a better chance for players to win. Players may want to look for rates above 90 percent. Occasionally, some of these get higher than 95 percent. Pay Tables – This is a chart (or table) found on the machine itself or the screen of a video slot. This details the combinations that will win and how much they return depending on the symbols that appear on the machine. The table features several rows to show higher levels of combinations and also columns that show various payouts depending on the number of credits paid per spin. Progressive Slots – These are slot games that are linked over a certain region or jurisdiction. A certain amount of each player's spin is siphoned into a much larger prize pool. With so many players linked together, those player pools can grow extremely large. Online slot players can also benefit from playing these types of games as well. Some of these mega jackpots regularly pay out seven figures; historically, some have even reached eight figures. Ticket or voucher – The paper coupon printed by a slot machine when a player cashes out. This functions as cash at a slot machine and can be input at another slot to continue playing. You can also exchange these for real cash at the casino cashier or at kiosks throughout the property. Slot Gameplay Terminology Auto-play/Auto-spin – This is a setting on a slot where the reels spin automatically and a player doesn't have to keep hitting the "spin" button. Auto-play spins the reels automatically for a certain amount of time, with atop-spin keeps the reels spinning for a certain number of spins. Basic slot – This is a traditional-style slot with only one payline and fixed payouts. Bonus game – This is an extra game aside from the normal spinning of reels on a game. Players can activate these bonus features depending on a combination of symbols that show up on the machine. These games may have players making certain selections or competing in other forms. Bonus games offer players a chance at more significant wins and can help create a winning session. Second screen bonus – A bonus game that shifts the action to another screen, often found above the main screen. These usually offer players options and other secondary games to determine further winnings and possibly a jackpot. Cascading reels (also known as tumbling reels) – This is another fun twist seen on some modern slots where certain symbols disappear, with others sliding in to take their place. Free play – These are free spins often given to players who join a casino's slot club (also known as a players club or a rewards club). Many casinos offer a certain amount of free play just for signing up for the club. You may also earn free play as you accumulate reward points for playing. Free spins – This is a type of bonus that certain symbol combinations in a game can also trigger. The game often begins spinning the reels automatically and counts down from the free spins. Players can accumulate wins and credits without having to dip into their balance. This offers an opportunity for players to accumulate extra wins toward a ncei session. Hit frequency – This is the term used for the number of times a slot may be expected to pay out. Hopper – This type of machine features an option where players can keep certain lines on one spin and then "hop" them into another. This gives players an extra shot at landing highly-sought combinations that might result in larger wins. Jackpot – This is a larger than the typical payout on a slot machine. Players will usually find that games in a live casino and online have several jackpot tiers, from a small jackpot to even much larger payouts. These are often mini, major, minor, and mega jackpots. That range offers players multiple ways to win more than the average amount that can be found on an average spin of the reels. Players on online slots also have a shot at these jackpots. Loose slots – These slots are deemed to have a high payout percentage, meaning that a higher-than-normal amount of coin-in is paid back out to players. These offer players a higher chance at a winning session. Max bet – A player is betting the maximum amount of credits per spin allowed on a machine. There is often a "max bet" button on the machine itself or as an icon on the screen. Max bets pay the most for win on the pay table. Players usually have from one to five credits allowed to be played per spin. Mobile slots – Games that can be played on a mobile phone or tablet device. This is a fast-growing segment of real-money casino gaming, but this can also refer to free-to-play games. In addition, social gaming in the form of fun and free slot games has also seen significant growth in the gaming industry. Multiplier – This symbol or image allows players to see their point total multiplied by a certain amount if activated. Nudge slot – This is a popular feature on many modern slots in which machine may "nudge" the reels up or down into a winning position. What may have looked like a losing spin may turn into a winner once the nudge function repositions the symbols on the reels. Reels – vertical cylinders spin within a traditional slot machine that display various symbols to help determine a player's win or loss. Originally, these were mechanical devices, and where they stopped was totally determined by the mechanics of the machine. In modern slots, however, the random number generator (RNG) determines a winning spin. Many games that look like traditional machines may still have reels, but the RNG still determines where they stop and with what symbols are displayed. Video slots, including digital online and social gaming slots, also feature "reels". Still, these are simply graphical, but mimic a slot's traditional look and feel but with modern gameplay twists. Three-Reel Slot – As the name implies, these are simply games featuring three vertical reels as found in traditional slots Five-Reel Slot – This is just simply a game with five spinning reels. There were three reels when slots were invented, but games have expanded through the years to offer more reels and ways to win. 3-D slots - 3-D slots are modern video slots often found online that feature three-dimensional images and graphics. RNG – This stands for "random number generator" and is the key to how the results turn out on a modern slot game. No longer do machines make use of mechanical reels to determine if a player wins. Instead sophisticated software and algorithms are used as part of the machine's random number generator to determine completely random winners. Slot tournaments – These are multi-player contests in which players spin the reels of a slot machine in competition. Casinos often run these as promotions for loyal players. There are often large payouts and other prizes from the casino for winners. Symbols (also known as icons) – These are the graphical images used on the front of reels as well as on video and online slots that visually display a slot result. If the RNG determines a win then these will align in a certain pattern or combination. Traditional and historic symbols include fruits, bars, 7s, playing cards and suits, and much more. Video slots now use numerous symbols, video, and other graphical elements. Wild multiplier – A wild symbol that can activate a multiplier when triggered, giving a player more winnings than might otherwise have been awarded. Those winnings are multiplied by a certain amount. Other slot terms Here are some other terms players may want to know as they begin playing slot games. Free play – This is free slot play usually given to players as a reward for a certain accomplishment. Many casinos offer free play for those who join the casino's rewards program. Regular players in a players club may also earn free play as they accumulate rewards points. Hold percentage – This is a casino's amount of all money played into a slot machine. This is the house edge and the money a casino collects from all players' coin-in. Hot and cold slots – Generic terms for a machine that has been paying out a lot (hot) and one that hasn't been paying out (cold). However, these notions are mostly a myth with modern slot machines, as the RNG determines random winners. Lever – This is a remnant of early slots in which a player pulled a lever on the side of the machine to spin the reels. Modern technology has made this part of a slot machine obsolete. However, some machines still offer a lever as a throwback to those classic machines. You can pull the lever to activate the reels, but the lever doesn;t actually have a mechanical function. The machine's computer activates the reels with the lever functioning like the "spin" button. Licensed slots – This refers to a game using a popular character, TV show, movie, or other brands in pop culture. This has become a trend in modern slot games, with more manufacturers offering players a bit of pop culture or nostalgia. Mechanical slots – This refers to older, classic slots which feature real mechanical mechanisms inside the machine. Modern slots no longer need mechanical parts or a lever crank to get the reels spinning. Mobile slots – These are just online slots that can be played on a cell phone or tablet device. Multi-line slots – These are games that feature numerous paylines beyond just the traditional horizontal paylines found on older machines. Players club (also known as a loyalty or rewards club) is the casino's program to reward loyal players. Those who play often at the casino can earn free play., hotel stays, food comps, and other prizes. It pays to join the rewards club. Players will receive a player card to insert every time they play a slot game. This helps track your play so that you accumulate points based on your play. Online casinos may also have rewards programs that offer prizes and bonuses. Volatility – Refers to a game's payout frequency. Those with a "high volatility" pay out high amounts but with fewer payouts overall. "Low volatility" slots pay out more often but in smaller amounts overall. Conclusion These are some basic terms a player may want to be familiar with when heading to play some slots. However, don't get overburdened with jargon. Instead, learn the basics, know what you're getting into, and have fun!
4 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