Slots are one of the most popular gambling machines used within the casinos even today. You may recognize this as the machine with a set of reels that spins whenever a lever on the side is pulled down or whenever a big button on the front panel is pushed. Typically, one set contain three reels but some machines have more. When the reels stop, the pattern composed of the images on each of the reels determine the prize the player gets.
Popular all over the world, slot machines can be called several names such as fruit machines, pub bandits, fruities, pokies, tragamonedas and tragaperras.
A Bit of Background HistoryInterestingly, slot machines were originally designed to be a diversion from the other major gambling activities, which means that they were supposed to be minor gambling machines that merely serve as backdrop for the table games. In other bars, the prizes that players could get from the machines range from a small amount of money to a beer to another game.
Surprisingly, despite the simplicity of the game, the slot machine has become one of the most frequently played game in casinos probably due to how easy to play it. Playing can easily be entertaining and addicting, and winning can be very fulfilling.
Even very small bets are accepted. In fact, a denomination of one cent is accepted by machines in some casinos. Also, the machine can be played by anyone even those without knowledge of gambling strategies. The game can create the illusion of involving skill even though it only involves chances.
Playing the Slot MachineThe player starts by inserting cash into the machine. Once the player is ready, he or she pulls down the lever on the side or pushes the button at the front. This prompts each of the reels to spin individually. Once they stop, the pattern formed with the images aligned on the pay line determines whether the player has won or not, and what and how much the prize is. Many machines have a wide variety of winning combinations, and the prizes may include money and also extra games.
The main pay line is at the very middle of the viewing window. However, some machines allow the players to use the line at the top and at the bottom of the window as additional pay lines. Reel slot machines can usually have up to five pay lines. Often times, such games cost more money. Video slot machines, on the other hand, can have up to 243 pay lines.
Speaking of video slot machines, there are newer machines that may showcase features different from the classic reel slot machine. Slot machines with mechanical reels are rarely used nowadays. Usually, they are only put inside the casino for display. The newer machines may differ slightly from these mechanical ones. Most of them, for example, have replaced the mechanical reels with video screens simulating the reels, and the levers or push buttons with touchscreens. Some newer machines also accept paper tickets with a barcode printed on it instead of cash and coins.
Initially, players were very distrustful of these video slot machines because, without actual mechanical reels, the program may seem easy to be rigged. However, players can be rest assured that the regulated casinos have a required theoretical payout percentage, also known as the RTP or return to player, which sets a minimum payout. In simple terms, the theoretical payout percentage determines how loose or tight a machine is.
Despite these changes, the principle behind the game remains the same. The players win the game when they get the winning combination.
Getting the Payout
Just like in other gambling games, the higher the bet the player makes, the higher the payout can be.
An automatic payout mechanism is usually employed. This means that once the player gets the winning combination, he or she can claim the prize already. However, before 1887, slot machines made use of the cards in a card deck instead of a few bright colored images. The vast number of possible winning combinations made it difficult to devise an automatic payout mechanism. Hand pay is therefore made by the attendant.
Today, automatic payout is already possible, and different payout schemes are also used. The standard scheme, which refers to the flat slot or straight slot, has a payout amount that never changes. On the other hand, the progressive scheme has a jackpot payout that steadily increases as more money is placed into the machine. A common setup, multiple slot machines are linked together such that they all contribute to the jackpot payout.
Advent of the Online Slots
Over the years, the technology used for slot machines have evolved. Today, these modern technologies have allowed more people to play through a computer with an Internet connection. Computerized slot machines can now be accessed through online casinos. These online slots have developed over the years such that many players now prefer them over the slot machines at the local casinos.
One advantage of online slots over actual slot machines in the local casinos and even those in the glamorous city of Las Vegas is that it can be enjoyed anywhere—even from the comfort of your own room or your own bed. There is no need to travel far and sit in front of a slot machine for hours inside a casino.
Also, aside from the online slots that can be played on the desktop or laptop, some online casinos can now be accessed through mobile devices such as tablets, iPhones and Android phones. Players can get to play much longer in online slots than in land-based casinos. There is no need for breaks and off time, and players who love the game can play even when they are on the go.
Moreover, the theoretical payout percentage of online slots is usually higher than that in casinos, making the prizes higher. Many offers payback values as high as 94% or even more.
Playing the Slots for Fun
Playing online slots can actually be very relaxing. The best part is that users can also get money from it.
Many online casinos feature a whole library of different types of online slots. Usually, the games are themed, which means they feature images from movies, shows and other popular icons in the entertainment industry. This makes playing much more entertaining.
Online slots with different number of reels are also available. For those who want to go for the jackpot, a five-reel online slot may offer a larger jackpot payout. On the other hand, for those who want to experience a non-stop slot experience, a three-reel online slot may be the better choice.
Bonuses can also make playing online slots more exciting. For example, some online casinos offer a 100% match up bonus. This means that if a player has $50, then a bonus of an additional $50 can be used for playing. In total, he or she would have $100 for playing slots. If the player has $100, then he or she will have a total of $200. Many other online casinos offer bonuses of up to $200—a few even more than that.
Playing the Slots for Money
Although there are no ways of making sure that the player wins, there are some steps that he or she may take in order to maximize the chances of winning.
First of all, the player should make sure that the earnings can be cashed out. Many reputable online casinos offer different methods of depositing and withdrawing money. The player should make sure that he or she can use at least one of these methods to get the prize money.
Also, the player should choose the online casino with the highest payout rates. As discussed previously, each machine or casino has a different theoretical payout percentage. Fortunately, some casinos, both land-based and online, post these rates on their websites. The player should compare each of them and choose the one with the highest rate.
It would also be advantageous for the player to know whether the slot machine pays out the same no matter how many credits per line are played. If so, playing max bet will be useless. Otherwise, if the slot machine pays out better with the maximum credits per line, then the player should opt to play max bet. If the player hits that pay line, he or she stands to gain more.
When aiming for the jackpot, it is important to watch out for any sneaky slots that require max bet on all the pay lines and not just on a single one. Playing such slots can be very expensive.
In order to have more chances at the jackpot, the player may also want to find an online casino that offers free cash bonuses that can be used to play more games. However, if the player is not aiming for the jackpot and simple wants to get a quick payout, then these bonuses might not be needed.