Slot Machines: An Overview Part 2

Posted By: Date: 02/04/2014 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Slot Machines: An Overview (continued)

No Deposit Bonus finishes discussing the various categories of slot machines in this concluding article about the various types of slot machine payouts and jackpots. There is no definitive way to divide a particular slot into a definitive binary category. One could say there are online slots and land-based slots, or could say there are reel slots and video slots. You could say there are progressive slots and straight (or flat) slots, or say there are single pay line and multi-line slots. A given slot won’t neatly fall into only one type. However, the above types are a good way to generally educate yourself on the multiple differences between slot machines. If you know what all the above terms are — online, land-based, reels, video slots, progressives, pay lines, etc. — you’ll have a pretty good idea about slots in general and how to win money playing them. Using the above categories will serve us as a great slots primer.

Slots Pay Lines

Once upon a time, the symbols on the 3 reels had to line up horizontally on 1 line. Today, with video slots, you have the opportunity to bet on multiple pay lines, sometimes as many as 40. This does not mean that each reel has 40 symbols and that they have to line up in 40 horizontal lines. What it does mean that the lines are sometimes diagonal, sometimes jagged, sometimes vertical, etc.

When you play multi-line slots, you have to “enable” each line in order for it win for you; you enable a line by paying for it. If there are X-number of lines, you can usually pay up to X-number of coins, thus enabling all the lines. If you want to hold onto you money a bit longer, however, you can also opt to bet a smaller number of coins, thus enabling fewer lines. This is up to you, but this type of slot machine usually pays the maximum jackpot only if you bet the maximum number of lines/coins. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, or in this case the way the virtual slots reel spins.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

When you play slot machines online, you may find the same type of slot machine on more than one site. Sometimes, these machines are “linked,” and together they offer what is called a progressive jackpot. Because many players on many slot machines are contributing to this constantly growing jackpot, the amount in the pot is very big, sometimes over a million dollars. The bets of all players accumulate until one lucky slots player hits the pre-determined combination (5 wild cards in a multi-wild-card video poker game or 5 special symbols in a video slot). Winning at slots could make you an instant millionaire if you are playing a progressive jackpot slot machine.

The opposite of a progressive slot machine is a “straight” slot machine, sometimes called a “flat” slot machine. These slots are independent and the amounts that can be won are determined just by that slot machine alone, according to the pay schedule associated with that slot machine. The jackpots on these flat slot machines are fixed — they’re not cumulative.

Bonus Slots

Slot machines have gone beyond the original reel machines so that you can now find slots that offer a slots game within a game – a.k.a. a bonus round. Just as symbols have to line up to pay money, in bonus slots certain symbols have to line up to activate a bonus feature in which even more money or free spins can be won. Sometimes a special symbol triggers the bonus game. Bonus slots ratchet up the excitement level in video slots and are a welcome addition to online slot machines.

Multiplier Slots

The concept of “multipliers” is perhaps the most esoteric slots term. All in all, slot machines are loved for their ease and simplicity; many people can’t follow or don’t want to get involved in the more complex variations and they cut and run when terms like “scatter” or “multiplier” come up in a conversation. In reality, multipliers are fairly simple; they really can be divided into two types: straight multipliers and bonus multipliers. A straight multiplier usually has one pay line and pays according to the number of coins you play. In other words, if you hit the jackpot having played 1 coin, the machine will pay 250 coins but if you play 2 coins, you’ll win 500 coins. So far, so good.

A bonus multiplier simple tacks on an additional amount of money (a bonus) to the slots jackpot if you’ve played the maximum number of coins. Using the example above, let’s say the maximum number of coins is 3. If you can win 250 coins with 1 coin and 500 coins with 2 coins, the bonus jackpot — if you play with the maximum 3 coins — would be 4,000 coins, a much bigger amount than a straight multiple of the previous amount. That’s the bonus in the slots bonus multiplier slots game.