Slot Machines: An Overview

Posted By: Date: 02/03/2014 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Slot Machines: An Overview

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.

Reel Slot Machines

Once upon a time, slots were mechanical machines that were activated by feeding a coin and pulling a lever. For many people, the image of a one-armed bandit is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the words “slot machine.” These machines were made up of 3 reels or cylinders on which colorful and varied symbols were printed. After inserting a coin and pulling the lever, the reels spun around until they stopped. At that point, 3 symbols, one on each reel, lined up alongside each other forming a line. You won according to the payout schedule printed on the machine. For instance, if after spinning 3 bananas lined up next to each other, you’d perhaps win 100 coins; if you got 2 bells and a bar, you’d win a different amount or nothing at all. One combination, however, was listed as the big win. This was the jackpot and if this combination showed up on the pay line, lights would flash, sirens would wail and coins would come pouring out of the machine. Many people still think that nothing beats winning a reel slots jackpot for sheer excitement.

Video Slots

As time and technology marched on, the mechanical slot machine transformed into the electronic slot machine as the heart of the machine became computerized. The slot still takes your money but the lever has been replaced by a button, often placed on a touch screen. 3 reels have grown into 5, and the 1 pay line is now as many as 40. When you push the “spin” button, the virtual reels whirl around but it is the Random Number Generator programmed into the machine that determines the outcome. Video slots are still the ultimate game of chance and they’ve just gotten prettier to look at, more interesting, and offer many more paying options.

In addition to more reels, video slots typically offer more pay lines and maximum coins per spin. Some machines allow up to 250 coins per pay line (some even offer 400) and the chance to play as many as 40 pay lines per spin. This can get pretty pricey, especially when you’re playing progressive video slots where only the max bet will do. Lucky for budget minded slot players, nickel slots can keep the investment low while still allowing maximum return.

Land-Based Slots

If you go to Las Vegas or Monte Carlo or Macao, you can’t help but notice the dozens of casinos – in fact, it’s probably why you’re there. When you walk in, you’ll also notice the banks upon banks of slot machines. These slots may be mechanical or they may be video slots, but any slot machine that you find in a land-based casino is considered a land-based slot. In terms of appearances, video slots are the newest and glitziest looking machines on the casino floor; while they don’t look like the classic “one armed bandits,” their function is the same. These slots are usually composed of as many as 5 reels, while the original mechanical slots were only composed of three reels. For some people, the only good slot is a reel slot; most slot lovers, however, have embraced video slots even in land-based casinos.

Online Slots

When you are playing in an online casino, also known as a virtual casino or an Internet casino, the only slots you will find are video slots. Since video slots are just computerized slot machines, you will not notice any difference between land-based slot machines and online slot machines except for the fact that there is room for a lot more of them in cyberspace than in Vegas space or Jersey space. Online video slots come in hundreds of variations, including video poker, which can also be considered a form of video slot. There are hundreds of online casinos and thousands of online slots. The selection is awesome and the convenience is undeniable.

No Deposit Bonus will finish discussing the various categories of slot machines in the second part of this article, in which we discuss the various types of slot machine payouts and jackpots.

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