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Progressive slot machines can be subcategorized even further. There are progressive slots which have a jackpot that is unique to an individual machine—these are called standalone progressives.
Local area network jackpots, on the other hand, have multiple machines in a single casino, all of which share a single jackpot. These are also quite common.
Wide area progressives are linked across multiple casinos. These have the largest jackpots, because theoretically, a huge number of players are contributing to the jackpot every time they spin the wheel, no matter where they are.
Online slot machine games are played on your computer via the Internet. These games work in a similar manner to traditional Vegas-style slots, but the money is all handled over the Internet, too.
Online slots offer distinct advantages and disadvantages over their land-based cousins. One of the big advantages is that the payout percentage for online games is often higher.
A loose game is one that pays out more money more often, while a tight game is just the opposite. You can find a variety of opinions on the matter at various Internet gambling forums, though, especially when it comes to online games.
Traditional slot machine games have one payline—right across the center of the three reels. If the symbols make certain combinations, the game pays out.
Newer slot machine games have multiple paylines on five reels. The drums could also be rearranged to further reduce a player's chance of winning.
Due to the vast number of possible wins with the original poker card-based game, it proved practically impossible to come up with a way to make a machine capable of making an automatic payout for all possible winning combinations.
The bell gave the machine its name. By replacing ten cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums, the complexity of reading a win was considerably reduced, allowing Fey to devise an effective automatic payout mechanism.
Liberty Bell was a huge success and spawned a thriving mechanical gaming device industry. Even when the use of these gambling devices was banned in his home state after a few years, Fey still couldn't keep up with demand for the game elsewhere.
The Liberty Bell machine was so popular that it was copied by many slot machine manufacturers. Thus in , manufacturer Herbert Mills from Chicago produced a slot machine called the Operator Bell.
By lots of "bell" machines were installed in most cigar stores, saloons, bowling alleys, brothels and barber shops.
Other early machines, such as the trade stimulator , gave out winnings in the form of fruit-flavoured chewing gums with pictures of the flavours as symbols on the reels.
The popular cherry and melon symbols derive from this machine. The payment of food prizes was a commonly used technique to avoid laws against gambling in a number of states, and for this reason a number of gumball and other vending machines were regarded with mistrust by the courts.
The two Iowa cases of State v. Ellis  and State v. Striggles  are both used in classes on criminal law to illustrate the concept of reliance upon authority as it relates to the axiomatic ignorantia juris non excusat "ignorance of the law is no excuse".
Despite the fact that the result of the next use would be displayed on the machine, the courts ruled that "[t]he machine appealed to the player's propensity to gamble, and that is [a] vice.
In , Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine, called Money Honey although earlier machines such as the High Hand draw poker machine by Bally had exhibited the basics of electromechanical construction as early as The electromechanical approach of the s allowed Money Honey to be the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper and automatic payout of up to coins without the help of an attendant.
The prototype was mounted in a full size show-ready slot machine cabinet. The first production units went on trial in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
After some "cheat-proofing" modifications, the video slot machine was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and eventually found popularity in the Las Vegas Strip and downtown casinos.
A person playing a slot machine can insert cash, or in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode , into a designated slot on the machine.
The machine is then activated by means of a lever or button, or on newer machines, by pressing a touchscreen on its face. The game itself may or may not involve skill on the player's part—or it may create the illusion of involving skill while only being a game of chance.
The object of the game is to win money from the machine. The game usually involves matching symbols, either on mechanical reels that spin and stop to reveal one or several symbols, or on simulated reels shown on a video screen.
The symbols are usually brightly colored and easily recognizable, such as images of fruits, numerals or letters, and simple shapes such as bells, diamonds, or hearts; newer video slot machines use animated cartoon characters and images of popular actors or singers in the case of themed slot machines, as described below.
Most games have a variety of winning combination of symbols, often posted on the face of the machine or available on a different screen, accessible by touching a button on the main touchscreen, on video slot machines.
If a player matches a combination according to the rules of the game, the slot machine credits the player cash or some other sort of value, such as free spins or extra games.
Free spins are a common feature in modern slot games allowing the user to spin the machine's reels without charge.
Many online casinos advertise their free spin rewards and emphasize this feature. There are many different kinds of gambling slot machines in places such as Las Vegas as well as casinos modeled after those in Las Vegas, including those operated on Native American reservations.
Some of the most popular are the video poker machines, in which players hope to obtain a set of symbols corresponding to a winning poker hand.
Depending on the machine, players can play one, , or more hands at one time. Another popular type of machine internationally are video bingo machines, where a player can play Latin style bingo or American style bingo.
Depending on the machine players can play one bingo card or more at a time. Multi-line slot machines have become more popular since the s.
These machines have more than one payline, meaning that visible symbols that are not aligned on the main horizontal may be considered for winning combinations.
Traditional 3 reel slot machines commonly have three or five paylines, while video slot machines may have 9, 15, 25, or as many as different paylines.
Most video slot machines have a themed game, some of which feature graphics and music based on popular entertainers, motion pictures or TV programs The Addams Family , I Dream of Jeannie , Happy Days , etc.
Most accept variable numbers of credits to play, with 1 to 15 credits per line being typical. The higher the amount bet, the higher the payout will be if the player wins.
There are also standard 3 to 5 reel electromechanical machines, of various types. These are the typical "one-armed bandits".
Since about there have been hybrid machines introduced, which combine elements of both video machines and traditional electromechanical machines.
One of the main differences between video slot machines and reel machines is in the way payouts are calculated. With reel machines, the only way to win the maximum jackpot is to play the maximum number of coins usually 3, sometimes 4, or even 5 coins per spin.
With video machines, the fixed payout values are multiplied by the number of coins per line that is being bet. As an example, on the Wheel of Fortune reel machine based on the popular Wheel of Fortune TV game show created by Merv Griffin , the player must play 3 coins per spin to be eligible to trigger the bonus round and possibly win the jackpot.
On the Wheel of Fortune video machine, the chances of triggering the bonus round or winning the maximum jackpot are exactly the same regardless of the number of coins bet on each line.
Large denomination slot machines are usually cordoned off from the rest of the casino into a "High Limit" area, often with a separate team of attendants to cater to the needs of those who play there.
In the last few years, new multi-denomination slot machines have been introduced. With these slot machines, the player can choose the value of each credit wagered the stake from a list of options.
Based upon the player's selection, the slot machine automatically calculates the number of credits the player receives in exchange for the cash inserted and displays the number of available credits to the player.
Bonus is a special feature of the particular game theme, which is activated when certain symbols appear in a winning combination. Bonuses vary depending upon the game.
In other bonus rounds, the player is presented with several items on a screen from which to choose. As the player chooses items, a number of credits is revealed and awarded.
Some bonuses use a mechanical device, such as a spinning wheel, that works in conjunction with the bonus to display the amount won.
Some machines feature two or more of these bonus styles as part of the same game. Candle is a light on top of the slot machine.
It flashes to alert the operator that change is needed, hand pay is requested or a potential problem with the machine.
It can be lit by the player by pressing the "service" or "help" button. Coin hopper is a container where the coins that are immediately available for payouts are held.
When a certain preset coin capacity is reached, a coin diverter automatically redirects, or "drops," excess coins into a "drop bucket" or "drop box.
Credit meter is a visual LED display of the amount of money or number of credits on the machine. On video reel machines this is either a simulated LED display, or represented in a different font altogether, based on the design of the game graphics.
Drop bucket or drop box is a container located in a slot machine's base where excess coins are diverted from the hopper.
Typically, a drop bucket is used for low denomination slot machines and a drop box is used for high denomination slot machines.
A drop box contains a hinged lid with one or more locks whereas a drop bucket does not contain a lid. The contents of drop buckets and drop boxes are collected and counted by the casino on a scheduled basis.
Free Spin is a term used in slot games and online slot games to specify that the spin will be completed without a charge or on the same wager.
Free spins can get triggered by a number of things, each game uses a different method. Usually, landing a number of special symbols on reels is required to activate the free spins bonus round.
Mostly scatter symbols are preferred for this activation, although wild symbols or a completely different symbol dedicated for this feature can be used too.
In most slot games, landing at least three special symbols on reels is mandatory to trigger the feature. Once triggered, free spins bonus round award a number of spins free of charge to the player.
The number of free spins differ from game to game. If there is the ability to re-trigger free spins during the free spin bonus there is no theoretical limit to the number of free spins obtainable.
The spins are automatically used by the game and the player keeps any profit after the spins are complete. A single free spin is sometimes called a respin.
Hand pay refers to a payout made by an attendant or at an exchange point "cage" , rather than by the slot machine itself. A hand pay occurs when the amount of the payout exceeds the maximum amount that was preset by the slot machine's operator.
Usually, the maximum amount is set at the level where the operator must begin to deduct taxes. A hand pay could also be necessary as a result of a short pay.
Hopper fill slip is a document used to record the replenishment of the coin in the coin hopper after it becomes depleted as a result of making payouts to players.
The slip indicates the amount of coin placed into the hoppers, as well as the signatures of the employees involved in the transaction, the slot machine number and the location and the date.
MEAL book M achine e ntry a uthorization l og is a log of the employee's entries into the machine. Low Level or Slant Top slot machines include a stool so the player has sitdown access.
Stand Up or Upright slot machines are played while standing. Optimal play is a payback percentage based on a gambler using the optimal strategy in a skill-based slot machine game.
Payline is a line that crosses through one symbol on each reel, along which a winning combination is evaluated.
Classic spinning reel machines usually have up to nine paylines, while video slot machines may have as many as one hundred. Paylines could be of various shapes horizontal, vertical, oblique, triangular, zigzag, etc.
Rollup is the process of dramatizing a win by playing sounds while the meters count up to the amount that has been won.
Short pay refers to a partial payout made by a slot machine, which is less than the amount due to the player. This occurs if the coin hopper has been depleted as a result of making earlier payouts to players.
The remaining amount due to the player is either paid as a hand pay or an attendant will come and refill the machine. Scatter Symbol It is required to place at least two of the same symbols on a pay line to get paid in slot games.
However, scatter symbols work differently and award a prize whether they are placed on a pay line or not. But the player still needs to get at least two of them in modern slot games.
The more, the better. Scatter symbols are usually used to award a number of free spins. The number of free spins differs from game to game; i.
They can also award coin prizes, based on their number. The prizes are usually small, but they are paid in addition to other winnings. The scatter symbol is usually a special symbol, which means the wild symbol cannot replace it, although in some games the wild symbol also substitutes for scatters.
Slot variance is a measure of risk associated with playing a slot machine. A low variance slot machine has regular but smaller wins and a high variance slot machine has fewer but bigger wins.
Taste is a reference to the small amount often paid out to keep a player seated and continuously betting. Only rarely will machines fail to pay out even the minimum placed a bet over the course of several pulls.
Tilt Electromechanical slot machines usually include an electromechanical " tilt switch ", which makes or breaks a circuit if the machine is tilted or otherwise tampered with, and so triggers an alarm.
While modern machines no longer have tilt switches, any kind of technical fault door switch in the wrong state, reel motor failure, out of paper, etc.
Theoretical Hold Worksheet A document provided by the manufacturer for all slot machines, which indicates the theoretical percentage that the slot machine should hold based on the amount paid in.
The worksheet also indicates the reel strip settings, number of coins that may be played, the payout schedule, the number of reels and other information descriptive of the particular type of slot machine.
Weight count is an American term, referring to the dollar amount of coins or tokens removed from a slot machine's drop bucket or drop box and counted by the casino's hard count team through the use of a weigh scale.
Wild Symbol Wild symbols act like joker cards in a slot game. Basically, they substitute for all other symbols in the game, usually except for other special symbols, such as scatter and jackpot.
They can appear on any of the reels. However, this is not mandatory and can be changed from game to game.
In some games, wild symbols can appear only on certain reels. Or, they can appear only during the bonus rounds. The player must refer to the rules and paytable of the game to learn about the landing rules.
Mobile is when the slot machine is hosted for online gambling and it is usually available for use on a phone, tablet, or other portable device.
These are often standalone mobile casino applications but are also found as part of the online casino site. By , HTML5 technology and the advancement of mobile browsers had negated the need for standalone mobile apps.
New slots are, by majority, playable on both mobile and desktop devices. Each machine has a table that lists the number of credits the player will receive if the symbols listed on the pay table line up on the pay line of the machine.
Some symbols are wild and can represent many, or all, of the other symbols to complete a winning line. Especially on older machines, the pay table is listed on the face of the machine, usually above and below the area containing the wheels.
Most video machines display the pay table when the player presses a "pay table" button or touches "pay table" on the screen; some have the pay table listed on the cabinet as well.
Historically, all slot machines used revolving mechanical reels to display and determine results. Although the original slot machine used five reels, simpler, and therefore more reliable, three reel machines quickly became the standard.
This limited the manufacturer's ability to offer large jackpots since even the rarest event had a likelihood of 0. Although the number of symbols eventually increased to about 22, allowing 10, combinations,  this still limited jackpot sizes as well as the number of possible outcomes.
In the s, however, slot machine manufacturers incorporated electronics into their products and programmed them to weight particular symbols.
Thus the odds of losing symbols appearing on the payline became disproportionate to their actual frequency on the physical reel.
A symbol would only appear once on the reel displayed to the player, but could, in fact, occupy several stops on the multiple reel.
With microprocessors now ubiquitous, the computers inside modern slot machines allow manufacturers to assign a different probability to every symbol on every reel.
To the player it might appear that a winning symbol was 'so close', whereas in fact the probability is much lower.
In the s in the UK machines embodying microprocessors became common. These used a number of features to ensure the payout was controlled within the limits of the gambling legislation.
As the coin was inserted into the machine it could go one of two routes, either direct into the cashbox for the benefit of the owner, or alternatively it would go into a channel that formed the payout reservoir, the microprocessor monitoring the number of coins in this channel.
All online slots fall into this category, as do the majority of games found in modern gaming establishments. Since the game isn't as limited on the number of symbols, this allows more icons to be displayed and additional winning combinations to be offered.
Reels are a defining element of slot machines, and they come in mechanical and virtual versions. The latter has become the industry standard, and online gamers may have never experienced a mechanical reel in their lives.
Slots also come in a wide range of denominations, allowing players to tailor their gaming experience to their current economic level.
While slots with higher denominations offer larger jackpots, smaller denomination games are known for issuing more frequent payouts. Whether mechanical or virtual, each slot has a number of reels displayed on the face of the machine.
While we've come across some oddball games that offer six or seven reels, games with three and five reels make up the overwhelming majority of options found at any casino.
These tend to be more simplistic in design, and this layout was common in classic versions of the game from the s through the s.
While no longer in the majority, these machines are still created in surprising numbers thanks to players who prefer a more streamlined gaming experience.
Betting options are often limited, as well, making them a perfect option for anyone on a budget. Virtual slot machines have allowed designers to add all manner of bells and whistles to their creations, and an increase in the number of reels is one of the more noticeable changes.
The addition of two extra reels has made more paylines possible, increasing the level of customer excitement and allowing casinos to rake in more cash in the process.
Some virtual slots even feature expanding reels, allowing the screen to lengthen and increase the number of lines.
When slots are created, there are two ways to design player participation. These include the following. This is easily the most common form of slot, with each individual customer playing on their own machine.
This allows players to concentrate on the game, as well as enjoy a bit of privacy. This new type of video slot has enjoyed a certain degree of popularity in recent years.
Seats are situated close together near a large screen, with smaller screens available for the regular phases of the game. During certain bonus rounds, however, all players participate at the same time on the larger video display.
When a game is developed, its creators can go one of two directions in regard to creativity. The slot incorporates elements from a licensed property such as a TV show or film.
In such cases, the developing company must pay a licensing fee to use names and likenesses. Most slots have three or five reels, although a minority may include a larger number.
While the majority of slots are standalone games, community gaming is becoming more popular. When slots are being designed, the company may choose to create an all-new theme or pay a licensing fee to use material that's been previously developed.
When you manage to win on a slot machine, there are two distinct ways that you can receive payment. They are covered in this section and include the following:.
Money within the machine is contained in a coin hopper and deposited onto the coin tray following a big win or the customer pressing the "cash out" button.
This type of payment occurs when the player receives money directly from a casino employee. This usually happens when the size of the win exceeds the amount that the machine is programmed to pay out, often around the point when tax paperwork has to be filled out.
As we all know, slot machines aren't free. The player must pay for the chance to win additional funds, and this can be accomplished in one of the two following methods.
In older versions of the game, the player inserted their money into a coin slot which is where the name "slots" originated.
In modern machines, customers have the option of inserting either coins or paper currency. Slots don't currently accept credit or debit cards, although a handful of designers have been pushing for this over the last few years.
Thanks to the TITO ticket in, ticket out system, players receive a paper ticket with a barcode once they've won at a slot machine.
The ticket can then be redeemed for cash at a teller window or automated kiosk, or the player has the option of inserting the ticket into another machine and playing with the credits that have already been accumulated.
When you play a slot machine progressive or otherwise , the top prize can sometimes be triggered instantly. In most cases, however, it's only obtained after a bonus round becomes available to the player.
Some machines guarantee a payout after a bonus round has been activated, while others only provide the opportunity.
These rounds are the result of specific symbol combinations, and even missing out on a major jackpot can still lead to free spins and credits.
The following are the most common types of bonus rounds found within such games:. The player sets in motion a wheel that's divided up into sections representing prizes such as winning multipliers or free credits.
The prize is determined by where the wheel stops. The player must utilize hand-eye coordination to succeed at the bonus round, much like a traditional video game.
These are becoming more common, and some casinos offer entire games based around such a concept. A number of items are hidden behind icons such as treasure chests, and the player must match two in order to win that prize.
Some machines have symbols representing various jackpots, as well, so this type of round can be quite profitable. Triggered at random or when a player lines up a certain number of symbols, this type of bonus requires players to select various icons on the screen.
Each has a hidden item behind it, and uncovering one allows the player to win it. This might be as simple as free spins or instant credits, or it might be a multiplier that's immediately applied to the base game.
This bonus is often triggered by getting a certain number of scatter symbols during the regular phase of the game.
Once this happens, the spins play out using the same wager and paylines and the base game that triggered them. The major difference is that bonus spins often come with a multiplier, greatly increasing each payoff.
Bonus rounds are one of the reasons why modern slot machine games are so popular with players. In addition to the usual credits that can be won during the base game, bonus rounds present customers with the chance for multipliers, free spins, and even progressive jackpots.
Some even offer skill-based games, which puts the fate of the player directly in their own hands. Imagine the payline as an invisible line running across the reels.
While these lines are often horizontal, they can also be vertical or even zag-zag. If a winning combination appears on a line that's been activated by the player, then a cash reward is issued.
Old-fashioned machines only had a single payline, which made it easy for players to figure out whether or not they'd won. Modern slots are far more complicated, although the machine always displays winnings paylines for the convenience of the customer.
Since the s, multi-payline machines have become increasingly popular. Three to five paylines are commonplace, but 15, 25, and even are available.
Most machines pay on winning combinations from left to right, although some machines now deviate from this tradition. Players can activate a slot machine with cash or a barcode ticket.
There are numerous types of paylines offered, from one all the way to If the customer manages to win, they'll ultimately receive their money directly from the machine or from the cashier's window.
Types of Slot Games Slot machine games are a cash cow for any casino, and they consistently outperform table games and other forms of gambling.