If you have walked into a casino of any type, or have even been to the Las Vegas Airport for that matter, you have seen slot machines. For the majority of people, when they think of casinos, they picture these noisy machines.
The appeal of slots is simple: they are easy to play, require little thinking and have limits to fit anyones budget. Most casinos have slot machines that range in denomination from pennies to hundreds of dollars per spin, and they provide anyone who plays the opportunity to bank a significant win.
Slot Machine Library
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Popular Slot Machine Games
Even if you are not a regular slots player, odds are that you have or will eventually play slots at some point in time or another. Below are a few links to articles we have written about a variety of slot topics. On each page we try to cover everything from how to play them to general information and even include real-play videos that we have filmed at live casinos. Read on to learn more about slots, and the different varieties offered at casinos.
Types of Slot Machines
There are many different types of slot machines. A lot of new casino visitors may be overwhelmed by the sheer selection of games that are available, whether you visit a small locals casino or a large resort in Vegas. There are video slot machines, 3 reel slots, 5 reel slots, and so on. These three categories will cover the bulk of machines that you will find in most casinos, so we will focus mainly on those.
Video Slot Machines
Our articles within the video slot machines section offer a dynamic and in-depth look into many different games that are available. The easiest way to identify a video slot machine is by identifying the games that look nearest to a video game on a computer screen. In fact, when it comes down to it, that’s what these games really are. Though they are on electronic screens, many of the games function similar to reel slots in that they are usually offered in 3 and 5 line varieties.
One of the most attractive elements of video slot machines is typically found in the bonus rounds and games that they include. Where normal slot machines usually trigger a bonus round and then simply offer a fixed amount of “bonus” or “free” games, a video machine will usually incorporate some level of graphics and possible other features. This is why so many players are most interested in video slot machine, because they are much more dynamic and interactive. For many, they are simply a more fun and enjoyable experience, and in the end, that is what it’s all about.
3 Reel and 5 Reel Slot Machines
If you walked into a casino in the 1970s, you would have likely encountered 3 and 5 reel machines almost exclusively. These are the sort of machines that are generally printed in advertisements and seen on TV and movies. Reel slot machines are named for the fact that each of the lines (3, 5) are on a reel. A reel slot machine is best identified by the arm that is found on the side of most of the machines. In this day and age, though, many reel machines no longer offer patrons the ability to actually pull the reel and it is only there for show.
Reel slots date back to the days where slots paid out in actual money (change). Today, however, these machines almost always function using vouchers. Cash or an existing voucher is inserted to generate playable credits, and a voucher is printed when play is completed. Reel slots are frequently best recognized for their “hit or miss” nature. Where some video slots may offer smaller potential wins in exchange for less dramatic losses, many reel slot machines exist under the premise of potential big wins, but frequent moderate to large losing streaks. As a result, if you are interested and intrigued by the idea of possible variance, reel slots will be appealing.
There is little tutorial or instruction needed for anyone who is interested in playing a slot machine. Many experienced players will offer words of wisdom like, “always play the max bet,” but the truth is that, for the most part, your risk and reward tend to be proportionate. As is the case with every casino game, the most important factor in how and what slot machines you should be playing is found in the size and variance tolerance level of your bankroll. If you have a lot of money and are going for the shot at a huge win, you are going to play at a different pace and potentially at different machines than someone with less money who is trying to make their funds last longer.
Cons to Playing Slots
One of the downfalls of slot machines is that they can suck you in to their action. Some table games, like Roulette, tend to move along at a slower pace which either bores or tires players before they run out of money or keep putting more chips on the table. With slots, however, the quick and fast-paced action can easily encourage a player to keep chasing after more and more action. Since the really big wins are so far and few between, ending up with a losing individual slots session should not come as a surprise.
When it comes down to it, even a casino enthusiast who does not typically play slot machines will usually be willing to admit that they absolutely can provide a large dose of excitement. The ups and downs of table games may be thrilling, but few games in the casino offer the prospect of a massive win in the blink of an eye like a slot machine does.
One of the biggest draws to playing slot machines for many casino enthusiasts are bonus rounds. These are only offered on some machines, and include everything from free spins in the game itself, to special bonus spins (such as those found at Wheel of Fortune) and other unique types of mini-games built into a machine. One of the most popular bonus rounds in all of slots can be found on the Wheel of Fortune Machine. It is far and away the most played slot machine and consequently it can be found at virtually every casino in America.
Depending the the exact Wheel of Fortune machine you are playing, to receive a bonus spin at Wheel of Fortune, you must either get a “spin” symbol on the last payline, on all three paylines, or on every reel of the machine. Once you receive the bonus, just hit the “spin” button and the wheel above the machine spins until it lands on either a dollar or credit value. The player then receives this amount as their win and is either paid out or can continue to play. The values offered at a Wheel of Fortune machine will usually range from 10-1,000 credits in most cases.
Progressive Slot Machines
Progressive slots are another big draw for casino enthusiasts. If you are unfamiliar with slot machines, picture a progressive as an office prize pool that slowly grows over time. Progressives are offered only on certain machines, and their value slowly builds up over time, determined by people putting coins in to other machines at various casinos. For example, in Wheel of Fortune, the progressive slowly grows and is paid out only when a player hits 3 “Wheel of Fortune” symbols. Not an easy task by any means, with very poor odds. It is different from a jackpot in that it is not a fixed amount of money, but rather it slowly builds up over time as others play the machine. This continues until the progressive is hit, and then resets.