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This popular casino game goes by several names. In can be slot machine in American English, fruit machine in British English, poker machine in Australian English. To many of its avid players, it is simply the slots. It is a gambling machine composed of several reels that spin at a press of a button. Slots are often made up of three reels only but others could have more.

Aside from the reels, slots also have a currency detector. This device reads coins or money inserted on the machine. The slots will start to operate once the currency detector has validated the money inserted. Each reel has a couple of designs printed on it. Depending on the number of reels, the slots produce combinations at random after rolling. There are winning combinations with an appropriate payout percentage. Payouts are higher for rarer combinations.

Slot machines are the most commonly played game in casinos. It constitutes around 70% of the total profits of a casino. It is basically a game of chance. It is very easy to play and very entertaining. 

How to Play

A slots machine will only function if the right kind of coin or paper ticket is inserted. To start playing, you pull down a lever or press a button. There are also more modern machines now that only require a touch on the screen. Since the reels spin and stop at random, this game does not involve any skill and getting a winning combination is by pure luck.

Your objective in playing slots is to win money from it by matching symbols and patterns. These designs are greatly varied. It can be letters, numbers or images like fruits, shapes, animated characters, or celebrity images. The winning combinations can be seen posted on the machine or seen on the screen (it depends on the type of machine). Payouts can be in the form of cash or extra games to slots.


There are several terminologies used in the game of slots. Here are some of the more commonly used terminologies to better understand the game.

Bonus is referred to as the credits given to a player if a certain pattern comes out. Bonuses can be another round of spin for free. In other machines, players are given options and they can choose what bonus they want to receive.

The credit meter is the LED display that tells the credited money on the machine. The candle is not literally a candle made of wax but rather a light seen on top of the machine. It lights up to signal or alert an operator that a malfunctioning is being experienced and needs immediate attention. It may also light up when the slots has ran out of change and thus a client will request for hand pay.

Hand pay is the payout manually given by an attendant to a player when the machine could not do it. It can be because the machine ran out of denominations to give a player an exact change or it can be because a player won a bigger amount than what is contained inside the machine.

When there are several slot machines arranged in a circle or semi-circle, this arrangement is called a carousel.

The coin hopper holds all coins for the slots. It is a mechanical device that gives out coin payouts when a player presses the cash out button. Once it reaches the maximum capacity of coins it can hold, it automatically drops coins to a box or bucket. This box or bucket can be seen underneath the coin hopper. A box is most often used for slots making use of high denominations while a drop bucket is for machines using low denominations. Casinos hold a regular schedule for collecting and counting these stored coins.

Choosing a Slot Machine

Many players enter a casino only to play in slots. However it can be frustrating sometimes if a machine does not actually make a payout for games won. Some player will advise playing every machine to determine which among them actually makes a payout. This method is not feasible because it will only leave you cash strapped in less time. It is not worth taking this risk.

You want to play in a machine that has a high frequency of payback. This means that even if it pays lower, it gives out cash more frequently. The objective then is to go for smaller wins rather than waiting for a long time to hit the big jackpot. With this kind of strategy, you get to enjoy slots more because you are able to stay for a longer time rather than depositing a large bet at once and losing it in a snap in hopes of hitting the jackpot prize.

To save money, take time first to observe the various machines in a casino before choosing. If there is a current player in the machine, observe his game from afar and see if his winnings will be given an equivalent payout. Some regular players in a casino already know what machine to go to. If more players are going for that particular machine, it must be paying out.

These are not definite guidelines but it gives you an idea about this type of casino game. These are machines after all, and there are no dealers or croupier to actually handle your game. You simply want to avoid machines that are faulty.

Slot machines are now computerized especially in the units of high class casinos. Inside are computer chips that ensure the random turnout patterns and designs. This program is called random number generator. It is pre-programmed to assign different probability ratios on every winning combination. The combination with the highest payout will be given the lowest probability of turnout. Thus is the evolution of slot machines from its rudimentary form in the olden days. And hence, in modern slot machines, the reels and levers are only for display purposes to maintain the conventional look of slots. In truth however, these are not really functioning because most slots today are operated by touchscreens.

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