Slot Machine Types Explained

Talk to a non-casino player and, chances are, he has heard of slot machines. That's how popular this game is, which may offer a variety of types or themes but always operates with the same basic principle. The classic machine featured three or five reels and a lever which had to be pulled to make the reels spin, but this has since been enhanced to multiline, interactive and video games. As with most other casino games, this also offers bonus games, bonus rounds, and various payout schemes.

There are three main types of slot machines depending on payout: the flat top, straight top and progressive. The flat top and straight top are both self-contained machines, meaning that each machine operates independently in itself. Payouts in these machines are always a fixed amount, and would depend on a combination of reel symbols as identified in a payout table. Progressive machines, on the other hand, are connected to a network of machines which are, in a sense, playing together especially as regards the jackpot or payout. All the plays made in these progressive machines contribute to the pot. Thus, the number of players actually playing help determine how much each winner will ultimately get, and how fast and how high the jackpot rises.

Slot Machine Features Explained

1) Wildcard - The wildcard symbol usually signifies a better chance of payout for the player as it is used as an alternative for another card or symbol needed to complete a winning combination. Often, hitting the wildcard would also result in bonus rounds.

2) Multiplier Payline - this multiplies the payout depending on the number of coins played. When the multiplier payline symbol appears, the payout will be higher the higher the number of coins used.

3) Bonus Multiplier - the same as the multiplier payline with the added feature of a bonus round or game when the maximum bet is played

4) Multiple Payline - this allows the player to pick how many lines to bet on. As with the law of averages, increasing the number of lines to bet on also increases the chances of winning. It is thus suggested to maximize the more than 20 lines usually available in most machines, and to also maximize the bet

5) Buy-a-Pay - this permits you to place a stake on your own payout table

Slot machines encompass a wide range of bets, from nickel and penny games to as high as $100 bets. Nickel and penny machines are normally found in small gaming areas such as gas stations, and come second only to the most popular quarter and dollar games.