There are many different types of slots, and learning about the variations will help you choose which version is right for you.
Classic 3-Reel & 5-Reel
Above: The Classic 3-Reel Slot
First, you’ll notice that there are three-reel slots and five-reels available. A classic three reel slot can be easier on the eye than the busier five-reels, though a five-reel slot can be more engaging. Keep in mind the odds are the same on both of these versions.
Slots also vary on the amounts they’ll pay out upon winning. You’ll often find the payout schedule printed on or near the machine you’re playing on. The schedule details the winning combinations and how much each combination pays out.
You win if certain symbols come up on the pay line. For example, on cherry will pay out two coins for every coin you play. Two cherries will pay out five coins for every one you play, and three cherries will pay ten coins. Obviously, if you play two coins and and get one cherry, you’ll be paid four coins back. Some slots offer bonuses for playing the maximum coins per wager, so you’ll get paid out more than a multiple of your bet if you win.
Often you’ll see a good combination of symbols pop up in the rows above or below the pay-out line, or even diagonally. Multiple pay-out lines allow you to bet on these lines as well, by betting more coins. Check the pay-out schedule
Above: A Progressive Jackpot
Jackpots also vary according to which slot you play. Some online slots have a single jackpot which never increases, called a flat-top jackpot. Others have what’s called a progressive jackpot, which increases the more people play on those machines. Often progressive jackpots are higher than flat-top jackpots, which encourages people to play these slots, but remember that a percentage of every wager goes towards that jackpot, leaving less for smaller payouts.
Finally there are slot machines and video slots. You’ll be hard pressed to find a fully mechanical slot machine these days, but you can always find a few electro-mechanical machines in your average casino. Video slots are simply a virtual version of a physical slot: you’ll have the same reels and similar odds of winning, but everything is displayed on a screen as if you were playing any other video game.
Some people prefer the atmosphere of the casino and the physical thrill of pulling the lever and waiting for the reels to spin out their lucky combination. Others enjoy the convenience of video slots, which you can play online, or download to your desktop or mobile phone. Video slots also come in a seemingly endless variety of themes so you’ll never get bored of watching those reels spin.
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Take a read through our Slots Fun Facts or educate yourself on the history of slots - click and enjoy!