Types of Slot Machines

There are many different types of slot machines that can be played in casinos. Generally speaking, there are classic reel slots and video slots, but these fall into progressive categories according to how the Slot Machine pays out.

We'll start by defining classic reel slots and video slots, then delve further into the various types of slot machines according to payouts.

Classic Reel Slots

The very first  ever invented was a reel slot. Today, reel slots include 3-Reels, 5-Reels and the occasional 7-Reels. The idea behind these slot machines is to line up a winning combination within a line of reels. Basic reel slots often have just the single pay line, directly inn the center of the reels, in a straight line across. Other may show three lines across – top, middle and bottom – while others may also include the diagonal lines, top-left to bottom-right, and bottom-left to top-right. classic reel slots typically have the pay-table displayed directly on the main screen.

Video Slots

These are themed slot machines that take up the entire screen with excessive graphics, rows and paylines. Video slot come in 5-Reel and 7-Reel varieties, often containing 5 rows across. The most exceptional feature of video slots is the overwhelming number of paylines many of them contain, sometimes as high as 20, 25 and even 40. However, 40 paylines means inserting 40 credits in order to activate all paylines on a single spin of the reels.

Types of Slot Machines – By Pay Out

There are two general types of slot machines according to pay out schemes – the straight slot and the progressive slot. However, straight slots come in 3 types of their own – the Multiplier, the Bonus Multiplier, and the Multiple Pay-Line slot machines.

Straight Slot Machines – Multiplier

This type of slot machine accepts a certain number of credits, paying an evenly increasing amount for each credit played. For example, a Slot Machine that takes up to 3 credits per play, for hitting a specific winning combination, may pay 5 coins for 1 credit, 10 coins for 2 credits, and 15 coins for 3 credits. There is no advantage in playing more coins, as far as the payout ratio is concerned.

Straight Slot Machines – Bonus Multiplier

This Slot Machine pays out a progressive pay table, meaning that inserting the max amount of coins offers a better pay out for a winning combination. These are considered some of the best Slot Machines to play in respect to house edge, because the player's odds of profiting get better when playing max credits. For instance, a machine that takes up to 3 credits per play may pay 50 coins for a wining combination with 1 credit played, 100 coins for 2 credits played, but 250 credits for 3 coins played. Experienced slot machine players always insert max credits on bonus multiplier slot machines. Always read the pay table to make sure you know the potential pay outs and necessary credits to play.

Straight Slot Machines – Multi-Line Slots

Multiple paylines slots, a.k.a. multi-line slots, are video slots with anywhere from 9 to 40 paylines available per play. Paylines can zig-zag all across the board, depicted by the colored lines connecting each symbol box to the next.

One the one hand, multi-line slots can be expensive machines. Even at $0.25 denominations, you could be spending up to $20 for a single payline with all lines activated. On the other hand, you will have up to 40 ways to achieve a winning combination. Not that even winning a series of paylines in a single play isn't always going to return as much as you paid for that spin of the reels. The odds of winning are programmed into the slot machine's “Random Number Generator”, and have nothing to do with how many lines you choose to play.

Progressive Slot Machines

Beloved by casino fans of all ages, the progressive slot machine is capable of making players a millionaire in a single spin of the reels. The sot machine carries a progressive jackpot that increases a few cents every time the slot machine is played. Many progressive slot machines are linked with other machines of the same type, increasing the progressive jackpot at a much higher rate. For instance, 20 Harrahs-owned casinos may have 15 'Harrah's Harry Reel Quest' Slot each. 20 x 15 = 300, which means if all of the slots are active, the jackpot will increase 300x times faster than a single, unconnected progressive slot.

The thing with progressive slot machines is that you must remember to play the maximum amount of credits if you wish to win the jackpot. Check the paytable and you'll find out that the jackpot-winning combination is not released for 1 or even 2 credits, but only for the maximum. Too many casino fans have jumped from their seats screaming and cheering, assuming they have released the progressive jackpot, only to find that without enough credits inserted, they were awarded a tidy sum of coins, but a mere fraction of what the jackpot would have been.