What Is A Casino Slot Machine?

What is a casino slot machine? To someone who frequents casinos, this may never be a question that comes to mind. It is a very good question for a beginner.

Casino slot machines are games where the goal is to get machine symbols in the correct pattern. This pattern usually requires three or more symbols that are adjacent on what are called pay lines or lines for short. Wild symbols replace other symbols to help increase your chances of getting a matching set of symbols on a line.

Slot machines used to be mechanical. Today's land-based and online casinos have video slots that have a computer screen and quality graphics that show the reels and the game controls. The gameplay is always the same. Place your bet, spin the reels, and see if you win a prize.

Your Bet Matters

When you play a slot, you have to place your bet. Start with your coin value. Many games allow you to bet a penny to as high as 50 cents, $1, $5, or $10. Next, decide how many pay lines to activate. For the best odds of winning, activate them all. It's worth it. On some slots, you don't even have to make this choice. The game will automatically play all possible lines.

If there is an option for credits or coins per line, you need to also set this. Games may allow you to bet 3, 5, or even 10 coins per line. If you bet 10 coins on all 20 pay lines in a game, you would bet the coin value you've chosen, times the 10 coins per line, times the pay lines you've activated. This determines your total bet per spin. Say you've set the coin value to 2 cents and bet 10 credits on those 20 lines. You're going to risk 0.02 x 10 x 20 for a total of $4 per spin.

Lines Come in All Kinds of Arrangements

Slot machines differ. You might have a classic slot that has three reels and just one line across the center. If you want an example, try Sevens and Bars slots.

There are other games where the slot machine contains five reels and has 9, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, or even more lines. You will find games that have 243 ways to win or more. Immortal Romance Slots is an example of a 243-ways-to-win slot game.

The lines may be one symbol after another in a straight line, in a diagonal line, or a combination of the two. In some games, you get a winning combination by getting a cluster of symbols across a few reels. Games like Giovanni's Gems Slots have you winning a prize when a cluster of five or more symbols are touching. The more gems found in the cluster, the higher the prize.

The bottom line is that you need to get the number of symbols on a line or cluster in order to win. If you fall short, you don't gain any winnings on that spin.

Understanding the Paytable

When you get a winning combination, you win a prize. To see how much you can win, always look at the slot machine's paytable. On a five-reel video slot, it is often on a second screen. Some of the classic slot games have the paytable above the reels.

If the payout shows you get 300 coins for a match of three, you'll get 300 times the coin value you choose when you get those three matching symbols. Usually, the wild in the game is worth the most. Say the game has a prize of 10,000 coins for five wild symbols on a line and you get those five symbols, you win 10,000 times your coin value.

Scatters are a little different. In a slot machine that has a scatter, the prize you see is usually on your total bet. That's your per-spin bet. In the above example, it was $4 per spin. If you win 100x with five scatters, you'd win $400.

Play for Fun When You're Starting Out

Try some casino slot machines out. Many casinos allow you to play online for fun. If you need help finding a casino that allows practice play, try Liberty Slots Casino or Lincoln Casino . There are dozens of others that allow you to play slots for fun. As you get used to the structure and betting strategies, switch to real money play. Many online casinos welcome U.S. players. Join one today and spin the reels.