There are often two schools of thought on playing slot machines. Some believe they are one of the most random games found in a casino and the only really effective slot machine strategy is to hope lady luck is on your side and to learn to control your bankroll. Others, however, believe that there are slot machines tips that can, if followed, increase a player’s chances of striking it lucky.
Whatever your take on these games, most players will agree that the best gamblers are those who know what they’re doing. While slot machines may not require the same amount of strategy needed in a game of blackjack, it’s foolish to start playing without even the most basic understanding of how slots work. To get you started off, we’ve compiled a list of the main slot terms every player should know.
Bonuses: To anyone who has ever registered at an online casino, the idea of a bonus shouldn’t be an unfamiliar one. In the world of online casinos, bonuses are used as an incentive to keep players interested and sometimes to get players to sign up. With slot machines, the idea behind them may be the same but they work differently. Don’t expect to find match bonuses or sticky bonuses when playing slots.
Slot machine bonuses vary from machine to machine. They are only offered when a player gets a certain winning combination. There are a number of ways a player can be offered a bonus. For example, a player may be given free spins. These free spin rounds will often have different combinations to the main round as well as credit bonuses increasing differently to how they do in the main game.
As part of a bonus, a player could also get to choose between several items displayed on the slot screen. Each item will be worth a certain number of credits which is only revealed once the player makes a selection. The last way bonuses are typically offered is using an additional spinning wheel.
Candle: This is the term used to refer to the light which can be found at the top of a slot machine. It’s used to indicate that there is some problem with the machine. When the candle flashes, it could indicate that the machine is out of change. The light will often flash when the machine is unable to pay out to the player requiring casino staff to pay the player manually. This is known as a handpay.
Carousel: This is a term used to refer to a collection of slot machine which can typically be found arranged in a circle or oval.
Coin hopper: This is the term used to describe the container in which coins to be used for payout are kept. The coin hopper is responsible for rotating coins and pouring them into the coin try when a player decides to cash out. When the coin hopper gets too full, the excess coins are dumped into what is known as a drop bucket or drop box.
Credit meter: As the name suggests, this is a term for the amount of money or credits which have been accumulated at that machine. In real world casinos, this is often displayed on an LED display. In online or video slots a simulated display is used. Sometimes online slots also use a different font to highlight the credit meter.
Drop bucket/ drop box: This is a term used to refer to the container where excess coins from the coin hopper are dumped. While the terms drop bucket and drop box are often used interchangeably, a small distinction is made between the terms.
Typically, drop buckets are used for slot machines which accept low denominations. While for high denominations, generally a drop box is used. Another different between the two containers is that the drop box has a lid and locks while the drop bucket does not. Casinos regularly collect and count the contents from drop buckets and drop boxes.
EGM: This is an abbreviation for Electronic Gaming Machine.
Handpay: This is a term used to refer to a manual payout instead of being receiving payout form the slot machine itself. This can occur in two instances. Firstly, if the slot is short and doesn’t have enough to pay the player the correct winnings. It could also occur when the player hits a jackpot which requires a payout higher than what the casino or slot machine operator set for the machine to pay out.
Hopper fill slip: This is a term used to refer to the document used to note the refills of the coin hopper. The coin hopper becomes depleted from making payouts and the casino needs to make sure it’s regularly refilled. The slip includes information such as the number of coins that were added to the coin hopper as well as which casino employees were involved in refilling it.
MEAL book: This is an abbreviated term for the Machine entry authorization log. As the name suggests, this is used to keep a record of when employees access slot machines.
Low level: These are also known as slant top machines. These are used to refer to slot machines with a stool so players have the option to sit and play.
Stand up: These are also known as upright machines. This is the term used to refer to slot machines where players play standing.
Optimal play: This refers to the average payout a player will get when using the optimal strategy.
Payline: This is a term used to refer to the betting area where the correct combination of symbols needs to appear for a winning combination. Classic reel slot machines generally have nine paylines. In contrast, video slot machines can have 100 paylines.
Rollup: This is used to refer to creating a build-up of suspense using music as the meter calculates how much the player has won.
Short pay: This is the term used to refer to a pay-out which is less than it should be. This will often occur is the machine is depleted i.e. the coin hopper needs to be refilled. In such a case the difference will be paid as a handpay.
Taste: This is the term used to refer to a little payout which a machine may make as an incentive to keep a player interested and ensure they keep playing.
Tilt: This is a term used to refer to the safety mechanism most slots machines have to prevent people from tampering with the machine. The tilt or tilt switch, will sound an alarm if the machine is tilted.
Theoretical Hold Worksheet: This is the term used to refer to document provided by manufactures which details the kind of slot machine it is. This document will include information such as the theoretical payout percentage of the slot machine, the reel settings as well as the number and type of coins the machine accepts.
Weight count: This is a term used to refer to the weight of the coins which are collected from the machines drop bucket or drop box.
Slot machines are among the most popular games played in casinos. Whether you play to win or for the sheer fun of it, knowing some basic slot machine terminology can help improve your understanding of the game.
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