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Slots Terms

Here you can find an explanation of the more commonly used slot terms.

Bonus feature: This gives you the opportunity to win either extra money or spins.

Bonus multiplier: When one or more of the reels displays a symbol that multiplies a bonus that is received if that symbol is also displayed.

Buy A Pay: A slot machine that has more than one payout table. A bet on each payout table is an extra bet which means that its costs more to play but there is a greater chance of winning as there are different combinations of winning symbols for each payout table.

Coin size: The monetary value of the coin(s) that must be inserted for each spin.

Flat top: See ‘straight slots’.

Fruit machines: The British term for slot machines. The term derives from the fruit symbols found on most reels in British slot machines.

Gimmicky slot machine: Slot machines with an extremely high hit rate but which do not pay out very much.

Hit frequency: See ‘hit rate’.

Hit rate: The rate at which you will hit (win) on a spin in comparison with non-winning spins.

Hopper: This is the mechanical container in the slot machine storing the coins. When the hopper has been completely filled, the excess coins fall into a bucket under the hopper and constitute the casino’s profits.

Hot slots: A slot machine that is paying out more than its standard pay out percentage.

Jackpot: This is the grand prize in slot machines.

Max bet: This is the largest amount of coins that you can bet on one spin.

Multiple pay lines: Slot machines with more than one pay line on which you can bet to win.

One-armed bandit: This is the old term for slot machines. The original slot machines required you to pull a lever to start spinning the reels. And of course the ‘bandit’ part of the phrase comes from the fact that slot machines on average take more money from players than players take from slot machines.

Pay out cycle: This is a myth that there is a certain amount of time until a particular machine will pay out.

Pay line: The line(s) in the middle of a viewing window on a slot machine where the winning symbols must line up in order to win. Most slot machines have only one pay line but some may have up to 20 different pay lines. Each pay line that you bet on is a new bet.

Pay out: The amount that is paid when you win.

Pay table: This is placed on the slot machine and shows the payout for each winning combination.

Payback: The theoretical amount a slot machine will pay back to you over an infinite number of spins. It is usually measured as a percentage of the money you pay to play the game.

Poker machines: The Australian term for slot machines.

Progressive jackpot: A slot game where the top prize (or jackpot) increases in size according to the amount of coins inserted by a players in a network or group of slot machines.

Progressive slots: A type of slot machine with a progressive jackpot.

Random number generator: This is a computer program constantly generating numbers to determine the outcome of the spinning reels.

Reels: The individual mechanical reels on which the symbols or pictures are printed on the outer rim. The typical slot machine has 3 reels but some machines may contain 4, 5, 7 or 8. Electronic slots no longer require mechanical reels of course. Reels are now produced by video.

Return: The percentage of money paid out from a slot machine versus the amount of money paid in.

Straight slots: A type of slot machine with a preset jackpot for every spin.

Symbols: These are printed on the reels inside the slot machine and vary on based on the type of slot machine. The most common symbols are fruit and numbers.

Wildcard: This is a symbol that substitutes for any other symbol that is needed for a winning combination giving you a greater chance of winning.

Winning combination: The reel symbol combinations on a slot machine which pay out money.

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