Each slot is different, and which machine a player chooses can determine not only how much is won or lost but also how much fun is had. Some games are far more entertaining than others, but they may amuse at a heavy price. Others look rather boring, and then deliver jackpots like cash cows. A player’s choice of machines should take into account a number of critical factors, including some that have nothing to do with the slot game itself.
Before the First Spin
Long before heading for the casino, a slot player needs to make a few decisions, not the least of which is why he/she is playing. Some like slots simply the for fun and entertainment value. Their main interest will be in maximizing playing time and limiting losses. For such players, low denomination slots will be the best choice.
Other players are always hopeful of striking it rich. They want to hit a big jackpot and as quickly as possible. For them, it would be a waste time playing low denomination slots. The yields are just too small. Instead, they should select progressive slots and be prepared to bet at the maximum level. Luck is their main strategy, and when they have it, the bets need to be brave and not bashful.
Another pre-session decision that’s required is setting some limits. Players must ask themselves how long they want to play, how much they are willing to risk, and how much they hope to win in one session. The choice of playing for pennies, nickels, quarters, or dollars will be dictated by the answers to these questions. Knowing under what circumstances one will stop is a precursor to sitting down at any machine. The choice of a slot game must match the individual’s objectives.
Different Slot Formats
The oldest of slot machines are the Classic Three-Reel Slots. They remain popular thanks to their simplicity and ease of play. All it takes to activate the machine is inserting a coin and pulling down a handle or else pushing a “play” or “spin” button on the face of the machine. These classic machines are exactly the right choice for anyone who prefers straight-forward low-risk play. They tend to have relatively high payout ratios, which can mean lots of play for relatively little investment.
Similar in format are the Five-Reel Slots. Because they have two additional reels, the highest-paying combination—five jackpot symbols in a row—is much harder to achieve, so the size of the potential winnings is much greater. Machines like these are best suited to players who appreciate a little complexity in their games and are willing to take a moderate risk for the opportunity to get big payouts.
The latest craze on the slots floor is Puzzle Slots, a category of computerized video games that feature cascades of symbols filling the window in rows and columns. When winning combinations of symbols pay off, they disappear are replaced by new symbols. This gives the player additional opportunities to win without playing more credits. Such slots can be very entertaining, but if bonuses are caught often, they can also they also deplete credits quite quickly. Players who choose these should probably see risk as its own reward.
Playing for Payouts
Slot machines can also be chosen by how payouts are awarded. All types of slots described above may have multiple paylines—patterns that can be purchased above, below or around the standard horizontal center line. Most multiline slots allow for three, five, seven, nine, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five paylines to be played at a time. Some of the newest machines provide up to 60 paylines. Although it costs more credits to access these, small wins can be expected on just about every spin, which adds excitement to the game and longer play for those who are in it for the sheer fun.
The truly huge winnings come from so-called “progressive” slots. Their jackpots just grow and grow until they are won, often reaching well into seven or even eight figures. The machines look and play exactly like classic slots, but inter-linkage allows a pool of funds to be created that gets progressively larger. The present value of a progressive jackpot will appear on an ever-changing display directly above the slot machine. This is the only game for big risk-takers who are out to win an instant fortune.