Online Slots Guide - Casino Fan

Online Slots Guide

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Online casinos, which are also referred to as virtual or internet casinos, are simply online renditions of the traditional brick and mortar casinos.

These online casinos provide gamblers with the ability to play the same casino-style games such as online slot machines, online poker machines, (online pokies, fruit machines) among other games anywhere which are convenient for them.

The additional benefit of online casino games is that it does not matter where the player is located geographically.

A player can play an online casino game anywhere in the world if their payment is able to be processed to place their wages.


Introduction to Online Slots

While online casinos can generally provide higher odds and higher payback percentages compared to land-bound casinos, the nature of play for the casino games, such as online slots, is relatively the same. Online slot machines and online poker are two of the most popular games as the rules for play for these games are universally known or can be learned quickly. These games are also the staple games for all casinos whether these casinos are land based or are online.


The term “slot machine” originates from a mechanical feature on the machine, “the slot” designed for the insertion and retrieval of coins. Some online slot machine games are called “Fruit Machine” games which are based on standard fruit images which appear on the spinning reels, such as strawberries, lemons, Apple’s and cherries.

History and Description

The basic slot machine is generally found in most casinos and can be best described as a machine with at least three reels (sometimes more) that spin once a button is pressed or a lever on the side is pulled. Slot machines with levers are also known as “one-armed bandit.” In online slot machine games, the spinning cycle is initiated by pressing the “Enter” key or a designated button with the mouse or other feature based on the type of device that the player is using. Slot machines are still the most popular game in both online and land-bound versions.

Charles Fey of San Francisco, California in the United States, built the first functioning slot machine in 1895. Fey designed a slot machine with three (3) spinning reels, which contained five total symbols: a Liberty Bell, horseshoes, spades, diamonds, and hearts. His first machine was called the Liberty Bell based on this symbol.

Three bells spun in a row would produce the largest payoff, which was ten (10) nickels ( or 50¢) at the time. Fey’s Liberty Bell slot machine was a major success and initiated a prosperous mechanical slot machine and game device industry. After many copies and editions of the original slot machine, newer versions, such as the machine known as the “trade stimulator”, issued winnings as various fruit-flavored bubbles or chewing gums.

Pictures of the various flavors of gum were depicted as symbols on the slot reels. The popular symbols of cherry, as well as melon, were derived from this slot machine. The well-known “BAR” symbol, which is commonly known in many slot machines originated from the early logo design of the “Bell-Fruit Gum Company”.

The mechanical slot machine soon gave way to a more advanced electronic slot machine that did not require a lever. The electronic machine was able to include more probability for winning as well as more games for the player to wage. Instead of a leaver the player only needs to press a button to initiate payment. In addition, the new machines no longer required a slot for a coin or a token.

While some machines can still take tokens, many are now capable of taking programmed tickets and program cards with credit for the play. The natural progression was the transition to online gaming. However, regardless of whether the game is a land-based game or an online casino game, the nature of the game remains the same. The game of slots does not necessarily involve skill on behalf of the player. Slots simply create the illusion of allowing a skill set but at its core, the game of slots is merely a “game of chance.”

The goal is simple. Players desire to win money or payouts from the machine or online game. The game of slots may be varied but at its core, it still involves the matching of symbols on either a set of mechanical reels which when spun and stopped, reveal one or more symbols, whether the machine is mechanical or a video screen.

On multiway slot games, players are able to play the full position of each slot reel as opposed to fixed lines or set patterns. As an example, if a player desires to play 1 reel for a 243-way game, the player will receive three symbols on the first reel. This could payout in any position of the three positions, as the other reels pay only in the center. Unused areas are darkened. On the other hand, if the player desires to play five reels, symbols may appear in any position in the window.

The player can be paid as long as a symbol appears in each of the reel. Many of the games normally require the slot symbols to appear in a left to right manner, including sometimes, scatters. Scatter slot symbols still pay out the same amount as the regular games. This allows the player to multiply their pay amount by calculating the total initial bet as well as the total amount of methods or reels which can be played. Additional multiway slot games provide players even additional styles of play by use of various patterns. Players refer to these games as “Xtra Reel Power” and “Super Reel Power” slot games. These games use a “4×5” or “5×5” pattern, which can provide as many as five symbols in each slot reel. This allows for as many as 1,024 and 3,125 respective ways for a player to win. These types of games can cost more to play than the 243 way slot Reel games.

The Australian laws which regulate the use of gaming machines are left to the State governments. Each state government has varying provisions regarding such regulations. Most state laws currently deal with land-bound casino games, including slot machines and pokie games.

In Australia,the majority of gaming machines can be found in casinos which dot through every major city and pubs or some social clubs. At one point, nearly 21% of all the gaming machines globally were being operated in Australia. This resulted in Australia having about five times as many gaming machines per capita than the number of gaming machines in the United States.

The main reason for this disproportionate number is that gaming machines in South Wales have been legally authorized since 1956. The revenue from land-based gaming machines from just pubs and clubs account for over half of the $4 billion from gaming revenue that has been collected by Australian state governments in just one fiscal year. The amount of revenue generated from online casino gaming is hard to measure and the Australian state governments have no effective means to track that revenue unless it is voluntarily reported by a resident within that state.

In Western Australia, the rules on the types of gaming devices are very restrictive. WA permits very particular types of gaming machines. All are found in the Burswood casino. Gaming machines are prohibited anywhere else in WA. In 1974, the Royal Commission into Gambling found that casino gambling of any type was against the public interest and should be severely restricted. This is the most restrictive policy in the country of Australia.

Terminology for Online Slots and Land-Based Slots

Action: This is the general reference for slot-related activity including both coin and credit play as well as gains and losses.

Bank: A group or set of slot machines, (aka “carousel of machines”), which are linked together for play and are also tied to a single jackpot payout.

Basic Slots: Games that provide constant top jackpot payouts as well as a single payline, which means one line displayed on the glass on the machine front.

Bet Max: A placed bet which maximizes the coins or credit for each play or spin. A better payout occurs when a maximum bet is placed.

Bonus Added Slots: These are additional, mini-games a player can play including, 5 reels, multiple spins, multiple lines, wild symbols, bonus games, scatter pay, various multiplier games and nudge hold games.

Bonus Video Slots: These types of slot machines are also referenced as ‘branded slot machines’, ‘entertainment slot content’ and ‘interactive’ machines. Bonus slots games provide a ‘second chance’ play which includes a bonus round and multiple pay lines.

Call Attendant: A player's slot pay line has lined up in a winning manner and the win is associated with the sounds of bells sirens and clapping.

Carousel: a group, series, or designated bank of slots.

Coin in/Coin out: coins in is the amount wagered. Coins out are winnings paid by the machine. Calculated together, the numbers provide the machine’s or game’s payout percentage.

Collect: The amount of cash or credits a player has won following a slot play session.

Comps: These are “freebies” that are awarded to players and take the form of cash, credit, or points accumulated based on nature and volume of play.

Denomination: The monetary value or monetary denomination options established by the slot machine played.

Free Spin(s): A bonus feature on a number of slot machines to induce further play.

Fruit machines: A reference slot machines and games in the UK based on the fruit symbols on the reels.

Games per hour:  The maximum number of games a player can play per hour. About 500 games per hour is the average for a regular player. More addictive players can play more games.

Hit Frequency: This is the average amount of hits or payouts a player playing slot machine. For the player, the lower the number, the lower the player’s hit frequency. This is what the player wants. A “2” indicates a hit at every second spin, as compared to a 9, which indicates a hit every 9th win. The house will prefer the higher payout and the player will desire the lower hit frequency.

Instant Winner: A slot payout that is done in a single payout as opposed to installments.

Maximum Coins Bet: The number of coins a player wagers for each spin. In most games, a maximum coin wager is critical for the qualification of top jackpots.

Multi-denomination: These slot machines offer several coin options in the same machine.

Multiplier: A bonus slot machine feature in which the winning credits are then multiplied on top of the initial win.

One Armed Bandit: A slang term for slot machines.

Onesies: A slot machine player who only plays only one coin at a time. While prudent this type of play rarely qualifies the player for jackpot payouts.

Payback Percentage: The percentage which is calculated for each dollar for a designated slot machine which is returned to the player over a longer course of play.

Payline: The alignment of a slot machine's reel position, in which the alignment of the symbols determines the results of payout.

Payout: The number of credits that are converted to cash pay out for a player’s winning combination.

Pokies: The Australia and New Zealand reference for a slot as well as fruit slot machine games.

Primary Jackpot: The top prize or jackpot provided when a player successfully hits a slot machine’s specific combination.

Reel Stop: This is one position on the slot machine reel and can either be a symbol or even a blank space which then determines the results of that session or game.

Reels: The total number of reels or wheels which are displayed in a window of a slot machine and imprinted with the symbols which are specific to that particular slot machine theme or game.

RNG or Random Number Generator: This is a specially designed computer program that generates a series of numbers that are related to a specific reel result which is then duplicated. The higher payouts are assigned a fewer series of numbers, as opposed to the lower payouts which are assigned more series of numbers. The RNG program then sequences through a specified series of numbers to determine the result once the player initiates the game.

Scatter Pays: These pays are specific slot symbols for the game which pay out even if the slot symbols are not displayed or shown on the same slot machine pay line. The scatter slot machine game plays are designed to only pay a player on the designated specific line but only after that line has been made active by the bet of a player.

Second Screen Bonus: These bonuses are mini slot games for both online as well as land-based games which display a second video screen really as a bonus round but only after the player has hit a specified combination and the minimum amount of coin has been played.

Short Win: This is a term for when a big jackpot is won or hit with only a minimal cash investment.

Slant Top: Slot machines that are on a lower level and are slanted upwards. These types of machines are more suited for seated play.

Slot Club Member: A player who signs up for a package of incentives for online slots play as well as casino slot pay which provides the player with compensation points and other free offerings by the sponsoring casino or casino gaming group.

Slot Schedule: This is the information that is posted on the front of a slot machine that describes the type of slot machine game, the monetary denomination, and the required symbol combination needed to win set amounts based each coin(s) played.

Slot Testing: This is a term used to reference when a player plays through a preset amount of funds.

Slot Types: These are the various types of games available for slot machine play. These games include four primary slot games which are, Basic, Bonus Slots, Progressive as well as Multi-Player.

Spin: This is the action of the reel following the initiation of play after a wager has been placed.

Stand Up: These are machines that are taller and are played while standing.

Symbols: This is the unlimited inventory of slot game symbols along with the more traditional cherries, lemons, and 7’s which are found on slot gaming machines for both land-based casinos as well as online.

Take/Pay Cycle: This is the term for a theory based on the premise that most slot machines will have to pay out if only enough money is consistently waged on the slot machine game. This “Take/Pay Cycle” may simply be a theory but it is observed in practice in progressive games which have built up jackpots. More professional players monitor certain slot machines' play cycles and try to gauge whether the machine is “ripe” or “It’s Ready to Hit.”

Tilt: This is an indication of a malfunction with the slot machine.

TITO: This means “Ticket In, Ticket Out” and is a system that produces an encoded ticket receipt that can also be converted to cash or a specified denomination. These encoded tickets can then be inserted into a different TITO slot machine.

Total Bet: The total number of lines or reels which are activated for an individual slot game.

Virtual Reel Technology: This is the computerized feature of a reel result that utilizes a computer system called the “Telnas.” This system randomly assigns a specific series of varied numbers within the program to a specified combination of slot reel symbols. This increases the wider universe of numbers in which a slot game result is decided or selected by the RNG.

Wager Management: This is the money management employed by a player to control the rate of placing wagers from their established bankroll.

Wide Area Progressives or WAP: These are slot machines and slot games which are linked through more than one casino, pub, region, or country. The jackpot amount is larger and is displayed as the same amount regardless of the location of the machine.

Winner Annuity: For large jackpots, normally in excess of $500,000, the payout is made in a series of installments over a period of years. In some instances, the player will have the option for a single payment at a reduced amount.

X: This is the symbol that denotes the amount of the multiplier for the payout for the winning combinations. Example 5x, 6x, 15x, etc.

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