Slot Machines | How to Win and How They Work

The Ins and Outs of Slot Machines – How they work?

The slot machine was introduced as an alternative game for casual casino players seeking a change from the traditional table games like poker and craps and how they operate have made gamblers curious for many years. No strategic skills are needed to play slots as long as the player has a knowledge of the terminology associated with the game.

  • Bonus – A special feature of the game based on the activation of certain symbols on a winning payline
  • Candle – The light on top of the machine which alerts slot personnel that help is needed. In most cases, the candle colors correspond with certain coin denominations
  • Carousel – A group of slot machines in the formation of an oval or circle
  • Hand Pay – A required payout that is made by the slot attendant when the amount of the payout exceeds the maximum amount preset by the machine
  • Payline – The line that crosses through one symbol on each reel. Winning combinations are calculated based on the total number of paylines in the game.
  • Progressive – The value of a jackpot which increases after multiple machines of the same type are linked together and many players are in the game at the same time. Progressives may either be restricted to the casino location or to a worldwide network.
  • Multi-Progressive – More than one progressive jackpot is offered in a game (e.g. mini, minor, etc.)
  • Payout Percentage – Slot machines are usually programmed by law to payout winnings from 75 to 98 percent of the amount wagered by players
  • Random Number Generator (RNG) – A sequence of simulated random numbers used to determine the outcome after the PLAY of BET button is pressed

The types of slot machines also have changed from the classic three-reel models used many years ago. The original models have been revamped with larger reels and more symbols but are accompanied by newer styles including:

  • Five-reel slots: Mechanical with five reels and up to 25 paylines, increasing the possibility of winning with more features and bonuses available
  • Video slots: Graphically designed similar to a computer or video game with higher number of pay lines (up to 100) and advanced interactive features (e.g. TV clips, touch-screen, multi-denomination, etc.)

For effective gameplay, gamblers must make note of a few tips while using a slot machine:

  • Watching the bankroll in order to avoid overspending.
  • Playing maximum bet for better odds of hitting a jackpot.
  • Using a rewards card for free points and promos.
  • Avoiding the need to chase after losses.

The convenience of playing slots online also arouses the interests of a new demographic, players who do not have access to a land-based casino. As a result, a plethora of gaming designs has been introduced to the public by world-renowned software manufacturers. By following the suggestions previously mentioned and knowing how slot machines operate, players can enjoy their gambling experience for longer periods of time.


Slot machine video from casino expert Steve Bourie that teaches you the insider secrets to winning at slot machines and how they work.

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