When most people think of a slot machine the image they have is of a three reeled machine covered in cherries, 7’s, BAR’s and the occasional Jackpot. Advancements in slot technology and the introduction of video slots have meant the variations in slot machines are now almost endless.
Below I have broadly summarized some of the most common types of slot machines.
Traditional Slot Machine
These are the traditional machines described above, most commonly a 3 reeled machine or sometimes 5 reels. Their main characteristic is they only have one payline. Many variations of these mean some may have additional features and bonuses.
It is also quite common for progressive slots to still be in the traditional mould, a great example of this being the Lion’s Share machine in Las Vegas which is still waiting to pay out after more than 20 years.
Bonus Slot machine
Bonuses on slot machine can simply thought of as an addition to the core game so can apply to any of the machines on this list, multiple bonus types can exist on the same machine. Essentially bonus machines give the player more variation in play and more chances of winning.
These bonuses can take many forms, from triggering a completely separate feature game (common in many of the online video slots) to giving the player free spins or letting the player further increase their win through an additional gamble feature.
Multiline Slot machines
Applicable to the modern video slots, as the name suggests multiline slots give the player the chance to win across multiple “paylines” from the same spin. These machines will give the customers the option on how many lines they want to play, the reason for this is you must pay (or choose your denomination) for each payline, most commonly machines have between 3 and 25 paylines and each machine will have a guide line map to show which lines you will be playing.
This means if I choose to play 25 lines at a denomination of 25p that’s £6.25 a spin!!
Lesson here is be careful what combinations you pick. As you are paying for each payline generally the odds do not increase as you select more lines as each is a mutually exclusive event.
On some machines though the higher the denomination you pick the more return you get.
E.g. A slot machine might give you the following denomination options, 1p, 2p, 3p.
The denominations will have different paytables, you can clearly see the return is greater if I play the maximum denomination.
Look out for these machines as your better off playing maximum on lower denomination machines than smaller denominations on higher value machines.
Progressive Slot machines
Progressive slots have become very popular and most commonly the ones that make the headlines. This is because they are able to offer huge jackpots amounts from relatively small outlays, these can be thought of as the really really high variance machines.
They work by taking a small amount from each players bet and placing it into the Jackpot, the more people play the more this amount grows until the jackpot is hit. It is not uncommon for the popular machines jackpots to run into the millions!
The drawback on these machines is because of the percentage taken from each bet for the jackpot the non jackpot payouts generally tend to be small so unless you are the very lucky player your odds of walking away happy are very low.