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Basic Slots Types

There is a great variety of modern slot machines available nowadays. Some of them resemble the classical mechanical reel models that derive from the original Liberty Bell slot machine. Other modern slot types are feature fantastic graphics and sound effect and in fact resemble the most advanced computer games. Here we shall deal with two basic classifications for modern slot machines.

Straight and progressive slots

According to the type of slots payouts we differentiate straight slots and progressive slots.

Straight slots are noted for the fact that the payouts for them are fixed. Each straight slot machine has a payout table that the players consult to define the payouts for every given slot machine. We differentiate four basic types of straight slots: Multipliers, Bonus multipliers, Multi-payline slots and Buy-a-Pay slots.

  • With Multipliers, the increased number of coins you bet multiplies the payouts.
  • Bonus multipliers work the same as simple Multipliers with one difference: the former offer a bonus payout for the maximum amount of coins bet.
  • Multi-payline slot machines require that a certain amount of coins is bet to activate different paylines of the machine. Maximum amount of coins will activate maximum paylines and the player might be able to win the highest jackpot.
  • Buy-a-Pay slots require that you bet a certain amount of coins for different combinations. These combinations usually appear on more than one payout table. For example, you may bet on a low combination and hit the one that "costs" more coins. In such case you will be paid nothing.

Progressive slots differ from the straight ones due to the fact that the former offer jackpots that are not fixed in the payout tables for each machine. In fact, these progressive jackpots are multiplied by every bet each player makes on the machine - or, in case with the linked or "banked" machines - on each of the machines in the series. Progressive jackpot requires betting maximum coins on maximum paylines.

Reel slots vs. video slots

Another popular classification for slots is based on the differentiation of reel slot machines and modern video slots.

Reel slots (also known as mechanical slots) have actual physical reels (usually three or five) with certain symbols imprinted on each of these reels. Each reel has a certain number of symbols. To play reel slots, the player has to push the lever or - in more recent models - the special button to set the reels spinning. When the reels come to a stop, the combinations of symbols that come out on each reel are compared to the set of winning symbol combinations on the slot machine payline and with the payout table to define the amount of the payout.

We differentiate three reel slots and five reel slots. These types of reel slots offer different payouts according to the discrepancy in number of possible winning combinations influenced by different number of reels and paylines.

Video slot machines, even if they have virtual graphically represented reels, in fact are operated by the computer program installed in each machine. Modern advanced video slot machines offer a wide range of special features, starting from the increased number of wheel s - up to 9 - and multiple paylines - up to 50 and even 100 in some machines - to introduction of bonus games and symbols and graphic and sound effects that make video slots resemble the most advanced computer games.

All this increases the profitability of video slot machines offering increased number of possible winning combinations and higher frequency for payouts. Nevertheless, video slots are operated by the Random Number Generator making each spin and independent trial irrespective of the previous game results. Slots still remain the game of mere chance and every player should remember this before starting to play slots.