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TYPES OF SLOTS

            The origin of the slot machine is traced back to 1887 and its inventor, Charles Fey.  Fey's slots contained three reels featuring Bells, Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, Horseshoes and Stars.  These slots accepted one nickel at a time and featured a top payout of ten nickels. 

            Fey did not sell his machines but placed them in saloons on a 50-50 profit split arrangement with the proprietors.  In 1929, forty-two years later, Fey built the first slot machine to take a silver dollar.  That machine had three reels with fruit and bar symbols and had a top jackpot of $100.

            These early machines proliferated, with additional manufacturers, such as Herbert Mills and O. D. Jennings joining the fray.  Many different versions of these slots were produced over the years, but all shared similar mechanical parts and produced the familiar slot machine sounds of clicking and clanging as the parts moved around. 

            By the late 1950s a new breed of slot began appearing.  These machines were electrically powered and featured such innovations as multiple coin play, progressive jackpots and many more anti-cheating safeguards than the old mechanical machines.

            By the 1970s manufacturers began using solid state circuitry to develop the first totally electronic slots machines.  These machines were short lived as solid state technology was replaced by microprocessors.

            Microprocessors are commonly called "chips" and are really miniature computers working with other electronic components using integrated circuits to control the machines.  Here the microprocessor controls all aspects of the slot including the reels.

            Programmed into each slot are formulas which are translated into certain combinations and arrangements of the symbols which appear on the reels.  As part of this process, random numbers are generated by the microprocessor and these numbers are used to determine the symbols appearing on the reels and consequently, the payoffs.

            Because of the reliability of micro-technology, these slots are more predictable than the earlier mechanical or electrically powered slots.  If a machine has been programmed to pay off 94.3% of all coins played into it, then over a reasonable amount of time, this machine will perform very close to this specification.  The casinos like the microprocessor controlled machines because of their reliability and predictability.  Many players bemoan the decline of the mechanical slots for the very reason that these machines were more likely to malfunction and perform such feats of generosity as overpaying the players.

            The single coin slots are a thing of the past, having passed away with the demise of the mechanical slot machines.  You may still find some of the old mechanical slots at roadside locations.  They are usually nickel machines with jackpots of just a few dollars.

            Modern slot machines accept more than one coin and will multiply the size of the payoff by the number of coins played.  Because of this feature these machines are known as multipliers.  Most of these machines accept three to five coins maximum per pull although some types will accept 8, 9 or even 10 coins.

            Most of the multipliers have a single payline across the reel display area.  All payoffs are based on the combinations of symbols showing after the reels have come to rest.  The multiplier aspect increases the payoff for each winning combination of symbols.  In some cases, a bonus may be paid for playing the maximum number of coins if the machine hits the highest jackpot.

            For example, on a three reel machine where 7 7 7  is the highest payoff, the slot may pay 100 coins for one coin played, 200 coins if two coins are played and 600 coins if three coins are played.  The payout for a jackpot with three coins played has a bonus of 300 coins offered.  Many of the progressive slots, which offer increasing jackpots as the machine receives more play, are structured along the lines of the bonus machine, with the jackpot paid only if the maximum number of coins are played.

            The casino's rationale in offering the bonus or jackpot for playing three coins per pull is to entice more players into always playing the maximum number of coins.

            Many multipliers do not offer bonuses for playing the maximum number of coins.  These machines increase the payoffs proportionately to the number of coins played, with no bonuses for playing with the maximum number of coins.

            Multipliers that do not offer the bonus feature can be played as single coin machines as well as multi-coin machines without sacrificing any advantage in the payoffs.

            Table 1 shows the pay schedule for a typical 3 Reel 3 Coin Multiplier.  We will refer to this type of machine as a Standard 3 Coin Multiplier.

             Table 1.  Standard 3 Coin Multiplier


Symbols

1 Coin

2 Coins

3 Coins

Cr Cr Cr

50

100

150

B  B  Bar

15

30

45

DBC DBC Bar

15

30

45

Bar Bar Bar

10

20

30

Ch Ch Ch

10

20

30

B  B  B

 5

10

15

DBC DBC DBC

 5

10

15

Any 1 C

 2

 4

 6

 

Cr = Crown                             B = Bell

Bar = Bar                                 Ch = Cherry

DBC = Double Bar Cherry

 

            On a Standard Multiplier, as shown in Table 1, payoffs increase exactly proportionately to the number of coins inserted.  We can play one, two or three coins on such a machine with no penalty for not inserting the maximum number of coins.  

            Table 2 shows a Standard 5 Coin Multiplier for a slot with three reels.  Like the 3 coin version, there is no penalty for not playing the maximum number of coins.

 

         Table 2. Standard 5 Coin Multiplier

Symbols

1 Coin

2 Coins

3 Coins

4 Coins

5 Coins

TC TC TC

100

200

300

400

500

DC DC DC

 20

 40

 60

 80

100

C  C  C

 10

 20

 30

 40

 50

Any 3 Cherries

  2

  4

  6

  8

 10

TC = Triple Cherry                   C = Cherry

DC = Double Cherry

 

            Progressive Slot machines pay much larger jackpots only when the maximum number of coins are played.  Table 3 shows the payoffs for a three reel slot with a progressive jackpot of over 25,000 coins.  This jackpot is paid when 7 7 7 lines up and the full jackpot amount will only be paid when three coins have been played.

            The Option play machine, also called the Buy-a-Pay slot machine, can be very confusing.  With these machines, each coin inserted brings into play additional symbols offering payoffs.  There is nothing on these machines to specifically identify them as option machines.  You must read the payout schedule on the front of the machine carefully to spot one of these critters.

            Table 4 shows the payoff schedule for an Option 3 Coin Multiplier.  Playing one or two coins brings the payoff schedule, shown on the left side of the table, into play.  Only when three coins are played do the symbols on the right side of the table come into play.  If you had played two coins and the symbols C C C appeared, your payoff would be zero, as this combination of symbols pays off only when three coins are inserted.

          Table 3.  Progressive 3 Coin Multiplier

Symbols

1 Coin

2 Coins

3 Coins

7 7 7

100

200

Jackpot

B B Bar

 15

 30

45

O O Bar

 15

 30

45

C C C

 10

 20

30

Bar Bar Bar

  5

 10

15

O O O

  5

 10

15

B B B

  5

 10

15

Any 1 Cherry

  2

  4

 6

7 = Seven                     O = Orange

B = Bell                                    C = Cherry

Bar = Bar

 

                        Table 4. Option 3 Coin Multiplier

Symbols

1 Coin

2 Coins

3 Coins

Symbols

3 Coins

$ $ $

50

100

200

CCC

300

B B B

10

 20

 30

B B B

 60

- - B

 2

 4

  6

S S S

 60

Any 2H

 2

 4

  6

$ - -

 15

$ = Dollar Sign             S = Spade

B = Money Bag            D = Diamond

H = Heart                     C = Club

            The Option type of slots offers limited possibilities of playing from one to the maximum number of coins as playing less than the maximum number of coins reduces the number of combinations of symbols offering payoffs.

            Another version of slot machine, which requires maximum coin play in order to bring all of the payoff combinations into play, is the Multiple Pay Line machine.  Instead of offering only one pay line, there may be two, three or even five pay lines.  As each additional coin is inserted, another pay line comes into play.  Like many of the multipliers, the jackpots or jackpot bonuses are available only on the last payline, so that you have to play the maximum number of coins to win the jackpot.  Table 5 shows the payoffs for a 3 reel, 2 coin multiple pay line slot.  While the payoff symbols are the same whether one or two coins are inserted, the second pay line only comes into play with the insertion of the second coin.

              Table 5.  Multiple Pay Line 2 Coin Multiplier

Symbols

1 or 2 Coins

Cr Cr Cr

100

O  O  O

 20

A  A  A

 10

B  B  -

  5

-  B  B

  5

S  S  -

  5

-  S  S

  5

Any 1 Cr

  1

First coin activates first pay line, second coin, second pay line.

Cr = Crown                 B = Banana

O  = Orange                 S = Strawberry

A  = Apple

            Each of the examples of payoff tables shown here are merely representative examples.  There are hundreds of variations of slot payoffs and in order to determine the type of slot you are about to play, you must read the payoff schedule shown on the front of the machine.

            On the multiplier slots, the insertion of each coin will cause a different section of the payoff schedule to light up, showing the applicable payoffs for the number of coins played.  Always make sure that each coin inserted causes this to happen.  If you insert a coin which doesn't register, and then pull the handle without verifying its registration, you will not be paid the full amount of a payoff.  If a machine does not register a coin played, you should immediately notify a slot attendant.

            The progressive slot machines have brought a new glamour to slot machines.  The million dollar plus jackpots you hear about people winning are won on progressive slots.

            With a progressive slot machine, the jackpot is increased each time the machine is played.  Progressive slot machines are multipliers which keep adding to the jackpot until it is hit.

            The progressive machines can be found in two different types of setups.  The older and more common types of progressives are individual free-standing machines which will be found either by themselves or in a designated area with other jackpot machines.  These machines operate independently of each other so that each machine's jackpot is unaffected by any other slot machine.

            In response to the state lotteries, slot machine manufacturers have developed machines which are linked together and share the same jackpot.  The machines, called Link-Progressives are even linked between different casinos.  Each machine in the system contributes to the jackpot which continues to grow with each play on a machine in the system.  Many of these machines receive enough play to cause the jackpot to grow by a hundred thousand dollars or more per week.

            The MEGABUCKS system, introduced by IGT Corporation, is a prominent example of a link-progressive system with different casinos participating.  MEGABUCKS jackpots often total in the millions of dollars.

            There are many other variations of slot machines.  Some slot machines pay only jackpots.  With these Jackpot-Only machines, all of the symbols offering smaller payoffs have been removed from the reels.  You can spot these machines fairly easily as there are many blank spots, sometimes called "ghosts" on the reels.  With these machines, the payoffs are very infrequent.

            Other varieties of slots are the giant slot machines or "Big Berthas."  These monsters have up to eight reels, are slow to play, and have terrible payoffs.  The Four Queens in downtown Las Vegas boasts the world's largest slot called "The Queen's Throne."  The machine is designed for one to six players, who sit in "thrones" around this behemoth.  The odds of hitting the big jackpot on this Bertha could be as high as 55 billion to one!

            Video slots have been coming on very strongly the past few years, with video poker leading the pack.  Instead of levers, the machines are activated by buttons and offer the players the chance to influence the outcome of each play through the exercise of skill, rather than pure chance.  In addition to video poker machines, there are video blackjack, video keno, video horse racing and video craps.

            The most popular of the video slots is unquestionably video poker, with the five card draw version reigning supreme.  Here the degree of the player's skill in determining which of five cards drawn on an initial hand to hold and which to discard can have a major impact on the his ability to win.  Certain versions of the game offer the opportunity of playing at an advantage to the casino, if the player's skill is up to it.  While video poker is beyond the scope of this book, two excellent books have been written on the game.  Winning With Expert Video Poker covers all the major versions of video poker and shows specific strategies the player can use to beat the game.  Beat Joker Poker!, which I wrote, focuses on the Joker Wild version of video poker and has complete strategies for playing with player advantage.  Both books are available through Silverthorne Publications, the publisher of this book.

            A final category of slots are the specialty machines, such as the pusher games.  Pusher machines are based on an old arcade game and have two or three shelves of coins which are pushed around by paddles.  When the machine is played by inserting coins into one to four slots, an impeller shoots the coin up onto the shelves for an instant win in one of the five holes on the wall above the shelves.  If your coin misses the hole, it may knock other coins off the shelves and into the payout chute below.  This game and other carnival like games such as horse racing, should be played for amusement only as the winning prospects are very poor.

            With the large variety of slot machines, it is no easy task to pick the right machine.  One of the most important things to do in picking a machine is to carefully read the instructions and payoffs before beginning to play it.

            The strategies developed in this book will focus on only certain of the multipliers.  We have presented several tables in this chapter so that you can become familiar with the differences between multipliers.  You should be able to easily distinguish between a Standard 3 or 5 Coin Multiplier and a Progressive Multiplier or an Option or Multiple Pay Line Multiplier.

            Other aspects of picking the best machine to play are the house advantage on the machine, the exact configuration of the machine's payoffs, your bankroll, the time you have available to play and your ability to follow and adhere to a defined strategy.  We shall explore each of these aspects as we continue our journey.

The above was taken from the number
one slot machine system guide - Super Slots!


 

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