Community Slots


If you happen to find yourself wandering through a casino, you’re going to find two prominent sections of the gambling floor: the table games – roulette, craps and various card games – and the slots and video poker. While there are dozens of very obvious differences between the two types of games, one of the biggest is the social aspect.

Stand around while people are playing craps, you’ll see crowds shouting and laughing as they cheer other players on. Every onlooker is engaged in each roll of the dice because they all have a stake in the outcome. At roulette, you’ll find the same thing. While all of the players aren’t placing the same bets, they are all on the edge of their seats waiting for a their lucky number to come up.

Stroll over to the slot and video poker banks, and you’ll find much more solitary players. Sure, you may hear some excitement if someone hits a jackpot, but for the most part, slot players are focused on the task at hand. This lack of interaction mostly lays in the fact that if the stranger next to you hits a jackpot, it has no bearing on whether or not you win.

It was this problem that community slot machines were designed to address.

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Progressive slot machines can have varying jackpots.

Progressive Slots

Community slot machines are along the same lines of progressive slot machines, in that a number of machines are all linked together.

Progressive slots take a percentage of every player’s bet and applies it to a jackpot that anyone playing the given set of slot machines can win. The more people who play, the higher that top prize is. Once someone wins, however, the jackpot is reset to a designated minimum.

These slots can be individual, but are more often linked to other machines, making the potential winnings even higher. While they may simply be connected to slots in the immediate vicinity, they can also be connected to slot machines around the casino or in other locations around the city, state or country.

Once these slot machines are linked together, the potential top prizes can reach the millions. However, once the jackpot reaches this point, your chances of winning are roughly the same as winning the lottery.

While progressive slots connect players to one another, they don’t necessarily encourage any sense of community because, simply put, only one person can win the jackpot. This is where community slots come in.

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Community slot machines feature multiple versions of the same game linked together.

How Community Slots Work

Whereas progressive slots are still very much individualized games, community slots have a combined element to them. If you are sitting at a community slot machine, you will see both an individual screen as well as a larger community screen. Generally, it’s played like any other slot, and your initial focus will be on the smaller screen in front of you.

Like any slot machine, community games offer bonuses and payouts. The difference in these machines is that at preset intervals, a bonus round will launch. Some or all of the players will have the opportunity to participate in these bonus rounds. If any one of them wins a bonus round, every player wins money.

This brings the excitement of table games to the slot machines, as players interact and cheer each other on.

How Do the Payouts Work?

You may have considered the idea that community bonuses may be slightly unfair. After all, if you’ve been playing $3 each spin, but the guy next to you is betting a quarter, why should he get paid as much as you?

Well, that’s a fair point, and one that the designers of the game have considered. Without getting too far into the math, there is a formula that is used to figure out who is betting the most money the most frequently. So if you’re betting $10 every few minutes, you will be rewarded if you hit a payout.

On top of that, you still have what are called “local bonuses” – the ones that you win without the help of the community bonus. These are still paid out to players on an individual basis.

If you should be in the middle of a local bonus when the community bonus comes up, fear not. Your individual winnings will simply be put on pause as the bonus round plays out.

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Community slots add group interaction not found in other games.

What Makes Community Slots so Great?

Community slots offer two benefits over run-of-the-mill slot machine. First of all, you’re getting the opportunity to win even more often through the bonus rounds.

On top of that, there is the community aspect of them. The whole idea of these slots is to encourage interaction with other players. Sometimes, only one player is in charge of playing the bonus round. Because everyone has a stake in how the player does, however, there’s a lot more cheering and encouragement than during solo slots.

Plus, because these machines are relatively new to the scene, the majority of them are high tech and have great graphics.

Themed Slots

Perhaps one of the most attractive parts of these community slot machines is the fact that many are modeled on popular movies, television shows, and even websites and board games.

So, when you sit down at a machine, it’s not some generic pirate staring back at you, but your favorite actor or cartoon character. Instead, you’re going to experience animation, special effects, and often times there are even speakers built into the seat around you. All of this combines to make for a fun, interactive experience as you gamble.

Growing in Popularity

Slot machines have seen many changes since they were first developed a couple of centuries ago. They grew larger, went digital, lost their arm and gained a few wheels and lines. However, until the advent of community slot machines, they stubbornly remained a solo activity.

While there will always be a place for video poker and solo slot machines, these community slots are becoming more and more popular at casinos around the world.