Slots Games and Variations


Whether you’re looking to head to the casino or play slots online, you can choose from a variety of different games. Each slots variation uses different rules to determine your payout. There are slots games with different payout schemes, paylines, betting options and appearances.

Reel and Video Slots

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Video slots allow the selection of multiple paylines.

Reel slots, also known as classic mechanical slot machines, have three reels with various symbols on them like cherries, liberty bells and more. When a player pulls the machine’s attached lever, the reels start spinning until they land on a programmed combination of symbols. This type of slot machine depends entirely on chance and may have different odds and payout compared to another game like progressive video slots.

Video slots, on the other hand, can have anywhere from three to five reels or more, meaning that they’re capable of producing a larger number of potential combinations. The more combinations a machine can produce, the larger its maximum payout will be. The reels are seen on a video screen rather than an actual machine. The computer software simulates the spinning of the reels, much like online slots games. Every spin you make on a video slot machine is in no way affected by the last. Each spin offers the same odds of winning or losing.

Video slots will usually have nine or more paylines, which enables you to bet on essentially nine spins or more at a time. Reel slots often have much less than nine. Video slots also often have bonus games and allow for more time for each spin than reel games.

Penny Slots

6-2-Penny-Pile-ONE-CENTIn today’s day and age, there’s not much you can do with a penny. After all, it’s our nation’s lowest value of currency. But when you put a penny into a slot machine, your winnings could mean much more than just one cent. Penny slots work just like the other video slot games that require larger denominations of money – you press the spin button to get the reels moving and hopefully have the symbols line up in your favor. Some penny slot machines offer some kind of regular bonus feature, like free spins or multipliers, which can help the jackpot accumulate quickly.

Be careful with penny slots, because you can easily spend more than one cent per pull of the lever. Most machines call for multiple credits. For example, insert a $10 bill into the machine and the screen could say that you have 1,000 credits. This makes it seem that you could gamble forever, but once 10 minutes go by and those 1,000 credits are gone, you could be feeding another $10 bill into the machine.

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Progressive Slots

Progressive slot machines are very popular today because they are also one of the most profitable varieties of slots out there. Progressive slot machines are just like any other slot game except for the fact that progressive jackpots are determined by the play of multiple players. In other words, the jackpot continues to grow over time with each bet until someone wins it. The lucky player who wins is taking a percentage of all the bets played on a group of machines or a single slot machine. There are a variety of progressive slots games:

  • Stand-Alone Progressive Slot: This machine offers the lowest progressive jackpot in comparison to the others and doesn’t connect to other machines.
  • In-House Progressive Slots: This type of slots include a group of slots which are the property of the owner. These have a better payout than stand-alone slots.
  • Wide-Area Progressive Slots: These machines are usually linked together, but are not operated by just one casino or gaming company. Instead, these machines are linked to those in many different casinos, which may be owned by a variety of different companies.

Community Slots

Community slot machines are slightly similar to progressive slot machines. They let players share in bonus rounds on certain games that are networked together, creating a single large jackpot that is eventually won by a single player. However, players have a shot at winning individual bonuses as well. The game play is highly interactive and draws in many players.

There are two screens in a community slot machine. One smaller screen works as any slot machine, handing out payouts and bonuses. The larger screen will give out all the bonuses and any bonus achieved on this community screen is paid out to every player participating in the game based on his or her betting amount.

Bonus Games

Bonus games are fairly straightforward – they offer additional bonus rounds or games. Casinos often have a wide selection of slot bonuses that cater to all types of players who decide to take their chances by spinning the reel. But there are several different variations of bonuses that you can encounter over any given game. Here are a few of the bonuses you’re likely to come across in slots games:

  • Free Spins: This common bonus rewards players with extra spins to use. This is usually rewarded when the player earns a specific combination of icons.
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    Free spins are awarded for special symbols designated in the pay table.

  • Cascades: This bonus involves icons on the payline being replaced by other icon types. These are usually wild symbols that can act as multipliers and boost the payout.
  • Hold and Spin: On these games, you hit a certain combination and those reels are held while other reels re-spin. This gives the player a second chance at another type of bonus or a shot at a larger jackpot.
  • Sliders: Sometimes, reel slot games will have designated slider icons that can move over one spot on the payline or exchange places with another symbol. This can either make or break a winning combination.
  • Wilds: Much like wilds in a card game, wild icons will appear on the reel to be substituted for whatever icon that player needs to make a winning combination. Wilds can also act as a multiplier.