Slots Rules and Tips
Slots, once called ‘one armed bandits’ are perhaps the most popular casino game, online and offline. Slot machines offer numerous themes, game features, bonus features, jackpots, and gamble features that continue to grab our attention.
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Slots The Rules
The rules are pretty simple. Select a wager based on that games betting range. You can bet the minimum, the maximum, or in certain increments such as pennies or nickels. You also get to select how many paylines you want to wager on. Machines have between 1 and 243, typically. However, there is at least a few with up to 1023 ways to win. Slot machines can also be 3 or 5 reels. There are instances where you might see 2 or 4 reels. These are usually specialized slot machines, but the rules are always the same.
You place a wager, play the lines, and see which symbols appear. If a combination of symbols appears on an active payline, you win. If the symbols miss the payline or there are not enough of the particular symbol on the line, then there is no winning combination.
The rules usually require 3 of a kind, meaning if you are playing Thunderstruck, you would need 3 Thor symbols to get a winning combination and therefore a payout. The rules allow for 4 and 5 of a kind wins. In certain games, you might have some symbols that pay out for 2 of a kind. These special symbols might be low paying, high paying, or specifically wild, scatter and bonus symbols.
Slots Gameplay Features
Besides the rules requiring certain combinations for payouts, there are game features that enhance the theme.
Wilds: Wild symbols are ones that will replace or substitute for other symbols on the reel to make a better winning combination. They cannot substitute for scatter or bonus symbols, in most of the slot machines. Wild symbols can become sticky, stacked, or expand to give better payouts. Additionally, in most non-progressive slot machines, the jackpot is won with 5 wilds on a single bet line.
Bonus Features: Not all games will have a bonus feature. However, the majority of the modern video slots do. The bonus feature is usually a specific allotment of free spins; these spins do not cost you anything and you strive to get winning combinations. In a high number of slots these winning combinations will have a multiplier attached. Bonus features can also be a pick me game, where you are taken to a secondary screen, pick from 3 or more boxes, grapes, or other items to reveal prizes, which add to your wins. There are also level bonuses, where you might have pick me and free spin options, but you increase in the level to gain more wins. In some games you have maps or levels, where you get to defeat bad guys in order to reveal prizes.
Multipliers: anything from 1 times up to 100 times your wager may be a feature in the slot game. Multipliers might be attached to wilds, scatters, or bonuses.
Progressive jackpots: progressive jackpots are those that continue to increase as you play the game. They can hit over a million before the jackpot is won. They are typically randomly won, with no special combination of symbols. There are often four levels that start with 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 coins and increase from there. Sometimes you earn a percentage of the jackpot based on your wager or the number of paylines you have played. For progressives, a good tip is to bet max to ensure you win the top jackpot and not a percentage.
Tips for Playing Slots
Slots cannot be played based on the percentage or probability of winnings. Slots have random number generators, which prevent patterns from appearing in the winning combinations. Machines with patterns are broken and any winnings may not be honored by casinos.
Rather than look for a trick, it is better to look at the return to player percentage, house edge, and the variance. The RTP or return to player is a percentage ranging from 90 to 99, usually. The higher the percentage the more often the game returns player money through winnings. The house edge should be lower in order to win against the house, but average house edge percentages are 3 to 5%. The variance is a win frequency, meaning you might win more often with a low variance.