Slot Machine Basics

Everything you ever wanted to know
about slots and slot machines.

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Slot Machine Basics
How to Play Slot Machines

Types of Slot Machines
Classic Slot Machines
Bonus Slot Machines
Fruit Machines
Loyalty Slot Machines
Multipayline Machines
Progressive Slot Machines
Video Slot Machines

Parts of a Slot Machine
Reels
Paytable
loyalty card slot
Cash Tray
Insides / RNG

Slot Machine Symbols
Wild Symbol
Scatter Symbol
Multiplier Symbol
Bonus Symbol

Slot Machine Features
Free Spins
Bonus Games
Gamble Features
Themes

More Slot Machines
History of Slot Machines
Payout Rates
Slots Strategy
Slots Tips
Online Slot Machines
Mobile Casinos
Free Slot Machines


Payout Rates

If you want to play slot machines you need to understand payout rates also known as the slot machine payout percentage. The payout rate or payout percentage is an estimate of what you can expect from a slot machine in term of payout.

For example slot machines are usually programmed to make payouts in the form of winnings of 82-98% of all the wagers that are paid in to the slot machines by players.  However, this does not mean that you can expect an 82-98% return on your wager! This payout percentage covers the lifespan of a slot machine so if a slot machine has a payout rate of 82-98% and the slot has an expected lifespan of 10 years, over the 10 years it will payout in winnings 82-98% of all the wagers that players have pumped in to it.

The payout percentage is written in to the software that is installed in to the slot while it is still in the factory although this can be altered once the slot has been purchased by installing other software or firmware.

Slot Hold Percentage

The slot hold percentage is the equivalent of the casinos house edge, which is the percentage of money the casino takes in table games.  If a slot machine had a 98% the amount of money that the casino takes is 2% and this is also known as the hold percentage. 

Although this amount seems rather meagre, it means that a casino would get $2 of every $100 that player’s wager, if each player plays $1 per spin and there are 100,000 spins over the course of one year the hold percentage will yield a respectable $4000.  With rows of slot machines in the casino lobby, this soon mounts up to a healthy profit.

Payouts and Percentages

Payout rates for slot machines can vary from state to state and are governed by the laws of each state, the minimum legal payout of 75% in Nevada is lower than the minimum legal payout of 83% in New Jersey and then the typical payout of online slot machines is between 96% and 98%. Other factors to take in to consideration are the probable payouts from every winning combination shown on the slots paytable.

PARS

There is a table of probabilities for each individual brand slot machine whether it is an online 30 payline video slot or a 3 reel classic slot machine in a land based casino and this is known as the Paytable and Reel Strips Sheet or PARS.  Although from time to time these may crop up on websites and be posted online, these are closely guarded insider secrets!

Legal Implications

Under United States Law the payout percentage for each slot that is set by a casino has to be submitted for approval by the State Gaming Commission and if a casino wishes to reset the payout percentage it must then resubmit this to the State Gaming Commission and request that it is changed.  So, there are laws to protect the interest of slots players!

Winning with Higher Payout Rates

While it is obvious that a higher paying slot will pay out more than a slot with a lower payout percentage the issue of whether you win is still entirely a matter of chance.  As the payouts are controlled by a random number generator the best way to play slots is to have fun while keeping to your budget.