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Slots Strategy Guide
Find out all about playing the Slots, the most common game in the casino! When you're done reading our guide, use the link below to read reviews of some of the best online casinos offering Slots.

See a list of the online casinos we've reviewed that offer Slots
So How Do Slots Work?
Game:   Slots
Also known as:   Slot Machine, Fruit Machine, One Arm Bandit
Type of game:   Chance game
Game origins:  
Originally created by one man, Charles Frey a German mechanic in San Francisco in 1887. The idea and mechanisms used have come on massively since its humble beginnings. Has become one of the mainstays of Casino gambling throughout the world, especially in the US. These games now take up the majority of most casinos' floor space.
Goals of the game:  
The basic name of the game is to align the spinning reels into one of many different configurations. The rarer the configuration the more it pays you. In some games that's all there is to it but elsewhere elaborate machines may use other sub-games to draw you in.
How is it played?:

(remember the rules will vary from casino to casino)
The basics - There are large numbers of different machines but they all follow a similar basis of play. Chips or tokens are fed into the machine and either a lever or button is pushed to get the reels moving. The reels spin and eventually come to a halt, once all has stopped you win or lose depending on what you see on the screen.

Game layout - The machine is housed in an upright standing cabinet usually in large banks or machines. The machine consists of the reels (behind a glass screen), the arm (now optional), a chart of winning combinations and a series of buttons. This is a single payer game between you and the machine (or the house ultimately).

Variations - These machines traditionally employ physically spinning reels, but many modern machines use computer graphics to represent the reels on screen. Linked machines with a larger shared jackpot can sometimes pay out jackpot totals of millions of dollars.

Pay out rates - High return percentages often make these games more appealing than some of the more traditional casino games. Percentage returns are commonly in the region of 90% -96% depending on the game and its location.

Betting - Machines are played by inserting coins or tokens into the machine, after a win a total of your winnings can also be used to play with instead of adding further tokens.

Player options - The options and opportunities vary greatly form game to game, the player should always look carefully at a machine to try and work out the return percentage (sometimes shown), if all symbols are equally likley to crop up, how the alignments of combinations work out (some machines pay out on diagonal lines as well as horizontal ones). Many games allow nudge and hold buttons to let you either respin the reel or increment it by a few positions.

Random Element - Ultimately there is always a random element involved in these machines and each spin is randomly chosen. Adding more and more money to the machine doesn't necessarily make it any mor elikely that a payout will occur.

Considerations - European machines are usually far more complex than US counterparts. Some common machines do have hidden things to look for to indicate that you're onto a winner. Playing guides ro some of these common machines can be found on some web sites whicha might help you get a little bit of an edge.

Real vs Virtual - Online casinos have an added bonus over players than real life casinos do. Online casinos will obviously use programmed games as opposed to physical machines, this lets them run a tighter ship. There are minimal risks of errors occurring, far smaller than those that might show up in actual machines from time to time.
Top tips:  
  • When playing the slots its mostly best to go for a more complicated machine. Casinos are worried about average payout rates, more complex games mean that people with little game experience are likely to lose more of their money than stronger players.

  • It often helps if you build up a record of reel layouts and recurring draws, this can help you to make the most of your nudges and holds.

  • As explained before it is usually best to play the machines with the highest pay out percentages. Keeping a log of the number of times you've played and the total amount you have won can help you work out the pay out rates.

  • On linked games its best to play when jackpots are nice and high. If a machine has obviously recently had a major jackpot win you're less likely to win.

  • Pay out rates vary from casino to casino, so always stick to casinos with the highest pay out rates.

  • If a machine is linked to others the likelyhood of a smaller payout is less as the machine is really trying to build up money for the large jackpot. Individual machines may be better if you're looking for more small payouts.

  • The golden rule of Slots gambling is.... make sure you understand exactly who the game works and what its rules are. Without this you'll always be a Slots amateur.
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