Frequently Asked Questions about slots:
Where are the loose slots?
In other words, how can I win easier and quicker? Think
there's no knowledge to be gained in this area? Untrue.
There is a lot of common sense involved in the answer. Since
this is an online-slots page, I won't spend too long discussing
questions which only truly pertain to casino slots, but
some questions need to be answered.
There are a number of points to take into consideration.
These are the most common places and reasons for finding
- Near the change booths - casinos want other players
who are waiting in line to receive change to hear the
unmistakable sounds and sights of players hitting mid-level
and top jackpots. This will, supposedly, motivate other
players to get more change and play more machines. Makes
sense, and it works.
- On elevated carousels - high payoff machines that are
visible from nearly any angle from the gaming floor also
serve to motivate other players to put more money into
THEIR chosen machines. Makes sense, and it works.
- Near the coffee shop/cafe/snack bar - casinos frequently
place their best machines in these locations to motivate
players to eat quickly and get back to the gaming floor
as soon as possible. When a player takes a "time
out" for food or drinks it's time spent not playing
the machines. No play = no revenue for the casino.
- Slot aisles known as "crosswalks" - crosswalks
are areas that players must walk through to get to other
slot aisles. Again, the same principle applies: the casinos
want slot players to witness frequent jackpot payouts.
Passers-by using these carefully planned pathways are
more likely to be drawn into the main slot aisles, where
the mid-range and tight machines are waiting to fleece
- Locations highly visible from other slot aisles - same
philosophy, same reasons as cited above.
- Round or rectangular, free-standing kiosks within the
main casino - nearly all casinos sublet space to the manufacturers
of slot machines (Bally's is a prime example). These free-standing
kiosks are not strictly bound by the individual casino's
marketing principles, and may have a larger percentage
of "loose" machines.
What machines have the best payouts?
Many players believe their favorite machines have the best
payouts. Is this a myth? I know many a friend who swears
by double diamonds. The "best" payouts are determined
by the purchaser of the machines, since they are preset
to the Casinos specs (within the legal state minimum).
What's a One Armed Bandit?
A one armed bandit is simply another name for a slot machine.
Origin of the term: the single pull lever is the 'one arm',
the fact that they used to be rigged to never win is the
Are larger casinos better?
In other words, do larger casinos pay off better than smaller
ones? There is no proof of this, and I personally doubt
it. I do believe a larger casino may be motivated to place
a few more loose machines around its establishment, but
the sheer number of tight machines would make up for any
advantage. Statistics on slots simply do not bear this idea
Do slot machines have a pay and take cycle?
Many experienced people suggest that they do but it is not
a black and white issue, there are many subtle areas between
the pay and take cycle, machines do not just change from
one mode to the other. If it is true, and I personally find
it highly unlikely, then it is certainly not clear-cut.
My own experience and observations seem to suggest that
the machines are always in a take cycle, and every once
in a while throw in a win. I don't suggest relying on an
What is a Pay cycle?
A pay cycle is defined as a period of time following a minimum
number of bets (or coin 'takes') during which the machine
pays out coins in larger percentages. This cycle is supposedly
programmed into the slots software to meet the minimum payout
schedule as per State law.
What is a Take cycle?
The take cycle is the opposite of the pay cycle. If you
believe in the pay/take theory, then you might be inclined
to assume that a pay cycle is followed by a take cycle,
whereby you may get the odd small return, but essentially
slots take all of the time. If there were pay/take cycles
it would only truly be beneficial if you could increase
your wager dramatically at any point in time.
What does the term Hold mean?
The Hold is the percentage of coins played that are kept
by the machine, or the house. In the average case, it is
between 3% to 15%.
What is the Pay line?
Most slots have a single (or multiple) horozontal line at
the middle of the visible playing section. If a proper combination
falls on that line, you get paid. Hence, this line is the
What are Reels?
The reels of a slot machine are the cylindrical spinning
pieces around which all of the symbols are displayed. Most
slot machines usually have three reels but sometimes you
will find a two reel, or four reel or even higher. The more
reels in the machine, the more permutations or possible
combinations are able to hit the pay line. This means, in
a multiple reel machine with a single jackpot line (to hit
it big you need to get just the right combo), your chances
of hitting that combo are slimmer than normal.
What are Symbols?
The symbols are graphics, pictures, images, or icons that
are spread around the reels. They can be cherries, lemons,
bars, oranges - any one of many simple recognizable images.
Origninally, Fay's first machine featured Liberty Bells,
and our common card symbols such as hearts and spades.