How to Play Slots

Published : 5th of July 2004

Slots Guides

When you look at all of the games available in a casino you will find that slot machines are amongst the most simple. While there are thousands of game variations all of the games are played the same way.

Once you learn how to play one you can adapt this knowledge to every other game. Here we outline the basics that every slot player need to know to get the most out of your gaming experience. There are five main steps needed to learn how to play slots. These are as follows,

Step 1 : Read the Pay Table

Before you insert any money into a slot machine it is recommended that you spend a moment to become familiar with the game. You can do this by having a quick look at the pay table. This will show you if you need any special bet levels for bonus games or jackpots as well as the games prizes.

Step 2 : Choose a Coin Size

You should select a game that has a coin size that suits your budget. In general you want to have at least 30 spins. So putting $5 in a dollar machine is probably not the best idea.

Step 3 : Insert Your Money

Once you have decided on a game to play you need to get some credits. You do this by inserting money via the coin chute or the not acceptor. In many land based casinos the coin chutes have been removed so you have to use notes. Online you will find that your balance is transferred to the game

Step 4 : Select a Bet Size

Now that you have money in the machine you can choose how much you want to bet. On classic three reel slots you simply hit the Bet Max button to bet the maximum coins and spin the reels. On video slots you will more than often have a range of choices via the buttons. These include;

  • Bet One - Press this button to bet one credit, press again to bet two and so on.
  • Bet Max - This button bets the maximum number of coins and starts a spin
  • Spin Button - Press this to spin the reels at your current bet size
  • Coins per line - This button lets you bet 1 or more coins per pay line

If the game you have selected has a handle you can also pull this to make the reels spin. There is no advantage or disadvantage to using the handle it simply activates the same spin mechanism that the spin buttons do.

Once you have selected a bet size you are ready to start the reels spinning. It's as simple as that. Continue betting the same amount by pressing spin or if playing max by pressing the max bet button.

Step 4 : Cashing Out Your Winnings

When you hit a win that you want to cash out you can simply hit the collect or cash button on the game. In some cases where jackpots are over a certain amount a slot attendant will come to your machine, pay you the prize and give you the associated IRS tax forms. Smaller wins can be paid in coins which results in that wonderful sound of coins hitting the tray.

Online there is no collect button as such. You simply click on the Bank button which takes you to the casinos banking section. Here you can choose to withdraw some or all of your bankroll.

Other Buttons Found on Slots

In addition to the buttons listed above you may or may not find more buttons on your chosen game. Below we outline what some of the most commonly seen additional buttons do.

  • Help - Often found on video slots, the help button gives you access to a range of screens where you can learn the game rules, find out about all of the wins and other important information such as bonus game details.
  • Start Feature - On some bonus feature slots you will find a start feature button. This is what you need to press when you hit the required symbols for the bonus. For example this button will start the free spins.
  • Gamble - Some slots, particularly the Australian style video slots have an option to gamble your wins. Press this button to move on to the gamble screen and try your luck at doubling up you current win.
  • Call Attendant - This is the button to press if you require assistance from one of the casino staff on the slot floor. Pressing this button causes the light on top of the slot machine to flash - thereby alerting casino staff.

Final Notes

While how to play slot machines is very easy to learn you have to always remember that the Random Number Generator inside the machine is always set to pay out less than 100%. For this reason you should always set a budget before you play to ensure you don't lose more than you intend to play with.

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