Video Slot Machines - The Pros and Cons

Published : 9th of November 2004

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If you visited land-based casinos in the last decade you would have noticed some major changes on the gaming floor. The amount of new video slot machines being released has grown dramatically. With so many new five reel games we decided to give you the skinny on the advantages, disadvantages and differences between the spinning reel and video games.

What are video slots?

We consider video slots any game that uses a computer screen to display the reels as opposed to physical reels. In general video slots have five reels, have between five and fifty pay lines and quite often have a secondary way to win such as a bonus game or free spins.

Key Differences Between Video Slots and Classic Slots

  • Coin Sizes - Video slots tend to offer lower denominations
  • Payout Tables - You will generally find more winning combinations
  • Bonus games - Most modern day games have some sort of bonus game
  • Scatter Pays - Symbols that don't have to line up to win
  • Max Bet - You can usually bet more than one coin per line

Advantages of Video Slots

Probably the most significant development that video slots have brought is the lower coin sizes. While it is possible to find penny or nickel spinning reel games you are sure to be able to find penny video slots.

The second feature of video slots that is part of the reason for their huge popularity is that they tend to have a much higher hit rate when compared to three reel, single line games. This is quite simply because there are more lines and there are in general more winning combinations.

Bonus games also add to the excitement. With traditional spinning reel games the types of bonus games are limited by the technology while with video slots there is really no limit to how fancy the bonus games are - anything that can be done on a computer can be used as part of a bonus game. This leads to great animated second screen games and other exciting additions.

Disadvantages of Video Slots

One of the things that makes video slots so great is also one of their disadvantages. Most games let you bet more than one coin per line so even a penny slot can quickly have a $5 max bet. You will however often find that you do not need to bet more than one coin per line so be sure to read the pay table to check before you start playing.

It is important to play at least all of the pay lines to avoid any disappointment. There is nothing worse than lining up the highest jackpot combination on a line you did not bet on. It all comes down to learning a bit about the game you are about to play before you start playing.

The $64,000 Question - Which Type of Slots Are Better?

If you are concerned that a five reel slot have much worse odd when compared to a three reel slot simply because there are more reels you should note that the amount of reels has no bearing on the pay out percentage or the odds of winning. A three reel game with a 98% pay out and a five reel game with a 98% pay out will over the long term pay back exactly the same amount.

If you are looking to stretch your bankroll out then video slots are often the better choice as they have a higher hit rate which means you will get to play for longer for less even if you don't hit any really big wins.

In the end it comes down to personal choice. Playing slot machines of any kind is all about entertainment so be sure to play the slots that you are attracted to and have fun.

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