For every first time visitor to the casino, dipping a toe in to test the waters usually means hitting the slots. And for good reason: slot machines are easy to play and require no strategic game plan in order to win.
Designed for the casual gambler, slot machines are simple to understand and even easier to play. After all, what could be easier than pressing a button or pulling a lever and waiting to see what the numbers have in store?
To play the slots as optimally as possible, it’s recommended that you begin by obtaining a Player’s Card or Rewards Card from the casino. Every major casino, and nearly all local gaming halls, offers these programs for frequent players. And while you may be new to the scene, having a Player’s Card on hand while playing slots can add some exciting elements to the game.
By inserting your card into the machine’s slot before depositing, the casino can track your play for a particular session. After you’ve hit a few machines over a few days, this tracking can actually transform into tangible rewards for players. Simply put, the casino wants people playing slots, so even if you’ve only played for a few hours, you might find offers for comped rooms and other discounts waiting in your mail inbox.
After inserting your Players Card, your next move is to decide on a deposit amount. This is entirely up to you of course, and depending on your bankroll limitations and willingness to gamble, you may end up depositing a $10 bill or a couple hundred bucks. With the advent of “penny slots” – or machines that begin with wagers for as little as $0.01 – slot players really do enjoy the full spectrum of budget-based gaming.
You can deposit funds in one of two primary ways: inserting cash or using a ticket. As you’ll soon find out, most slot machines (and other gaming machines like video poker) pay out in transferable ticket stubs. These tickets include a dollar amount, and after leaving one machine, you can simply slide the ticket into the next machine and play with the same money.
Before you begin playing, it’s a good idea to learn about the two main types of slot machines you’ll encounter in most casinos. The first version, and the one you’re probably familiar with, is known as a “three-reel, single-line” slot machine. This game features the classic array of symbols (7s, Bells, Bars, Cherries, etc.) arranged along three wheels.
Pressing the “Play” button or pulling the lever activates the reels, and they spin for a few seconds before stopping and showing a random order. Each machine will list various payouts for winning combinations (three 7s for example). The “single-line” aspect of the game refers to the “pay line,” or the straight line running horizontally across the screen to illustrate which symbols are in play after a spin.
In addition to this format, slot machines also come in the five-reel or seven-reel varieties with up to 243 pay lines. These game plays similarly to the traditional version of slots, but increases the reel amount to five or more to add more combinations into the mix. The “25-line or more” part of the game is where the fun really comes in, because rather than just a single straight line determining the symbols in play, these machines mix it up.
By using 25 or more different pay lines, including diagonals and other lines that connect any five symbols from the five reels, players are afforded multiple ways to win on each spin. Playing the maximum number of lines costs more of course, but players seem to enjoy the idea that every spin could easily result in a winning combination or multiple winners at once.