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Type of Slot Machines (2020) | Types of Gambling Machines - AskGamblers

Types of Slot Machines: Understanding Different Gambling Machines

So, you’ve finally found the online casino you want to play at, and you’re greeted with all different types of slot machines out there. But, how do slot machines work and what do they all mean? And, you can’t help but wonder - how many types of slot machines are there, anyways? To help you find your way round, in today’s blog we’re going to explore and explain how slots are divided into different types of gambling machines that you are most likely to encounter. These slot categories are divided as follows:

  • By gameplay (classic, video, progressive)
  • By location of playing
  • By denomination they accept
  • By number of reels and paylines
  • By class
  • By percentage of payback

However, the most important differentiation type is division according to their gameplay – to classic, video, and progressive slots. We’ll get to that in a bit, so sit back and relax, and let us guide you through all these types of slot machines.

What Are Classic Slot Machines?

Now, let us begin with classic slot machines – the machines designed after the ones that first appeared in land-based casinos, and mostly featured just 3 reels and 1 payline. In case you’re a newbie, slot machines will be ideal for you to learn the ropes and get the hang of slot play, without being distracted by detailed art, and high-quality visual and audio effects.

Although these old-school slots are perfect for beginners, there are many experienced players who prefer the simplicity in classic slot machines and therefore enjoy them as well. The thing is classic slot machines give gamers a bit of nostalgia and, because of the minimalism and limited betting options, allow players to stick to their gambling budget.

plum slot symbol

What Are Video Slots and How to Play Them?

Video slot machines are easily noticeable, because of their graphical reels used on a computerised display. As there are no mechanical constraints on their design, video slots often feature 5 reels, where there may also be non-standard layouts present.

Video technology empowered the beginning of free spin rounds, bonus features, and progressive slots, turning these kinds of games into huge money makers. Based on movies, TV shows, comic books, or cartoon characters, video slots are played at your own pace without any special skills needed.

Video slots usually feature stunning graphics, hundreds or even thousands of paylines and a wide variety of winning combos, combining the classic gameplay with an innovative game design. To play them all you gotta do is read the rules to see which special symbols trigger which bonus rounds.

What Are 3D Slot Machines?

Imagine regular slot features and game options combined with a 3-dimensional storyline. You’ll get 3D slot games and an unforgettable iGaming experience! As game developers are constantly pushing boundaries in terms of creativity, it’s no wonder they came up with 3D slot machine graphics making these kinds of releases even more interesting.

Understanding Progressive Slots

Each time you as a player place a bet on one of progressive slots, there’s a small percentage of their coin that contributes to increasing the top prize. Here’s how it all works - the jackpots on progressives start at a certain amount, then they continue to rise until some lucky player finally hits the required winning combo. Naturally, the more the game is played, the higher the jackpot amount will climb. Once the jackpot is hit, the game resets to that starting jackpot amount which begins to increase again.

What Are Flat Top Slot Machines?

While doing your slot-machine-types research you’ve probably encountered the term “flat tops”, so let’s find out what these are. Namely, slot machines that have a fixed top jackpot are known as “flat tops.” In other words, no matter how many people play them, the highest jackpot won’t go above a certain amount. These machines don’t offer million-dollar worth jackpots, but the odds of hitting one are better.

By Location: Land-based vs Online Slots

Now, another slot categorisation is made in accordance with their location - either they are land-based or online. Slot machines that can be played physically are predominantly located in real world casinos, but they can also be found at hotel lobbies, at the airports or elsewhere. Online slot machines, on the other hand, can be played from the comfort of your homes by simply joining casino websites.

By Denomination They Accept

Slot machines can also be classified according to the denomination they accept. In the USA, for example, slot machines most common denominations include pennies ($0.01), nickels ($0.05), quarters ($0.25), dollars ($1) and high limits ($5, $10, etc.) that can be placed in a single bet.

By Number of Reels and Paylines

Yet another slot machine division is by the number of reels and paylines. It’s very simple - old-school slot machines have 3 reels, and more advanced slots feature 5 reels or more.

Traditional slot machines feature 1 payline which goes across the centre of the 3 reels, meaning that if three identical symbols land on the one line, it's a winning combo. Newer slots, however, have multiple paylines on 5 reels. There are the machines that have 3 paylines, 5 paylines, 25 paylines and so on; some come with 243 or even 1024 ways to win. So, if a player hits any winning combination in the right order (in most cases it’s from left to right on the screen), the machine pays out.

diamond slot symbol

By Class: Class II or Class III

In the USA, many jurisdictions place slot games into 2 two different categories – Class II and Class III casino slot machines.

Usually, Class II machines can be found in smaller inland casinos, in popular gambling destinations like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and many others. The thing is, when you play Class II slots, you don’t play against the house - you play against other gamblers in the race for a jackpot, as these machines work like lottery games. All machines are connected to the same computer server and the outcome of the game depends on the results of other players. 

On the other hand, when you spin the reels of Class III machines, anything can happen - each spin is independent, and you play against the house. These machines are usually placed at large casino establishments and are also known as “Vegas-style” slots.

Loose or Tight Slot Machines

Another classification of slot machines is by their payout frequency. Namely, slots that come with a high payback percentage (usually considered to be 95% or more) are known as “loose,” while “tight” machines are the ones that are less likely to offer significant wins, but come with a payout rate that’s better than loose machines.

AWP or SWP Slots

Finally, slot machines can be sorted out according to players’ interaction. Particularly used in the UK, there are two terms describing this category: Amusement with prize (AWP) and Skill with prize (SWP) machines. To be more specific, AWP machines do not depend on the player’s skill, whereas SWP slot machines are entirely skill-based games.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, slots come in different shapes and forms, packed in various types of machines. We saw them evolve from 3 to 7 reels, with an increasing number of paylines in terms of their development. While you play, you can place bets using all different kinds of denominations which also make an impact on the potential payout.

There are all sorts and types of slot machines for you to try out - classic slots, video slots, or progressive slot machines – but before you do, it’s important to learn how they work and the rest is up to your lucky stars.

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