Slot Machines 101: The Classic One Armed Machines

McCarran AirportWhen you walk into a casino, you’ll notice that over half of the casino floor is covered by slot machines or “slots.” Today, they are not only found in casinos, but also bars, taverns, and even in Las Vegas McCarran Airport terminals!

The classic casino slot machines used to be called the “one-armed bandit” because of their characteristic one arm on the side of the machine used to spin the reels inside the machine. Most machines today don’t use the arms to spin, but have them for tradition’s sake.

The appeal of slot machines is that they require little payouts (1 cent, 25 cents, 1 dollar up to 100 dollars) for a huge jackpot. There are hundreds of slot machines, each have their own rules, settings, and parameters. Some are progressive jackpots, meaning the jackpot keeps growing and gives you the impression that you can “win big” the more you play. There are the classic reel slots, video slots, single line slots (if you get 1 line, you win), multi line slots (if you get a combination, you win), and many more! They have the classic 7’s, cherries, bells, and “bar” themes, as well as fish, popular movies, and more – but the idea is exactly the same.

How to Play:

Winning CombinationsSlots are probably one of the easiest games in the casino to learn. The hard part is to figure out what you need to win on the machine you’re playing on – these various combinations are usually written on the machine. All you have to do is sit at the machine, put in your money, pick the combinations and your bet, and then “spin.”

How to Win:

The goal is to get the right or winning combination of symbols (fish, fruit, aliens, and etc.) that you need to win. Slots are mainly a game of chance or luck – since it’s a random spin of the machine that will give you a winning or losing combination.

For better chances, however, you can choose a “loose” slot machine that has a higher percentage of payouts, rather than a “tight” slot machine.

Another way to “win” through slots is by gaining points. Almost all casinos offer a compensation or “comps” program. When you sign up, you’ll get a card that you can insert into a machine (or give to your dealer if you’re playing other games) and the more you play, the more points you can get. The more points you collect, you receive freebies from the casino: free drinks, meals, hotel rooms, and more.

Generally, the more slots you play, the more points you can receive, but the more money you’ll lose. The house always wins when you play slots, so it’s better to stop while you’re ahead.

Learn other games with our Casino Games 101 Series!

> Blackjack 101: Learning to Count to 21

> Slots 101: The Classic One Armed Machines

> Roulette 101: Spin Spin Spin

> Baccarat 101: Counting to 9

> Craps 101: Easier Than You Think!


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