Slots are simply one of the purest forms of gambling. There’s no strategy involved to get the better hand. Just dump in some money and go.

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But just because you can’t beat slot machines for a profit, that doesn’t make them any less fun to play. Although I prefer skill games most of the time, there is still some gamble in me. So every so often I’ll sit down at a themed slot, drop some money in and go at it. It’s a great way to relax.

Unlike the majority of game articles on www.bettingonline.org, I won’t go over any rules for playing slots — there isn’t any really. Instead, I’m going to give you a peek into the world of slot machines. Let’s explore what you can expect when you visit your nearby gambling establishment or when you login to your favorite online casino.

Types of Slot Machines

There are several different kinds of slot machines. What is available to you will depend on your casino or whether you’re playing live or online. The following are the most common.

Single Line slots. Single line slots are your traditional 3 reel slots. You can bet up to 3x the increment you’re using. So if you’re wagering $1, you can generally wager up to $3 per spin.

Above the reels themselves are where you’ll generally find the payouts. These will vary from machine to machine, but you might need to get 3 diamonds in a row to win or 2 cherries and 1 orange. The symbols will vary — there are all kinds of them. All single line slots will have a single payout. So you must line up 3 symbols in order according to the payout chart in the middle of the reels in order to win anything.

Multi Line Slots. Multi line slots are machines that allow you to win more than one way. Instead of only winning by lining up 3 symbols in a row in the middle of the reels, you can also win if you line up symbols at the top, bottom and diagonally. You can choose to play one line, two or all of them. It’s up to you. However, you can only win on lines that you choose to wager on.

Multi line payouts will range from 5 lines (3 reels) all the way up to 50 lines on 5 or 7 reels. Also keep in mind that for every line you want, you need to place a wager on it. So if you’re betting $.10 for a line, it’ll cost you $5 on a 50 line machine if you want to run them all.

Progressive Slots. When you play a progressive slot, a portion of your wager goes towards the ‘progressive jackpot.’ When someone hits the winning combination, they win the whole jackpot. Often times, progressive slots are on a network. So people all over the world at different casinos will be contributing to the pot. It’s not unheard of for a progressive jackpot to reach the millions of dollars.

Bonus Slots. Bonus slots are machines that have animations and bonuses. If you hit a certain bonus, you might be awarded with free spins or multipliers that increase your payouts. sometimes you might hit a bonus where you get to watch a full clip of animation and then you get to choose a prize or something. This definitely increases the entertainment level because of the added user involvement.

I-Slots. I-Slots are interactive slots created by Rival Gaming. As far as I’m aware, this type of slot machine is exclusive to online casinos that carry Rival Gaming software. What’s neat about these machines is that most of them contain a story that involves the user. You might need to decide what a character does which affects the story down the road. Additionally, I-Slots have rounds where players may have to complete a task or play some sort of mini-game. These add a little bit of skill to what is normally a game of complete luck.

Slot Tournaments

An interesting spin to slots are slot tournaments. These are organized games where players are given the same number of credits to play with. The objective is to rack up as many points as possible until you run out of credits or time. Winners from the first round will move on to the next. It will continue like this throughout the day or even over the course of a weekend until an overall winner is determined. Prize pools for slot tournaments can be in the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars depending on the buy-in and number of people registered to play.

Slots Themes

For many people, including myself, the theme of a slot machine is what makes it so much fun. This is what all the bonuses, animations and bright lights will reflect. You can find slot machines built around the following themes:

  • Holidays: Easter, Halloween, Christmas and ThanksgivingMovies: Wizard of Oz, The Three Stooges, The Hulk and Hellboy
  • Retro: Rock On, So 80’s and Atomic Age
  • Sports: Dennis Rodman, Hole in Won and Pigskin Payout

This is far from a complete list and is only a fraction of what’s out there. Slot machine themes will vary from live to online venues and from place to place. Many hardcore slot players will have a regular casino to go to so that they can play their favorite machine. For these players, it’s just as much about the experience then it is the possibility of winning a jackpot.

Play Slots Online

This should give you a tiny glimpse into the world of slots. There is just so much out there that you’ll probably get a better idea by checking out some slot machines for yourself. If you’re ready to get started, I encourage you to visit one of our recommended sites in the table above.