Easy Explanation of Slots Terminology

Like so many competitive games in the casino, slots has its very own terms, and as players we are better off being familiar with them.

Slots glossary


Some Slots terms apply more to land-based Slots gambling, while some are unique to the online Slots world. On this page we will cover common Slots terminology and what each Slots term implies.

Slots Reels

The number of wheels (reels) that showing on slot with sign combinations stamped. In an old standard machine there are on most occasions just 3, but most of the new slots have 4-5 reels.

Slots RNG (Random Number Generator)

A Slots RNG is a chunk of software, in most cases based on a computer chip carefully planted inside the slot machine by the industrialist. In online Slots terms, the Random Number Generator (RNG) is the piece of software on the game server. The use of both is identical, and that is to randomly select thousands of numbers and signs every couple of seconds, quicker than you can pull the grip or click the spin button. It is working even when the Slots machine is idle. Each RNG number fits to a certain reel and sign combination that is randomly chosen after the first coin is dropped or credit played. Naturally, the fewest recorded complex combinations are for the top jackpot.


When you pull the handle or push the "Spin" button you aren't really initiating anything except the spinning of the reels which is merely for show. You are simply telling the machine to display the reel positions that correspond to the last set of random numbers that were generated.


Pulling the handle or pushing the button a 100th of a second later would yield a totally different result, and therefore playing the slot machine faster will not increase your chances of winning. The slots RNG will generate thousands of numbers between the spins of even the most fastest slots player. While a faster slots player may seem to win more, it's simply because they've spinned more for a given amount of time.


also If someone gets a big payout at a slot machine that you just left, don't feel too bad because you just "missed" a payout. You would not have gotten that payout if you continued to play because you wouldn't have pulled the slot machine at the exact fraction of a second that the winner did. Again, this is due to the rapid generation of random numbers (RNG)


And always Remember:

  • The number of coins you play has nothing to do with the numbers that are generated.
  • A slot machine can go for days on end without a decent payout but there is no reason it can't have 2-3 large payouts in a short period of time.
  • It makes absolutely no difference to the slot machine, or the results, if you pull the slot handle or press the "Spin" button.

Slots Schedule

Also referred to as the slots payout schedule, this is data posted on front of slots machine and states you what denomination and win amounts are possible for this Slots machine. You should consistently be aware of these factors for the slot machine you are performing with.

Loose/Tight slots

Loose slots will have better payoffs to a "certified" high of 100%, on average over a period time. A machine will have a symbol, let's say 2-3 cherries, which pays a couple of coins. These cherries will replace a symbol that doesn't pay, and presto you have a loose machine. Reverse this procedure for a tight slot. In other words, the more paying symbols a slot machine has, the greater the probability of payouts - thus a loose slot.

Up/Down Slot Cycle

Slot's average payoff percentage rate applies over the long haul, as long as one year. Therefore a slot with a 98% payoff percentage rate will sometimes pay off at 130% and other times at 50%..sometimes at 28% and other times at 502%. The lower percentages indicate a down cycle and the higher numbers an up cycle. Also known as Sizzling/Sputtering Slot.

Slots Drop and Hold

The slots drop is the sum of cash played through the slots machine. The slots hold is the sum of cash the slot machine keeps (that which isn't paid out as prizes). A slot machine payout percentage is calculated by dividing the hold number by the drop number and multiplying by 100%. For example: a slots machine which takes in $200 and spends $100 can have its payout percentage calculated as such: 100 / 200 x 100% = 50%.

Slots Cycle

Slot's common payoff percentage rate uses over the long haul, As long as one fiscal year. Therefore, over the natural road of a session, a slot publicized as having a 97% payoff rate will sometimes pay off at 120% and other times at 55%. The lower percentages specify a down cycle, and the higher numbers show an up cycle. However, in reality there is no consistency to a sequence, as the jackpot can hypothetically always be won on the next slots spin.

Slots Testing

The act of playing through a set number of coins without utilizing accumulated credits, and keeping track of the slots drop and hold, in order to decide your session payout percentage for a picked out slot. slots Short Win: Large jackpot win after a minor cash outlay - happens very often.

Slot-mix or Slot Placement

Often people claim casinos place high paying slot machines near extremely visible areas of the casino so that victors can be viewed and listened better by the population. This assumption has been proven as wrong.

Multiplier Slots

Pays for certain symbols on a graduating scale. On a three reel, you get 5 coins for a "cherry" playing 1 coin, 10 pay for 2 coins and 15 pay for 3 coins. The payouts for playing 1 coin are much smaller than if you played maximum coins.


Each coin played triggers the posted symbol payout. E.G., if you play one coin, you only trigger 'cherry' pays. Two coins triggers 'cherries' and 'bars'. Is there a worse feeling that lining up all three top jackpot symbols with only one coin played?

Progressive Slots

Offer growing jackpots dependent upon amount of monies played through the linked bank/carousel slots. A larger bankroll is required and all progressives are at least three coin max slots with two jackpot levels - primary and secondary. When either jackpot wins, values are reset to minimums for each. Max play is mandatory here.

Bonus Video Slots

Described as "branded machines", entertainment-content" "brand recognition", "participation" games, "interactive" & "banking" slots. The name Bonus Slots says it all, an opportunity to go to a 'second chance' bonus round where the real money is. Regular slot players will recognize the names: Monopoly, Elvis, Let's Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune, Piggy Bankin', Reel 'Em In. You are on sensory overload with Bonus Slots offering at least 25 symbols filling up the screen in front of you. Multiple pay-lines with as many as 5 or 9 paylines. Many versions come in penny denominations; also nickel, quarter and dollar.

Sound of Rain

what we all hoping for - coins dropping into the holder after a payout.

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