In general, slot machine games are fairly easy to play. Once you understand what the different symbols are doing, it is only a matter of spinning the reels. But gambling is much more than what appears on the surface. There are all kinds of features and mechanisms put into them to make them exciting and entertaining.
When it comes to talking about slot machines and choosing the best slot machine for you, there are a lot of terms used to explain these characteristics and some of these conditions may be confusing for the inexperienced players. We have compiled a glossary of these words and phrases; in an effort to remove the guesswork from them.
243 Pusher Lines: It is also presented as “243 Ways to Win”, this means that the specified machine does not have fixed pay lines running through the reels but will count three or more identical tokens located next to each other as a win. There is no predefined pattern for the icons players should target.
Three-Reel Machine: Inspired by the first slot machines that had three reels and three rows, these online slot machines contain a set of 3 x 3 reels and are often intentionally designed to look like antique games.
3D Machine: This type of game uses 3D animation instead of 2D. This is a design choice and does not affect how the game is practiced.
5-reel Machine: These games have five reels and usually three rows, although this varies. It's a very popular format that thousands of slot machines adopt.
Active Pay Line: Some slot machines give players the opportunity to specify which pay lines they want to count their winning combinations. The active pay line will be pushed when a winning combination lands through it.
Autonomous Play: Many machines include a feature that spares the player the need to push or spin manually each time he wants to play. In most cases, players can choose to auto-play 10, 20, or even 100 spins at the same pot level without having to press buttons each time.
Bet: The bet is the amount of money that a player wagers with in each round or set of rounds.
Bet Levels: In conjunction with the coin value, the stake level determines the player's bet size. Bet levels are basically a multiplier that is applied to the number of coins. If a player has a $5 coin, the bet level 2 is 2 currencies, i.e. $10.
Betting on Each Line: Some slot machines allow players to activate different pay lines and place different bets for each. The bet on each line is the amount that a player bets on one specific pay line.
Bonus Game: This is a feature of a slot machine game that is not a free spin feature. It could be something like pick and click or spin the reward wheel or a skill-based mini-game.
Bonus Features: These are all the features in slot machines, with the exception of the machine’s primary pay line. Features include things like re-spinning, a varried "Wilds" machine like expanding, cascading, or sticky, and free spins.
Budget: It is the amount of money that a player allocates to play, whether in one or more games. Budgets can be organized in different ways with loss limits, winning limits or time limits.
Cascading Reels: also called abyss or drop reels, this means that once you achieve a win, the tokens contributing to this victory disappear from the screen and more icons fall from the top to fill in the empty spaces. Icons may replace newly removed icons, or icons already on the reel may move to the bottom with new icons appearing at the top.
Currency: This is an in-game representation of the player's money. A value can be assigned to each currency, which can be changed between rounds.
Currency Value: Players can assign a monetary value to represent their money in the game. A single coin can be assigned a value of $0.10 or $100 depending on the range offered by the game itself.
Coin Award: Often part of the bonus advantage and winning, a coin is a reward calculated in currency. A win of 50 coins will be equal to 50 dollars, if each coin is worth 1 dollar or 100 dollars if each coin is worth 2 dollars, and so on.
Cold Machine: This term is an antique, dating back to the times when slot machines needed to fill up with coins before they could pay out. For most machines, thanks to their RNG program, this is no longer applicable, but the term is used when talking about major prizes, which often present some kind of pattern in the size and frequency of winning.
A cold machine is one that has paid recently or has not come close to reaching the usual payment amount and is, therefore, unlikely to pay soon.
Demo Game: Also called free or demo play, it allows players to try a game without wagering money or, in some cases, without logging into a casino. The player can spin the machine for free but cannot claim any wins, which allows him to know how the different features will be spent and gives an indication of the number of times that you push the machine.
Double or None / The Gambling Advantage: After a win, some slot machines give players the option to bet on their win. There are two possible outcomes - lose the amount won or double the win. Often times, the “Gamble” is a simple game of chance that includes guessing a suit or the color of the next playing card from your stake, for example.
Expanding Reels: This feature introduces additional reels to the game screen when a specific player appears. For example, a particular trio of tokens may activate an additional reel that expands the group, bringing more tokens and more chances of winning the game. The game may include one reel or several expander balls.
Wild: This is a special type of “Wild machines” that can be included in slot machine games. When the Wild symbol appears, it expands to occupy the entire reel instead of just one area and basically behaves as if the entire reel is covered by Wild symbols.
Fixed Jackpot: Slot machine games can include the fixed jackpot feature, which is a specific amount of cash that a player can win. The amount does not increase as the player continues playing.
Fixed Pay Lines: A machine with fixed pay lines does not allow players to activate or deactivate any pay lines.
Free Spins: A very popular feature in the game, free spins are spins that are not withdrawn from the player's balance. In most games, the free spins feature also includes some special elements such as multipliers, special tokens, modified wild moves, etc. Free spins may or may not be restarted within the feature itself.
Fruit Machine: This term can refer to a physical fruit machine, that is, a virtual slot machine, which is often found in casinos and contains fruit symbols, or it can refer to an online slot machine similar to an actual slot machine. Fruit icons are usually maintained, however they may look more modern in newer games.
High-value Symbols: Each machine assigns different values to the symbols that appear on its reels. The tokens that pay the most when they reach the payment lines in the winning combinations are called the high-value tokens. In some cases these codes may also activate additional features.
High Volatility: volatility refers to the risks and rewards present in the game. A machine with high volatility is considered a high risk and high reward, which means that players are more likely to lose while at the same time they are more likely to win large sums.
Hot Machine: The term “hot machine” is used to describe a game usually winning a jackpot that is assumed to be close to making a big profit.
Jackpot: The “jackpot” is a big cash reward. The term can also be used to describe a game that delivers a big win. Prizes can be fixed, local or cumulative.
Local Jackpot: A local jackpot is one that grows when players play it in a particular casino. Many casinos may offer the same jackpot machine, but if the jackpot win is local, the prize pool consists of the bets of the players in only one casino.
Low-valued Symbols: Machines set values for the symbols that appear on their reels. Tokens that do not pay like others are classified as low-value tokens. In many cases, the symbols are the A, K, Q, J and 10 cards with similar symbols.