Our slot machine glossary will educate you on the language of the one-armed bandits. You can use this slots glossary as a reference to learn about different styles of games with different payouts and play slots with more efficiency. We hope you keep our slot glossary in mind as a tool to help you improve your slot play.
Bank: A row of slot machines. Machines in a bank are often the same or similar style of game .
Blank: An empty spot on a slot machine reel between two symbols. This is the most common result of a slot machine spin. Also called a “ghost”.
Bonus Slots Game: A winning spin on a video slot will allow a player to play a “bonus slots game” (similar to a video game) that gives them a chance to increase their winnings.
Bonus Slots Multipliers: Slots that offer a higher jackpot if the player bets “Max Coins”. Also known as jackpot slots.
Carousel: A “bank” of slots in a round or oval formation.
Change Person: Casino worker that provides change to slot players.
Comps: Rewards for slot players, such as free buffets, souvenirs, even free hotel rooms. The higher and more often a player bets, the faster the player’s comp points accumulate.
Dime Machine: When referring to a machine’s denomination, a dime can be 10c, $10 or $100. Check your machine carefully for its denomination before playing.
Drop Box: A container that collects extra coins from the coin hopper inside the machine.
Edge: The difference between true odds on a bet and the payout for a winning bet. Also known as “house advantage”.
EGM: Electronic Gaming Machine; an electronic (reel or video) slot machine.
Free Slots Games: Free slots games are typically flash version no download games that do not require a player to wager real money. Intended as a means of allowing players to test the gaming software and familiarize themselves with game rules, free casino games are relatively new online gaming features. In addition to free slots games, several casinos offer free online video poker, online keno, blackjack, roulette and craps games.
Hand Pay: When a player receives a cash payment from a slot attendant. This usually occurs when the pay is not correct or too large for the machine to pay automatically.
Hold: The difference between the amounts of money a slot machine takes in and the amount it must, by law, pay out. This is the source of a slot machine’s profits.
Jackpot: The top prize a player can win from a machine. This can be a static or progressive payout. See also progressive jackpot slots.
Loose Slot: A slot machine that appears to give out larger average payouts or has more winning symbols on its reels.
Max Bet/Max Coins: The maximum bet per spin. In most cases, playing with Max Coins is the only way to win the main jackpot.
Multi-Line Slot: A slot machine that has multiple pay lines. Many video slot machines have up to fifteen pay lines. Players can choose to play multiple lines by paying multiple bets.
Nickel Machine: When referring to a machine’s denomination, a dime can be 5c, $5 or $50. Check your machine carefully for its denomination before playing.
Pay Table: A table on the machine that displays the winning combinations and the payout for each combination, often as a multiple of coins wagered. The exception to this rule is the Jackpot combination, which pays much more than the multiple of the bet when the player bets Max Coins.
Payback Percentage: The percentage of money a slot machine takes in that it pays back to players. Many banks of machines will display signs such as “97% Payback”.
Payout Percentage: The percentage of the time that a particular winning spin will appear.
Example: BAR BAR BAR = 10%; 7 7 7 = 5%. The sum of the payout percentages for each winning spin will total the payback percentage over the life of the machine.
Plowing In: Betting with your winning in a slot machine. This action is not recommended as it defeats the primary purpose of playing: walking away with more money than you had when you started.
Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that grows with each play. In many cases, numerous machines in a bank share a progressive jackpot. The only way to win with progressive jackpot slots is to bet Max Coins.
Progressive Meter: A large sign, typically well lit and highly visible, that displays the current progressive jackpot. In most cases, the numbers displayed will show a continuous increase to entice players to try for the ever-growing jackpot.
Quarter Machine: When referring to a machine’s denomination, a quarter can be 25c, $25 or $250. Check your machine carefully for its denomination before playing.
Rain on the Roof: The clattering sound of coins falling into the metal bin after a big slot payout. In many cases, unoccupied machines will play a prerecorded track of this sound in an attempt to attract players.
Reel: In mechanical slot machines, this refers to the cylinder that holds the symbols. In video slot machines, this refers to the set of symbols on a particular window.
RNG: Random Number Generator. This is the computer program that determines which symbols or blanks appear on each reel.
Rhythm Method: A technique players use in order to time the spins on a machine. Since most machines dictate their results based on 1/1000th of a second, this method is useless.
Short Pay: When a slot machine does not have enough money in its hopper to complete a payout. A slot machine attendant will hand pay the winner the difference.
Slot Attendant: A casino worker who handles short pays, hand pays and jackpot payouts and paperwork.
Slot Cheat: A player who uses a mechanical or electronic device in order to gain an unfair advantage on the slot machine. Most jurisdictions consider slot cheating a felony offense.
Slot Club: A club that entitles slot players to comps. Players sign up for their slot club card at the casino guest relations desk. Players then insert their card into the machine’s card reader. The card records the player’s activity and holds player data, including comp points.
Slot Placement: The layout of banks of slot machines on a casino floor. Most machines of a similar type, payout schedule or denomination will often be placed in specific areas of the casino.
Slot Ticket: In most modern casinos, a slot machine will print out a paper ticket for a player’s winnings instead of dropping metal coins into a hopper. Most slot tickets have expiration dates, so players are encouraged to cash in their tickets as early as possible.
Slot Tournament: Slot club members play against each other in free tournaments offered by the host casino. The machine’s credits count as a player’s tournament score. Slot tournament players often receive trophies as well as cash prizes.
Tight Slot: A slot machine that appears to give out lower average payouts or has fewer winning symbols on its reels.
Tilt: A malfunction in the slot machine. The term was borrowed from old-style pinball machines that would stop working when a player lifted or “tilted” the machine.
Token: A metal disc used in place of a coin. For token-driven machines, a change person can exchange a player’s cash for equivalent tokens.
Video Slot Machine: Part slot machine, part video game. Instead of mechanical reels, video slot machines use video screens to display symbols. In many cases, the video slot software will allow for fun character animations and special bonus games on a winning spin.
Wild Symbol: A symbol that can act as a substitute for any winning symbol. Example: BAR WILD BAR = BAR BAR BAR
Win Rate: The rate or frequency at which a slot machine pays. Some machines may have a high win rate but low payouts for each win; others may have a low win at slots but higher payouts. Also known as “hit rate”.
Window: In a mechanical slot machine, the glass opening that displays the results of a reel’s spin.
Winning Spin: The combination of symbols appearing on the reels that will cause the machine to dispense a payout. Many combinations will lead to winning spins, but only one will lead a to a jackpot win at slots.