Eye Candy and Slot Machines

By | Dec 30, 2013

I’ve seen slot machines described as the junk food of casino gambling. Sweet and bad for you, but somehow satisfying and hard to resist. The technology involved with the random number generators and video and sounds have made the variety of slot machines available staggeringly large. Online slots today have a huge variety of symbols, sounds, and even multiple video slot machine games on the same machines.

Multipliers

Multipliers are video slot machines that pay for winning combinations of symbols across a single payline. This is a traditional type of slot machine, usually with 3 reels and 1 payline. The reason they’re called multipliers is because when they pay out, they multiply your bet by a certain amount determined by the machine’s programming.

Some machines pay bonuses or bigger jackpots if you’re playing max coins, so be sure to read over the payout chart on a multiplier machine before playing, or just play max coins every time you play so that you’ll always know you’re going to get the best payout possible.

Buy-a-pays

On a buy a pay slot machine, each additional coin you bet activates more symbol combinations that can win. So one coin might get you a shot at a jackpot if you hit 3 bar symbols, but if you play two coins, it might activate a 2nd jackpot possibility for the 3 cherries. And a 3rd coin might active a jackpot for lining up 3 sevens.

It can be extremely frustrating if you don’t play max coins on a buy-a-pay machine, because you’ll invariably wind up with a winning combination that you didn’t pay for, and you’ll be cursing yourself for what might have been.

Line Slots

Arguably one of the most popular kinds of slot machines in existence today, line slots activate more payoff lines as you play more coins. In a typical 3 reel slot machine, each extra coin might activate each of the 3 horizontal lines. It could even include diagonals, depending on the machine’s programming. Some games have as many as 9 paylines or more, especially some of the online video slot games that have become so popular recently.

Progressive Slots

The late 1980’s also saw the rise of a new kind of slot machine called a progressive slot. Progressive slot machines offer a huge jackpot that’s available across all the machines tied into that particular slot machine network. This jackpot grows every time a person places a bet in any slot machine tied into that progressive network. (Most slot machines are flat tops, and have a top jackpot that doesn’t change.)

The MegaBucks jackpot in Nevada is one of the most well-known progressive slot machines in traditional casinos. This jackpot starts at $5 million and is connected from over 600 slot machines in over 100 different casinos. There are also low-denomination progressive jackpots like Quartermania and Nevada Nickels.

Major Millions is a popular online progressive jackpot that starts at $250,000 and moves up from there, and is available through most Microgaming powered online casinos. It’s one of the most popular online slot games, and several people who’ve played Major Millions have become millionaires as a result.

The Paradox of Slot Machines

The main problem that I have with the newer slots that offer 30+ paylines, free spins, a bonus round, instant wins and other special features is that they are reducing the chances of getting a big payday on the reels.

These new slots look fantastic with all of their graphics and animations. The storylines are great and these slots are indeed more fun to play than the slots of yesteryear.

However, it is difficult to reconcile that these same features that make these online slots so much fun are reducing my chance of hitting the jackpot. Most of these new special features that are offered have a maximum payout associated with them.

For instance, the bonus round feature on most new slots have a maximum win between 30 and 50 times the amount that you wagered on the spin. If you compare this to the jackpot on most slots, you can win 1000 times the amount that you wager when you get 5 of the best icons across a payline.

slots-features

The video slot on the left has less flash and less features than the 3D slot on the right. However, the older slot machine will have a better payout percentage on the reels because of the fewer bonus features.

Because of this, I still prefer to play on many of the older slot machines that have less of these features. The entertainment value is still there, in my opinion, and I feel that the payout percentages of those machines is slightly higher than the ones with a ton of special features.

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