How to Play Slots – Rules and Tips

Slot Machines are casino games that everyone knows how to play. Casino owners love them because they are guaranteed to profit a certain percentage out of each dollar that is played.

How to Play Slots

Classic Slot Layout

The classic slot machine was a basic 3 reel, 1 line machine with an arm on the right side to start the reels moving. These machines took bills, tokens and coins.

Today the classic slot machine is hard to find. Very few machines pay out in coins and tokens any more. These days Ticket In-Ticket Out machines pay out winnings on a bar code ticket. Even the arms on the sides of machines have been replaced by a button on the front of the machine.

While 3 reel machines were the most popular slot machines in the past, the majority of slot machines are now 5 reel machines. Multiple lines can now be played on machines for added action and optimal bankroll drainage.

Slot Machine Layout

How to Choose, Bet and Play Slots

Everyone knows how to play slot machines. Put your money in, push the button, watch the reels spin, match up the pretty little pictures and win. It’s that simple, or so you might think. There are a lot more things to think about when you play slots.

The first choice you need to make is what denomination machine you want to play. Slot machines range from $0.01 up to $500 or more.

The next choice is how many lines you want to play. You can play anywhere from 1 to 100 lines or more.

Another choice you need to make is what machine to play. You can choose anything from a Wild Cherries machine to a Wheel of Fortune machine. There are literally thousands of different themed slot machines.

Playing the Max

No matter what machine you play, you should always play the maximum number of coins each spin. Jackpots along with the highest payouts are paid only when max credits are played. For example, on a basic machine, the following payouts based on credits could be:

  • 1 credit – $25
  • 2 credits – $50
  • 3 credits – $75
  • 4 credits – $100
  • 5 credits – $1,000

As you can see the payout for the same line combination is exponentially higher when max credits are played.

If you are thinking of playing less than the maximum number of credits, try playing a smaller denomination machine where you can afford to play max credits.

Slot Machine Tips

The best slot machine tip we can offer is to play higher denomination machines. As you can see in the section below, higher denomination machines pay a greater percentage back to the players.

Another great slot machine tip is to not fall for silly superstitions. There is no such thing as a lucky machine or a machine that is “due to hit”. Every pull on a slot machine has the exact same probability to hit a jackpot, or any other payout, as the next.

Slot Machine Odds

Slot machine odds vary from machine to machine, game to game, denomination to denomination and casino to casino. Individual slot machine odds and house edge are not available on a per machine basis. The best information you can receive is the payouts on similar denomination machines.

The best source for payback information is the gaming commission of the casino operator, be it brick and mortar or online.

Following is the 2012 slot machine payouts and house profit for each denomination of slot machine offered throughout Nevada.

2024 Nevada Slot Machine Payouts
Denimination Payback House Profit
$0.01 89.94% 10.06%
$0.05 94.22% 5.78%
$0.25 94.22% 5.78%
$1 94.56% 5.44%
Megabucks 87.13% 12.87%
$5 94.69% 5.31%
$25 95.94% 4.06%
$100 95.19% 4.81%
Multi-Denomination 94.83% 5.17%

History of Slot Machines

The inventor of the slot machine is not completely clear, however most credit Californian Charles Fey as the creator, dating back to 1887. The symbols appearing on the first slot machine was a horseshoe, diamond, spade heart and bell. The popularity of slot machines has exploded exponentially over the last several decades.

Slots in Pop Culture

Slot machines are a mirror as to what is going on in popular culture. Machines are based off of television shows such as Family Guy and Wheel of Fortune, signers such as Elvis and movies like The Hangover.

Slot machines have been featured in numerous movies. One of the quintessential Las Vegas movies was the 1960 film Ocean’s 11. You can see people playing the machines as the “Chairman of the Board”, Frank Sinatra strolls through the casino.