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Most Frequently Asked Questions Page

Although there are not a million frequently asked questions when it comes to slots, I consider this page a work in progress. You're the ones who have to ask the questions. So don't hesitate, get today and I'll see if I can find an answer to your inquiry

Starting with the most burning questions:

Where are the loose slots?
In other words, how can I win easier and quicker? Think there's no knowledge to be gained in this area? Untrue. There is a lot of common sense involved in the answer. Since this is an online-slots page, I won't spend too long discussing questions which only truly pertain to casino slots, but some questions need to be answered.

There are a number of points to take into consideration. These are the most common places and reasons for finding loose slots.

  1. Near the change booths - casinos want other players who are waiting in line to receive change to hear the unmistakable sounds and sights of players hitting mid-level and top jackpots. This will, supposedly, motivate other players to get more change and play more machines. Makes sense, and it works.
  2. On elevated carousels - high payoff machines that are visible from nearly any angle from the gaming floor also serve to motivate other players to put more money into THEIR chosen machines. Makes sense, and it works.
  3. Near the coffee shop/cafe/snack bar - casinos frequently place their best machines in these locations to motivate players to eat quickly and get back to the gaming floor as soon as possible. When a player takes a "time out" for food or drinks it's time spent not playing the machines. No play = no revenue for the casino.
  4. Slot aisles known as "crosswalks" - crosswalks are areas that players must walk through to get to other slot aisles. Again, the same principle applies: the casinos want slot players to witness frequent jackpot payouts. Passers-by using these carefully planned pathways are more likely to be drawn into the main slot aisles, where the mid-range and tight machines are waiting to fleece them.
  5. Locations highly visible from other slot aisles - same philosophy, same reasons as cited above.
  6. Round or rectangular, free-standing kiosks within the main casino - nearly all casinos sublet space to the manufacturers of slot machines (Bally's is a prime example). These free-standing kiosks are not strictly bound by the individual casino's marketing principles, and may have a larger percentage of "loose" machines.
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What machines have the best payouts?
Many players believe their favorite machines have the best payouts. Is this a myth? I know many a friend who swears by double diamonds. The "best" payouts are determined by the purchaser of the machines, since they are preset to the Casinos specs (within the legal state minimum).

What's a One Armed Bandit?
A one armed bandit is simply another name for a slot machine. Origin of the term: the single pull lever is the 'one arm', the fact that they used to be rigged to never win is the 'bandit'.

Are larger casinos better?
In other words, do larger casinos pay off better than smaller ones? There is no proof of this, and I personally doubt it. I do believe a larger casino may be motivated to place a few more loose machines around its establishment, but the sheer number of tight machines would make up for any advantage. Statistics on slots simply do not bear this idea out.

Do slot machines have a pay and take cycle?
Many experienced people suggest that they do but it is not a black and white issue, there are many subtle areas between the pay and take cycle, machines do not just change from one mode to the other. If it is true, and I personally find it highly unlikely, then it is certainly not clear-cut. My own experience and observations seem to suggest that the machines are always in a take cycle, and every once in a while throw in a win. I don't suggest relying on an assumed mode.

What is a Pay cycle?
A pay cycle is defined as a period of time following a minimum number of bets (or coin 'takes') during which the machine pays out coins in larger percentages. This cycle is supposedly programmed into the slots software to meet the minimum payout schedule as per State law.

What is a Take cycle?
The take cycle is the opposite of the pay cycle. If you believe in the pay/take theory, then you might be inclined to assume that a pay cycle is followed by a take cycle, whereby you may get the odd small return, but essentially slots take all of the time. If there were pay/take cycles it would only truly be beneficial if you could increase your wager dramatically at any point in time.

What does the term Hold mean?
The Hold is the percentage of coins played that are kept by the machine, or the house. In the average case, it is between 3% to 15%.

What is the Pay line?
Most slots have a single (or multiple) horozontal line at the middle of the visible playing section. If a proper combination falls on that line, you get paid. Hence, this line is the pay line.

What are Reels?
The reels of a slot machine are the cylindrical spinning pieces around which all of the symbols are displayed. Most slot machines usually have three reels but sometimes you will find a two reel, or four reel or even higher. The more reels in the machine, the more permutations or possible combinations are able to hit the pay line. This means, in a multiple reel machine with a single jackpot line (to hit it big you need to get just the right combo), your chances of hitting that combo are slimmer than normal.

What are Symbols?
The symbols are graphics, pictures, images, or icons that are spread around the reels. They can be cherries, lemons, bars, oranges - any one of many simple recognizable images. Origninally, Fay's first machine featured Liberty Bells, and our common card symbols such as hearts and spades.

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