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- Just a list gang of the most common slot terms..
Arm: The slot machine arm is the lever located traditionally on the right side of the slot machine. This arm/lever is pulled to activate the reels. Also, once pulled the arm stops the RNG, and the symbols are determined. In newer slot machines versus traditional mechanical slot machines, the arm no longer actually pulls the reel, they could just as easily use a button to activate the reel.
Bank: This is used in reference to a row of slot machines in an establishment.
Bonus: The bonus on slot machines refers to a special feature screen. The bonus screen is activated when the symbols form a specific winning combination. Then, depending on the slot game, players will choose an item the game will reveal the credit amount.
Bonus Multiplier Slots: These machines offer larger top jackpots as incentive for gamers to play max coins. On these machines the top jackpot symbol will only payout if you have played the max coins on that spin.
Bonus Video Slots: The most graphically loaded, glitziest slots to hit the market. These machines offer the chance to go to a second level bonus round. They are known for their many features and options for players.
Bug: This term most often refers to 3-digit illegal lottery or "numbers" games. This term dates back to the mid-1900's and "the bug" was often the term for the numbers game society ladies in Atlanta played regularly. Bug can also refer to a device inserted into slot machines as a way to prevent specific symbol combinations.
Buy-Your-Pay: A specific type of slot machine that depends on the number of coins to determine which symbols payout. For example: one coin triggers 'cherry' to pay; two coins triggers both 'cherries' and 'bars' to pay; three coins and so on.
Call Attendant: When someone hits a major jackpot, this is the person who comes and makes a “hand” payout. Can also refer to the person who oversees the operation of the slot machines.
Carousel: Refers to a grouping of slot machines, or many "banks" of slot machines. Often times the slot machine carousels are organized by slot machines of a similar type, and the slot machine grouping traditionally got the nickname "carousel" because the slots are often in a oval or circular shape.
Certified: Certified slot machines are examined by casino regulators to ensure the slot machine conforms to the laws for payout percentages. These machines are clearly marked as “certified.”
Change Person: Also referred to as a “slot machine attendant,” the change person will change out a players cash for tokens and coins to be played in the slot machine.
Coin Hopper: This is a rotating container that holds all of the available payout coins in a slot machine. When a player presses the “cash out” button on their machine, the credit/coins are dropped into a coin tray—this is where the player can then collect their winnings. The coin hopper also monitors the amount of coins in the slot machine, and when the hopper reaches capacity, the excess is dropped into a “drop bucket.”
Coin-In: Refers to the total amount of money a player puts into a slot machine.
Coin Size: This can reference the size of a bet. On multiple coin slot machines a player can use more then one coin on a spin.
Cold: Also known as a tight slot. Cold machines do not pay out much.
Comps: These are complimentary amenities for higher rolling gamblers. Such “comps” may include: free drinks, buffets, show tickets, custom foods, discount hotel rooms, and even cash rebates.
Countdown: This number shows the number of coins a player needs to earn one slot club point. The number is displayed on an electronic card reader.
Credit meter : Displays the amount of coin or credits on the slot machine.
Double Machines: These machines pay double or triple if winning combinations of certain symbols line up.
Driller: A slot machine player who illegally cheats a slot machine by drilling holes into the machine to induce the jackpot.
Drop Bucket: Also known as a “drop box,” the drop bucket collects the excess coins that the coin hopper drops. This “bucket” is located at the slot machine’s base and is collected regularly by the casino. Though the “drop box” and “drop bucket” are similar, traditionally “drop buckets” are found in lower denomination slot machines whereas “drop boxes” have lids and locks and are used in higher denomination slot machines.
Edge: This is a mathematical advantage for either the player or the house when gambling. Normally the house or casino has the advantage or edge over the player.
EGM: Stands for "Electronic Gaming Machine" and is often referred to by initials.
Hand Pay: This occurs for higher slot machine payouts, or if the slot machine releases an incorrect amount; if the amount of payout exceeds the amount of coin or credit in the machine, the slot machine attendant or the cage “hand pay” the player.
Flat-Top: “Flat-top” slot machines pay out a non-progressive jackpot. The name also refers to the slot machine’s appearance—the machine has a flat-top that allows the player to sit while playing.
Fruit Machine: This is the nickname for a slot machine in England.
Ghost: This term refers to a blank spot on a slot machine reel, ie there is no symbol.
Hard Count: This is the process casinos (and banks) use to count coin currency. The hard count takes place in an extremely secure hard count room and is done through the use of weigh scales. The coins and tokens are divided by denominations, and then placed on a weigh scale programmed to calculate the total amount of the coins. The only exception to using the weigh scales for hard currency is with high end tokens—often $25 dollars or more apiece, these are often hand counted.
Hit Frequency: Also known as hit rate. How often a slot machine payouts—referred to as a percentage of time.
Hold Percentage: The “hold” is discussed among casino executives. It is the opposite of the payback percentage, and represents the amount of money the casino is making from a machine or the slot department in general. This can be thought of as a betting fee.
Hold and Re-spin: A non-traditional style slot machine that allows a player to hold one or more of the slot machine reels and spin the rest of the reels again. This type of slot machine gives the player the chance to obtain a better combination of reels on the second spin.
Hopper Fill Slip: This document records the replenishments to the coin hopper. When an employee refills the depleted coin hopper, the fill slip is used to verify the amount placed into the slot machine, the employee making the replenishment, which slot machine is being filled and the date
Hot Slots: Also known as a loose slot, this refers to a slot machine that is liberal with its payouts.
House: Another term for casino. Casino literally translates as house in Italian.
House Edge: Also known as Hold. Expressed as a percentage, this is the amount of money the casino holds out of a bet as profit for the casino. This can be thought of as a betting fee. It is the opposite of the payback percentage, and represents the amount of money the casino is making from a machine or the slot department in general.
Jackpot: A slot machine’s highest payout , or can references the top prize in any gambling game.
Load: Used as a verb. To play the maximum number of coins or tokens allowable in a specific slot machine.
Loose Slot: Basically, a slot machine that is liberal with its payouts is a “loose slot”. The opposite is a tight slot.
Low Level: Also known as a “Slant Top” slot machine, this type of slot includes a stool so that players can sit while they play.
Max Bet: The maximum amount a player can bet on one spin.
Mechanical Slots: This refers to the traditional slot machines that operate with mechanical reels.
Money Management: Strategies a gambler uses to manage their bankroll. Techniques to avoid loosing the bank roll include: play only a percentage of winnings, divide the bankroll into different sessions, etc.
Multiline: Slots that have at least two different paylines.
Multiple Coin Slot Machine: A slot machine that requires two or more coins/tokens to play the machine.
Multiplier Slots: Pay out on a graduated scale depending on the amount used to bet. The more a player bets with on the slot machine, the more the potential payout—essentially the slot offers multiplied payouts for winning combinations.
Odds: The probability of an event. Odds are traditionally expressed as a ratio.
One-Armed Bandits: The nickname give to slot machines because of the lever on the side of the machines.
Onesies: Also known as "flying solo." Slot players who play one coin per spin.
Online Fill: This term is essentially the same as the person who empties the coin hopper in land casinos. Online fill replenishes a players account as they win in online gaming.
Optimal Play: This is the payout percentage if a player uses the optimal strategy on a skill based slot machine.
Payback Percentage: This is the amount of money the slot machine eventually pays back to its slot players. This number is not over a few spins, but rather, covers tens or even hundreds of thousands of spins. This term is often misunderstood. The payback percentage applies to total dollars run through the machine and not the money you personally have entered.
Pay Cycle: This refers to a belief among slots players that a machine might be due to payout in order to meet the payout percentage. It is important to understand that the payout percentages work over the course of thousands of plays.
Pay-line: The pay-line is the line drawn on the glass or screen where the symbols must line up to create a payoff. Many newer slot machines, especially video slot machines have many V-shaped pay-lines that go up, down, across, and diagonally.
Pay Table: This is the payoff schedule. It tells you what symbols you need to line up to win and how much you will be paid if you get the right order. Many slot machines have the pay table printed directly on the machine. However, most video slot machines have opted to hide the pay table. For these, you simply need to hit a button to bring it up. Online slots usually have the pay table posted on the same screen or via a button on the machine.
Poker Machine: Also know as “pokie.” The name for a slot machine in Australia.
Pokie: Also known as Poker machine. The name for a slot machine in Australia.
Progressive Jackpot: The jackpot on a slot machine grows as each bet is played. There are two types of progressive jackpots: individual progressive jackpot and multiple progressive jackpot. Individual jackpot is a progressive jackpot that only builds on the bets of one slot machine. Multiple jackpots build as bets are placed on multiple slot machines. More than one slot machine is linked to a single progressive jackpot; jackpots grow very quickly on multiple progressive jackpots.
Progressive Ticker: Also known as a Progressive Meter. This shows how much a progressive jackpot is worth.
Reel: The symbol-covered wheel. In traditional slot machines, these reels spin around and come to a stop in random fashion dictated by the payout percentage.
Rhythm Play: A player strategy used to control the slot machine’s reel. This theory relies on the idea that a player can bring out a winning combination of symbols through skill and timing.
RNG: Each slot machine has a computer chip in it that selects random numbers. RNG means Random Number Generator. The RNG determines if your spin is a winner or loser. This computer chip constantly cycles though numbers until a coin is placed in the slot machine. Once the button or lever is pushed the reel stops on the symbol combination determined by the number the RNG stopped on as the coin was inserted.
Rollup: The sounds used to announce a win while the slot machine meters tally the amount won.
Scatter Pay: Scatter pay slot machines are ones that will pay you something back just for having a particular symbol anywhere in the window. Rather than paying out based on winning symbols aligning on a single payline, scatter pay slot machines allow the winning combinations to be “scattered” across the screen.
Second Screens: Second screens are exclusive to video slot machines - and most video slot machines have them. When you hit the bonus symbol on a video slot machine and the screen fades to the bonus screen, that’s a second screen. This was made popular by the video slot machine Reel ‘Em In.
Short Pay: References a slot machine’s partial payout of a players slot machine winnings. If the coin hopper is low, a slot machine attendant or the cage will hand pay the remainder amount due to the player.
Short Win: A large jackpot win after a small cash outlay.
Signature Slots: The house brand of slot machine. Casinos create their own brand of looser slot machines to generate PR for the casino.
Slant Top Slot: Also known as a “Low Level” slot machine, this type of slot includes a stool so that players can sit while they play.
Slots: The nickname for slot machines.
Slots Drop: The amount of money that goes through the slot machine.
Slot-aholic Pain: This comes from staying too long at one machine.
Slot Club: A frequent slot machine player can join a slot club at a casino to earn rewards and incentives for time and money spent at the slot machines. A player receives a slot club card which is then inserted into a slot machine while a player is gaming. The card then records the time and money spent on the slots and rewards bonuses and comps accordingly.
Slot Placement: A strategy casinos use to tempt gamblers; casinos generally position the loose slot machines in areas where other players can see slot machine payout.
Slot Schedule: This is information posted on the front of slot that discloses what type of slot, denomination, and win amounts possible for each coin played.
Slot Talk: The information traded between players, a good way to improve slots knowledge.
Slot Testing: Playing through a single roll of coins without using accumulated credits on the machine to determine the possible payout percentage for a selected slot machine.
Slot Tournament: Slot tournaments allow slot club members to earn more comps and bonuses based off of competitions among slot club members. Tournaments are free for players and during a tournament a player doesn’t use coins to activate the machines. Tournament prizes are based off the number of credits a player accumulates during the competition. Often times the freebies and prizes are worth significantly more than the price of admission into the tournament.
Sound of Rain: The coins dropping into the holder after a payout.
Spooning: A method used by slot machine payers to cheat the slot machine’s coin counter. Basically a spoon-like device stops the jackpot’s coin-counting micro-switch so that more than the actual jackpot is awarded to the player.
Stand Up Slot: Also known as an “Upright” slot machine, this type of machine allows player to stand up while playing.
Stops: This is the dead space between the symbols on a reel. When a reel spins around and a symbol does not land on a payline, it has landed on a stop.
Stringing: A method used by slot machine players to gain a free play out of the slot machine. These type of slot machine cheaters solder a string onto a coin or token, and once the machine recognizes a coin has been inserted players pull the coin back out.
Symbols: These are the fun characters and items that appear on the slot machine's reel. A common symbol is a colored bar or a piece of fruit, like a cherry.
Take Cycle: The opposite of pay cycle. This is a theory that the slot machine goes through payout cycle where players can consistently win money, then a “take” cycle where players will not win anything significant.
Theoretical Hold Worksheet: The manufacturer provides this document for each slot machine sold. The worksheet contains the following information: the theoretical percentage the slot machine should hold based on adequate levels of coin-in (hence the name of the worksheet), reel strip settings, number of coins that may be played, the payout schedule, and the number of reels. Other specific slot machine descriptions can be provided on this worksheet as well.
Tight Slot: Basically, a slot machine that does not payout much at all.
Tilt: This term originates with the older mechanical slot machines. Mechanical slot machines had tilt switches. If a coin is jammed in the slot machine now, the tilt light comes on, if the machine owes the player any winnings it is stored in the memory and pays out once the problem is fixed. Today, the term tilt can refer to many different kinds of mechanical failure from reel motor failure to door switch problems.
Token: A form or payment slot machines take to authorize a play. The tokens work just like coins and can be bought to represent different monetary denominations.
Two-Armed Bandits: The term refers to slot machine hustlers who attempt to swindle new slot machine. The term is a play off of the nickname for slot machines, one-armed bandit. The two-armed bandits roam casinos offering the novice slots player deals for playing.
Up/Down Slot Cycle: This refers to the slots payout percentage over a long period of time. The payout percentage is over the course of thousands of spins, and can span a year or more. A slot with a 98 percent payoff rate will pay off at 130 percent sometimes and 50 percent at other times. Players refer to high payout periods followed by low payout periods as the up/down slot cycle. Also known as "sizzling" or "sputtering" slots.
Upright: Also known as a “Stand Up” slot machine, this type of machine allows player to stand up while playing.
Vigorish: Also known as hold and house edge. Expressed as a percentage, this is the amount of money the casino holds out of a bet as profit for the casino. This can be thought of as a betting fee.
Virtual Reel: Virtual reels are on video slot machines and they rely on computerized selection of reel symbols. Just like mechanical reels, the results are determined by the RNG.
Weigh Count: This is a traditionally American term that refers to the amount of coins or slot tokens removed from the slot machine’s drop bucket. Once removed by the slot machine attendant, the coins or tokens are counted using a weigh scale.
Wild Symbol: Essentially acts like the joker in some cards came. The wild symbol can act as any other symbol on the reel.
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