How to Play Slots
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History of Online Slots
If it can be created on a computer, it can probably be turned in to a slot machine. There have even been recent advancements in mobile gaming, where you can play slots online (through the Wi-Fi or internet connection) right on your phone. I guess the next question is, what’s next?
Online casinos first came about more than ten years ago. Now, there are literally hundreds you can pick from. However, as a word of warning, they are not all the same, and they are not all “above board.” It is advised to do your homework as much as possible before giving an online gaming website your credit card information to make a deposit. Along these lines, there also may be jurisdictional issues in playing online slot machines. Although it has never been enforced, it is currently a felony crime to gamble online in Washington State. Slot machines are believed to have been around since the 1800’s. However, slot machine rules are a bit confusing even nowadays.
As gambling became more and more popular worldwide, it is no surprise online casinos and online slot machines were made available as the technology allowed. Today’s slot machines offer a multitude of options, with anywhere from one line to over 100 betting lines available.
How to Play Slots at Online Casinos
A majority of customers, both online and land-based, prefer slot machines because there is very little to no skill involved in how to play slots. Slot machine rules are simple and everyone can understand it with a little effort. Because slots work on a random number generator, a customer can sit, insert credits, and win. They need to know how to bet correctly and select the correct number of lines and credits, but after that, the machine does all the work. There is no way to control a slot machine. You can also switch denominations in both online slots and land based slots and not have to switch to a different machine. These are normally called multi-denominational machines.
Basic Slot Machine Rules
Technically, there are few, if any rules on how to play slots. The machine figures the appropriate payouts based on the amount you wager. The machine displays the graphics as necessary. All you have to do to play slots is push the “wager” or “bet” button. This is why many people are slot players, because it requires no skill. You can’t be intimidated by a machine that only has buttons and a computer screen, not like blackjack, poker, or craps.
The process of playing slots – land based and online
The main problem regarding how to play slots is the process itself consisting of a few phases:
- Make a deposit – usually a bill acceptor or ticket acceptor in a land based casino.
- Insert your VIP card
- Choose how many credits or lines you want to play
- Hit spin or pull handle
- Just win
The process for online slots is exactly the same, but you click the mouse on the spin button.
VIP Card or Players Club Card
A VIP or players club card is a common promotional tool used in both online and land based casinos. Obviously, there is no card to use in an online casino, but the end result in the same. Based on the amount bet, and the length of play, points, cash, or complimentary items are earned, and can be exchanged for cash, dinners, concert tickets, and many other items.
Comps are figured in different fashion comparatively between land based and online slot machines. Comps in a casino are usually based on dollars bet, and length of time played. There are many computer programs that figure out the comp rate for any player.
In an online casino, signup bonuses are very common. Deposit $100, get $100 free. This isn’t always possible in a land based casino, because “comping” free money isn’t always legal.
Random Number Generator – What is it?
You may hear the term random number generator in discussing slot machines. In short, a random number generator is the portion of the computer that “picks” winning combinations. While I won’t explain the mind-numbing details of how it works, imagine this. Random numbers, 1-100. All even numbers are winning, odd numbers losing. You will encounter streaks of luck, where more even numbers come up in a row, and streaks of bad luck where odd numbers come up. Because the computer is programmed to hold a certain percentage of all coins bet, that’s how the casino makes it’s money over the long term. That’s the essence of how slot machines work and it basically define slot machine rules.
It is widely believed that overall, online casino slot machines pay better than land based slot machines. Many people may not consider going to a land based casino may also include the purchase of food, drinks, etc. where that is not a concern from the comfort of your home. There are some online casinos that offer what they claim to be as high as 97% payout, making them very attractive.
One of the disadvantages of playing slots online versus in a land based casino is you do not receive your money immediately if you happen to be fortunate enough to win. It goes in to an account, and there is a process you have to accomplish to remove the money from your account, and get it back in your possession (bank account, etc)
Another disadvantage of playing slots online is if you do happen to win, and win legitimately, you have no recourse if you do not get paid. You can not call the online slot gaming commission and file a complaint. Such an entity does not exist. Land based casinos are opposite. There are many different regulatory agencies that govern the following of policies and procedures in regards to payouts.
One of the biggest advantages of online casinos (if you view it this way) is the ability to play from home, anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to get dressed up, drive to a building, etc. You can play from the kitchen table if you so choose.
Casinos do have the ability to change payouts. Mechanically, it can be as simple as reprogramming the computer to hold a higher percentage. But, especially in the case of land-based casinos, there is a mind-boggling amount of paperwork that must be submitted to all appropriate regulatory agencies before this can be done. Try to do it and not notify the proper people? That can get you shut down if you get caught. Besides, it goes a long way with customers if you clearly state what your payout percentages are (think payouts as high as 99%, loosest slots in town like you may see in Vegas) and your payouts are, in fact, what you say they are.
It is also believed the higher denomination machine ($1 versus .05) pays better over the long run. It is no accident that you will find hundreds of penny machines in a casino, and maybe only 5-10 $1 machines. Over the long term, the higher value machines pay at a higher percentage, because they have a smaller player pool. In the end, you play slots both online and land based, for a short period of time, and need to be “lucky” to win.
Congratulations, you won a jackpot! Jackpots are a combination of winning symbols resulting in a payout exceeding a pre-determined threshold. Payouts range by jurisdiction, and can be subject to taxes.
You may run in to a catch-22 winning large amounts of money online. Because of the payout process to receive your money, when large deposits are made with no clear purpose in to your bank account from an outside source, sometimes overseas, it get’s peoples attention. You may run in to legal issues. Consult a professional for further advice.
A big factor in drawing people to the casino is the ambiance or atmosphere. It’s lights, sounds, and fun, which catch people’s attention, which bring them in the door. This can be done through many different ways, including advertising, marketing, and many more. It is not “fun” to go to a dimly light, smoke filled, poor paying casino where the employees are rude and treat people poorly. You may go once, but most likely will not come back for a return visit.
Las Vegas, for instance, is a destination location. People go there on purpose, for vacation. There are things available in Las Vegas and other casino locations that aren’t available at home. You can’t go to hundreds of different concerts or events if you don’t live in or relatively near a big city. In Vegas, you can go see virtually anyone you want. You can skydive, bungee jump, go on a helicopter tour, the sky is the limit.
Differences and similarities
Land based casinos have offered digital type slot machines for many years, so the transition in to internet gaming has come easy for many. They are often themed after popular movies, shows, or trends. From Playboy to the Three Stooges, you can probably find a slot machine with whatever theme you want. They operate both very similarly and use the same slot machine rules. Land based casinos have a computer chip in the slots that contains the random number generator.
You can not touch an internet based slot machine. You can’t see the lights, hear the noise, or any of those features that draw many to a land based casino. You can however, play at your leisure from home. Need to use the restroom or take a break for dinner? No problem. In a land based casino, that is not always the case. You may not want to give up your “lucky” seat in the event you are fortunate enough to be winning.
A major advantage of online based slots is convenience. You can play for five minutes or five hours. You don’t have to drive somewhere, and drive home. There are online slot machines now being made available on smartphones. There are also no “busy times” where you might have to wait for your favorite machine to become available.
Another advantage of internet based slot machines is the ability to stop when you wish. There isn’t an ATM next to you, or a pretty waitress serving you alcohol, often times clouding your best judgment. Want to take a break? Close the computer.
While common in land based casinos, online casinos are starting to run online slot tournaments. Pay an entry fee, get a certain amount of credits, play for a predetermined length of time, and the person with the highest amount “won” wins the tournament.
Advantage of Online Slot Machines
Slot machine rules are simple, there is no two ways about it. Therefore, how to play slots is easy to answer if you know all the rules. It does not require thought or effort. You don’t have to pay attention, or keep track of cards that come out. You can push the button, sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself. Do the laundry, eat, whatever you need to do. You are not locked in to a machine for hours at a time, and can get up and leave as you desire. Also, a major turnoff to many players is drinking alcohol and smoking, both things you don’t have to worry about if playing at an online casino.
Online slot machines are exciting. The innovative technology now being produced is second to none. As stated earlier, there is virtually no limit as to what can be created and turned in to a slot machine. Slot machine developers (and online gaming computer programmers) not only need to be on the cutting edge of technology, but the cutting edge of society as well, keeping up with the latest trends available.
Another advantage, which many take advantage of, is the ability to play slots for free, solely for entertainment. You might be able to strike it rich betting exorbitant amounts of play chips, just for fun. This, obviously, is not a feature available in a land based casino. They want you there, and they want you to spend money.
Because the online slot market has become so competitive, it can be to a player’s advantage. If there is only one land based casino within hundreds of miles, you are at the mercy of that casino and their payout structure if you so choose to visit. Online is not the same. A player can choose hundreds, if not thousands of places to wager. Ease of processing, game choice, and payout percentage are all factors that go in to choosing an online casino.
Disadvantages of Online Slot Machines
One of the major disadvantages, and major complaints about online slot machines is the length of time it takes to deposit and withdraw money. There are jurisdictions where online gambling is not allowed at all, and banks have blocked the deposit to any website that may contain online gambling. There are ways around this, but they are cumbersome and expensive. The same is true when you win. You don’t get the money right away. You have to put it back in your account, request a withdrawal, get it approved, and then wait a predetermined amount of time to receive your money. This can be anywhere from 1-2 days to upwards of 2 weeks.
Addiction – Know When to Say When
Gambling is a form of entertainment offered full adults. It is, and should be treated, as just that. Entertainment. Casinos are built by getting people to spend money. It is no coincidence that there are more slot machines in a casino than blackjack tables. Casinos make the most amount of money on slots. Period.
Gambling, if not done prudently, can be habit forming, and can be addicting. Some people believe the brain waves of an addicted gambler are exactly the same as someone addicted to crack cocaine. It’s that serious. People with a gambling problem will have strained relationships, financial difficulties, and many even consider suicide.
There are many programs available if necessary. Some land based casinos even offer programs or counseling to their customers free of charge if necessary. Gamblers anonymous is another common group where people are sent to seek help for gambling addiction.
UIGEA – What is it?
In your research, you may run across this term. This is an abbreviation for the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. Passed in 2006, it outlawed games of chance to be played for money over the internet. By the letter of the law, online slot machines are illegal in the United States, no matter where you play. As I stated earlier, there are ways to bypass that, but prudence is often the best advice.
To be frank, the US Government is not after the person who plays $20 worth of slots from the comfort of his kitchen. They want the big fish, they want the operators of the websites. You may also hear the term “Black Friday” Black Friday was when the US Government seized several online poker sites, and discontinued their operation in the US. Millions of dollars were frozen, and it took some people several YEARS to get their money back.
On April 15, 2011, online poker players were no longer allowed to access online gaming sites like UltimateBet, Full Tilt Poker, and Pokerstars. Ultimatebet did also offer slot machines, where Full Tilt and Pokerstars were poker based sites. Professional poker players had millions of dollars frozen online, and some of it was never returned.
Where to Find Online Slots
There are hundreds and hundreds of articles about who and where the attractive opportunities to playing slots online are. In short, do your homework. Do your research. Read reviews and articles, both good and bad, about each online slot location prior to depositing any money. With no recourse if you don’t get paid, it can be time and effort well spent. If you can’t find information about an online slot casino, it may be for a reason. Some online slot locations are based overseas, where little to no regulation is enforced.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of places to play slots online. You can win pennies, you can win thousands. The sky is truly the limit. Be careful, be wise, and have fun!!!
Final Thoughts About How To Play Slots
Millions of people every day gamble. Slots, poker, horses, table games, you name it. Slot machines are the choice of many because it allows a person to wager a certain amount of money, and not have to think or strategise a great deal. In recent years, this is also now available online.
Because of the many different online slot locations, a customer can pick and choose as they see fit. They are not locked in to one establishment because it is the closest or most convenient. They can choose, when, where, how long, and how much they play, and choose the game of their choice.
There are many different advantages and disadvantages to playing slots online. As long as it is viewed as a form of entertainment, and not relied on for a source of income, customers will continue to enjoy this for years to come, and yet the slot machine rules are pretty simple.
We hope that now you have a better idea on how to play slots and win. For more advanced tips, read this article.