Slots Rules

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It requires no special training or study to play slots. They are among the easiest and most straightforward casino games to play, unencumbered by long lists of rules. Insert coins or paper currency, pull the handle or press the start button and the machine does the rest.

There are, however a few procedures that should be followed to get the most out of playing the slots. Some of the following guidelines relate to how machines are configured, while others are a matter of common sense. Here are the key ones:

Currency Deposit – Most land-based slot units will accept either coins or paper currency. Some accept both. For online slots, a transfer of funds from a pre-established account can be used as the deposit. It’s always the player’s responsibility to see that the number of credits shown on the machine’s display matches the amount inserted.

Credit Value – One cent is the basic unit used for so-called “penny machines.” A single credit represents five cents on the “nickel slots.” Denominations run all the way up to a dollar, five dollars or even higher in the “high roller” areas of a casino. Credit values are clearly marked on the face of each machine. Problems sometimes occur, however, when playing “multi-denomination” slots, the ones that give the player an option to select from a range of basic units. The machine’s default denomination may not be the lowest value available. Again it is the player’s responsibility to confirm the credit value before playing.

Paylines – For so-called “Classic Slots,” a single horizontal line runs across the face of the machine. It is known as the “payline.” Whenever certain combinations of symbols appear on the line, winnings are awarded according to the odds listed on the machine’s paytable. Nowadays, however, many slots offer the opportunity to play multiple paylines on a single spin. It is up to the player to decide how many paylines to choose. A minimum of one credit must be played per line, so if 20 paylines are selected, the minimum bet would be 20 units. When pressing buttons, players must be careful to select only as many paylines as they want to play.

Max Bet – To make betting easy, most slots have a button for making the maximum bet allowed with just one touch. After it has been pressed, the amount of the wager (maximum bet) and the number of paylines selected (maximum lines) cannot be changed. On a penny machine, for example, “max bet” may be equivalent to 25 paylines at 10 credits each or $2.50. Pushing this button by mistake almost always spells disappointment. Slots that feature “touch-sensitive screens” should be played with special attention lest a stray touch activate the maximum bet.

Payouts – All machines make payouts automatically. Many reward all winning combinations when multiple paylines are played, but some pay only the highest winning line. The player should be sure to clarify which scenario is in effect before initiating the first spin. Look for the specific rules through the machine’s “Help” menu or in a display on its face. Because payouts vary from game to game, it is also a good idea to study the paytable prior to play. Only play at machines that clearly display the odds for all winning combinations.

Mechanical Problems – Like all machines, slots need maintenance periodically. Lights can burn out, buttons can become stuck, currency mechanisms can jam and touch screens can lose their sensitivity. Avoid any machine that appears to have a mechanical or electronic problem. That includes video displays that are unclear, audio that cannot be heard, and buttons that seem sticky or unresponsive. The red “call” button can be pressed to bring any problem to the attention of casino management.

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