Some of the more commonly used slot terminology are explained below.
If you're new to the slot machine world, some of these would be very useful
to know and understand.
Coin Size: This is the size of each bet. You can play more than
one coin per spin.
Coins per spin: This is the amount of coins that you can play
for each spin.
Fill: When hoppers run out of coins, a fill is called for which
simply means an attendant gets a bag of coins from the cashier and refills
the empty hopper.
Hit Rate: The average distance between winning spins and non winning
Hold: This is the percentage of coins played that are held by
the machine, the house profit. In most cases this number is from roughly
3% to 15% and up.
Hopper: This is where the coins are held in the machine. Often
hoppers are filled to overflowing by players, so they don't only run empty
they sometime are overflowing. When this happens the excess coins drop
into a bucket underneath the hopper. This is the profit the casino takes.
The buckets are usually emptied in the early morning hours when the traffic
Max Bet: The maximum amount of coins that can be played per spin.
Pay cycle: It is a widely held belief that slots go through pay
cycles which means that, after taking in a number of coins They must pay
out in order to meet the percentage payout that has been programmed into
Pay line: Usually the line in the middle of the slot window but
also it can be three lines or even five lines. Only winning symbols on
a pay line will drop coins in the tray.
Progressive Jackpot: A top prize which grows, giving much larger
Reels: The reels upon which the symbols are displayed, usually
three reels but sometimes you will find a two reeler and four or even
higher. The more reels the machine has the harder it will be to hit the
Symbols: The icons or symbols that appear on the reels are of
an infinite variety and can be practically anything that the manufacturers
and the casinos can dream up.
Take cycle: This is the opposite of the pay cycle. If you subscribe
to the pay/take philosophy then you believe that a pay cycle is followed
by a take cycle, whereby you may get the odd small hit but essentially
it's feeding time for the slot.
Tilt: Slots tilt usually because they have run out of coins, it
happens, or because a coin is jammed in the mechanism. They stop paying
and the tilt light comes on. Coins owing the player are held in the slots
memory and will pay after corrections have been made to the problem. I
have never seen a machine that didn't give out the correct number of coins,
regardless of a tilt.
Top Prize: The top payout, in coins on non progressive slots, playing
Winning Combinations: The amount of possible winning outcomes
on the pay table
Wild Symbol: Like a joker will count as any other symbol and on
some slots multiply.