Slots Glossary

The Complete Slots Glossary

Playing the slots can be invigorating, sometimes profitable and always an enormously enjoyable experience. Problem is, the flashing lights and jangling sound effects of these machines often lure in punters without a full understanding of how they function, how your odds are calculated, and with little idea of how to play them. A staggering amount of slot players simply pull down on the lever and hope for the best, and while this spontaneous playing can be a lot of fun, knowing exactly how these machines work will greatly improve the chance of that blissful jackpot tune suddenly ringing out across the room.

This article will overcome any problem that a lack of insider knowledge can create when playing the slots. It will also help avoid embarrassment when a seasoned player or a casino staff member uses a slot machine term that you do not understand.

To help you become well informed we have created an expanded alphabetised glossary of all the terms related to slot playing, ranging from the basic stuff to the jargon that only the pros are likely to know. Becoming intimately familiar with the slot-playing lingo will boost your chances of cashing in on a big win,allowing you to fully understand these intricate machines so that playing becomes more enjoyable than ever before.

Slots Glossary A -B

  • ACTION: The “Action” is another name for all of the activity that has taken place on a slot machine during a particular period of play. Many casinos offer players an Action Card or Players Slots Club Card for them to note down the behaviour, patterns and activity of the machine they are playing on.
  • ANNUITY WINNER: An “Annuity Winner” refers to a slot machine jackpot that is offered to players in a group of instalments over a lengthy period – sometimes years. The player can collect all winnings at once, but often there will be an accompanying tax sum.
  • BANDIT: A term often used by frequent slot players and gamblers to describe a slot machine.
  • BET: Whenever a player enters some coins into a slot machine and hits the play button, they technically make a “bet” that the reels will spin and eventually land in a winning pattern that provides them with a payout.
  • BET MAX: The Bet Max function allows the player to bet the maximum possible amount of coins/credits on a single spin. Different machines may have different maximum limits. Many slot machines will have a button that flashes up to allow the player to perform the Bet Max function. Keep this in mind,as it may only be possible at certain times.
  • BIG BERTHA SLOT MACHINES: Big Bertha slot machines are sizable, lavish machines that are often usually found in the bigger casinos. The nickname“Big Bertha” is, for the most part, used by gaming pros and players who tend to frequent the casinos on a regular basis.
  • BONUS: Bonuses and Bonus Features create a scenario for the player that considerably enhances the chance of a win. Bonuses come in a wide variety of forms, and vary from slot machine to slot machine.
  • BUY-A-FEATURE: A “Buy-A-Feature” slot machine is one that includes a special bonus feature that can only be activated when a player wagers a bet of multiple credits or coins.
  • BUY-A-PAY: A “Buy-A-Pay” slot machine brings additional symbols into the game providing the player with an option to win higher cash prizes – providing they wager an increased amount.

Slots Glossary C

  • CANDLE: Occasionally slot machines may encounter a problem with producing a payout, stop working completely or end up malfunctioning in some way. When this happens, a light at the top of the machine will begin to flash – attracting the attention of a support worker in the casino who will come and rectify the issue. This light is often known as a “Candle”.
  • CAROUSEL: In casinos, slot machines are often grouped together in a row. This is often referred to as a “Carousel”.
  • CLASSIC GAME: A “Classic” slot game involves three reels and a wide variety of pay lines.
  • COLD MACHINE: A machine is considered “Cold” when it is stubbornly refusing to pay out any wins. Understandably, players tend to avoid using cold machines because the chance of winning on one is extremely low.
  • COINS: Coins are the units of a particular currency that players can use in the machines.
  • COIN-FREE PLAY: Coin-Free Play involves playing a slot machine that pays out in the form of tickets or coupons that can often be exchanged for real money at a separate payout booth.
  • COINS PER LINE: The amount of coins that a player chooses to bet on a particular pay line.
  • COINS PER SPIN: The amount of coins that a player choose to bet on a particular spin.
  • CONSOLE SLOT MACHINES: These machines are tilted at a specific angle, which makes players feel comfortable while they are using them. In many ways, these can be considered as ergonomic slot machines.
  • CREDIT: Slot machine “Credits” is what coins are transformed into after a player inserts money into the machine. These credits are then used to place a bet and play. The slot machines will also pay out in the form of credits, which are subsequently transferred into cash when the player chooses to collect.

Slots Glossary F-G

  • FILL: A “Fill” refers to a new bag of coins – a topped-up credit amount.
  • FIVE LINER: A “Five-Liner” slot machine is one that contains three separate reels and five alternative payout lines – two diagonal and three horizontal.Thispresents the player with more ways to win.
  • FIXED VALUE: “Fixed Value” slot machines do not allow players to alter their wager or increase a bet. They involve the use of one credit (currency values may vary depending on the machine) for one spin.
  • FRUIT MACHINES (“FRUITY”): A British slang name for slot machines that use pictures of fruit on the reel symbols.
  • GAMES PER HOUR: This simply refers to how many spins the player plays in a period of 60 minutes. In a typical casino, the average number of Games Per Hour is around the 500 mark.

Slots Glossary H

  • HAMMER: To “hammer” a slot machine is to play it repeatedly in an attempt to reel in a big cash win.
  • HIT: A “Hit” is where a player manages to land a winning combination and receive a payout.
  • HIT AND RUN: A player who visits a particular slot machine, plays a few spins and then moves onto a different machine is considered a “Hit And Run” player.
  • HIT FREQUENCY: The amount of times a slot machine reveals a winning combination. The higher the hit frequency, the more a player will win.
  • HIT RATE: Another way to describe “Hit Frequency”.
  • HOLD: A button that allows a player to prevent a particular reel from spinning during the next spin. There may be a symbol that represents part of a terrific winning combination, so by holding this value during the next period of play, the player increases the chance of registering a big win.
  • HOLD AND RESPIN GAME: A slot machine with the built-in “Hold” function that allows players a chance to land a winning combination.
  • HOPPER: The area where money is stored in the slot machine.
  • HOT MACHINE: A machine is considered “Hot” when it pays out on a regular basis.

Slots Glossary J-M

  • JACKPOT: The biggest prize available on a slot machine. Every slot player’s aim is to try to land the jackpot.
  • LINKED PROGRESSIVE SLOTS: Two or more slot machines where the total jackpot is connected.
  • LOOSE MACHINE: Another way to describe a slot machine that pays out regularly.
  • LOW LEVEL: “Low Level” slot machines are typically found in casinos and provide the player with a place to sit during play.
  • MULTI-DENOMINATIONAL: A Multi-Denominational slot machine is one that accepts a variety of different coins in alternative denominations.
  • MULTI-LINE: A slot machine that involves the use of multiple pay lines – giving the player more ways in which to win.
  • MULTIPLIER: A slot machine that entitles players to a payout of up to ten times the original amount, if they manage to land a bonus win.

Slots Glossary N-P

  • NEAR MISS: When a player is one symbol short of landing a winning combination.
  • NUDGE: A slot machine that has a “Nudge” button allows a player to nudge a reel in a particular direction so that the line is transformed into a winning one.
  • ONE-ARMED BANDIT: Another name for the classic slot machines where a player pulls down on the lever (or arm) to begin play.
  • ONESIES: Onesies is a colloquial term for players who enter one coin at a time, playing each game as it comes rather than putting in lots of credit at once.
  • PAYLINE: A payline is the line that is made up of a winning combination of symbols that entitle the player to a payout.
  • PAY TABLE: A drawing on the slot machine that details what the player will receive for landing a particular winning combination. This provides the players with the kind of knowledge they need when it comes to locating the best symbols.
  • PAYBACK: The amount of money paid out by a slot machine compared to the amount of credit that the player has deposited. This is often calculated as a ratio or percentage.
  • POKIES: A colloquial, slang term that casinos and slot players in Australia often used to describe slot machines.
  • PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT: A giant jackpot that accumulates as more players take part in slot machine activity. More is added to the jackpot every time a player converts coins into credits and plays a spin.
  • PROGRESSIVE SLOT: A group of slot machines linked to one another – all sharing the same “Progressive Jackpot”.
  • PROGRESSIVE TICKER: A numerical value that states what the current “Progressive Jackpot” stands at.

Slots Glossary R-S

  • RAINING: A slot machine that pays out a big win is sometimes referred to as “Raining” because of the pitter-patter sound it makes when the coins tumble into the collection tray.
  • REELS: The barrels on a slot machine that spin during play. Each reel contains several symbols.
  • SELECT LINES:The number of paylines that a player selects during play.
  • SCATTER PAY: “Scatter Pay” slot machines contain lone symbols that will pay out an amount regardless of what combination the machine creates.
  • SLOT TESTING: The process of testing a slot machine to calculate its “Take/Pay Cycle” to determine how likely a payout is to occur.
  • STACKED WILDS: Multiple “Wilds” stacked on top of one another on the reels.
  • STAND UP: Slot machines that players play while standing up.
  • STOPS: When a reel halts its spin.
  • STREAK: A “Streak” refers to a particular run of play. This can be a lucky streak where the player wins a lot of money, or an unlucky streak where they continually fail to land a winning combination.
  • SYMBOL: The pictures on the reels of the slot machine. Getting the right amount of symbols in a winning order entitles the player to a payout.

Slots Glossary T-V

  • TAKE/PAY CYCLE: How long a slot machine will take to pay out depending on how much credit has been deposited.
  • TICKET IN, TICKET OUT (TITO) SLOT MACHINES: A TITO machine will payout in the form of a ticket, which a player can subsequently insert into other machines to play with.
  • TILT: A “Tilt” occurs when a slot machine has no credit left inside or where a malfunction has occurred. When this happens, the “Candle” at the top of the machine will light up to alert support staff of the situation.
  • TOTAL BET: The total amount of money wagered for a particular spin.
  • VIDEO SLOT MACHINE: A slot machine using computer-animated images.

Slots Glossary W-Z

  • WAGER: The amount of money placed in the form of a bet by the player.
  • WAGER MANAGEMENT: The methods that players utilise to take note of their spending habits.
  • WILD SYMBOL: When a player is one symbol short of a winning combination, a “Wild Symbol” can act as a substitute for the missing symbol that is needed to produce a payout.
  • WIN: A player registers a “win” when the reels spin and land in a winning combination.
  • WINNING COMBINATION: A Winning Combination is a row of symbols lined up in a particular order that entitle the player to a payout. These take various forms depending on which slot machine is being used. There are often many different winning combinations on each slot machine, each of them providing the player with a different amount of winnings.
  • ZIGZAG: A “Zigzag” describes the pattern of winning combinations of a multi-line slot machine.