Slots Terminology

Slots Terminology Slot Machine Slang – Slots Glossary

You do not really need to know Slots Terminology to play slots, but you can definitely impress your friends when you visit the casino with the impressive news you will gain from knowing this page.

3D Video Slots

Slot games with 3D video involve animation-heavy graphics which provide added depth to gameplay by bringing the symbols to life upon hitting a pay line.

Payback Percentage

The payback percentage is a reference to the amount of money a slot game should return to players over a period of time.

3-Reel Slot

A typical online slot that has three reels in addition to three rows of symbols.

5-Reel Slot

A typical online slot with five reels in addition to three or four rows of symbols.

243 Ways to Win

Slot games that don’t consider just one pay line to determine winners are known as 243 Ways to Win. Instead, winners are based on any winning combination of symbols that appear on all the reels on the screen.


A feature that enables plays to automatically set the number of spins within a game.


The total amount of money wagered on any spin.

Bet Max

The bet max refers to the maximum number of credits on a slot game that a player can bet on each spin. There is usually a button on the slot machine that enables the player to bet the maximum number of credits. Typically, the highest payout amounts are calculated for the bet max spins.

Bet Min

The bet min refers to the minimum number of credits that can be bet on a slot machine during each spin.

Bet One

The bet one means to only bet one unit or credit per spin of the slot machine.

Betting Units

Betting units are the units used to wager. The value of the betting units is determined by the denomination slot machine that you are playing. Betting units are the same as credits.

Big Hit

The big hit is a slots term for when the player hits the jackpot combination.


A bonus is a special feature of the particular game theme, which is activated when certain symbols appear in a winning combination. Bonuses and the number of bonus features vary depending on the game.

Some bonus rounds are a special free spins session (the number of which is often based on the winning combination that triggers the bonus), often with a different or modified set of winning combinations like the main game and/or other multipliers or increased symbol frequencies, or a ‘hold and raise’ mechanism in which specific symbols (usually marked with values of credits or other prizes) are collected and locked into place over a finite number of turns.

In other bonus rounds, the player is presented with several items on a screen to choose from. As the player chooses items, a number of credits are revealed and awarded, and some bonuses use a mechanical device, such as a spinning wheel, which works in conjunction with the bonus to display the amount won.


candle is a light above the slot machine. It flashes to alert the operator that a change is required, that a manual payment is requested, or that there is a potential problem with the machine. It can be turned on by the player by pressing the “service” or “help” button.


The carousel refers to a group of slot machines, usually in a circle or oval.

Coin hopper

coin hopper is a container where coins are kept immediately available for payment. The hopper is a mechanical device that spins the coins in the coin tray when a player collects coins (by pressing a “Cash Out” button).

When a certain preset coin capacity is reached, a coin diverter automatically redirects, or “drops”, excess coins into a “drop bucket” or “dropbox”. (Unused coin hoppers can still be found even on games that exclusively use Ticket-In, Ticket-Out technology, as a holdover.)

Credit counter

The credit counter is a display of the amount of money or the number of credits on the machine. On mechanical slots, this is typically a seven-segment display, but video slots typically use stylized text that suits the game’s theme and user interface.

Linked machines

Certain varieties of slot machines can be linked together in a configuration sometimes referred to as a “community” game. The most basic form of this setup involves progressive jackpots which are shared between the machine bank but can include multiplayer bonuses and other features.

In some cases, several machines are linked between several casinos. In these cases, the machines can be owned by the manufacturer, who is responsible for paying the jackpot. The casinos rent out the machines rather than owning them outright. Casinos in New Jersey, Nevada, and South Dakota now offer progressive multi-state jackpots, which now offer larger jackpot pools.

Slots Terminology slang
Bucket or deposit box

The bucket or deposit box is a container located in the base of a slot machine where excess coins are diverted from the hopper. Typically, a deposit bucket is used for low face value slots and a deposit box is used for high face value slots.

A deposit box contains a hinged lid with one or more locks while a deposit bucket does not contain a lid. The contents of the buckets and deposit boxes are collected and counted by the casino on a scheduled basis.


is the abbreviation for “Electronic Gaming Machine”.

Free spins

Are a common form of bonus, where a series of spins are automatically played at no cost to the player’s current bet. Free spins are usually triggered via a scatter of at least three designated symbols (the number of spins depending on the number of symbols that land).

Some games allow the free spins bonus to re-trigger, which adds additional spins on top of those already awarded. There is no theoretical limit to the number of free spins that can be obtained. Some games may have other features which may also trigger during free spins.

Fruit Machine

A nickname coined by British people during the first introduction of slot machines in the UK which all contained fruit symbols.

Manual payment

manual payment refers to a payment made by an attendant or at a point of exchange (“cage”), rather than by the slot machine itself. A manual payout occurs when the payout amount exceeds the maximum amount that has been preset by the operator of the slot machine. 

Usually, the maximum amount is set at the level where the trader has to start deducting taxes. Manual salary might also be required due to short salary.

Hopper Fill Slip

The Hopper Fill Slip is a document used to record the replenishment of the coin in the Hopper after it has been depleted as a result of player payments. The slip indicates the number of coins placed in the hoppers, as well as the signatures of the employees involved in the transaction, the number of the slot machine, and the place and date.

Hammer a Machine

To hammer a machine is slang for playing the same slot for a long period of time, usually in an attempt to win a large progressive jackpot.


FLOUR Book ( Machine enTry a Log AUTHORIZATION ) is a log of the employee’s entries into the machine.

Hit Frequency

How often a particular game pays out on average. The lower the number the better, as a game with a hit frequency of three can be expected to pay out on average one out of three spins.

Hold Percentage

The hold percentage refers to the amount of the players’ money the casino keeps. For example, a 99% slot machine keeps one pound while returning ninety-nine pounds back to the player.

Hot Slots

The opposite of cold, hot slots refers to machines that pay out more often than others.

Mega Moolah

Also known as the ‘millionaire maker’, Mega Moolah is an African savanna-themed game that has become known for delivering the biggest progressive jackpots online.
There’s not much that can be said about this game that hasn’t been said before. It is probably the single most famous online slot in the world, a title it has earned by shoveling out buckets of money in ridiculously sized jackpots.

The game might be much to look at, but its most loyal player doesn’t care. It remains the go-to game for players looking to become overnight millionaires. Its RTP suffers as a result, but those chasing the dream don’t seem to care about that either.

Slots low

The slots low or slanted include a stool so the player can sit. The slot machines standing or standing to play standing.


A jackpot is a top prize or the highest amount of winnings that a slot machine can payout.

Progressive Jackpot

A linked progressive jackpot or wide area progressive is two or more slot machines whose progressive jackpots are all linked together.

Optimal play

Optimal play is a payout percentage based on a player using the optimal strategy in a skill-based slot game.

Pay line

The pay line is a line that crosses a symbol on each reel, along which a winning combination is evaluated. Conventional spinning reel machines typically have up to nine pay lines, while video slots can have up to a hundred. Paylines can be of different shapes (horizontal, vertical, oblique, triangular, zigzag, etc.)

Mobile Slots

Slot games optimized for your mobile phone or tablet devices. These games are usually created using HTML5 and JavaScript and are compatible with most operating systems.

Persistent state

Persistent state refers to the passive features of certain slot machines, some of which may trigger bonus payouts or other special features if certain conditions are met over time by players on that machine. [19]


Roll-up is the process of dramatizing a victory by playing sounds while the counters count up to the amount that has been won.

Short payout

A short payout refers to a partial payout made by a slot machine, which is less than the amount owed to the player. This happens if the coin hopper has been depleted as a result of previous payments to players. The remaining amount due to the player is either paid in hand or an attendant will come to fill the machine.

Nudge Slot

A nudge slot machine allows the user to move or ‘nudge’ a key line up or down to help create a winning combination.


A scatter is a winning combination based on occurrences of a designated symbol landing anywhere on the reels, rather than falling in sequence on the same pay line. A scatter payout generally requires a minimum of three symbols to land, and the machine may offer increased prizes or jackpots depending on the number that lands.

Scatters are frequently used to trigger bonus games, such as free spins (the number of spins multiplying by the number of scatter symbols that land). The scatter symbol generally cannot be matched with wild cards, and some games may require the scatter symbols to appear on consecutive reels in order to payout. On some multiway games, scatter symbols always pay out in unused areas.


Taste is a reference to the small amount often paid to keep a player seated and betting at all times. Only rarely will machines not pay even the minimum over multiple runs.


Tilt is a term derived from the “tilt switches” of electromechanical slot machines, which would make or interrupt a circuit when tilted or otherwise tampered with and trigger an alarm. While modern machines no longer have toggle switches, any kind of technical defect (bad door switch, rewinder motor failure, lack of paper, etc.) is still referred to as “tipping”.

Notional Hold Spreadsheet

Notional Hold Spreadsheet is a document provided by the manufacturer for each slot machine that shows the notional percentage the machine must keep based on the amount paid. The spreadsheet also shows the reel strip parameters, the number of coins that can be played, the hourly payout, the number of reels, and other descriptive information of the particular type of slot machine.


Volatility or variance refers to the measure of risk associated with playing a slot machine. A low volatility slot machine has regular but smaller payouts, while a high variance slot machine has fewer but larger payouts.

Number of weights

The number of weights is an American term referring to the total value of the coins or tokens withdrawn from a slot machine drip bucket or the drop-down list for the casino counting by hard counting team by the use of a balance.

Wild symbols

Wild symbols replace most other symbols in the game (similar to a wild card), usually excluding scatter and jackpot symbols (or offering a lower prize on unnatural combinations that include wild cards). The behavior of the jokers depends on the specific game and whether the player is in a bonus or free games mode. Sometimes wild symbols may only appear on certain reels or have a chance to “stack” all over the reel.

Bonus Feature

Bonus features include wild cards, symbols, and free spins.

Bonus Multiplier Slot Machines

Bonus multiplier slots are slot machines offering larger jackpots to entice players to bet the maximum number of credits.

Bonus Round

A special feature that offers free games or instant cash wins.

Branded Slots

An online theme-based slot game typically with famous movies or TV programs with added features and attractive gameplay graphics.

Cascading Reels

A bonus feature where winning-combos disappear from the reels to be replaced by the symbols above and creates the opportunity to accumulate more wins on a single spin. Also known as Tumbling Reels or Rolling Reels.


A reference to rewards given to slots club card players.

Certified Slots

Certified slots are those machines that casinos guarantee have a payout of 98%-100%. These are well advertised within land-based casinos.


The classic as the name suggests is a certain vintage-style slot based on the old-school slot machines with minimal pay lines and no bonus features. Classic slots usually feature the famous fruit, bell, seven, and BAR symbols. The symbols themselves have roots as far back as the 19th century.

Early machines would give out fruit-flavored gum as prizes, and the fruit on the reels represented the flavor of the gum. The bell comes from one of the first-ever slot machines, The Liberty Bell, launched in 1895. The BAR symbol was derived from an early logo for the Bell-Fruit Gum Company that provided the prizes for classic slots back in the day.

Coin In / Coin Out

Coin in and coin out refer to the number of credits or units both played and paid out. Coin in is the number of units played and coin out is the number of units won.


Coins for slots come in many denominations from one penny to one pound or more.

Coin Hopper

The container where the coins that are immediately available for payouts are held. The hopper is the mechanical device that rotates coins into the coin tray when a player collects credits/coins (by pressing a “Cash Out” button).

Coin Size

The set amount of money a player must put in order to play that specific game. Different machines will have different betting amounts per pay line.

Cold Slots

Slot machine slang for games that do not pay out very often.


Collect is usually a button or an option on the slot that enables the slots player to convert their credits/coins into cash.


Slot club members may be entitled to ‘comps’ or complimentary rewards in the form of free accommodation, meals, or other gifts for playing often.

Penny Slots

A slot machine game that accepts one penny for credit specifically designed for low-stakes players. The name comes from the term ‘penny’ to mean one penny, the lowest possible coin denomination in pounds sterling. The same term is used to describe one cent in American dollars.

Low-stakes slot machines are still popular all over the world as it gives players the opportunity to play for longer time periods without spending too much money. Given that a spin takes somewhere between 3-5 seconds, the cost of chasing a jackpot can really stack up quickly if the minimum bet is too high.

Slots Terminology FAQs

  • The Payline.
  • The Coin Tray.
  • The Slots Lever.
  • The Play Buttons.
  • The Displays.
  • The Symbols.

Etymology. The “slot machine” term derives from the slots on the machine for inserting and retrieving coins. “Fruit machine” comes from the traditional fruit images on the spinning reels such as lemons and cherries.

When you talk about money, a denomination is a bill or coin. In slots, you don’t need a specific bill or coin to have a specific denomination, but similar to having a single bill or coin as a unit for the denomination, on a slot it refers to how much one credit has in value.

5 of a kind on a 60 cent bet pays $3, or 5x, so you get a healthy $24 (40x) win if it was just buffalo symbols. But the wilds, which can be x2 or x3, in this case, both swung x3, So now that $24 is multiplied by 9, for a $216 total win on a single bonus spin.

Jackpot – The jackpot is the top pay-out amount on a slot machine. Sometimes the jackpot is a progressive top prize that climbs with each spin until a player wins it. Line or Pay Line – A line is usually from left to right and is the plane or area where you need to line up matching symbols to win a payout.

A video lottery terminal (VLT), also sometimes known as a video gaming terminal, video slots, or the video lottery, is a type of electronic gambling machine. They are typically operated by a region’s lottery and situated at licensed establishments such as bars and restaurants.

Slot machines contain random number generators that can generate thousands of numbers per second, each of which is associated with a different combination of symbols. Whether you win or lose is determined by the random number generated in the exact instant you activate each play—if it matches a pay line, you win.

This means that you’re still wagering $1 per spin. This is because while the unit of credits is worth a penny – so they are, technically, “penny slots” as you know them – you’ll be prompted to wager on all available pay lines, often with multiple credits per line.

You can’t tell when a slot machine is about to hit. It’s impossible. That’s the nature of the machine.

Slots do payout the most at night since this is when there are more players on the casino floor. … With more people playing a specific title frequently, the higher the payout rate of the slot gets during that time.

  1. Choose the slots that have high payouts.
  2. Choose the slots with the correct volatility level.
  3. Choose the slot with the highest Return to Player.
  4. Read reviews of the Slots on casino sites, forums, and Reddit.
  5. Sign up to get a bonus with low wagering requirements.

The fact is that any pattern you find in the slot reels is a mere coincidence. The random number generator (RNG) governs everything that happens in the slot machine and it doesn’t care about what patterns showed up previously.

Hold-and-spin game-play mechanics have the player chasing a goal by collecting symbols, usually within a set number of spins. The more collected symbols, the higher the award. This style of gameplay started with a mega-hit from one manufacturer but spread as more and more players demanded this style of game.

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