Slots Glossary

Attendant Button and Attendant Light
A button on the machine that you press to alert the casino that you're having trouble with a machine. It turns on the attendant light which is located on top of the machine.

Big Bertha
A huge slot machine from the early electronic era of slot machines. It has a big handle and up to ten reels.

Bonus Slots
This is a promotion within a game whereby the player gets a bonus for hitting a particular combination and betting a specific number of credits.

Bonus Multiplier
A feature that encourages players to bet the maximum on each spin by offering a bonus for doing so.

A machine that changes the payout schedule depending on how many coins or credits you bet. A payout on a two-credit bet might not pay on a one-credit bet.

The cashier's cubicle.

Coins Per Payline
Allows players to decide how many coins to bet on each payline.

Coins Per Spin
Allows players to choose how many coins to bet on each spin up to the machine's maximum bet. In these machines, the jackpot is often paid out only when the player has bet the maximum.

A winning arrangement of symbols on a payline.

Freebies the casino gives to some players.

Credit Button
A button on the machine that enables the player to convert coins into credits.

Credit Meter
This part of the machine records your credits. It supplanted coin slots.

Virtual money. On a two-dollar machine, a ten dollar bill buys five credits.

The cost of a credit in terms of that machine. Machines come in denominations as low as one cent and go up from there.

Dime Machine
Slang for a machine that accepts bets in multiples of ten. It could be a ten cent machine but could also be a 10 dollar or even a 100 dollar machine.

Double Machine
Pays double for specific symbols patterns.

Down Slots
A machine with a low payout schedule.

Drop Through
When a coin doesn't register but falls through the mechanism. If it results in a player missing a max bet it could cost him a lot of money.

Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM)
Video slot machine.

First Deposit Bonus
A bonus the casino offers to first-time players.

A program that enables players to play online without needing to download software.

Hand Pay
Where a casino employee makes the actual payment to a winner. This occurs when the sum is too high for the machine to pay or the machine has made a mistake and not made the correct payment.

Hit and Run
Considered by some to be the best strategy for playing slots: quit while you're ahead.

Hold Button
This is a feature unique to U.K. machines. It allows you to hold a line so that it doesn't spin on the next play. (see nudge button)

The area inside the machine where the coins are stored.

A new form of slots that has players follow a storyline while playing.

The highest payout on any particular machine.

Loose Slots
A machine that is paying out more than the odds would dictate.

Low Level
A machine designed so players can sit while playing.

Loyalty Points
Points that are earned by playing. They can be converted into cash, credits, or comps.

Max Bet
The largest bet allowed by a particular machine.

A machine that offers many paylines.

This symbol acts as a wild card and also multiplies the payout for winning combinations.

Nickel Machine
Slang for a machine with a max bet of 5 cents, 5 dollars, or 50 dollars.

No Deposit
A bonus offered by casinos to attract new players.

Nudge Button
A feature of U.K. machines that allows you to move a symbol to create a winning line. (see hold button)

One-armed Bandit
The most famous gambling slang term.

Players who gamble one coin at a time.

Pay Cycle
The mistaken notion that slot machines have a built-in pay out schedule. This leads players to seek out machines that are "due". In reality, the cycle for a machine may be a year and in that year the machine will have fluctuations in variance with the odds.

Pay Table
A chart that shows all winning combinations and payouts.

A straight, diagonal, or broken line that creates a winning combination.

The value of a winning combination.

Payout Percentage
The fraction of the money wagered that is returned to all players as a group. Payout percentages usually range from 95-98%.

Plow In
To use your winnings to make more bets.

Poker Slots
An alternative name for video poker.

Australian slang for slot machines. In Australia slot machines are called poker machines.

Progressive Slots
A promotion where many machines are connected, a fraction of all wagers is collected into one pot, and when one player playing one machine in the network of machines hits a specific combination, s/he wins a big jackpot.

Quarter Machine
Slang for a machine that might have a 25 cent max bet, or 25 dollars, or 250 dollars.

Rain on the Roof
The sound of coins dropping into the well. Many unoccupied machines play a recording of this sound periodically to attract players.

The wheels on which the symbols are affixed. Online and in video slots the reels are actually animations.

Reload Bonus
A bonus given by the casino when a player buys more credits.

Rhythm Method
A completely useless playing strategy that attempts to time spins and gain an advantage over the machine.

A symbol common to 5-reel machines. They are a kind of wild that can produce a win even when they aren't on a payline or lined up.

Second Screen
A feature of video slots, this appears on the screen when a bonus game is given.

Short Pay
When the hopper doesn't have enough money to pay the winning amount. A casino employee makes the payment. (see hand pay)

Slot Cheat
Some players use electronic or mechanical devices to gain an advantage. Use of such devices is a felony in most jurisdictions.

Slot Club
A type of bonus offered by the casino. When you sign up you get a special card which you insert into the machine before you play. It keeps a record of your action. Based on your action you will be entitled to various comps.

Slot Ticket
A computer-generated ticket that shows your winnings. You must redeem tickets at the cashier. Tickets are now often used instead of coins to pay winners. Tickets have an expiration date so remember to cash all your tickets as soon as possible.

Slots Tournament
A timed competition in which players try to achieve the highest number of credits in a given time.

A machine in which the jackpot is pre-determined. See progressive

A malfunction that causes the machine to freeze. A casino employee will reset the machine. The machine's memory insures that the player will not lose his last bet.

Some machines take tokens instead of coins. The change person will exchange your money for tokens.

Up Slot
A machine's payout schedule over a long period of time.

Up/Down Cycle
The payout schedule covers a very long period of time, often a full year. Within that year there are fluctuations causing up periods and down periods.

Video Slot
An animated slot machine where the outcomes are produced by a Random Number Generator.

The basket at the bottom of the machine. The sound of money jingling into the well was once common in casinos. Today most casinos use computer-generated tickets to show winnings.

A symbol that can substitute for any other symbol in that particular game.

Win Rate
The frequency of winning hands. When the win rate is high the average payout is low and when the win rate is low the payouts are relatively high.

Winning Spin
A combination of symbols that result in a payout. While there are many possible winning combinations, there is only one that pays a jackpot.

Posted by Nick David

Click for a full list of all casino game rules, how to play and strategies.