Just like any other game, slot machines are loaded with different meanings and terminology. Below is our list of slot terms.
Arm: The arm was a mechanical lever used to assist in spinning the reels. The arm is no longer in use with modern slot machines. The arm gave three reel slots the nickname “one armed bandit”.
Bank: The slot term “bank” refers to a row or section of slot machines.
Bonus: Bonus is a term used for a feature game built within the game. The bonus is awarded to players based on a specific combinations. A bonus is generally found on video slot machines, however it’s not uncommon to find a bonus on some of the three reel slots.
Bonus Video Slots : A bonus video slot is one of the most popular types of slot machines these days. The games are significantly different than the standard one armed bandit in that the games can offer anywhere from 9 to 100 paylines, huge jackpots, bonus video features and intense graphics.
Call Attendant: The term “call attendant” refers to when a player has one a substantially large jackpot and requires a hand payout.
Carousel of Slots: This refers to a group of slot machines, similar to the bank of slots. An example of a “carousel of slots” would be the Wheel of Fortune games whereby, the games are placed together on the casino floor.
Certified: A certified slot machine means that the game has been put through vigorous testing to confirm that the game is fair and the payouts meet the regulations set forth by the licensee.
Coin Hopper: The coin hopper is the part that holds the winnings in a slot machine. Back when slots still paid out coins, players would hit the cash out button, and their coins would drop into the hopper. These days the hopper is no longer in use. Players simply hit the cash out button and receive a ticket stub to take to the cashier
Coin Size: The slot term “coin size” refers to the amount of the bet.
Cold: A cold machine is a term used when a machine is not paying out as expected. There is no such thing as a cold slot, although some slot players like to think this is true.
Comps Program: A comps program is a service available for all players. The casino, both live and online offer comp programs to reward players with cash back, free dinners, shows, hotels and the like.
Credit meter : The credit meter is a meter that displays the players balance in credits. For example on a nickel slot, if the player has a $100 in the game, the credit meter will show a balance of 2000. Players will often confuse the value of the amount of credits, thus being a bit more careless with their bankroll.
Hand Pay: A hand pay works in combination with the call attendant. When a player exceeds the maximum payout available on a machine, the machine will display call attendant and a hand pay will be awarded.
Expanding Wild Symbols – An expanding wild is a wild symbol that will multiply and spread across the reels in a specific or random order. Games that use the expanding wild symbols include Triple Twister, Wicked Winnings.
Fruit Machine: A fruit machine, also referred to as pub slots, uk fruity’s, etc, are British slot machines.
Ghost: This slot term refers to the blank stop on a reel. Essentially there is no symbol.
Hit Rate: This is also called a “hit frequency” and is a term used for how often a slot machine will payout. Another term for “hit rate” is payout percentage.
Hold and Re-spin: This is a typical feature found in fruit machines and also goes by the name of hold and nudge. This feature allows a player to choose which symbols they want to hold and which symbols they would like to nudge (meaning re-spin).
Locked Wilds – A locked wild works just like a wild symbol on a slot machine, except that the wild is locked and usually allows for a re-spin of the remaining reels. This can help players complete winning combinations. An example of a slot machine using the “locked wild” feature is Madder Scientist, Wicked Winnings and Wolf Run.
Loose Slot: A loose slot is a slot that pays out frequently, sometimes the wins are smaller, but hit more often.
Max Bet: The max bet is a term used to describe the maximum amount a player can wager on a single spin. Click here to see why it's not always neccessary to place max bets.
Mechanical Slots: A mechanical slot machine used mechanical reels rather than the video games we see in the casinos these days. There are some casinos that still have mechanical slots on the floor, however the games are few and far between. Mechanical slots are normally sold as collector slots.
Multi-payline Slots: A multi-payline slot machine is a slot that offers more than one payline to wager on.
Multiple Coin Slot Machine: This is game that requires at least two coins to play.
Multiplier Slots: Multipler slots allow players to win more than line x bet. The games can multiple the players win by 2 x – 10 x the wager depending on how the game is played.
One-Armed Bandits: This is the name given to slot machines that had the arm.
Payback Percentage: The payout percentage is expressed as the amount of money a slot machine will pay back players over the entire lifespan of the machine. This means that a slot with a 98% payout percentage rate, guarantees that the slot machine will payout $98 for every $100 collected over it’s entire life in commission. That said, it does not mean that a player is expected to win $98 for every $100.
Pay-line: The pay-line is the line that is drawn across the screen. Winning combinations must fall on one of the pay-lines in order to qualify as a win. A winning pay-line can read left to right, right to left, or both right to left and left to right. It’s important to understand how a machine will win before you start playing.
Pay Table: The paytable provides you with details on how you will win, and the amount of credits awarded based on the combination of symbols. You can find the paytable by looking at the machine (if playing a real slot) or by pushing the “Help” or “Pay Table” button on the screen.
Pokie: A pokie, also known as poker machine is a term used for slot machine in Australia.
Progressive Jackpot: A progressive jackpot is a game that takes a percentage of each bet and places it in a pool also known as jackpot. If a player hits the winning progressive combination, the player will be awarded the jackpot. There are many different kinds of progressives.
Progressive Jackpot: The jackpot on a slot machine grows as each bet is played. There are two types of progressive jackpots: individual progressive jackpot and multiple progressive jackpot. Individual jackpot is a progressive jackpot that only builds on the bets of one slot machine. Multiple jackpots build as bets are placed on multiple slot machines. More than one slot machine is linked to a single progressive jackpot; jackpots grow very quickly on multiple progressive jackpots.
Progressive Meter: The progressive meter keeps track of the value of the jackpot.
Scatter: Scatters are symbols that award players a win for hitting a fixed number of scatters. In most games the scatters can land on any reel and in any location, but you are normally required to hit two to win your money back. Three or more scatters will trigger a bonus feature in a video slot machine.
Skill Stop - The skill stop feature became popular in the 70's. This is a button that allows you to stop the machines reels rather than waiting for the reels to finish spinning. You can read more about the skill stop feature here.
Slot Tournament: Slot tournaments are quite popular these days in land based casinos as well as online casinos. A slot tournament is available for free and real money. The concept behind the tournament is to give players a fixed amount of credits and a specific amount of time. Players will compete to obtain the biggest win using the credits only in the specific time period. The player with the highest win, wins the tournament.
Ways Win Slots - A "ways win" slot, also called 243 ways to win, is a slot machine that does not use the traditional paylines, but instead calculates the win starting with the first symbol at the top left. As long as the next symbols fall anywhere on the subsequent reels, the win is paid out. A ways win slot means you don't need a specific combination to win.