Types Of Slots

Adam Shaw By Adam Shaw

8 min read


A slot machine is a type of gambling game, found either in land-based casinos or on online operators, that requires players to spin the reels and connect identical symbols in a specific order to get a payout.

The first slot machines date back to the late 19th century. In the beginning, they usually consisted of three reels and only one payline, but they got more advanced as time went by. Despite the fact that slots are one of the newer gambling forms, they represent the majority of games any casino has to offer today. What’s more, with the increased popularity of online gambling in the past couple of decades, you can now find thousands of video slots that you can play on your computer or mobile device.

One of the best things about slots is that they are all different in a way. Whether it’s the theme, game mechanics, the RTP, the number of paylines, or bonus rounds, each title is a game for itself.

If you’re only beginning to learn about slots and you don’t know much about them, we are here to help. In this article, we will tell you all about various slots types, denominations, the difference between land-based and online slots, payout rates and their frequency, paylines, and more. Read on!


Reels on slot machines represent vertical lines that get spun in each round. Each reel has a certain number of rows, with each row having one symbol on it. Before the digitalization of slot games, you would pull on a lever that starts the mechanical process of reel spinning. Nowadays, however, most slot games are in video format, so instead of a lever, you will just need to press the spin button and the reels on the screen will start spinning.

The most common types of slot machines have the following number of reels:

We have dedicated a couple of pages to each one of these slot types, explaining them in detail, so make sure to keep reading if you wish to learn more.


Slot machine games can also be categorized based on which denominations they accept. In the case of American slots, you can use anything from a penny to dollar banknotes. Here are the most common denominations used for slots in the US:

When it comes to online slot machines, however, the rules are a little bit different. For each of these games, you will get minimum and maximum deposit limits. The amount you deposit will represent your balance. Then, you can decide on your coin value per spin and control how much you wager in every round.


What we described in the intro is about traditional slots. What most people think when they hear the word slots. These machines are also often called fruit machines in the UK, and Australians call them pokies. Traditional slots consist of a minimum of three reels filled with different symbols that get spun once per round. The goal of the game is to land a
combination of symbols in a specific order. Each spin costs a certain amount of money, and in most cases, the player will be able to choose how much money he or she wants to bet per spin.

Check out the main type of slots below:


All slot games have a jackpot; it represents the highest payout a player can win. However, there are two different types of slot jackpots — flat tops and progressive.

Flat Tops

Flat tops are slot types that have a predetermined or fixed jackpot. This jackpot is usually triggered when you land a combination of highest-paying symbols in the best possible order. The higher you wager, the higher the payout will be. Depending on the game, the jackpot amount can differ. While you will still win a hefty sum, hitting a jackpot on flat tops is
rarely going to win you a sum bigger than one million dollars.


Progressive slot machines, on the other hand, don’t have a predetermined jackpot amount. Instead, when every player wagers on a progressive slot game, the jackpot size increases. The jackpot continues to increase until one player hits the right combination and wins it all. Due to their jackpot mechanics, progressive slots can win you millions of dollars and
change your life overnight.

There are three types of progressive slot machines. Standalone machines account for a jackpot that’s equal to the total size of wagers only for that specific machine. However, progressive slots can also be linked, either with several machines counting towards a community jackpot in a certain casino room, or they can be connected in a wide area throughout an entire state or a jurisdiction.


Classes in slot machines have a lot to do with gambling laws and regulations. Class I are low-tier social games where hardcore gaming is excluded. In the US, each state has its own gambling laws and slots are banned in some states. However, Class I doesn’t concern slots since these games fall in Class II and Class III categories.

Class II

Slots categorized as Class II are basically video bingo games. They are mostly found in US states where traditional slots are forbidden by law. Bingo is most frequently found in this class because it represents a game where players compete against one another, while traditional slots are single-player games where players are competing against the house. Class II slots are nothing but virtual bingo games, but they can nevertheless be exciting.

Class III

Any games where you stake your odds against the house are considered Class III games. This is where you will find not only slot machines, but also craps, roulette, and blackjack, among others. Basically, any virtual gambling game that is programmed with a random number generator is considered a Class III game.


Depending on where you play them, slot machine games can be separated into two types — online and land-based.

Online Slots

Today, a majority of gamblers enjoy slot games on their computers and mobile phones. Online slots are found on almost every casino website today, and they don’t differ that much from land-based ones, except that you can play them from the comfort of your home. What’s more, you can play online slots on your mobile device these days. All you need is a stable internet connection and a registered casino account.


Land-based slot machines are found in traditional brick-and-mortar casino houses. While most of these games are virtual as well, you get to play them on a big gaming station with actual buttons and levers.


One thing that you have to understand about slot machines is that they are random-number generated. That means that no matter how much you believe a machine can get “hot” or “cold”, the chances for the next spin to be a winning one will always be the same. It’s much like a coin toss really.

The chances for you to land a jackpot on the first spin are the same as they are after one hundred spins. It is futile to come up with any sort of tactics or strategies when playing slot machine games. Whether you play them in casino houses or online, all slots are luck-based, and there’s no skill involved in playing them whatsoever.


Each slot game has its own payout frequency, or what it’s commonly known as a Return to Player percentage (RTP). However, this percentage can only be taken into account if you spin the reels over one million times, which means that you can lose all of your money on a game that is considered favorable to players regardless of the RTP. There are three different slots types that you can run into based on their payout frequency.


These slot machines come with an RTP of 95% or more, which is above the industry average. Sometimes the payout frequency of these slots is kept a secret, so players wouldn’t ignore all other games.


These games are somewhere in between. They’re not that favorable, but there are still many worse slots out there.


Tight slots are the hardest ones to win money on. They have a low payout frequency and are programmed to almost always take money from you. Different states have different laws when it comes to the minimum RTP of these machines; it usually varies from 75% to 85%.


If you’re new to slot machine games, you are probably confused as to how certain combinations pay out. Each slot game uses what’s called paylines; these represent a pattern in which you need to land identical symbols in order to win.

Older slot machines kept it simple and had only one row with one payline. However, modern games tend to have tens, if not hundreds, of paylines that allow players to win with multiple combinations over a single spin. Most new slots have 20, 25, or 40 paylines, but some are labeled as “243 ways to win” and they offer all kinds of possible combinations from left to right.

Adam Shaw


Hi, I'm Adam Shaw, the Chief Editor at I love casinos and have been working in the slots industry for more than 12 years. My passion for slots and casino games made me create this website, and under my supervision, our team will make sure you're enjoying the latest games and getting the best online casino deals!

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