The original slot machine was the Liberty Bell. Introduced in the late 1800’s, it seems pretty simple to today’s standard slot machines, although the modern ones are definitely reminiscent of the old hunk-o-metal one-reel machines with a silver lever arm to make the spin work.
These days more than 70% of casinos revenue comes from slot machine usage. No longer the embarrassing, old-fashioned chunky game in the corner, slot machines have taken over the gambling world and are now considered a fun and entertaining way to gamble.
They use little cash, little effort and title tactics, and are meant to be the ‘easy’ game on the gaming floor.
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Pick your machine. There are many different kinds of slot machines to play. All the electronic games today have a different theme. Many of these are based on popular and classic movies, musicians or celebrities like Star Wars, The Terminator, Ghostbusters, Brittany Spears and Dolly Parton. Even Bruce Lee and television series Orange is the new Black, have their own games. The list goes on, and more and more games are produced every year. Not only based on real people or shows, games have themes like football, shopping, holidays or random cartoon characters. Pick the one that most appeals to you, or one you have researched and know well.
Not just in regards to theme, slot machines vary in style. Videos poker slots and video bingo are available, but the more popular are the multiple line slots. The standard older 3 to 5 reel machines are the ones with a metal arm to pull. These are still around and popular today but the computerized multi-line machines have taken over the slot floor in most casinos.
Playing the pokies is nice and simple. Pick either your three reel, or five reel, machine and select your bet before you put in your money. This is done by pressing the ‘play one credit’ button as many times as you want, to bring it to your maximum bet.
Press the spin button, or pull the bar if you are on a one armed robot and watch the reels fly.
There will be payout lines on the screens in front of the reels, match these up on any particular spin and you’ll pay a certain amount for any given combination. Your wins will be put on to credit in the machine and stay there until you ‘cash out’ at the end of the game. If you are playing on an old retro machine you may even find your feet covered in coins!
Stakes and bonuses
Typically, matching up certain symbols on your game will trigger a game bonus. Bonus can be many different things and vary from game to game. It also varies in each game as to how often bonuses are given. It’s a good idea to play on a game that has lots of bonuses, as you are more likely to win.
Bonuses can come in the form of free spins, extra screens opening up (on the electronic games). Extra symbols to touch on or animations to click on that reveal special coin or spin prizes.
Safety and withdrawal
When you are ready to leave a machine hit the ‘cash out’ button and take your printed ticket to the cashier. If you are at a casino and you are playing with a club card, take your club card out of the machine and take it to the cashier.
The best way to limit your spending on the pokie slot machines is to only go in with the money you intend to play with. When it’s gone, its gone, and it is time to move on. Don’t use your credit or debit card and have some realistic ideas about your chances of winning on one night of play. It is very easy to spend hours in front of a machine and it will feel like minutes to you. Try not to drink too much whilst you play as it may cloud your judgement and remember to have a break every now and then, stretch your legs, get some air, or some food. It will kill that zombie feeling real quick.
Where to play
Pokie machines are usually a staple in every casino’s main gambling floor, well the big ones at least, outnumbering the poker, roulette or baccarat tables by far. Small casinos may be entirely filled with these machines and they are a regular sight at Australian RSL clubs around the country. Depending on their legality, in some countries and states you may even find two or three in the back corner of a bar, club or hotel.
The Venetian Macau Casino in China has an incredible 3000 gaming machines on its 546,00 square feet of gaming floor. This is by far the largest in the world. Even the MGM grand in Las Vegas cant beat that at only 2,300 machines on 170,00 square feet of floor, although that is pretty impressive as well.