Introduction to Casino Gambling Definitions
Improving the odds of winning at slot machine gambling includes knowing the most common slot machine casino gambling definitions. Basic to understanding slot machines is to know the terminology used to describe its components.
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Some game themes have a special feature activated when certain symbols appear. The specific bonus varies with the game but is, in essence, an additional round of play.
This bonus round may include free spins, quite possibly with a theme or odds different from the primary game, as well as a multiplier. Or the bonus round may give the player of a choice of picking between several items on a screen, each revealing the number of credits awarded.
Some bonuses use a mechanical device, possibly the primary reels, and additional reels designed for this purpose, or an entirely different spinning wheel prominently displayed to garner other player’s attention from a distance. Some slot machines have multiple styles of bonus rounds.
Located at the top of a slot machine is a signal light. It can be activated by a player via a service button on the machine’s console, activated automatically when a jackpot requires a hand pay be provided by a casino operator, or if the machine is having a mechanical problem. Mechanical issues can include
- being out of paper
- paper jams
- tilt condition
- other unplanned maintenance issues internal to the machine
A grouping of slot machines.
A visual display of the amount of money and/or credits currently available to the player on the machine.
Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM)
This is another term for a slot machine designed for gambling purposes.
A payout made by a casino operator either at the slot machine or at the casino’s cashier “cage”. A hand pay occurs when the ticket amount exceeds the limit of automatic pay dispensers, which can vary from casino to casino, or when a single jackpot exceeds the limit set for automatic payment of government taxes of gambling income. A hand pay may also be necessary if a short pay on a coin-operated slot machine has occurred.
Low Level/Slant Top Machine Configuration
A type of physical arrangement where the slot machine has a stool or chair allowing the player to sit down.
Machine Entry Authorization Log (MEAL)
A log of the physical entry into a slot machine by any casino employee.
A slot machine available during online gambling, either stand-alone software loaded onto a player’s device or played at an online casino’s website.
The payback percentage in slot machine game themes requiring mental or physical skill when player performance is ideal, i.e., perfect play.
A line crossing each reel of the slot machine to determine winning combinations. Slot machines may have a single or multiple pay lines. It is not uncommon for small denomination slot machines to have a hundred pay lines of many geometrical shapes in addition to a straight line. Video slot machines have a variable number of pay lines set prior to playing.
Pseudo Random Number Generator (PRNG)
An element of the algorithm used by a slot machine to determine the outcome of a player’s bet based on the pre-determined odds of winnings as set by the casino operator.
When a jackpot is won, a slot machine can emphasize the win by making sound effects to signal the counting of credits won. This roll-up can be stopped by pressing most buttons on the slot machine console, including making the next bet.
Stand Up/Upright Machine Configuration
A type of physical arrangement without a stool or chair where slot machine players are required to stand.
A small amount paid to the player during a session to keep them playing continuously.
An electromechanical switch triggered if a slot machine is tampered with or has an internal fault condition such as a motor failure, out of paper condition, etc. In modern slot machines, the actual tilt of the machine no longer triggers this alarm.
The specific game designed to be played on a specific slot machine, including but not limited to the number of reels, the specific symbols on the reels, any bonus rounds, etc.
Theoretical Hold Worksheet
Provided by slot machine manufacturers, it indicates the theoretical percentage or odds that the slot machine provides based on the amount paid in as well as the number of reels, reel symbols, number of credits and denominations that can be played, the payout schedule, and other descriptive information specific to that slot machine.
A Theoretical Hold Worksheet is alternatively known as a Probability Account Report (PAR). These confidential company reports are extremely rare to find publicly available. Furthermore, PAR sheets do not apply to Class II bingo-style, historic horse racing, and digital scratch-off gaming machines.
Drop Bucket/Box (Obsolete)
For slot machines that still use coins, this is a secondary coin hopper for excess coins diverted from the full primary coin hopper. Whether the slot machine has a larger bucket, or a small box depends upon the denomination of the machine.
Small denominations such as a penny machine require an open large bucket while larger denominations such as a dollar machine make do with a small box with a lockable lid.
A container for accepting cash, tickets, and/or coins as well as printing tickets or dispensing coins for payouts. Coin hoppers and ticket printers provide an immediately available payout when hand pays are not required.
Slot machines originally having coin hoppers but later upgraded to ticket printers will often still have a vestigial coin hopper.
Hopper Fill Slip (Obsolete)
A record or log used during replenishment of coins in a coin-operated slot machine when it becomes depleted after sufficient payouts to players. It includes amount, signatures of the employees involved, the slot machine number, slot machine location within the casino, and the date of occurrence.
Short Pay (Obsolete)
A partial payout from a slot machine less than the amount of the win, usually on coin-operated machines where the coin hopper has insufficient funds available. The candle is usually activated by this machine condition, with a casino operator or attendant providing a hand pay for the remainder of the amount won.
Weight Count (Obsolete)
A North American term for using a weight scale to determine the dollar amount of the coins removed from a coin-operated slot machine’s drop box or bucket by the casino’s staff.
Summary of Casino Gambling Definitions
Common slot machine casino gambling definitions currently relevant were defined. Also provided were several obsolete terms for physical components of slot machines of historical importance, even if it is relatively recent history, to continue developing and improving an understanding of the technological advancements related to slot machines.
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