What is a Slot Machine?


A narrow notch, groove, or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or a slot for a coin in a vending machine.

In a slot machine, you insert cash or, in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, paper tickets with barcodes to activate the reels and win credits based on combinations of symbols and/or bonus rounds. The symbols vary by game, but classics include bells, spades, diamonds, and horseshoes. Newer machines may also have photos, characters, or logos based on popular movies or television shows.

When the reels stop spinning, the photos, numbers, or symbols on each reel will be compared to those on the paytable to determine whether you’ve won. The amount you win will depend on the combination and, often, how rare it is.

Many modern video slots feature multiple paylines that run in V’s, upside down V’s, zigzags, or other configurations on the screen. They can also offer “scatter pays,” where designated symbols trigger a bonus round even if they aren’t on the same payline.

It is a common belief that if a machine has gone long without hitting, it’s “due” to hit soon. This isn’t true, however. A machine’s odds are based on an RNG (random number generator), not the number of times you’ve played it. That’s why casinos place the most “hot” machines at the ends of aisles—to get more people playing them.