The Ultimate Slot Machine Guide from Expert

three elements video slot machine

By John Grochowski


Slot machines are one of the most popular games in all casinos, and they are constantly gaining popularity in all casinos of the world. In the USA slots are the most common casino game, and in Australia there are even more slots per person than there are in the USA. However not many players can master this rather simple game, and they do not really know how to win. And this guide was written specifically for this reason – to show people how to play the slots correctly and win.


There are 14 chapters in this guide, and a few subchapters that give more details on some points. The chapters begin with points that explain what information the user will find. The chapters end with Key takeaways and quizzes. The guide will go into the reasons people play slots and will even delve into the history of such games. Then other topics will be introduced.


This Ultimate geode is authored by John Grochowski, who is a widely acclaimed author in the topic of gaming. He writes a weekly column on games and casinos. His weekly column about casinos and games was published in the Chicago Times and is reposted in many newspapers.

Grochowski is the author of six whole books on gaming, including the Slot Machine Answer Book. He gives players his expertise and is valued by both professional players and newbies.  He has himself been an avid player for over 30 years, and has been a writer on the topic of gaming for 20 years. Grochowski has also hosted a weekly talk show about casinos and games. He has even given classes on how to play in casinos and has given speeches both in Canada and the USA.


three elements video slot machine

Slot machines have went through a long evolution from a mechanical device that operates on clockwork to a computerized unit that makes use of both video and audio effects to make the games much more interesting. To understand the modern games, you need to review their history as well and see how games have developed over time. The chapter will cover definitions of terms about slot games, and will talk about their history and the innovations that led to their rise and popularity.

1.1 The Rise of Slot Machines

You will see why slot machines have received such popularity and why people think they are worth playing. It may surprise you that slot machines were not always a game played for money – early machines gave out chewing gum or small toys instead of money. This section also covers stepper slots, wild symbols and other terms.

1.2 Slot Machine Invention and History

The three-reel slot was devised in 1895 by Charles Fey, however many prototype gaming devices existed before that. They were operated by coins.  This subchapter describes what changes led to the creation of computerized slots.

Milestones in the history of slot machines

1.3 Important Advances In Slot Machine Technology

Slots today would not even be possible if a number of inventions did not happen. Such things as a ticket printer, a virtual reel and a bill validator were important points in the creation of the digital slot machine. In this subchapter you will read about key inventions that made slot technology progress forward.


As all other games, slots have a mathematical base. Unlike other games like cards or games that involve dice, slot machines work on elements that are not visible to the public. In this chapter you will read about the mathematical mechanisms involved in slot machines. The chapter explains why the results of a game are completely random and how payback percentages are programmed. There will even be an explanation for why some slot machines can be consistently beaten.

2.1 How the House Gets Its Edge In Slot Machines

A slot machine can have up to a million different outcomes. In this section, you will learn what decides these different possibilities and makes them into payback percentages.

2.2 How Slots Can Be Both Programmed and Random

Slot machines have different payback percentages, but each spin gives a different outcome. The previous outcome has no effect on the next spin. You will read why this is so and how it is possible for these two statements to exist without conflict.

2.3 Beatable Slot Machines

You are in no way able to change the outcome of a slot machine. The RNG is not affected by anything at all, and its outcome is truly random. However some games are tilted so as to give the player a chance at accumulating a profit.


Games that have mechanical reels are very popular, and even though they have been around for tens of years they are still very popular among all players.

The chapter talks about mechanical slots and what manufacturers were able to make using just clockwork. Mechanical slots are actually quite complicated, and have many interesting functions.

3.1 Random Number Generator and Virtual Reel

In order to offer players bigger jackpots, designers of slot machines need to give more possible combinations than are possible with mechanical reels. This chapter talks about ways to make the reel have even more symbols on it than was possible before.

3.2 Hit Frequency VS. Payback Percentage

Games that have a high hit frequency give you a higher probability to win spins. However that is not always going to give you higher win chances. A game with fewer winning spins will almost always have higher payback percentages. The section talks about how this works and gives comprehensive charts.

3.3 Progressive Jackpots: Standalone, Linked and Wide-Area

Standalone, Linked and Wide-Area: Jackpots add a portion of each bet to the pot. Progressive machines work differently and come in a few varieties. This chapter goes into this topic and even covers mechanic progressive slots.


These machines have surpassed mechanical slots in the 90s, and since then have become the single most popular game in casinos today. Video slots today are extravagant devices with fancy animation, clips from films, quality audio effects, motion effects and many others. In this chapter we will go into the topic of video slots, cover their history and see how the RNG is used to make multiple paylines and change the hit frequency. You will also see what all this means for the players of such games.

4.1 Video Slot and Their History

Video slots did not immediately become hits. In fact they were avoided by players in the first few years. You will learn about the developments that made video games so famous and changed them to be the most popular in the world.

4.2 Video Slots and The Random Number Generator

Game producers can make the strips in casino games as long as they want, and in this section you will learn about many new concepts, like scatter pays, wild symbols and bonuses. These features expand the possibilities of video slot games much wider.

4.3 Paylines and Slots Without Paylines

Cideo slot games work with paylines of 30, 40 or even more. This section talks about paylines and slots without them. Some slot games are able to work without paylines at all.

4.4 Hit Frequency VS. Payback Percentage on Video Slots

Multiple payline formats make it possible to have a larger number of spins with payback. However such games usually have lower payback percentages, and you will learn how this correlation works in this chapter.

4.5 Networked and Server-Based Games

Thchnology for two-way communication made it possible for the player to connect to the casino’s server and play a game remotely. Online games remember your account, and you may create a profile that will accumulate bonuses and other interesting things.


Bonuses are a staple of modern slots, and many mechanical slots have them. Almost all video slots have some kind of bonus. In this chapter you will read about many different kinds of bonuses that you can find in games, like freespins, random bonuses, skill games and community bonuses. Here you will read how this system works and see many examples of games with bonuses.

5.1 Wheel Spinning Bonuses

Prize wheels give you the possibility to win more bonus credits. In this chapter you will learn why you do not have equal chances of winning with equal sized wedges.

5.2 Pick’em Bonuses

Games that have pickem bonuses give you an extra degree of fun and are more interactive. In such games your choices and decisions really make a difference, and in this chapter you will learn how that works.

5.3 Free Spin Bonuses

Free spins make slot games more volatile, and you have a chance to win a lot of money just using the free spins. This section talks about the ways designers make games more interesting with free spins.

5.4 Mystery and Skill Based Bonuses

Bonuses are a mysterious part of the game, and they can appear even if you did not get an winning symbols on the screen. In this section you will read how these mysteries work and how you can influence the game.

5.5 Community Style Bonuses

Slots are solitary games, and you no longer have to deal with the difficulties of coming to a real game table. Here you will learn how manufacturers have made slots a social event, which can bring players together or make it competitive.


Gamemakers have made jackpots even more complicated, and they are even more exciting in video slot games. Instead of building a single jackpot as in three-reel mechanical games, you are able to build multiple jackpots, some of which are small and frequent, and some that are large and will make your day.

The multi-tiered jackpots are as much of a mystery to most players as are the bonuses, and that is what will be discussed in this chapter.

6.1 Multi-Tiered Progressives

Progressive jackpots are the most popular, and they are valued both by prize hunters and casual players. This chapter discusses on how such jackpots work and what you can expect to gain from them.

6.2 Minimum Bettors Can Play For Maximum Jackpots

Three-reel progressive jackpots usually make it a condition for you to bet the maximum. However on multi-tiered slots you will not have to do that, and this chapter tells you why.


Online gambling games have their beginning in video slots. These games work exactly the same way, and you will see that many conditions of online games are the same as the ones in real casinos. However there are some special conditions that apply only to online games, like creating an account and country restrictions. This chapter covers this popular way of playing.

7.1 Types of games and how to play

Freespins and pickem bonuses are all available online. This is what to look for in a good online game.

7.2 Randomness online

Players that are new to online games sometimes worry about them being not truly random or even rigged. This section talks about what you can expect in online games.


It is not possible to influence the outcome of a slot machine. There is not strategy that will change the output of a random number generator. However there are choices that let you maximize what you can get out of a slot machine, and this is the topic of the following section. It discusses ways of getting a higher chance to win more in a slot machine.

8.1 Should you bet the max?

At the time when three-reel slot games were the only ones, it was common knowledge that players should bet the maximum to get a higher win percentage. Here you will learn how complex this situation really is and how you can get maximum payback.

8.2 Free spin bonuses vs. pick’em bonuses

Different bonus events can give you the same payback percentage, but they do it in different ways. This section will tell you how to pick the game that gives you the best chances.

8.3 Banked bonuses

These are not as often encountered as other slot formats, but you receive an opportunity. Read this section to see what opportunities you get from banked bonuses.


Players like to play games that are themed after their favorite characters from games, movies and films. Therefore there are many games that show us our favorite characters and icons to make the playing even more entertaining. This chapter talks about some of the most loved games that make playing an even more enjoyable experience.

9.1 Celebrities and the slots

Michael Jackson, DeGeneres and other celebrities have allows casinos to use their images and music in slot games. This section lists a few favorites.

9.2 TV and movie themes

Here you can read about slots that integrate images from television shows and movies. There will be games themed after Lord of the Rings and other popular shows.

9.3 Board games come to the casino

Monopoly has had a very large fan following after it has been made into a slot game. Other popular remakes were the Game of Life and Battleship. You can read what beard games can give to slot players.


Developers make hundreds of new games each year. They come and they go, but sometimes a game gets so popular that it keeps getting new fans each year and holds its place for decades. This chapter talks about why people have so much enjoyed Blazing 7s, Jackpot Party and a few other games, and why they and their remakes are so popular.


In order to pick a slot, you have to find one that suits your personality well. A game may have a good payback percentage, but if you do not enjoy it, then there is not really a point in playing it. This chapter talks about the cons and pros of various games, and it tells you how to pick the ones that suit you the most.


Independently on what you are playing – online casino or a live casino, you are able to wager both a lot and a little money. This is one of the reasons for why slots are so popular, and they are also easy to play. You need no complicated strategy, and there are affordable bets available. Overall slots are entertaining to play.


Players will try to find weak spots in any game, they will look for systems that will give them a defined profit. In this chapter we will see some of the most popular systems that make it possible to exploit the weaknesses of a slot machine.