What Is a Slot?

A slot is a gambling machine in which players place bets on individual reels. In addition to these reels, a slot also usually features symbols and blanks that are selected by a computer and are displayed on a video screen. A slot’s payback percentage depends on a few factors, including the number of symbols and blanks that appear in each spin and the frequency of jackpot symbols.

Pay Table

The pay table is an area of a slot that provides information on specific reel combinations and game theme rules. It may be permanently displayed on the machine or, more commonly, available through an interactive series of images that can be viewed by touchscreen devices.

Jackpot List

This area lists the highest value jackpots for certain combinations of reels, multipliers, and “wild” or scatter symbols. The list will often have abbreviated information because of space limitations, but if it is a high-limit version of the game, it may contain all the possible jackpots.

Bonus Display

In most casinos, a slot is accompanied by a bonus display area that displays a game theme for a specified amount of time after the player makes a successful bet. Bonus rounds are an effective way for a casino to offset its losses while encouraging patrons to play slots. They can be highly visible, sometimes with a loud audio system.

Ticket-In, Ticket-Out

In the past, it was difficult to process coins at slot machines, especially when they were filled with large numbers of customers. In response to this problem, many casinos installed Ticket-In, Ticket-Out technology, which allows players to input their slot card and bet without the need to insert coins. Then, at the end of the session, the slot machine automatically prints a ticket to redeem the remaining credits.

Candle for Lockout

In some casinos, slot attendants can activate a candle to call a slot attendant over when a slot machine has been locked by a customer for a brief period of time. It is a convenient way for the slot attendant to reach the customer and to provide some reassurance.

Touchscreen Display

In newer slot machines, a touchscreen display replaces the traditional keypad and requires no PIN to use. Bets can be made without a players’ club card, and the touchscreen display provides basic information like a running total of reward points earned during the current play session.

Activate the Candle for Slot Attendant

If a slot player needs to leave the casino for a short period of time, they can activate the candle to call a slot attendant over. The attendant can then lock the slot machine to prevent other players from taking it, and later the machine can be unlocked by the player using only their service card.

Slots players can also activate a candle to alert the nearest slot attendant of their presence, for a variety of reasons. These include if they need to make a quick exit or are worried about someone getting into their machine.