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Types of slot machines: A complete guide

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Simon Young

July 31st, 2020

A casual casino visitor will marvel at the hundreds of different slot machines and assume they are all similar. After all, you just put in some money, spin the reels and hope for some luck, right?


There are many different types of popular slots, from jackpots and themed slots to classic slots and video slots, all trying to win your attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting a giant Las Vegas casino or playing online at BetAmerica Casino slots, you’ll always have a dazzling choice. Understanding slot machines will help you navigate the waters.

In this guide, we’ll explain the different types of slot machines you will find at your local casino and online.

Classic slots

If you love a bit of tradition, classic slots are for you. Although the new games use high-tech software, cool music, and great graphics, the gameplay is similar. Usually, you have just three reels and symbols from yesteryear, like fruits, bars, bells, and the number seven.

Don’t let these slots fool you into thinking they are dull or straightforward. Take Red Hot Tamales as an example. Despite only three rows, the symbols can generate 27 winning paylines. Marvel at  the red-hot Mexican action — and you can almost taste the chili.

Jackpot slots

You might have heard of lucky players winning millions on a slot machine. Quite frankly, we’d be happy with a few dollars, but we can always dream. Winnings of this size come from jackpot slots.

Various slots machines of the same type are networked together – across many online casinos, or in live casinos, and each time someone plays one of the games, the jackpot increases. The figure usually reaches at least six figures before someone hits the jackpot.

Some of the better-known progressive jackpot slots include Mega Moolah, Major Millions, Millionaire Genie, and Mega Fortune. Perhaps you can spot a common thread running through those titles?

Video slots

Where once slot machines involved pulling the one-arm bandit and hoping to land three cherries, now we have mind-boggling video slots, with impressive graphics and cinematic sound.

Video slots typically have symbols and reels that animate in some way, which brings a whole new dimension to your gameplay.

An excellent example of a recently released video slot is the Ozzy Osbourne Video Slot, where the Prince of Darkness spins the reels with bats and goth symbols, all to a backdrop of some of the rocker’s top hits.

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Themed slots

Slot players love a themed slot. Some are for superstitious reasons, like many of the Asian themes, which are full of lucky symbols and numbers. Others just follow a design and story theme.

The most popular themes include Ancient Egypt slots, such as Scarab, which, I kid you not, celebrates a dung beetle, much revered in times of the Pharaohs. Try Cleopatra, too — many Romans did (allegedly).

Another popular theme follows the fortunes of Irish luck and leprechauns, like Finn and his Golden Tavern.

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Feature slots

This is something of a broad brush, because most modern slots have their own features or bonus rounds. But you can narrow it down to popular slots that have side-game action, like Wheel of Fortune or the Price is Right slots, which you will recognize from the TV shows.

Feature rounds in other slots might include lucrative free spins with multipliers on winnings, plus lucky-guess games, where you select which symbols to reveal and win whatever prizes lurk beneath.

Some slots have winning symbols disappearing with new symbols tumbling down from above, giving you new chances to win from the same spin. Other slots have the Megaways mechanic, with a unique payline structure, whereby each of the six reels can have anything from two to seven symbols. It all adds up to a mind-boggling number of ways to win (up to 117,649!).

Licensed slot games

We already mentioned Ozzy Osbourne, but every casino will have a feast of slots based on films or TV blockbusters, like Game of Thrones. Be aware, however, that these slots tend not to pay out quite as much as some of the others.

That’s because the slot game makers need to pay a slice of the profits to the film company, TV show, or music star.

But do we care? Of course not. What could be more fun than watching your screen bursting with fiery dragons from Game of Thrones?

Try different types of slots for yourself

There are more types of slots, but we have covered the main ones. You can try hundreds of slots at BetAmerica Casino. Best of all, you can do so for free, so you can get the idea of how they work before you risk a cent.

When you do want to play for real money, make sure you grab the lucrative new player welcome package.

Win free spins every week in our BetAmerica Casino!