In Las Vegas, it can feel like there are slot machines everywhere you turn. Of course they’re at casinos, but they’re also in restaurants, gas stations, and there’s even a slot machine zipline. So how exactly do slot machines work and what are the best slot machines to play in Vegas?
Whether it’s your first time in Vegas or you’re a regular visitor, it won’t hurt to brush up on the basics of slot machines so that you can not only have fun at the casino, but maybe even get a little lucky too.
The first slot machine was invented in 1894 by a Bavarian-born American inventor and mechanic named Charles August Fey. The premise was simple. His machine was coin-operated and contained three reels controlled by a lever, much like the slot machines that we’re accustomed to today.
Over the next 100+ years, slot machines grew in popularity and evolved from strictly mechanical machines to flashy, interactive machines powered by computers. Las Vegas slots are known for their variety in both type of machine and theme. Whatever your favorite TV show, movie, character, or singer, Las Vegas likely has a slot machine just for you. And as noted, there’s even the world’s largest slot machine called SlotZilla that doubles as a zipline over Fremont Street Experience if you’re down for some adventure!
At each casino, there are a few different types of slot machines that you may encounter. A progressive slot machine takes a portion of your initial wager and adds it to a jackpot that players can win. That jackpot will pay out when it reaches a certain predetermined amount. The player whose wager increases the jackpot to that amount will win the total sum. There is no way of knowing when the jackpot will hit, which can make progressive slot machines both frustrating and fun.
Another type of slot machine you’ll find in Las Vegas is a buy-a-pay slot machine. With each unit you wager, you’ll unlock different potential payouts. For example, wagering one unit might only allow you to win when you line up the middle rows on the three reels while wagering two or three units will allow you to win on two or all three of the lines. Some buy-a-pay slot machines let players unlock different symbols with better chances of payouts. Expert gamblers know that these machines have the highest rewards but require a higher investment.
Slot machines that include a multiplier are also popular draws in Vegas casinos. On some slot machines, multiplier symbols can appear on spinning reels or as part of bonuses and free spins. Multipliers are basically advantages that multiply your potential winnings by a certain amount. They can range from X2 (doubling your payout) all the way up to X1000 (multiplying your payout by 1000). Multipliers are completely random, which removes some strategy from wagering, but the potential for major winnings remains.
The most basic answer to the question of “how do I play slots?” is that you insert your wager, press the button, or pull the handle, and hope for the best. But of course, there’s a little more to it than that. With each spin, a combination of symbols is revealed resulting in different levels of payouts. The classic symbols in slots, such as cherries, bars, bells, horseshoes, and sevens, should be recognizable due to their prevalence in television shows, video games, and other forms of pop culture and entertainment.
Some other symbols that you may encounter on a slot machine include:
Most slot machines will have symbols unique to them that correspond with the theme or the piece of culture that the machine is associated with. In Las Vegas, there are Lord of the Rings slot machines, Madonna slot machines, Ghostbusters slot machines, Blake Shelton slot machines, James Bond slot machines, and many many more.
Keep in mind that slot machines are completely random so there isn’t as much strategy involved as there would be in table games like blackjack, craps, and roulette. The good thing is that slot machines accept very small wagers (sometimes even just 1 cent) and can be very entertaining, sometimes even immersing the player within the game or telling a narrative story as a player plays.
Lastly, though you can win some big bucks playing them, the odds are against you when playing slots. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that slot machines are meant to be a fun and entertaining way to spend some time while you’re in Las Vegas.
So now that you know the basics of playing slots in Vegas, it’s time to hit the Las Vegas casinos and start spinning! Visit the Golden Gate Casino to try to hit the lucky jackpot. The slots at Golden Gate, the D, and Circa Las Vegas are all wonderful places to test your knowledge and skills with Vegas slots. At Golden Gate, you can visit the high limit room, which is a speakeasy-style gaming room featuring slots and table games that will take you back to the original roots of Las Vegas. While you’re at it, why not hit up the rest of the games? Maybe you’ll find your new favorite casino game, whether it’s slots, roulette (where Golden Gate holds the record for biggest roulette bet in Las Vegas history), or poker. See you soon!