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Slots Guide - free slots strategy @

Slots is the easiest casino game to learn and play. It's simpler than Keno, which is pretty basic, it's simpler than roulette, which isn't difficult, it's simpler than blackjack, and many would argue, it's simply much more fun.

Getting the hang of things only takes a minute, but there are a couple of extra things you should be aware of too. To start off you place your bet by putting the appropriate coin in the slot. Typically you can bet one, two or three coins, which is important, as some machines only pay off the biggest jackpots if you are betting the maximum number of coins. Some machines may let you bet up to five or more coins. Depending on the machine, the coins may be $.25, $1, $5 or other values. So if you bet three coins on a $1 machine, your bet is three dollars. See? Easy.

Next you click a button or pull the lever (or arm) on the side of the machine to start the wheels spinning. Online pushing the button is the same as pulling the arm on a real slot machine. Now all you do is wait and see if you win!

Where the wheels stop determines if you win and how much. The goal is to get the symbols (cherries, diamonds etc.) to line up on the payline in one of the winning combinations listed on the pay table. Each game will have its own pay table, which you should pay close attention to, to see if there are any specific rules for payouts. For example, three bars in a row may pay 20 to 1. Three cherries in a row may pay 3 to 1. Some machines have three or five paylines, or pay on the diagonal. At an online casino you can check the casino rules for details. Look around the casino software for a "help" button.

Some online casinos offer what are called "progressive jackpots". A progressive jackpot is one that builds as more and more players play the machines that are part of the jackpot network. A percentage of the total money being played is passed into a jackpot total. The first person to hit the winning combination wins the total jackpot. To be eligible for the jackpot you usually have to play the maximum number of coins. This is a nasty thing sometimes, imagine hitting 777 and then realizing you wont get a cent, because you only played 2 coins, not three. After a win the jackpot resets to a lower value and starts to increase again with more play. A downside to jackpot slots is the fact that payouts are often slightly lower than other machines, because of the fact that some of the take is put towards the progressive jackpot.

The odds - Payout percentages
For each spin of the reels, the results of are determined by a computer program called a 'random number generator'. This is true for both online slots games and slot machines found in casinos. The instant the button is hit or the arm is pulled, a set of numbers is drawn from the random number generator. These numbers are initially quite large, and must go through a kind of electronic filtration process that brings them to manageable numbers that can be mapped onto specific reel locations. The machines can easily be set by the casino to generate whatever payout they choose. To accomplish this slot machines have weightings related to each way a random number can be mapped to the reels. In this way the casinos may set a payout rate to exactly 95% (or whatever they choose). That means for every 100 dollars bet, the machine will pay out $95 on average. The other five dollars goes to the casino and that's how they make their profit. Don't let this consistent number discourage you though, as I'm sure you understand, its all about timing, and at any time you might hit the right combo and hear the bells and whistles come to life. One point of interest to note is that although Nevada for example regulates the necessary minimum payout rates of slot machines, each casino only has to meet that rate as an average across its machines. The manufacturer sets each individual machine's payout rate.

Read up on slot myths and pick up some winning strategies.
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