Tag: slot-machines

Why Buffalo Slots Reign Supreme

In the vast and exhilarating world of slot machines, one experience seems to reign supreme, captivating players with its unique charm and enticing magnetism – the iconic Buffalo Slots. This beloved game has captured the attention of countless casino enthusiasts worldwide, surpassing the typical flashy attractions as a cultural phenomenon. What is it about Buffalo… Read more »

Betting on Multiple Paylines

When video slots started their rise to prominence in the late 1990s, the most popular games were in nickel denominations, there were relatively few paylines — five, nine, and eventually 15 — and you could choose the number of paylines and amount per line you wanted to play.

New Slots: Heat Em Up Power Wheel

Incredible Technologies is always trying something new on its slot machines, and right now a lot of the excitement revolves around its Power Wheel games.

One of the latest is Heat ‘Em Up Power Wheel, involving a big wheel display for bonuses. A five-reel video slot, each reel three symbols deep, Heat Em Up has a classic look with 7s, bars, bells and cherries among the symbols.

Should You Play the Ultimate X Feature?

Among the many video poker games IGT produces that offer bonus multipliers in exchange for an extra bet, the most popular appears to be Ultimate X.

That’s especially true among low-denomination players, who love the Ultimate X option when playing nickel multiple-hand games. And it seems there’s an incentive for playing more hands.

Latest in Egyptian and East Asian Themes

Slot machines with ancient Egyptian themes or East Asian imagery have long resonated with slot players. Incredible Technologies puts its own spin on both in new games we’ll be playing in 2018.

New Slots Featuring Pop Culture Icons

Pop culture themes from movies, TV, music and games have long been part of the fun of playing the slots. Let’s check out a few of the new themes we’ll be playing in the coming year. 

Monopoly Hot Shot Mashup

Ever since Scientific Games acquired WMS Gaming in 2013 and Bally Technologies in 2014, it’s been inevitable that we would see WMS-Bally mashups in new slot machines.

Monopoly Hot Shot, on its way for 2018, combines long-standing successes from both companies. 

Slot Stories from the Floor

Slot players love to share their stories when they win, and readers have contributed a couple of recent tales from their early days of playing.

Throwback Thursday: Slot Player Favorites

Every year, slot machine manufacturers roll out dozens of new games, and I’ll be featuring several coming attractions next month.

Before we ring in the new, though, let’s ring out a few old. I asked some of my slot-playing readers to tell me about old favorites that are long gone but they wish they could still play.

Slots Coming in 2018: Konami’s Beat Square

Skill-based gaming is a niche slot machine manufacturers hope to grow, especially as young players who grew up on video games come of age. 

There are many approaches to attracting new gamblers, with one innovative new product being Konami Gaming’s Beat Square, expected to roll out early in 2018.

Reel Power Gives You 243 Ways to Win

After 20 years of multiline video slots in casinos, I find most players don’t even look to see the shapes of the paylines anymore.

When there were five lines or nine lines, everyone wanted to check to see how the lines ran and how their winning symbols lined up. With 30, 40 lines or more, most players today just accept their total winnings and move on. The 243-ways-to-win slots with no traditional paylines are another matter. 

Getting Wild in Stacked Reel Slot Machines

One of the tools slot machine designers use to keep the games fun and interesting is the stacked reel, where a number of consecutive symbols are the same.

Things can really get interesting when the stacked symbols are wild, matching any other symbols to help form winning combinations.

Winning Early vs Winning Late

When you go on a casino overnight trip, especially one that’s going to last two or three days, would you rather get a big win early in the trip or late? Early, and all the pressure’s off your budget. You can play to your heart’s content. Late, and you’re sure of bringing the big bucks home.

Is There an Advantage to Playing Two Machines at Once?

When I first started to play in casinos, I used to see many slot players taking two or more machines at a time. I even saw a woman playing an entire row, starting the reels spinning on each machine, not waiting to see the results until she returned to each machine in her rotation.

Are Video Card Games More Like Slot Reels or Card Tables?

One of the things that sets video poker and video blackjack apart from slot machines is that electronic games that use representations of playing cards must offer fair odds. Nevada took the lead, naturally enough, but Mississippi followed suit when its casinos opened in the 1990s, and so did other states.


Back to Back Jackpots a Reality

Regular readers know that I love to hear close encounters of the winning kind. Slot and video poker players have been great about emailing me their experiences in winning back to back jackpots, or at least jackpots within a few plays of each other.

The latest comes from Suzanne, a video poker player who wasn’t sure her story qualified because it involved royal flushes by two different players.

Slots and Payback Percentage

Every month, the Mississippi Gaming Commission publishes statistical reports that tell us, among other things, how much slot machines are paying back to players.

Slot Reels and the Frequency of Winning Symbols

Not all slot reels are created equal, regardless of whether you’re playing video slots or games with mechanical reels. Video slots were on the mind of a reader recently who asked if all five reels have to bet the same.

Three Reel Slots Still Have Their Day

Casinos have a wide variety of game, and anyone who wants to gamble can find something that suits their playing personality.

That includes three-reel slots with mechanical reels. Over the last 20 years, they’ve been displaced by video slots as the most popular casino games, but three-reel slots still have their adherents.

Old-School Frogger Lives in Video Slots

In a new wave of video slots with skill-based bonuses, we can expect to see some based on old-school arcade games in an attempt to appeal to multiple generations.

Why is There a Higher Payback on $1 Slots than Penny Slots?

As long as I’ve been paying attention – and this goes back to the 1980s – slot players have been told that higher denomination slots pay back a higher percentage than lower denominations.

Sphinx 4D video slots vs Sphinx 3D

The original Sphinx, an Egyptian-themed video slot with a free-spin bonus, has been a durable favorite that spawned several successor games. One is Sphinx 3D, one of the most popular games going today with amazing three-dimensional effects with no need for special glasses. How could IGT top Sphinx 3D? With Sphinx 4D, which adds a dimension of touch to the experience.

New Aristocrat Games Released

What do you do when a shark comes flying out of tornado right at you? Grab a chainsaw and defend yourself, right? And if the bonus credits mount while the sharks meet their maker, so much the better.

Here’s Looking at You, Kid – Casablanca Slots

I’ve seen “Casablanca” at least a dozen times. I’ve seen it in a theater as part of a series of classic films. I’ve seen it on TV in pre-home video days, and I’ve seen it on VHS and DVD. Until this fall’s Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, I’d never seen it on a slot machine. But when I saw a sign in the corridor touting a Casablanca slot at the Everi booth, I knew I had to take a look.

New Simpsons and Seinfeld Slots are Coming

Every year, I try out new games at the Global Gaming Expo and write about a few highlights. Most of the slot games are things you’ll see in casinos in the next few months.

Great Slot Machine Themes

Slot machine themes have become important factors for those of us who play the games, those who design them and those who sell them to us. A great theme will attract players to the game. A great them used well will keep us coming back for more. Of the thousands of slot themes we’ve seen over the decades, which ones were used best? Which really captured the feel and fun of the source? I asked slot players for their opinions.

Should You Play Off Your Credits When Lower Than a Max Bet or Cash Out?

Multi-hand video poker games are among my casino favorites, and have been ever since Triple Play Poker was introduced in the late 1990s. With the games, there is a temptation to players. On a quarter Triple Play machine, a maximum-coins wager is $3.75. What happens if your credits dwindle to less than that? Do you make a bet for less than full coins? 

To Spin or Not to Spin After a Hand-Paid Jackpot

When you do win a hand-paid jackpot, many casinos ask you to play once more, so the winning combination no longer shows on the reels or screen. One big winner recently asked what happens if you refuse to spin again. Can the casino refuse to pay you? 

Max Bets in Video Slots

One of the many differences between video slots and three-reel slots with mechanical reels is that three-reel games almost always have an incentive in the pay table to bet maximum coins. On three-reel games, a max-coins bet brings a disproportionate jump in the top jackpot, so betting the max brings a higher payback percentage than betting less.

Do Three-Reel Slot Machines Tease Jackpots More Often?

One reader wrote to me recently with a question that could only come from a three-reel player. “I’ve noticed that the big-paying symbols are off the line a lot more than they’re on the line,” he wrote. “Is that intentional? Are the games programmed to tease players to thinking they’re close to a jackpot?

Slots Paying Early vs. Late In The Game

It’s not difficult to see patterns in wins and losses, and it’s all too easy to jump to conclusions based on small samples. Over the years I’ve fielded questions from readers who wondered if they should skip drawing to four-card straights because they missed several times in a row and from others who were convinced 20 was a losing hand in blackjack because they dealer drew a few 21s to beat them one night.

Odds When Playing Roulette vs Slots

Players sometimes have difficulty with the idea that slot machine results can be programmed and random at the same time. So for many years, I’ve used a comparison to roulette, where you don’t know when any given number will turn up, but the odds of the game will lead to a 5.26 percent house edge – the same as a 94.74 percent payback percentage.

Slot Machine Payouts Coins vs Tickets

Among those who have been playing in casinos as long as I have, there’s a sizable number who miss being paid in coins clattering into the tray of slot machines.  On a September day when I cashed out by printing a ticket, the machine’s speakers resounded with an imitation of that sound, and a neighboring player told me she missed the real thing.

New Trivia Slots

Sometimes, you just can’t keep a good idea down. And blending slot machine excitement with tests of knowledge plays right to my taste.

New Pro Wave Slot Machines Tunica Mississippi

If you’re in a casino that has slot games on the Pro Wave cabinet from the Bally Technologies division of Scientific Games, you can’t miss it. The Pro Wave is a eye-catcher, with a giant 40-inch, curved main screen for high-resolution graphics.

Video Poker Are The Odds Against You

Video poker games are designed to be as random as humans can program a computer to be. The odds of drawing winning hands are the same as cards were dealt from a real deck.

Still, when odd streaks happen, players can’t help but wonder if something more is going on.

New Slots From Multimedia Games Tunica Mississippi

When you’re a smaller slot manufacturer trying to compete with the likes of IGT, Bally, WMS and Aristocrat, you need to be nimble, creative and innovative.

Multimedia Games has been all of that, and expects to keep bringing the innovation now that it has been acquired by Global Cash Access. The new company is in the process of rebranding, and will reveal a new name in late August.

How To Choose A Video Blackjack Machine

One thing I’ve warned blackjack players about is games that pay less than the standard 3-2 on blackjacks. If you play video blackjack, you have to be extra watchful, as one reader learned.

A Betting Mistake Pays Off

We all make mistakes in the casino. Blackjack players stand when they meant to hit, slot players forget to check to see all the paylines are active and players at any game sometimes have a brain cramp and make a bet that’s larger than they’d intended.

“Big Bang Theory Slots” Give You More Bang For Your Buck

When video slots first came out, it took only a single bonus event to entrance players. Neighbors would stop their play to watch whenever someone went fishing in Reel ’Em In or chose their Chinese foods from the menu in Fortune Cookie. 

Are Progressive Jackpots A Better Bet in Video Poker?

Video poker players in the know understand that on most games, payback percentages are changed by altering the returns on full houses and flushes. A “9-6” Jacks or Better game, where full houses pay 9-for-1 and flushes 6-for-1, returns 99.5 percent with expert play. If instead you see 8-5 Jacks or Better, meaning full houses pay 8-for-1 and flushes 5-for-1, then the average return is 97.3 percent with expert play.

However, when progressive jackpots are involved, even a game with a lower pay table can have high average returns.

New Slots Offer Entertainment And Extended Play

For gamemakers, attracting slot players is all about offering different play experiences to different segments of players. There are big jackpot games, high volatility games, second-screen bonus games, free-spin bonus games and more. 

New Mad Men and Flintstones Slots From WMS Gaming

Slot machine manufacturers have drawn on TV, movies, board games and pop culture icons for years, and they’re not shy about crossing generations to do it. After all, the games need to appeal to a wide variety of players.

Sons of Anarchy Slot Machines

The video age has enabled game designers to get creative in any number of ways, and that includes the way they use reels and symbols. One of the latest wrinkles is Cluster Power, a new way to play you’ll be seeing in the coming year on Aristocrat Technologies’ Sons of Anarchy slot machine.


Hot Streaks, Are They For Real?

Not long ago, I received a note via email from a craps player who was taken aback when a shooter rolled five sevens in a row. “It would seem to me there has to be a makeup time to get the odds to come out right,” he wrote. “What’s the hidden factor that balances those five 7s in a row?”

Casino Strip Presents $100,000 Slot Tournament

Something exciting took place last weekend in Tunica and I’m not just talking about Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  Last week Hollywood Casino, Resorts Casino, and Sam’s Town Tunica Casino hosted the first ever Casino Strip Presents $100,000 slot tournament.  This tournament was the first of it’s kind here in Tunica and let me tell you, it was a lot of fun.

How Stacked Symbols Affect Video Slot Play

Every year, the bag of tricks slot machine designers use to keep the games fun to play and the customers coming back grows a little. Second-screen pick’em bonuses, free spins, bonuses within bonuses, shared community style events, mystery jackpots — the list goes on and on.

New Progressive Slot Machines

Back when slot machines were a three-reel world, progressive jackpots were available only to those willing to bet the max. If you weren’t going to bet three coins, or two coins on some high-denomination machines, you weren’t going to be eligible for the progressive.

The Luckiest Day of the Year is Upon Us

The Fitz Casino goes all out each year for St. Patrick’s Day. And who better to hold Tunica’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day party than the casino that celebrates the luck of the Irish all year long?

Get Away for Presidents’ Day

Monday, February 18 is Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday celebrating the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Whether you have Monday off work or are just looking to blow off a little steam, why not make a long weekend of it just down the road in Tunica? We promise not to tell your boss.

Mardi Gras Meals and Celebrations in Tunica

Fat Tuesday is tomorrow, and one of the best ways to celebrate is by paying homage to the food and culture that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast has made popular across the U.S. In Tunica, Gulf Coast seafood like shrimp, oysters and crab can be found all around, and we all know Tunica is the perfect place for an extended celebration.

Snowbirds: Make Your Nest in Tunica

Northeasterners, Midwesterners, Northwesterners and those of you spread out across other unreasonably wintery regions: it’s time to make your annual migratory escape to warmth. Take off your snowshoes and come down South to Tunica and enjoy our gaming, restaurants and entertainment. You may think our accents are a little funny, but our warm hospitality will make you forget all your snow shoveling responsibilities.

Is It Worth Bigger Bets To Get a Higher Slot Payback Percentage?

Casinos everywhere put their highest payback percentages on their highest-denomination slot machines. The Mississippi Gaming Commission report for October—the most recent available as I write this—showed that in northern Mississippi on non-progressive machines, payback percentages included 91.1 percent on penny slots, 93.3 percent on nickels, 93.4 percent on quarters and 94.5 percent on dollars.

Fall Into October Casino Promotions

[caption id="attachment_8842" align="alignright" width="188"] Harvest of Freeplay at Gold Strike[/caption]

During October, there are plenty of gaming promotions, giveaways, hotel savings and buffet specials to help you make the most of your fall visit.

Gaming and Giveaways

At Resorts, there will be a $10,000 football frenzy table games drawing October 27. At 9 p.m., 20 players will win $500: $250 in cash and $250 in promo chips. Earn one entry for every hour of continuous play ($5 minimum bet per hand). Entries can be earned until 6 p.m. the day of the drawing.

On Wednesdays at the Hollywood Casino, the Silver Screen Slot Tournament gives Club Hollywood members the chance to win a $2,500 tournament. Players only need to earn 25 points in one day to enter, and those 55+ only need 10 points. In giveaways, players at Hollywood can enter to win a car every Saturday in October in the Choose Your Hybrid Giveaway.

Casino Spotlight: Play Big at Blackjack and Slots at Roadhouse

I’ve been giving you some tips about how to have some biker-style fun at Roadhouse, but now I’m wrapping up the Roadhouse spotlight with its main attraction. Use this guide to gaming at Roadhouse to see if you can be like one of the casino’s latest big winners who won $72,000 at the slots.

Can Casinos Control Jackpots?

Slot jackpots occur randomly. There’s no way to tell when one might be coming. That goes for casino operators as well as for players. The people who run the casinos don’t know when the big hits are coming.

Still, a reader was taken aback when she heard what a casino employee said one night.

Does It Help to Play Slower When Slots Are Cold?

Streaks happen on the slot machines. They’re the product of random chance and normal probability, but they happen.

Problem is, they don’t happen in any predictable way. There’s no way to tell when a hot streak is going to come, and once we’re in one, there’s no way to tell when it might end. If players could predict either, we could make a lot of money.

Olympic Spirit Lives on in Tunica – Tunica TV

Yesterday’s Closing Ceremony signified the end of this year’s Summer Olympics. You could wait four more years to experience the pageantry, drama and excitement of sport’s greatest showcase, or you could head on over to TunicaTravel.tv  for an Olympics extravaganza that is totally Tunica.

Does Stopping the Slot Reels Early Change Your Result?

It’s a pretty common feature on modern video slots that once you push the button to start the reels spinning, you can push it again to stop them. You don’t have to wait for them to stop by themselves.

That prompted a question from a reader who usually plays table games.

How Much Is Free Play Actually Worth?

Over the last few years, casinos have been transforming rewards programs so that instead of cash for rewards points or vouchers for cash via direct mail, many now give free play. That led a reader to ask via email just what that free play is worth.

New Year’s Eve Events in Tunica

Can you believe that it is almost time to start making plans to ring in 2012? Whether you like to ring in the New Year with a quiet dinner or rock out with a group of friends, Tunica has something for you!

Here is a listing of our New Year’s Eve events. Keep checking back. We will be updating the list as more events become available –

Does Scouting the Slots Really Help?

Mary is an old slot-playing friend, one who’s a lot of fun to be around. She never met a good luck charm she didn’t like, and when she heard about my brother Jay’s jackpot dance, she devised one of her own. Hers is better.

Bonus Symbols on Slots

Not long ago, I watched from a couple of seats away while a woman played a bonus round on a Super Jackpot Party slot machine. If you play video slots, chances are you know the Jackpot Party format. The screen shows a grid of gift boxes while party music plays. You touch gift boxes to reveal bonus credits, and you get to keep picking until you pick a “Pooper” — perhaps a policeman or an irate neighbor putting a stop to the party noise.

Mystery Progressives on Slots

If you play video slots, no doubt you’ve taken a turn or two on games with mystery progressives. Often there are four or more levels of progressive jackpots, and getting into the progressive round doesn’t rely on the right symbols landing on the payline. The mystery comes in just when you’re going to be randomly taken to the progressive event.

Big Crowds’ Effect on Slot Machines

A regular reader wrote to tell me about her night playing the slots in a crowded casino.

“It was packed,” she wrote. “I heard somebody who worked there say, ‘Big crowd means we’ll be paying out a lot tonight,’ and he had a big smile on his face. I asked if he meant jackpots and he said, ‘Oh, there’ll be some jackpots.’

Attack From Mars!

When the Martians get here — trying to take the Earth’s monumental treasures and a few few women, for good measure — can you stop them? Or do you even want to? Maybe you’d rather join the invaders.

You have the choice when you play WMS Gaming’s new sci-fi slot machine epic, “Attack From Mars/Revenge From Mars.”

Trusting Video Slot Machines

Way back in the late 1980s, before casinos came to Mississippi (or anywhere else in the United States outside Nevada and New Jersey), I was walking through the Flamingo in Las Vegas on a busy Friday night. Rows and rows of slot machines were busy, but as I cruised the aisles, I spotted one empty spot. I made my way past five or six machines, and found a single idle game amidst a slot-playing frenzy.

Betting Enough To Be Eligible For Progressive Slot Jackpots

One of the saddest sights I’ve seen in a casino came when I was just getting off an elevator, coming down from my hotel room. As I walked into the casino, a host I knew pointed to a player sitting, shoulders slumped, just staring at a slot machine. It was a four-reel mechanical game in which four blue 7s was the big winner for a progressive jackpot.

Explore New Slots: The Ghostbusters Slot

One thing’s for certain: I’m not psychic.

At the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this November, where manufacturers show all their latest and greatest products to the casino industry, I stopped to test International Game Technology’s new Ghostbusters slot. It’s packed with fun, film clips, animation and bonuses based on the movie.

Eligibility and Multipliers for Bonus Events on Community-Style Slots

Video poker players who have been around a while might remember a game called Flush Attack. Every so often, the game would go into “attack” mode, and the next flush on the bank of machines would pay as much as four of a kind.

In the beginning sharp players would play until they were dealt a flush, or four parts of a flush, then  wait for the attack before drawing. The sharps would collect the big bonuses. The tourists didn’t stand a chance.

Slot Tournaments

Have you ever played in a slot tournament? I have, and I think they’re a blast. I once played in three in one week, in different casinos and had a great time. In two of them, there were welcome gifts, prize banquets and other perks. The third was just a little daily tournament I decided to play on a whim while out for a walk.

I won one tournament — the whim — placed in the top 5 and won some cash in another, while in the third … well, I had a good time.

Can Slot Machines Be “Due”?

A woman once phoned me, certain a slot machine had been rigged. She usually played roulette, she explained, but on this occasion was taking a chance on a $5 slot machine. She’d lost a couple of thousand dollars, then went to an ATM and withdrew a few thousand more. And she lost THAT.

“I hadn’t hit ANYTHING,” she told me. “I was SURE it was due.”

All in the Timing

Have you ever left a slot machine, only to see another player sit down and hit a jackpot? Does the thought make you squirm just a little? Shouldn’t that have been YOUR jackpot?

Video Slot Machines vs. Mechanical Reels

Video slot machines have been the fastest-growing segment of the casino industry for more than a decade now. Games with new bells and whistles, bonus events, free spins, community play, even 3-D imaging are introduced all the time.

Are Slot Machines the Way to Go?

Slot machines are the most popular games in today’s casinos, and also the easiest to play. But even slot machines require a little attention if you’re going to get the most for your money. You’ll find information painted on the machine glass on reel-spinning games or on the help menu on video games that can help you avoid some costly mistakes.