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A slot machine (American English), poker machine (Australian English), or fruit machine (British English) is a certain type of casino game. Traditional slot machines are coin-operated machines with three or more reels, which spin when a lever on the side of the machine is pulled.
A person playing a slot machine purchases the right to play by inserting coins, cash, or in newer machines, a bar-coded paper ticket (known as "ticket in/ticket out" machines), into a designated slot on the machine. The machine is then activated by means of a lever or button, or on newer machines, by pressing a touchscreen on its face.
Most games have a variety of winning combinations of symbols, often posted on the face of the machine. If a player matches a combination according to the rules of the game, the slot machine pays the player cash or some other sort of value, such as extra games.
Becoming more popular now are the 9 line slots. Usually these are themed slots, with graphics and music based on popular entertainers or TV programs.
Larger casinos offer slot machines with denominations from $.01 (penny slots) all the way up to $100.00 or more per credit. Large denomination slot machines are usually cordoned off from the rest of the casino into a "High Limit" area, often with a separate team of hosts to cater to the needs of the high-rollers who play there.
Often machines are linked together in a way that allows a group of machines to offer a particularly large prize, or "jackpot". Each slot machine in the group contributes a small amount to this progressive jackpot
, which is awarded to a player who gets (for example) a royal flush on a video poker machine, or a specific combination of symbols on a regular or 9 line slot machine. The amount paid for the progressive jackpot is usually far higher than any single slot machine could pay on its own.
Slot machines look something like this (see image bellow):
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