Types of Slots – Find Your Favourite Slot Machine Variant

Something that makes online slots quite so popular is the fact there are multiple versions of them. The different types of slot machines mean that there is something to appeal to all players, no matter what they’re looking for in the gameplay. Alongside different slot machine games and type, there’s also an abundance of new slots being released on an almost daily basis. 

Of course, before the world of online casinos, it was all about bricks and mortar establishments. All of the slot machine types found in these casinos have transitioned perfectly online. The basic principles of the early slots remain, but as iGaming continues to progress, slot machine types are coming with more and more features to add an extra dimension to the experience.

At SlotJava we have an array of different types of slot machines to explore. You can see these in the table below:

Slot GraphicsBetting LimitsFeaturesMechanics +GameplayReelsPaylines
VideoPennySlots with Bonus RoundsMegaways3-ReelTraditional
High StakesSlingo
Progressive Jackpots
Free Slot Types & Variations Available at Slotjava.com

If you’re not sure about the type of slot machines that best fits your needs, we’re here to help. As you read on, we’ll be going through the main types, how they work and helping you to decide which are right for you. 

Traditional Slot Machines: The Physical Predecessors of Online Slots

Slots history is an interesting one. The allure of spinning reels and the thrill of potential payouts have captivated players for over a century. Traditional slot machines, the physical predecessors of online slots, hold a special place in gaming history, having evolved from simple three-reel machines to sophisticated multi-payline wonders.

Single Coin Slot Machines

Single-coin slot machines offered a straightforward gaming experience, requiring players to insert a single coin and activate the reels. The outcome depended on the symbols aligned on the reels. These machines typically featured a limited number of symbols, often including cherries, lemons, plums, bars, and the coveted 777 symbol.

Multiple Coin Slots

As the types of slots grew and evolved, multiple-coin options emerged, allowing players to increase their bets and potentially boost their payouts. The introduction of multiple coin slots introduced the concept of bet multipliers, where wins were multiplied based on the number of coins played.

Multi-Payline Slots

To enhance player engagement and excitement, multi-payline slots entered the scene. These different slot machine games offered multiple winning lines, increasing the chances of landing a winning combination. This innovation added a new dimension to slot play, enticing players with the allure of more frequent payouts.

Multiplier Slot Machines

The introduction of multiplier slot machines further amplified the potential payouts. These machines incorporated multipliers that could significantly increase wins, adding an extra layer of anticipation and excitement to the gameplay.

Straight Multiplier

Straight multipliers applied a fixed multiplier to all winning combinations. This straightforward approach provided a consistent boost to wins, making the gaming experience even more rewarding.

Bonus Multiplier

Bonus multipliers took the concept of multipliers a step further, applying additional multipliers to specific winning combinations. This introduced an element of surprise and potential for even larger payouts.


Buy-a-pays slots introduced a unique feature that allowed players to purchase additional winning combinations. This innovative approach offered players more control over their gameplay and the potential to increase their chances of winning.

Wild Play Slots

The types of slot machines introduced the concept of wild symbols, which could substitute for any other symbol to complete winning combinations. This added element of flexibility increased the chances of landing winning lines and boosted player engagement.

Progressive Slot Machines

Progressive slot machines took the excitement to new heights by introducing interconnected jackpots that grew with each play. This innovative concept attracted players with the allure of potentially life-changing payouts. These types of slot machines have paid out millions of dollars at a time to the lucky players. 

Traditional slot machines have undergone a remarkable transformation since their humble beginnings, evolving into sophisticated gaming machines that offer a variety of features, mechanics, and captivating themes. The journey from single-coin machines to progressive jackpots, and other new slots highlights the ingenuity and innovation that have driven the evolution of slot machines.

Community & Industry Jargon: How Certain Slots Are Labelled

When you look at different slot machine types, you’ll find that the industry is brimming with technical terms and player-coined labels that categorise these different types of slot machines. While some labels stem from industry classifications, others reflect the perceptions and experiences of players. Understanding these labels provides valuable insights into the different types of slot machines and what to expect from them. Let’s take a look:

Slots Machines Classes

Slot machines fall into two primary classes based on their regulatory framework and gameplay characteristics:

Class II:

These types of slot machines are primarily associated with bingo and pull-tab games, often found in charitable and social gaming environments. These machines are typically characterised by lower stakes, higher payout percentages, and a focus on community-oriented gaming experiences.

Class III:

Class III slot machines, commonly found in casinos, are known for their higher stakes, more varied gameplay, and the potential for larger payouts. These machines are regulated by stricter gaming commissions and offer a wider range of features and themes.

Slots Based on Player Position / Posture

Slot machines can also be categorised based on the player’s position or posture during gameplay:

Low Level:

These types of slot machines, also known as “bar tops” or “cocktail machines,” are designed for seated players, typically positioned at the end of a bar or counter. These machines offer a comfortable and relaxed gaming experience.


Upright slot machines, the most common type, are designed for standing players and feature a taller, more vertical cabinet. These machines provide a more active and engaging gaming experience.

Slots Machines According to Payout Cadence

Players often use terms like “hot” and “cold” to describe types of slot machines based on their perceived payout behaviour:


A “hot” slot machine is believed to be paying out more frequently than expected, attracting players with the anticipation of potential wins.


A “cold” slot machine is perceived to be paying out less frequently than expected, often dissuading players from further attempts.

Slots Machine Payout Frequency

The concepts of “tight,” “medium,” and “loose” slots are often used to describe perceived payout frequency:


A “tight” slot machine is believed to pay out less frequently, holding onto player funds for longer periods.


A “medium” slot machine is perceived to offer a balance between payout frequency and overall hold, providing a more consistent gaming experience.


A “loose” slot machine is believed to pay out more frequently, releasing player funds more readily.

However, it’s important to note that these terms are subjective and do not reflect the actual mechanics of slot machines. Slot machines are programmed with a predetermined Random Number Generator (RNG) that ensures fair and random outcomes, regardless of the player’s perception of the machine’s “hotness” or “tightness.” RTP (Return to Player) and Volatility are more accurate measures of a slot machine’s payout potential, indicating the percentage of player money that is expected to be returned over time and the frequency of large wins, respectively.

More Ways to Distinguish Types of Slot Machines

As we’ve already seen, there are many types of slot machines each with its unique characteristics and gameplay experiences. There are other ways to distinguish between the different types of slot machines and we’re going to explore these now:

Slot Denomination

Denomination refers to the value of each coin played on a slot machine. This determines the minimum and maximum bets, as well as the potential payouts. Common denominations include:

  • Penny slots: The most affordable option, with bets typically ranging from 1 to 5 cents per spin.
  • Dollar slots: Offer a higher stakes experience, with bets typically ranging from $1 to $5 per spin.
  • High-stakes slots: Cater to high rollers, with bets ranging from $25 to $100 or more per spin.

Number of Reels

Reels are the rotating cylinders that display symbols when a spin is initiated. The number of reels significantly impacts the gameplay and winning potential.

  • 3-reel slots: Classic slot machines typically feature three reels, offering a straightforward and nostalgic gaming experience.
  • 5-reel slots: More modern slots often feature five reels, providing more complex paylines and a wider range of winning combinations.


Paylines are the lines on which winning combinations are formed. The number of paylines determines the number of potential winning opportunities per spin. Common payline configurations include:

  • Single payline: The simplest form, with only one line on which winning combinations can be formed.
  • Multiple paylines: Offer more winning opportunities, with multiple lines across which winning combinations can be formed.
  • All-ways paylines: Provide the maximum number of winning opportunities, allowing winning combinations to be formed in any direction.

Game Types

With the expansion of slots to online casinos, the number of slot machine types has exploded, offering a diverse range of slot themes, features, and gameplay mechanics. Some popular game types include:

Video slots

Feature high-quality graphics, animated symbols, and engaging storylines, providing an immersive gaming experience.

3D slots

Take the immersive experience to the next level with cutting-edge 3D graphics and interactive elements, creating a captivating virtual world.

Slots with bonus rounds

Offer additional gameplay opportunities through bonus rounds, triggered by specific symbols or combinations, providing chances for extra wins or multipliers.

Progressive jackpots

Feature interconnected jackpots that grow with each play, offering the potential for life-changing payouts.


Utilise a unique reel mechanism that dynamically changes the number of ways to win, providing a highly volatile and exciting gaming experience.


Combine bingo and slots, offering a unique blend of card matching and spinning reels, creating a fast-paced and engaging game.

These diverse game types cater to a wide range of preferences, ensuring that there’s something for every slot enthusiast.

Considerations to Take When Choosing a Slot Machine Type to Try

Selecting types of slot to play is largely influenced by personal preferences and gaming style. However, certain factors can guide players towards slot types that align with their desired experience.

Those used to brick-and-mortar casinos may gravitate towards classic-themed online slots, seeking familiarity and nostalgic charm. For players seeking more innovative and immersive experiences, modern slots with intricate storylines, captivating graphics, and engaging bonus rounds offer an exciting departure from traditional slots.

Types of slot machines range from straightforward gameplay to more intricate mechanics. Slots with fewer reels, paylines, and bonus rounds provide a less complex and more predictable gaming experience. Conversely, slots with numerous reels, paylines, and bonus rounds offer more varied and unpredictable gameplay, catering to those seeking an immersive and challenging experience.

Players should consider their preferred betting range when choosing a type of slot machine. Penny slots offer lower stakes, ideal for players seeking casual gameplay or those new to online slots. Dollar slots and high-stakes slots cater to those comfortable with higher bets and the potential for larger payouts.

RTP (Return to Player) and volatility play significant roles in determining potential payouts. RTP indicates the percentage of player money that is theoretically returned over time. Volatility measures the frequency and size of wins. Players seeking frequent smaller payouts should prioritise slots with high RTP and low volatility. Conversely, those seeking the thrill of potentially life-changing wins may prefer slots with lower RTP and high volatility. Progressive jackpots offer the highest potential payouts but also feature lower RTP and higher volatility.

Standard paylines provide a straightforward approach to forming winning combinations. Newer mechanics like Megaways and Clusterpays offer more dynamic and unpredictable ways to win, appealing to players seeking a more exciting and challenging experience.

Here at Slotjava, you can find an abundance of free slots to play for fun which allows you to  to experiment with different slot types and themes without risking real money. This provides an opportunity to discover personal preferences and identify favourite slots before venturing into real-money play. Moreover, you can check out our slots guide to find extensive information on how slot machines work, odds, tips and more.
Once players have found their preferred slot types and themes, they can seamlessly transition to play slots for real money. We can guide you to the best US online casinos where you can benefit from a safe and secure environment, as well as the top online casino promotions and casino bonuses out there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of slot should I play?

Choose a slot that aligns with your preferences, considering the theme, features, jackpots, bet size, and volatility.

Which type of slot machine pays out the most?

Prioritise slots with high RTP, consider volatility and explore progressive jackpots for potentially large payouts.

Are all slot types easy to play?

All slots follow basic principles. Online slots may offer more complexity with innovative features but remain easy to learn.

Iain West