Slots Terms – Jargon – Lingo

Terminology for the Game of Slots
by Bus Green of

Just as with any other casino game, slots has its own terminology. It is good that if you play slots, or plan to play slots, that you are familiar with slots terminology. Some of the slots terms are for land-based games and others are for online slots.

Here are some of the more popular terms/lingo/jargon that you’ll hear while gaming:

– Random Number Generator (RNG) – A RNG is software that generally is on a computer chip that is placed inside the slot machine. In terms of online slots, the RNG is the software on the server of the game. The purpose is the same for both is that it randomly chooses the hundreds of either numbers or symbols every second. These are generated faster than you can pull the slots handle, or click the spin button when playing slots online. Even when the machine is idle the RNG is working. Every random number will correspond to a certain reel and symbol combination, which is chosen at random after coins or credits are deposited. Obviously, the combinations that are programmed the fewest are for the top jackpot on the game.

– Reels – The reels are the number of wheels or reels showing on slots with imprinted symbol combinations. In classic slots games there are generally 3 reels, but some have 5 reels.

– Slot Schedule – The slot schedule is also called the slot payout schedule, which is posted information on the front of the machine. This information will tell you both the denomination and win amounts that are possible on that machine. Before you play on a slots machine you should know the slot schedule.


– Slot Cycle – The slot cycle is average payout percentage rate of the slots game, which applies over a long period of time. The time period can be as long as one year. Because of this over the course of a slots session a slots game that advertises that says it has a 98% payoff rate may pay off at 130% and other times at 50%. The lower percentages will indicate a down cycle. Conversely higher numbers indicate an up cycle. Actually a cycle has no consistency and because of this, in theory, the jackpot can be won on the very next spin after one has just hit.

– Slots Drop and Hold – The slots drop is the amount of money that is played through the slots machine. The slots hold is the amount of money that machine keeps, which are not paid out as winnings. The payout percentage on a slot machine is calculated by dividing the hold number by the drop number and then you multiply that number by 100%.

– Slot Testing – Slot testing is playing through a certain amount of coins, not using credits that have been accumulated, to keep track of the drop and hold to determine the payout percentage of your session on a certain slots game.

– Slot-Mix / Slot Placement – Many times people think casinos put their popular slot machines near areas of the casino which see a lot of traffic in order for people that win on the machine can more easily be heard by others, therefore making that game more attractive. This is called slot mix or slot placement.

– Short Win – A short win is a big jackpot after a small outlay of cash. Short wins happen often when playing slots.