Progressive and bonus slots
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by: Gayle Mitchell. Slots, Online slots gambling advice.
Remember when the only slots available were clunky, tiny, fruit-bell reels and Vegas, the city that grew from a vast desert, was the only place to play? Computer technology has taken slot players down a neon, graphically rich and audibly enhanced road to the latest treat for the senses: bonus video slots.
Now we play Monopoly, listen to Elvis tunes, Make A Deal, spin that Wheel of Fortune and revel in the casinos’ ‘virtual video arcades’.  Slot Players have come a long way. Don’t you just love the excitement?
Mindless casino game -- you say. Not anymore, my slot friends.
It’s no longer a matter of insert coins, pull handle, cross fingers and dream of the big jackpot. A slots education is now a pre-requisite of any casino visit.
Not only should you choose and observe the slot selections/schedules presented, but also wager management is key to your survival in a game that now produces 70% of most casinos’ revenues.  If you don’t become slot-savvy and learn the correct strategies, you are missing some nice paydays.
We all know the casinos and the programmed RNG have the upper hand in the slots challenge. However, there are learned strategies that can and will improve your slots play that we will explore, thus preparing you for those jackpot quests.
I classify slot types into three major categories: basic or ‘classic’ slots -- those 3 reel wonders most of which sport a single payline, the most popular being Diamonds and Red, White & Blue 7’s.
Progressives with ever-growing jackpots, (primary & secondary), plus Bonus Video Slots--the latest gaming revolution. Sub-divided into two types: Bonus slots that transport the player to a second bonus screen/round for an additional payout and Wild Multiplier Slots or Wild X Bonus as I call them.
Wild X Bonus slots look like basic three-reelers, but in fact have more payout options and should be located for those reasons.
Further information and strategies for these three slot types are:

Basic Slots:
I strongly recommend that slot players begin their casino playing experience with basic slots--cheaper to play and an excellent starting point, for as your credits mount and your bankroll increases, you can move on to bonus or progressive slot versions.
Basic Slots, straight slots or ‘flat tops’ as they are known, have a constant top jackpot payout. All require maximum coins to hit that jackpot.
Look for these three features:
Single Payline:  stay away from multiple paylines. Better to play multiple paylines on Bonus Slot versions where a second screen bonus round offers additional winnings.
Two Coin Maximum to make your bankroll last longer.
Double and Triple Jackpot Pays: on certain payline combinations, e.g., Double, Triple Diamond or Red, White & Blue 7’s.
Look closely at payout schedules -- not all basic slots will double and quadruple all pays and not all will have double jackpot symbols.
Search out 98% or 100% ‘certified’ slots, usually dollar slots at your favorite casino. Ask the slot hosts or change people if all machines in that carousel are high-return slots or just one or two slots--the least desired player advantage.
Play ‘signature slots’ with a particular casino’s name on them. These are generally looser thus producing the desired casino PR.
Explore high traffic areas around the main cashier’s booth and change booths for the specific features mentioned above.
Always play maximum coins. Be a ‘hit and run’ winner--3-5 max spins without any return--move on. Don’t play two machines side by side: one giveth, the other taketh. After any large win, try 3 more max spins for possible repeat win.
Don’t hang onto one machine too long -- take the credits and run!
In the end, the majority of large jackpots are hit within the first 5-15 minutes of play with a small cash outlay.

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Progressive Slots:                                         
Progressives appeal to slot players searching for that ‘big hit’.
There are two levels of progressive jackpots -- primary and secondary.
Most versions require at least three coins max, sometimes more.
Primary jackpot is the top prize offered when a player hits a specific combination, i.e., three Megajackpot symbols.  Primary jackpot $$ amount is displayed with the largest sign and numbers above the carousel or bank of machines. This jackpot increases with each bet made by all players participating in the network.
Secondary jackpots are displayed on smaller screens mounted below the primary jackpot signage or on the machine itself. These jackpots are hit more frequently and therefore do not always have a large sum of money on the progressive meter.
If both jackpots are high, the indication is that these machines have had a lot of play without hitting and should be ready for ‘the big hit’. Before playing any single progressive version, check out the primary and secondary jackpots then compare with other surrounding progressive jackpots. Change people and slot hosts can be very helpful with information on where the largest progressive jackpots are located.
In larger gambling venues, the locals are very aware of ‘hot progressives’, so if you notice a crowd around a certain bank of machines--it’s your cue to take a seat. After a progressive jackpot is hit, the meter automatically resets to the base jackpot amount. Megabucks resets to 7 million. If you see any progressive close to its reset dollar amount, you know its been hit recently. Save your money.
Most progressive jackpots are paid out in annual installments; however, several progressive jackpots today are paying ‘on the spot’. Examples are Party Time, Bally’s Thrillion Series, Regis Cash Club and Addams Family.

Bonus Video Slots:
Bonus slots are described as ‘branded machines’, ‘entertainment-content’, ‘brand recognition’, ‘participation games’, ‘interactive’ & ‘banking slots’.
I like the name Bonus Slots because it says it all. The main goal of these games is to play the reels to win a ‘second chance’ bonus round where the real money is.
The Australian manufacturer, Aristocrat stepped forward first with multi-line slots.  Aristocrat’s special features include roaming wilds, free spin-bonus play, repeat wins plus hold and spin.  Twenty payline games are their latest innovation with the release of Jumpin’ Joeys.  Other popular Aristocrat games are Enchanted Forest, Cash Chameleon, Queen of the Nile and Delta Treasure.
Bonus Slots are easily identified for as you approach; you immediately see many more graphics than a basic slot or progressive--25 symbols or more filling up the screen.  The buttons in front of you offer up to 20 paylines. Many versions come in penny denominations, but with maximums up to 225 coins for pennies, 45 coins for nickels, that’s $2.25/spin, folks.
The RNG (random number generator) is still very active even when the machine is idle and the number of possibilities with these graphic-rich bonus slots is staggering. The same RNG principal applies here: once you press the spin button, a final decision is made. Payouts are much more frequent, usually every 2-3 spins.
Read all information posted. I know you have heard this before but with many more payout options, this is important. Take a look at the help menu that explains game rules, winning combinations/payouts and pay lines criss-crossing the screen grid.
There is usually an attractive sprinkling of wild and scatter pay symbols that increase your winnings when appearing anywhere on the screen.   
Bonus round top points should be a contributing factor in selecting bonus types/versions. Bonus secondary jackpots can produce more than 10,000 coins and primary/top jackpots 100,000+  as printed on machine. This is important as one Bonus version will pay more than others and will determine your choice and denomination that fits your wager management plan.
You should definitely play all paylines in order to activate the many wild and scatter symbol payout combinations. Best strategy: try one or two coins per line; therefore, a spin of 9 to 18 nickels is not an expensive wager. As you build your winnings, take some risk with the occasional maximum spin.

© Copyright 2005 Gayle Mitchell's material. It may not be published, broadcasted, rewritten, or redistributed.

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