Slot Tutorials

New to Slots? Where Should You Start on a Casino Floor?

Paris Las Vegas slot floor
Written by Joshua

Despite the relative ubiquity of slots today, there are always new potential players who haven’t given them a go, or at least much of a go. For you, there’s hundreds of articles on the site here, thousands and thousands of YouTube videos… well, it can be pretty overwhelming.

It can also be hard to remember all the stuff you reviewed before hitting a casino for the first time. So if you’re looking for some easy things to think about when trying to get used to slots for the first time, here are a few high-level tips and ideas that came out of a recent Clubhouse conversation I hosted with some regular casino visitors.

Find Simple Games to Start

One of the easiest ways to tell the relative complexity of a game is to look for its pay table. Some of the oldest mechanical reel slots were so simple, their pay table were printed in glass and appeared right above or below (or both) the reels.

Nowadays, pay tables are included inside a menu of most video reels slot machines, but not all games are created equal. Some games, like the original Quick Spin games, have a single screen for a pay table. Others have more than 20 pages.

There’s a broad variety of games on the casino floor; finding games with simpler rules that are easier to understand isn’t too difficult, but can make it easier to know what you’re doing when playing a slot for the first time.

Play Mechanical Reel Slots

For that matter, mechanical reel slots tend to be simpler because their design forces them to be so. There are only so many symbols that can be placed on a given reel, and only three or five reels for things to happen.

Older machines tend to be pretty simplistic in what they offer, where there’s either no bonus, or a bonus that takes place on a panel above the reels. More modern machines tend to have a computer monitor above the screen to allow for more complex bonus scenarios or picking screens.

If you think of games like Pinball or Top Dollar, they have a simple yet effective bonus above the reels on the glass, so they break out of the reels to do the bonus but on a very easy to understand setup. Other games, like Double Diamond, don’t even worry about a bonus, just having all the pays on the reels.

Find Games in a Series

There are game series, like Buffalo or Lightning Link, which have a number of games in the series but common rules that are part of all of them. While each game will have its own little things to figure out, the main ways you get bonuses, what symbols are important and so on will have a common structure.

This means once you get comfortable with a series, playing other games in the series doesn’t require a giant leap to comprehend, and it makes it easy to have a larger batch of games to be able to play without confusion.

Watch or Ask Another Player

While it’s less simple to retain all the knowledge gained from watching videos at home before a trip, it’s a bit easier to absorb what’s happening around you in real (reel?) time. So you can observe what’s happening with your neighbor, and perhaps even ask them for a bit of help if you’re unsure what’s going on.

Keep in mind some slot players aren’t necessarily there to be social or hold a conversation, so this may not always work out in your favor, but many players tend to be polite and willing to answer a question or two, and many will cheer each other on as well when something good happens.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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