Gambling Games - It May Look Like a Slot But…

It’s really a VIDEO LOTTERY TERMINAL! (VLT) That’s right, VLT gambling games, There are tens of thousands of these at racetracks, gaming establishments and casinos. Also known as Video Gaming Machines and Slot Machine Games, it is next to impossible to tell the difference between a VLT and a traditional slot machine just by looking at them. Many of them have exactly the same themes and pay tables as the customary machines found at casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City, and elsewhere. Among these gambling games are Hot Shot Progressives, Blazing 7’s, Sex and the City, Cashman and Double Diamond, just to name a few. So what’s the difference between a traditional (Class III) slot machine and a (Class II) VLT? Read on:

Traditional Class III Gambling Games - Slot Machines  

All outcomes on these gambling games are controlled by a little computer chip called the Random Number Generator (RNG) inside each machine. This device allows the unit to continuously roam through random number combinations at the rate of thousands per second. These combinations are mapped to a specific outcome. It will not stop to select a display until the spin button is pressed or the handle is pulled. Each spin is independent of the next one. They have absolutely no effect on one another. RNG’s are also used in other types of gaming machines like video poker, and video keno.

The RNG is installed at the factory to the payback specifications requested by the casino. An RNG chip in each individual machine allows for jurisdictions to order different payback percentages in the same family of machines. (The payback percentage is the total amount of money returned to players over time.) Payback percentages usually vary between 85% and 98%. In most gaming jurisdictions, the penny machines return the lowest percentages where the dollar and higher machines return the highest. Contrary to what many players think, a casino cannot alter the payback percentages on a slot machine. This can only be done by factory personnel.

Class II Video Lottery Terminals

Have you ever thought about scratching off about 600 instant lottery tickets in about an hour? Play a VLT at one of the New York State racetracks and you’ll be doing just that. In contrast to the aforementioned, a VLT plays a virtual lottery game that is linked to a central computer operated by the NYS Lottery in Schenectady, NY. They determine the outcome of each wager using an RNG, but with a pre-determined number of winners. The VLT operators can program the number of payouts in advance. Once you start play, the machine receives a virtual scratch off ticket. When the video reels stop spinning the results will be consistent with whatever is on the ticket. The payback percentages are controlled by the scratch off games. In NY the law requires a minimum 92% return.

Other VLT gambling games that operate in Native American jurisdictions are virtual Bingo Games that are linked together, forcing players to compete against one another for the prize payout.

Video Poker VLT’s

There’s a big difference between the traditional Class III and Class II VLT gambling games when it comes to Video Poker.  A traditional class III machine deals 5 cards from a virtual 52 card deck. After you discard, your final hand is determined randomly from the remaining 47 cards. Your knowledge and skill are a big factor when trying to win.

In a class II VLT, your final hand will be whatever the virtual scratch off ticket dictates. Even if you make a mistake and discard winning cards, a virtual Genie will appear on your screen and change your hand to the pre-determined winning result. No skill is needed to win. It’s not a 52 card deck.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from playing VLT’s. If the payback percentages are the same as in the Class III gambling games, you can win as well as lose. A 92% payback is a 92% payback. Regardless of where or what games you decide to play, you’ll always need a visit from LADY LUCK!

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