If you play slots in two or more different states, you may have played on two different kinds of slot machines. These are called Class II and Class III slots. Though you will not be able to tell the difference in these machines with a cursory glance, there are important distinctions between the two.
Actually, when I say "important distinctions", I mean important legal distinctions. Players will not be able to tell much of a different in these slot machines. Certain jurisdictions do not allow the traditional slots game, so the game designers found an ingenious way around the legalities.
Class III slot machines are the ones we all know and love. These slots you will find in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and most of the other casinos of America.
Class II machines are for specific jurisdictions, often introducing a bingo element into the slot machine experience. Since bingo games are less regulated in many states, this becomes a way to run a slot machine industry in a state where slots are not allowed. Here's how it works.
Class III Characteristics
* Class III slots use an internal random number generator to determine wins and losses.
* Every Class III spin is separate from the other. A player winning on a similar machine adjacent to you does not affect your game. Any outcome is possible.
* The player is playing against the house and not against opponents.
* Wins are instant.
Class II Characteristics
* Class II slots are tied to a random number generator in a central computer. The slot machine itself does not determine whether you win or not. Instead, it is part of a networked game.
* Players compete against one another for a central prize. This means you do not play against the house and a prize eventually will be won by someone, but not necessarily by yourself.
* Games are interactive. When you win, you must actively claim your prize.
* When a new game begins, there are only a certain number of combinations in the game. Once a set of numbers (or card) has been used, it is not active in the game. This makes a class II game like a scratch off lottery card.
* If on a machine with Class III characteristics, any of the Class II stipulations are met, then the machine legally is considered a Class II slot machine.
How Do You Tell The Difference?
For all intents and purposes, Class III slots play like a traditional machine. Both use a random number generator to determine results. But if you look closely enough, you will notice a few differences with a Class III machine.
Most such machines have a virtual bingo card someone along the top of the machine. As the reels spin, you will also notice the bingo numbers in a "spin" mode. This is actually the method used to determine a winner.
If you win, the reels align in the commensurate winning position. If you do not win, the reels line up in any random non-winning alignment.
The Class II and Class III distinctions highlight the hypocrisy of certain gaming jurisdictions. A slot machine is considered immoral and made illegal, unless it is played with a bingo mechanism, which therefore makes it legally and morally valid.
Who can figure? Let's just be happy our slots playing brethren in these jurisdictions can enjoy themselves with a good game of slots.