Multiple-coin machines have several definitions. On a single-line machine, the player inserts from one to five coins. There are two general categories of single-line, reel-spinning games, known in the trade as a “multiplier” and a “buy-a-pay”.
On a multiplier machine, if a winning combination occurs on the reels with three coins in, the payout will be three times as much as with one coin in. Four coins will produce a payout of four times that of one coin, and so on. In this type of game, the payout percentage and house advantage of the machine do not change whether the player deposits one coin or multiple coins.
The amount of profit the casino makes will increase substantially if it can get the players to deposit more than one coin every play. You should always gamble only what you can comfortably afford, so you should avoid playing the maximum coins on this style of game if you can only afford to play one,
even if the casino tries to entice you with attractive payouts. The only reason to play the full amount of coins would be if the slot machine rewards you when winning the top jackpot.
For instance, if one coin pays ten coins for a particular winning combination, two coins pay 20 for the same combination, and three coins pay 50, it would be to your advantage to play three coins. The disparity in the awards makes it worth it. But if you can’t afford to play those three coins, it’s advisable to find a machine that makes an evenly graduated payout for multiple coins, or drop down to a lower denomination.
On a buy-a-pay machine, each coin beyond the first deposited “buys”, or activates, winning combinations or bonus features that would not be available if a single coin is deposited. The
way to spot this type of machine is to look above the payout chart. It will say, “First Coin” over certain winning combinations; “Second Coin” over the next column, and so forth. In this type of game, the payout percentage to the player increases, and the house advantage decreases, as each additional coin is deposited, since winning combinations under the “Second Coin” column will not register, and will not pay any jackpot, if only one coin is deposited.
Another version of a multiple-coin machine is one with multiple pay lines. By depositing additional coins, the player activates additional lines that payout in the winning combinations hit. In traditional reel-spinning games, these pay lines will generally go up to five – three for each horizontal row of symbols and two for the two diagonal rows of symbols.
As with the buy-a-pay machines, the payout percentage on these “buy-a-line” machines increases, and the house advantage decreases, with each additional coin bet.
The newest – and increasingly prevalent – style of multiple coin slot machine is the multi-line video slot game. This style of game incorporates a video screen displaying five reels, each with three symbols. The pay lines on these machines typically go far beyond the five lines of the reel-spinning version to display nine, 15, 20 or more pay lines. The player has the option to bet from one to hundreds of coins on each pay line. In this type of slot machine, the payout percentage increases
and the house advantage decreases with each pay line activated, until all pay lines are “purchased” for a pin with at least one coin per line. After all pay lines are activated – for example, a wager of nine coins on a nine-line aame, or one coin per line – the payout percentage and hit frequencie are constant. This means that as long as all pay lines are activated, there is no inherent advantage in gambling the maximum coins possible. The machine’s glass will typically display prominent advertisements urging the player to “Play 45 Coins”, or whatever the maximum wager is, but that is only to entice you to increase your stake. As long as the pay lines are all active, you need only to bet what you can afford to garner the maximum payout percentage.