Slot machines seem simple enough. Pull a handle, the reels spin and either you win or lose. That’s the basic experience for the player but ‘under the hood‘ there are important differences between several types of devices that are often identified as ‘slot machines‘. We’ve written some articles about the difference between ‘Class II’ and ‘Class III’ slots but there’s another important ‘class distinction‘ that you need to be aware of–the video lottery terminal or ‘VLT’. These are very common in a number of states and have their own unique characteristics.

We’ll start with the traditional slot machine or, more appropriately, the ‘Class III‘ slot machine since its the easiest to explain. The ‘Class III’ slot machine is the type of device that you’ll find in Las Vegas casinos. Most real money online slot machines operate as Class III machines. The class divisions are derived from The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which sets US Federal guidelines for tribal gaming activities. The Indian Gambling Regulatory Act establishes three classes of games. Class I gaming is defined as “traditional Indian gaming, which may be part of tribal ceremonies and celebrations” and social gaming for minimal prizes. This class falls under the jurisdiction of individual tribal councils and isn’t applicable to slot machines.

Class III is traditional ‘Las Vegas’ or ‘casino-style’ gambling. The table games like roulette, blackjack and craps would all fall under Class III as would the slot machines and video poker games you’d find in any Las Vegas casino. As far as it concerns slot machines, these are the RNG based games that we’ve described in the previous content in this section. While each individual machine is programmed to pay back a certain percentage of what it takes in it is otherwise completely random. You have the possibility of winning a jackpot on any spin of the wheel if the random numbers generated by the machine fall in your favor.