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Gaming Glossary

accounting option
The software option that displays statistics accumulated in game play, such as the number of coins-in or the number of credits won.
attendant menu
The menu entered by turning the attendant key switch that allows access to accounting, diagnostics and other attendant functions. This menu appears on the screen and shows what options are available.
attract mode
Visual and/or music options intended to attract players when the machine is in the idle mode.
An option that enables a player to wager the same number of credits as the previous game simply by pressing the Deal-Spin-Start switch.
An option that, when selected in the self test mode, automatically holds suggested winning combinations of cards and displays a HELD message above the cards in a game.
A setup or downloadable message which is scrolled across the main menu screen to attract or inform a player.
bar machines
A collective term referring to slant-top and flat-top machines, as opposed to upright machines.
belly glass
The lower glass on the door of some machines that shows the denomination, pay table or game theme.
bill acceptor (same as bill validator)
Optional assembly that accepts valid paper bills and causes the host machine to either dispense change or issue credits.
A type of game in which the player "buys" various paying combinations by playing more coins. Usually, buy-a-pay games will pay their top award only if the maximum coins have been played.
The exterior, laminated wood "shell" that surrounds the metal enclosure on some machines.
See Service Light
cash out
A switch that converts machine credits to cash or payable vouchers. The Cash Out switch on the player panel activates this machine function.
cash slip
A printed ticket from a video lottery terminal (VLT) that is redeemed for cash in lieu of direct payment as with a gaming machine.
circuit board
A board containing embedded circuits and an attached collection of integrated circuits (chips).
coin comparitor
An electronic coin acceptor mechanism that receives and validates coins deposited in the machine. A coin comparitor uses a sample coin against which incoming coins are compared for validity.
coin drop box
The container in the bottom of the cabinet that catches and holds coins from the coin-in assembly. In bill acceptors, the lower compartment where bills are deposited.
coin tray
Metal tray on a machine where coins are paid out or returned.
Coins wagered. The coin-in assembly receives, verifies, counts and appropriately routes coins deposited in the machine. The coin-in meters (mechanical and software) accumulate total coin-in numbers.
Coins or credits won and paid, or credits won and wagered. The coin-out meters (mechanical and software) accumulate total coin-out numbers.
One credit is equal to the denomination of the game being played. Games are played using credits for ease of displaying the amount bet and won.
credit limit
The maximum number of credits the machine will accumulate before causing either a hopper-pay, hand-pay or cash-out ticket situation.
credit mode
Play condition in which the machine accepts cash or currency and converts it into credits on a credit meter. The player can bet credits rather than entering money for each individual play.Wins also can be added to the credit meter rather then paid directly to the player.
A factor that determines the monetary value of one unit of credit.
The mode in which the machine can be tested for module replacement. Tests for I/O (input/output), peripherals, display devices, and other hardware may be included.
A general term to describe what is seen on the screen or the display device of a computer.
Coins or bills in the drop box.
drop box
The container in the bottom of the cabinet that catches and holds coins when the hopper is full. In bill acceptors, the lower compartment where bills are deposited.
drop door
The door normally on the bottom of the machine or in the stand which prevents access to the coin drop.
drop-in bar (DIB)
A physical package format where the machine is set into a horizontal bar counter-top or contained in a self-contained cabinet.
The metal body that houses internal machine components. The enclosure is often installed in a cabinet.
In slant-top and flat-top machines, the part of the hopper that carries coins up to the coin tray.
fiber optics
The transmission of information with light energy as the transmission carrier and plastic or glass as the medium.
Coins that are added to the hopper of a gaming machine that has become empty as a result of player wins.
Programs stored permanently in read-only memory (ROM).
A type of machine with a flat top, designed for installation in a bar cabinet. The game is typically viewed from above the machine while the player is seated.
A program designed to offer a player chances to win prizes by betting some unit of credit of the correct denomination. There can be several games in one machine.
game closed mode
In linked games, describes suspension of normal game play by the central computer system.
game play mode
The operational mode that exists when the machine is functioning properly and a customer is playing a game.
In video poker games, one set of five cards. A standard poker game consists of an original hand, and after the player keeps or rejects cards, a final hand. Wins or losses are based on the final hand.
hand pay
Money award paid by an attendant rather than being dispensed by the machine.
handle pulls
The total number of pulls of the machine handle. Also known as "games played."
hard count
The counting of money generated by gaming operations in the form of coins.
hard drop
The controlled process of removing coins from gaming machines.
hard meters
An internal accounting system that is displayed on mechanical meters on all video and reel gaming machines. These meters can not be reset, i.e. they are at "zero" when the machine is built and they continue to count the cumulative number of coins in, out, etc. throughout the life of the machine.
hit frequency
A term used to describe the average frequency at which winning game outcomes will occur on a gaming machine. It is calculated by dividing the number of individual hits, or winning games, by the number of possible game outcome combinations.
The physical buttons on video poker machines that, when pressed, allow the player to keep cards in a poker game.
hold percentage
The percent of coins played that are retained or won by the gaming machine. It is calculated by subtracting the payback percentage from 100 percent.
An assembly inside the machine that receives, holds and dispenses coins. When the hopper is full, coins are diverted to the drop box.
idle mode
The condition that exists when a game is not being played and no credits exist on the credit meter.
input/output (I/O)
The inputs and outputs of a machine. Typically, inputs are from switches, etc., and outputs are to lamps, etc.
An authority within which all gaming regulations are governed.
LCD Liquid Crystal Display
A color, active-matrix display similar to a laptop personal computer. This display is located in the top box and is used for bonus games, custom attract messages and a variety of diagnostic and setup displays.
LED Light Emitting Diode
An alphanumeric display unit that glows when supplied with a specified voltage, commonly used in digital displays and as status indicators.
line up
A type of game that utilizes spinning slot reels or a video simulation of reels. A win occurs when reel symbols line up in a specified manner.
A jurisdiction in which some form of gambling is allowed, but typically more restricted than gaming jurisdictions. A system usually connected to a central computer via a communication system.
A gaming machine. This term is also synonymous with EGM, gaming machine, VGD, VGM and VLT. Sometimes a lottery terminal.
machine door
On machines, the main access door typically contains the player switches and/or other input devices, coin entry, key lock and various other assemblies.
main door
The door on the front of the machine which prevents access to the printer, hopper, front panel switches and other operator accessible items.
max bet (same as max coin)
The maximum number of coins or credits the game will accept for a single play (usually six or less).
max win (same as max pay)
The highest award on the game pay table.
Counters. IGT machines utilize both mechanical and software meters to collect game play data. Hardware meters collect lifetime totals and cannot be reset. Software meters are displayed in the statistical data mode, and can be reset to zero.
An integrated circuit on the computer's main circuit board. The microprocessor carries out software instructions by directing the flow of electrical impulses through the computer.
The game types (poker, keno, reel slots, etc.), configurations (upright, slant-top, or flat top machines), and denominations on the casino floor. An empirical ratio adjusted continuously by slot management.
An operational state of the machine. IGT machines typically have five modes: game play, idle, statistical data, self test/diagnostics and tilt.
A display device similar to a television screen used in video games to receive and display game and service information.
multiplier pay
Each win amount is a linear multiple of the number of coins or credits bet.
noncredit mode
The machine will accept no more than the max bet allowed per game, and all wins are paid out in coins or by an attendant at the time of the win. If a bill acceptor is present, it functions as a changer only.
A machine operator, owner, service technician or any other person with access to the interior of the machine by opening the front door.
operator menu
The menu entered by pressing the test switch with the main door open that allows access to accounting, diagnostics, setup and other operator functions. This menu has an on screen display that shows what options are available.
optic sensor
An electronic device used to sense mechanical motion and provide an electrical signal of this motion to the microcomputer system.
out of service mode
The machine is rendered inoperable without turning the power off.
partial pay
A predetermined number of coins that is paid to the player from the machine coin hopper upon hitting a jackpot. The balance of the jackpot is paid by an attendant. The number of coins paid in the partial pay is usually operator selectable.
pay table
A chart of pay amounts as a function of each winning combination and number of coins or credits bet.
payback percentage
The amount of money the player is expected to win divided by the amount of money played over a long period of time, expressed as a percentage. On games where there is a bonus pay on jackpots won with maximum coins played, the payback percentage will vary slightly, depending on how may coins per game are played.
An award from a game.
player panel switch (same as player switch)
An input switch that communicates player selections to the processor board. Some player switches also have functions in self test and statistical data modes.
printed ticket
Some machines utilize a ticket printer rather than a coin hopper. When a win occurs and the player presses the Collect Winnings switch, a printed ticket dispenses from the machine and can then be redeemed for cash.
prize amount
An amount of money that can be won by playing a game. This could be a fixed amount or in the case of a progressive prizes, an amount that increases based on player activity.
The hardware component of a computer that performs the actual computation by directly executing instructions represented in machine language and stored in main memory.
A system of pooling a fraction of each wager into a cumulative fund that is available for a top-pay win. A game that increments the prize amount based on player participation. The three kinds of progressives are Wide Area, Local Area, and Stand Alone.
A circular basket, displaying a series of symbols, that rotates around a motorized central hub. The combination of three or more such reels set spinning at once, then stopping at randomly assigned spots on each reel, constitutes a basic slot game. The appearance of a mechanically operated stepper reel can be simulated on video games.
reel strip
A set of symbols on a slot reel.
reel strip list
Provides exact pay table information and symbol alignment on each reel, and is shipped with the machine or with new reel program orders.
screen button
The graphical representation of a button drawn on the video screen simulating the function of a physical button when the screen is touched within the screen button boundary.
self test mode
The software mode that allows processor board input and output tests and enables option selections.
service light (candle)
A light assembly that mounts either on top of the machine or in a remote location and indicates various machine modes and game conditions. Most service lights have two or more 'stages', or sections, stacked vertically.
An establishment where gaming machines are played. This term is also synonymous with location, venue, retail site, and retail location.
slant top
A type of machine with a slanted top from which the game is viewed while the player is typically seated.
slot game
A type of machine that utilizes spinning mechanical reels or a video simulation of reels. A win occurs when reel symbols line up in a specified manner.
slot handle
An optional handle located on the right side of a slot machine. Pulling the handle after a wager causes the reels to spin.
soft count
The counting of money generated by gaming operations in the form of paper bills.
soft drop
The controlled process of removing bills from bill acceptors located in gaming machines.
The wood or metal base, housing the drop box, to which a standard upright machine is attached.
statistical data mode
The software mode that displays statistics accumulated in the game play mode, such as the number of coins in or the number of credits won.
The main console (keyboard and screen) of a system.
An error in machine operation that suspends game play. Tilts can be caused by hardware or software problems and must be corrected before game play can continue.
tilt mode
Operating mode in which the machine suspends game play as a result of software or hardware errors. The machine is inoperable until checked and reset by an attendant.
top box
An enclosed area at the top of the machine that typically contains a light box and display glass, a candle and/or various optional assemblies.
top glass
A silk-screened piece of glass that fits into the top part of a game and usually shows the pay table.
top panel
The main machine door on flat-top and slant-top machines. The top panel typically contains the player switches and/or other player input devices, coin entry, coin tray, video or slot glass and other components.
A video monitor that also acts as an input device by the action of touching specific locations of the screen to perform some activity or action.
upright machine
A type of machine that stands erect, usually attached to a stand. The machine door is hinged on the side and the game is viewed from the front.
Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD)
A small graphic display used to convey game play, diagnostic, status and other messages to the player, attendant or operator.
video game
A type of machine that uses a video monitor to display graphic images representing poker, keno, blackjack (21) or simulated reel lineup games.
video monitor
A display device similar to a television screen used in video games to receive and display game and service information.
Usually refers to the dollar value of a gaming machine's hold percentage. It is calculated by multiplying the coin-in value in dollars times the hold percentage.

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