Class II Slot Machines or Class III Slot Machines? What’s the difference?

There are two different types of slot machines, class II and class III.  There is a big difference with each classification of slot machine in the way that they operate.  You may have played class II slot machines at one casino and class III slot machines at a different casino and never realized the difference.

Class III machines are also known as “Vegas Style” slots.  These can be found in all your large regulated markets (e.g., Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, etcetera.)  The way these machines work is with a Random Number Generator or RNG.

A RNG is supposed to be a program that comes as close as humanly possible to choosing numbers randomly.  Theoretically, any program created by a human cannot be completely random, but it’s suppose to be as close as we can get.

Thousands of numbers are being generated inside the machine, even when the machine isn’t being played.  The split second you hit that spin button a number is generated, and that number represents certain symbols on the screen.  Whether or not you will win has already been determined when you hit the button, the symbols are just for entertainment purposes.

This brings up a common fallacy about RNG slot machines.  If you are playing at a slot machine and get up, and a minute later someone sits down and hits the jackpot on the machine you were playing, it’s highly unlikely you would have hit the jackpot if you kept playing.  You would have had to hit the spin button at the exact same millisecond as the person who won.

Another significant feature of RNG machines is that on each spin you have the possibility of hitting the jackpot.  You are no more likely to hit the jackpot on one spin than another.  That means if I just hit the jackpot, on my next spin I have the same exact chance of hitting the jackpot as I did on the previous spin.  All those theories about machines being “due to hit” are fallacies as well.

This doesn’t mean that the slot machines are not programmed to payback a certain percentage, they are.  Each jurisdiction is different, but usually the lowest they can go by law is an 80% payback.  However, even though they are programmed to payback a certain percentage over a large number of spins, the wins are not predetermined.

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Another misconception has to do with the “near miss.”  Many believe that if they get a “near miss” to the jackpot, the machine is going to hit the jackpot soon.  The number sequence for the jackpot and the “near miss” that was received may be thousands of numbers away.  The machine is no more likely to hit the jackpot after the “near miss,” than if you didn’t get a “near miss,”  the odds remain the same.

Most of the information I’ve discussed so far only pertains to class III, “Vegas Style” slot machines.  Class II machines are totally different.  Class II machines are called Virtual Lottery Terminals or VLT’s.

Class II machines are usually found on Indian gaming reservations and racinos.  Racinos are places that allow class II slot machines and they also have a live horsetrack attached to it.

Class II machines are preprogrammed, so I believe these machines cause much of the confusion and many of the misconceptions that people believe about slot machines.

Think of it like a scratch off lottery ticket.  The tickets are sold and there are a certain number of winning tickets.  The same holds true for Class II machines.  They are programmed to pay off at certain times.

Class II machines are based around the game of bingo.  On many you will see a little bingo card in the corner.  For some reason, in the places that have class II machines, bingo is legal but regular slot machines are not.  So the slot machine manufacturers came up with ways to get around it.

If you are a video poker player NEVER play class II machines.  More on that at another time, but video poker no longer becomes a game of skill on class II machines.

When you are researching a casino find out what class machines they offer.  I would advise you to play on RNG machines whenever possible.  The fact that it is completely random takes away many of the conspiracies.

About Greg Elder

I was 37 years old, a husband and father, a former teacher, college and high school basketball coach, and a business owner, I decided to give it all up (Not the husband and father part) to take a shot at pro gambling. I was coming off a job I hated selling insurance, and I vowed to do something I was passionate about. For the next year I would spend 12-15 hours a day researching, studying, and practicing advantage gambling techniques. The goal was to see if I could sustain our current lifestyle as a professional gambler. I wanted to find out if casinos really could be beat. At the time, I thought it may be the biggest mistake of my life, but my intentions were to have fun trying. It has been an interesting few years since that journey began. My feature book GAMBLERS FIGHT BACK has been released and can be purchased on my author site at I would consider my pro gambling career to be a success on all fronts. I didn't win millions of dollars, but I was able to enjoy every minute of it. It brought an excitement and passion back into my professional life. It has helped lead me to a writing career that I had no idea I even wanted before this challenge. I was able to write a book that shared with others exactly what I learned along the way.. Gambling professionally is not easy, but there are certain things the average gambler can do to increase their chances of success tremendously. That's the information I try to pass along to my readers.

8 Responses to “Class II Slot Machines or Class III Slot Machines? What’s the difference?”

  1. William H. Geiger Reply July 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    The presence of an RNG is not a requirement for a computer operated slot machine to perform its function. A pointer into a list of game solutions is all that is needed. In this setting, while the game appears to be subject to the probabilities of randomly selected winning/loosing numbers (game solutions) in real time, such selection is done beforehand and placed into a list for selection later. This change is significant as the game is now totally deterministic and nothing is left to chance. Not only is the holdback percentage guaranteed but also the game count when a jackpot is awarded is known by the Casino as well. Here as each game is played a pointer into a list is incremented to yield a game outcome that is known beforehand by the game owner. To change the holdback on a machine, a different list is simply selected. These facts, I suspect, are probably the best kept secrets of the gaming industry.

    • Wow, if this is true then class III machines are no longer random. Why would they change to this new system? With an RNG they are still guaranteed to win in the long-run. How did you come across this information and how long has it been viable? I do appreciate the information and will be looking into it further. Thanks again for the info.

    • William,

      I’ve started looking into your information and cannot find any validation. Is the information your speaking of for class II machines or class II? From what I understand the process you speak of sounds like the system for class II machines, but if it is for class III that goes against any information I’ve ever come across. I want to go directly to the manufacturer but I need more to work with. This goes against everything that is out about slot machines. If you feel more comfortable emailing me personally my email is Any more info. would be helpful. Thanks.

    • This is the process we’ve been all told about.

      Here’s how the complete process plays out in a typical three-reel machine.

      You pull the handle, and the computer records the next three numbers from the random number generator. The first number is used to determine the position of the first reel, the second number is used for the second reel and the third number is used for the third reel. For this example, let’s say the first number is 123,456,789.
      To determine the position of the first reel, the computer divides the first random number by a set value. Typically, slot machines divide by 32, 64,128, 256 or 512. In this example, we’ll say the computer divides by 64.
      When the computer divides the random number by the set value, it records the remainder of the quotient. In our example, it finds that 64 goes into 123,456,789 a total of 1,929,012 times with a remainder of 21.
      Obviously, the remainder can’t be more than 64 or less than 0, so there are only 64 possible end results of this calculation. The 64 possible values act as stops on a large virtual reel.
      Each of the 64 stops on the virtual reel corresponds to one of the 22 stops on the actual reel. The computer consults a table that tells it how far to move the actual reel for a particular value on the virtual reel. Since there are far more virtual stops than actual stops, some of the actual stops will be linked to more than one virtual stop.

    • Greg Elder is a total idiot, you are knowledgable and know the facts,
      it cost me a lot to know this….I would like to know basic solutions for class 11…. I can see it clearer every time..big fan
      Bill W

      • Guess you’re not a big fan of mine, but it looks like William has a fan. Maybe he should start a blog. You want basic solutions for class II slot machines, DON’T PLAY THEM! That is of course if you don’t want to lose money.

  2. what about us nfl idiots any advise


  1. 10 Slot Machine Strategies That Actually Work – Part 1 - September 20, 2012

    […] One of the hidden secrets in the gaming industry is the use of class II slot machines instead of class III machines. I wrote an entire post on this that you can view at my professional gambling blog. […]

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