The Difference Between Class II and Class III Slot Machines

min read
“SLOT” written in gold against a black background.
BetMGM Sep 22, 2023, 9:20 AM

No casino is complete without a selection of slot machines. The iconic games have evolved from the first Liberty Bell slot machine with metal hoops for reels and painted symbols to the tech-powered games we enjoy today. Since their invention in the 19th century, slots are becoming more interactive and immersive. Modern games have different themes, jackpots, game types and even classes. It’s time to understand the mechanisms behind the magic of online gambling slots. Let’s look at Class II and Class III slots to see their differences and how they work.

What Are Slot Machines?

A slot machine, or fruit machine, is a classic gambling game with spinning reels. The reels feature symbols like fruit, shapes or characters, and items based on the theme. After you place a bet and spin the wheels, the symbols land randomly. If they match, you win a prize depending on the payline.

Slots rely heavily on luck and chance. There’s almost no strategy or skill required to play. This factor, the fun themes, and potential jackpots are just a few advantages of playing slots online.

How Do Slot Machines Work?

When you learn how slots work and how results remain random, you’ll always hear about random number generators (RNGs). RNGs play an integral role in slot machines and many other online casino games. The programs constantly produce random independent numbers representing slot symbols and other game outcomes. Understanding the RNG’s unpredictable nature helps players avoid making costly slot mistakes and believing slot superstitions.

Even though RNGs are used everywhere in casinos, there are slot machines that use different technology and programs. To demonstrate this, let’s look at Class II and Class III slots, their differences, and whether or not they use RNG programs.

Why Are Slots Separated Into Classes?

The terms for Class II and III slots come from federal regulations in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act from 1988. According to federal law, Class II gaming laws apply to bingo. All recognized tribes can offer bingo games and games controlled by electronic bingo systems like Class II slot machines.

Class III gaming regulations govern most slots and casino table games like RNG slots, blackjack, craps and roulette. This means that according to the classifications, Class II slots aren’t truly slots. Unlike Class III slots or Vegas-style machines, they are really electronic bingo games with a slot machine interface.

Class II vs. Class III Slot Machines

While Class III slots are known for relying on RNGs as the brains of the game, Class II games like video poker and video keno use a central electronic bingo system to generate results. These slots are rare in online casinos and are almost indiscernible from Class III slots. Let’s look at the key differences to help you know which is which when you play online casino slots.

The programs generating results

Slot developers and casinos aim to produce random results to keep games luck-based. In Class III games, an RNG program produces independent and random results that casinos and players can’t manipulate. State regulators and third-party companies step in to audit and check RNGs to make sure they are fair and working correctly.

A Class II slot trades the RNG with a bingo system. A central server runs bingo games in the background to produce results. These bingo games run extremely fast to mimic the seamless instant experience from Class III slots. Often, the bingo game is run by physical machines around the casino floor.

The location of Class II and III slots

Class III slot machines are usually found in fully licensed commercial casinos like MGM Resorts or the BetMGM online casino. Class II slot machines are most commonly used in tribal casinos across the US. These casinos may offer Class II slots because they are only legally allowed to offer bingo games and not Class III casino games.

Bigger jackpots and prizes

Class III slots are the best games to play for fun at a casino. But outside of the fun immersive themes, they also offer bigger jackpots than their Class II counterparts. Commercial casinos usually offer the largest jackpots. Think of the grand Megabucks jackpot or the common progressive jackpots. Online casino Class III slots offer huge payouts and bonuses without the need to travel to Vegas. 

Bingo features on the screen

Unless you play a Slingo game, there’s no link between your Class III slot and bingo. However, some Class II slots display bingo cards to show players what’s happening in the background. A small bingo card can appear on your screen with bingo balls. At first, you might not understand the link between the card and your slot results, but with time you’ll know when you’ve won the round based on the results on your card. 

Multiple players required

A bingo game would be pointless with one player. Sadly, the same can be said for Class II slots. Class II slots need multiple players to run effectively. If you’re the only player available, you’ll have to wait for another. The game joins the wagers of all players and creates bingo cards for every player. Then, balls are drawn, and numbers marked off to choose a winner. RNG-based slots don’t require any other players to generate outcomes. The RNG will generate results for your reels independently. The only thing that can be affected by other players is the progressive jackpot. 

You can now enjoy the best slots to play at a casino in an instant with BetMGM. The RNG system means you can play anytime and anywhere, no matter how many other players there are. 

How To Play Casino Slot Machines

Playing online slots is incredibly simple. First, you need to choose your game of choice. The BetMGM online casino has thousands of slot machines with immersive themes and wide betting ranges. 

Choose a slot with a theme you’ll enjoy, whether it’s your favorite movie, a fun soundtrack, or a fantasy world that fascinates you. Pay attention to minimum and maximum bets to see if they work for your budget. Also, compare the slot’s return to player to make sure the game has a low house edge. 

Playing a slot is easy. Open the info section to see the paytable and rules. This screen will help you understand which symbols to look out for. Once you’re ready, set your wager and spin the reels to make combinations or unlock exciting bonus rounds. 

Discover the Best Online Slots at BetMGM

The BetMGM online casino is the perfect place to start your slot adventure. Not only are we fully licensed, but our interface and games are mobile-optimized to give you the freedom to play anytime and anywhere on your mobile devices. Register with us to start playing with the king of casinos.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.