If you’re a newcomer to the world of slots, you probably don’t know a single thing about classes of slot machines, RNGs and other slot-related topics. If you’re planning to spin only occasionally, don’t bother finding out about these things. However, if you want to get serious with slots, then you should know as much as possible, including what is the difference between a class II and class III slot, for example. Let’s start with how these classes came into existence and later we’ll discuss how you can tell the difference between classes and what are their payout percentages.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA)
It is safe to say that the entire class division of slots was started with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) from 1988. This is a United States federal law that was passed to establish the jurisdictional framework that governs Native American gambling. Before this act, there was no federal gaming structure that provided a legislative basis for both operation and regulation of Native American gaming.
The act also protected gaming as a means of generating revenue for the Native American tribes encouraging their development and protecting their enterprises from many negative influences, including organized crime. The law established the National Indian Gaming Commission and gave it the mandate as a regulatory body. The law also delegated new authority to the Department of the Interior of the United States by creating new federal offences and giving the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to prosecute them.
The Act also established the gaming classes which are three in total:
Traditional and social games for minimal prizes
Games of chance based on bingo
A catch-all category of certain games that cannot be considered a Class I or II, including slots, roulette, blackjack etc.
What Is The Difference Between A Class II And Class III Slot Machine?
At first glance, you’d never even know whether you are looking at Class II or a Class III slot machine. On the outside, they all appear to be identical, starting from the tall cabinetry, to their rich and innovative themes and reel sets that you can see on their screens. But if you take a closer look, you will discover that there is a very small, even unnoticeable element in the design. Class II slot machines feature a very small one-inch square bingo card at the bottom corner of the display.
Aside from this miniature bingo card element, there seems to be no other visible difference when you compare the gameplay of Class II and Class III slot machines. However, on the inside, there is a difference in how both slot machines were programmed that has a direct influence on the way the machines pay out.
Simply put, Class II slots are designed to replicate the so-called traditional Las Vegas style of Class III slot experience while staying within the regulatory guidelines of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
How Do Class II Slot Work?
As already mentioned in the text above, it is difficult for most people to tell the difference other than the above-mentioned bingo card in the corner of the screen that displays the card pattern.
For a slot to be considered a Class II slot machine, it has to be based on bingo. This is where game developers had to be very creative and had to use different approaches. On some Class II slots, the bingo card on the machine remains constant while the drawn numbers change with every spin. On other slot machines, the player stays in the same game while the card randomly changes each spin.
The implementation is not that important, but the game needs to have the necessary elements to be categorized as bingo. There needs to be more than one player, that is why Class II slots must be networked together, and numbers are drawn to match a pattern that results in a win and brings the game to an end. This is only one part of the answer to “what is the difference between a class II and class III slot machine”.
Class III Slot Machines
The definition for Class III slot machines is much easier because it covers “anything that doesn’t fall under Class I or Class II”. In simple words, Class III includes every traditional ‘Las Vegas’ or land-based ‘casino-style’ gambling. Thus, you’ll find such table games like roulette, blackjack and craps listed under Class III, as well as slot machines and video poker that you’d usually find in a Las Vegas casino.
When it comes to slot machines, they are games that use a Random Number Generator. While each individual slot machine is designed to pay back a certain percentage of all bets, the symbols on their reels are landed completely at random. Each player has the possibility of winning a jackpot on any spin of the reel set if the numbers generated by the machine are in your favour. That is why you should never believe that by using some sort of trick or tips you’ll make the machine award you a big payout.
Do Class II Slot Machines Pay The Same As Class III?
Another question that arises from our initial question “what is the difference between a class II and class II slot” involves the payouts of the two classes of slots.
As for payout percentages of Class II slot machines, every spin on these machines has a 50/50 chance of hitting a bingo pattern. On average, one of every two spins results in a bingo, with the prize being determined from a finite pool of outcomes loaded into the computer. When you play on a Class II slot ends, the computer selects a prize and feeds it to one of the games as a winning outcome.