Are Slot Machines Always Linked?

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Rich Little Piggies banked slots

Oftentimes when you visit a casino, you’ll find banks of machines, and all the games on a bank are the same. This yielded a question from one player:

Are games that are the same and side by side linked? I see sometimes one gets a bonus all the other players get a bonus too.

Eva B.

When it comes to slots, they can be linked, but aren’t always linked. The most common reason for machines to be linked will be for shared progressive jackpots, which is what you often find on Link machines. (And, they’ll often change the word Link to Cash when not linked, a sign that each Grand sits on its own.)

Slots can be linked for other reasons too – there’s been the notion that’s come and gone around the idea of a community bonus – when you’re actively playing, you can qualify for a bonus that everyone playing gets to take part, which can be fun and exciting!

But slots don’t have to be linked, and their core functionality – handling wagers you make on the machine – isn’t linked. So aside from that community bonus example, there’s nothing that makes another game bonus because one game in a bank bonus. The chances for an individual game bonusing is governed individually within the game’s set of outcomes, and governed by that machine’s RNG.

Slot makers do take into account how a bank feels when bonuses are flowing – Aristocrat shared at the time of the Dragon Link launch that a bonus would occur on average once a minute in a bank of four machines – so it’s not unusual or unreasonable to expect multiple machines to be in a bonus under the right circumstances.

But otherwise, there’s no linking to watch out for that might improve your chances for a bonus – even in the community bonus scenarios, if you’re not actively playing when the bonus triggers, you’re not in the bonus, so you still have to be playing first to even qualify – and so there’s nothing to be gleaned by multiple machines being in a bonus and having better odds, or anything like that.

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