Introduction | Types of Machines | What to buy, where to buy | Bought it, now what? | Common Terms
In the end it is a personal choice on what is best. Some of us are limited by laws concerning ownership of slot
machines, while others will be limited by their imagination and significant others. Whichever you decide to buy,
make sure you shop carefully. A lot of dealers will sell the machine as "Parts complete" which means it has
all the necessary parts that it had when it came out of the factory. Doesn't mean it will work, it just means it
has all the parts inside. These are usually the lowest price because they are typically untested and have no
warranty. For a little more money, you can get a "working" machine. It means the dealer plugged it in and played
the machine. If you buy one of these, it will typically be dirty, dusty, and have it's own echo system growing
inside the machine and will require a good cleaning. For yet more money, the dealer will sell you a refurbished
machine, which will typically work, have a warranty, and be a bit cleaner. The ultimate is a fully-restored machine
which will have new external paneling, lights, switches, and all other visible parts will either be new or close to
Whichever you decide to get, it is always a good idea to get some spare parts. What part's you'll need depends on
what machine you end up getting. Read and post questions on the forums here to help you decide what parts you'll need.
Of course you can choose to not have any spares and let your dealer fix you up when your machine is sick, but in the
long run, parts will become more difficult to obtain, so while the parts are cheap, it is a good idea to stockpile on
the common break-down items.
You will also have to choose between getting an upright or a slant top. Uprights take up a bit of less space and will
fit through a standard door. They require some sort of stand to put them on. Slant tops are the type you sit down and
look down on the screen/reels. They weigh a LOT and are a bit wider than most standard doors, so keep this in mind if
your purchase one. They also tend to cost less than an upright.
Most of the modern machines can be changed to another game title, kind of like a Playstation or XBOX. Reel slots will
require a "conversion kit" (sometimes called glass kits) which include couple of pieces of glass, some reel strips
and game chips. Video slots will require game chips and if you want to have the game as in the casino, the glass as well.
On the reel slots, the glass is a little more important as the paytable information is on the glass. On the video slots,
the paytable is displayed on the screen, so it only becomes a cosmetic issue with the glass.
Where to buy it? Be wise and do your homework. Just like in any other business, there are good dealers and bad dealers.
Ask around in the forum, your best bet is to base your choice on the a sample of people that has had experience with a
particular dealer. Ebay may not be the best place to buy it as due to rules, the machines may have it's bill validator
removed. Use e-bay as a reference and call the many dealers that offer products there. Check this website. There are
dealers who actively participate in these forums and are good people.
So what do you want on your machine?
1. Get a machine with a validator if it is allowed in your state. Putting coins in the slot can get old very fast.
Some validators accept bills one way (face up with fed reserve logo first), others take it all four ways. If this
is important to you, make sure you ask for it. Replacing it later can set you back another $100 or so.
2. Make sure you get some sort of warranty, and that the dealer is responsive to it. A warranty that does not have
service behind it, it's about as good a a wooden nickel. These machines are built like tanks and are designed to be
operated 24 hours a day 7 days a week with minimal maintenance. But things do go wrong from time to time, so make
be sure to get a good dealer that will help you out in your time of need.
3. Get a surge supressor (and not the $4.99 kind, the ones for computer use are the ones you want).
4. Get tokens if you are going to have a lot of people playing it. Quarters and nickels suffer from "shrinkage."
5. You will also need a stand to put the machine. If you decide not to buy a "slot stand" and go the office depot
route, make sure you get something that can hold 300 pounds or so. Some TV stands will hold that kind of weight, just
make sure it does otherwise you'll wake up to your investment on the floor one day.
6. If if you are getting a video machine, burn-in is almost inevitable unless you get a new monitor, and these can run
up in the $600 to $800 range. While you are playing the game, the burn-in has not been a big deal in my case. It does
look "ugly" when the machine is off though. So if it's important to you, get an LCD model or buy a new monitor.
Personally I would rather have a good spare used monitor than spring for a new one. Just my opinion though.
Ok, got my machine, now what? click here and read on.