Although we are all aware of the fact that there are different types of slot machines, we’re not always sure how to distinguish them. Slot machines are usually divided into two groups, Class 2 and Class 3 machines, but how can we be sure to know the difference between them?

It’s easy - just take a look at the corners of the machine’s display and if you see a little bingo card, you can be certain you are looking at a Class 2 slot machine. Besides this obvious physical dissimilarity, there are many more differences that you need to pay attention to, so be sure to read our blog and find out more!
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Class 2 Slot Machines: What Are They and Where to Find Them
Also known as bingo-based slots or bingo slot machines, Class 2 machines are created to replicate Class 3 slot machines in accordance with the regulatory guidelines. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) is issued by the Federal Government and clearly defines all machines, including class 1, class 2 and class 3 games. According to this Act, Class 2 machine is described as “the game commonly known as bingo", no matter if they are played on a computer or any other devices used, usually placed in the same room with bingo (or any other games similar to it).

As technology is getting more and more sophisticated, and software developers always tend to upgrade games to enhance players’ gaming experience, class 2 machines have evolved to become more casino-like. While they are very similar to Class 3 machines, you’ll easily spot a difference by looking at a Class 2 machine’s display which is designed more like a bingo table. That’s actually the main indicator you’re looking at a bingo kind game, different from a typical (Class 3) slot machine.
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Once you are at a Native American casino, and you see a slot machine with a bingo card somewhere on the screen, it means you are looking at a Class 2 machine, and not a true, Class 3, slot machine.
However, the biggest difference between them is how each type of a game operates. When it comes to Class 2 machines, the game starts when the player hits the “Play” button, which is when a common draw is shown on the screen. Instead of betting against the house, you’re actually competing to win a share of the money other players are betting. In order for a draw to run, the game needs at least 2 players. And in case there's only two of you, one will win the game.

Slot Machine Class II

So, let’s think of it as if a video slot was brought into the picture. Once you pull the machine handle, the reels start spinning. From the moment you pulled the machine handle to the second before they stopped spinning, you sort of became one of the contributors in a multiplayer bingo game. It’s just that the outcome of the bingo game is shown on the reels, once they stop. Whether you’re lucky or not, the reels are just here to deliver the news whether you won, or you lost.

Most of Class 2 machines can be found in Indian casinos or slot parlours attached to horse racing tracks.
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Class 3 Slot Machines: What Are They and Where to Find Them
Class 3 is more like a traditional Vegas or casino-style gambling sorta thing. Class 3 machines are also defined as “all category machines” as long as they don’t fall under the Class 1 or Class 2 games. 

During the time that Class 2 slot machines were created, some class 3 casinos were also incorporated as the gaming options, but they faced some legal restrictions followed by a lot of issues. Still, all this time slot manufacturers have been working very hard to replicate Class 3 machine experience in Class 2 jurisdictions.
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To ensure that the randomness and reliability of each machine is completely unbiased and fair, Class 3 machines go through rigorous testing.
On the other hand, Class 3 machines needed to go through and are constantly going through rigorous testing by the third parties and licensed organizations. This procedure has to be done in order to ensure that the randomness and reliability of each machine is completely unbiased and fair. Class 3 machines are more traditional kinds of games like slot machines, roulette, blackjack and craps.

The rules are quite simple here - you are playing against the casino. The slot machines are set up in a way, holding a certain part of the money played while distributing the rest to the players. When you play slot machines, it is all about timing and it’s all about luck. Some tips and tricks on how to win at slots may come in handy, but in the end it’s all about luck.

Not to mention, Class 3 slot machines can make you a big winner which is not what we can say about Class 2 machines.

Wait, What About Class 1?
For legal purposes, the IGRA designed 3 different class machines to be used for gambling. We have already explained Class 2 and class 3 machines, how they work and where you can find them, so let’s see what class 1 machines are all about!

Class 1 machines can be described as a simple and traditional social game where you can win small prizes. These are not controlled by the IGRA and you won’t be able to find any of them at casinos.

As stated in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Class 1 Gaming means "social gaming solely for prizes of minimal value or traditional forms of Indian gaming engaged in by individuals as part of it, or in connection with tribal ceremonies or celebrations.”

Difference Between Class 2 and Class 3 Slot Machines
Class 2 slot machines are games of chance that are based on bingo but are also similar to lotteries. These kinds of games are most appealing to tribal casinos in Native American reservations, as they don’t need tribes to enter state agreements, plus tribes are not required to pay taxes on revenues generated from Class 2 machines.

Class 3 games, on the other hand, are under a “catch-all category” which stands for games that don’t fall under Class 2 or 3 class machines. Class 3 include traditional casino games like old-school slot machines, roulette, craps, etc.

Slot Machine Class III

As we said earlier, when you see a slot machine at a Native American casino with a bingo card somewhere on the screen, it means you are looking at a Class 2 machine, not a Class 3 slot machine. Likewise, Class 2 machines have an additional small window that displays the bingo patterns.

Whereas Class 3 machines work in an independent way, Class 2 machines are really just a sophisticated display for the bingo games that run in the background. Once you hit that “Spin” button, you enter a game of bingo.

Although everything that goes on in the background varies between Class 2 and 3 machines, your experience will be more or less the same. Both types of machines have a certain payout related to them. The truth is the outcome of the game is pretty much the same as in any slot machine, but you have a chance of winning more money playing Class 3 machines.

Electronic Bingo Machine: How Do Bingo Slot Machines Work
Electronic bingo games are quite similar to Class 2 slot machines. All machines are connected to a server, where all the money collected from them goes into a single pool. Then, a portion of it gets returned to a lucky winner who is a just random player. So, whatever amount of money you win, someone else loses it. Although it looks like a slot machine, it’s an instant win lottery card.