Slot Machine is the third mini-game in Plants vs. Zombies. It is available as soon as the mini-games are unlocked. The gimmick of this mini-game is that instead of wielding plants in a normal fashion, a slot machine deploys your artillery. The machine can dispatch seed packets for Peashooters, Snow Peas, Sunflowers and Wall-nuts. Thus, this Mini-game is a form of gambling, as luck is heavily involved. It costs 25 sun per spin. If the homeowner survives four large waves of zombies, an endless barrage of zombies will infiltrate the lawn.
To complete the level, 2,000 sun must be collected. However, the sun must be spent eventually to activate the slot machine. Postponing its activity is futile, as a horde of zombies is approaching while the player is hoarding sun. Matching two of a plant on the slots awards one seed packets, three of a kind produces three packets, matching diamonds can create either one or three diamonds, and matching sun icons will produce either 100 or 500 sun.
This mini-game has a relatively simple strategy: just plant Peashooters, Snow Peas and Sunflowers mixed together in the back, and create a barricade of Wall-nuts in front. The player may have trouble to begin with, depending on their luck, but it gets easier the farther they get, as there are only a couple of zombie types to contend with. Eventually, there will be more and more zombies at once, so if the player is trying to earn money by preventing themselves from winning and attempting to get diamonds, they may have to win so that hordes of zombies getting past their defenses will not make them lose. Note that all seed packets will disappear if not planted after a certain amount of time. The seed packet will flash to a darker tint when it is about to do so, signaling that it should be used quickly. Also, Wall-nut First Aid, which will be available in Crazy Dave's shop for $2000 after completing Adventure Mode, will both buy time and save the other plants. It is recommended that the player doesn't use this strategy until a Wall-nut has reached its second and final stage of damage. This isn't always possible, as the seed packet will disappear if not used. If so, you can always plant it in front of another Wall-nut.
- A Peashooter with the back leaves of a Repeater is sighted on the Slot Machine.
- Slot Machine, Vasebreaker, It's Raining Seeds, and Heat Wave are the only mini-games where seed packets will vanish if unused.
- There is a glitch in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Plants vs. Zombies if the player leaves the game without completing it, he or she will be unable to pull the handle to get more plants upon returning. Thus, it will be difficult to complete the level if the player has less than five Sunflowers. To resolve this glitch, he or she can either lose the game, restart the level, or complete the level by getting 2,000 sun.
- Slot Machine and Seeing Stars are the only minigames in Day that only have basic Zombies, Conehead Zombies, Buckethead Zombies, and Flag Zombies.
- This is the only part in the first game that gives the player Sunflowers for free. This may be because there is no need for sun on other levels or mini games where the player gets plants for free.
- Except in the iPad version, the zombie on the slot machine has Silver Coins for eyes.
- †: Strategy page