Online Slot Machine Basics

How’s the day going? If you have a few minutes, let us talk about how slot machines work. Next time you play, you won’t be shooting in the dark with your newfound knowledge. Let us begin!

Reels and Slots

Usually, the slot machine either has three or five reels. To play the slot machine, you need to spin the reels. In a physical slot, the drums will stop spinning and there are symbols that will stop at particular slots. Typically, there were only three slots. Today, online slot machines have 9, 15, or more.

Cool, isn’t it?

Start Spinning

In short, you must have a specific number of the same symbols in specific positions. This positioning of the symbols is called paylines. In a physical machine, it is a straight line and you must land three same icons to win a prize. Each symbol combination has a specific prize.

For example:

  • Three lemons = $5
  • Three Grapes = $10
  • Three Lucky Sevens = Jackpot!

Today, online slots do not just have one pay line. Some have 20, 30, and some have more!

Still with me?


Okay, now let us move on to the different terms and what they mean. We will also take a look at the different buttons and features.

  • Balance – this is the amount of money or credits you still have in your account.
  • Lines Bet – this is the amount of money you are betting on a line. It means you are wagering that same symbols will land on this pattern.
  • Bet/Win – this is an expression of how much you are betting over the amount you are winning. So if the bet/win is $5/$5,000, it means you are betting $5 for a chance to win $5,000.
  • Paytable – this is a table that shows the amount of money that you can win according to the number of icons you landed in specific locations.
  • Spin – this is a button that you click to spin the slot machine.
  • BetMax – clicking this button means you are betting the maximum amount of money on each line and you are betting on all the lines.
  • Wild – a wild is a symbol that replaces other symbols with the exception of a few. Let us say that you need three cherries but you landed only two. The third one is a wild. The slot machine will automatically think that the wild is a cherry, thereby constituting a winning combo.
  • Payouts – this is the amount of money that is paid to you.
  • Return – also called return-to-player or RTP, this is the amount of money that the machine will pay to all the players over a long period of time. If the RTP is 97%, it means that for every $100 bet on the slot machine, it will pay $97 to different players over time and it will only take $3 as the profit.
  • Payline patterns – these are the positions of the symbols that constitute a win. The patterns vary and may require at least three icons on adjacent reels before the machine considers it a win.
  • Scatter – this is a symbol that will pay prizes regardless of their positions. On average, you must land at least three scatter symbols anywhere on the slot machine grid to get a prize.

The Slot Machine and its Parts

2. Slot example

Here is the pay table. The amounts you see here represent the amount of money you win if you land the winning combo with those icons.

Let us take the ring as an example. 5X means you must land it five times. If you do, you win 8,000 coins. As you can see, the picture of Cleopatra is both the wild and the scatter.

3. Slot example


And here you got the payline patterns. This means that you have to land the same icons in these positions. From the first reel onwards.

Let us take #1. It is a straight line in the middle. This means that if you landed the ring (or any symbol, for that matter) on the highlighted slots from left to right, you will win a prize.

4. Slot example

Now, if you understand the basics of the Slots, I suggest reading How To Play Slot Machines


That’s it, my friend! Slots are easy to play, don’t you think? All you need to do is to hope that the same symbols will land on the exact spot where you need them. Keep your fingers crossed!

Here are some simple free slots to play now:

Fresh Fruits
Wild Wild Spin
Book of Guardians

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