How Do The Lines On A Slot Machine Work?

Once you get beyond the often lovely graphics and cinematic masterpieces that many online video slots exude today, you’ve still got to learn how to play them for the most favorable results for you. Although mostly games of chance, understanding reels and paylines can go a long way in helping you determine whether or not a particular slot is worth your time and/or money. Therefore, in this article, we will take a close look at how do the lines on a slot machine work - as well as the attendant paytables that have often determined so much newfound wealth for the lucky online casino gamer.

The Pokey Tandem: Paylines and Paytables for the Video Slot

Because of the top-notch templates, themes and graphics, the video slot has a lot going for it - indeed; this is the primary reason why it’s among the most popular games at any online casino that you’d visit today. This rings even more true with the rise in technological proficiency of the mobile device, where smartphones and tablets are outperforming the large, powerful desktop computers of yesteryear. All that is nice, but here we focus on understanding slot paylines and paytables to help place you in the best position for winning big in the real money games in which you choose to indulge.

Although video slots are really all about luck, you can infuse your activities with a bit of skill by setting a bankroll, and by making sure you understand all symbol values and combinations. First things first: visit the pay table once you activate the game. It won’t automatically open up for you, so make sure you check it out with the easy access button. The following is what you can expect to find once you check out the pay table:

  • The symbol values will be displayed, as well as the payouts for varying symbol combinations.
  • Information on any of the free spins that are available; how many you get, the scatter symbol appearances that lead to them, etc.
  • The attendant bonus features are explained in full here; usually, these involve various combinations of the wild symbol and the scatter symbols.
  • Every single one of the rules of the game, so that you are not caught unawares. This includes info on the jackpots, and the conditions under which it/they can be won.
  • And, of course, diagrams displaying the payline combination payouts - high value symbols, mid value symbols, low value symbols and poker symbols if the video slot happens to have the latter.

Some of the auxiliary info that some of the more robust paytables include may be RP (Return to Player) values, variance info and the existence of any in-game tournaments in which this particular video slot features. Most importantly, you will want to be well-versed in the game parameters from the pay table, because there are times when you will need to choose among the prize options presented. If you are ignorant of the symbol values, how can you make the best choice? Precisely.

Slot Machines: The Deep Dive

Although online gaming casinos will tout slot attributes such as free spins and bonus games, the most consistent thing that you need to think about are the paylines. The more slot lines that a game possesses, the more chances you have to snag one of the numerous winning combinations. Paylines are also called winning lines, betting lines and wagering lines, for reference. They tend to run the gamut between 1 payline to 1024 paylines, and can pay either in the left to right directions, or in either direction (the latter is called an All Ways Pay Slot). The scatter symbols almost always pay all ways regardless.

The essential aspect of a slot game is thus: get as many symbols as you can lined up on the paylines; the more the merrier as it leads to a bigger cash prize. This reality is strongly suggestive of the best way to play: make sure all paylines are active if you can. You certainly don’t have to make them all active, as most slots have variable paylines; but by adhering to the former, you maximize your chances. If money is an issue, simply vary your coin denominations and coin amounts per line. In most jackpot games, it is required to have all paylines active in order to be able to win the jackpot; this is definitely true in any progressive jackpot pokey.

The rarest type of slot is the Cluster Plays, which means that it takes a cluster of 3 or 5 - for example - symbols lining up to pay out the prescribed amount. You won’t find these types of slots in Real time Gaming or Betsoft libraries; but we believe that casino games maker Net Entertainment has a few.

Type of Slot Payout Directions

This is the top attribute that determines the effective number of paylines that any slot has: in what direction do the symbols need to align in order to activate the payout listed on the pay table? There are about 4 such options:

  • In the English-speaking world, the reading direction is from the left to the right; commensurately, this is the most common slots payout direction as well. In order to activate the listed payout, the matching symbols have to begin doing so from the furthermost left reel to the furthermost right reel.
  • Right to left is much less common; but it exists. The requisite symbol direction is self-explanatory.
  • There are robust slots with a left to right as well as a right to left payout attribute; these are semi-common and pretty awesome when you land one, due to the doubled number of ways to win. Starburst Slot from casino games-maker Net Entertainment is just such a slot.
  • The most robust type of slot out there is the All Ways Pay version; these have the potential to possess an amazing 243 paylines and even more. At the very least, they tend to have 100 paylines; at the very most, we have seen some with 1043 paylines. They pay out no matter which direction - vertical, horizontal, left to right or right to left; as long as you have five of a kind, you’re a winner.