Slots Mechanics - how they work

Slot developers keep coming out with new slots that have creative themes, innovative features and great gameplay. However, the basics for all these slot games remain the same. Whether you are new to playing a slotmachine or a veteran slot player, this breakdown of slot mechanics will help you understand how slots operate.

We will not only teach you how slots operate but also give you insight on how you can improve your chances of winning, the different types of symbols used and key mechanics that determine the final outcome of each spin.

How to play slots

To start playing a slot game, all you have to do is use the betting panel and decide what stake you are going to start playing with. Most slot games require you to bet with coins, which means you can finalise your stake by setting the coin level and coin value. The coin value refers to the value of each coin while the coin level signifies how many coins you are going to bet with each spin. For slots that do not use coins, you will find the betting panel consists of different amounts. You can choose the amount you like and start playing.

Once you set your stake, go to the big button that is usually found in the middle of the betting panel. Once you click on this button, you will find the reels start to spin. Most slot games will present you with an auto spin feature. When you activate this feature, you no longer have to press the big button as the reels will spin automatically

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How to win at slots

Each slot game is made up of different symbols and usually consists of 3 to 5 reels with a selected number of paylines. Every slot game will clearly specific what are the key symbols and how much each symbol pays along with where the paylines are located on the reels. You can find all of this information in the paytable.

When you get a specified number of symbols in a row on any of the active paylines, you win. Most slots end up paying out from left to right but there are a few slot games that also pay out from right to left. There are a few special slots in the market that are unique because they don’t have paylines or any reels. The winnings in these special slot games are decided when players hit a cluster of specific symbols.

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Different types of symbols

While each slot is different in its own way, most of the slots end up having similar symbols. They come in the form of standard symbols, scatter symbols, wild symbols and bonus symbols. Some slots have just a few of these symbols while others have all of them present.

Standard symbols are typically divided into three to five upper-paying and four to five lower-paying. Identical sets of sym-bols must land in either a cluster or on the same row of an activated payline. The winnings typically grow in proportion to the size of the cluster or number of identical symbols on an active payline.

Wild symbols are special because they can replace other symbols. Most slots allow wild symbols to replace standard symbols but some slot games allow wilds to replace all symbols. Wild symbols can come in the form of multiplying, expanding and walking wilds.

Scatter symbols are not required to appear on an active payline. However, when a certain amount of scatter sym-bols appear, a special feature usually gets triggered. Most of the time, this will trigger a free spin feature which will give you a specific amount of free spins that can often have a special feature attached to them. One of these special features will result in your winnings getting multiplied.

Bonus symbols are the most exciting symbols as they give you special prizes. When you get a specified amount of symbols (usually 3) on a winning payline, a special bonus gets triggered. In some slots, these bonus symbols can appear anywhere. These special bonuses usually give out the highest payouts.

The payout mechanics

When you look at the internal operation of how slots work, they all rely on the same mechanics. ‘Hit Frequency’ will decide how often you come out with a winning hit while ‘Return to Player’ decides the payout amount you theoretically end up with.

The probability of a winning hit is referred to as Hit Frequency. There is a different probability to every potential winning outcome in each slot game. So a line of five low paying symbols have a much higher winning probability than a line of five high paying symbols.

Return to Player (RTP) will determine the value you, in theory, end up winning if you played for a very long time. This value is determined by the Hit Frequency on each outcome along with how much each outcome pays out. Most online slots tend to have an RTP ranging from 92 to 97 percent which means if you spend € 100 in bets you can come out with € 92 to € 97.

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High and low risk slots

The volatility in each slot game determines whether it is a low risk or high risk slot game. In a low risk slot game, the winnings are usually very low but the chances of a winning hit taking place is a lot higher when compared to a high risk slot, which pays out high winnings but the probability of a winning hit is low.

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