Paylines are the lines on which the matching symbols must appear for you to win a payout. Typically slot machines have 20 paylines, though some have only 5 or 10 and some can have 50, 100 or even as many as 250. Sometimes paylines are fixed so that all the paylines are in play each spin, while other slots let you change the number of paylines you bet on each spin. Generally, the more paylines you play, the higher your total bet will be.
Slots have different ways to change your bet. Some slots allow you to select the size of your bet by changing the coin value, others let you also change your bet level, while others also let you alter the number of paylines in play. All of these options help you select the right bet per spin for your bankroll, depending on how much money you want to risk on each spin.
You can find out more about the game you are playing by clicking on the information button which can usually be found at the bottom of the screen. This button can be a tool symbol or a question mark. This page will let you read the game rules and learn how to trigger the bonus rounds. You can also see the paytable where all the symbols and their payouts are displayed, along with the rules for any scatter and wild symbols.
Slot games have symbols related to the theme of the game. They also have some special symbols, which can award bonus rounds, bigger payouts and multipliers. Some symbols can substitute for others to create more possible wins. Here are the main special symbols you will find when playing online slots:
Wild symbols are special symbols that can substitute all other symbols (except scatters, in most cases) to help create more winning combinations. This means if you spin two matching symbols and a wild on an active payline, the wild will substitute to create 3 matching symbols and you will win a payout. Wild wins always pay the highest possible win on a payline.
In some slot games wild symbols can act differently. Sometimes they will stay on the reels for the next spin (these are called ‘sticky wilds’) or stack up on the reels (‘stacked wilds’ or ‘expanding wilds’), move along the reels (‘creeping wilds’), multiply your wins or even trigger bonus rounds.
Scatters are special symbols in slot games that have the power to launch bonus rounds. They can also often award a high payout when they appear anywhere on the screen, not only on an active payline. In many slots, if you spin 3 scatter symbols on the screen you will trigger a number of Bonus Spins. The more scatters you find, the more Bonus Spins you will be awarded. Scatters can also unlock bonus games, which can be highly lucrative.
To maximise your winning potential it is important to choose a slot game that suits your pocket and playing style. Some slot games tend to pay regular small amounts, while others pay larger amounts but less often. This difference in payout rate is called volatility. The volatility rating of slots is generally divided into low, medium and high.
Low volatility slots typically pay out more often, but the wins are smaller. This allows you to play longer and hopefully build up your bankroll. High volatility slots on the other hand do not pay out as often, but when you do hit a win, you win big. Medium volatility slots fall somewhere between the two.
If you want to maximise your play time and build up your bankroll slowly, then you should choose a low volatility slot machine. High volatility slots are more risky, but the rewards can be much greater. For players who have a medium bankroll, the medium volatility slots can offer the best of both worlds.
One way of finding out the volatility of a slot is by checking the paytable in the game to view the payouts. If the highest paying symbol awards 250 coins, the slot is said to be low volatility; if the highest paying symbol awards 10,000 coins, the slot is most likely high volatility.
Learn more about slots’ volatility.
All slots feature a jackpot, which is the highest possible payout in the game. Some slots have a fixed jackpot, while other games have a progressive jackpot. Fixed jackpots are always the same, while progressive jackpots continue to rise until someone wins the whole amount. These progressive jackpots can build up to huge sums, often many hundreds of thousands of pounds or more.
Whenever a player places a bet on the slot, a percentage is added to the progressive prize pool. This allows the jackpot to climb ever higher until one lucky player hits the big win. Progressive jackpots are usually linked between games across multiple casinos, so they can grow quickly to large amounts and offer one lucky player a life-changing win. Other times progressive jackpots are split into multiple levels, such as a mini, maxi and mega jackpot, so more than one player can win a payout from the jackpot prize pool.
Read more about jackpot slots.
Will you win the next progressive jackpot?
There are many myths surrounding online slots. The most prevalent myth is that slots are somehow ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ and that certain slots are ‘due’ to payout after a certain length of time. In fact, slots never go through ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ spells, as the odds of winning are always the same. The length of time since the last jackpot was won makes no difference at all to your chances of hitting the jackpot on your next spin. This is because each spin is entirely independent of the others and as random as the toss of a coin.
Another closely-related myth is that there is no point playing a slot if it has just paid out a big jackpot. Again, this is nonsense as your odds of winning are exactly the same. It is true that perhaps if the progressive jackpot has just paid out, it won’t be as big yet because it needs time for the jackpot to climb higher, but that is the only reason to hold off playing.
There are some important tips for playing online slots:
The reason to play slots is because they are fun. If you lose the money you have marked for gambling, then it is gone. Under no circumstances should you chase your losses.
Perhaps you will be able to recoup your lost cash but just as likely you will lose even more and be tempted to keep playing to ‘win it back’ – this is a dangerous road so don’t go down it!
Play slots for free to practise them before committing any real cash. This way, you can see which types of slot you like best.
Slots are all about having fun so you should think about the theme you will enjoy the most. There are so many options, whether you like movie-themes, adventure themes, exotic Egyptian themes, mafia, animal, circus, Halloween, superhero or space themes. There is an engaging theme to suit everyone and picking your favourite is one of the most enjoyable parts of playing slots online!
Superhero, adventure, pirate or movie: which theme will you choose?