How Slot Mechanics Work

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Slots have evolved tremendously over the years with improved graphics, better animation quality, and more superior bonus features. However, one aspect that has remained the same is the mechanics behind each slot. Playing slots online is the most popular activity at any online casino. It’s for this very reason that you need to have a good understanding of each component as it will give you an upper hand in your next gaming session in Mr Green’s casino.

We have also included useful sections on how to best play slots, how you can form winning combinations, the various symbols you will find in slots, and the mechanics that play a significant role in terms of payouts. Lastly, we will take a look at the volatility found in each slot and explain the risk factors involved with choosing between low, medium and high volatility slots.

How to Play Slots

If you are a newcomer to the world of slots, you will be surprised to learn how easy it is to get started with slots. Thanks to the addition of a control panel, which is usually located below the reels, you can effortlessly adjust the amount you want to bet on each spin. In most cases, you will be able to adjust the betting level, the coin value and the paylines.

The bet level determines the number of coins you will bet, while the coin value will determine the value for each coin you bet. The payline adjuster will allow you to choose how many paylines will be active on each spin. However, it’s worth noting that more paylines will lead to more wins, so we recommend always playing the maximum amount of paylines and adjusting your bet levels instead.

Once you have your desired bet amount, you will notice a couple of other features on the control panel. This includes the “Spin” button that will set the reels in motion, the Auto Play feature that will allow you to select a pre-determined number of spins without having to click on the “Spin” button every time, and a Turbo feature that will complete a spin in a much shorter time frame.

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How to Form Winning Combinations

All slots will feature paylines, reel structures and a selection of symbols. Before you spin the reels on any slot, it’s advisable that you first take a look at the paytable to see what each symbol will pay when three or more are displayed on an active payline. The paytable will also allow you to see how each payline is structured so you can see where the symbols need to land to form a winning combination.

You will notice that most slots will only provide a payout when symbols form from left to right. However, there are a handful of slots that will pay both ways, including left to right and right to left.

It’s also worth mentioning that there are several slots that don’t feature any paylines or reels. In these slots, you form winning combinations through clusters of symbols that are adjacent to each other and you will usually need a minimum of three symbols to form a cluster.

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Different Symbol Types

Regardless of the slot you decide to play, you will always be greeted by a selection of interesting and lucrative symbols. You will notice that there are two types of symbols while playing slots, including standard symbols and special symbols, such as bonus symbols, scatter symbols, or wild symbols.

Standard Symbols
These symbols will provide all the winning opportunities in the base game when you form three or more of the same symbol from left to right on an active payline. You will also find that most slots have low-paying symbols and high-paying symbols.

Bonus Symbols
These symbols are used to unlock a bonus feature that has been embedded in the game. You will usually need to display a minimum of three bonus symbols to unlock a bonus feature. Bonus features can lead to some truly astonishing winning opportunities, making them the most valuable symbols in the game.

Scatter Symbols
These symbols usually unlock a free spin feature in the game and you merely need to display three scatter symbols anywhere in view to activate the free spin feature.

Wild Symbols
These symbols will substitute for all standard symbols to form a winning combination. However, they rarely substitute for special symbols in slots. You will also notice that there are several wild symbol types when it comes to slots, including multiplier wilds, expanding wilds, and walking wilds.

The Mechanics that Play a Role in Payouts

You will come to find that slots use the same mechanics when payouts are determined. The “Hit Frequency” will determine how often you receive a winning combination, while the “Return to Player” ratio will determine the payout amount you’ll receive over the long term.

The hit frequency is essentially the probability of a winning combination. Every winning combination in a slot will have a different probability. A winning combination with five high-paying symbols will have a lower probability as opposed to a winning combination with five low-paying symbols.

The Return to Player ratio will determine your win amount over the long term. Most slots will feature a Return to Player ratio between 92% and 97%. So, let’s say you play a slot with a RTP of 95% and you decide to wager €100. With a RTP of 95%, you should – in the long run – get €95 back on the €100 you wagered.

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Slot Volatility

All slots will feature a volatility level that will determine if the slot comes with low or high risk. A slot with a high volatility level means that it can provide enormous winnings, but you will need to be patient as it doesn’t occur very often. A low volatility slot with providing lots of payouts on a frequent basis, but those payouts will be smaller.

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