Slot machines account for over 80% (this is an industry estimate) of all online casino revenue making them the casino game of choice. The attraction of fantastic and realistic animations coupled with jackpots and ease of play are the reasons for its popularity. Pulling the handle or clicking the ‘bet’ button (for online slots) is a lot easier than interacting with dealers or other players at the table games (such as Blackjack) – slot games eliminate this. But in order to make the most of your playing experience, you need to understand how the game works.

The aim of a slot game is to click the ‘spin’ or ‘bet’ button and hope you get the right symbols on the relevant pay line to win. You can see all the winning hands in the ‘Paytable’ which you will find below the game normally.

If you take the basic slot machine, there are normally 3 reels. The reels are the things that spin when you pull the lever. If you have 3 matching symbols across the reels (in one line), you have won depending on the paytable. The game has developed a lot since its inception though. We believe you need to understand all the terms used in online slot games. Please find a table below explaining all the variables:


This means cash basically. You can choose how many coins to stake on each line, starting from £0.01 up to £100. The more you stake, the more you win but we recommend you play within your limits.


Reels are the columns where the symbols appear. The reels move when you click on ‘Spin’, ‘Bet’ or ‘Max Bet’. All slot games have a minimum of 3 reels and the more popular games have 5.


Symbols are the images that appear in the reels. Depending on the game, there are themed. Classic symbols include lemons, cherries, bars and 7’s.


This is how many lines there are in a slot game. If the game is a 20 line slot, it has 20 lines. You can bet on all lines or just one if you like. The more you bet on the bigger the win naturally. Its better to bet on all lines but maybe reduce your coin size as a result.

Max Bet

This is the maximum bet you can place on one ‘Spin’ or ‘Bet’. If you play a 2- line video slot with 5 coins per line, your total bet will be that is 100 coins.

Line Bet

This is the amount of coins you place on 1 particular line.


The paytable lets you know how much the symbols in the game are worth. It also tells you which ones are wilds, scatters or which trigger the bonus round.


The amount of coins (or money) you win when you have a winning combination.


This feature allows a player to select how many spins the game will automatically play for you. You can select to play 10 or 50 spins if you like and this is used by the more experienced slots player.


Scatter symbols are now common in video slots. If you get 2 or more, your stake will be multiplied accordingly.


Wild symbols act like jokers whereby they can be seen as any symbol in order to give you a winning combination. If you have 2 symbols and a wild, the wild will act as a 3rd symbol therefore giving you a winning combination.

Free Spins

In certain games (the newer video slots), hitting certain symbols will trigger free spins. There is no cost to the free spins and the machine will spin and may give you more coins. If you had just bet 1 coin on 20 lines, this stake will be taken for the free spins.

Bonus Round

The newer slot games offer a bonus round now. This means that you will play a game based on the slot game theme whereby you can win coins.


A multiplier is not on all slot games. When a multiplier icon appears in a winning combination, the payout is multiplied by the specified multiplier amount. In Gonzo’s Quest for example, there is an X2, X3 and X5 multiplier. The multiplier goes up depending if you have a winning hand on the previous multiplier.

Progressive Jackpot

This is a jackpot that gets bigger the more you and other slot players play. If you happen to hit the right combination, you will win the jackpot. Depending on the size of your stake, the jackpot will vary.

Random Number Generator

All slot games are based on a random number generator (RNG) which is software randomizes your outcome. Look out for a verified RNG when playing.

Further to the different terms highlighted above, there are different types of slot games you can choose to play. Click here to read our next article on slot types.

Visit our Free Games section to play some of the best slot games on the internet – click here.