Understanding slot machine paylines


Wins are counted in specific lines along which a sequence of symbols appear. A slot machine paylines are the lines on which winning combinations would result in a payoff.

A payline is a cluster of symbols to which a payment would be granted. Many symbols and paylines can be found in today’s slot games. For a victory, paylines may be aligned in horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or even curving shapes. Furthermore, you have the option of betting on as many number of paylines as you would like.

In any given slot games, there are X paylines, whether that number is 1 or 100. Winning payouts for winning combinations will only be won on these number of paylines.

slot machines paylines

It’s vital to note that you’ll just be paid out on lines that you bet on. If you just gamble on 10 of the 25 paylines and the winning combination appears on a line that you didn’t bet on (or activate), you won’t get anything for it. As a general rule, it is in the best interests of the players to activate all number of paylines on any spin.

Dont forget to check our guide to slot volatility.

Slot Machine Lines fully Explained

The definition of paylines in slots is very basic. The reels and symbols are the most fundamental elements of a slots game. You may or may not type winning combinations based on how the reels stop and which symbols are shown at the time. But how does the game work out which variations will pay out and which will not? Paylines are used in this situation. A payline is a sequence on the reels that the game checks to see if you’ve hit a winning combination. Paylines run from the leftmost reel to the rightmost reel, crossing neighboring ones along the way. Some people can walk in a straight line, and others can walk in a zig-zag pattern.

Today online slot games will have anywhere from one to fifty paylines, with a wide range of titles available. Others have as little as nine paylines, and some have 50 or more. The aim of adding more paylines is to increase your chances of hitting a winning combinations mix. In certain games, though, you can choose the number of active paylines, but not all classic slots in online casinos would allow you to do so. Furthermore, you will be forced to put down more money with each payline that you trigger. Payline bets are often the same amount of money, and you can’t bet more on certain lines than others.

How do paylines work?

If you see lines, this is short for slot games paylines, which are pre-set patterns where you’ll be paying the sum on the pay table if symbols line up across them in a formation that leads to a pay.

The game will inform you how many lines are open and, if not actually on the game itself, what forms a payline for the game in the paytable. You can choose how many paylines you want to play in some games.

This means that even though the same mark appears throughout the reels, you won’t be paying and it’s not on a wagered payline or one that the game sells. This, like other near-miss features, will entice a player to continue playing.

Orientation & Direction

So far, we’ve talked about how paylines pay out in multiple directions, but there are a few numerous ways this can work. Let’s look at it more closely:

  1. Without a question, the most frequent path is left to right. It means the symbols must begin matching from the first reel on the far left. Any icons would align in order from left to right, exactly as in the Gonzo’s Quest slot machine.
  2. Right to Left. Which is the polar opposite of the preceding. The symbols must begin matching on the farthest right reel and work their way to the left.
  3. Go Either Ways – Simply put, this is a slot that rewards both left and right. NetEnt’s Starburst slot is the most common slot with such paylines. There may be a few slots that pay only right to left, which means that if a game pays right to left, it normally pays both ways.
  4. Both Directions – These paylines are typically greater than 100. 243 ways to win is the most common. The game will pay out if you have a similar icon on each reel (starting from left to right) regardless of where it is on the reel. For illustration, hitting a 5-of-a-kind symbol combo is much better than landing the same symbol on a winning payline since you only need a same symbol on each reel. Microgaming’s Thunderstruck 2 slot is an example of this type of payline.
  5. Cluster Pays – These function a little harder from the others, in that symbols must form a cluster in order to pay out, such as in NetEnt’s Aloha! Cluster Pays slot. This may be a group of three or five symbols that build up a winning mix.

How Many Lines Should I Play on a Slot Machine?

The paylines are the most significant part of the game because you must target matching symbols on those paylines to gain! Symbols that do not appear on a payline will not pay! But you’re probably worried how many lines to play on a slot games.

If you reduce the number of pay lines, the rate of hits will decrease.

If you reduce the number of pay lines, you should be conscious that the hit frequency will decline, so you should still play with all of the paylines engaged for the best chance of winning. To be in with a chance of winning the jackpot, you’ll normally need to trigger all paylines if it’s a jackpot slot. That being said, you can just gamble on money you can spend, but as long as you play responsibly, the number of successful paylines is up to you.

Many of the newest video slots in online casinos will have static paylines, which means you won’t be able to adjust how many are involved anyway; instead, you’ll be forced to play and gamble on all of them. However, keep in mind the symbols would not pay if they fall on a payline that isn’t activated if you’re playing with limited payline slot machines.

For you to win, all symbols must appear on effective paylines. Scatter Symbols and Bonus Symbols are normally the only exceptions to this rule.

Popular slot with 1 payline

Popular slot with 5 paylines

Popular slot with 7 paylines

Popular slots with 10 paylines

Popular online pokies with 20 paylines

Popular slots with 25 paylines

Popular online pokie with 30 paylines

Popular slots with 50 paylines

Popular slots with 243 paylines

Paylines history 

Paylines Alternatives

Through age, some slots in the online gaming industry have evolved past the conventional payline system and introduced a modern method of forming winning combos. The X-Ways to Win model falls into play at this stage. It does away with fixed paylines in favor of a more open way for players to shape combos. This sort of slot, unlike paylines, does not require the symbols to follow a certain order to form a winning combination. Instead, you may start from the leftmost reel and line up the same symbol on neighboring reels, regardless of their exact location on the reels.

You will still be on the winning side as long as the symbols are on adjacent reels.

The X-Ways to Win method is the only real solution to traditional paylines, and although the number of these games is still tiny in relation, more are being released every week. This system is used in a number of popular games, including Avalon II, The Dark Knight Rises, Immortal Romance, Thunderstruck II, and several others.

Megaways slots are also worth considering.  Megaways – modern slots are trending among new zealanders right now. There are no exactly paylines because Megaways slots pay out if the same symbol appears anywhere on succeeding reels. The all-ways-wins technique is used in these slots, but with a twist. When you spin the wheel, each reel might contain anything from two to seven symbols on it.

Common types of paylines

Slot machine paylines, also identified as a betting line or a winning line, are generated by slot machine combinations. When slots were originally invented, there was just one payline, but now there are multi-payline slot games, also known as video slots. Well, when you have several paylines, it can get a little complicated, but this is also when things start to get interesting.

Multi Line Slots vs One Line Slots

One-line slots, as the title indicates, have only one payline, while multi-line slots have several paylines to choose from. Often known as classic slots, single-line slots have been popular for a long time now, and at least once nearly all iGaming fans check them out. In contrast, multi-line slots offer each player more opportunities in winning combinations, which makes their play more fun, engaging and attractive.

Many multi-line online slots were launched as technology progressed, and they are now highly appreciated. In reality, multi-line slot games have become the most common type of slot machine to play today because they allow players to maximize their winning chances by enabling all of the paylines available.

Multipayline Slots

There are still lots of games with just one line, but the most popular number of lines is 3, 5, 9, 15, 20, or 25. However, there are several multipayline slots that have 243 or 1024 paylines that are known as ‘243 ways to win’ slots or ‘1024 ways to win’ slots.

Paylines aren’t used in these online slots, and any symbol serves as a scatter symbol. The slot will pay out as long as similar symbols exist on opposite reels, regardless of their location on the reel. Microgaming was one of the first to release this form of slot, and NetEnt and Playtech have soon followed.

Understanding Slot Machine Pay Tables 


A pay table is the term for a slot machine or video poker list of payouts. The table shows how many coins (or credits) the better would win with each symbol combination. All possible winning combinations for that particular slot are shown in the slot table function.

The pay table is on the face of the machine which is generally above and below the field holding the rolls on older machines and on some modern rolling machines. The pay table is shown on other video machines when the player clicks the “pay table” button or click the “pay table” button.

slot paytable

What is the most critical feature of pay table?

You should be aware of the prize you’re competing for. Single unit is unique when it comes to pricing. And if they seem to be identical, two devices will pay drastically different amounts.

The paytable is the secret to understanding the payouts on your slot machine. It displays the prize number, winning symbol combinations, and bet sizes associated with each prize.

Be sure you know the winning variations so you can say the difference between a true victory and a disappointment.

More useful information about pay tables: wiki.

Advice 1

On the slot, look for pay tables and support menus by pressing the ‘help’ button or holding “i” on touch screens. Alternatively, you could request assistance from a customer support. Slot assistants are still willing and eager to help with any concerns you might have.

Advice 2

Review the paytable and find out what the highest reward is and your chances of making it.

Advice 3

In the end, if you play with all of the paylines running, your odds of winning improve, and you’ll have more pleasure. However, it will cost you more, so begin with a small bet and carefully prepare your budget. When you discover the world of slot machines, expect to be fascinated by the incredible sights, sounds, and sensations. We’re just here to warn you that pay tables and paylines are just one aspect of the puzzle.

The Most Popular Slot Machine Paylines Combos

Now that you understand how paylines behave, let’s focus at some game illustrations to get a sense of what to consider:

  • Major Millions Slot has three paylines
  • 5 Paylines: Inferno Star Slot
  • 9 Paylines – Dead or Alive Slot
  • Drive: Multiplier Mayhem Slot has 15 paylines.
  • Rise of Olympus Slot has 20 paylines.
  • Jack and the Beanstalk has 25 paylines,
  • Immortal Romance has 243 paylines, and
  • Dwarf Mine has 1024 paylines.

Winning Strategies

When you see ways, such as 243 ways to win, it means that the cumulative number of ways a symbol combination will land is calculated by multiplying the number of specific symbol combinations on a reel set, such as a 53 reel set (in this case, 3x3x3x3x3=243 ways).

Instead of requiring the completion of a distinct line, you are paid if a same symbol occurs in adjacent reels, beginning with the left-most reel, to accommodate the number of symbols required by the pay table (3 in a row, 4 in a row, etc.). Since you get multiple symbols on multiple “ways,” the payouts will be compounded if you get multiple symbols on a single reel.

Coins, Bet Level, Credits

When playing slots in online casinos, the money is exchanged for “credits” or “coins,” which range in value from pennies to $100. That’s why players refer to penny slots or nickel slots when they speak about the machine’s credit rating, also known as the denomination.

Are you going to deposit money into a slot machine? Make sure you know how much one credit on the slot is worth.

Some other thing to keep in mind is the number of coins wagered per payline and their worth. If you want to use your fund in a practical and significant manner, you must consider these concepts. As we previously said, the more paylines you trigger, the more money you would wager. You will bet a coin on each payline that you enter into the slot. Prior to spinning the reels, you choose a value for the coin. You have control over the number of coins per payline and their worth.

If you bid a single coin on each slot machine paylines, for instance, the expense of flipping the reels is calculated by multiplying the coin value by the number of active paylines. Let’s say you’re playing a 25-payline slot and you’re betting one coin per line at $0.01 each. To figure out how much it would cost, add the amount of paylines by the coin size. The cost per spin would be 25*$0.01 = $0.25 in this case. Even so, if you decide to play with several coins, you must take this into account as well. Consider the same game, except this time you’re spending two coins on each payline. The cost of play will be calculated as follows: Per spin, 25*2*$0.01 = $0.50.

Slot Machine Paylines Winning Chances

As you might be aware, the more lines you want to play with, the better your odds of forming winning combos get. However, keep in mind that the more slot lines you choose, the more each spin would cost. In most cases, you must align at least three similar symbols in a row (on an active payline).

There would be more than one payline to win if you have enabled several slot paylines. Forming winning combinations around a single payline (if only one payline has been activated) is a popular way to win. With several sides, on the other hand, you can maximize your chances of winning by allowing vertical and diagonal combo.

Real Wins vs. False Wins

It’s not always straightforward to see what you’ve won or lost while playing casino games. It is easy to get winning payline combos and get points, but not always for the full amount invested. Pay attention to the difference between the money you won and the money you spent for the spin.

You’ve definitely failed if you win less than you bet. This is known as a ‘False Win.’

The flashing indicators, loud sounds, and impressive illustrations make it seem as if you’ve earned money, but they’re all for effect.


A slot can sometimes blink and make sounds, that might seem to be like a profit, but you really lost bet on that spin.

Important Conclusions

It’s worth noting that most slot machine paylines pay for winning combos that pay from left to right while calculating if you have a winning combo on a payline.

Some slots, on the other hand, will pay a winning combo regardless of the course. When you get a winning combo but aren’t paying for it, it’s mostly because the marks aren’t lined up in a pay sheet.

Often check the paytable, which is normally found inside the main game panel, to ensure that you are aware of all future wins and payouts. Paylines, reward probabilities, winning combinations, and more can all be found here, as well as specifics about how to play the bonus rounds and other free bonus events.

FAQ about Paylines

Should I play slots with a low or high number of paylines?

You may want to play slots in online casinos with more than one row of paylines, instead of just a single straight line.

Why not try playing on slot machines that have multiple rows? Some people prefer the gamble and are willing to take their chances at winning big while others like having less risk in order to make smaller wins. Which kind would you rather be?

Are more active paylines better than fewer active lines?

With more paylines, the risk of not winning is lower- you can bet on a huge number of combinations. But with fewer lines there’s less chance that your hand will complete enough combos to win!
Have you ever played Bingo? If so, then this question shouldn’t be too confusing for you. Have fun spinning those slots and see what number comes up first 🙂

Should I play with more or fewer coins per line?

What is your strategy for slots? Do you believe in playing it safe or do you feel like gambling with the odds to make a fortune on one big win? The answer depends entirely on how much money you have and what risk level are comfortable with.

Playing more per line would give you higher chances of winning something small but also increase loss rate if you don’t hit anything. Or you put less coins so that there’s a chance at hitting bigger jackpots while decreasing investment potential overall because each coin only pays out once as opposed to drawing from multiple lines where they could potentially pay off after every single spin.

When my budget is low, should I reduce the number of slot machine paylines or lower the value of the coins?

Slot machines are a gamble. The payout odds for the game depend on how many coins you bet and which paylines you select, but it’s hard to know what will happen before hand. My tip is not to be greedy! If your budget is too low then reduce the number of lines or lower values instead of lowering either one drastically.

It can be difficult deciding whether slot machine players should go with fewer lines by using smaller bets per line or decrease their coin size in order to play easier games that have better chances at winning more money when they do win because betting as little as possible gives them greater control over chance outcomes since there would only need to land on three symbols correctly rather than four like most slots require if any player wants a higher.

Are slots with paylines better than slots using the X ways to win system?

Slot machines that use the “X way to win” system, like Wheel of Fortune and Lucky 7’s have a wider range of possible results. However, slots with paylines are advantageous because they offer more ways for you to get something in return than just matching landing symbols on your bet line.

Slot machines that use the X-way-to-win system give players more options when it comes to winning – much like slot games using a payline do. Payline games will always give you at least one chance at getting some return from your wager while an X machine may only provide two or three opportunities (depending on how many lines there are). Slot game prizes can also vary depending if wheels stop spinning before hitting numbers aligned along our betting

Are single payline slots worth it?

Are single payline slots worth it? That is a question that many people ponder when they are trying to find their next favorite game. Some believe the return in winnings quickly makes up for any loss, but others like myself maintain some skepticism about whether or not these games will ever be profitable enough to make them worthwhile. I suppose you’ll have to try and see how things go on your own!

Single payline slots offering by online casinos are a popular option for many people because it’s more affordable. However, single line slot machines have the least odds of winning out of any other type and tend to be less exciting as well.

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