Slots are some of the most popular online games at casino sites because they’re deceptively easy to play. After all, what could be simpler than to click on the Spin button and wait to see if you’ve won? However, you can improve your gameplay, and hopefully increase your chances of winning, no matter how slightly by understanding some of the terms involved.
One of these important terms is ‘payline’. In traditional slot machines, it was easy to know when you won the jackpot; you simply saw three symbols lined up in a row. With the advent of digital slot games, however, it became possible to create more winning combinations, and so the concept of the payline was born. A payline is simply a winning combination of symbols. If a slot game, for example, says that it has nine lines, that means there are nine possible winning combinations that you can hit. In order to win a payline, however, you have to put a bet on it. You can bet any number of paylines, but each one requires its own bet.
The important thing to understand about paylines is that the symbols do not have to be lined up in a single straight line. A winning payline, for example, can be a diagonal line of symbols, or can be a zig-zagging line. While this may seem like it makes it harder to achieve a winning combination, it can actually increase your chances of winning.
For multi-payline slots games, the obvious strategy is to bet on as many of the paylines offered as possible in order to increase your chances of winning. However, this can be expensive and there is no guarantee that you will win enough to make it worth the bet. But one way you can hedge your bets is by making the amount of your bets smaller. Some games may allow you to bet as little as a penny per payline; however, the consequence of this is that the payout is correspondingly smaller if you hit a payline. But the upside is that you can play for longer and hopefully, win more often than you lose. In addition, certain paylines may trigger bonus rounds which can win you additional prizes or free spins.
One advantageous thing about free spins is that they take the same amount and the same number of paylines that you’ve bet on the previous spin and use that as the basis for the amount wagered. Thus, if you bet 27 coins on nine paylines, the machine will also bet the same amount on the free spin without you actually having to bet any coins, and if you are lucky enough to win on a payline, those winnings are yours free and clear, and you can cash them out or roll them over and bet again.
Another slots concept that many people are unfamiliar with is the ‘paytable’. The paytable basically describes what particular symbols are worth and which ones have special functions such as ‘wilds’ and ‘scatters’ as well as what particular combinations are worth. Wild symbols can substitute for any symbol and can complete a winning combination when they appear while scatter symbols can act as multipliers that will increase the amount of your winnings. You can access the paytable by clicking on the Paytable button if one is available or by using the Help button.
One important thing to remember about paytables is that they are not uniform but vary from game to game, so before playing any slot game, take a few minutes to look over the paytable so you’ll know what winning combinations are available as well as what particular symbols are worth.
A third vital concept for slots players is the progressive jackpot. In an offline casino, what this basically means is that there is a line of slot machines that is networked and the bets from players are pooled into one massive jackpot that you can win if you hit the winning combination. This progressive jackpot can be quite large depending on how many people have played on these machines and the amount that has accumulated. In online slot games, the jackpot can be pooled from the various games available on the site.