Understanding Paytables

Slot machines were originally very simple: three lines and three reels, and they paid out if you landed matching symbols across the middle line. There was very little else you needed to know about the game. Nowadays, slots are much more complex and varied.

How do you know exactly how a particular slot works and what and how can you expect to win? What are its special features and bonuses? Does it pay from left to right, or both ways? How much do you have to bet to win the jackpot, if the slot features one or more of them? Many players never know the answers to these questions and just start playing a slot anyhow, feeling their way around as play progresses … However, all this information is at your fingertips if you know where to look – and these are the Pay Tables and other game info that will help you to play smarter and win more!

Where to find the pay table: When you open a slot and the gameboard has loaded up, look for the ‘?’ or ‘i’ symbols at the bottom or side of the screen. Clicking on those will take you to the information panels that will tell you all about the slot.

Paylines: The pay table will include graphic breakdowns of all the paylines available, and whether they pay from the left or both ways. If it only pays left to right, then if a symbol doesn’t appear on the leftmost reel you will not win. If it pays both ways, then you still have a chance.

Coins and Bets: The pay table will also indicate the minimum coin value of bets required to qualify to win bonus rounds or jackpots. This is vital information you can only get from reading the pay table.

Base Game Symbols: There will be lists of each symbol featured in the slot, and the payouts typically related to landing three, four or five matching symbols on a payline.

Wilds and Scatters: The pay table will identify the symbols representing Wilds and Scatters. The Wild symbol substitutes for any other symbol except the Scatter and will help to form winning combinations on a payline or multiple paylines. Scatter symbols are associated with bonus or free spins rounds, which are usually awarded when three Scatter symbols land on the reels.

Free Spins and Bonus Rounds: A pay table will outline what extra features are available, what is required to trigger them, and whether these can be retriggered.

Multipliers: Many slots feature Multipliers (usually awarding up to 5x the normal payout). This feature is most often triggered during free spins or bonus rounds, but checking the slot’s pay table will give details of the process.

Jackpots/Progressive Jackpots: If you’re excited about possibly winning any jackpot in a slot, it’s imperative you first check the pay table to see whether you need to bet the maximum amount in order to stand a chance to win and how the jackpot can be won.


As you can see from the above, reading the pay tables of any slot gives you an incredible amount of information that you can use to your advantage. Rather than wading in and ‘playing blind’, getting to know the parameters of payouts and gameplay will result in much more satisfaction and entertainment value, plus understanding how you can play to win!

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