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Slots Glossary of Terms

There are a few words and phrases associated with slots that you may not be immediately familiar with.

Some of them are fairly self-explanatory, but some require an explanation.

If you are going to be playing slot games, then it’s well worth being aware of these terms, as you are likely to come across them at some point.

On this page we have listed some of the more commonly used slots related terms, and explained what their meanings.

Active Payline:
An active payline is one that is in play, and will result in a payout if it contains a winning combination. Slots with multiple paylines usually allow players to choose how many paylines they wish to have active on a spin.
Auto Play:
An option to spin the reels a certain number of times in succession automatically, without have to press a button or pull a lever every time.
Bet Max:
To bet the maximum number of lines and the maximum amount per line based on the current coin denomination.
Bet Per Line::
The amount being staked per line. It’s multiplied by the number of active pay-lines being played to determine the total bet per spin.
Bonus Feature:
Some slot games have bonus features which can be triggered randomly or based on a specific combination of symbols. These bonus features give the player the chance to win a bonus payout or earn free spins.
Classic Slot:
A traditional slot game, typically with three reels and just one pay-line.
Coin Size:
The amount bet on each spin is measured by the number of coins. Coin size determines how much each coin is worth.
Fixed Jackpot:
A jackpot which pays out the same fixed amount of coins when it’s won.
Free Spins:
Spins where the player gets to keep all winnings but doesn’t have to pay. Free spins can be awarded by spinning a specific combination, or from a bonus feature. Free spins may also be given to players as a reward by a casino.
A slang term for a winning spin.
Loose Slot:
A slang term for a slot game with a high payout percentage.
Mechanical Slots:
Traditional slot machines that have physical reels rather than the video equivalents.
Multi-Line Slots:
Slot games which have more than one pay-line.
This can be a symbol which multiplies the payout from any winning combinations it appears. Multipliers can also be awarded in bonus features and can apply to free spins.
One-Armed Bandit:
A slang term for a slot machine. The term is used because mechanical machines used to have a lever on the side that was pulled to start a spin. Some machines still use the levers.
A line going across the reels on which symbols must appear in a winning combination to result in a payout. Some games have just one pay-line, typically across the center of all the reels, but some games have many lines going in different directions.
Payout Percentage:
The percentage of all stakes that a slot will pay out over time.
Pay Table:
Indicates all the possible winning combinations on a slot machine, and their respective payouts.
Progressive Jackpot:
A jackpot which grows over time as more people play the relevant slot game.
Random Number Generator:
Commonly abbreviated to RNG, the computer program which randomly determines where the reels will end up on each spin.
The rotating barrels (in mechanical slots) on which the symbols appear. Video and slots use a virtual equivalent, and they are still referred to as the reels.
Symbols that don’t have to appear in a specific combination on an active pay-line to result in a win. Typically three (or more) symbols anywhere in view will lead to a payout. Scatters are also frequently used to activate bonus features and free spins.
Stacked Wilds:
Multiple wild symbols positioned on top of each other on a single reel.
The images on the reels that need to appear in certain combinations for a win.
Tight Slot:
A slang term for a slot game with a low payout percentage.
Video Slots:
These don’t have physical reels, but use graphics to represent them.
Wild Symbol:
A symbol that can be used to substitute for other symbols to create a winning combination.
Winning Combination:
Any combination of symbols that results in a payout.