In order to effectively play online slots, one has to become familiar with slot terminology. To this end, we invite you to peruse this list of slot machine terms to further your understanding of the game and to increase your chances of winning.
Armed Bandit: At land-based casinos, the “arm” is the level that is pulled to activate the spinning of the reels. In online casinos, slot machines utilize buttons to achieve the same result. Traditionally, slots were known as “one-armed bandits” because they took in more than they paid out.
Bankroll: This term refers to the amount of money you intend to wager on a slot game.
Bet Max: Playing slot machines with a “Bet Max” button allows you to play without having to reset the value of the wager. Once you click on it, it activates the spinning of the reels.
Bonus: The bonus round on a slot machine infers that you are about to play a special game. Each slot game has a feature that activates the bonus round.
Bonus Multiplier: Offering larger jackpots, the bonus multiplier increases your chances of hitting the jackpot, based on a maximum bet per spin.
Bonus Video Slots: These slot machines offer a number of features such as pick a box, multi-level pick a box, free spins, and wheel of fortune. Just to give you a sense - popular bonus video slots you may know or even love to play : Cleopatra Slots, Reel Deal Slots and Mermaid Slots.
Buy-In: This is a term used when you enter an online casino tournament. A small amount is required to play in the tournament.
Coin Size: Every slot game paytable delineates the coin size. For example, coins ranging from one cent to $10. Thus, you can play up to the maximum number of coins required for a slot game. Many players prefer to play penny slots - the risk is low and the fun is the same.
Credit Meter: The credit meter displays a running tab of coins or credits.
Hit Frequency: This term refers to slot machine payouts and how often they occur.
Hold and Re-Spin: This allows players to hold one or more of the reels and re-spin the remaining reels again to increase a player’s chance of winning a larger payout.
Jackpot: This term reflects the total amount of the payout on any slot machine.
Max Bet: Refers to the maximum amount a player can bet on one spin.
Multiline: Slots with more than one payline. Many of the modern video slot machines have many paylines - from 3 to 25(!), like for example in Funky Chicken Slots or Cool Bananas Slots. Some games offer even more paylines, but practically, people find it hard to follow.
Odds: Refers to the ration of winning versus losing at a slot machine. Odds winning slots very from game to game and from casino to casino a lot.
Payback Percentage: The payout percentage refers to the total amount of money played over a period of time by slot players at one machine. The payout is not reflected by the number of spins achieved by one player, but spins in the hundreds of thousands that eventually yield a winner.
Payline: This refers to the reel on the slot machine that pays off in a winning combination. Paylines can range from 1 to 100, depending on the slot game. To understand how paylines pay out, check the paytable on each slot machine.
Paytable: The paytable clearly delineates what each symbol (wild and scatter) in a winning combination pays out, as well as the pay out for different combinations of paylines. You can access the online slots paytable by simply clicking on the “paytable” button.
Progressive Jackpot: Probably the most popular and widely played are the progressive jackpot slots. These offer the highest payouts of all slot machines.
Progressive Meter: This meter is found on every progressive slot machine and displays an up-to-the-minute account of what the jackpot is worth.
Reel: The reel in online casino slot machines has a unique symbol on it. The reels spin and if a winning combination is achieved, a payout is made.
RNG: Random Number Generator is a very important term at online casinos. Each slot machine has a computer chip that selects random numbers, thus when you play a slot game, the RNG determines if you win or lose on that spin.
Scatter: A scatter is a symbol on a slot machine reel that activates the bonus round. It is also used in winning combinations. A slot machine paytable will provide you with information as to what the scatter symbol is and what it pays out.
Second Screens: You will find second screens on most video slot machines. When you activate the bonus round, a second screen will appear in which you will play the bonus game. Any slot machine that is deemed a bonus video slot will offer a second screen.
Slot Tournaments: Many online casinos offer slot tournaments. All you need to do to access the tournament is to download the casino version and sign up. Some tournaments have a buy-in amount, while other tournaments are free to join.
Symbols: The symbols are the heart of every slot machine. Even though they can be a wild and a scatter, technology has advanced in this area to such a degree that the current online casinos slot machine graphics are stunning, creative, fun, and surprising. Traditionally, the three symbols used in land-based slot machine were the cherry and the bar.
Wild: Most bonus video slot machines offer a wild symbol as well as a wild multiplier. When you get one or more of these wild symbols during any spin, you can win 2x or more your original bet. Check out the paytable on the slot machine you are playing to determine what symbol is considered wild.