Understanding the Terminology
The great thing about online slots is that they’re so easy to play, you can just get straight into the action. But before you spin your first reel, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the common terms you’ll come across at slots sites, so that you have a full understanding of the games. For a more advanced slots terminology guide, visit the Terminology page. A quick summary of some of the key terms are also highlighted below.
As with many casino games, online slot games also have a number of various references and terminology associated to them. Here is a guide to ultimately help you out a bit with most of them.
Three Reel – A slot game that has three reels (similar to fruit machines in land-based casinos).
Five Reel – A slot game that has five reels (the more common variety of online slot).
Auto-Spin – This is a setting you can select on most online slots which allows you to continue spinning without having to repeatedly hit the spin button.
Bet – The amount you choose to wager on each spin. Bets can be customised via the user interface, so you have plenty of control over how much you want to lay down on each spin.
Bet Max (Max Bet) – This is a specific button found on most slots which will put your bet at the maximum level for that slot. Exercise caution: this button is usually placed near the spin button and can be easily mis-clicked.
Bonus Feature – A bonus part of the game which is usually unlocked when you land certain identical symbols across a pay-line or consecutive reels.
Coins – In-game currency that represents your account balance, although your number of coins may differ from the number of units deposited, e.g. 10 coins = £5, depending on the slot.
Coin Size – This is how much each coin is worth in actual money. Most slot games will allow you to change the size of the coins allowing you to bet more or less at a time.
Free Spins – Spins that are cost nothing, usually won from a bonus feature or offered by a casino promotion.
Hit – A slang term for a win on slot machines.
Loose Slot Machine – When a slot machine pays out regularly and offers the house only a small advantage over the player.
Jackpot – The most that can be won from the slot machine on a single spin.
Maximum Bet – This is the most that you’re allowed to bet on one spin and will vary depending on the slot game you’re playing.
Multiplier – This will multiply any of your winnings while it is active. This is usually won from a bonus feature and will multiply your winnings by the indicated amount.
Payline – The line on which matching symbols must appear for a win to occur. This is the line that runs across the slot machine reels on which the winning symbols must align for you to receive a payout. Some slot games have a single pay line, while others feature multiple pay lines.
Pay Table – This is where all the information about symbols, bonus features and additional slot information is located.
Progressive Jackpot – This a collective prize-pool made up of bets from all the players of a slot game or group of associated slot games. These are usually the largest jackpots around. Each time a new player joins a progressive slot game a portion of their playing money is added to the pooled jackpot. This progressive jackpot keeps on growing until one lucky player wins. The progressive jackpot prize is usually offered in addition to a standard jackpot too.
Random Number Generator (RNG) – This is the micro-computer that powers every online slot game by determining which symbols appear when each reel stops spinning. It ensures that symbols are always chosen completely at random. RNGs are also used in most online card games and for calling online bingo numbers.
Reels – The vertical tumblers on the screen which spin to reveal new symbols each turn. Most online slots will consist of five reels, however some will have three.
Scatter – A scatter symbol doesn’t need a pay-line to be considered a win.
Static Jackpot – A jackpot that doesn’t alter in value, regardless of how much money is put into the slot machine. This is the opposite of a progressive jackpot.
Symbols – These are the pictures on the reels. Some games now feature special symbols that activate bonus features.
Wild – A wild symbol will mimic most other symbols from the same game, allowing you to see wins more often.
Winning Combinations – These are all the possible combinations of symbols that result in a pay-out for the player.