One of the most enjoyable aspects about playing online slots is that there’s a lot of potential reward without too much effort required from the player’s end.
Online slots are usually very simple to play – after all, every round is just a click of a button away.
However, some of the jargon we use for slot games can get a bit confusing, which is why we’ve whipped up CasinoEuro ‘Casino School’, a series of 6 articles that provide a glossary of sorts for you to consult before you delve deeper into the world of slots. Betting blindly is not something we’d ever recommend, but if you take the time to familiarise yourself with some key terms, you’ll understand how everything works in no time at all.
A Bet Level is very similar to the Coin Value of a wager, and as such it is very easy to mistake the two as being one and the same thing. However, there is a particular difference between them that makes distinguishing between them necessary.
Changing your Bet Level is a way of multiplying your coin value in terms of increments. This gives you a certain flexibility you won’t get by simply dealing in Coin Values. For example, if your base increment is €0.20, you can multiply the value by 2 to wager €0.40 – which is great since there’s no €0.40 coin in reality.
A payline is the line on which a winning combination can be formed when you play a round of slots. Different slot machines will have different amounts of paylines, and nowadays it is possible to find online slot machines with anywhere from 1 to 100 paylines. However, the 10-25 range is much more common in general.
As a player, you will need to decide how many paylines you want to activate when playing (more paylines will give more frequent but smaller wins, and less will give you the opposite). The thing to keep in mind with paylines is that we’re not necessarily dealing with straight lines here. Paylines can zig-zag and take on all kinds of crazy directions. You can check out the information of whatever slot game you’re playing to find out what the paylines are like.
Simply put, reels are the vertical sections of the slot game screen that spin whenever you play a round. Whether you win anything during a spin depends on the combinations of symbols you get across the reels and paylines.
Traditionally, slot machines had 3 reels, but as years passed, 5 reel slots and 7 reel slots grew in popularity. In fact, 5 reel slots are now the online casino standard, as they give more room for possibilities and combinations than 3 reels.
Symbols and Winning Combinations
Every slot machine has its own symbols. We traditionally associate slot symbols with joker imagery, the lucky 7s, and anything that you would find on land-based casino slot machines. Nowadays though, slots symbols tend to match the overall theme of the game, so if you’re playing an Egyptian-themed slot, you’re much more likely to find Pharaoh heads and hieroglyphs.
Certain symbols, like letters and jewels, do tend to find their way in most games, though. When matching symbols line up in certain combinations across paylines, you will win some money from the spin. Keep in mind that some symbols pay out more than others, and it’s up to you to find out which ones do in each game you play.
Land a multiplyer symbol and you will have the chance to multiply your winnings by the amount displayed on the symbol. Multipliers are common in most online slots and can really make a difference to your winnings.
Some multipliers can be found in the base game, other will only spring into action when you enter a free spins or bonus round. Depending on the game or the symbol, your winnings can double, triple, or even increase by 100 or 1,000 times! It’s also worth noting that while some of these symbols will multiply your wins, others can also count towards your line bets and total bets.
Wilds are aptly named – there are so many different kinds that they can be tricky to get to grips with. However, with a bit of patience you’ll come to distinguish between them soon enough. The most common function of a wild symbol is to help you achieve winning combinations easier. If, for example, you have what would be a winning combination, but a wild symbol stands in place of one required symbol, the wild will transform to turn the spin into a win.
Wild symbols can also commonly serve as multipliers, making your payouts even greater. Another exciting type of wilds are expanding wilds which can expand in any direction on the slots screen to make any reel position they touch a location for wilds. We will go into more detail on different wild varieties later in the Casino School blog series.
Scatter symbols are where the magic usually begins to happen in slot machines. Unlike standard slot symbols, scatters can award both winning payouts as well as trigger mini-features and bonus games when lined up in the correct combination.
Commonly, scatter symbols award free spin rounds. The best part about them is that scatter symbols can appear no matter how many paylines you have activated.
Free Spins Rounds
As stated above, you can activate free spins when playing in a slot machine’s base game, and usually this happens when scatter symbols (three or more) align together in the right combination. When a free spins round is triggered, you get to play an extra round without wagering real money, hence the name.
Of course, you still get to win money as you would in a regular spin of slots. What’s really fun about free spins rounds is that as you’re playing them you can retrigger another free spins round if you match up scatter symbols once more.