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Slot Paylines Explained - Understand Slot Machines Paytable and How It Works

Iulia Ionita
Written by Iulia Ionita
This guide is suitable for beginner players. Beginner Percentage of users that found this guide helpful. 75% Estimated reading time based on the average reading speed. 5 Min
Slot Paylines Explained - Understand Slot Machines Paytable and How It Works

Ever wondered what slot machines paylines are all about? 

People love slots because they are actually quite easy to understand. In fact, many new players start their gambling journey by spinning the reels. 

However, the concept of paylines might be trickier to grasp at first. Also known as a winning line, the payline in definition means the combination of symbols that trigger a prize in a slot game. This combination is shown as a line, and there can be many of them in one single game.

Want to know everything about slots paylines? Just keep reading!

Slots Paylines - How They Work

Slot machines only used to have one payline which could be won if 3 symbols of the same type fell next to each other. Multiline slot machines became a thing in the 1990s when the five-payline format was introduced. Nowadays, some newly released video slots can feature even +200 paylines. This is definitely good to know, as more lines increase the chances of winning. 

As for what the paylines actually represent for each online slot game, their pattern can be seen in the paytable. The paytable is found in the menu activated by the “i” button next to the settings option. Once you open it and scroll your way to the paylines section, you might see something similar to what is depicted in the image below:
IGT Da Vinci Paylines

(IGT’s Da Vinci Diamonds slot paytable)

Nonetheless, not all paytables are as minimalistic. As an example of a more intricate section, we have chosen a screenshot of BetSoft’s Take the Bank’s paytable, where the paylines are demonstrated along with explanations.
Betsoft Take the BankStill, these two examples are not always applicable for every single game out there. That’s why it is important for you to explore all of a game’s particularities in demo mode before playing for real money. Do you want to try a particular casino game in its demo mode to see its paylines at work? Then check our free slot games here on! 

How Paylines Influence Betting 

At this point, it is also important to mention that the number of paylines in a slot influences the value of your bet. For example, a 10-lines slot played at $0.05 would cost $0.50 for each spin. This is because the bet per line ($0.05) is multiplied by the number of lines (10) to obtain the final value of the wager. 

Thus, playing a classic one payline slot means that the final value of your bet is not the result of any multiplication. 

In addition to this, it is also due noting that paylines can be either fixed or adjustable. In the case of the former, you don’t get to activate the paylines yourself. The game comes with a preset number of paylines that you cannot change. In the case of the latter, you have the option to choose on how many paylines you want to play.

The Role Paylines Play in Bankroll

Slots with a low or adjustable number of paylines are great for beginners that just want some additional bucks to their earnings. They are the ideal choice for small repetitive wins that help you get your initial deposit back. 

Slots that have a higher number of paylines will definitely bring in wins more often. According to each game’s design, you can even win on multiple paylines if you hit the right symbol combinations. However, nothing is promised when it comes to slots, as it all depends on your luck.

This being said, knowing the paylines and calculating your bet based on the format of a slot can help you make an idea of organising your wagering and moves accordingly.

X-Ways Slots

X-Ways slot machines give you more chances to form combinations and trigger a win thanks to their more flexible way of playing. Paylines require a specific pattern of symbols, while X-Ways slots only need you to land the same symbols next to each other. This will trigger a win anywhere these symbols appear as long as they land one after another.

Some of the most appreciated X-Ways slots are Thunderstruck II, and Crazy Chameleons from MicroGaming, Yggdrasil Gaming’s Cyrus the Virus, and Pragmatic Play’s Catfather, along with others.

Conclusion on Online Slot Paylines

Keep in mind that you should try all the slots you are interested in for free before gambling on a real money casino website in something you may not actually like. Slot reviews may also come in handy when trying to find the best game for your taste. Also, take a look at each game’s paytable which can be found by pressing the “i” button while playing an online slot or just access the menu and follow the afferent buttons. Not all slots have visible payline information, so you will have to search in all the menus.

In order to try free slots, just choose the slots category from our “Games” dropdown menu at the top of the page, and start playing your favorite slots today. Good luck, player!

Slot Paylines FAQs

Will paylines help me win at a slot game?

In a way, yes, and this is due to the fact that paylines dictate the winning pattern. The winning pattern represents where the symbols need to land in order for the game to generate you a win. By studying these directions, you can understand the online slot that you are playing better. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that, at the end of the day, it is the Random Number Generator that dictates when wins occur.

Are payline slots better than X ways?

There is no such thing as “better” when it comes to online casino games. Depending on a player’s strategy and preferences, what can be lucrative to one can be a complete loss for the other. The most important thing is to try slots in their demo mode first to see what fits you best before spending your real money.

Does the number of paylines matter?

Yes, but it still depends on what your goals are. According to statistics, where there are more paylines, there are more wins. But keep in mind that the total amount can be the same when you draw the line at the end of a session. Winning $2 per each spin for 5 spins equals the same amount as winning $10 once.

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Iulia Ionita

Iulia Ionita

Senior Content Writer, Video Producer, Slots & Casinos Expert

About Iulia Ionita

  • iGaming expert with more than 6 years of experience in video production and over 4 years in content writing;
  • Has contributed as a Senior Content Writer, expanding her skills into creating compelling written content, with over 20+ articles written for our website;
  • Has written 100+ slots impressions, explaining games in-depth;
  • Reviewed 1000+ slots (both video and written);
  • Specializes in crafting true, bold, and informative content that showcases the world of online casinos and games.

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