Online Casino Slot Play Guide

Slot Guide

Slots Rules │ How to Play

Known for its incredible jackpot payouts, slots is one of the most iconic games associated with casinos. Typically played in a 1v1 setting where you are playing against the machine (casino), playing slots has become even easier, more comfortable, and all around better when playing at an online casino. We go through all of the rules in detail here and make the case that if you are someone interested in playing slots, then you’re in great luck because almost all online casinos provide some type of free bonus that allws you to try their slots (in real money mode) for free!

Terminology and How to Play

Reels

Reels are the columns that actually rotate and spin when you play slots.
Traditional slots have 3 columns (aka 3 reels) but with game developers coming out with more and more slots, many of the slot games that are available now feature 5 reels (or more!).
The number of reels doesn’t really indicate better or worse since its really up to personal preference, but personally, I’m a big fan of slots that have more reels since it feels like you have more opportunity to get a winning combination and win money!

Lines (aka Paylines)

What is a payline?

Paylines refer to how a line can be drawn through the reels to form a winning combination and lead to a payout. The image to the left shows one of the most simple potential paylines where matching icons such as 7-7-7-7-7 across the middle would give me a payout! The key thing to remember is that many games allow you to adjust the number of paylines you play with when you play slots. The game may have something like 50 paylines, each with the potential of matching up a winning combination and giving you a payout.

Betway’s Gold Factory (5 Paylines)

This one is currently set to offer you 5 paylines – that means that the slot game will check 5 different potential lines to see if you hit a winning combination.  Keep in mind that paylines don’t represent how many combinations there are in the game.  This is already established regardless of how many paylines there are.  What having more paylines means is that since there are now more ways to get those winning combinations.  Think about them like roads with your car driving from the left of the screen to the right of the screen.  If you think about the tiles as one part of a highway, every time you spin, you’re hoping that the highway tiles fall in a way that forms a connected road that allows you to drive from the left of the screen to the right (aka a winning combination).  If you only have 1 payline going through the middle, then that means you need the highway tiles to fall in exactly the middle of all the reels since thats the only route option you have, but if you have 5 paylines, then there are 5 potential routes you can take.

The 5 paylines are highlighted in yellow and red

One thing I was surprised with when I first started playing was that when you play with a high number of paylines, the game begins to introduce some pretty exotic paylines that make the game really interesting since it feels like you’re winning even when the tiles don’t form the popular lines across the board. For instance, in Betway’s Tarzan slot game where there are 40 paylines, you can achieve a winning combination for matching up tiles in the pattern of a smiley face!

Playing with multiple paylines

The number of paylines depends on the game but it can vary from 1 all the way to somewhere in the hundreds! This makes the game incredibly interesting because more paylines increase the odds of you hitting a winning combination, but keep in mind that depending on the game, you may have to “activiate” the payline. Most games will start off with the max number of paylines already pre-set and may not even allow you to adjust these, but there are some games where you can increase or decrease how many paylines to play with. Obviously, the more paylines you have, the easier it is to hit a winning combination and get a payout, but casinos charge you for this by making you pay more per spin if you play with more paylines.

For example, in Betway’s Gold Factory slot game, playing with 1 payline costs $0.20 per spin whereas playing 50 lines costs $10 per spin! It really is all a matter of personal preference but I tend to play with the max number of paylines allowed since I hate the idea of missing a potential big win simply because I didn’t activate one of the paylines!

Cost of 1 Payline
Cost of 50 Payline

Adjusting paylines

Not all games allow you to select the number of paylines, but for games that offer this option, simply click on the part of the screen that indicates the number of “LINES” and you should be able to toggle between different paylines (e.g., Gold Factory allows you to set 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, or 50 paylines).
Keep in mind that typically slot games will have set the max number of paylines as default to ensure that players don’t miss out on any winning combinations just because the lines aren’t activated, but this means that the cost of playing or “spinning” will be higher so if you’re looking to keep the cost of play down, try decreasing the number of paylines you are playing with.

Note: Not all games give you the option of changing the number of paylines since some require you to play with a fixed number of paylines.

Spin or Spinning

This is a term often used while playing slots to mean “start the game” or to “begin play.”
It comes from the idea that once you press “play,” the reels will begin to SPIN and start turning until they gradually stop to present the outcome.
You can start the game by often pressing the button that says “SPIN.”

How to Bet on Slots

Changing Bet Amount

While most people think about slots as being entirely based on luck without any decision-making involved, this is not true. Of course once you begin play, then the outcome is very much out of your hands, but you can actually alter the frequency and amount you can potentially win by changing how much you bet. One big way is by increasing the number of paylines (as explained in more detail above), but another way is to change how much you are wagering on your spin.

This aspect varies a bit on the specific game so you definitely want to check out the “Payout Guide” that is available on each game (e.g., for Gold Factory the button is called “VIEW PAYS”) but since most slot games determine how much is paid out on a winning combination by multiplying the bet amount, the more you bet, the larger your payout amount will be which can significantly impact how much excitement you get from the game. If you only bet $0.50 per slot game, even if you hit a winning combination that pays out 5x your bet amount, then you will only win $2.50 which can feel a bit underwhelming when you have your eyes on those big “$1000+ wins” that slots are famous for. You can alter your bet amount using the + or – signs next to the BET box.

Another potentially important aspect of bet amounts is that depending on the game, playing with bets that are too small may make you ineligible to win certain types of bonuses or big wins combinations.
For instance, you may be required to bet the max amount for the casino software to even consider that spin to be able to win the jackpot. To be honest, I haven’t completely confirmed how prevalent this feature of slots is so I would actually be incredibly interested to hear from you all regarding your personal experience! Feel free to post comments on our forum to share your experience or your opinions!

Game Characteristics and Slot Types

Different Types of Slots

Given how popular slots have historically been among casino goers, this has been an area that has benefitted from incredible investment by casinos and casino game developers.  There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of slots offered on online casinos that provide players with all kinds of different game themes such as popular movies (e.g., Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones, etc), almost all of which are accompanied by flashy and incredibly entertaining graphics, videos, sounds, and music.  This truly is the modern video game for adults!  So there are almost too many different features and categories to cover in one page, but one category I do want to cover are how payouts are determined for certain slots.  It all comes down to whether its a “Flat Top” slot machine or a “Progressive” slot machine.

Flat Top Slot Machine

$309,500 is the top prize for Betway’s Gold Factory

This type of slot machine has a fixed top prize or “jackpot.” Its similar to how certain lottery tickets can be purchased with a fixed jackpot of $1 million – that’s the most you can ever win from that ticket and it almost never changes. Flat-top machines are just like that in that their jackpot amount is clearly stated and rarely changes. You can check to see if your slot game is a Flat Top by viewing the Payout Schedule and seeing whether it indicates a fixed top prize amount.
The downside of Flat Top slots is that the jackpot or top prize amount is typically lower than a Progressive slot machine (though the top prize can stilll be life-changingly massive) but it is usually much easier to get.

Progressive Slot Machine

This type of slot machine has a fixed top prize or “jackpot.” Its similar to how certain lottery tickets can be purchased with a fixed jackpot of $1 million – that’s the most you can ever win from that ticket and it almost never changes. Flat-top machines are just like that in that their jackpot amount is clearly stated and rarely changes. You can check to see if your slot game is a Flat Top by viewing the Payout Schedule and seeing whether it indicates a fixed top prize amount.
The downside of Flat Top slots is that the jackpot or top prize amount is typically lower than a Progressive slot machine (though the top prize can stilll be life-changingly massive) but it is usually much easier to get.

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