Understanding Paylines With Slot Machine Games

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To get the most from playing slot machine games, you need to understand the concept of paylines. The old-style conventional electro-mechanical slot machines only had one payline which was in the center across the 3 reels. Things have moved on a bit since then and now you have slot games online that have multiple paylines.

What are slot paylines?

In the simplest of terms, a slot payline is a specific pattern on your reels that results in a winning combination. Usually, if you are able to match the same symbols on a payline you will win. A lot of slot games have wild symbols these days and they can help create winning combinations by appearing on paylines, specially the 40 lines casino games.

A payline with a slot game can be in a straight line across your reels, a diagonal line or even zig-zig type lines. Usually, each slot game has a paytable and here you will be able to see how the paylines work.

Players need to understand paylines

Before you play any slot game it is important that you know how many paylines are available and how they work. If you are going to bet real money rather than play slots for free, the paylines are the difference between winning and losing money.

Sometimes you will see a slot payline referred to as a winning line or betting line. Please bear in mind that horizontal paylines are no longer the only game in town. It is possible to find slot games with vertical paylines, diagonal paylines, zig-zag paylines and other patterns.

Fixed payline slot games

You will see some slot games that have a fixed number of paylines. For the player, this is a “must bet on everything” situation. They need to place a wager on each of the fixed paylines before you can spin. Normally, the slot game will divide your total bet evenly across all of the fixed paylines.

For example, if a slot machine game has 10 fixed paylines, a bet of $1 will be evenly divided across the 10 paylines. This means that you have a bet of 10 cents on each of the available paylines. A winning combination on one of these lines will pay out based on the 10 cent wager on it.

There is nothing wrong with playing a slot game that has fixed paylines. It ensures that you cover all of your bases before you go for a spin of your reels. Quite often you will see slots that have fixed paylines have other features that can help you to win including wild symbols, scatter symbols and free spin bonuses.

Adjustable or variable paylines

You will find quite a number of slot machine games that have adjustable or variable paylines these days. Some players prefer to be able to adjust the number of paylines that they bet on and look specifically for these kinds of slots.

The obvious difference between these and fixed payline slots is that a player does not have to place a wager on each of the paylines before spinning the reels. There is the opportunity to “adjust” the number of paylines that you want to put a bet on. This can help you to keep within a budget that you have set for playing the slot game for example.

Paylines are not the same as slot reels

For beginners to slot games it can be confusing to understand the difference between reels and paylines. The reels of a slot game are the vertical wheels which you are going to spin. Most slot games have 5 reels these days but you can have 3 reels up to as many as 8 reels.

There are symbols on the reels of a slot game. Often there will be around 10 symbols on each reel of a slot. This means that there can be thousands of different combinations when the reels come to rest.

A payline is an active pattern on the reels of a slot game. If you can match the same symbols on a payline of a slot then you will usually win. Some slot games have wild symbols that substitute for other symbols in the game and these will usually create a winning combination on a payline. You can have winning combinations on more than one payline.