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What do all the slot terms mean? A complete slots glossary

A glossary to get to know slot terms inside and out

If you are new to playing slots online then it’s always a good idea to get to know some of the terms that you’ll find either in the slots themselves or in reviews you’ll find here on SlotSumo.com.

A good understanding of the frequently used slot terms can help you make a decision whether to play or stay away depending on your budget and features you like.

So just take a minute and go through our list to make sure you know what’s what when it comes to playing casino slots online.

Autospin

A simple concept that you will find on many online games. Often it is missing from some of the mobile slot games for reasons unknown, however it can be a handy feature to use if you have a set budget or just like to sit back and watch the reels spin.

You can decide your bet per spin, how many spins to automatically play and depending on the casino software if they stop when a bonus feature is triggered or win a certain amount. Each game is different and you can stop them at any time.

Min Bet

We often show the minimum bet in our slot reviews, this is often used as a way to show the minimum amount you can bet per spin using the maximum number of paylines. Sometimes you can bet lower if you lower the number of paylines but that reduces your chance of finding a winning combination.

Max Bet

As you might have guessed this is the maximum you can bet per spin at maximum paylines. Each video slot will have a different maximum and minimum bet so be sure to take a look before you start spinning.

Bet Max

This is the quick way to set the maximum bet with the maximum number of paylines and coins. Only recommended if you know what you are doing and have checked that your budget fits within the requirements.

Reels

Getting back to basics you’ll no doubt find that we mention the number of reels that a slot contains. The most common number you will find in video slots online are five and these are the columns that hold the symbols. Some slot machines make each individual symbol position in to a reel and others give you less like in classic slots where there are typically only three.

Some WMS slots with their colossal reels like to take things further and provide you with some truly great numbers like you’ll find in Giant’s Gold.

Multipliers

Multipliers can be found in many forms in various different slots and are often represented by a number and the X symbol ie. 3x. You’ll find them on wilds, within the base game like in Esqueleto Explosivo or Gonzo’s Quest where they increase with consecutive wins and can just multiply all wins within a free spins bonus game.

A simple concept that can create some truly humungous wins on the right slot.

Wilds

Much like multipliers, wilds are a common feature found in many video slots. These usually substitute for all of the different symbols on the reels except for the special bonus or scatter symbols. These can help produce more winning combinations and if they come stacked (take up an entire reel) then can create some big wins. Each slot is different so be sure to check the paytable for how they work in the game you wish to play.

Scatters

This symbol often represented by the word ‘Scatter’ or an elaborate icon will more often than not reward you for finding two or more anywhere on the reels. It doesn’t have to be on a winning payline like the other symbols. It also is often used as the bonus symbol to trigger bonus games like free spins or pick me bonuses. One to look out for as it sometimes also multiplies by your total bet rather than payline bet.

Bonus Symbols

These can be any symbol that the slot has deemed to be the bonus symbol and it sometimes will have the word ‘Bonus’ written on it. These and/or the scatter symbols will trigger pick me instant cash bonuses or can trigger free spins or other types of bonus games.

Free Spins

These are some of our favourite types of bonuses. Triggered by a bonus or scatter symbols these will give you a number of free spins from 3 up to 100’s depending on the online video slot you are playing. What’s good here is that it doesn’t cost you anything to spin them and they often come with bigger wins via multipliers, stacked wilds, expanding symbols or higher paying symbols.

Some of our favourite games like Royal Masquerade, Raging Rhino and Medusa all come with a free spins feature that can be truly rewarding.

Pick Me Bonus

The name pretty much describes what it is. You’ll often get taken to a new screen where you either pick symbols from a set of symbols revealing cash rewards until you find the symbol that ends the bonus game. These also vary and can sometimes come in the form of multiple stages like in Enchanted Crystals or a singular screen like in Ali Baba.

Payline / Bet line

One of the slots terms that if you have played before will be familiar with. This represents the number of ways you find a winning combination of symbols. We would recommend playing the maximum number of lines if possible as this increases your chance of winning.

Some slots come with a fixed number of bet lines meaning that you cannot change how many you can play. Others allow you to change them if you so wish in order to reduce the minimum bet.

Most slots pay from the left most reel to the right most reel but those which mention ‘Pays Both Ways’ pay in both directions left to right and right to left giving you more chances of winning.

Then there are the ‘Ways to Win’ slots, more commonly 243,720 or 1024 which don’t use the normal kind of paylines and pay when there are symbols in adjacent reels, like in IGT’s Siberian Storm or Microgaming’s Girls With Guns Jungle Heat.

Progressive Jackpot

These casino games offer something a little different to the norm and the potential for a huge win. The jackpot prizes rise as players play, the more players that play the quicker and higher the top prize will rise.

Probably the most famous of slots like Mega Fortune or Mega Moolah offer jackpot prizes which rise in to the millions. Others like the Playtech Marvel slots offer you a range of progressive jackpots with lower prizes in the hundreds, thousands and hundreds of thousands that hit more frequently.

These types of slot machines draw in players from all over the world and are not always easy to win. Be sure you read how the jackpot can be won if you decide to play on them as some need you to play the maximum bet or over certain amounts to actually hit the jackpot prize.

Winning Combination

This is the combination of symbols that produce a win. Often you will need 3 or more symbols to create a win, with the only exceptions being scatters which often pay out with 2 or more are on screen.

The amounts paid out increase with the more symbols you find with 5 of a kind wins being the most profitable.

Return To Player Rate

This is the rate at which the slot will payout over the life time of it’s gaming. It is usually represented as a percentage like 96.2% and the higher the number the more chance you have of winning. They might not be big wins but wins that either give you your bet back, less or more.

The reverse of this is the House Edge which shows the percentage the casino stands to make over the course of the slot. The lower this number the better your chances of getting wins.

Slot Variance / Volatility

Throughout slot reviews and sometimes within the paytable of the slots you’ll see the term variance or volatility. This refers to how risky the slot is to play.

  • Low variance slots will give you plenty of little wins often and don’t often payout big.
  • Medium variance slots payout less regularly but can provide bigger wins in the base game and bonus game.
  • High variance slots are the most risky of the lot and often more favoured by more experienced slots players or those with bigger budgets.

This is due to the fact that you will often go through periods of winning very little to nothing at all until you hit the bonus feature that can potentially reward you with more than you’ve lost, but not always.

Slot Type

There are typically really only two types of slots. Classic slots which often come with three reels and very few paylines, much like you’d find in the classic pub fruit machines. And video slots which are more complex, have bonus games, wilds and better graphics that can immerse you in the game.

A term you might also hear is 3D slots. These usually just have great graphics and animations that give depth to the game and increase the visual experience. Often Betsoft slots are referred to as 3D slots.

Most of the casino games you’ll find here on Slot Sumo are those of video slots and are our preferred type of slot machines to play online and mobile due to the fun and entertaining game play they offer.

Paytable

This is a key component of any online slot machine. We recommend before you start playing any machine you get familiar with which symbols pay what, how the paylines are formed what bonus features and games the slot contains. Often you’ll find the ‘Paytable’ button towards the bottom of the reels and is a must to avoid disappointment, frustration and to make sure you are gambling on a game that suits your style of game play.

In all there’s lots to learn when it comes to playing slots online, but the great thing is only a few minutes is needed to know the basics and pressing the spin button only takes a second.

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