Before playing a slot machine game for the first time, we highly recommend checking out the machine’s pay table and familiarizing yourself with the paylines. Depending on the machine, the pay table can be confusing, especially if you are new to playing on slots. The table can be jam-packed with info, and it isn’t always presented in a way that is clear for newbies. So, to simplify the matter, we are going to show the most important things to look for on a slot machine’s pay table.
Read more about slot machines:
- A Guide to Slot Volatility and Variance
- Progressive Slot Machines – How They Work & Their Different Types
What Is a Pay Table?
A pay table gives slot machine players helpful information regarding the game. You can access it by pressing a button marked with a question mark or an information symbol.
Typically, a pay table will contain the following pieces of information:
- Game rules
- Symbols and their corresponding values
- Bonus features
- Conditions for winning free spins
- Jackpot details
- Payline Information
In many cases, the pay table will be multiple pages long, so be sure to look for the Next or Forward button.
The game rules portion of the pay table will tell players the basic rules, such as what buttons to push, what actions to take, and what conditions are needed to win. You can see an example of the Lion’s Pride “Gamble Rules” section at the bottom of the pay table.
Symbols and Their Corresponding Values
On the same Lion’s Pride pay table, you can see each symbol in the game and how much their base pay is when they appear on the reels. The table shows the payout when 3, 4, and 5 symbols appear. Furthermore, the screen gives the information that the wins are multiplied by the number of coins bet per line. However, it also states that scatter wins are instead multiplied by the total bet.
This information will vary highly from game to game, so be sure to read the given information carefully.
One beloved component of modern slot machines are their engaging bonus features. Bonus games are different from the regular slot machine game and give players an opportunity to rake in more winnings. Some bonus games are simple, while others can be more complicated and utilize advanced mechanics. To be fully prepared, be sure to read the bonus section of your slot machine’s pay table.
For example, in Wild North, you could unlock the Northern Lights bonus game. According to Wild North’s pay table, 20 tiles will appear on the screen, and you reveal one tile. Depending on the tile you reveal, you will either end the bonus game or get to continue on and reveal additional tiles. With each round of the game, you will get to spin the bonus wheel or either win cash prizes or another bonus feature.
Conditions for Winning Free Spins
One fun part of playing a slot game is the opportunity to rack up free spins, which increase your chances of winning. Games have different conditions for winning free spins, so be sure to check the pay table. For instance, in Lion’s Pride, players need to receive 3+ mask symbols in order to trigger free spins. They could win up to 25 free spins, and each winning spin would have a randomly awarded multiplier. In addition to this, free spins have the ability to be retriggered in this particular slot game.
The pay table will also give the player relevant information about the game’s jackpot, namely what symbol triggers the jackpot payout and how many of that symbol needs to be on an active payline.
In the picture below, the King Cashalot pay table shows that you need to get 5 king symbols on the 9th reel in order to win the progressive jackpot. You also need to place the maximum bet in order to qualify to receive the jackpot prize.
Finally, the pay table will include information about the game’s paylines. A payline is a line on which reel symbols need to fall in order for you to receive winnings. In most cases, you will have to place a specified wager in order to activate all paylines. It would be in your best interest to place the maximum bet because this guarantees that all paylines would be activated. Think of how devastating it would be for you to land a fantastic winning combination on an inactive payline!
Here is an example of a diagram you might see on a multi-payline slot machine’s pay table.
Types of Pay Lines
On the pay table, you will see in which direction the paylines are oriented. To briefly touch on the terminology, here is what you might see:
Left to Right: This is the most common direction that you will find on a slot machine. When wins begin left to right, this means that symbols need to start matching from the reel furthest to the left. Any subsequent symbols will need to match from left to right.
Right to Left: This is the opposite of a left to right payline. The first symbol needs to be all the way to the right, and the succession continues leftward.
Pay Both Ways: Interestingly enough, there are very few slot machines that solely pay right to left. If you see that it pays right to left, it is likely that it also pays left to right. If this is the case, then we would say that the payline pays both ways.
All Ways: In this type of payline alignment, you just need to have a matching symbol on every reel. This is much easier to hit than in a single-direction payline game. All Ways paylines give you access to a large number of ways to win. The most common scenario will be 243 paylines across the reels.
Cluster Pays: This type of payline is very different from the others. With this kind, symbol need to appear on the reels in clusters. Usually the clusters must be groups of either 3 or 5 symbols. Here is an example of a cluster payline:
Now that you know how to read a pay table, come check out our vast library of slot games! Our games have fun symbols, catchy music, and engaging bonus features, so you are sure to find a game that you will love.