Things to Know About Slot Lines and Pay Table When Playing Online Slots

Slot machines are one of the most popular games in the world, which is why it’s no surprise that many different types exist. There are three main categories to consider when choosing a slot machine:

  • Classic Slot Machines – These are your typical three-reel slots with old-timey symbols like fruit and bars.
  • Progressive Slots – These are packed full of extra features including wilds, free spins, multipliers and more.
  • Satellite Slots – Satellite slots have special symbols on the reels that initiate a secondary game where you can win big prizes by wagering more on this second game.

Slots are super popular because you can play them anywhere – there are no age limits, which means that even the youngest of children have found slots to be just as fun as adults. It’s also one of the easiest games to learn, with an incredibly simple premise: Match 3 or more symbols on a pay line to win!

Slot payout tables are the meat and potatoes of any slot machine. Many people don’t understand how they work or what exactly line means in this context. In this article, we’ll explain the basics of the lines and paytable, a bit about their history, and provide a little insight into why they’re so important to you as a player. You can click here to learn more.

Let’s get right into it then!

​What Are Paylines?


Paylines can be a bit confusing to understand at first, but once you break them down, you should have no issue knowing what they mean when reading your favorite slots’ payout charts.
Every slot has its own unique number of pay lines, which is displayed next to the coin denomination besides the game’s title on your screen. Most of the time, they’re displayed as an X/Y formation (3X5), meaning there are three horizontal lines and five vertical lines in total. Think of them like rungs on a ladder; if you were to climb up, every step you take would be one line (starting at the bottom).

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When playing a multi-line slot, payouts will often occur when matching symbols fall along that same line. This is why multiple line slots can get quite lucrative; you could potentially win with consecutive matching symbols spanning across all three rows! However, if you’re looking for simplicity (and don’t mind sacrificing some payout potential), single-line slots only appear one row and thus only require one matching symbol to cash out. The number of pay lines you choose to play is entirely up to you, but keep in mind that your wagers will increase along with the payout potential!

Line Betting Explained


​Slot machines can be found offering a variety of betting options for players. Over many years, different strategies have been developed to get the most out of every spin – some more successful than others. You’ll often see these types of bets listed on slots’ paytables:

Bet x 1 line = 0.25 coins per line bet (total bet = 0.25 coins)

Gambled lines are multiplied by coin denomination when calculating total bet amount; therefore, even though three lines were selected, the total bet is the same as if only one line were selected.

If that doesn’t make sense, take a look at this example:

One coin was wagered and placed on Bet 1 Line (Bet x 1). Three lines appear (3X1), and there are four identical symbols on those three lines. The player wins 10 coins! How? Since three lines were selected, they multiplied by three to give us a total of nine coins. As you can see, the better understanding you have of how line bets work (and their respective payouts), the more strategic your betting will become.

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Lines don’t stop there though! Two additional types, High/Low and Even/Odd also exist for your amusement. Even though they’re available in most slots, you won’t see them listed on the payables note (with the exception of European Roulette) – what’s important to is that you can choose to bet either one 🙂

What Are Pay Tables & Payback Percentages?

​No need to get too technical here; all we need is a bit of definition for these two terms before moving along. A game’s ‘pay table’ displays every possible winning combination (and its corresponding payout), whereas ‘payback percentage’ tells us how much money will be returned over the long run vs wager amounts placed by players.

Payback Percentage Explained


​Pretend for a moment that there’s no such thing as an online casino… and the only way to gamble was at a land-based property in Las Vegas. But let’s say you only had $100 to spend – what would you do? You’d probably head to a one-armed bandit machine, right?

Well let’s say you found yourself in front of a slot that had a 90% payback percentage. This means for every dollar you put in, 90 cents would be returned back to your total once the spin was over. These machines are super popular because they’re extremely generous with their payouts; however, there aren’t any online slots that have this type of high payout rate! In reality, slot machines at land-based properties see payout rates hovering around 89%-91%, with most online slots experiencing between 98%-99%.

Knowledge is power when it comes to gambling and there’s no better place to start than with payout percentages. After all, there’s no point in playing slots if you’re only going to net $2 in profits for every $100 wagered. To see what potential payouts are available with different slot games, check the game’s ‘Paytable’ (usually found under the ‘Help’ button).
If you do find slots offering high payouts though, make sure to investigate further before playing.

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Paytables are always available for players to reference when gambling online or at land-based properties – they specify what each symbol means, along with how much it’s worth when displayed on the reels. Payout percentages differ from game to game, so remember to always read the fine print before you bet.


There you have it – a quick and easy explanation of Slot Game Lines and Pay Tables. Once you’re confident in your knowledge, head over to our casino reviews page where we list the best online casinos that accept USA players. Good luck!