Playing online slots can be entertaining, thrilling and a lot of fun. However, for those who are new to slots it can also be somewhat confusing. Most games allow players to get stuck right in and, as the computer does the working out for you, new players can enjoy slots from the get go. But if you want to get the most from online slots then it’s worth taking some time to make sure you understand commonly used terms.
Before you play any slot you should take a look at the pay table. This is a graphic that shows how much you can win. You’ll see how much certain combinations will pay out and how much you need to bet to be in with a chance of walking away with the jackpot. The pay tale will also display the wild and scatter symbols as well as any other symbols that activate bonus rounds.
The first thing most people notice when they play a slot is the reels. These are the parts of the game that spin to display symbols. Most contemporary games have five reels but you’ll find some with three, seven or even nine. Each reel displays a number of symbols, which are joined to create winning combinations.
The game’s symbols will appear on the reels as they stop spinning. Each symbol holds a different value and in many modern online slots, the high value symbols are represented by an element of the game’s story or theme. Traditional slot machine symbols of letters and number are also commonly used, often to represent lower values.
You’ll be hard pushed to find a video slot that doesn’t contain a wild symbol. When you land a wild it will substitute for any other symbol (usually excluding the scatter). What this means is more chances to create winning combinations. The more wilds you land on the reels, the higher your chance of winning will be.
The rules of scatter symbols change with each particular game. Typically you’ll be awarded a pay out for landing at least three scatters on the reels simultaneously. Scatters may also act as a multiplier, meaning that you can receive double or triple your original bet. Scatters are often used to trigger bonus rounds, such as free spins.
Winning combinations of symbols occur across paylines. A payline can run in a straight line across the five reels or in any pattern, such as a zigzag or down one reel. Slot games vary massively on the number of paylines offered. Some games will have just one while others may have up to 100. It’s important to note that in games with multiple paylines, your bet amount will be increased if you choose to cover more lines. To get the most from an online slot it’s usually recommended that you place the maximum bet on all paylines. This means you have a greater chance of winning and your payout will be higher. However, take care to check that you’re happy with how much you’re wagering on each spin before you begin.
Many slots feature bonus rounds, which are triggered when players land certain combinations of symbols. These rounds often take the form of free spins or picking games and are essentially a game within a game, allowing players the opportunity to win without the need to wager more cash. In the majority of games, the bonus rounds will be where the biggest payouts are to be won.
Some online slots are linked together to offer what is known as a progressive jackpot. These prizes are pooled across thousands of players so can be eye-wateringly high reaching into hundred of thousands or even over a million pounds. Whenever a player makes a losing spin, a portion of their bet is added to the jackpot pool, meaning the prize pot grows at a rapid rate. When a player scoops the jackpot then the prize pot returns to zero. If you hope to be the lucky recipient of a progressive jackpot then you should always place the maximum bet on all lines, otherwise you may find you are not eligible to win.