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Tips & Tricks

Paylines in Slots and How to Read Them

By February 11, 2020May 5th, 2021One Comment

Slots are among the top games at any online casino. How to understand paylines in slots is one of the most important questions to answer. Playing slots is all about matching symbols that bring cash. From one-line fruit machines to contemporary online 1024 paylines slots, this game has never been so attractive.

What is a payline?

Basically, a payline is the series of winning combinations. We also refer to paylines as winning lines or betting lines. Therefore, in order to “read” the winning combinations, a player needs to know something more about the paylines. The best part is that it has never been so easy.

Each slot contains certain symbols. As you already know, the trick is to get those symbols lined up. This is the only way to collect cash prizes. The way symbols line up can be various. Once the algorithm provides a certain combination, the line will be drawn across the symbols, if they form a winning streak.

The Number of Paylines

A slot can have many paylines. However, you should know that smaller number of paylines does not necessarily means smaller prizes. Sometimes, a slot with fewer number of paylines means regular winning streaks in the base game. Alternatively, fewer paylines can sometimes mean more bonus features.

Players can always inform themselves about the number of paylines, as the info is stated on the paytable. Paytable also states if players need to increase the bet in order to activate special features.

Direction of Paylines

Paylines can take any possible direction. The earliest slots contained only one straight payline. Nowadays, we can find paylines that take a zig-zag line or diagonal, vertical, horizontal, etc.

Winning direction of paylines is usually left to right. It means that symbols need to start matching from the first reel on the left. Not so often, there is the opposite, right to left direction, starting from the farthest reel on the right. The symbols should match in succession going left.

Sometimes slots can pay both ways. It means that symbols can match in both directions, from left to right and the vice versa.

“All ways pay” slots are the most common ones. The name is pretty self-explanatory. It means that players just need to land the matching symbol combination on any consecutive reels, instead of landing them on a win lines.

Types of paylines

There are two basic types of paylines: fixed and variable or adjustable.

Fixed paylines offer the so-called” all or nothing” kind of a bet. Players need to place wagers on all paylines before spinning the reels.

On one hand this can be seen as limiting, as players need to invest more. However, on the other – there are two possible benefits. Firstly, slots with fixed paylines usually have stronger bonus features – larger payouts, Wilds, Scatters, free spins. Secondly, fixed paylines mean players are covered in case a jackpot strikes. In case players have made a bet on all paylines, there is no way to miss the payout in case of a jackpot, because all of the lines are active.

As for a variable paylines, players are able to pick the number of lines they wish to play. This means more flexibility in placing bets, and practically choosing the lines. In case you are not a high roller, this could be the right choice for you.

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