Slot machines

Slot Machines – What are They and How Do They Work? Try

Slot machines are one of the most popular types of casino games, and despite the fact that playing them is simple, just press a button, not everyone understands how they work and what their components are. Many myths about slot machine games arise from ignorance, so read on and let’s debunk these myths together!

What are slot machine reels and what is their function?

When you start a slot machine game, you’ll see a grid of symbols divided into vertical and horizontal rows. Reels are the vertical spinning parts of a slot machine game that spin to create specific symbol combinations that determine wins.


The game screen in traditional slot machine games was made up of 3 horizontal and 3 vertical rows of symbols. As slot machine games became more popular, games with 5 or even 7 reels began to appear on the market. Experience has shown that 5 reel games are the most popular among players. They offer more winning symbol combinations and, as a result, better winning chances than games with 3 reels.

Spin cost and bet level – how are they related?

These two terms may appear synonymous to less experienced players. Unfortunately, without a clear distinction between these functions, you might place bets for much smaller or larger amounts than you expected, which could leave you disappointed. As a result, the spin cost and bet level both determine not only how much you spend on each spin, but also the type of winnings you can expect.

So the spin cost is the amount you pay for each spin. The cost of a single spin in different games ranges from €0.01 to €150 or more. In each game, you can select the spin cost by clicking on the arrows next to the specified amount.

The cost of a spin is also determined by another factor, the bet level, which each player can select at their discretion. The bet level gradually raises the spin cost, allowing players to place bets based not only on the values of the available chips, but also on a specific level multiplier. In some games, the bet level also indicates the number of paylines (labeled as “Lines”), in which winnings are calculated based on the symbols that appear.

For example, if a player sets the spin cost at €0.05 using the bet level or paylines feature, they can increase their own spin value to €0.40. In this case, the player is aiming for an 8-times larger win than they could have achieved by performing each spin at a cost of €0.05.


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A payline is a line that runs through symbols to form a winning combination in a single spin of a slot machine. Different slot machine games have different amounts of paylines, ranging from one to one hundred. However, the most popular slots have 10 – 25 paylines.

Often, players can decide how many paylines to activate. The number of paylines affects not only the frequency and size of wins, but also the cost of each spin.

It’s important to note that paylines aren’t always straight. Paylines in some slot machine games can meander, changing direction in a variety of ways. This enables players to win more frequently. You can find out which paylines a game offers, before spinning or changing the number of paylines.

What determines wins in slot machine games?

Many players who enjoy playing slots don’t always pay attention to what affects how much they win. The main factor is the symbols, which shift positions on the vertical reels with each spin. Typically, these symbols include various fruits, numbers, hieroglyphs, letters, gemstones, and other graphical elements related to the game’s theme.

These symbols, arranged in a certain order on the paylines, determine the size of the win a player receives. The size of the win is also determined by the symbol. Some symbols are rarer and more valuable than others, so lining up symbols of different values in the same order will result in a larger casino win.

Multipliers in slot machine games

When a multiplier symbol appears in a casino game, the player has the opportunity to multiply their winnings by the number indicated by the twisted multiplier symbol. This special symbol in slot machines is not uncommon in games and basically aims to increase players’ winnings. Some of these multiplier symbols multiply winnings directly, while others can also be included in line or total bets.

In some casino games, multipliers are part of the main game, while in others, they can be activated during additional – free or bonus – spins. Depending on the game, the symbols can be different – the symbols you spin can multiply your winnings by two, three, five, or even a hundred or thousand times.

“Wild” Symbols in Slot Machines

The name “wild” symbols is given to these symbols for a reason – there are numerous variations of them in each casino game, so it can be difficult to recognize each of them.  Wild symbols, like regular symbols, are different from one another. By exploring the description of each “wild” symbol in the game,  you can understand their individual features. Wild symbols typically assist in achieving a winning combination on paylines when, with several identical symbols in a row, the “wild” symbol adapts to other symbols on the payline, becoming the same, and it helps to pull out a win.

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At the same time, wild symbols can act as multipliers, increasing the player’s winnings by a set amount. Another type of wild symbol is the expanding wild, which can expand in all directions across the slot machine screen, turning every touched reel cell into a wild symbol.

Scatter Symbols in Slot Machines

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Scatter symbols are another unique feature of slot machine games. When these symbols are arranged in a certain way, they can not only mean a huge win but also trigger special bonus game modes or bonus rounds.

Typically, scatter symbol combinations in casino games activate free spins. Importantly, scatter symbols can provide wins, free spins, or entry into a bonus game regardless of the number of paylines activated in that spin.

Free Spins in Slot Machines

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Players can receive free spins while playing the main slot machine game when a certain combination of scatter symbols (three or more) is twisted. After activating the free spins, the player has an opportunity to spin the slot machine without paying – this is the point of free spins. The free spins are worth the same as the amount bet during the main game when the free spins bonus was activated.

Biggest Casino Wins

The biggest casino win in a land-based casino happened in Las Vegas in 2003. A $100 bet on the “Megabucks” slot machine turned into the biggest win in history – $39.7 million.

The biggest online casino win was recorded in 2021. A player who wanted to reveal his identity won a staggering 19.4 million euros at the “Napoleon Sports & Casino” online casino in Belgium. This win came from a bet of just €15 in the well-known “Microgaming” game “Absolootly Mad™ Mega Moolah.”

Learn more about casino games

If you are interested playing with slot machines, you might also like other games. We invite you to read and learn about the rules of chess, Texas Hold’em poker, and checkers.

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