How to Play Slots

Classic slots with buttons
Slot game is easy to play when familiar with
the game buttons and options

Slot game is very easy to master if the player is familiar with all the options of slot machines and knows which buttons are used to choose the betting amount, the paylines, make bets or activate the slots reels. No matter what type of the game you play and how much you are going to spend during the play (your bankroll) the procedure of a slot game is always the same. If you visit a real casino and are not sure about the game rules or payouts, feel free to ask the casino employee how to play slots. However, if you play slots online, you can learn the complete rules of slot machines at

Slots Rules

Before starting to play and risking money you must decide on your bankroll which is the amount of gambling dollars you are ready and can afford to wager or lose on playing the slot games. The second and very important step is to select the “appropriate” slot machine with a high payback percentage and a coin denomination that suits your overall bankroll. This is crucial if you don’t want to lose all you have in a moment and wish to “stretch” your cash. Today casinos offer many themed slots of different types and that is why you can select a game that is really pleasant to play, with great images, animation and sounds. After you decide on a slot machine, then it is time to play. These are the basic rules of playing real casino slot machines (installed in land gambling halls) and online slots:

Casino Slots

  1. Buy special slot coins, chips, tickets or use slots club card.
  2. Choose an “appropriate” slot machine.
  3. Insert a coin into the slot machine coin receiver.
  4. Choose the coin denomination by pushing special +/- Coin buttons if you are playing a multi-denomination slot machine.
  5. Select the number of coins you wish to play. Use Bet the One Credit or Bet Max Credits buttons.
  6. When you play multi-reel video slots select the number of paylines to bet on.
  7. Pull the lever or push the Spin Reels button to set the reels spinning.
  8. After the reels stop Cash Out to get the winning.

Online Slots

  1. Download the casino software.
  2. Sign up to create a casino account.
  3. Make a real money deposit.
  4. Select the online slot game you wish to play.
  5. Choose the coin denomination by clicking on the special +/- buttons.
  6. Select the number of paylines by activating special Payline indicators or clicking the Lines +/- buttons.
  7. Choose the number of coins if possible.
  8. Click Spin or Bet Max to activate slot games.
  9. After the reels stop spinning check the Paytable.
  10. The winnings are automatically added to your money balance.

NB: The names of the buttons and options found on the slot machine can vary. You can learn about the most common buttons, options and features in detail by visiting our slot machine basics page.

Slot Machine Technology

The main feature of slot games which distinguishes slots from other casino games is, of course, the spinning reels. The reels on slot machines stop on their own or by a player pushing the Stop button (this is the so-called skill stop option), the period of spins and the time of stop are influenced by the RNG which generates random numbers determining the game results. When the reels stop, the symbols on the lines player bet on are compared to the winning payline patterns in the game paytable. If there is a match then the win is calculated and paid out. The amount of the win is the value of a bet per line multiplied by the winning amount in the paytable.

Modern slot machines and online slots use a different number of symbols on the reels. This influences the number of possible combinations that can occur during the game and thus affects the slots odds. Here are several examples of 3-reel and 5-reel slots with different number of symbols on the reels. You can see how the number of possible combinations in the game depends on the number of symbols on each reel.

Type of Slot Machine Number of Symbols Number of Combinations
3-reel 20 8,000
22 10,648
25 15,625
5-reel 20 3,200,000
22 5,153,632
25 9,765,625

However, modern technologies have allowed to increase the player odds by offering a great variety of bonuses, special substitute symbols and paylines which substantially influence the game results. Today a player can try 3-reel classic slots with up to 5 paylines and 5-reel video slots with the number of paylines from 1 to 100! Casino comps can be also counted as a great benefit and an additional chance to save up money for playing and to decrease losses.

Classic slots with buttons
Player can choose any denomina-
tion to play at slots

Slot machines usually offer different coin denominations from $.01 to $100.00. These are multi-denomination slot machines which allow the player to choose the coin denomination they want to play rather than always bet the set amount. Multi-denomination slots have an extra +/- button which when pushed allows the player to increase or decrease the coin denomination. These machi¬nes automatically calculate the number of credits to pay out in exchange for cash. Large slot machines which offer bets of $5, $10 or more on one line are often for high-rollers and are usually placed in special casino areas.

Slots Paylines

Slots payline can be defined as a line (straight or zigzagged) that crosses one symbol on each reel and is what the players bet on; or a combination of symbols on the slot machine reels for getting which the player is paid out if he has made a bet on that combination. Paylines are usually depicted as standard patterns in the paytable. Let’s consider an example of the payline patterns on the free slot machine game available at This is a 5-reel video slot game with 25 paylines which means that the player can bet on 1 to 25 paylines and get paid out for any of the 1-25 combinations that occur on the reels.

NB: For any combination to win, the reels MUST have at least two identical symbols one after another, and the first one MUST occur on the first reel. Otherwise the combination doesn’t pay out.

For a better understanding of the slots paylines let’s consider the examples of winning combinations on the reels and the payline patterns from the paytable they correspond to.

Payline Patterns

There are 25 standard paylines used in most 5-reel slot games. As you see, slot paylines can be lines of different directions: straight, zigzagged, diagonal, vertical or horizontal. To be easily distinguished each payline is marked with a definite color.

The examples below show what the paylines look like on the reels. Moreover, all the combinations you see on the slot game reels are winning ones as they contain sequences of at least 2 matching symbols starting from the first reel.

If you want to try playing online slot games with different number of reels and paylines we suggest you use our slots catalog. Choose the slot games by type, software or theme and play online for free or real money.


How do you win on slot machines?
Each slot machine has a specific layout and a particular number of pay lines. The idea is to spin the reels and land the symbols in patterns that the game considers to be winning ones. The prize you win will depend on the pattern and the symbols you land.
Are slot machines really random?
Online slots use Random Number Generators nowadays. The truth is that they are completely random as there are no hot or cold machines, and there is no exact time when you can win a jackpot. For the best gaming experience, stick to slot machines designed by premium developers like Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, etc.



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