Understanding the Symbols in Slot Machines


Modern slot machines have a variety of different ways to win. Some have multiple paylines, while others use complicated symbols to create patterns. Some even have a progressive jackpot.

The original mechanical slot machine was invented by Charles Fey in 1899. However, modern slot machines are based on completely different principles.


Whether you’re playing online slots for fun or for real money, understanding the symbols in slot machines will help you maximize your chances of winning. They can vary from game to game, so it’s important to learn about their meanings and payouts before you start spinning the reels. Symbols can be low-paying or high-paying and are usually designed to fit the game’s theme. The highest paying symbols include the classic fruit or card symbols and a few thematic symbols like pirate ships, parrots, cannons, and skulls.

Other types of symbols in slot games can be scatters or bonus symbols. These can trigger special bonus games or free spins rounds, and often come with a multiplier value that boosts the size of your wins. They also tend to be tightly linked to a slot’s overall theme.


Paylines are a vital aspect of slot games and determine the chances of winning. Generally, they run from left to right on the reels. Some slots allow players to adjust the number of win lines they wish to bet on, while others have fixed paylines that are automatically switched on during a spin. Those that offer payouts in both directions are known as “pay both ways” slots and include Starburst and Siberian Storm.

While classic slot machines only have one pay line, modern online slots usually come with multiple paylines. These can range from five to 100, and can have different orientations. Some are horizontal, while others can be vertical, diagonal or zig-zag shaped and can even form shapes like stars or hearts. Players should always check the paytable of their preferred slot machine to find out more about the number of available win lines and how they can be used to trigger payouts. They should also check the payout amounts of each payline to ensure they are comfortable with it.

Bonus rounds

Bonus rounds are a great way to add an extra layer of excitement to slot games. They can increase the payout potential of a slot and are often triggered by specific symbols, such as scatters or dedicated bonus icons. They can also offer different types of free spins or a jackpot winning opportunity.

Bonus games can take many forms, from simple pick-and-click minigames to elaborate arcade-style adventures where players shoot alien spaceships or try to steal treasure from a high-security museum. They can also include additional coin credits or special symbols that increase the chance of creating winning lines.

Regardless of the type of bonus round, it is important to read the paytable before playing. This will help you determine the game’s win potential and if it fits your budget and play style. These extra features can be a great way to boost your bankroll without taking any money from your main betting balance. However, it’s important to set a budget before playing, as these extra features can be addictive.


RTP is an important factor to consider when choosing slot games. This statistic reflects how often a game is likely to return the player’s initial bet, based on long-term statistical calculations. However, this number does not tell you how often a specific spin will result in a win or loss.

A higher RTP indicates that a game should pay back more to players over an extended period of gameplay. However, this number is not indicative of a definitive, every-spin payout churn because slots are random and unpredictable.

The best way to maximise your winnings at an online casino is to select a slot with a high RTP rate. This will help you avoid making reckless gambler mistakes, such as spending more money than you can afford to lose. In addition, this strategy decreases the risk of gambling addiction and allows players to manage their bankrolls more effectively.