Slots Terms you need to know

Casino Slots

Slots are definitely the most popular game at the casinos and also some of the easiest to play. All you have to do is push the spin button and you're on your way. While playing slots is simple and entertaining there are still a few terms that you should be familiar with before playing so that you not only understand how these machines work but also how to choose slots with the best possible payout rates. Here we take a look at five terms that every slots player should know before spinning the reels.

Payout Percentage

The most important thing to consider when playing a particular slot machine is its payout percentage. Every slot is programmed to pay back a certain percentage of the money that it takes in from players wagers. So when you see a slot machine with a 96% payout rate this means that if you bet $100 you should, in theory, over the long term get $96 back. Obviously, slot machine payouts are subject to a certain amount of variance which results in both wins and losses and explains why payout rates are calculated over the long term.

It is important to know what the payout rates of slots are so that you can select those with higher paybacks in order to increase your chance of winning. In general you will find that online casinos offer slots with higher payout rates than their land based counterparts.

Hit Frequency

Hit frequency refers to how often you will win any kind of payout on a single spin when playing a particular slot. While this information is not published by casinos like slots payout rates are, and manufacturers don't offer a standard figure on hit frequency, you will often be able to pick this information up in slots reviews and on player forum discussions about certain machines.

As a general rule of thumb though, progressive slots generally have lower hit rates because most of the money goes towards the jackpot pool while classic slots with smaller prize jackpots generally have a high frequency, so you will win smaller amounts more often and could end up better off in the long run.


The majority of modern slots are multi-line games which means that you can play more than one payline per spin. If you don't have a large bankroll it is advisable to stick to single payline slots but if you want to play multiline machines, you will be able to still play only one line on these. The problem with that however is that you could miss out on the big jackpot prize if winning symbols appear on a line that you are not playing. Also bear in mind that most progressive slots require you to bet the max across all paylines in order to qualify for the jackpot, and that can get rather expensive quite quickly.

Coin Size

Slot machines generally allow you to adjust the size of the coin (credit) you want to wager. This means that you can usually bet anything from $0.01 to $5.00 per line per spin. The great thing about this is that it gives both low and high rollers the opportunity to enjoy the same slot machine according to their respective budgets.

Always keep in mind that you should familiarize yourself with the paytable and rules of each slot before you play it as some slots will require you to bet the maximum amount to qualify for jackpot payouts. Also be aware of the fact that you can often bet anything from 1 to 10 coins per payline that you play.

Random Number Generators

Before you get caught up in any slots myths and superstitions, be aware that slot machines are governed by a Random Number Generator (RNG) which is a computer that controls how much and how often these machines pay out. The RNG also ensures that all results are truly random. So this means that you will never really be able to know what will happen from one spin to the next, this not only keep the game exciting but also means that there is no such thing as being "owed" a win, or a hot or cold machine in spite of what you or other players may want to believe.