A Beginner’s Guide to Different Slot Terms

Online slot machines are among the most popular and profitable casino games. However, many bettors might not know there is more to slots than merely a cheery and bright array of lights and lively sounds. Pulling the lever and watching the reels spin in a slot machine is only the beginning of the experience. Learning about the different slot machine terms and phrases is also essential for players to know how slot machines work. 

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Basic Slot Machine Terms


Action refers to the total amount that a slots player wagers in a specific timeframe. Some bonus offers in online casinos and wagering requirements use this number.

Free Play

Free play or free money mode is often offered in online slots where players can get a certain amount of balance for free to play. However, the players are not allowed to cash out their winnings.

Hit Frequency

Hit frequency, which is also sometimes called hit rate, denotes how often a specific slot game will pay out. Some gamblers might measure the hit frequency to increase their odds and win more often. Generally, slot machines with a lower hit frequency will pay out more often but with smaller amounts. Meanwhile, slot machines that pay less often in terms of hit frequency might pay more significant amounts.


The jackpot refers to a slot machine’s maximum payout or the highest possible winnings. Sometimes, the jackpot is a progressive top prize that climbs with every spin in a slot machine until a player wins it.

Payback Percentage

Payback percentage refers to the amount of money a slot machine pays back as a percentage of the amount wagered through a machine. The payback percentage or the Return to Player (RTP) refers to the percentage of the total money wagered on a certain online slot game, which will be returned to the player over time. The percentage can vary initially, but in the long run, it tends to average out.


A payline is an imaginary line on which reel symbols appear that is used to determine payouts. Paylines may be vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or laid out in any pattern prescribed by the slot machine’s pay table and rules.


Payout refers to the amount of money that is won by a player for a specific combination of symbols. Payout is usually displayed in credits.


Paytable refers to the list of winning combinations, payouts, bonus rewards, and jackpots. The pay table in an online casino is usually displayed on the main screen.

Random Number Generator or RNG

The Random Number Generator, or the RNG, refers to the computer program that controls the outcome of a slot machine. Each possible outcome in playing the slot machine has a number assigned to it, and the RNG picks a random number for every spin. A particular losing combination in playing slot machines may have hundreds of numbers, and the top payout may only have one assigned number.


A reel is a horizontal line spin and displays symbols in a slot machine. These symbols displayed in a reel of slot machines are used to determine winnings.


Symbols refer to images seen in specific positions in a slot machine reel. Combinations of these symbols in a reel are used to determine wins.

Scatter symbol

A scatter symbol is a special symbol that can land anywhere on the reels in a slot machine and still pay out or unlock a bonus without landing on lines. This symbol is usually scattered all over the screen instead of lining up.

Spin Button

The spin button in a slot machine is used to start spinning the reels. The spin button replaced the lever on the side of the slot machine in online casinos.

Different Types of Slot Machines

Classic Slots

Classic slots in an online casino closely resemble the slot machines in the past. As there are still players that experience nostalgic feelings about physical slot machines with a lever in a casino, producers of online slots continue to release such games online.

Depending on the type of game, the number of reels, paylines, and other parameters may differ, but the overall theme and atmosphere of a retro-inspired casino game have remained. Most classic slot machines have a few paylines and more straightforward bonus rounds.

Fruit machines

Fruit machines can be singled out among classic slot machines as their category. The term comes from old-school British physical slot machines with reasonably simple rules; a player only needs to collect a winning combination on a single payline. With this premise, this type of slot machine can be ideal for beginners to try.

Video Slots

A video slot machine is among the most popular slots in online casinos, with different themes that could suit anyone’s taste. Video slots have a picture of reels on the screen like a video game, and it usually has five or more reels and up to several hundred paylines. Appealing graphics, animations, and sound effects can help make the game process more engaging and exciting for players.

Progressive Slots

Progressive slots refer to a network of slot machines that share a jackpot. Progressive slots have a continuously growing jackpot. In this slot, the jackpot is usually more significant than your regular jackpot, and its size can depend on how much you are willing to bet.

Every player plays a progressive jackpot game; the total amount increases until a lucky player wins. Consequently, the amount of jackpot in a progressive slot can depend on the number of people playing the games.

Fixed Value Slots

Fixed value slot machines only offer one size bet available. Players cannot pick how many lines, coins per line, or coin value in playing. Fixed-value slot machines are not as rare as many thinks. Some players prefer simple playing decisions, and these slot machines fit the bill. Players only need to put the money in and hit the spin button in the slot machine.


The decision to try playing slot machines can be an easy step. Still, it can be challenging if bettors start wagering money in slot machines without knowing their terminologies. Learning about the different phrases and terms can also make a gambler’s online betting experience more enjoyable.

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