Slot Machine Terms That Every Player Should Know

Slot machine terms

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Posted by: Ivan

Slot Machine Terms That Every Player Should Know

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Slot machines are extremely easy to learn and don’t require too much skill to play. This makes them a prevalent feature in all casinos worldwide. With that in mind, like any other casino game in the world, slot games come with their terminology.

Knowing and understanding these terms will make your gaming sessions much more enjoyable, regardless if you’re playing online or in a real land-based casino. Here are the most important terms that every slot player should know.


The auto-spin feature allows you to sit back and relax while the game plays on its own. The way it works is that you set the game to auto-spin for a predetermined number of spins, and the machine will automatically play through according to the command. This mechanism isn't available on every slot.

Coins and Coin Size

In slot games, coins mark the amount you place with each bet you make. In other words, they are your in-game currency, and you should understand how the number of coins translates to actual money.

When it comes to the term “coin size,” it pertains to the actual size of the bet you're placing with each spin. Both coins and coin size are terms you should understand before playing to avoid mistakes when betting and place wagers larger than intended.

Free Spins

Free spins are a type of in-game bonus feature that rewards you with a certain number of spins you can use free of charge. However, they are often a part of the best online casino bonuses out there as well.

Free spins in slots

You typically trigger this prize by lining up the appropriate symbols across your paylines. Free spins are an excellent way to make the most out of your money, as you get the opportunity to win without risking any of your cash.

Jackpot and Progressive Jackpot

The jackpot is the highest listed prize you can win at the slot machine you’re playing. The progressive jackpot is similar to the ordinary jackpot but much more rewarding.

The progressive jackpot is a pooled prize for a particular game that every player participates in and can win.

It is a growing reward that keeps increasing until a lucky player triggers it.

It can go up to tens of millions of dollars, but you should know that these games are often more expensive to play. It’s not uncommon that you have to bet the maximum number of coins on each spin if you want to have a shot at the main jackpot.

Slot machines - jackpots

Loose Slot

A loose slot is a gambling term used to describe a slot machine paying out more often or more money than normal. It’s sort of an urban myth, as there’s no real metric that can help you determine if a slot is loose, tight, or normal.

Maximum Bet

The betting option automatically selects the maximum betting amount you’ll place for the particular spin. It’s a mechanic you should be very careful when using, as robust slots may eat away several hundred dollars with just one maximum bet spin.


A payline is the slot’s betting line, a combination of symbols that showcase the outcome of every spin you make.

Slot machine terms - paylines

Old-school slot machines only had one horizontal payline. Modern games, especially online ones, can have several dozen paylines stretching not only horizontally but in many other shapes and directions.

Pay Table

The pay table is the slot's map that includes all of the necessary information you should know when playing a specific slot. It shows you the available in-game symbols, how much each character is worth, and how the bonus features work.

It’s vital to be familiar with the slot's paytable before putting any money into the game.

Pay tables are also very important in video poker, as choosing the right game variations can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Pick Me Bonuses

Just like free spins, “Pick Me” is a type of bonus you’ll come across in some slot games. It’s a multi-choice mini-game in which you choose between different icons or images to uncover mystery prizes behind each one.


A reel marks the vertical position on the slot’s grid, labeling symbols spun after placing a bet. Reels come with every slot game, no matter how simple or complex it is. They are one of the most critical aspects of every slot machine.

Modern slots come with a wide variety of extra features. Some of the most notable ones include rotating reels, cascading reels, and tumbling reels.


The RNG abbreviation stands for Random Number Generator. No matter if you’re playing in a land-based or online casino, make sure that the slot game you’re betting uses RNG software.

RNG is sophisticated software that impacts the outcome of each spin.

It’s specifically designed to make the outcome of each spin random and unpredictable. This means you can’t affect the outcome in any way, nor expect any particular result based on previous spins.


Short for Return to Player, this is a number that measures how much of your bet you’re getting back in the long run. It’s expressed in percentages, with each slot having a different RTP value.

From the player’s perspective, you should look for slots with RTPs in the high 90s, as they will provide you with more money over a more extended period of play.

Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols are unique and special symbols that function differently depending on the game you’re playing. In some slots, a scatter symbol triggers a bonus mini-game, like free spins or “Pick Me” bonuses. In other slot machines, it directly acts as a multiplier to help boost your winning combination.

Slot machine terms - scatters

As the name suggests, scatter symbols will activate regardless of where they land on the reels. They don't need to be a part of a particular payline to go off.

Wild Symbols

Wild symbols are extremely useful slot machine symbols, working in a similar fashion as a joker does in most card games. In most slot machines, a wild symbol can replace any other symbol to help you line up a winning combination.

The only exceptions are the aforementioned scatter and bonus symbols, which the wild symbol can’t replace. That said, in some games, wilds can also act as scatters, taking on a double role and making them that more exciting

Win Both Ways

A “Win both Ways” slot provides you with the opportunity to line up a winning combination either from the left to the right side or vice versa. From a mathematical point of view, two ways to win are always better than one.

This guide on slot terms should help you find the best games with ease and have much more fun when gambling online.

That said, no amount of lingo will help you beat the slots as the house edge remains unchanged no matter what. If you want a game where skill beats luck in the long run, check out Texas Hold’em poker!

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