Glossary of Slot Terms

If you’ve ever read through a game guide or another review about an online casino and you weren’t sure what all the terms meant, this glossary is for you. It covers the most common casino and online gambling terms and helps you understand what everything means as you’re reading a review or new information about online gaming.

Common Online Slot Machine Terms

Slots machines are easy to play but they do have a variety of features and specified terminology that some people simply don’t know. Here is a list of the most common slot machine terms.

  • Blank

    Blanks, which are actually non-symbols, are spaces between the various icons. These Blanks make it tougher for players to hit successful groupings.

  • Bonus

    Some slot machines offer a bonus on the jackpot when you wager the maximum. If the normal progression on a payout for hitting the jackpot on betting one credit 800, two and three credits is 800 credits, 1600 credits and 2400 credits, a bonus may offer 3200 credits on the maximum wager.

  • Bonus Round

    Machines that payout on Bonus Rounds are thought by many to be the best slot machines. A Bonus Round is accessed with Scatter symbols and/or Wild symbols and is a separate activity from normal play. The credits and free spins you can win in this round are added to your totals once the round is over.

  • Bonus Symbol

    Bonus symbols are specified for each machine. These symbols send players into the machine’s Bonus Round. When you play a slot the minimum number of bonus icons needed to trigger the Bonus Round is usually three.

  • Credits

    This term is used to identify both what you bet with and what you win. Players don’t play with currency they wager with credits and win the same. These credits may be purchased and also cashed in for money. Credits may be purchased in various ways at an online casino and may be converted into money when won.

  • Double Up

    When the Bonus Round ends players are often given the chance to double up. This means that you may double the credits you’ve won in the Bonus Round. You may also lose them all since this is a double or nothing feature.

  • Jackpot

    The largest payout on a slot is the jackpot. These vary a lot and are dependent on two things—how much you’ve wagered and how hard the jackpot is to win. Any jackpot is very difficult to hit, which is why it pays the most of any combination.

  • Loose Slots

    Some people love loose slots because these are machine that often pay out. However, loose slots do not necessarily pay out big. They may offer many small prizes rather than a few larger ones.

  • Multiplier Symbol

    The Multiplier symbol, which again is specified for each machine, increases the winnings for a player on a specific spin or in a Bonus Round. The number of multipliers that are revealed will also determine how much extra is won.

  • Payline

    All slot machines have at least one payline. A slot may have 50 or more paylines, depending upon how complex it may be and how many reels it has. When specified combinations of symbols run across a payline, the player wins credits. The higher the odds are against one hitting a specific combination of symbols, the more a player may win.

  • Pay Table

    The pay table tells players how much they win for each combination of symbols. Payouts vary according to how difficult the combination is to achieve and on how much a player bets. Always read a pay table before betting on a slot. This will give you a good idea of how much you can expect to win.

  • Payouts

    Slot machines pay out in many different ways. When you do win, you’ll receive credits that you can exchange for their cash value as determined by the machine. Here’s a look at various terms related to slot machine payouts.

  • Payout Percentage

    The payout percentage relates to how much of the cash bet in a machine is returned to the bettor. The best slot machines for high payout percentages are online. The highest payouts range from 95% to 100% of the cash bet. As an example, if a machine has a payout percentage of 97%, it will pay back 97 cents of every dollar bet.

  • Payout Rate

    The payout rate relates to how often a machine hits winning combinations. A machine that pays out often is said to be “loose” while one that rarely pays is “tight.”

  • Progressive Jackpot

    A progressive jackpot is the hardest to hit and it is the largest of any you can find. This jackpot is comprised of money bet by all players who engage the machine. These pots can grow to be over $1 million. A jackpot that is progressive accumulates as more and more people play the machine.

  • Random Number Generator

    A Random Number Generator (RNG) is a computer chip that determines what symbols will come up during a specific turn. The results of a spin governed by a RNG are totally arbitrary and cannot be predicted.

  • Reels

    Reels are one of the elements of slot machines that specifically define them. Each slot has an odd number of reels—3, 5 or 7. After a player makes their wager, they press the spin button and the reels turn independent of one another. The reels come to a stop on their own, revealing if the player has won or lost.

  • Scatter Symbol

    Scatter symbols work in many different ways. These often act like a Wild symbol, completing winning combinations and sometimes sending the player into a Bonus Round, or they can also increase the payout on a turn.

Slot Machine Symbols

Slot machines utilize many different types of symbols, the various combinations of which can result in the player winning credits and free spins. Each reel on a slot has a specific number of symbols arranged in a designated order. Symbols may be theme based, include different numbers and letters or may be made up of images of cards, fruit and other such objects. Below are five of the most common types of slot machine symbols.

  • Themed Slots

    Themed slots focus on something very specific such as a pop icon, movie, cartoon character or sport. These slots will use the theme throughout. Thus, you’ll find the symbols, winning combinations and bonus round to be connected to the theme. The music will also mirror the theme.

  • Tight Slot

    A tight slot pays out less than a loose one. It’s tougher to get cash out of tight slot than a loose one.

  • Wild Symbol

    This symbol substitutes for other symbols, completing paylines. It is specifically chosen for each machine.

  • Video Slots

    The video slot is one that uses video technology in its displays and also in the manner in which a machine plays. The images are in high resolution, the Bonus Rounds are multifaceted and complex and the speed of the machine is enhanced over all other types. As far as high tech slots are concerned, these are the best slot machines you can find online.