Ask Genie: What are Paylines on Slot Machines?

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Genie Answers:

If you’ve found yourself wondering just what are paylines on slot machines, then keep on reading what your old friend the Genie has to say! Paylines are the specific patterns used on the reels of a slot machine in which symbols can be landed (in a specific order) to create a winning combination and ultimately a prize payout. 

Types of Paylines

Just like no online slot player is the same, so too are the paylines of a slot machine. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of paylines you may come across when playing slots online. 

A payline in a slot machine is a configuration of the reels where the winning combination appears. While current video slots may contain numerous lines, classic slots have just one payline. Recently, slot machine creators have even begun creating games without any paylines at all (but that's an entirely different concept!).

Paylines are always static and predetermined, unlike the outcomes of a spin. There are predetermined paylines in the game that always follow the same pattern. Games typically need you to spin a specific number of symbols along one of the paylines in order to create a winning combination. Though Scatter symbols frequently defy this norm, winning combinations typically begin on the leftmost reel and go along the payline. A combination cannot begin on the second reel and proceed along the third and fourth unless specifically permitted by the slot machine. It must always be in the leftmost position.

Online casinos in the UK provide classic slots, which contain a single horizontal line that only has one direction—from left to right. This is known as a single payline slot. 

In order to break up the monotony of the traditional game, modern slot machines have multiplied the number of paylines and increased the variety of payouts. There are now zigzag, diagonal, vertical paylines, and a variety of other designs. This is known as a multiple payline slot because there are multiple active paylines acting at once during a spin.

How Do Paylines Work on Slot Machines?

A single payline that spans the middle position of all three reels can be found on vintage slot machines. Things today are really different. The number of paylines in modern online slots can range from one to fifty, and there is a wide variety of games available. Some just have nine paylines, while others have up to fifty (lots more if it's a Megaways game).

How you respond to the paylines on offer to you depends on how you like to wager (and also the rules of the slot in question). While some slots offer fixed paylines, where players don’t get to choose how many paylines are used, there are certain games where you can choose how many paylines are active. Players with smaller budgets can choose to activate a handful of paylines, while those with more to spend may want to play with all lines active. There is never a difference in the value of a payline bet, and you cannot place a higher stake on one payline than another; instead, your total wager is spread evenly across all paylines. 

The value of the coins wagered per payline is another factor to consider. You will wager one coin on each payline you add to the game. Prior to spinning the reels, you designated the coin's worth. The number of coins per payline and their individual values are up to you.

For instance, to get the cost of spinning the reels if you bet one coin on each payline, you must multiply the coin's value by the number of paylines that are currently active. Consider a slot machine with 25 paylines and a coin size of £0.01 per line. As the paylines in our example slot are fixed, this means your £0.01 line bet forms a total wager of £0.25 per spin. 

The coin's value is very obvious, to put it simply. You can modify the size of the coins on each spin by using a metre. You must factor in the minimum and maximum values for these parameters.

Winning Chances

While more lines does theoretically increase the odds of landing a winning combination, remember that all slot games adhere to Random Number Generator technology, combined with a pre-programmed Return to Player (RTP). While all fair online slots generate random outcomes, the RTP is used to indicate the percentage out of 100 that a player can expect to get over a period of playing a slot machine. So, if a slot has an RTP of 96%, for every £1 wagered, a player will on average get around 96p back. The 4p discrepancy is known as the house edge.  

Sign up and Play Online Slots at SpinGenie

At SpinGenie you’ll find a whole host of fantastic slot games with a wide variety of different payline structures. From single payline retro slots to classic video slots, and wild Megaways games, there’s a little something for everyone, so sign up and play today to discover more.

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