What are paylines on slot machines?

| Oct 3, 2018

Last Updated on by

A Payline, also called a betting line or winning line in a slot machine, refers to the combination of symbols that constitute a win. The number of winning lines in a slot game determines how much you need to bet and how much you can win per spin. The most common number of betting line in slots is anywhere from 3 to as high as 243. Traditional slots had three reels and one payline. So, players only needed to match three symbols horizontally to win. These slots are still popular in land-based casinos, but modern slots are powered by computer systems and random number generators and can feature any number of paylines across five to seven reels. Still, to win a game, the player must match symbols in the active bet lines across the reels. In a slot machine, a payline can be a straight line running horizontal, a zigzag line across the reels, a trapezium or any shape.

How Do Paylines Work?

When you spin the wheel, many winning combinations are generated. A winning spin occurs when the player hits several paylines and matches all symbols on those lines and reels. Some slots – called free slots – come with adjustable paylines where punters can choose how many lines to play with. In other slots, the number of winning lines is fixed such that a player either bets on all or nothing.

Note that choosing to bet on just some of the payline lowers the total bet per spin, but if the winning combination falls on the deactivated pay lines, you won’t be awarded the win. And who knows? It could be a jackpot win.

If you are a beginner, opt for variable slots where you have the option of choosing betting lines. We suggest picking five lines or less to have control over your bankroll.

Multi-payline slots

Some advanced slots have anywhere from 9 to 243 winning lines. They are commonly referred to as 243 ways to win slots. They are popular because chances of winning big go higher when you have more betting lines. Placing a bet on all bet lines maximizes your chances of winning, but it quickly drains your bankroll.

Betting on paylines

Each payline carries a separate wager. If you bet 25 cents per line in a slot of 25 paylines, a spin will amount to 5.25 pounds. If you play with fewer paylines, let’s say 10, your spin will eat 2.5 pounds out of your bankroll and your chances of winning become less. The best strategy for starters looking to hit the jackpot is to place smaller bets/line and play with all paylines in the slot.

All slots have preset limits that determine the smallest and the largest amounts of pounds you can bet per line. This money adds up very fast when playing with multiple pay lines. For example, if you place 20 cents on a 100 lines slot, the spin will cost you 20 pounds.

Experienced punters playing for progressive jackpots tend to play with as many, if not all lines to maximise their chances of landing a win. If you are eyeing the lucrative prizes that come with jackpots, your chances of winning are better when playing a slot with many lines.

Another important point to remember when playing is to check your winning combinations. Some slots only pay when the combinations match from left to right while others pay for matching combos regardless of the direction.

To make sure you are making the best out of your bets, pay close attention to the paytable on the main gaming screen. You will get all information on paylines, free spins, bonuses and winning combos.

Ready to try your luck on some of the best slots in the industry? Check us out Mr Green Casino for rewarding slot games, bonuses and promotions. NetBet Casino is also a great place for both seasoned and beginner slot players.

Article Name
What are paylines on slot machines?
A Payline, also called a betting line or winning line in a slot machine, refers to the combination of symbols that constitute a win.
Publisher Name
Publisher Logo

Charles Baxendale

A keen researcher in the development of methods and theories for computer sciences. A lover of algorithms and mathematical computation. Consultant to online slots software companies and a player in my spare time.

  • £200 Bonus
    • Highly attractive branding & imagery
    • Great selection of slots
    • Separate sportsbook
    • Wide range of payment options

    Terms Apply

    • Fantastic and highly engaging branding
    • A wide range of exciting slots
    • Simple to navigate
    • Multiple payment methods

    Terms Apply

    £850 Bonus
    • Great for Progressive Gambling
    • Mobile Gaming for Android and iOS
    • PayPal Enabled Casino
    • Lifetime VIP Entry for High Rollers

    Terms Apply

    New Customers only, First 3 deposits only, Min deposit £10. Max bonus £500 + 50 Spins on Starburst. Selected Slots Only, 4x conversion 30x wagering, T's & C's apply.

    Claim Bonus