What Terminology Should I Know to Play Online Slot Machines?

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Online slots terminology feature

Slot machines are popular both at online and land-based casinos. One of the reasons for this is because they use a variety of jargon to make you feel like you're an insider. This article will break down all the slot machine terminology so that you can play more confidently. By the end, you'll be able to speak slots lingo like a pro. However, we can't guarantee it will help you win more often!

If you're new to slot machines or want to brush up on your terminology before playing, keep reading.

List of Slot Machine Terms A to Z

Here's a list of slot machine terms you need to know about slot machines before playing them in person or online. From A-Z, this list of terms will help you navigate slots like an expert.

3D Slots

3D slots have a three-dimensional look that makes it feel as though you're playing a video game. Many 3D games also include bonus levels and multiple ways to win, making them an exciting alternative to traditional slots.

Autoplay Mode

When playing slots, you can set the machine in autoplay mode to spin or not spin until no more wagers are made. This is handy for players who like to take a break from constantly pressing the spin button. The amount of time in autoplay mode before the game stops spinning will vary by the individual slot machine.


Your bankroll is the amount of money you have to gamble with, and good bankroll management is crucial to maintaining your winnings. This doesn't just apply to slots, but any online casino game, whether it’s roulette, blackjack, or poker.

Bet Min and Max

The minimum and maximum wagers that can be placed per spin. They refer to the minimum and maximum amount of money you can wager in a game.

Branded Slot Games

If you're a big movie fan or you'd like to play slots based on your favorite TV show characters, you'll love branded online slots. Thanks to the massive success of branded online slot games such as Game of Thrones, Gladiator, The Hangover, The Goonies, and many others, they are extremely popular.

Bonus Round

A bonus round is an event that happens once a specific combination of symbols is shown on the reels during regular play. The bonus round can include free spins, multipliers, special characters, or mystery prizes.

Bonus Trigger

The bonus trigger is the special combination of symbols that initiates the bonus round. Usually, this will be one or more special symbols that you'll need to hit to win.


In online slot casinos, buttons usually line the bottom of the screen and can give additional information about gameplay and be used for betting purposes.

Cascading Reels

When the symbols on a reel line up to form a winning combination, they don't disappear from the screen. Instead, any other symbols remaining on the reels fall down and add to your winnings to create even larger payouts with cascading reels.

Classic Slots

The term classic slots generally refer to the traditional 3-reel slots with limited paylines. Classic slots tend to have bells, bars, the number seven, and fruit as symbols. These games are among the most common in land-based casinos, while their online counterparts are generally 5-reel video slots with multiple paylines.

Demo Mode

As well as real money slots, most online casinos offer you the chance to play for free. This allows new players to understand how slot games are played and new players to give the game a test run before playing for real money.

Expanding Wilds

These are the wild symbols that, as their name suggests, expand to cover an entire reel. They allow players to win multiple times in a single spin, but since they don't expand on all reels, you'll need to be extra lucky for them to appear. Games with expanding wilds include one of the most popular slot games, Starburst, and other favorites such as Hitman - based on the popular video game - or Gonzo's Quest.

Five Reel Slot Machine

A five-reel slot machine is a standard three-reel slot machine on steroids. A 5 reel slot has far more flexibility regarding how many different ways a player can bet. Instead of just betting on a single payline from left to right, for example, players might be able to wager on up to 20 or 30 lines at once. As such, these games tend to have much higher payout possibilities.

Free Spins

A free spin is essentially a reward for the player, which has no wagering requirements and can be played without betting money. These spins often come as a result of triggering an in-game feature such as a bonus round. Online casinos usually offer free spins as a welcome bonus for new players, and existing players might be offered free spins by being members of a loyalty scheme.

Games Per Hour

It is said that with a traditional casino slot machine that a player can play on average about five hundred games over an hour. We'd guess this would be somewhat similar at an online casino. However, extra features such as bonus rounds could slow the gameplay down, making the game much more exciting.

Max Bet

The maximum amount of money that a player can bet in a single round of slot machine play is known as their maximum bet. This varies from one game to another since some machines have different betting limits than others. If you play max bets, you can achieve the biggest potential wins.

Mega Moolah

Mega Moolah is currently the biggest progressive jackpot slot machine in history, and it’s also one of the most popular slot games online. Mega Moolah is a game themed around the African Savannah. Combine the African theme with some high-paying symbols like lions, wildebeests, monkeys, and other animals, and you'll see why this game is so popular. It has some of the most lucrative payouts in the history of online casinos, so it's not to be missed!


The company behind Mega Moolah is Microgaming - the biggest name in online casino software. They're known for creating some of the best-designed slots around and are one of the most established developers in the business. They're also one of the most trusted online casino game providers. If you choose a casino that has Microgaming slots, you know you're in good hands.

Mobile Slots Casino

Mobile slots casinos offer an easy way to play online slots from the convenience of your mobile device. You can enjoy them at home or wherever you happen to be, whether it's waiting in line at the grocery store or watching TV.


If you see a number by the word multiplier, it will multiply whatever line bet amount is placed. For example, if you have ten credits and a 1 X 2 multiplier in effect, your payout for a winning combination will be 20 credits. The 2 X 3 multiplier would result in a 60 credit payout.


Another leading supplier of the best online casino games, NetEnt has developed several acclaimed slot machines, including Starburst and Gonzo's Quest.


The odds of winning a particular prize at the slot machine games. Odds are not fixed as it varies from one game to another, but all online casinos need to display this information so that players can compare and access which machines have better payouts. This is an important aspect for players who like playing slot games.

One Armed Bandit

One arm bandit

A one-armed bandit is what casinos used to call slot machines before they became computerized or were played online. You would be required to pull a lever situated on the side of the machine to spin the reels. The name comes from the long lever resembling an arm and the ability that slot machines have to relieve players of their money!


If you want to win real money playing online slots, you probably want to know about paylines. The paylines are the lines you'll be playing on. Typically, online slot machines have between 20 and 30 paylines, although there are games coming with more.

Pay Table

The paytable on a slot machine shows the symbols and their corresponding payouts for each combination formed by the reels.


Pokies are slang for slot machines, an Australianism. However, the term has come to be used elsewhere as well, like in New Zealand.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

A progressive slot uses an increasing pool of money for its jackpot. This means that the prize steadily grows until someone wins it. The Mega Moolah series is famous for its progressive jackpots. While it is rare to win, if you do, the prize is enormous, with live changing sums of money up for grabs.

Random Number Generator

When playing an online slot game, a Random Number Generator or RNG for short determines the outcome of each reel spin, whether you win or lose. No matter how many times you play, it's all up to chance. The RNG is a computerized number generator that determines results without human intervention. It does not base the outcome on any patterns, making the result truly randomly generated. The RNG is one of the reasons why online slots are considered to be fair.


The reels are what most people think of as the spinning wheels on a slot machine. They're the horizontal bars with different images and symbols engraved on them, giving each symbol its own unique image and payout potential. Each reel has several symbols on it, which must line up with symbols on other reels before a win can be achieved.

Return to Player

Also known as RTP or Return to Player Rate, is the theoretical amount of money that will be returned to players in the long run. It is expressed as a percentage of the total amount of money wagered, and a high number represents a high return rate. For instance, the popular slot game Arthur's Gold, themed around the Arthurian legends, has an RTP of 96.16%, meaning that for every $100 you spend, you can expect $96.16 back.

Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols are in all kinds of slots, although they often appear in different ways. The most common type appears anywhere on the reels and triggers a bonus round when you get three or more, but there are also ones that will trigger a bonus round when you land two, four, or five of them on the reels at once. You might even find one that triggers a free spins round.

Slot Tournaments

Slot tournaments are where players get to compete against each other to win prizes. It's a bit like playing poker; only you're using slot machines instead.


Starburst is a slot game from NetEnt and one of the most popular of all time. When you play this game, the reels look like they're shooting out into space with bright stars and planets all over them.

Sticky Wilds

Sticky wilds stay in place while other reels spin during a game which gives players more time and opportunity to win extra cash.


A description of each symbol that might appear on a slot machine, including what they payout and where you're most likely to see them pop up. These are commonly used symbols in slots games such as fruit and lucky 7s, but with the huge amount of themed games you'll find online, the symbols will vary from game to game.

Themed Slots

Slot games have many different themes to choose from to appeal to all types of players. Some of the most popular games have been inspired by Greek Mythology, The Wild West, Ancient Egypt, and more.

Three Reel Slot Machine

Three roll slot

A basic or classic slot game that generally has three reels and no bonus rounds.

Video Slots

A video slot machine uses video graphics to display and animate the game symbols. In a brick and mortar casino, these replaced the old-style mechanical one-armed bandits.


Volatility in slots refers to the degree to which a slot machine's payout percentage varies from session to session. Slot machines with high volatility often have much longer periods between payouts than slot machines with low volatility. High volatility tends to be riskier with bigger payouts less frequently, while low volatility slot games tend to have smaller but more frequent payouts.

Welcome Bonus

One of the most popular and traditional forms of casino bonus which can be used as an incentive to join certain online casinos. Slot bonuses usually come in the form of deposit match bonuses and free spins.

Wild Symbols

A Wild symbol in slots is usually a symbol that substitutes for all other symbols on the reels to create winning combinations. Just like Scatter symbols, Wild symbols can appear anywhere on your screen, so they give you lots of chances to win big.

In Conclusion

Slots terminology can be confusing for a new slot player, but with a little bit of knowledge, you'll be able to sound like an expert. We've given some basic information on the different types of slot game jargon and what they mean. Knowing the different slot terms makes the games more fun and easy to understand.

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