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The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for Online Slot Gaming

Posted on June 18, 2019

online slot gaming guide

Online slots are web-based casino staples. They are liked by many players not only because of their easy gameplay but also because of their aesthetic qualities. Slots come in different themes, so they give you the benefit of enjoying great audiovisuals while spinning the reels.

More importantly, these games can be generous. By placing your wager and then clicking the Spin button, you get a chance to form symbol combinations or trigger game modes that dispense prizes.

Some rewards take the form of coins, multipliers, respins, or free spins. But before winning any of these, be sure you know the basics of slot gaming. Continue reading this article which contains the only guide you’ll ever need to kickstart your online slot gaming spree.

Slot Game Components

The basic components of online slots are the parts of the play area that you need to be familiar with. They are what you need to make your session suit your betting preferences. Some of the slot components are controllable or adjustable, while the others are not.

Parts of an online slot

Non-Adjustable Components

These parts cannot be modified from your end as a player. However, you still need to know them for you to have a better understanding of the gameplay and of how the slot pays.

  • Reels

The reels are those parts that rotate when you click Spin. They contain the symbols you form winning combos with. Most slots have 5 reels such as the famous Playtech title Age of the Gods. Each reel has 3 rows of symbols when the spinning stops. Some with 5 reels, though, have more than 3 rows of icons like Western Belles and Vikings Go to Hell which have 4 rows.

Are there games with more than 5 reels? Yes! Sweet Bonanza by Pragmatic Play has 6 reels spinning across 5 rows. Viking Runecraft by Play’n GO, interestingly, has 7 reels by 7 rows!

  • Bet Window

This part of the slot shows your total bet on all the active paylines. What appears here is your coin bet per line times the number of paylines you turned on.

  • Current Wins Window

On each winning round, the Current Wins Window displays the payout you just won from the current spin. Eventually, this amount of coins will be added to your bankroll shown in the Balance Window.

  • Balance Window

Here is where you will see how much money you still have in you player bankroll. The amount shown here changes each time you place a bet and each time you rake in payouts from winning combos.

  • Info Board

This is usually represented by the “I” button. When clicked, this button will show you boards containing further information about the slot.

pay table

You will see here the game rules, pay table, special features, and payline patterns.

Adjustable Components

These parts are controllable, meaning they provide you with options to customize your spinning session.

  • Paylines

This is where paying combos are formed. When you manage to make like symbols land on a payline after a spin, you receive a corresponding prize.


Some paylines are fixed, meaning their number cannot be changed. Such case is common in slots with 1 payline like Mechanical Orange, those with 5 pyalines such as Cherry Trio, and titles with 243 ways to win like 5 Lions Gold.

Interestingly, there are slots that allow you to decide how many paylines are active during spins. Examples are Almighty Sparta with 1 to 10 paylines, Lucky Blue with 1 to 9 paylines, Wu Long with 1 to 25 paylines, and Safari with 1 to 50 paylines.

The more paylines you activate, the bigger your chance is of forming winning combos. But the lesser paylines you turn on, the bigger your prize can be on winning spins.

  • Bet Options

Whether you play the demo version or the real-money version of the slot, you will have to place play credits before each spin through the Bet Options or Bet Controls.

The game allows you to adjust your wager, but the bet range depends on the title you play. Some games like Berryburst provide a range of 0.1 to 200 coins. This means the lowest amount you can bet is 0.1 coins, and the highest is 200 coins. Others provide a more conservative range like Big Bot Crew whose minimum bet option is 0.01 and max is 100 coins.

  • Bet Max Button

Pressing this button sets your current bet to the highest wager amount the slot allows. Also upon clicking, the button spins the reels once.

  • Spin Button

Clicking the Spin kicks off the slot action. This button is what makes the reels turn until they stop to show if you’ve formed winning combinations or triggered some game feature.

  • Auto Play

Activate this option, and you get to play with the reels spinning in automation for a definite number of turns. In Atari Black Widow slot, for instance, you have the option to make the slot spin automatically for 5 up to 50 rounds. Domnitors Deluxe, on the other hand, lets you have auto-spins for up to 1,000 rounds.

With the Auto Play mode turned on, your game session is more convenient. You can just sit and wait until you are satisfied with your winnings.

  • Turbo

Not all slots have the Turbo mode. For titles, though, with this option, you have the choice to make the reels spin faster than usual. If you turn on Turbo, the slot that by default spins for 3 seconds will now spin for just 1 second or less. This option is perfect if you are a player who likes fast-paced betting action.

  • Gamble

Like the Turbo, Gamble feature is not present in all slots. If you happen to play a title with this feature like Endorphina’s #luxurylife or BGaming’s Aztec Magic Deluxe, know that each time you win on a spin, you can choose to enter a mini betting game wherein you gamble your win for a 50-50 chance to double it.

  • Game Settings

Usually represented by the gear icon, the Settings button contains options for the audiovisuals of the slot. You can turn on/off the background sound, adjust the volume, choose the spin speed, and change the resolution. Sometimes, the Game Settings component also contains advanced options for the AutoPlay and option for spacebar spinning.

The components enumerated in this online slot gaming guide may vary per game, considering that game providers try to make their slots appear unique. So don’t be startled if you find that the slot you are playing doesn’t contain all the parts mentioned above or uses different names for those components.


Online Slot Mechanics

Again, slots may differ in parts and names of components, but they do follow the same gameplay A-B-C: Choose line count, place your bet, and then spin the reels.

  1. Choose your desired number of paylines. But if the game you chose features non-adjustable payline count or a fixed set of 243 ways to win, you do not need to adjust any payline count anymore.
  2. Place your bet. Use the Bet Options to indicate how much your wager is per line or per spin. The Max Bet button is also there, in case you want a shortcut for placing the highest wager.
  3. Spin the reels. Simply click the Spin button. When the reels stop, you’ll see if you formed winning combos based on the game’s pay system. You may also consider just letting the Auto Play feature do the job for you.

The game mechanics are simple, right? But more than just knowing how to play online slots generally, you have to know the pay systems or pay structures that command how you can win on a spin.


Slot Pay Systems

Classic slots keeps things simple by giving you only 1 payline, usually the middle row, to win from. This means that if you make like symbols land on such sole payline, you win. But not all slots take on this pay structure. So for you to not end up getting lost while playing, classify under which of the following pay systems your chosen slot:

  1. Left-to-Right Payline-Based Payout System

If a slot pays based on left-to-right paylines, it gives you winnings each time you manage to align at least 3 like symbols on active paylines starting from the leftmost part of the slot to the right.

Examples of titles with this structure:

  1. Both Ways Pay System

Any game with this payout structure lets you win from combos formed on paylines both from leftmost reel to right and rightmost reel to left. So if a game with 20 paylines has this system, for instance, playing it is like having twice as many paylines.

Examples of titles with this structure:

  1. Cluster Pay System

Slots that take on a cluster pay system do not have paylines. These games pay if you form a cluster of like symbols on the reels. What is a cluster? This is a group of at least 5, or 4 in some titles, adjacent symbols of the same kind.

Examples of titles with this structure:

With knowledge of the pay systems, you know how your next slot game will reward you. More than that, you are ready to discover modern slot twists that add opportunities of winning big. So play more slots, and see more unique ways to win.

The more new titles you try, the more you’ll find how much fun slot gaming can be. With the help of this ultimate online slot gaming guide, you’ll certainly enjoy playing and seeing more special features like avalanches, free spins, Wilds, Scatters, multipliers, wheels of fortune bonuses, “pick me” mode, and different in-slot mini-games.

Browse our full list of online slots.