Slot Machine Payouts

Different slot machines have different combinations of symbols and pay lines that pay out different amounts. The first thing we recommend when playing a new slots game is to look at the pay lines and awards for lining up multiples of each symbol.

Lining up matching symbols on a pay line is fairly easy to understand. But most popular slot machines have a wide range of other possible payouts that you need to be aware of. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Scatter symbols
  • Wild symbols
  • Bonus rounds and / or bonus games
  • Story lines
  • Jackpots – set and / or progressive

We cover each of these popular payouts and more below. You can usually find additional game specific information about the ones included in a particular game by reading the rules and payout section when you open the machine in your browser or on your phone.

Explanation Pay Lines

A pay line is simply a line on the slot machine where you get paid when you line up particular symbols.

Here’s an example:

A three reel slot machine that shows three symbols high on each reel has a total of nine symbols displayed on the screen. The display is three rows high and three symbols wide. The three symbols across the middle from left to right form a pay line.

If the machine pays out 1 coin for lining up two gold bars, you win if the first two symbols on the middle symbols from left to right are both gold bars. When you line up gold bars on all three reels in the middle row you win a larger amount.

The three symbols across the top of the reels can form another pay line and the three along the bottom can form one as well. Another possibility is a pay line running diagonally from top left to bottom right or bottom left to top right.

You can find slot machines that have one pay line to ones that have hundreds. Some machines allow you to activate some of the lines without activating others, and some machines have all of the lines active on every spin.

On machines with more than 10 pay lines it can quickly become confusing trying to follow all of the possibilities. We recommend always playing with all of the pay lines activated and let the program tell you when you hit a winning combination. Trying to keep track of 50 or more pay lines is too complicated.

Explanation of Symbols

The symbols are the pictures that are displayed on the reels. You can see a wide variety of symbols on modern slot machines. The symbols are usually designed along the theme of the game.

Common symbols are playing cards, especially the trumps, and fruit and gold or money related items.

The symbols used can be anything, and the same symbols can be used on more than one machine. This is why it’s important to look at the payout section of each game before you start playing.

Symbols generally pay an increasing amount based on how many of them appear on the same pay line. Traditionally, only the symbols appearing from left to right across the screen activate payouts, but recently a few slot machines have been introduced that also pay from right to left.

Explanation of Scatters

Many games have special symbols called scatters. Usually these symbols don’t need to line up on an active pay line to trigger a payout. Some games pay when two or more scatter symbols appear anywhere on the reels and other require three or more.

Scatter symbols usually don’t serve any other purpose in the game, but we’ve seen a few games where the scatter and wild symbols were the same. This can be confusing and when wild symbols also have special bonuses that act like scatter symbols we prefer to not consider them scatters.

Explanation of Wilds

Wild symbols act like a wild card and can be used to complete payout combinations when they’re used with normal symbols. Most games don’t allow a wild to be in the pay line that triggers the game’s top payout, or they have the top payout triggered by lining up five wild symbols on a five reel machine.

As we mentioned in the last section, some games pay a bonus when multiple wilds appear anywhere on the board whether they’re part of a winning pay line or not. This is how most scatter symbols work.

Explanation of Bonus Rounds

Some slot machines have bonus rounds or bonus game within a game features. These bonus rounds and games trigger payouts. Many games have multiple bonus rounds.

It’s challenging to explain how payouts are calculated in bonus rounds and games because of the wide variety of game mechanics used in modern slot machines. Payouts can be triggered at random or by a type of skill based mechanic.

The best thing about most bonus rounds and bonus games is once you trigger them through your normal game play it doesn’t cost anything to play them. This means that anything you win goes directly toward your playing balance and can be cashed out.

What’s the Deal with Story Lines

As slot machines and their themes have evolved, software providers and manufacturers continually try to find new ways to make their games stand out. This has lead to many improvements to machines over the years.

Many players have never played on an old fashioned simple three reel single pay line slot machine. Manufacturers and software providers have added reels, pay lines, special symbols, bonus games and features, and a wide range of other enhancements.

Some slots games are so complicated that you basically put money in, hit the spin button, and don’t know if you win or lose until the machine tells you.

Some modern machines now use a story line that you follow as you play. The more you play, the further you advance along the story line. This keeps players involved with the game longer and adds more excitement for many players.

As you advance along the story line, many games provide special payouts or extra payouts associated with bonus games or rounds that fit in with the theme of the story.

How Do Progressive Jackpots Work?

The top payout amounts on slot machines are often called jackpots. Jackpots can be set or progressive. They can be awarded based on lining up certain symbols on certain pay lines or by random. Most jackpots are awarded when you line up symbols.

Progressive jackpots have a percentage of each bet added to the jackpot until a player wins it. Then the amount resets and starts growing again.

Some slots games have multiple jackpot amounts. You might see ones called minor jackpots and major jackpots, depending on where you play.

Slot machines have many different ways to win payouts. Always take a minute to look at the rules and payout combinations before you start playing. With the higher number of pay lines available in most of today’s machines, it’s often difficult to track all of the possibilities. But this isn’t an excuse to not know the rules and how the payouts are set up.

Slot Machine Payout Percentages

Before listing some of the best slots payouts in a few online casinos, it may be best to explain how to tell what the slots payouts percentage means. When a slot machine has a high percentage, such as 97%, this means that the slot machine has a 3% house advantage, which is rather low. A 97% payout percentage is actually one of the best slots payout percentages available, and on average casinos have slots with a 95% payout percentage. If one is in an actual casino and needs help finding the slots payout percentages for the different slot machines, and the percentage is not displayed on the slot machine, the player can go ask an employee because they are required to help with this matter according to law.

As of July of 2008, the best slots payouts for online casinos were as follows: Casino Tropez, Crazy Vegas, Casino Kingdom, 777 Dragon, and Sun Palace. All of these poker rooms had payout percentages that were above 96%, which means that they normally pay out slightly more often than other online poker rooms. The percentage can vary from as high as 98% all the way down to an abysmal 75%, but it is up to the player to find out the actual percentage.

Making the Best Slots Payouts with Different Machines

Two distinct types of slot machines exist in the casino. The first type of slot machine is called a progressive slot machine, and this machines best slots payouts involves a large jackpot that gathers over time, as more players put money into the machine. While this means that the jackpot can get incredibly large, the player normally is required to place the maximum bet for the slot machine in order to win the progressive jackpot, and the chances of winning it is often not very good. Some people organize teams that work in the same group of progressive slots and split the winnings. The normal slots offer the best slots payouts because while each individual payoff is low, they occur much more often than progressive jackpots are meant to happen.

Using a machine with a high payoff percentage does not guarantee a player a winning slots spin, but the player can make for the best slots payouts possible by sticking to machines that are designed to pay low and pay often.