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Basic Online Slots Terminology Explained

June 16th, 2019 by LuckyMobileCasinos

If you are just starting to play slot machines, then read this first. We give you a quick look at the most common terms you’ll come across before you start playing.

Online Slot Terms Explained
Online Slot Terms Explained

The rapid and insane growth of slot machine terms in recent times means there is always something new for everyone to learn.

If you are a beginner, it can be very easy to become confused with the different terminology used within slot games.

To help you understand the different terms, phrases and lingo that you need to know, we have put together a quick guide to some of the most common terminology.

Explaining the reels

A reel is simply the vertical rows a slot machine has on show, each reel usually spinning individually of each other. There are typically two types; classic 3 reel slots and 5 reel video slots.

That said, there’s been an evolution of games, where now you can find 4 reels or 6 reels, and plenty of paylines in between. But that’s for the advanced slot terminology post.


Being one of the most common online slot games you can find, 3-reel slots consist of three individual reels, and typically they will have three rows of symbols.

They are the most classic design, dating back from the very first one arm bandit or fruit machine that have 1 to 5 paylines.


A typical online slot with five reels, these will usually have three or four rows of symbols. These slot games are often a lot more advanced, having a video slot feature included.

You can have as little as 9 paylines all the way to 243 ways to win.

Grid slots

Grid slot games were made famous by Play’n GO game studios and they still do some of the best versions. These are symbols set on a square grid, where the symbols pay as long as they touch horizontally or vertically.

Video Slots

Online or land-based slots with graphics and animation on the reels. They are a highly developed method of gambling which includes multiple paylines, changeable stakes, and bonus features – giving the player more choice over their slots strategy.

Betting Terms

Betting on a slot can be as simple as betting $1 on 1 payline, and then the paytable pays you X times your $1. Here are a few of the simple terms, but if you want to know more here’s how to bet on slots.

Bet Max

This is the maximum amount of money you can wager on each spin, with the amount often depending on the individual online slot game. Normally, the highest payout amounts are calculated for the bet max spins.

Bet Min

Once again, depending on the individual slot game, this is the minimum amount you have to wager when placing a bet on a spin. It’s not rocket science folks.

Coin Size

The set amount of money a player must put in order to play that specific game – normally just the size of a basic bet on a single spin. You can also sometimes bet multiple coins on a payline.

Explaining Bonus Rounds

A slot bonus round is an extra round or section that occurs when playing a mobile slot game, coming at no extra cost, it still enables you to win money or prizes.

The games have different rules and payouts depending on the slot’s theme but often award cash prizes, free spins or multipliers.

Free Spins

Free spins can be awarded by spinning a specific combination, usually 3 scatter symbols, or from a bonus feature. They are mostly given as bonus prizes and give players the opportunity to play extra slot rounds without having to pay.


Multipliers have the ability to increase winnings by a set figure. If you unlock this feature during a slot game, the amount that you win on the paytable will be multiplied by the number in the bonus.

Click Me Bonus

This is a mini-game where you are taken to a separate screen and you’ll have to click on the screen to reveal cash prizes. This can be clicking on dice to move a character on board, or clicking on treasure chests to open up and reveal the prizes inside.


A wild symbol is like a joker. You can use it to replace any other symbol on the reels in order to create a win. It sometimes also pays if you get 3 or more on a payline.


A scatter symbol will pay out regardless of where it lands on the reels. It doesn’t need to be on a payline in order to pay out. It’s also often used to trigger other bonus features.

Terms you’ll come across on your casino travels

These don’t have any specific categories but are useful to know when you are learning how to play slots online. It gives you a good basis of what to look for in a game.

Random Number Generator

An RNG is a computer program that spits out results at random and is what effectively makes it possible to win or lose at casino games. It’s what makes slot machines a game of chance.

Return To Player

Theoretical RTP is a percentage that a slot pays back after a theoretical number of spins. It often serves as an indication to players of how much the game is expected to pay out.

For example, if a game has an RTP of 98%, this means that the slot machine will pay out €$£98 for every €$£100 wagered – of course because it’s over the course of billions of spins, someone else may get the $€£98. It’s how they can pay out large amounts to a select few.


The variance of a slot game is just a way to say whether a game is risky or not. A high variance or volatile game will pay out big, but not often. A low variance or volatile game will pay out often, but smaller amounts.


This is the top prize that can be won in any slot. When it comes to jackpots, there are many different types out there – including progressive jackpots which are the most famous.

This is when the jackpot prize keeps increasing from every bet made by the players playing in the casino or around the worlds, until the jackpot drops. Then the same process restarts all over again.

However, some game can simply have in-game jackpots, which don’t grow and are just a set amount.

Low and high paying Symbols

The different illustrations on the various slot machine reels are called symbols. There are a wide variety of symbols on slot machine reels and can range from cherries and dollar signs to money bags to egyptian symbols, to wild west guns and boots. Depending on the theme, the symbols will all change.

Generally high paying symbols tend to be more drawn out and detailed, whilst low paying symbols will be simpler in design – think Ace to 10 or high card symbols, for example.

About Lucky Mobile Casinos

As an organisation, we aim to ensure that your gambling experience is as simple as possible. We have a wide range of different online casino reviews for you to read which will help you make your decision on what casino to play.

If you have any specific questions about mobile slots, mobile casinos or games, please feel free to visit our games guide pages where you can find answers to many of the most popular questions and myths surrounding the most played casino games online.

Alternatively, if you a complete beginner, search for the Star Joker slot by Play’n GO at Rizk Casino. It’s a starter slot that explains all the basic features, has some fun mechanics and top wins.

Plus Rizk casinos give you a free no deposit bonus when you sign up, giving you a little taste of what’s to come.

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