Paylines and Paytable on Online Slots - Learn How It Works
Posted in Guides July 28, 2019

Paylines and Paytable on Online Slots – Learn How It Works

At its core, online slots are the easiest casino games to play today. Just set the bet, click ‘Spin’, and wait until the reels display at least 3 identical symbols. And if a winning combo lands, the game awards you with coin credits or even the jackpots. The simplicity of the gameplay and the promise of exciting themes and jackpots make online slots the favored games for many.

However, beneath its simplicity in gameplay are a few in-game details and feature that can be tricky to understand. In this new guide to online slots, we take a look at some of the mechanics about online slots that are confusing to some players – particularly the beginners. Specifically, we review the importance and role of the paylines and the paytable, two important mechanics of the game that require complete understanding. After you read this guide, you will get a complete understanding of these two concepts which can help you boost your slots experience.

How Do the Paylines and Paytable Fit Into the Picture?

If you read the descriptions and reviews of online slots, you will normally read about the theme, the number of reels, amount of jackpots, and special symbols. Although these are important components of the game, keep in mind that there are other components that are equally important. As a regular player, you also need to get a complete understanding of the paylines and paytable and discover how these impact the way you play.

Online Slots Paylines

If you are a fan of online slots, then surely you’ve encountered the paylines in the game description. There’s a big chance that you were asked to identify ‘the number of paylines’ that you want to play when playing online slots. In online slots, the payline basically refers to a betting line. If a combination or similar symbols land on this ‘line’, the game will reward the player with an instant win. 

When the slots were first introduced in the market, players were faced with games with just one payline. This means that you can win if you can land 3 matching symbols which lines up horizontally. Today, some of the best online slots are now available in different paylines. If you pay attention to your slots, you can find games with 10, 20, or even 30 paylines. Some innovative software vendors and game designers even offer more than 30 paylines in their games!

In many online slots, players are given the chance to choose the number of paylines to play. But in other games, the paylines are fixed. As a player, it’s best to know if the game features variable paylines. If you are just starting out in the game, we highly recommend that you choose a game with 5 paylines or less. These types of online games allow you to better manage your bankroll. But if you are looking to hit the jackpots, we recommend that you choose a slot game with the highest number of paylines.

Check out our comprehensive guide about progressive jackpots!

How Paylines are Designed and Arranged

Paylines are easy to trace and imagine in a game. In most slots, the paylines can be expressed diagonally, in a straight line, or in a zigzag. The paylines will also depend on their orientation or how the winning combination will be assessed by the game. Described below are the popular payline orientations that you can expect in the most popular slots:

  • Left to Right. This is the standard orientation of the payline. As the name suggests, the symbols will be assessed from left to right. This is the expected payout arrangement in the majority of online slots like Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt.
  • Right to Left. In this orientation, the symbols should start from right to left for you to collect the instant wins.
  • Pay Both Ways. Here, you no longer need to worry about the direction of the symbols. The game will pay in both directions, from right to left or left to right.
  • All Ways. These are the types of online slots that feature more than 100 paylines. For example, you will find games that boast 243 ways to win. You can expect this orientation in Microgaming’s Thunderstruck II slot game.
  • Cluster Pays. You need to form a cluster of symbols in order to collect a coin prize. In many popular slot games, you need to collect a cluster or 3 to 5 symbols to start collecting instant wins.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how the paylines work, you are now ready to sample some of the best games online. For a 3 paylines slot game, you can play Bulls Eye and Major Millions. For 5 paylines, you can check out Inferno Star. Other popular games supplied by top vendors feature 9, 15, 20, 25, and 243 paylines. You will also find a 1,024 paylines slot like Dwarf Mine game.

Featured Casino


User Rating

Videoslots Casino offers a selection of over 2,600 games from the very best developers in the industry. The Welcome Bonus offered by Videoslots Casino is really simple. It gives you a 100% match on your first deposit up to €200, and also 11 welcome spins as part of that offer! We suggest you claim it and start playing today!

Online Slots Paytable

You know that in online slots, you can win by matching identical symbols. But have you ever asked yourself what types of symbols will bring you the instant wins? How many identical symbols are required to start collecting the coin prizes? More importantly, how much can you collect if you match certain symbols on the reels? All these questions can be answered by taking a look at the game’s paytable. As the name suggests, the paytable will provide an explanation on how you will win and with what symbols.

Now, the game’s paytable will not be automatically presented to you when you open a game. As a regular player, it’s important that you know how to access this feature and read its contents.

If you are new to the games, here’s how to access this feature. In some games, you need to click ‘Settings’ and look for the paytable. In other games, just look for the question mark (?) to reveal the paytable. Accessing the paytable is an important requirement that you should do before playing the game in real money. Knowing the contents of the game’s paytable will not boost your chances but it certainly guides you while playing the game.

Once the game displays the paytable, you will discover the following details and information:

  • Symbols. Different types of symbols and their coin values
  • Bonus features. List of bonus features and how you can activate these
  • Paylines. The paytable will also illustrate the payline diagrams that are used in the game
  • Free Spins. This section explains how you will activate the Free spins mode and the number of bonus spins that can be earned
  • Jackpot. Read this section if you want to learn how to unlock the jackpot prize
  • Game Rules. An explanation of the rules of the game are included here

In some cases, the game will feature a ‘pick me bonus’ which allows the players to select which feature or mode to play. This information is discussed on the paytable. If you did not read the paytable, how will you choose your mode? Also, the paytable will also explain the availability of the ‘Gamble Mode’. If you don’t know how the mechanics work, then how can you play and take advantage of this bonus feature.

The paytable will also explain the difference between the high-paying and the low-paying symbols. And in some instances, this section also explains other critical information about the game like the Return to Player (RTP) percentage and volatility. A careful reading of the paytable will not increase your chances but it can certainly guide you along the way!

Do you still need information about the mechanics of online slots? Or you want more tips which can help you choose the best online slots? Browse our website and read the other articles focused on online slots. And finally – do not miss out on HitCasinoBonus Navigator – Your Online Casino and Slot Glossary!

Bonus Symbols, Casino Slots, HitCasinoBonus Navigator, Paylines, Paytable


EnergyCasino promotions
What makes a casino bonus valuable?