Slot Paylines Explained: What Are They & How Do They Work?
Understanding slot paylines is important before spinning the reels on your favourite games at Stake Casino.
This guide explains everything you need to know about the different paylines you’ll find in the best online slots and modern slot machine games!
What Are Slot Paylines?
In slots, a payline is the pattern on the reels on which you can match symbols to earn payouts. There are many different types of paylines - some slots have a single payline, while some Megaways slots have more than 117,000 paylines.
It’s also true that some slots have zero paylines, preferring other ways of paying out, such as cluster pays or all pays mechanisms.
Helpfully, you can find information about slot machine paylines in the game description before spinning the reels.
How Do Slot Paylines Work?
The way that a slot machine pays out is pre-determined. When you place your bets and spin the reels, you will earn a payout if you land matching combinations on one (or several) of the game’s paylines.
Each symbol has its own value, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the low-paying and high-paying symbols, as well as any premium symbols such as multipliers, wild symbols and scatters.
Single vs Multi Paylines
The two most prevalent models in slots are single vs multiple paylines. Single payline slots are associated with classic, Vegas-style mechanical slot machines and are super straightforward to play.
Single Paylines – How to Play Single-Line Slot Machines
Learning how to play single-line slot machines couldn’t be easier. Many of these classic slot machines are 3-reel slots, and the sole payline usually runs through the centre of the game grid. If the reels produce three matching symbols, you will earn a payout in these classic slot games.
Multi Paylines – How to Play Multi-Line Slot Machines
Although modern video slots with multiple paylines are slightly more complex than single-line games, the ins and outs of these slots are the same. Given that every game employs a unique payline setup, it’s important to read the description before you start playing. This reveals how many paylines there are and in which direction they run. This helps you as you watch the action unfold, as you know where to look for winning symbols. The aim is to line up as many matching symbol combinations as possible on active paylines on each single spin.
What Are the Two Main Types of Paylines?
In addition to single and multi-payline slots, there are two types of paylines that you need to be aware of – fixed and variable paylines, as we introduce below.
Fixed Paylines (One-Direction)
A fixed payline slot game requires you to place a bet on each of the paylines within the game to activate them. So, for example, if you place a 10.00 bet on a game with ten fixed paylines, you’re actually betting 1.00 on each of the game’s paylines.
Fixed payline slots typically come with wilds and scatters to help you form winning combinations and to unlock special bonus features that add bigger wins.
Adjustable or Variable Paylines
On the other hand, variable paylines (sometimes called adjustable paylines) enable you to bet on a specific number of paylines within the game. As a result, you don’t have to activate all the available paylines, providing you with more flexibility.
Of course, there’s a risk that a huge win could fall on a payline you haven’t activated, which is why many slot fans opt for games with fixed paylines.
What Are the Other Types of Slot Paylines?
In recent times, we have seen forward-thinking slot game developers like Hacksaw Gaming, Play’n GO, and Push Gaming release a wide range of slots with various payline mechanisms which offer huge payouts, including some of the following:
Pay Both Way Paylines
Both-way paylines are popular because they allow you to form winning combinations in multiple directions. So, for instance, you could form wins from right to left and left to right. An example of the best pay both-way paylines slots is Hades: River of Souls by Fantasma Games.
All Ways Paylines
Rather than having pre-determined paylines, all ways payline slots allow you to win via every possible combination on adjacent reels starting from the leftmost reel to the rightmost reel. You might also know these slots as “243 games”, as they typically have 243 paylines. Immortal Romance by Games Global is an excellent example of an all ways payline slot.
Cluster Pays Paylines
As the name suggests, winning combinations in this slot game are accepted in clusters rather than on paylines. This mechanism was first introduced by NetEnt and has become extremely popular with other developers. Sweet Bonanza by Pragmatic Play is undoubtedly one of the most popular candy-themed games available at the Stake Casino and utilises a cluster pays mechanism.
Infinity reels are a popular gameplay mechanism where you can unlock an infinite number of reels every time you land winning combinations. Relax Gaming has several brilliant infinity reel slot games for you to try, including popular games like Emerald’s Infinity Reels.
What Are the Differences Between Paylines & Reels?
Paylines and reels are important elements of slot games, but they’re not the same. Paylines are the number of ways you can form winning combinations. Reels, however, are the columns on which the symbols can land. As a result, paylines form across a game’s reels.
The majority of paylines on traditional slot machines go from left to right, making it a horizontal payline. However, as introduced here, so many different payways are included in slots. Before spinning the reels, you should always look for details about a slot’s paylines in the game description.
Are More Paylines Better on Slots?
More paylines are better for some people as they offer more ways to form winning combinations. However, some people prefer to play classic slots with just one or two paylines, as such games are so easy to play. As a result, it really depends on what you’re looking for, as games with few and many paylines still serve up big wins.
Understanding Odds, House Edge & Return to Player (RTP)
In addition to paylines, you must understand the odds of winning when playing slots. Every game at the Stake Casino displays its house edge, indicating how much is typically returned to players over time.
Most slots have a return-to-player percentage in the region of 96%, meaning that the house edge for these games is roughly 4%. Learn more about house edges with our guide.
Tips, Tricks, & Strategies to Win at Slots
Now that you understand paylines let’s take a look at some tips you can utilise to improve your chances of winning while playing slot games:
Slots are games of luck that are powered by random number generators (RNGs). Therefore, you can win or lose on every spin.
Always read the game description before playing for important information regarding paylines, reels, RTP, house edge, and maximum wins.
Popular Slot Games & Casino Promotions at Stake.com
Ready to hit the spin button and play the most popular slots at Stake.com? We have some of the hottest online casino games, including our Stake Originals, and slots from the biggest game developers in the industry! Amongst the most popular games include:
To make the most of your online casino experience, look for the latest casino promotions available at Stake.com. Also, learn more about the benefits of joining the Stake VIP Club and how it can contribute to your bankroll while playing slots.