Slot machines have become the most popular games in both online and landbased casinos, firstly because they are easy to play and secondly because they appeal to the senses with their colorful graphics, flashing lights, and buzzing sounds. The advancements in technology have caused slot machines to evolve, with the most noticeable difference being the increased number of pay lines.
Understanding How Slots’ Lines Work
The first thing slot rookies must get a grasp of is what pay lines are and how they work. Simply put, these are the lines on which the winning combinations of symbols must align in order for you to receive a payout. You can also think of them as the lines running from one side of the reels to the other, intercepting matching winning symbols.
It follows that the higher the number of lines in a given slot is, the bigger your chances of hitting a winning combination and receiving a reward. This also makes it possible to hit several winning combinations on multiple pay lines.
When slots were first devised, they had a single winning line that ran through the middle reel. However, modern video slots have evolved to feature multiple pay lines zigzagging across the reels, with the number reaching up to 100 on some advanced machines.
It should be noted that the matching symbols on most online slots that have multi lines must align from left to right on the reels for players to earn a payout, although there are games which pay in both directions. This information is normally displayed in the slot’s paytable where you can see all available pay lines along with the possible winning combinations and how much they return per coin wagered.
The players must wager a coin for every pay line they activate, with the option to bet multiple coins per line. The amount you earn on a winning spin depends on the bet level (the number of coins you wager per line), the winning combination’s payout, and the coin denomination. Because of this, you may sometimes receive a payout that is lower than the overall amount you have wagered on the winning spin.
Fixed vs. Adjustable Lines
Players on a restricted budget are probably wondering whether they are required to bet a coin on every available pay line. This depends on whether the slot of your choice has fixed or adjustable pay lines.
Games with adjustable pay lines enable you to activate only some winning lines, but you should keep in mind the fewer lines you bet on, the lower your chances of scoring matching combinations. In contrast, slots with fixed pay lines make it impossible for players to deactivate some of the winning lines which increases the amount one has to wager on each round.
More Lines Equals Higher Bets, or Does It?
There is a common misconception among inexperienced slot players that betting on multiple-line slots is more costly, but this is not necessarily the case. Slots with adjustable pay lines enable you to deactivate some lines and bet according to your budget. If your slot bankroll is smaller, you can restrict yourself to wagering only one coin per active line.
Also, there are different coin denominations for you to choose from. If you stick to a lower denomination of $0.01, play 25 lines, and wager one coin per line, each spin will cost you only $0.25. This is what renders multi-line slots suitable for players from all persuasions. In addition, you get the chance to boost your bankroll as the vast majority of multi-line slots improve your winning chances with bonus features like free spins, pick-and-win games, wild and scatter symbols.
All Ways Win Slots
Nowadays, it is even possible to play slot games which do not feature pay lines at all. Software developers have come up with a new category of slots in the so-called All Ways Win format. There is no need for the symbols to align on an active pay line for players to receive a payout. You win as long as the matching symbols land on adjacent reels regardless of their exact position. This considerably increases your opportunity to generate a profit.
The number of possible winning combinations is determined by the number of reels and the number of visible symbols each one of these reels can contain at any given time. For example, if you are playing one such game with a 3×5 reel grid, the number of winning combinations will be 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 243. Microgaming, among other prominent software suppliers, has already released slots like Dolphin Coast where the 5×5 reel grid allows for the staggering 3,125 ways to win!