Slot Machine Paylines Explained

Andreea Udescu
By Andreea Udescu
Last updated on Sep 07, 2021
5 min

While the classic slots only featured one payline, the modern video slots can have, theoretically, an infinite amount. They’re one of the most important aspects when it comes to slot machines and can be quite confusing at first. So to clear any confusion, this article aims to help you better understand what a slot payline is, what it does and why it’s so important. 

What Are The Slot Paylines?

Slot paylines are the combination of icons that results in a win. They’re also known as betting lines or winning lines and were initially horizontal. In today’s modern 3D slots, these paylines can take any shape or form, from zigzag to square and even trapezium. It all depends on the developer and you can see these shapes by checking out the paytable. 

The number of winning icons on a slot payline varies from game to game. In the classic slots, the one payline consists of three matching symbols. The number of slot paylines increases with the number of reels and rows added and typically varies between 15 and 50. However, you’re going to see slots with as many as 117,649 paylines - such as Morgana Megaways by iSoftBet

How Do The Slots Paylines Work?

It’s not hard to understand how a slot payline works. Usually, it’s simple and straight but other times, it can run across the reels in a zigzag shape. A slot payline can also be positioned vertically, horizontally or diagonally. 

Developers like to have more variety when it comes to the paylines in their slots and you will usually encounter several types. One thing is certain, though - a payline will ONLY award you with a win if you placed your bet on it.

Some online slots come with fixed paylines, which means you’ll have to either bet on all of them or search for a new slot to play. If you like to customize your experience, you will enjoy the adjustable paylines slots - they will allow you to select how many winning lines you want to bet on.


Slot Paylines

How To Bet On The Slots Paylines

Before you choose which paylines to bet on, we recommend you check out the paytable. The active paylines will greatly influence the outcome of the payout and how much you’ll enjoy the game. You’ll have to keep in mind that each slot payline represents a separate bet. So if a slot has 50 paylines and you bet one cent on each, your final cost per spin will be 50 cents. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to adjusting your paylines. Obviously, the fewer you keep active, the less money you’ll spend. But that will also decrease your chances at a good win. So you should really think about this when placing your bets. 


Slot Paylines

Frequently Asked Questions About The Slots Paylines


1. What are paylines on slot machines?

The paylines on slot machines are the winning combinations of symbols. They’re a base component of a slot machine and you won’t find one without paylines. 


2. How many lines should I play on a slot machine?

It all depends on your budget and preference. If you don’t mind going all-in, you can bet on all the paylines available. This will greatly increase your chances at a good win but you’ll burn through your money much faster. If you’d rather keep it tame and bet small amounts, you can bet on 2-3 paylines at a time. 


3. How do lines on a slot machine work?

In almost all the available online slots, the paylines will form from left to right. This means that the winning line starts with the first reel on the left, connecting to an icon on Reel 2, Reel 3 and so on. You can form a winning combination by connecting at least two of the same symbols.


4. What is the secret to winning slot machines?

The only way to win at slot machines is to keep practicing. You can start playing some Free Slots to get the hang of it and see which games are a good fit for you. And when you’re ready to upgrade your experience and win real money, you can head over to our Real Money Slots section and play with actual cash. 


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