Slot Machine Symbols and Paylines

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: A position in a group, series, or sequence.

Slots, or limits on planned aircraft operations at busy airports, are a critical tool to avoid the delays and fuel burn caused by congestion. Learn about the inner workings of these fascinating machines!

Random number generator

A random number generator is a computer program that creates a sequence of numbers or symbols that cannot be predicted better than by random chance. It can be used to generate random integers, decimals, and even whole numbers. It can also be used to generate a random character set, such as letters, or a list of words.

Cryptography is an area that relies heavily on random number generation. In order to produce keys for encryption, nonces for authentication protocols, and one-time pads, it is crucial that the random number generator is as unpredictable as possible. Most pseudorandom number generators do not provide enough entropy for this purpose.


Reels are the spinning symbols in slot machines. Each stop on a reel closes a switch in the machine’s electrical system, and certain combinations of closed switches configure the machine to operate its payout mechanism. Early slot machines used fruit symbols, such as cherries, melons, oranges, and apples, along with bar symbols that paid out non-cash prizes like chewing gum in order to avoid anti-gambling laws.

High-paying symbols are typically thematic and match the overall theme of a slot. They also offer higher payouts than low-paying symbols. Players may be given the option to hold one or more reels before a spin, which increases the chances of winning.


Understanding the different symbols used in slot machines can help you strategize your game and maximize your payouts. Standard symbols include classic card suits, fruit, and lucky sevens. They often have lower payouts but add a sense of tradition and nostalgia to the game.

There are also special slot symbols that trigger bonus rounds and other features. These symbols are usually themed to the slot machine’s overall theme. They can include stacked wilds, expanding wilds, multipliers, and sticky wilds. Those are common in modern video slots and can increase the chances of landing winning combinations. They can even multiply the payout amount of a regular winning combination.


The paylines in slot machines are the lines on which winning combinations must land to pay out. They vary from game to game and can take on a variety of shapes and orientations. Paylines are used in both mechanical reels slots as well as modern video games.

Generally, winning combinations pay out from left to right but certain slots offer exceptions to this rule. To find out more, check the paytable in the main gaming screen of a particular game. It usually outlines all of the possible payouts, the winning combos, and their payout odds.

Players can also adjust the number of paylines they activate per spin to increase their chances of hitting a winning combination. However, this may increase the cost of each spin.

Bonus rounds

The bonus rounds used in slot machines add another layer of excitement to the game and can boost your winning potential. Depending on the type of bonus round, you can win anything from 10 credits to a jackpot prize. However, the exact amount of your winnings is random.

To trigger a bonus round, a certain number of special icons—usually scatter or bonus symbols—need to appear on the reels. Some slot games require a minimum number of these symbols, while others may specify a specific combination or order. The best way to determine how to trigger a bonus round is by reading the game’s paytable and rules.