How to Play Slots

Let’s learn how to play slots.

A slot machine is not complicated. Especially if you play a classic 3-reel machine. There’s nothing to them.

But what if you want to play a 5-reel video slot, complete with bonus rounds, mini-games and a progressive jackpot?

Then it’s not as simple as just inserting your coins and hitting spin. You should also know what all the different features and winning combos are. I mean, don’t you want to know all the cool stuff you can do and how to win money?

I thought so.

So below I do some explaining. First I’ll cover the basics to playing slots. After that I show you all the neat features slot machines have and what they do so you’ll be prepared the next time you play.

The Basics

Here’s the general approach to playing a slot machine.

  1. Choose a slot machine. We have a guide that shows you all the different types of slot machines you can play. Give that a quick read if you’re not sure, and then come back.
  2. Decide how much money you want to play with and the denomination you’ll play in. Your choices will vary from .01 to $5+ per line.
  3. Now you’ll want to choose how much to wager for each spin. You can either:
    • Bet per line – Click this once for each line you want to bet. Each line will add to your total bet. For example, if you’re playing in denominations of .10, each line will cost you .10.
    • Bet max or max bet – This will bet the max number of lines at the denomination you chose. For example, a 40-line machine at a denomination of .10 will cost you $4 per spin.
  4. Hit spin (if you choose max bet it’ll spin for you).

That’s it. If you win money it will be added to your total credits.

Then you can decide to cash out, spin again using the same settings as before, or choose new settings and play again.

Most slot machines will have additional options too:

  • Sound – Turn the sound up, down or off.
  • Autoplay – Just choose a denomination and lines and just let the machine do all the work.
  • Graphics / Quality – If you’re on a slower connection you can use this option to reduce or remove the graphics so you don’t experience delays.
  • Turbo Play

That’s all there is to playing a slot machine.

Next lets look at how to read a slot machine (so you know when you win and how much) and all the different features they come with.

Reading a Slot Machine and the Different Features

Reading a machine is pretty simple. You want to know what the trick is?

Just open up the slots ‘key’ or ‘view pays’ or their ‘learn more’ button. This will show you the different combinations you need to win money.

The bigger payouts will have one thing in common – usually the first 3 reels will need to have the same symbol. But they don’t always need to be on the same line.

Bonus round combos will often skip reels. In other words, it will be the first, third and fifth reel. But other times it will be all 5.

The smaller payouts will usually have a combination of symbols. Those may or may not be explained on their payout page. For example, Greedy Goblins (a 3D slot from BetSoft) only explains their top 9 combinations – but there are more than 30 of them that trigger payouts.

Each game will be different, so I suggest checking out the payout page each time you try a new machine. I would pay more attention to what triggers the different features like bonus rounds, mini games, multipliers, etc since these will be the most fun to play.

Speaking of features, here are the different things you can do or win on most modern slot machines:

  • Paylines – The number of lines that pay. The more lines you play (bet on) the higher your chances of hitting a winning combo. But also keep in mind the more lines you play the more money you spend per spin.
  • Bonus Rounds – These are special rounds triggered by hitting a special combination (usually involving bonus symbols). Within these rounds you play mini games like memory, spin dice, or choose a symbol from dozens of symbols. The outcome is usually free spins, credits/money, and more mini games and so on.
  • Stackable Wilds – These are neat wilds because instead of just having one per reel, these can sit on top of each other giving you many chances at a winning line or triggering a bonus round.
  • Nudge and Hold – These options are more popular in the UK. The idea is to give you more control. With the nudge feature you can choose to push a reel up or down. And with the hold feature you can hold an entire reel while the others re-spin or continue spinning.
  • Free Spins – Free spins are like getting free credits. These are spins you don’t pay for, yet can still win money, more free spins, and jackpots or trigger bonus rounds with.
  • Cascading Wilds – These wilds disappear after the reels stop spinning (which you can still first win money or bonus rounds from). Then new symbols will fall from the top to fill in the gaps giving you more chances of winning. Think slots meets Tetris.
  • Sticky Wilds – These are random wilds you get during your free spins. They usually stay put for the duration of your free spins.
  • Scatter Symbols – These are symbols that can appear anywhere on a reel and give you a win even if it’s not on a payline.
  • Multipliers – These are numbers used to increase your winnings. You’ll usually get multipliers at random, for hitting special combinations or as an award from a bonus round. If you get a 2x multiplier you’ll double your winnings while a 3x multiplier will triple your winnings. With some slot machines you can even save multipliers so that when you play a bonus round you can win LOTS of money.

Keep in mind slot machines will usually have all or a combination of these features. The best way to find out is to check out the ‘what pays’ or ‘key’ page. That will tell you everything you need to know about the machine so you can decide if it sounds fun and is worth playing.