Get to know your online and mobile slot terminology inside and out as we guide you through common slot terms and phrases used in the casino industry.
If in our mobile slots reviews your not sure of an abbreviation or word we use to describe a feature like RTP (return to player rate) or payline, then this slots glossary is where you will find the answers. Our slots dictionary covers a wide variety of slot machine terms related to online and mobile slots alphabetically ordered.
243 Ways to Win: Whilst most mobile slots have a maximum amount of ‘paylines’ a 243 ways to win slot will have no paylines at all. Instead the symbols will pay out from left to right, if the symbols are anywhere on the reels, in order. So to get three of a kind, you’ll need to get a symbol on reel 1, 2 and 3, anywhere you like. A good example of a 243 ways to win slot is Voila!
3D Video Slots: Typically created by BetSoft gaming these 3D slots are usually graphically heavy with animations. The graphics will give an enhanced depth and the symbols within the 3D slot machines will come out of the screen upon hitting a winning payline.
Active Payline: Depending on the slot it could have 1 or 99 paylines. Paylines are simply where the symbols need to line up in order for the slot machine to pay a prize. You can choose how many paylines you wish to bet on. A payline becomes active if you are betting on it when you spin. Winning combinations only occur on active paylines.
Balance: How much money you have in your account to play with.
Bet Max: The maximum bet (in cash or coins) for the maximum amount of active paylines that a player can bet on a slot machine.
Bet Min: The minimum bet (in cash or coins) for the maximum amount of active paylines that a player can bet on a slot machine.
Big Hit or Win: If this flashed on your screen, then well done! You’ve hit the correct reels and symbols that make up a large win or jackpot combination on a particular slot.
Bonus Feature: These are extra features within the game outside of the standard winning payline combinations. They can refer to mini bonus games like click me or pick me features seen in After Night Falls, or Expanding Wilds like in Super Safari and Free Spins such as the ones found in Jack hammer.
Cashback: A reward given back to a player by a casino. This is usually given in the term of credits or cash to the players account and is based on a percentage of the amount spent at the casino. So if you spend €100 and get 10% cashback, the casino will credit you with €10 once you’ve spent your balance.
Cascasding / Collapsing Reels: Often referred to as tumbling or exploding reels, this is when the winning symbols ‘explode’ and disappear from the screen. The symbols on top ‘collapse’ down and more symbols ‘tumble’ or ‘cascade’ from above to replace the symbols that disappeared. This can lead to a chain reaction of multiple wins. Famous slots with this feature are Gonzo’s Quest and Pixies of the Forest.
Casino Software Provider: The creators of the mobile casino slots and games we love to play. Net Entertainment, Microgaming and Playtech are all examples of casino software providers.
Cashout: A casinos way of saying ‘I would like the money in my casino balance into my bank account now please.’
Click Me Feature: Can also be referred to as Pick Me Feature, these are a mini bonus games where you have to click on certain symbols or icons to reveal rewards or coin prizes.
Classic Slots: A classic slot typically has 3 reels and between 1 – 5 paylines with no extra bonus features. For example, Lucky7 is a classic slot for mobile. See our list of classic slots for more info.
Coins: Many slot machines will play in coins. 1 coin can equal different coins sizes (see below). The slot machine will ask you how many coins you want to bet per line, changing your bet size. Many machines multiply the win by the amount of coins that you bet per line.
Coin Size: This is how much your coin is worth. Your coin can be worth one penny, which is when the machine has 10 paylines, would make the bet size 10 pennies. If you make the 1 coin 2 pennies, the bet size increases to 20 pennies per spin. If you are betting 2 coins per line, at 2 pennies on 10 paylines, you are betting 40 pennies a spin.
Credits: Is one of the slot machine words that can be referred to in a different way. For example it’s another way of saying ‘coins’.
Expanding Wilds: These are special wilds (see below for description of ‘wilds). When this symbol appears on the screen, it will expand to cover the entire reel, creating larger chances of wins. Famous mobile slots with this feature include Starburst and Thunderstruck II.
Free Spins: A slot bonus feature found in many mobile video slots. This is where you get to spin the reels for free. Often activated when finding a combination of 3 or more specific symbols. These usually range from 5 – 25 free spins at a time.
Grid Slot: A grid slot is the name used to describe a game that often features the same number of rows as reels and creates wins using clusters of symbols rather than paylines of ways to win. You’ll find an example of a great grid slot in our Viking Runecraft slot review.
Hit Frequency: Not information that is usually available, this is how often you can expect the slot machine to hit a winning payline. Usually represented in percentages, you’ll see things like 30% hit frequency, meaning you can expect the machine to hit 30% of your total game play.
House Edge: The reverse of return to player rate, house edge is the percentage that the casino will make over the course of the slot machines life time. Typically between 2 and 5 %.
Jackpot: Jackpot slots contain a guaranteed jackpot, this is the maximum win you can make on a single spin. Often referred to as an in-game jackpot, they are not to be confused with progressive jackpots.
Line Bet: How much you bet per active payline.
Megaways: The term Megaways is used to describe the game mechanics created by Big Time Gaming where reels can shift in size, changing the number of rows per reel and in turn the number of ways to win often up to 117,649. You can find out complete list of Megaways slots games along with the best casinos to play.
Multiplier: This is the number that a winning combination will be multiplied by. So if you won 20 coins whilst a a 5x multiplier is active your total win would be 100 coins. Multiplier can either be given out randomly (like in Subtopia) or can be attached to a specific symbol, usually a wild, which multiplies the line bet (such as Avalon).
Online Slots: Typically created using flash this term relates to slot machines that you can play on your desktop or laptop computers. These can be instant play, download needed, or can be played once you’ve downloaded the casino platform onto your computer. They can contain more complex features, graphics and animations than mobile slots.
Payline: A line on a slot machine that you could win on. A payline would need to be active before it will payout. You can typically choose how many paylines you want to bet on a video slot where as classic slots tend to have a single payline.
Paytable: The table showcasing all the possible winning combinations of symbols across the reels and how much can be won per combination. A paytable can also display the jackpot amount and what actions are needed to activate the bonus features.
Penny Slots: These are slot machines where you can bet a minimum of 1 cents or 1 penny per payline. Penny slot machines are good for beginners, players on a budget or those that want long lasting entertainment.
Pick Me Feature: A different term for Click Me Feature used by some casino software providers in their slots. Pick between a selection of image or icons and reveal a cash prize without finding the symbol that stops the bonus feature.
Pokies: Is the Australian casino slang term for a slot machine, which is also referred to as poker machines; hence pokies. These can also be called Aussie slots.
Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that builds up over time. A portion of each bet a player makes on a progressive jackpot slot goes in to the jackpot amount. The amount that cash be won on mobile jackpot slots can range from thousands to millions and can be hit from any mobile casino at any time.
Progressive Slots: These are slots that contain a progressive jackpot. Some jackpots slots may have up to three progressive jackpots at once. You can see this in the Mega Moolah mobile slot.
Reels: The amount of vertical columns going from left to right within a slot machine. For example video slots tend to have 5 reels and classic slots tend to have 3 reels.
RTP: Return To Player Rate. The amount at which the casino slot or game will return to the players over it’s lifetime. For example if a slot has 96% RTP then for every £1 bet it will return 96p to the players over its entire lifetime. It doesn’t distribute these amount equally, hence why sometimes you win and sometime you lose – sometimes you get someone else’s 96p back, sometimes someone else gets yours.
RNG: Random Number Generator. Slots work based on random outcomes and are hence games of chance or luck. The mechanics behind the slot is a random number generator.
Scatters: These are symbols that pay if they show up anywhere on the reels. They can sometimes act like wilds, multipliers are often trigger bonus features such as free spins and click me mini-games.
Slot Tournament: Casinos often run free slot tournaments. These are often on a single or selection of online and mobile slots games. The winner could depend on the number of spins during the course of the slot tournament or the amount won over a number of spins. Specifics depend per casino.
Spin: The action you take when you press the spin button. This sets the reels turning and once a they stop a spin is complete revealing any winning payline combinations or bonus features.
Symbols: The images or icons that appear on the individual reels. So if you had a 5×3 slot then there would be 15 symbols in view. A classic slot with 3×3 reels would typically have 9 symbols visible.
Variance / Volatility: Two terms meaning the same thing. This basically describes the risk of the slot machine. A low volatility mobile slot will be low risk, paying out often, but little. Your balance is likely to be kept continually topped up. These slot machines are great for players who want their budgets to last and are seeking entertainment. High volatility slots, are high risk. They do not pay often, but when they do… it can be life-changing amounts. These slot machines are far better at chasing the big jackpot win and have a healthy bank balance and the patience to wait for the machine to pay out.
Video Slots: Typically containing 5 reels, these video slots contain animations when winning symbols are found on an active payline. An example would be Foxin’ Wins, where Fox cubs run across the screen turning random symbols wild.
Ways to Win: Ways to Win is the term given to online slot games which usually pay from left to right, but instead of paying on a specific payline, pay for finding the same symbols on adjacent reels, typically 3 or more.
Wild Symbol: This symbol is the joker in the pack. It can substitute the other symbols in the paytable, creating multiple wins on active paylines. These can, and often, come with a multiplier and rarely substitute for scatters or bonus symbols.
Think you’ve got your slot machine terminology down? Time to start playing! Head to our list of new mobile slot games and find your favourite slots to play on your mobile.
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