A beginners guide to slot terms

Online slots and mobile slots are so easy to play, even if you don’t understand the slot terms at first, it doesn’t take long until you get to grips with the features.

However, for those of you who like to know the ins and outs before playing, here’s a glossary of the main slot machine terminology you should understand.


Just want to watch the reels spin and not have to touch a thing? This feature is now common for most online casino slots, where you decide how many spins and the value of each spin. You can’t always be guaranteed to find them on mobile slots however, you’ll have to read our slots by software to see how each of them present their mobile slots.

You can stop the autospin function at any time you want and some of the very clever mobile slot games will even give you options to make it stop if you win big, get a special feature or free spins. Beware on mobile devices though, your phone or tablet might decide to go to sleep as it sees no activity, so turn off the sleep function if you’re going to auto-spin.

Bet Max

Bet the maximum amount’ or the maximum amounts you can wager on that spin, taking into account the maximum amount of reels and coins. The lazy man’s way of setting your betting amount and one we don’t highly favour. Sometimes you do need it in order to meet the requirements to win a jackpot, but that’s more the exception rather than the rule. We always recommend you set your limit and spin to fit our budget.

Free Spins

What true slot player doesn’t love free spins? A feature or bonus that simply forces the machine to just spins the reels and you don’t have the pay a cent. We love mobile slot machines that have free spin rounds as you can get some great wins for nothing. Plus on many of the mobile slots, the free spins comes with a multiplier, making them even more profitable. Good mobile games with this feature are Thunderstruck II, Gonzo’s Quest and Mega Moolah.

But ultimately, what we love most is that all the winnings go straight into your pocket.


Slang for winning on a slot machine. ‘This machines has some big hits‘ mean it has some big win potential.


Pretty much means what it describes – these are bonus features or symbols which multiplies your win by a set amount. 2x multipliers, for example, double any wins. These are usually tied in with free spins, wild symbols or special features within the games.


See those numbers on the left and right of the slot? Those are the paylines. When the symbols align to those numbers, you get a win. The most basic ones have only one (your classic fruit machines say) and some of the more entertaining ones can go up as high as 99 paylines.

When you pick an online slot, you can usually pick how many paylines you want to play (showing you the payline available as you pick), but we’ve yet to ever play anything other than the maximum paylines for any slot. We like to maximise our chances. The only exception we can think of is Marvel’s Fantastic Four mobile slot by Playtech, whose odds are improved by decreasing the amount of paylines.

However, as a general rule, if you can’t afford all the paylines, try a different mobile slot with less paylines. Most paylines pay from left to right.

Progressive jackpot

Most video slots have their own individual jackpots, which is really just a ‘maximum win’ for that particular online slot. However progressive jackpots make things interesting, as it’s a growing pot of coins which is added to by every player who plays on that slot game in every casino that features the game. So the very famous Mega Moolah slot, for example, builds and builds to millions of euros/pounds as a small percentage of every player who plays on this slot machine goes towards the winning jackpot prize. These progressive slots can hit anywhere, at any time, at any online or mobile casino. It’s like a glorious ticking time bomb of money and one most of us are drawn to like flies to honey.

We have a list of the best progressive jackpots on mobile slots here.

Scatter symbol

If the wild symbol is the joker in the deck of cards, the scatter symbol is its meaner, slicker big brother. This unpredictable symbol changes depending on the rules of the mobile slot, usually triggering bonus features and free spins. At its most simplest moment, it literally means that when you get two or more of the scatter symbols anywhere on the reels, you’ll get a win. The symbols do not have to be on an active payline, just anywhere on the reels.

It is the only symbol that usually cannot be replaced by the wild symbol. It’s the ‘X-factor’ in most online mobile slot games and one we watch avidly.

Wild Symbol

The aforementioned joker in the pack, this symbol usually replaces any other symbol to create winning combinations. It usually also tends to work as a multiplier, giving you bigger wins. We love the wild symbol.

Winning combinations

All of the possible combinations of symbols that result in a winning payout. Usually 2, 3, 4 or 5 of a kind on an active payline.

Wagering requirements

Wagering requirements are the amount of times you have to play an amount of money before you can claim your winning. Usually associated with special offers, bonuses and free money. Read our ‘should I take the welcome bonus’ for more info.

If you want to find out more take a look at our “Casino Slots Terms and Phrases Explained” where you will find a complete list.

Here’s are our 3 best slot machines for beginners to play online and on mobile:

  • Starburst: One of the most popular NetEnt slot online, it’s simple fun with an expanding wild that gives you a re-spin for more chances at winning.
  • Mega Moolah jackpot slot: This is an example of an easy to play safari themed jackpot game from Microgaming. Spin to win millions.
  • Enchanted Crystals: A Play’n GO slot machine this game gives you some great examples of expanding wilds, click me bonus games and free spins.

And here’s one of our best slots sites that welcomes you in and continues to reward no matter how you play:

  • LeoVegas casino: play over 1600 slots and casino games, with a huge exclusive LeoJackpot starting at 5 million to be won playing on top games like Book of Dead and Starburst. LeoVegas provide an all-round online gambling service, great for beginners and experienced slots players.

Start Playing at LeoVegas Casino »

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