Slot machines also have their own terminology. If you are new to these games, some terms will sound unfamiliar to you. In this guide we have prepared to help you, you can find the most commonly used terms and their meanings.
Terminology by Casino Slots Categories
Slot games have many categories. Each of these categories offers different features (and different winning chances). The most common terms you will hear in this regard are:
Fruit Slots: Also known as classic slot machines. The games in this category have a fairly simple rule system. They usually have 3 reels and 1 pay line. The symbols are made from fruit pictures as can be guessed from the name. The prizes are not very big, but the winning frequency is quite high. They do not have bonus rounds or features. Professional players usually prefer these machines.
Video Slots: The most “popular” category. The name comes from the fact that they were the first games to be played on a video screen in the 1960s. Their graphics are advanced, and they have more than one feature. They usually have 15-20 pay lines and 5 reels. Those with the most advanced graphics are also referred to as 3D slots.
Progressive Slots: Unlike other games, these machines do not have a fixed prize pool. With every game played, the prize that accumulates in the jackpot pool increases. If the game is on a network, which means that it is open to hundreds of players, the amount of reward can easily reach millions of dollars. Unfortunately, their chances of winning are very low, and the minimum betting amounts are quite high.
No Download Slots: This is a category, not a feature. You do not have to install software to play online slot machines. Developed using platforms like Flash and HTML5, these games can be played over your browser in a matter of seconds. Almost all slot games of all categories have this feature.
Free Slot Games: You can play slot games for fun or real money. As can be guessed from the name, any slot game that can be played for free is called like this. The rules and chances of winning do not differ between the two versions. The games developed with HTML5 technology have cross-platform support. So you can start playing the free version of the game on your computer and continue playing from where you left with real money by using your mobile phone.
One Armed Bandit: The “nickname” of slot machines. The chances of winning of these games in the first years were very low. Especially the slots at the Las Vegas casinos could cause you to go bankrupt in a matter of hours. Today, this has changed, but the nickname is still being used.
Puggy: Another nickname used by the UK players for slot machines.
Slot Machine Symbol Terminology
The symbols of these games have a completely separate terminology. In almost all reviews, you can see that the symbol names we give as a list below are used. Do not forget that this is general information; we recommend that you review each game's paytable screen before playing to get exact info.
Wild Symbol: The shapes and signs can vary. At any rate, it has the following features:
- It can replace other symbols. So you can complete a winning combination using the wild symbol.
- It cannot replace the scatter symbol (or any other bonus symbols).
- If used in a winning combination, it increases the prize at least twice.
In some cases, a wild symbol can gain additional features. Here are a few examples:
- Stacking Wild: This means that more than one wild symbol will accumulate on a reel. Because of this, your chances of winning the next round are increasing. This feature is included in many slot strategy and if used correctly, can help you to win the jackpot.
- Sticky Wild: It means that the wild symbol will not disappear from the reels once you spin. So you can continue to use it for the next spin(s).
Scatter Symbol: Like the wild, this symbol can also have different shapes and signs. There are two main features it has:
- You do not have to place it on a pay line to win a prize. So if the scatter appears anywhere on the screen, you are still entitled to an award. As you can imagine, this is a great advantage.
- It is used to trigger the Free Spins bonus round. We will provide detailed information about this bonus below.
Bonus Symbol: This is the name of a symbol that is not wild or scattered but is still used to activate a feature. For example, to activate a mini-game or win a jackpot prize, a certain number of bonus symbols may need to be placed.
Bonus Terms and Meanings
Any additional features that slot games offer you and that help you earn a collective prize are called bonuses. Here are the most common ones you will encounter:
Pick-Me Bonus: A minigame that starts when a certain condition is met (for example, when you place at least 3 bonus symbols). Clicking on some of the closed symbols allows you to win various prizes. So you're making random choices. You can win multipliers, cash prizes, free spins or even a jackpot as a reward.
Gambling Round: It is automatically activated after you earn a winning, but it is the player's decision to start it or not. This is a prediction game which you are asked to estimate the color or sign of a reversed game card. If you guess right, your prize goes up two times. But if you can’t, you lose all your winnings.
Free Spins: In slot games, you have to place a bet (spend money) every time you turn the reels. The Free Spins feature allows reels to be spanned for free. As we mentioned above, it is usually triggered by the scatter symbols. The number of spins differs for each game. It is possible to say that you get 20-25 free spins on average. But sometimes it can be hundreds. Often there is a multiplier reward included. So the total prize you earn at the end of the round is multiplied by a certain number.
Multiplier: This means that the prize you win is multiplied by a certain number. Although it is usually a feature within the free spins round, it can also be seen in normal gameplay. It is sometimes possible to even see multiplayer symbols – which is the best type of symbol you want to see on your screen.
“Professional” Terminology of Slot Games
These are technical terms, but each slot player has to know.
Pay Lines: Slot machine reels are actually there just for the visual effect. Pay lines determine whether you have won or not. These are real lines and connect both ends of the reels. You cannot see them all the time, but other than the fruit machines lines, they are not straight. (They look like a zig-zag.) To win a prize, the symbols must be placed on these lines. Lots of lines will increase your chances of winning. But at the same time, they will raise the stakes. For this reason, although there are 1,024 lined games, ideally you should prefer slots with 20 lines or less.
Payout / Paytable: A tablature showing how much the symbols in the game pay. You can open it by clicking on the same named button. This screen contains not only payment values, but also rules and RTP rates. Whichever game you choose, do not forget to check this screen before you start playing.
RTP: An abbreviation of “Return to Player”. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a term that represents the chance of winning. It shows how much you will lose in the long run. For example, if the RTP rate is 96%, you will be able to recover $ 96 of every $ 100 you invest. In other words, your loss will only be $ 4. You should choose games with high RTP rates. Generally, fruit machines have the highest rates. Do not play games that have less than 95% RTP.
RNG: Slot games work with RNGs (random number generators). Simply put, each symbol has a numeric counterpart and software running in the background creates random numbers. If these numbers are the same as numeric values, a specific symbol appears on the screen. This is also true for other casino games. RNGs ensure games are fair and uncontrollable.