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Slot machines have developed so much from the mechanical land-based games we knew and loved. Old slot games were pretty basic and as such easy to understand, you simply hit the ‘play’ button, the reels spin and if they land with three symbols that match then you win. The amount you win will depend on what symbols have landed and where, but it’s a pretty easy concept to follow. To add to the excitement, the designers of slot machines inserted additional bonus features and wild symbols. So that the player knew what to expect, you would find the pay tables somewhere on the game. But the key question is, what are slot machine pay tables and how have they been impacted with the move to online gaming.
With the introduction of online software technology, developers can create an array of themes and bonuses. This means that they can add so much more than any land-based machine could offer, with numerous symbols and icons to go with the games theme. This expansion of symbols opens up how many ways a player can win, which previously was pretty limited. Then you add in the introduction of bonus features which have become more and more exciting and in-depth over the years.
Although the games may have changed, one thing remains the same and that is the slot machine pay tables. The fact that they are still used can only mean one thing, they’re essential to our slot gaming. You may be one of those players who struggles to understand what they mean, especially with more complex games which offer a variety of rules that govern how the game plays out. The aim of pay tables is to simplify the game and make what can seem confusing, much easier to understand.
Once you’ve read our article on slot pay tables it would be a good idea to head to your favourite game and just check it out. By understanding the different elements that make up the pay table, you’ll find it much easier to establish how you want to play the game. You can even consider looking at different aspects such as slot volatility and variance to enhance your chances of winning.
What is a Slot Pay Table?
We have given you a basic overview, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what a pay table or pay chart actually is. For those of you who are new to slots or even just new to a game, you will want to know what each of the symbols mean and have a list of the winning combinations; that is pretty much what a pay table is. It will also show you what payouts are offered, if there are any wild or scatter symbols and how those symbols are used throughout the game. The pay table will even delve into explaining the games bonus rounds and the types of minimum and maximum prizes that are available. Finally, if the game you have picked offers a progressive jackpot, then information in connection to this will be in the pay chart. There are certain conditions attached to progressive jackpots, including the fact that on some you must play all pay lines to take part and be eligible. This is why the pay table is important for the player, because you may not know when you begin to wager, and your credit can disappear fast.
The slot pay table basically provides all the information you will ever need and should be easily accessible, so you can adapt your gaming as you play. Too many times an online player will just spin the reels without knowing what any of the symbols mean and how the outcome affects them.
Where to Find the Pay Table?
Simplicity is the key in designing an online casino platform, especially when it comes to accessing important information such as the games pay table. The games developers will either choose the word ‘pay table’ or ‘i’ (for information) on the main screen, which tends to be found on the bottom corners. For desktop fans you will just click that icon and it will take you through. If you prefer your gaming to be portable (mobile devices), then all you have to do is swipe your finger across the screen. You may find that this section offers only a brief pay table, so you can quickly look to determine your wins. There may be a separate information page which will provide full details on making any bets and how it will affect the bonuses and jackpots.
Understanding the Information Given in Pay Tables
You will find that pay tables are easy to understand, mainly because they need to be clear enough for everyone. The main differences between the pay tables on each slot is the design, and that is because each game will provide different bonus features.
But essentially the core elements that you will see include, what the symbols are and the value of each one. This is normally shown on the pay table as images of the winning combinations and the coin amounts that would be won if it landed. If you consider a typical 5-reel slot, then you will want to know the outcomes when you win three of a kind, four of a kind and the jackpot of five of a kind.
Also, what are the additional features such as wild and scatter symbols, and how are the bonus features triggered. If the slot offers a progressive jackpot, then you will also find information about how it works on the pay table.
For those games which offer varied pay lines, you will find how they work and what they mean on the pay table. This includes the directions that are available in the game, such as left to right and right to left. The pay line is basically the combination of symbols which results in a win on the slot game. The more developed online slots became, the more pay lines we were given, and you can find various shapes including zigzags and trapezium.
Finally, you should find the games RTP (Return to Player) rate on the pay table. Some games can be cautious about displaying this information, so it may be difficult to find. This is because many players can be put off from trying out a slot with a low RTP.
Depending on the slot game and site, the information may be stored on separate pages, with the main aspects such as symbol values on page one and the bonuses etc kept on another page. So, make sure you check through any additional pages for all the information to improve your chances. We aren’t saying you will definitely win, but knowledge is power and it’s always handy to know how the game works and the best ways to maximise your winnings.
How Pay Tables Benefit Online Slot Players
We’ve told you what the pay table is, where to find it and how to read the information. But what is the point of having the pay table for players? Here is our list of benefits for online gamers.
- Makes understanding the online slot game much easier – The pay table is the instruction manual for the slot, so it would make sense that understanding how it works can only help your gaming.
- Shows the pay lines – The more detailed the slot games have gotten, the more varied the pay lines. Because pay lines can affect your winnings, it would make sense to know how adapting them can affect you.
- Instructs you on the bonuses – Whether it’s triggering a feature or winning coins, the bonus is an important element to the slot. Some games even offer free bonus spins, which may be advantageous if you’re low on credit.
- Discover the slots RTP – This is important if you are deciding whether or not to play the game based on your funds.
- You can determine if the slot game has a high or low volatility or variance – This is probably for the expert gamers out there, but the pay table will provide the information you need to establish the patterns of variance and volatility such as the RTP and if it has a progressive jackpot.
Summary of Slot Machine Pay Tables
As you will now know, the pay table is actually a pretty big deal and yet many players don’t even consider it important when they pick a new game to play. We think this depends on the reason you play slot games online, whether it’s simply to while away the time or for the thrill of the win. Either way we would always recommend taking a look and getting the low down on how the game works, even if it’s just understanding the symbols in the game and the scatter or wild. Knowing what you’re doing when playing the slot game can actually make it more exciting, which is basically the reason we head to the casino in the first place!