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The Paylines In Slots Explained For Those New To Slot Games

Slots are one of the most popular casino games around but for many beginners, figuring out what exactly creates a winning combination can be a bit frustrating and confusing.

After all, to many new gamblers, all slots entail is placing a bet and pulling a lever and the machine figures out the rest. However, there is far more to slots than this simplified view – especially, when it comes to the paylines. The spiderweb appearance of slot paylines in the reels is where the various winning combinations are created.

Payline Patterns

You pull a lever and the reels spin, as you cross your fingers and hope to win. Or at least, that’s how most people start off with the slots before they learn to read the payline patterns. The patterns shown after the reels have stopped moving is what will show whether or not you’ve hit a winning combination or whether you’ve aligned nothing.

Paylines are read from left to right, and they can be in a singular line, or in a zig-zag pattern. Payline patterns are also always static. They do not change and are predetermined in their nature. To create a winning payline pattern, the game being played will require a set number of symbols to appear on the reels in the payline pattern (though some games with scatter symbols are exempt from this). The symbol that appears on the left will always determines the win, since a winning combination cannot start on the second reel.

This said, some slot machines do have a system of winning combinations that will pay out regardless of the direction in which the winning symbols are shown – so left to right is the usual way, however some will do top to bottom, or even right to left. The paytable of the slot machine in question will always show the specific patterns or symbol combinations that pay out – so always check this before playing to ensure you know which symbols to keep an eye out for – and to bet larger or smaller.

Variety of Paylines

Back in the day a single 3-reel slot had only one payline which ran throughout the middle of the three reels and was how wins were made. Now, however, the ability of slots to have as many as 50 paylines makes it both easier – and harder – to hit a combination. The larger variety of paylines ensures that there are higher chances of gamers hitting an active payline and making money back. The downside of this is most games require these additional paylines to be activated by placing a larger bet upfront and there’s no guarantee that a payline will be hit during the next reel roll.

Hitting multiple paylines at once is also a possibility with the higher number of paylines available – and so long as the symbols on the reels line up to the payline patterns, you’ll be paid out for every combination that was hit. While it’s hard to say if paying in for additional paylines is worth it in the long run, it’s fun to do once in a while.