Slot Machine Terms and Basics

There’s a ton of slot machine terms you need to know, especially if you want to be experts.

For the past years, there’s been a lot of changes! Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, it’s been quite hard to keep up.

Today, we’ll give you a rundown of the different slot machine terms! You’ll never have to feel out of place again.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to memorize all the terms at once. By taking note of the most used terms, you’re good to go!

Ready to impress your friends? Keep reading and update your slot machine vocabulary.

Basic Slot Machine Terms

Slot machines are gaining a lot of momentum & popularity these days.

They’re a lot of fun to play, and prices can get big! If you want to maximize the slot game experience, knowing the different terms help. You won’t get lost, and you’re always updated!

We’ve got your back covered. We have a list of different terms for you to remember, ranging from the following categories:

  • Advanced Terms
  • Basic Slot Components
  • Gameplay
  • Land-Based Slot Machines
  • Online Slots
  • Slang
  • Symbols
  • Types of Slot Machines

Ready to learn some new slang? We bet you are!

Advanced Concepts

Whether you’re a newbie or not, it pays to know the different advanced concepts in slots.

Experience players might already be familiar with some of them. But it’s always good to keep their minds refreshed!

Newbies can learn a lot from these concepts too, especially if they want to be experts!


If you want to win big, then wage big. There are many slot machines which award a big jackpot, only if you wager a certain about. “Buying a pay” means that you’re wagering a certain amount of money to win the jackpot!


This concept is like Buy-a-Pay. What differs is the prize you’ll unlock. You’ll wager an amount of money that will let you access the restricted features of slot games.

If you’re looking for secret bonus features slot machines, check this out! You can try your luck under the Buy-a-Feature component.


This is the one concept everyone is familiar with! Heck, it’s one of those concepts you’d want to hear.

As its name suggests, you get your money back! Well, not exactly your money, but its value in a different form.

Cashbacks are considered as a bonus for players. It can take in the form of promotions, loyalty rewards, and the like.

If you’re a regular player, you might already be receiving some cashback! You can get it in the form of discounts or rebates!

Cold Slot

Players don’t want to hear the term cold slot. Why? It’s because it refers to slots than don’t pay much. It could also refer to slot machines known for having a bad streak. It doesn’t pay much or doesn’t pay at all!


This is one of the common concepts you’ll hear when playing slots. It refers to the different awards reserved for regular slot machine players!

These rewards can be as lavish as receiving free meals and accommodation. Or, it could be as simple as a promotion or comp points for online slot games.

Hit Frequency

If you’re an expert at slot games, you’ve heard this term before. This is primarily used for players who use math in their gameplay.

The Hit frequency of a game refers to how often you can land winning combinations.

It’s a theoretical number that lets you know your probability of winning the jackpot!

But, slots that have a low frequency tend to give more payouts, though with a low value.

Hold Percentage

This refers to the house edge! It’s the percentage that the casino keeps, based on the total bets placed.

Hot Slots

The opposite of cold slots is hot slots. Thus, it refers to slot machines that give fast payouts very often! You’re lucky if you find hot slots. It’s a guaranteed win every time!

You’ll even find some players who go the extra mile of scouring for hot slots. Consider it their bulletproof strategy. Through the years, finding hot slots proves to be a challenge though.

Loose Slot

If you’re looking for slots that give frequent wins, look for a loose slot. They’re like hot slots because of the wins!

Payback Percentage

For you to understand this term, we need to get specific. We all know that players make a bet when they play slots.

In every slot machine, there’s a theoretical percentage that shows how much of the total bets in the slot machine will be returned to the players. This is called the payback percentage.

The return takes in the form of winnings! If you want to win the jackpot, find slots that have a high payback percentage!

Slot Tournament

As its name suggests, it’s a slot machine tournament between different players. These tournaments can take place in various forms and follow a different set of rules.

Make sure to know what these are, before joining a slot machine tournament.

Tight Slots

This concept is like cold slots. They’re slot machines that have fewer payouts. If not that, they’re slot machines which don’t pay at all.

You don’t want to play on tight slot machines! Because no matter how huge the amount of money you spend, the return won’t be worth it.

Variance or Volatility

Slots can have a low, medium, or high volatility. Low volatility slots are low-risk. They have frequent payouts, but the rewards are smaller.

High volatility slots, on the other hand, have a big payout. But, you might also end up going home without any winning.

Basic Slot Components

It pays to know the necessary slot components. Why? It gives you an edge and helps you become a better player. You can build your skill, especially once you’ve mastered the basic concepts.

Active Payline

It refers to a pay line that has a bet placed on it. There are different slot machines today. They let you choose between selecting your pay line, while some games that only provide a fixed pay line.


Under this concept, players can set several spins based on their bet. A lot of online players enjoy this feature. They can place their bet and let the machine do the work.


The lifeblood of every slot machine is coins. Before, slot machines made use of actual coins.

Today, some slot machines have replaced these coins. This is especially true for online casinos for practical reasons. But, there are still some slot machines that measure your bet based on your coins or credits.


Another essential component of slot machines is its lever. Classic slot machines still feature a lever, instead of having a “spin” button. Even so, it operates the same! You need to press or put down the lever per spin.


You’ve heard of this before, especially if you aren’t new to playing on a slot machine. It refers to the positions of matching symbols that make a winning combination.

Before, pay lines used to be a standard straight line. Today, there’s a variety of pay line features! You’ll have more chances of landing a winning combination.

Pay Table

A pay table lists the amount you’ll win for different symbol combinations. Often, you’ll hear the term pay table used interchangeably with payout tables.

Random Number Generator

Some slot machines make use of a random number generator software. The software determines the likelihood of a slot machine land a winning combination.

Today, many modern video slots are powered by these software programs. It has a random number generator that corresponds to the winning combinations.


The reels are the spinning things you find on the slot machine. Today, there’s a variety in the number of reels. For example, modern slot machine reels today can either have three or five reels.


You’ll find your winning combinations on the horizontal lines of your screen. A slot machine can have a varied number of rows and reels.

What is important is the active pay line. You’ll need to watch out for those and whether your bet landed on it.


Like the lever, one hit per spin. When you press the spin button, it activates the slot machine. Some slots today make use of the spin button instead of the traditional lever.


Generally, one of the things you’re watching out for is the symbols that appear on the slot reels.

Not only are the symbols an important element visually, but also for your gameplay. A slot machine can have different types of symbols!

Virtual Reels

In online casinos, the reels are virtual. The advantage is that there is no maximum number of combinations and jackpots! You have more chances of winning and landing a good combination.


The fun of playing in a slot machine is the whole gameplay experience. Sometimes it could be good, and sometimes not at all. Regardless, we know you’ll have a good time when you play in a slot machine.


The one thing you’ll need to remember when it comes to the gameplay is your bet. It could either refer to the largest or smallest bet.

Maximum bets refer to the maximum number or amount you can wager on a slot. With all the pay lines active and bet in place, it’s the largest you can bet on the game.

Some players have a strategy of wagering on all active pay lines. It increases your chances of winning, though you might have to wager more.

The minimum bet refers to the smallest amount you can bet. It applies to whether you wager on a single pay line or all pay lines. Some players make a small bet so that they can stretch their wagers.

The more credits you have, the higher chances of you placing a bet!

Bonus Round

One of the most favorite rounds of players is the bonus round. It follows a different set of rules from the original game and often gives a higher payout. If you aren’t that lucky, you can be contented with receiving free spins.

Cash Out

Its the moment players are looking forward too. Once you’re done playing, you can cash out your rewards! You can convert it to credits and real money.

Coin Size

The coin size you use on a slot machine indicates the denomination you are betting. Most slot machines let you choose the number and denomination of the coins you bet per pay line.


Credits and coins are similar. When you insert money or coins in a slot machine, these are converted to credits.

The number of credits you have usually depend on how much coins you bet. You can then use the number of credits you have to make your bet.


Online slots sport this new feature. Instead of spinning a reel, symbols fall in place.


This refers to the different functions a slot machine has. It could also refer to the top bonus round in the game, and has the biggest payout.

If you aren’t able to reach that round, you receiving free spins should be enough. Some slot machines offer free spins as a bonus feature.

Free Spins

This is one of the most common bonus you’ll receive. If you can’t hit the jackpot, this should do! It can be triggered by wild symbols coming up or others!

Gamble Feature

Some slots allow you to double or triple your winnings. Are you willing to risk them? This feature in itself is a gamble. You have a 50/50 chance of landing a jackpot or losing everything you’ve won.


Every slot player tries to hit the jackpot. Why? Well, it’s the top prize you can get from playing slots! Hitting the jackpot can refer to landing on the winning symbols.

There are also different and random reasons why you could hit the jackpot, such in the case of a progressive jackpot.

Line Bet

This refers to the amount you’re betting on one pay line.

Linked Progressive Jackpots

This refers to progressive jackpot slots linked to other casinos. Every wager made on a slot increases and contributes to the jackpot prize. Thus, the name progressive jackpot.


This is a bonus feature when you play slots. You can move the reels up or down, hence the name nudge. This is commonly found in online slots than in casinos today.


You’ll hear this term often, especially if you’ve won. It refers to the money you’ll receive after landing a winning combination!

Progressive Jackpot

Progressive jackpots change over time. Typically, a progressive jackpot has a lower return to player rate than the base game.

Each wager contributes to the whole jackpot prize, and it continues to grow until someone wins. A lot of players should watch out for slots that have a progressive jackpot. They can win big. Bigger than what they wager.

Skill Stop

This is a unique feature on many slot games that allow you to press a ‘reel stop’ button. This stops the reel from spinning. The best part of this feature is if you’re trying to land on specific symbols tp let you win.

Land-Based Slot Machines

You can play slots both online or in casinos. Land-Based slot machines are those you can play on casinos.

Big Bertha

The Big Bertha is one of the strategies casino operators make. It’s a type of slot machine placed in the entrance of casino’s to get the attention player. They’re larger than most slots but work and pay the same.


You might find a group of slot machines clustered together on the casino floor. This is called a carousel. Some casino operators place all slots together because it’s convenient for the players to access.

Slant Top

Modern slot machines make use of a slant top. It’s space-saving and provides the player an immersive experience. It’s becoming wildly popular among casino goers today.

Slot Club

If you’re a regular machine player, then you might have heard of this before. It’s usually offered as a promotion or reward for regular players. They can receive comp points and various casino perks!

Online Slots

Online slots are widely popular nowadays. It’s convenient because you can play slots in the comfort of your home! You can win big without having to leave your house!

Casino Bonus

If you’re a first-time online casino player, then you might receive this. It’s a welcome bonus new players receive.

Cascading Reels

This online slot machine has gained a lot of popularity. If you land a winning combination, the symbols explode! It ends up freeing the space so that new symbols fall to land another win.

Collect Button

Similar to a land-based machine, online slots also have a collect button. It lets you convert the number of credits you have left, back to cash.


This is perhaps one of the best perks of playing on an online machine. i-Slots let you save your position and progress during a bonus game and resume later!


If you’re a newbie player, then you might be hearing a lot of slang from frequent players. Or, if you’re a regular player, you might want to stay updated with the different slang words used.


The most basic concept you need to remember is action. It can refer to different kinds of things, like:

  • Total slot machine playing time of a player;
  • The total amount of bets placed in the casino for the entire season; or
  • Total log-in time of a player in their online account.

Hammer a Machine

This an expression used when you play on the same machine over and over again!

Players typically stick to one machine when they want to try winning the progressive jackpots! It could also be that players want to get a hot streak with the machine!

One-Armed Bandit

Old slot machines were known as the one-armed bandit. They’re usually linked to an old machine that still sports actual levers than buttons.


A normal slot machine would sport a straight line. Today, many modern video slots feature a variety of pay lines. Some video slots today have a zig-zag pay line!


Slot machines have different types of symbols, depending on the game. You typically watch out for these, because you want to form a winning combination!

Scatter Symbols

These are extremely popular today, and a lot of new games incorporate them. They’re usually considered as bonus symbols that are marked on the pay table.

Stacked Wilds

Wild symbols are stacked vertically. This is ideal for a lot of players! If you manage to stack a wild symbol, it can complement different pay lines.

Wild Symbols

You want to land on a wild symbol. Why? Because you can replace it with any other symbol!

If it falls on a pay line, you can use it to substitute a missing symbol. The advantage of landing on these types of symbols increases a player’s chances of hitting a good combination.

Types of Slot Machines

Not all slot machines are the same. There’s a variety of slot machines offered, whether you play online or in a casino. Here are some of the different types of slot machines you need to know!

Three Reels Slot

The most basic and classic slots layout you’ll find is this. It includes three reels that spin!

If you’re starting, we recommend trying your luck with this type of slot machine. All you need to do is match three symbols on the reels and hope for a winning combination!

Five Reels Slot

Today, slot reels have an updated layout. It looks modern, and it features five reels.

243 Ways to Win Slots

Slot machines typically have pay lines, but not this one. Instead, it makes use of symbols! The symbols have to line up on the adjacent reels for you to hit the jackpot.

3D Video Slots

If you’re looking for eye-catching slot machines, this is for you.

Its graphics are highly advanced compared to other slot machines. It also has different animations and effects, which make it eye-catching and entertaining!

All Ways Slot

This type of slot machine is one of the most typical slots you’ll find. It features pay lines that run both left to right and right to left.

You’ll find this type of slot machine online, and they’re trendy! Why? Because they’re very profitable for players. If you play online casinos, you can try this type of slot machine!

Annuity Winner Slots

You might not believe it, but this type of slot machine pays in installments.

This is a slot machine that pays the jackpot over the years. However, this type of slot machine is rare these days. Slot machines today typically pay the jackpot through a one-time payment.

Basic Slot

As its name suggests, this type of slot is the most classic type you’ll find. It has a retro-style, having only a single pay line and little features.

Branded Slots

You might find various slot machines in the casino based on a brand.

Well, these are called branded slots. It can get its inspiration from popular franchises from movies, books, and the like. This is a popular type of slot for a lot of fans and players!

Certified Slots

You want to watch out for certified slots in the casino. Why? They guarantee a 98% to 100% return to player percentage!

Classic Slots

Casino’s have a ton of classic slots. It’s the usual 3-reels slots that only have a single pay line. These are also known as retro-slots, and they’re still highly popular today! You can even find classic slots on online casinos!

Coin Slot

Some movies show a person winning coins when they play on a slot machine. Well, the type of slot machine they played on is coin slots!

It pays out the winnings in coins! Today, coin slots are rare to find, and it’s probably for a good reason. Imagine winning the jackpot and receiving the reward in coins! Now that’s a total inconvenience.

Free-to-Play Slots

If you receive credits from casino’s, you can try using it on Free-to-Play slot machines. You can also use it on online casinos, in the form of free slot demos.

Fixed Value Slots

The total bet for this type of slot is fixed. Meaning, you can’t change the bet amount and denomination.

Five Liner Slots

Another classic slot machine is the five liners. It has five pay lines instead of 1. The pay lines are either three horizontal and two diagonal lines.

Fruit Machine Slot

Another type of slot machine you’ll find are fruit machines. As its name suggests, fruits appear on the pay lines!

Instant Winner Slot

If you want a one-time jackpot payment, this slot machine is for you! No installments, just a one-time payment. Compare this to annuity winners, where it takes several years to pay!

Multi-Line Slot

Unlike typical slot machines, these are slots that have more than one pay line. Today, various video slots have different pay lines.

Multi-Way Slot

You don’t have to worry about symbols aligning from left to right. With this type of slot machine, you can increase your chances of winning.

Online Slot

Today, you can play slot machines in casinos and online! It’s pretty convenient, especially if you’re playing in high-risk slots.

There’s a ton of online slot operators today. But, as a word of caution, make sure to play on reliable websites. You don’t want to risk losing money when you play on untrusted sites.

Skill Bonus

If you’re looking for slots that have bonus features, this one is for you. Various slots have some bonus features. Before you can play the bonus feature, you’ll need to sharpen up your skills.

Sometimes, the bonus feature offers a shooting game, free spins, or a bonus round.

You might want to find your luck finding games that have a bonus feature. But today, many players report that finding these types of slots are rare.

Signature Slots

If you visit different casino’s, you’ll notice that each of them has their signature slots. It’s the normal slot machine sporting the casino’s brand.

Wide Area Progressive (WAP) Slots

WAP slots are part of a network of slot machines. They’re linked to one system, sharing one jackpot win. Generally, these games have a bigger jackpot.

Final Words

There’s a lot of fun involved playing in a slot machine. Your chances of winning can vary, but you’ll always have something to take home!

Before you win big, we recommend going back to the different components that make up slot machines.

We hope you learned something new today! If you enjoyed this article, leave a comment and share it with your friends to reference!

We’d love to hear from you and how we were able to help you.

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