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Slot Machine Paylines

The number of pay lines available in a game is among the most important features of any slot machine. A payline, in simple terms, is the line on which a payout will be awarded based on winning combinations.

There are X amount of paylines in any given slot, whether that number be 1 or 100. It is only on these paylines that winning payouts can be earned for winning combos.

It is important to understand that you will only win payouts on lines that you bet on. If you only bet on 10 of 25 paylines and the winning combination falls on a line that you didn’t in fact bet on (or activate), you get nothing for that combination. Thus as a general rule of thumb, it is in the players’ best interests to activate all paylines on every spin. Not doing so could result in missing out on progressives or other big wins!

Mechanical slot machines vs. modern slot machines

The earliest slots and pub fruit machines, which were also mechanical, were quite simple and mostly offered one, solitary payline. These machines are still around, and you will more often than not come across them. In fact many of the most popular Vegas slots and online games are classic 3 reel machines.

However, modern slots, which are run by computer systems and random number generators, feature more than one payline and can actually have up to 100 or more paylines, offering up many more ways to win, albeit for an increased wager per spin.

How they work

Paylines are generally pretty straightforward. They can be simple and straight and at other times then can take a zig-zag shape and run across reels. Paylines can also be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Whichever the case, a winning payline will always pay if and only if you’ve bet on it.

Some slot games feature adjustable paylines, while others only offer fixed paylines. Adjustable games will typically allow you to select a specific number of paylines to bet on, while fixed paylines offer bets on all or nothing. Fixed payline slots require you to bet on all paylines - there is no way to adjust it.

Slot paylines vary greatly from game to game. The Book of Ra pictured above features 10 different paylines.

Important points to remember

When you want to check whether you have a winning combination on a payline, it is important to remember that most slot machine paylines will pay for winning combinations that pay from left to right.

However, there are certain slots that will pay a winning combination regardless of its direction. In this case, if you have a winning combination but you are not paid for it then the simple reason is generally that the symbols are not lined up along a pay line.

To be sure of all possible wins and payouts, always view the paytable, usually located within the main gaming screen. Here you will find pay lines, payout odds, winning combos, and more, including info on how to play the bonus events.

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