Casino Games Rules And Strategy Lessons

Slots Paylines and Payout

A payline is a sequence of positions on the reels read from left to right. An active payline is one that is wagered upon. When the reels stop spinning the sequence of symbols occupying the positions in the active paylines are compared with the combinations in the payout table. The payout table lists all the combinations for which there is a payout along with the payout ratio. If any of the active paylines have combinations that match with those in the payout table then the players are paid out as per the payout ratio.

Video Lesson On Paylines and Payout Tables


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Note: One thing we forgot to mention in our video is that all games are different and that we advise that you read and undestand the payout table before you commence in playing any slot game so as to ensure there's no discrpancies later.

In the classical electromechanical slots only one set of symbols could be displayed and hence those slots had only one payline. But with the advent of online video slots this changed drastically. 5 reel online video slots display 3 rows of symbols, with each row having 5 symbols. Reading horizontally this gives rise to three paylines. Initially the video slots had three paylines. But then slots were developed to read the lines in a zigzag manner as well. Hence the number of paylines increased. Today the most common numbers of paylines are 5, 9, 15, 20 and 25. Microgaming and WagerWorks have developed online slots with 50 or more paylines. Microgaming has Gladiator with 50 paylines and Cashapillar with 100 paylines. WagerWorks has Elvis A Little More Action with 50 paylines and Elvis Multi-Strike with 60 paylines.

In multi line slots the player decides the coin denomination and number of coins per line. The product of this gives his line bet. He then decides how many lines he will wager on. If he decides to wager on 5 lines then his total bet is 5 times his line bet. This is equivalent to choosing one line and spinning the slots 5 times. Hence in multi line slots the number of spins required for the same wagered amount is reduced. Multi line slots therefore proceed at a much faster rate and this is their main advantage. Added to this is the thrill of playing so many lines simultaneously.

It is important to be able to read the payout table. Payouts usually begin when the specified symbols appear at least three times in active paylines. The left to right rule states that the symbols must appear on consecutive reels starting from reel 1, with the reels being numbered from left to right. Divin' for Pearls is a popular Wizard Gaming online slot. Its payout table can be seen here in our payout table section of our review for the Divin' for Pearls video slot game. In the Regular Payout Table, 4 Tiki symbols have a pay out ratio of 150. This means that if the Tiki symbol appears in reels 1 to 4 in any active payline then the payout will be 150 times the number of coins wagered on each line. If the player has wagered 10 coins of $0.50 on each line his payout will be 1,500 coins or $750.


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