It can be confusing when you start to play casino games online. There are a number of different terms that you will see written which probably need some clarification.
Here is our glossary with a selection of terms and their definitions to help you understand things a little better.
Most online slots have an autoplay feature. This allows you to sit back and watch the machine spin for a predetermined number of rounds. Clicking on the autoplay feature will allow you to select how many spins as well as the value for each spin. On some games you can set up the autoplay to stop after a big win, free spins or the bonus feature. If you are playing on a mobile device it’s probably a good idea to turn off your sleep feature.
Bet Max (or Max Bet)
This means choosing the largest amount that can be bet at one time. All slot games have a maximum amount that can be bet and these range from low to extremely high. It is probably better to set your own limit so you remain in control of your budget but in some games, with a progressive jackpot, there is an increased chance of winning the more you bet. In general though, be careful with this feature!
Most video slots have some kind of bonus feature. This is a mode of play that might offer free spins or even a game within the game. Bonus features can offer some pretty big wins, so they are definitely something you want to happen. In some slot games the bonuses also have great animations or even movie clips, which also trigger making the bonus round more of an event.
Some slots allow you to bet in coins. You determine the size of coin (it could be as small as 1p for £1 for example), and then choose how many coins you bet on a spin. Payouts are almost always determined by coin size and therefore the higher the coin value the bigger the payout. You have the opportunity to vary the coin size in play in order to manage your budget effectively.
Free Spins are the life-blood of the slot player. They are often triggered as part of a bonus round and they play themselves so you can sit back and count your winnings. Some free spin rounds also operate in conjunction with a multiplier making the results even more profitable.
Casinos often use free spin offers as part of a promotion too, rewarding frequent play or loyal customers.
Hit is a colloquial term meaning winning, as in “this slot has given me some good hits” or “when this slot hits, it hits big!”
Multipliers are features that multiply your win by a set amount. They are often found in conjunction with a free spins feature, or other bonus, and increase your win accordingly. A 5x multiplier will give you five times your win.
All slots have a number of ways to win across multiple paylines. Some, like Microgaming’s Game of Thrones slot, have as many as 243 ways to win. Most, however have between 10 and 40 paylines. While you can choose how many lines you wish to play at the outset, we almost always recommend playing all of them. Adjusting your budget accordingly so your total bet remains affordable. If this is still too rich, switch games and play a slot with fewer lines.
Any payment of money or credits from a slot, whatever size or value.
Also known as Return To Player or RTP, this is the statistical expected percentage of turnover that is paid out as winnings. An RTP of 95% for example, means that for every £100 you bet, £95 will come back as winnings. The house edge then will be £5. Of course you can beat those odds with a lucky win, the house doesn’t always come out the winner. The payout percentage will be different for every game you play.
The Pay table is the information, often represented as a graphic, that explains how the paylines work and the rules of the game. It is worth familiarising yourself with it as every game is slightly different. You can usually activate a screen with the pay table from within the game itself.
Jackpots are a key part of playing online slots and usually refer to the big wins available on any particular slot. Some games however contain a ‘Progressive Jackpot’, which is a pot that accumulates across multiple casinos that feature a particular game. A small percentage of every bet is added to the progressive jackpot which can amount to millions of pounds over time. The Marvel slots for example have a progressive Jackpot as does games like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune. Anybody playing the game can win at any time and that can result in stupendous, life-changing wins like the world record €17.9m won by UK soldier Jon Heywood in 2015, he was playing for just 25p a spin on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah.
Random Number Generator
The Random Number Generator (RNG) is the code inside every slot that determines the outcome of each spin. The RNG ensures that the game is fair and is one of the things that the regulator checks when they licence each new game.
The reels are the spinning wheels on each slot that carry the symbols. Their final resting place determines whether you have won or not.
Many slot games have scatter symbols, and their presence can create a winning combination without the constraint of paylines. Get two or more scatters and it usually means a win. More scatters will trigger bonus rounds or bigger payouts and they can be anywhere on the reels to trigger a reward.
These don’t happen on every slot but when they do they reward bigger betting players with some progressive jackpots paying out a percentage relating to the size of bet. If you are playing for big wins on a staggered payout Jackpot, it’s almost certainly a good policy to max bet.
The symbols on a reel are the pictures, numbers or letters, which are used to trigger a win. All slots have some kind of theme. The earliest, mechanical slots often used fruit symbols which is why slots are sometimes still referred to as ‘Fruit machines”. Nowadays, game designers have got ever more inventive with their themes, and symbols might be everything from Superheros to Vampires.
Wild symbols are the chameleons of the slot world, acting a bit like a Joker in a pack of cards. They can represent any other symbol and often act like a multiplier giving you a bigger win.
A combination of symbols that give a payout. Details can be found on the pay table but are 2, 3, 4 or 5 of a kind on a payline. If your reels fill with all the same symbol the win is likely to be HUGE!
The bonus offers that many casinos offer to new players, usually come with some terms & conditions. One that crops up a lot is a minimum wager requirement. This means that the money the casino is giving you has to be played a certain number of times before you can cash it out. It can be complicated so we have a whole post dedicated to it HERE.