Online slot games are simple to play, but do you know your scatters from your wilds and your reels from your paylines?

We at bgo have put together this handy 10-point guide with the help of Casinopedia to all the key terms you need to know to help you play smarter and stop you from getting in a spin!

1. Reels

Let’s get back to basics.

The reels are where your fortune lies. They are the columns which (usually) rotate on each spin to reveal random rows of symbols which are the key to winning. Things have come a long way since the old days of the classic ‘fruit machine’ reel, with enhanced graphics and animations now common among online slot games. Reels can now generate symbols in a variety of ways, and the symbols themselves can expand, shift and move to the player’s advantage.

2. Paylines

Good old fruit machines had just one payline, i.e a straight horizontal line across three reels which would give a payout. Things are a bit more exciting than that now.

A payline in an online slot game is simply the line located across the reels on which the

winning combinations of symbols can be landed. Modern slot games often have many different paylines, from simple left to right runs across the game board to diagonal and zig-zagging combinations.

The player has the option of betting on just one or a number of these paylines. Some slot games have nearly 300 paylines!

3. Bet level

Online slot games are all about giving control the player and that includes the size of stake being wagered.

In slot games you bet an adjustable amount multiplied by the amount of paylines that you want to have in play. The more paylines you bet on, the greater the chances of bigger winnings. Both the stake amount, or coin value, and the number of paylines to bet on can all be adjusted within maximum and minimum parameters. It’s that simple; it’s that controllable.

4. Base Game

The base game is the bread and butter of an online slot. This is the reason you are playing the game at all, and covers the slot’s basic gameplay and look and feel. It is where you will be spending most of your time and where major money can be won.

It is distinct from separate bonus games which may take the player to a different screen and offer the player a different gameplay setup.

5. Bonus Game

And that brings us to bonus games. Think of these as ways to boost your winnings - a nice little ‘freebie’ which can seriously add to your earnings pot.

Usually triggered by scatter symbols, bonuses in slot games can vary. Some games don’t have them at all, while some have a number of games all designed to give the player more ways to win. Expect a different animation or mini-game and fingers crossed you come away smiling.

6. Progressive Jackpot

If it’s an eye-watering, life-changing, Ferrari-buying amount of money you want to win from your gaming (and who doesn’t?) then you need to know about progressive jackpots.

Usually running into the multi-millions, progressive jackpots can be worth such huge amounts because a small percentage from EVERY player who plays the game online is retained and then paid out on a lucky spin every so often.

Progressive jackpots pay out frequently, running from the tens of thousands, right up to the true megabucks. Either way, if big money’s your thing, a progressive jackpot win is the time to get really excited.

7. Wilds

Wilds are your way to big riches.

In card games wilds are those which can be substituted for any other, and in slot games things are no different. A wild symbol can therefore make the player much more likely to hit a winning line across the game board. But it doesn’t end there. Wild symbols can either be static or dynamic, with expanding symbols, bonus rounds and more triggered when a wild shows up on the game board, offering the player more ways to win. Put simply, wilds are your friends!

8. Scatters

Meet another player’s friend, the scatter symbol.

These little beauties in slot games do not need to be on a win line to benefit the player. They can appear anywhere on the playing reels and if enough scatter symbols are landed, the player will win a return on their bet. Scatter symbols might trigger bonus rounds or have additional features such as multiplier benefits (see below).

Typically, when three or more scatter symbols feature on the reels, the player will then get the chance to enter a bonus round, or mini-game, for extra prizes.

9. Free spins

We all like something when it’s for free, especially when it can win big.

Free spins are a free hit, a something for nothing. They might be won as part of a bonus round or for customer loyalty and can come with enhanced features, like multipliers or greater chances of winning.

10. Multiplier

You don’t need to be a maths whizz to know that when it comes to your winnings, having a multiplier is never a bad thing.

Put simply if your multiplier is x2 and you hit a winning payline, your prize doubles. Multipliers can sometimes hit as high as x10. Games with multipliers are always a serious attraction for players because, well, you do the maths.


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