Slots 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Casino Slots


Learning to play any game has a learning curve, and slots are no different. Nevertheless, slots are some of the simplest casino games you can play, making them a great place to start your casino gaming journey.

Slots have come a long way from the old Krones machines we once knew. Recent gaming technology has revolutionized slots, continuously pushing boundaries to ensure that players have a great experience and come back again.

How do slots work?

Slots are run by a computer program called a random number generator. This program creates random results every time a player selects several paylines and spins. Slot machines have different themes that range from fruits to animated video slots.

Benefits of slots

Besides being one of the easiest games you can play. Unlike other games like Poker, you do not need to strategize to win. You can win jackpots with slots without making calculated moves. Slots have other advantages that set them apart from other casino games.

Slots require a low wager or bet and you can play for much lesser than you would in a table game. This allows you to play more, with less money, and make more.

Must know terms and features


Reels are the vertical sections seen on the slot screen. The reels have images that move when played. When all the images match you win. A slot can have 3, 5, 6, or 7 reels.


Paylines refer to the patterns on reels that result in a winning combination. The paylines can be straight or zigzag. Older slots usually have one payline but modern ones have many more.


A paytable is a slot feature that shows you the monetary value of every symbol in the slot machine.


A bankroll refers to the specific amount of money you have set aside to place all your bets.

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols are symbols that are not part of the winning match. These scatter symbols appear randomly and when they do, you get a bonus round.

Auto spin

Auto spin is a feature in slot machines that allows the machine to automatically spin without you initiating the spin. The machine uses your last betting amount to spin.

Free spins

A free spin is a bonus round that appears when you get at least three scatter symbols. You may get one or more free spins depending on the slot machine.

Penny slot

Penny slots are slots that only allow you to wager one cent per line. Some penny slots are usually linked to progressive jackpots, which we will look at shortly.

Progressive jackpot

A progressive jackpot is a jackpot that increases every time a player places a bet, and the more players play the more the amount increases until someone wins.

Practice first

There are a number of free slots you can take a turn on before progressing to paid ones. This way, you will learn the features and rules, and once you familiarize yourself, you can then invest money in the game.

How to choose a game

There are four main types of slots you can choose from.

3 reels

As the name suggests, 3-reel slot machines are classic slot machines that have only three reels, usually with one, three, or five paylines.

5 reels

Slots with 5 reels are usually the most common in many casinos and may have up to 20 paylines. 5 reel machines have more combinations making it easier for your to win. They also have more features and mini-games than 3-reels.


Megaway slot machines have been around since 2016. They use a Megaway random reel that has up to hundreds of thousands of paylines increasing your chances of winning.

Progressive slots

Progressive slots are machines that accumulate your wins toward a jackpot win. You can have one progressive slot or more. This differs from casino to casino. Casinos with more progressive slots encourage more players to play, which means the jackpot rises faster.

How to play slots

Playing slots is not complicated. All you have to do is determine how many paylines you want. You can select the ‘Max’ option if you want all the paylines available, and spin. Wait for the reels to stop. Once they do and all the images match, you win!

You win if the reels match. There are also other ways you can win the game. You also win when you get a wild symbol that replaces other symbols to give you a matching combination or a scatter symbol, which gives you bonuses and free spins.

You can play as many times as you want, as long as you monitor yor bankroll.


When choosing which casino to start playing slots, always check if they have welcoming bonuses and other promotions. You can look out for this online or ask for it when getting your player’s card in a physical casino.



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