If you’re new to online slots and you don’t know your wilds from your win multipliers and your scatters from your stacked symbols, take some to browse our A-Z slots glossary. This article lists all the common terms you’ll encounter the next time you play slots online.
Hopefully, you should have a better handle on how online slots work after reading this glossary. Our goal is to help you become the next slots slayer right here at LiveRoulette!
All Ways: Otherwise known as ‘win both ways’ these slots can have hundreds of available paylines which can pay from left-to-right or right-to-left, maximising your winning potential.
Autoplay: If you want to play a multiple number of spins without having to press ‘Spin’ each time, set your gameplay to autoplay a pre-selected number of spins.
Bonus Games: Most online slots have at least one bonus game, which is often triggered by scatters or wild symbols. These bonus games can range from free spins rounds to bonus wheels and “pick-me” features.
Branded Slot: A branded slot is one that’s themed around a specific franchise, such as a Hollywood movie or hit television series, featuring exclusive visual and audio content.
Cascading Reels: Symbols involved in winning combinations are removed from the reels, leaving gaps to be replaced by new slot symbols that drop in from the top. This gives you a chance to win multiple combinations on a single spin.
Classic Slot: A ‘classic’ slot is one which nods to old-school fruit machines, featuring the classic fruity symbols, bells, lucky sevens and BARS, amongst others.
Cold Game: More common on casino floors than online slots, when a slot game is said to be ‘cold’ it means it does not pay out as frequently.
Coins: The funds you add to your chosen slot are displayed in a coin value, based on the minimum bet size per spin.
Expanding Wilds: An expanding wild is a special type of wild symbol (see ‘Wild’ for full description). Whenever the expanding wild feature is active, a wild symbol will expand to fill an entire reel to bring greater winning potential.
Fixed Jackpot: Online slots with a fixed jackpot have a fixed maximum prize, usually triggered by landing five of a specific symbol on a payline, or sometimes triggered at random.
Free Spins: It’s possible to unlock extra free spins by landing certain win combinations, such as three scatter symbols on a payline. A free spin is quite literally a free spin of the reels.
Fruit Machine: The British name for a classic slot machine. Fruit machines are the classic three-reel, three-payline slots featuring fruit symbols, lucky sevens, bells and BARs.
Gamble Feature: Within some slot games it is possible to gamble the winnings from your spin. You may be asked to pick a card suit or colour, or to guess high or low on the outcome of a card displayed on screen. You could double, triple or even quadruple your money depending on the game, but it’s also possible to lose all your winnings.
High Volatility: A slot deemed to have high volatility means that it is programmed to give out less frequent prizes and jackpots. However, most high volatility slots tend to offer bigger prizes when they do pay out.
Hit-And-Run: This term is used to describe slot players that play on single payline slots using maximum coins for a few spins and move on to the next slot if they don’t win.
Hit Frequency: How often a slot pays out on average. For example, a game with a hit frequency of five is expected to yield a winning payline approximately every five spins.
Hot Game: The opposite of a ‘Cold game’, hot slots are those that are said to be paying out regularly and in large sums.
Jackpot: The jackpot of an online slot is the coveted top prize, and can be fixed, progressive or linked across a network of slots.
Linked Progressive Jackpots: On occasion, there are multiple slot games whose progressive jackpots are linked together, often branded slots based on the same franchise. It doesn’t matter which one you play, you will be playing for the same progressive jackpot.
Loose Slot: A ‘loose’ slot is one that is considered to have low volatility, paying out more regularly than a ‘tight’ or high volatility slot.
Low Volatility: Low volatility slots tend to have higher hit frequencies and are often great slots for beginners. The trade-off is that low volatility slots may have smaller prizes on offer.
Maximum Bet: The maximum bet is the largest stake you can place per spin on your chosen slot game, based on the number of active paylines and the maximum coin denomination available.
MegawaysTM: This is a popular slot game engine is designed to expand the number of rows played per reel, giving you up hundreds of thousands of potential ways to win.
Mobile Slot: Mobile slots are those optimised for responsive gameplay across desktop, smartphone and tablet devices, utilising the latest HTML5 technology.
Multi-Line: This term is used to describe online slots with more than a single payline.
Multiplier: A multiplier could be a specific symbol which can multiply your winnings by a predetermined figure. Multipliers can also be found in free spins rounds, when the more consecutive wins you land, the bigger the multiplier grows.
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Near miss: Players that narrowly miss out on a winning combination on a payline describe this as a near miss.
Nudge: Inspired by classic fruit machine gameplay, some slots have a ‘nudge’ functionality included, allowing players to hit the nudge button to move a reel up or down one space to form a winning payline.
One-Armed Bandit: The first slot machines produced in land-based casinos, which required players to pull a lever to spin the reels.
Payline: A payline is the line that symbols need to align with to trigger a payout.
Pay Table: The pay table for any slots online is designed to fully explain the rules and payout sizes of each game. It outlines the low and high-value symbols to look out for on the reels.
Penny Slot: A penny slot game is one which requires players to pay as little as 1p per spin.
Pick-Me Bonus: A type of slot bonus screen whereby players must select on-screen options to reveal instant prizes.
Progressive Jackpot: A progressive jackpot is a rolling jackpot that continues to increase in value until it is won. A percentage of each player’s stake per spin is contributed to the progressive jackpot, so the more players play, the higher the pot.
Random Number Generator: All state-of-the-art online slots are powered by a random number generator (RNG), which is a tamper-proof algorithm designed to randomise the outcome of every spin.
Reels: These are the columns within which the symbols spin to create potential winning combinations.
Return To player (RTP): The RTP percentage gives slot players an indicator of how much they can expect to return from their spins. If a slot has an RTP of 97%, for every £100 you stake, you can expect to receive £97 back on average.
Scatter Symbol: The scatter symbol is often used to trigger bonus rounds, and is usually the only symbol on the reels that the wild does not substitute for.
Stacked Symbols: Whenever the same symbols appear on top of one another on the reels, they are considered stacked.
Stacked Wilds: Whenever the wild symbol appears on top of one another on the reels, they are considered stacked.
Total Bet: The size of the total bet in an online slot is the total number of coins staked across all paylines.
Variance: The variance of a slot is the payout rate of a specific game. Slots with high variance are programmed to pay out less frequently than low variance slots. Variance can be used interchangeably with volatility.
Video Slot: A video slot game is designed to be displayed on desktop, smartphone or tablet screens using virtual reels instead of mechanical reels.
Volatility: Highly volatile slots are those that pay out less frequently, but with typically larger payouts when they do. Low volatility slots are those that pay out smaller prizes over a greater hit frequency.
Wild: A wild symbol is one of the most lucrative symbols in a slot game. Wilds can usually substitute any other base game symbol to improve winning combinations, except scatters. The same way that a joker works in a game of cards.
Win Both Ways: Slots with win both ways functionality can pay out on paylines running right-to-left as well as left-to-right.
Zig-zag: Some slot paylines are designed to go up and down the reels or diagonally. These are known as zig-zag paylines.
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