Slot paytables summarize all the game's information, pay lines, rules, bonuses, betting requirements, in one single screen.
Modern slots have changed the classic simple slot machine into a complex one packaged with a treasure chest of bonuses, hordes of paylines with various patterns, different game rules, and a massive list of symbols.
For any player, it can be perplexing to keep track of loads of data for a single game. Thankfully, slot paytables get all the vital information in one dashboard.
Paytables may include some terminology you don't know so check out our slot glossary!
What Is a Pay Table in Slots?
A slots paytable is a dashboard or datasheet containing important information about the game, including but not limited to:
- the number of paylines,
- the list of prizes and payouts,
- the betting requirements, and
- the symbols on the reels.
In slots, a paytable also defined the rules of the game, the winning combinations, the wild and the scatter symbols, the minimum prizes, and the fabulous jackpot prize you can win in a single spin along with wager requirements.
How to Read a Pay Table?
Paytables come in various designs. They are easy to read as they usually come with illustrations for a quick grasp of the basic information at a glance. Pay tables, in some video slots, can have multiple pages and even be interactive some do not hesitate to click buttons you see on the screen to read further.
First, check out the symbols and look for the wilds and scatter symbols that increase your odds. Look out for the number of paylines, as well, and identify the patterns. The paylines are important since they are your winning combinations. Browse for other special features of the game. You will easily find from the paytable if a particular slot machine is best suited to your wagering appetite and risk behavior. Of course, you don't want to miss out on the prizes at stake since it will give you a better understanding of how a single spin can turn into a huge payout.
Contents of Slot Paytables
The contents of a paytable may vary according to the slot machine's complexity. While most slots have a single-page paytable, others have more than one page (especially slots with dozens of paylines and those with more prizes at stake). A typical paytable usually contains the following basic information.
- Betting requirements
- Symbol values
- Special symbols
- Jackpot details
Some paytables may contain more or fewer data. It is important to have a good understanding of each feature of the game to maximize the enjoyment of your slot gaming sessions.
Slot paylines are the patterns on the reels where the winning combinations show up. Classic slots used to have a single horizontal payline. But modern online video slots have introduced more variations to the game by coming up with multiple payline patterns.
Therefore, always check and understand all payline patterns before a game. Otherwise, you will get disappointed with false hopes when believing that you won by seeing the same symbols in a straight line on the reels, only to find out that the payline is not horizontal but vertical or even a zig-zag.
Most bonuses and free spins in online slots usually come with wagering requirements. Even jackpot prizes are subject to your compliance with such betting requirements.
There are mostly two types of betting requirements in slots:
- slot-machine wager requirements - many features of a slot machine can only be activated if you bet a certain amount for the spin (e.g., with slot jackpots that require you to wager a "max bet" to qualify)
- bonus wager requirements - often hidden in terms and conditions, they are the number of times you need to play through the bonus amount before you can withdraw your winnings into cash (e.g., if you receive a ten-dollar cash bonus with a 10x wagering requirement, you need to spend at least one hundred dollars on specific games before you can cash in the ten dollars' winnings)
Understand both betting requirements to avoid huge disappointments.
Slot pay-tables are the best place for you to find out what each symbol means to your game and winnings.
Older slot machines have a bell, some spades, diamonds, and horseshoes as symbols on the reels. Later on, there were fruits like cherries and lemons, and playing cards symbols like an Aces, Jacks, Queens, and Kings.
Modern slots have a variety of symbols beyond your imagination. The standard symbols have cherries, number seven, and bars symbols. Some slots even have images of famous movie characters. Some icons' meanings are obvious whilst others, depending on your choice of slot thematic, can't be guessed out of the blue!
Regardless of the images and characters, there are a few special symbols that can add more fun and thrills to every spin on the slot machine. These are the symbols every slot player looks forward to seeing on their reels.
- Wild symbol - can act as any other symbol to complete a winning combination in a payline.
- Slots scatter symbol - the same as wild, but it can appear anywhere on the reels without following the pattern of the payline.
- Bonus symbol - can trigger a bonus game that leads to a bigger payout. A minimum number of bonus symbols is usually required on the reels without following any pattern.
Some symbols can help complete a winning combination, while other symbols can trigger a multiplier to your winnings subject to wagering requirements.
Other features of online slots noteworthy of mention are the free spins and auto spins. Most modern slots have an automatic spin feature that lets you preset your game into multiple spins for a specific number of times. It will automatically make another spin after every round, making it easier and convenient for you to play the game.
On the other hand, a free spins feature is an added bonus to your online gaming. Some offshore gaming operators are usually giving out a couple of free spins upon sign-up as part of the welcome bonus. You can also get free spins when you trigger a bonus after getting two or three scatter symbols, depending on your slot's rules on its pay tables.
Jackpots are the highlights that draw players to take a few spins on slot machines. Local, progressive, and wide-area jackpots can turn a single spin into an enormous payout if you, literally, hit the jackpot.
Oftentimes, you can qualify for a jackpot round once you unlock a bonus game from scatter symbols. If luck is on your side, you can hit the jackpot after a few spins or with a single one. But payout may be subject to compliance with the betting requirements as detailed in the pay table.
What Do Slot Pay Tables Look Like?
Here are examples of popular slot games and their paytables.
Future of Paytables in Slots
A huge problem with modern slots is how complex they have become. Many players spin the reels without really understanding whether they won or not. They basically trust the slot machine to tell them the outcome.
Paytables are continuously evolving to adapt to the changing needs of online players and slot providers. With the yearly launch of new slot games, pay tables also change to make it easier for new players to understand new features, new symbols, new bonuses, and new ways of winning (e.g. cluster pays).
Some slot software developers are already testing the infusion of virtual reality slots, while others are adding sportsbooks to slots in their blueprints. But regardless of what the future holds for slot pay tables, there is one thing for sure - it's going to be crazier and funnier than it has ever been! This is key to get players to keep coming back for more spins.
Slot Paytables - FAQ
Why do slot pay tables look so confusing?
Classic slots have pay tables with minimalist designs that are easier to understand. However, modern complex slots see their pay tables cramped up with loads of information that inevitably confuse some players.
While pay-tables be perplexing at first, you can easily understand them if you take a few minutes to read the symbols, grasp the paylines, and obviously, the payouts.
Can some pay tables in slots have multiple pages?
Most slot paytables are one-pagers but there are also pay tables that have two or more pages. Multi-page slot paytables often occur for slots with over three dozens of paylines. It would essentially be impossible to fit in all patterns on one page.
Despite having multiples pages, it is still easy to browse through the paytable with swipes to the left or right. Arguably, slots with multiple pages can be easier to read as they tend to organize information and data more clearly.
Do I really need to understand the pay table?
Pay tables are informational screens. Slot machines would let you know of any winnings and payouts visually in all instances. This is why many people play complex slots without understanding all rules.
Additionally, you don't need to understand paytables with traditional slot machines - they tend to only have a single vertical payline on three reels! It is easier to play the game. All you have to do is spin the slot machine, and you will quickly know if you win or lose if you get all the same symbols in the three reels.
However, with modern slots with numerous payline patterns and various payout systems, it would be best to understand first the pay tables in slots before a spin.
Are pay tables in online slots more complicated than in land-based casinos?
Nowadays, both computerized and mechanical slots can have the same features in terms of paylines and the number of reels. Likewise, land-based casinos have video slots that can offer the same game features that you play online.
So, they don't make much of a difference.
Does a slot paytable show the RTP?
Pay tables in slots virtually never show the RTP percentage nor the variance. Instead, they show the rules, prizes, paylines, and symbols, of the game.
Pay tables in slots may not be important for some players playing classic three-reel single-payline slot machines. But for modern games with multiple reels and plenty of paylines that come with fabulous prizes and loads of surprises, you will enjoy your games more by paying close attention to its pay table.