Before commencing a riveting game on a video slot, every player, whether a veteran or a newcomer, should take a peek at the game’s paytable as it holds vital information as to how much moolah each symbol carries on an activated pay-line (I’m hoping I’ve piqued your interest at this point). An online slot’s paytable might be a foreign concept to most novel players, so here’s an explanation for you.

What’s a Paytable?

First of all, the paytable is something found across all land-based and online free and real money slots. Due to the complexity of most games today, the paytable is spread across more than one screen, usually two or three or sometimes even four. It can be accessed by either clicking the “Help” or “Paytable” button. It could even fall under the “Rules” or “Menu” sections, depending on the slot. What will appear in front of you is a list of the game’s symbols along with their corresponding payouts, that is, how much every symbol is worth when you hit two, three, four, or five of a kind matching icons. Some games can payout on 6, 10 or even 25 of a kind, although, it relies on the number of reels and the type of bonus features built into the game. At first glance, this might come across as a little confusing, but it won’t be for much longer.

The Symbols

Lucky for you, there aren’t a wide range of icons which you will find in a slot’s paytable. A useful rule of thumb is that the top symbol in any paytable is always the highest paying icon and the lowest symbols can be found at the bottom of your screen. You’ll also consistently find information on free spins rounds and any other bonus game if any.

Scatter symbols are typical of five reel slots and have the ability to multiply the whole bet instead of just the winning combination. Bear in mind, that a Scatter is not a multiplier. In a lot of games, it can be used to trigger an exhilarating bonus feature. On occasion, some slots feature Scatters which act as substitutes. If you land one of these symbols in a winning combination, your prize is practically doubled. If by chance both these Scatters fall upon the same win-line, then the substitute symbol will dominate.

Everyone’s favourite icon, the Wild symbol, is the most powerful of the lot (it’s the one you want to see all over your reels) as it has the ability to replace all the other symbols to form winning combinations. It can easily be compared to a Joker in a standard card game. Five of this almighty icon on a single pay-line will even unlock the jackpot. To trigger those large payouts, you need to land Wilds on the first and third reels, which will prolong the spin of the fifth reel to let you know you’re close to hitting large.

Multiplier Symbols, as denoted by the name, multiply the winning combination. Some may even complete winning combinations, making them far more valuable than Wilds in these cases.

A slot’s bonus game, which is the most anticipated part of the game, is triggered by none other than a Bonus symbol which is reel specific, meaning that it will only appear on one or more distinct reels; they usually fall on reels 1 and 4, however, may differ from game to game, thus highlighting the importance of going through the paytable before you start spinning.


On every paytable, you’ll find a list of the paylines you can land in the game. In standard 5×3 reel video slots, you’ll normally find between 25 and 30 win-lines. Playing more than one pay-line will increase your chances of winning, therefore, it’s advisable to play on all lines. With adjustable paylines, you can choose just how many to activate. On the other hand, a slot may also have a fixed pay-line system wherein you can’t choose how many lines to play on. In the case of a video slot bearing adjustable winning lines, the best thing to do is to reduce your bet per line to the minimum in order to make it more affordable and worthwhile in the end.

The Importance of Reading the Paytable

By studying the paytable you’ll have a better idea of what symbols to look out for and which you’ll need to form those high-winning combinations. The paytable, in general, will help you learn more about slots. It will also feature brief explanations of the bonus features like free spins and multipliers. Nowadays, the more entertaining the game is, the more complex the paytable is, so it’s especially important to glance at it.