Slot Rules – Learn How to Get Started Playing Slots

Online SlotsAt an online casino, slot machines are some of the easiest games you can get involved in – that’s why they’re so popular! Not only do they offer fast gameplay, but in comparison to other casino games such as Blackjack and Poker, they’re far less complicated.

That being said, before you get started playing slots, there are a few rules you need to understand in order to play. After all, if you started playing slots by blindly pressing buttons, it may be lead to making unwise bets and losing money, and we definitely don’t want that!

On this page, you can learn the basics of how to play a slot machine, including:

  • The aim of the game
  • A glossary of slot terms
  • How to place a wager on a slot machine
  • Understanding the differences in gameplay in different slot machines

Slot Machines – The Aim of the Game

Before playing any game, whether that’s football or slots, you need to always understand what you need to do in order to win. For example, in Blackjack, you need to collect cards to reach the value of 21 (or to beat the dealer). So, what is it you need to do when playing slots in order to claim the jackpot?

Simply put, the aim of a slot machine game is to land a specific sequence of symbols on one or more of the paylines you’ve chosen to bet on.

However, it’s not quite as easy as that. Not all sequences and symbols in a slot machine are created equal, with some being much harder to achieve, yet more valuable, than others. This is where the fun begins! As slots are essentially a game of chance, you never know what your spin will give you.

A Short Glossary of Slot Machine Terms

Before we dive into learning how to play slot games, there are a few terms you need to be familiar with. Understanding these terms will help you understand slot machine rules and how these types of games work.


Starburst Slot Screenshot

In a slot machine, the reels are the columns of the game which rotate when the player presses the ‘spin button’. Each reel is filled with symbols and most modern slot machines have 3 or more reels. When the reels stop spinning, the game calculates what the player has won.


Paylines are the lines across the reels which determine whether or not you’ve achieved a winning spin. The symbols on the reels must fall on a payline to result in a payout. Most video slots have multiple paylines, and these can run horizontally, vertically or diagonally.


Cash Prize

A payout is when the slot machine rewards you with cash for a successful spin. A payout can vary depending on where the symbols land, and which symbols are shown on the screen.

Slot Symbols

When we refer to symbols within a slot game, we are talking about the images which appear on the reels. In most online slots, there will be between 3 and 10 different symbols, each with their own payout values.

Pay Table

Starburst Paytable

Within a slot machine, players can view the paytable. The paytable shows you how much a certain symbol will payout for a certain combination, as well as how the paylines run in that particular game.

Usually, the paytable can be found by pressing the Information or Question Mark button.

How to Start Playing: Slots Rules

If you thought that getting started playing slot machines was as easy as powering up a game you like the look of, then we’re here to tell you to think again.

Although you can proceed in this manner, in order to be a smart slot player, there are a few things you need to consider when choosing a slot game:

  • How much does the slot machine cost to play? (What is the minimum/maximum bet amount)
  • How many reels does the slot have?
  • How many paylines does the slot have?
  • What is the maximum win (jackpot) of the slot?

How to Place a Bet

Once you’ve selected a slot to play, the next step is to place a bet. Most online slots will have a default betting amount, meaning you can press spin immediately, yet smart slot players will know the importance of modifying the bet amount to suit their budget. Those are the basic slots rules on placing a bet.

On launching a slot machine game, you will find the betting controls below or next to the reels. Here you can change the amount you want to bet. Each slot machine will have a minimum and a maximum bet amount.

Slot Machine Betting Controls

A slot machine may also refer to the number of coins you’re betting – each coin being worth a specific value. So for instance, you may bet 10 coins, all with a value of 10p each.

How to Select Your Paylines

As we mentioned earlier, every slot has a number of paylines which are how the slot determines whether your spin is a win or a loss. Before you start playing any slot machine game, you should familiarize yourself with the slots rules, particularly with the number of paylines and their formation.

Starburst Winning PaylineIn some slot machines, paylines are adjustable. This means that you can choose to play with only certain paylines active. So, for example, you may choose to play with only one active payline or with all paylines active. The number of active paylines will both affect your wager size and your chances of winning

If the slot machine allows the number of active paylines to be adjusted, you can find these controls below or next to the reels, usually near to your wager controls.

Ok, Now Press Spin!

Spin ButtonOnce you’ve adjusted the slot controls to suit you, all that’s left to do is to hit the spin button! This activates the game’s random number generator and so, when the reels stop spinning, the game will calculate your winnings based on which symbols stopped where.

No matter what slot machine you’re playing, the basic slots rules remain the same. This means that whilst some slots may offer elaborate bonus rounds, it’s still very important to understand the paylines and betting options before beginning to play.