How to Read a Slot Paytable

A slot is a narrow opening, especially one for receiving something, such as coins or a letter. The word is also a term for a position, such as the place in a line up or on an ice hockey team’s roster.

If you want to win at slot games, read the pay table carefully. It shows you how the paylines work, what symbols must land to trigger winning combinations, and how much each of these pays.

The paytable also explains the bonus features, if any. Whether you’re playing online or at a casino, knowing how to read the paytable is vital for understanding your odds of winning.

Before microprocessors were added to slot machines, manufacturers used to weight the individual reel stops to give the appearance of a particular symbol appearing more frequently on the payline than other symbols. But with a computer controlling the machine, each combination of three numbers is recorded and assigned to a stop location on the reel. Upon receiving a signal from the machine — anything from a button being pushed to a handle being pulled — the computer matches the number to the sequence on the reel and the reel stops to reveal a symbol. As you can imagine, there are a staggering number of possible combinations.