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Breaking Slots Down

Slot machine screen showing various paylines


A payline is a lineup of specific symbols on which a payout will be awarded. Today's slots feature many symbols and paylines. Paylines can line up in horizontal, vertical, diagonal or even zigzag patterns for a win. Plus, you can bet on as many paylines as you want.

$1 machine displaying a value of 50 credits

Credits and coins

When it comes to slots, your money is converted into “credits” or “coins”, which are valued from pennies to $100. That’s why players talk about penny slots or nickel slots – they’re referring to the machine’s credit value, called the denomination.

Putting money into a slot? Be sure to check how much one credit is worth on that machine.


The denomination or value of a credit is rarely the same as the cost of a spin on that machine. Even machines called “penny” or “nickel” may actually have minimum bets that are much higher. In other words your spin will never cost only one cent on a penny machine.

Learn more about the cost of a spin



What’s the most important thing in slots? Know what prize you’re playing for. When it comes to prizing, every machine is different. Even if they look the same, two machines can pay very differently.

The paytable is the key to knowing your slot machine’s payouts. It shows you the prize value, winning symbol combinations, and which bet sizes correspond to each prize.

Be sure to understand the winning combinations so you’ll know how to tell a real win from a disappointment.



Find pay tables and help screens on the machines – through a ‘help’ button or “i” on the touch screens. Or ask a slot attendant for assistance. Slot attendants are always available and happy to answer any questions.

Learn more about payouts and prizing

Paytable showing various payouts

Check the paytable to know that machine’s top prize and your odds of winning it.


Slot machine light flashing.

Real Wins vs. False Wins

Sometimes on slot machines, it’s not always easy to tell if you win or lose.  It’s possible to get winning combinations of paylines and earn back credits, but not necessarily the full amount that you bet. Pay attention to the amount of the win versus how much you paid for that spin.


Sometimes a machine will flash and make noises that seem like a win when you’ve actually lost money on that spin.