How to use paylines in online slots

We’ve all been online slots beginners at some point in our existence (maybe some of us still are) and we’ve all been confronted with, what it seemed to us, the difficult task of trying to understand the rules and to guess the meaning of all terms. We believe that the most important thing in online slots, the thing we should really concentrate on and take into account are the paylines. They can bring us considerable winnings and a big smile on our faces or, on the contrary, they can make us regret placing a bet in the first place. We thought it would be very useful for everybody to tackle the subject of paylines and learn all there is to know about how to effectively use them in online slots.

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What is a payline and how many can you have in a game?

How paylines work in online slots

This is what you want to achieve.This is an example from one of BingoHall’s slot games.






Paylines are those lines that go across the winning symbols, from one end to another, and result in you winning a payout. That is the simple definition, as over the years, classic slots have almost entirely been replaced with multipayline slots, and so the lines that go through the symbols have increased in number. This number depends on the number of reels (E.g. If a slot machine has 3 reels, the possible combinations are fewer than in 5 reels online slots). You will notice that each side of the frame that contains the symbols has random numbers (not consecutive) that represent the ends of the payline.

Focus on the paylines when you play online slots

A game that has 20 paylines

The range of paylines is between 2 and 100, but they generally go up to 25 paylines. Of course, you can also find something in between, like 3, 5, 9, 15, 20 paylines.

In a five reel online slots game, each payline consists of five symbols, lined up in multiple directions:

  • Straight
  • Zigzagged
  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Diagonal

This is an example in which all 20 paylines are activated:

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There is a multitude of possible combinations!


You can usually click on the numbers placed on the sides to try as many combinations as you can, or you can select the number of lines from the + and – box.


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Why not select the maximum number of paylines?


How to place your bet depending on the number of paylines

You will be happy to find out that many online casinos don’t have a fixed number of winning combinations, because every spin can happen to have not only one payline, but multiple paylines.

Always look at the maximum number of lines and at the maximum bet to find out how much your total bet is going to be. Let’s take the following example, where the maximum number of lines is 25 and the maximum bet is $5.00. By multiplying 25 by $5.00 we discover our total bet, $125.00. In this case, that is also the largest amount of money that you can bet for a single spin.

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Think twice before placing your bet!


You generally want to bet on all the paylines to increase your chances of winning and if you use multiple coins, they will be activated in the same spin. You want to make sure that you cover all the paylines, and you can do that with a maximum bet that will help you get a winning combination. Imagine actually having all the symbols lined up and resulting in a winning combination, but realizing that you didn’t place a bet on that specific payline! This means that you don’t get to win anything, and that’s not a situation you want to be in.

If you’re feeling particularly lucky and confident one day, you can hit the “Bet Max” button and it will automatically generate the maximum amount of money based on the maximum number on lines and the maximum bet.

There is always more to know about online slots

It’s all or nothing!


About the paytable and how to become a pro

Another thing that you want to get familiar with is the paytable, in other words, a scheme or a summary of the online slots game. It contains the rules, the combinations of symbols and how much they are worth.


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Always take a look at the paytable!


Plus, some contain bonus symbols that can trigger a bonus round, giving you one opportunity to spin the reel free of charge. Note that it is necessary to have a certain number of bonus features and they have to be on an activated payline. Just take a few moments out of your time to carefully study it, get used to all the terms, the bonuses, the winning combinations and to everything that an online slots game means.

One common mistake online players make is that they get stuck on one online slots game, thinking that the odds of winning are greater because the Random Number Generator has already exhausted all the possible combinations. That’s wrong, as the RNG will always generate a totally different combination for every spin. So always check the selection of online slots that an online casino has and if not pleased with a game, move to the next one and try your luck. Also, it’s always good to think twice when faced with the decision of leaving the game: stop where you feel comfortable or reinvest your winnings. Either way, follow your intuition!


What are you waiting for?

If you’ve read all the above and tried them yourself, you’re on your way of becoming an expert! And if you feel like there’s too much information to grasp at one glance, don’t worry, most of us started playing online slots without knowing the rules behind them, we just dived into the game and tried our best. Now, after getting comfortable playing a certain game, do not stop there, try as many as you can and don’t forget to have fun! Once you start having fun, you’ll forget all about the stress of winning some real money in a short period of time. And once you shake off the stress, guess what? That’s when you start seeing all your winnings go up!


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