What Are Paylines? Your Ultimate Guide

Summer Slot Games

When it comes to online slot play, there’s very little more important than paylines. They’re the element of slots that provide the payout and if you’re looking to play online slots then you really should know about them.

To help get you started, and on track to understand all you need to know about paylines, we’ve put together this handy little guide to ensure you can play with complete confidence…

What Are Paylines?

For the most part, people understand what the aim of the game is with online slots – to match symbols across the reels and win money. However, where people get a little confused is the various winning combinations. This is where paylines come in to play.

While the aim is to match symbols across the reels, you will only win if the symbols land along what’s called a payline. These are effectively invisible lines that offer payouts. These paylines come in all shapes and sizes, with the most common being a straight, horizontal line across the middle of the reels. However, you will also find them in diagonals and other shapes.

How Do Paylines Work

Different slots will have different numbers of paylines, with some offering hundreds of different paylines. However, they all work in the same way with players required to match symbols along them. The paylines never change and you don’t need to fill the entire payline to win.

Most slots will require you to land at least three matching symbols on consecutive reels along a payline in order to win, most commonly from left to right. The more symbols you then land on the payline, the more you will win. 

The symbols will all be worth different values, which can be found on the paytable of online slots, while paylines don’t change value and you can land symbols on any of them and the value of a win will only change with the volume of symbols you land along it.

You will find some slots ‘pay both ways’, which means not only can you win for landing matching symbols running from left to right along paylines as standard, but matching symbols from right to left too.

Finding The Paylines Available

If you’d like to know the paylines on an online slot, which we’d certainly recommend, you can usually find them in the information section, where you’ll also find the paytable telling you how much you will earn for landing various matching symbols along the paylines. There will usually be illustrations highlighting the paylines, to make it even easier to understand.

How Many Paylines Can I Expect On A Slot?

The number of paylines on a slot really does vary dependent on the slot you are playing. Some slots offer up as many as 700 different paylines, while some only have 10. That doesn’t necessarily mean the one with 10 is less likely to pay out, however. You will also need to take into account things such as Return to Player (RTP) and volatility to get a better reflection of which slots are most likely to pay out.Popular online slot Starburst, for example, has just 10 paylines, whereas Gorilla Kingdom has over 1,000. Some of the more traditional slots may only have one, yet still offer up just as much entertainment.

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