Slot machines are the most popular casino games. This is because they require little skill and are very easy to understand. As long as you have filled the machine with credits, all you need to do is hit the spin button. The slot machine does all the work. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. It all depends on the pay lines and how many you are playing. In this article, we will take a closer look at the risk versus reward of pay lines on a slot machine.
What Pay Lines Do
When you add additional pay lines to your wager, you increase the odds of creating a winning match in a single spin. Logically, this means that if you played all of the pay lines in one spin, you are going to see multiple wins. It just makes sense to gamble on several pay lines with each of your spins as that should put you far ahead of the game, right?
As it turns out, the more pay lines you play, the more you must pay per spin (depending on the type of slot). Plus, with each spin, many of the valuable payout symbols on the reels are going to land outside of your selected pay lines. Conversely, when you do hit a win, the payout is going to be far greater than it would be with just a single pay line activated.
In other words, by risking more money per spin with multiple pay lines open, you will receive better rewards with fewer spins than just playing a single pay line over more spins. This is how it works with real money slots in both land-based and online casinos. Learn more here.
The Different Types of Payline Slots
Several different slot machine designs accommodate different pay line combinations. Here is a closer look at each of them:
One Pay Line Slots
This is what would be considered a classic slot. Many online casinos contain single pay line slots and they are typically meant to bring a touch of nostalgia to the game. This is why the majority of single pay line slots have only three reels. This adds to the classic feel of the machine. There are some five-reel single pay line slots and software developers have also created something called a pay anywhere mechanism. Pragmatic Play’s Master Joker slot is an example of this innovation. All you need to do is have three or more of the same symbol to display anywhere on the reels to win.
10 To 50 Pay Line Slots
Both land-based and online casinos contain several multi-pay line slots. These are machines that have 10, 20, 25, or 50 pay lines. When you open additional pay lines with these slots, the size of your bet increases. For example, if a single spin with one pay line on a penny slot machine costs you a penny, opening a total of 10 pay lines will cost you ten cents or whatever rate the slot has in place. Different software developers have different features built into their slots that can be activated with multi-pay line wins. Free spins, mini-games, and other bonuses are only offered through this method.
243 Ways To Win Slots
These slots are very different from the others in that if you have at least three matching symbols on the first three reels, it is considered a win. This type of slot has a fixed pay line system so you do not have to add to the size of your bet when you activate additional pay lines. You may have also seen slots that indicate they have 1,024 ways to win. These use the same type of mechanics only their reel structure is bigger.
Cluster Pay Line Slots
Slots with cluster pay lines use the same mechanics as 243 ways to win slots. This means there are no traditional pay lines and all that you need for a win is matching symbols adjacent to each other. The gambling story is different here as this is much like a puzzle game and groups of matching symbols in a cluster open bonuses and other features. The only difference here is that the cluster pay lines are fixed.
Fixed Pay Line Slot Machines Vs Adjustable Pay Line Slots
Slots with multiple pay lines open, such as the case with cluster pay line slots or any other slot where you can adjust the number of pay lines, have no advantage over slots with fixed pay lines. The reason for this is that every slot has something called a random number generator. This device ensures that the reels spin randomly and stop randomly. Thus making an adjustable slot machine as likely to pay out as a fixed slot machine. The only difference is that with multiple pay lines activated, your bets will increase as will your wins.
Other Factors To Consider
Slots are interesting in that they have other factors that determine the frequency and size of payouts. Each slot has a Return-To-Player (RTP) ratio. It is written as a percentage figure and essentially tells you how much of your total wager you could win back under normal conditions. Naturally, there are larger payouts that do occur. Another factor is slot machine volatility. This is a reference to how often it pays and how big the payouts are. This measurement is noted as low, medium, or high. Low volatility means a machine pays out more often, but with small prizes. High volatility means larger payouts, but less frequent with dry spells between. These factors differ from software developer to software developer and slot title to slot title.
Slot machines attract a lot of gamblers because they are easy to play. There is no strategy involved but you can increase the size of your wins by adding additional pay lines to your spins. Depending on the type of slot you play, adding more pay lines may increase the size of your bet. Fortunately, there are machines at casinos that have it in their design to offer you multiple ways to win. But pay lines are not the only thing to consider when playing slots. The RTP and volatility values also factor into the number of times you will win and the size of your wins. Regardless, slots are fun, easy to play, and come in so many different themes that you are sure to find one to your liking.