Understanding Online Casino Slots Rules

Published on: September 1, 2010 

Beginners often wonder how the payouts after each spin are calculated. The procedure for this calculation is given in the rules that can be accessed through the payout table. The rules are in essence identical across software suppliers though they may be stated and presented differently.

The payout table gives the payouts for specified number of like symbols appearing on an active payline. Usually this number is three or more. However, the symbols cannot appear anywhere on the payline. The slots rules usually state that the symbols have to appear left to right. This means that the symbol under consideration has to appear on the left most reel, which is traditionally called Reel 1, and then appear on the on the next two or more consecutive reels. There are some exceptions. Sometimes the rules specify that the symbols have to appear right to left. In even fewer cases the symbols can appear either left to right or right to left. However the benefit provided under this exception will undoubtedly be neutralized elsewhere.

Usually the scatter symbols are not subject to this rule. In fact the scatter symbol is so named because it pays out when the designated number appear anywhere on the reels. The terminology used by most software suppliers for this rule is “Scatter symbols pay any”. However, there could be exceptions and scatter symbols could be constrained to pay left to right in some slot games.  

There are two types of payouts in online slot games. One is called the payline wins and the other is called scatter wins. The payline wins are obtained by multiplying the payout table number with the amount staked per payline. Suppose that four of a symbol payout 500 times and the player has wagered $2 per payline then the total payline win will be $1,000 if four of that symbol appear left to right on an enabled payline. The amount staked per payline is the product of the coin size and the number of coins wagered per payline. In case the player is constrained to wager one coin per payline then the coin size becomes the amount staked. Again the rule for scatter symbols is different. The scatter wins are obtained by multiplying the payout table number by the total amount staked. The total amount staked is the amount staked per payline multiplied by the number of paylines activated.

A player can win on more than one payline at a time. Then the payouts for each payline win are added together. This rule is specified in the slots rules as “coinciding wins on different paylines are added”. Some symbols could be a part of more than one payline. If in addition to payline wins the player also gets scatter wins then the scatter wins are added to the payline wins in order to compute the total payout for that spin.

There is a very interesting online slots rule that says “Highest win only on each selected payline”. A symbol would usually result in a win if three or more appear in an active payline. Hence if five symbols appear in an active payline then three and four symbols also appear in that payline aligned from left to right. The player does not get paid for all three cases. According to the rule he gets paid only for the maximum number of symbols.

It is not mandatory for slots players to know or even understand these rules. But understanding them ensures that the player is not lost in a haze while wagering.

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