Slot Terminology: A Complete Slot Terms Guide From A to Z

game thumb 1

Just like other specific casino games, slots have their own glossary, and with our help, you will be one step closer to knowing all terms. Our professionals will guide you through all slot terminology and phrases used in the gambling industry so that you may understand each aspect of your gameplay. So level up your game with the latest additions to slot terminology and keep up with the slot experts.

Slot Terminology Explained

If in the beginning there were only a few phrases like “one-armed bandit” or “bell fruit machine” attached to slot machines, nowadays advanced slot games also provide a great range of new terms. For that reason, we’re here to provide you with a complete breakdown of the general casino terminology you’ll come across in your gambling journey.

243 Ways to Win

Typically, most mobile slots have a maximum of “paylines”; this type of slot has no paylines at all. If the symbols are aligned in a reel, they will pay out from left to right. If you want to try 243 ways to win a slot, then you should try Voila, Game of Thrones or any other recommended titles from different slot sites.

3D Video Slots

Games that feature a 3D video include highly detailed animations and outstanding graphics, making the gameplay even more exciting. Try hitting a payline to see how coloured symbols come to life. Usually, NetEnt casinos hold this type of game in their library. A good example is EggOMatic, as it is a very good-looking slot with remarkable features.

3-Reel, 5-Reel, or 6-Reel

The reels represent the sections where the symbols are placed and spin every time you push that start button. Back when slot machines were available only at land-based casinos, you always had a 3-reel machine, which is why fruit theme slots still have them.  But nowadays, you’ll find more 5 and 6 reel slots as they offer multiple features, making the game more exciting.


It refers to the total amount a player bets in a specific timeframe. This number term is often used for some bonus offers and wagering requirements.

Active Payline

This kind of payline gets activated and pays a prize only if a winning combination lands on it. In order to adjust your wager, many slots allow you to activate or deactivate paylines to work in your favour.

SlotsCalendar Advice: To make sure you are aware of all possible wins and payouts, always check the payable, which is usually located within the main gaming screen. You’ll find essential details on paylines, payout odds, winning combos, and even information on how to play bonus events.

Autoplay/Auto Spin

If you don’t feel like pressing all those buttons, why waste your energy? You may use the “auto-spin” button to select how many spins you want to reach and just wait for the result. Let the slot do your hard work while you sit back and relax. Modern games like the Book of Ra series, all have this function, including those from the video slots category, so you’ll indeed find a game that works for you.

Autoplay AutoSpin

All ways

It means that a slot will pay on all paylines running both left-to-right and right-to-left. You’ll encounter this in online games, which are also considered highly beneficial for players.

Annuity Winner

It involves a slot machine jackpot that is paid in instalments yearly. You may collect the winnings at once, but there’s usually a significant tax attached to it.


This acronym stands for “Amusement With Prizes”. It is usually used for a classic slot with fruit symbols. In order to be categorised as AWP, the game has to provide a specific level of player interaction.


In short, a traditional slot reel symbol. In the past, this symbol illustrated a stylised image of a chewing gum pack. That is why the rest of the classic symbols pictures fruits and are a reminder of the gum flavours.

Basic slots

Known also as straights, these slot machines feature one single payline and a static jackpot, which doesn’t change as progressive ones do.


It represents the amount that a bettor wagers on a spin.

Bet Max

This term refers to the maximum wager you can try on any spin.

Bet Min

It is the minimum amount you can bet per spin.

Bet One

This bet allows you to wager one coin or credit per spin.

Bet per Line

It refers to the bet wagered per payline for each spin.

Betting Units

Betting units act just like credits. They are units used to wager. Their value is determined by the denomination slot machine that you are playing.

Big Bertha

This slang phrase refers to large machines that are used in casinos to catch players’ attention. Usually, these machines are much bigger than the normal ones and typically feature multiple reels.

Big Hit

This term is usually used when a bettor hits the jackpot combination.

Bonus Features

These add a little spice to every gameplay. Bonus features are represented by extra symbols like wilds, scatters, and free spins that can increase your chances of winning.

SlotsCalendar Advice: If you are a newbie who just discovered how symbols work, we recommend you try slot games in demo version first as free slots. This way, you’ll get to test your skills without risks and know how to create a solid winning strategy.

Branded Slots

They are usually video slots influenced by popular franchises. They feature famous TV series, singers, games, movies, or book characters. All providers developed slots with these specific themes, but you’ll find the most exciting games at Microgaming casinos. These online casinos have some top games like Jurassic World, Bridesmaids, Lara Croft Temples and Tombs, and many other familiar titles.

Buy a Feature

It is a feature that allows you to buy access to bonus games.

Buy a Pay

This term means that a specific slot machine will require you more coins or credits to have access to more winning combinations.


The candle represents the light on top of a real slot machine at a casino. Functions like an emergency button if you need assistance from the casino’s staff or if you hit the jackpot.


Addresses to a group of slot machines arranged in an oval or circle formation.


It is a form of reward usually offered to loyal customers. Players will receive a percentage of their net losses over a fixed period of time. It comes as a cash bonus with just 1x wagering requirements.


When you want to withdraw your winnings, you first need to convert your credits into real money. Usually, you may do this by using a cash-out button.

Cascading/Collapsing Reels

This phrase is usually referred to as tumbling or exploding reels, and it happens when the winning symbol disappears from the screen like an explosion. The symbol placed above will “collapse, and the rest of the symbol will flow to replace the ones that “exploded”. This action can lead to a winning chain reaction. Gonzo’s Quest and Pixies of the Forest are famous slots that include this feature.

Certified slots

Certified slots are the games that casinos guarantee an RTP of 98%-100%. They are usually marked on the specifics of every game so that the players know exactly what are the winning chances.

Classic Slots

These slots usually have 3-reels and only a few paylines. The games use vintage symbols like fruit, bells, bars, and the lucky number 7.  Some examples of such games are Fire Hot 100, Mighty 777 Sticky Credits, or Fruit 6 Deluxe.


Back in the days when land-based casinos were still crowded, you could play at slot machines using actual coins. Remains of the past are still used in modern slots, as some casinos allow you to measure your wager in coins or credits.


Refers to the unit used after you insert money into a slot machine. You can see the credit indicator near the bottom of the slot screen.


It represents each credit unit used to wager on a specific slot.

Expanding Wilds

Categorised as special wilds, when these symbols appear on the screen, they expand to cover the whole reel, offering higher chances of wins. There are two famous slots that include the feature: Starburst and Thunderstruck II.

Free spins

It can be one of two things: a) a bonus offer where you get free spins for your game, like free spins bonus with no deposit; or b) it can be considered a bonus feature. The feature is activated when you find a combination of 3 or more scatter symbols.

Fruit machine

A slang phrase used by British players for slot machines that have a fruit theme.

Gamble feature

Some slots allow you to double or quadruple your winnings, but only if you’re willing to risk it. You may say that this feature is equal to a coin toss. When you hit the winning combination, you can bet on a 50/50 chance to double or lose it.

Grid Slot

The term is used to describe a game that features the same number of rows and reels. It also creates wins using clusters. An excellent example of a grid slot is Viking Runecraft.

Hammer a Machine

It’s a slang phrase used for the situation in which a bettor plays a slot for a long time, usually to try to win a large progressive jackpot.

Hot and Cold Slots

A slot game that is currently paying out a lot is categorised as hot. On the other side, it is cold when the slot doesn’t pay for a while.

Hit frequency

The term is represented in percentages, showing you how often you should expect the game to hit a winning payline. For instance a 50% hit frequency, you should expect the game to hit 50% of your entire gameplay.

House Edge

It represents the percentage that a casino will profit over the course of slots machines’ lifetime. Normally, the percentage is somewhere between 2 and 5%.


This type of slot game surely includes a jackpot, representing the maximum win you may have on a single spin. They are often referred to as an in-game jackpot, so you shouldn’t confuse it with a progressive jackpot.

SlotsCalendar Advice: When you choose to play a slot with a jackpot, we recommend you a smaller one since it tends to pay out more frequently. So if you’re looking to win constantly, this is the way to go. We know that progressives are more tempting, but your chances of hitting one are not that favourable. 


This term is used for a slot design with thousands, tens of thousands of hundreds of thousands of ways to win. These games are usually developed by Big Time Gaming, where reels shift in size as the number of rows per reel can change.

SlotsCalendar Advice: When playing Megaways slots, make sure you shop around a little, as there are hundreds of games to choose from. See which one you like best before spending a significant amount, and make sure they have a higher RTP. We also recommend you play Megaways with a responsible mindset since it’s so easy to go with the flow when you’re having fun.


The bonus feature can multiply your winnings by as much as ten times, which sounds exciting. It all depends on how you use the feature.

Mobile Slots

There are slot games perfectly optimised for smart devices, and they run accurately on all mobile systems. This includes phones and tablets powered by Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry. So if you’re a fan of slots on the go, you’ll have the means to play your game.

Nudge Slot

It was very popular back in the days at it allowed you to hit a button to nudge all the reels down. You also had a fixed number of nudges to get it right and win your reward.

Online Slots

The terms refer to games you can play on your laptop or desktop. You may play them in instant mode, or you download the game on your computer. Online slots usually include complex features, advanced graphics, and high-quality animations.


It is a slot line that you could win on. This needs to be active before the payout. When it comes to video slots, you can actually choose how many paylines you want, but the classic slots will allow you only one.


This will showcase all the winning combinations of symbols across the reels and how much you can win per combination. It can also show you the jackpot amount and what you must do to activate it.

Penny Slots

These slots allow you to bet a minimum of 1 cent or a penny per payline. They are recommended for newbies, players on a budget, or those who want continuous entertainment.


Australian bettors coined the term. It refers to slot machines.

Progressive Jackpot

Progressives are the features that could bring you thousands to millions if hit at the right time. This jackpot has the ability to build up over time. The total jackpot amount is created with a percentage from each player’s bet.

Progressive Slots

Slots that have a progressive jackpot. The slots may even have more than three progressive jackpots at once. If this sounds exciting to you, make sure you try Mega Moolah.


They represent the vertical columns that go from left to right within a slot. As we mentioned, classic slots tend to have only three, but video slots have five or six.


They are the horizontal symbol arrangements in a slot game.


It’s an acronym that stands for Return To Player Rate. It indicates a theoretical percentage that shows a part of the total bets placed on a game which will be returned to the players in the form of winnings.


Another very encountered acronym is RNG, meaning Random Number Generator. It is well-known that slots work based on random outcomes, offering you a chance of luck. What is behind the machines is actually a random number generator.


These symbols guarantee winnings when they pop up anywhere on the reels. Sometimes they trigger bonus features like free spins.

Slot tournament

You should know that online casinos often run slot tournaments. These events usually focus on a single title or a selection of slot games. The principle is simple. Bettors play the same slot game and wait to see who wins the most cash.


Both terms mean the same thing. They describe the “risk” you take when trying a new game. Volatility is divided into three levels. Low volatility includes a low risk with often little pay. Medium volatility keeps a balance between budget and entertainment. And high volatility slots imply high risk but high rewards. The last category doesn’t pay often, but when it happens, expect life-changing money.


The wager is just another term used for the bet you place on a slot machine.

SlotsCalendar Advice: If you don’t want to invest a fortune in your winning chances, you should know that there are real money casinos without wagering. Just make sure you read the review of the casino first, so you play at a reputable establishment.  

Wild Symbol

The symbol is considered the joker of slot games. It can substitute other symbols on a paytable, creating other wins on active paylines. It doesn’t act like a substitute for scatters or bonus symbols, but it will surely bring in a multiplier in the game.

SlotsCalendar Advice: Before starting any game, remember to look at the casino’s payable to make sure you choose a slot that offers wild symbols. Sometimes the wild means more than just bonus rounds as it may also increase your winnings by a specific amount. 


If classic slots all feature old straight lines, most modern slots have a wide variety of paylines. For this reason, today, many paylines go in a zig-zag.

Playing slots provides countless hours of online entertainment, but you should always keep up with a responsible game. You don’t even need to know all the slot terminology we gathered here to have fun, but some extra knowledge can be your best ally. So, take your time, study them well and make those slot machines explode with winnings.

Other Gambling Terms

From A to W (there’s currently no Z in casino terms) we have all the gambling terminology you will ever need.  So with no further ado, here are all the must-know casino gambling terms explained.

    • Advantage Player: This refers to a player that has a certain advantage over the casino. It was generally used for players who did card counting at blackjack but also works for online players that can use a bonus to gain an advantage.
    • Ante: This is a bet that is required at some casino games before the round starts. 
    • Banker: Another name for the dealer / the house.
    • Bankroll: The amount of money a player has to gamble with / the amount of funds available in the player’s online casino account.
    • Bet: A term used for a wager on a casino game.
    • Betting Limits: The minimum and maximum amount that a player can bet on a casino game, as set by the casino.
    • Buck: Lingo used for a $100 bet.
    • Bonus: A sum of money, credit or free spins which are given to a player by an online casino to encourage them to play more or for meeting certain requirements.
    • Card Shark: An expert player of card games.
    • Cash-Out: Withdrawing money from a casino, getting out the total amount or a part of the money you’ve won. We strongly recommend our fast withdrawal casinos selection
    • Cashier: The place where you exchange chips for money in a brick and mortar casino or the page where you can deposit and withdraw funds from your account in an online casino.
    • Casino Advantage: This is the mathematical advantage that a casino has over players. It is also known as the house edge.
    • Casino Rewards: Some online casinos can offer rewards to players, usually cash but can be other gifts as well, based on how much they play.
    • Chip Tray: The tray which is used by a dealer to hold house chips.
    • Chips: These are the tokens used in casinos to represent cash. The round discs have different denominations, and different colours are used to represent them. 
    • Cold Streak: An extended period in which the player only loses.
    • Comp Points: These are points given to the player from the casino (either online or offline) for betting specific amounts. The points are part of a VIP program, and they can be exchanged for special bonuses in online casinos or for dining, beverages, hotel rooms and other benefits in brick and mortar casinos. 
    • Colour Up: Exchanging smaller-denomination chips for larger ones.
    • Credits: 1 credit is equal to 1 cash unit. A credit can be a quarter, a dollar, a euro, a pound etc.  
    • Croupier: Also known as a casino dealer. It’s the French version of the word, but it’s commonly used in several languages.
    • Dealer: The casino employee who deals the cards, throws the ball, takes bets etc.
    • Deposit: Adding funds to your online casino account.
    • Dime: Casino jargon used when betting $1,000.
    • Face Cards: Jargon used instead of saying kings, queens or jacks; all the cards that have a face on them.
    • Gambler’s Fallacy: The false belief that the outcome of a random event is influenced by previous events. 
    • High Roller: Players who make high stake bets on casino games.
    • Hot Streak: A long period in which a player continuously wins. 
    • House: House is another name used to refer to the casino.
    • House Edge: The mathematical advantage that the casino has in every game against players. The casino’s “cut“.  
    • House Rules: A set of rules specific to a particular casino.
    • Jackpot: A set large prize offered for a particular outcome in a game. Usually available in slot and video poker games.
    • Layout: A surface of the gaming table where players place their wagers. 
    • Lobby: The page of an online casino where you can find all the available games.
    • Loyalty Scheme: Also known as a VIP Program, is basically the casino reward system for players offered for wagering different amounts.
    • Live Dealer Games: A type of online casino games which are played with real dealers using HD live video streaming.
    • Maximum Bet: The highest stake that can be placed on a particular casino game.
    • Minimum Bet: The lowest stake that can be placed on a particular casino game. Some casinos accept 1 minimum deposit
    • Multi-Hand Games: Casino games in which a player can play more than one hand at the same time.
    • Nickel: jargon for betting $500.
    • Multiplayer Games: Online gambling games where you can play with other real players rather than on your own.
    • Non-Sticky Bonus: A non-sticky bonus is an offer that allows you to withdraw your winnings, even what’s left of your initial deposit after you’ve completed the wagering requirements. 
    • Odds: Your chances of winning, determined by the casino, usually calculated as a %.
    • Payout / Payback Percentage: The result you should expect (calculated over a huge period of time and bets placed) determined by deducting the casino advantage from 100%. It applies to both games and the casino overall.
    • Payout Table: A table which shows you the pay-out for each bet or each winning combination.
    • Progressive Jackpot: A type of jackpot that increases with a percentage of each bet placed on that game (or a network of bets) and can reach incredible heights in the millions. If a player wins it he/she wins the entire jackpot from everyone who has ever bet on it since it was last won. 
    • Push: A tied outcome where neither the house nor the player wins at a casino game.
    • Random Number Generator (RNG): This is the software used by online casinos to generate a completely random outcome for games (slots, roulette, blackjack etc). 
    • Reload Bonus: A bonus that’s offered to an existing customer for making a new deposit (everything that comes after the first deposit).
    • Shoe: The box from which cards are dealt in casinos.
    • Sign-Up Bonus: A bonus offered to new customers when they join. It’s generally in the form of no deposit cash bonuses or no deposit free spins. 
    • Stake: The amount you wager on the outcome of a casino game.
    • Sticky Bonus: The Sticky Bonus is an offer where your money becomes bonus money when you take the offer. You can’t withdraw before you finish the wagering requirements. 
    • Tournament: A sort of challenge created by the casino where several (sometimes hundreds+) of players can enter and play poker or slots or craps of other games. While there is a winner, the huge prize pool will generally be divided among several participants. 
    • VIP: A high-value player who will get special treatment from a casino for being loyal and constantly making bets. The special treatment ranges from special perks like a VIP manager and tailored bonuses to more cashback. 
    • Welcome Bonus: A bonus offered to new customers, generally after they’ve made their first deposit.
    • Whale: A high-value player who plays for very big stakes aka a high roller.

Like our page and get special bonuses

    Report Issue