Anatomy of a Slot Machine

Slot machines are comprised of various components. Let's take a look at them...

 The Symbols

Cherries, lemons, 7's, and liberty bells, have been basic slot machines symbols dating back more than 50 years. Online you are likely to encounter an amazing range of symbols, there are no limits!

 The Reel's on the Slot go Round and Round!

The symbols on a slots machine are printed on spining mechanisms called reels. Typical online slot machines contain three reels, though there are also four reel machines and novelty type slots with as many as eight or ten reels, these monster machines often referred to as Big Berthas. Most reels contain 20-24 steps or stops. Each step is a place where the reel can end up when it is spun. This step may contain a symbol, such as a cherry or lemon, or a blank, a step with no symbol, just a blank. Blank is bad, symbol is good!

 The Pay Line

The most important part of any online slot machine is it's pay line. The window in front of a slot machine's reels is marked by one or more horizontal or diagonal lines, these are called pay lines. Basically this is the visual display that shows if you have scored a winning spin or not. Winning combinations must line up directly behind a pay line to be considered a winner.

 The Payout Display

Apart from the pay line on a slot, the payout display is the most important display on the machine because it shows you what combinations are needed to have a winning spin and how much each of these winners will pay. On a straight slot machine, all winning amounts will be posted on the display itself. These are typically expressed in number of coins to be won as opposed to dollar amounts. (Now and then, some displays will give you a £ amount that can be won for a specific combination).

For example, a winning combination might show a payment of 50 coins or 100 coins.

On progressive jackpot machines, 'Progressives' might be indicated next to the payout for the big jackpot hand. The progressive jackpot total is usually posted above the slot machine and is continuously rising.

 Buttons on Slots and what they mean

There are a few buttons that you will interact with at the machine. We'll take a brief look at them here.

 Play Max Credits/Bet Max Coins

Pressing the PLAY MAX CREDITS button bets the maximum amount of coins allowed and automatically spins the reels. If the machine accepts five coins as a bet, pressing PLAY MAX CREDITS will deduct five coins from your credits. Similarly, if three coins were the maximum bet, then three coins would be played and that amount would be deducted.

This button may also read as BET MAX COINS or PLAY ALL CREDITS, or may have another similar designation which would amount to the same thing.

The PLAY MAX CREDITS button only activates the reels if you have credits available.

 Play One Credit

You can also play one coin at a time by depressing the "PLAY ONE CREDIT" button. In this case, the reels will not spin until the handle is pulled or the SPIN REELS button is pressed. You can also play two credits by pressing the "PLAY ONE CREDIT" button twice, or three coins by pressing it three times, or the maximum number of credits by pressing this button until the full allowance of coins is reached.

 Credits Played or Coins Played

The Credits Played or Coins Played display shows how many coins are being wagered on the current spin. If three coins are played, the display would indicate the number "3" in the area provided.


The Credits indicator shows how many credits you have accumulated either through winning spins or through money entered into the machine. For example, placing a £20 note and playing it on 25p single line slot will give you eighty 25p credits into your account. The indicator in credits will display the number "80."

Playing the PLAY ONE CREDIT or PLAY MAX CREDITS button will automatically deduct one credit in the first case, or the max credit amount, whatever that might be on the particular machine being played, from your credits. Be careful when selecting the PLAY MAX CREDITS as it could wipe out your whole balance.

 The Cash Out Button

You can use your credits by either playing them through until the total is down to 0 (which means you've lost them all!), or hitting the CASH OUT button, which will convert credit into actual coins and send them tumbling into the well below and into your virtual account.

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