How To Read Slot Pay Tables - Pay Tables Explained

Ziv Chen

Updated by

Ziv Chen


Last Updated on 14th March 2024, 07:22 AM

How To Read Slot Pay Tables - Pay Tables Explained

A slot pay table is built-in hub of accessible information, containing everything you need to know about the specific game. Classic slot games used to be very simple, featuring a standard set of a few symbols, a 3x3 game grid and one payline across. However, in recent decades slots have advanced to boast innovative features, special symbols, complex gameplay and hundreds of ways to win. Considering the complexities of modern online slots, pay tables are essential to understand games, gamble safely and enjoy slots more.

What is a Slot Pay Table?

A slot pay table is a user manual built into every online slot, showing all gameplay information such as rules, features, symbols, winning combinations and paylines. It also shows how much each winning combination will pay out if you trigger it. You will typically find dedicated screens for each special feature, such as Scatter and Wild Symbols, Free Spins and other bonus features. You can learn how these features are triggered within the game, how they work and their potential rewards.

If you are playing progressive slots, the pay table will highlight what bet sizes are needed to trigger the jackpot, which is a crucial piece of information.

It is highly recommended to check the pay table of a new slot before you start to spin the reels. If you dive into the game without looking at the pay table, you risk missing out on essential information about how to play the game, which symbol combinations trigger wins, and the size of the prizes you can win.

How do You Read an Online Slot Pay Table?

In most online slot games, you can access the pay table by clicking on an icon (usually marked with an 'i') at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on the icon will load a pop-up window that displays all the essential information about the slot machine you are about to play. Most pay tables display a slider that will help you navigate between screens and topics, where each screen presents charts, images and game information highlights.

While online slot pay table charts may seem complicated at first, they are actually very illustrative and easy to understand. Developers use symbol images to help you understand the information at a glance. Some pay tables are interactive, so if you see a button you can press, go ahead, and press it!

Slot Pay Table Contents

The information shown on an online slot pay table will differ depending on the game. One of the factors that make this difference is the complexity of a slot. Basic slots may have a pay chart displayed on a single page, while more complex or progressive jackpot slots will have multi-page pay tables.

Pay tables may come in various designs, usually influenced by the slot's theme. Although there may be some variation, the layout of pay tables is universal. Therefore our examples in this guide refer to the general pay table structure.

Let's take a closer look at the individual parts of the online slot pay table:

  • Paylines: Paylines mark the patterns on the reels that the symbols need to align with to generate a win. Old-school slots became famous for the single horizontal payline, but modern online slots have multiple paylines and various patterns and directions. Pay tables will usually illustrate the payline patterns across the game grid.
  • Bet Limits: Are the game's minimum and maximum bets, including the required bet for the jackpot in the case of a progressive slot. When playing an online slot, you'll often only be able to win certain prizes if you bet a specific amount on a spin. For example, the jackpot is usually only possible to win if you place a higher bet.
  • Paying Symbols: Are all slot game symbols that can appear on the reels during gameplay, including their possible winning combinations. Pay tables are the best place to see every slot symbol in the game and what each means to your chances of winning a prize. Symbol images are shown alongside coin amounts or multipliers you can win if those combinations land on the reels. As symbols are so varied in the modern online slot realm, it is important to check the pay table to know what each symbol means.
  • Special Symbols: Examples of these would be the Wild symbol and Scatter symbol, which will trigger unique features and wins. A pay table will explain how these are activated and how they function within the slot machine's gameplay.
  • Features: Pay tables provide the player valuable information about features available on the slot game, such as the bonus rounds, Multipliers, Free Spins, auto-spins, etc. In terms of auto spin, this is an essential feature on modern online slots that lets you pre-set the amount of spins. It speeds up gameplay and makes the game more efficient. However, it is imperative to look at the payable carefully and learn how to use the auto-spin feature safely, while controlling your budget and gambling responsibly.
  • Jackpots: Even if you are playing for fun, all online slot gamblers dream of winning the jackpot. What's better than spinning the reels on a single bet and winning a sensational sum of money? A pay table shows information about jackpot payouts and required bets, including progressive jackpot games. Imagine the disappointment of thinking you had won a jackpot and then discovering that you didn't place the qualifying bet amount because you forgot to check the pay table.

When you read a slot pay table, get familiar with these parts to give yourself more enjoyment when playing the game.

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Why Reading the Slot Pay Table is Important?

It is common, especially amongst novice slot players, to start playing slot games without having an idea of what's happening. Reels spin and symbols land on the slot payline, but the player has no clue whether they have won or lost. Of course, the game will tell you if you've won or triggered a bonus, but that's hardly enjoyable.

Pay tables give you a way to understand the online slots you play, know what symbols mean, anticipate any winning symbol combination, and be aware of what features are available. When you take a little time to read over the pay chart, you will increase the enjoyment of playing online slots. If you know the potential winning combos, drama and excitement become part of the slot experience, making games even more fun.

Understanding the slot will help you manage your bankroll and gamble responsibly. Therefore, it is imperative to read the pay table to become informed about the slot, its mechanics, limits and potential wins.


Knowledge goes a long way in the online casino realm. But always keep in mind that the outcome of every spin of an online slot is random. So pay tables won't help you win prizes. However, they will help you manage your budget and understand aspects of gameplay, such as how much you should wager on each spin, what features are available and what symbols do. A slot pay table is your roadmap to a memorable online slots experience and can help you understand a game completely, play for longer, enjoy it and hopefully win.

Meet The Author

25 Years
Ziv Chen
Ziv Chen
Writer Writer

Ziv Chen has been working in the online gambling industry for over two decades in senior marketing and business development roles. Ziv writes about a wide range of topics including slot and table games, casino and sportsbook reviews, American sports news, betting odds and game predictions. Leading a life full of conflict, Ziv constantly struggles between his two greatest loves: American football and US soccer.

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