What Is a Slot Machine?

The slot machine is a type of casino game that features reels spinning and stopping to rearrange symbols, which earn players credits based on the number of symbols matching on the pay line. Some slots feature bonus games or other special features, and some have a jackpot prize.

When choosing a slot machine, make sure it offers the best payout percentage for your bankroll and personal preferences. You can find payout percentages posted on the rules or information page for the game, in an online casino’s slot guide, or on a game developer’s website.

Symbols and Pay Tables

Many machines use symbols that follow a theme, like figures from Ancient Egypt or Ancient Greece. These symbols may be wild and represent several other symbols to complete a winning line, or they might only appear on certain reels. Some machines have a maximum payout for each symbol, while others place caps on the jackpot amount.

Symbols vary from game to game and have different meanings. Some are lucky numbers, while others are symbols that represent objects. Some are symbols that have a certain aesthetic or theme, such as fruits and bells.


Almost all slots have a pay table that lists the number of credits a player can win for lining up specific combinations of symbols on the pay lines. The pay table also lists the odds of hitting a particular combination of symbols, and some games even offer a progressive jackpot.

Payout Percentage

The return to player (RTP) is one of the most important statistics for slot games. A high RTP means that a slot has a higher probability of paying out to players than other slot machines. This is because it makes the game more exciting to play, since players can expect to win more often than they might lose.

A low RTP means that a slot has fewer chances of paying out to players than other slots. This is because it is less likely to hit a combination of symbols on the pay lines, which means that the player will be unable to cash in as much as they might have otherwise.

Paytables are available on most newer video slot machines, but they can be found in a help menu on older machines. They usually explain how the game works and offer a list of paytable symbols and special features.

Wild Symbols

Most slots have a wild symbol, which can replace other symbols to complete a winning line. These symbols can also be used to activate a slot game’s bonus round.

Symbols are chosen by a random number generator (RNG) that is controlled by the machine’s manufacturer. A combination of symbols can appear on any of the five reels, and if they match, the slot machine pays out the number of credits shown on the paytable.

Scatter Symbols

A scatter symbol can trigger a bonus game on a slot, as well as award players with free spins or additional credits when they land three or more of these symbols on the pay lines. These symbols are usually represented by a single picture, but some machines feature more than one picture on the pay lines.