How Winning Lines Work in Online Slots

How Winning Lines Work in Online Slots

In slot machines, a payline is a pattern on the reels where a winning combination occurs. Classic slots have a single payline, while modern video slots usually have multiple lines.

If you are a fan of high-difficulty slots, the payline is one of the things you should pay attention to before playing.

Nowadays, there are many winning combinations in slot machines that add more excitement to the gameplay.

Before we learn what paylines are, we want to recommend you a great welcome bonus for players.

What are winning lines?

Paylines in slot machines can be either straight or zig-zag. A list of winning patterns for a slot can be found in its paytable.

Some players prefer to call it a betting line or a winning line. When identical slot machine symbols appear on a pay line, the game rewards the player with an instant win.

Classic online slot machines have a single horizontal win line with a single direction from left to right, while modern slots have evolved to numerous win lines with different prizes.

There are vertical win lines, zig-zag lines, diagonal lines, and all sorts of patterns.

But whatever the shape, you will come across two main types of win lines in slot machines. More on these below.

Fixed Paylines

Simply put, a fixed payline is an all-or-nothing game. You must place a bet on all the win lines before the reels are spun.

The game spreads your bet across all the paylines. Therefore, if you place one bet on a 10-line online slot machine, you will bet ten cents on each winning combination.

The fixed payline offers numerous winning opportunities with tempting bonuses.

These features are the reasons why many players choose casino games with fixed paylines.

Variable Paylines

Some players prefer to play variable paylines in slots because they offer more flexible betting.

An adjustable payline, as others like to call it, gives you the freedom to bet only on the paylines of your choice. You don’t have to bet and activate all your paylines.

If you run out of your bank account, you can adjust your bets to some pay lines to get a bigger payout if you win.

How do pay lines work?

The evolution of classic online slot machines leads to huge variations, orientations, and presentations.

There are now many themes that will catch the eye of new players. It is becoming a battle of graphics and designs and feature-rich games as the competition becomes fiercer.


Slotted paylines have a flexible orientation. It is no longer limited to a single horizontal payline but includes multiple lines that can reach up to a thousand or more.

There are also multiple directions, not just left to right. Modern online slots have a top-down or reverse direction, while others have a diagonal orientation. It is best to check the payline instructions before playing to best position your bets.

Wild Symbol

The wild symbol is a filler on your payline that can take any form to complete a winning combination.

If you happen to have four identical symbols and a wild symbol in a five-reel game, the wild symbol will complete a winning combination because it can take the same sign as the other four. In this way, the wild symbol on your payline increases your chances of winning.

Scatter Symbol

The scatter symbol is something you would like to see on your reels. It is a bonus symbol that unlocks a world of endless possibilities for your game.

Unlike wild symbols, where you must have them on an active payline, you can benefit from scatter symbols appearing anywhere on the reels.

But there is usually a minimum number of scatter symbols to unlock features.

In most cases, three scatter symbols will give you several free spins.

But in some online slots, scatter symbols open up a treasure chest of surprises, such as interactive bonus games, instant payouts, re-spins, and multipliers.

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