Understanding what people are on about when they’re discussing classic games isn’t always easy. There’s plenty of insider words and phrases that you might be in the dark about, making it hard to follow the conversation.

If you aren’t sure how to tell your fruit machines from your Megaways slots then you’ve come to the right place. We thought we’d save you some trouble and round up some of the main Slots terminology for you to get to grips with.


Let’s start with one of the absolute basics. Reels are the mechanisms that display the symbols and spin when the game is activated. Aside from the lever or button they’re pretty much the main part of the machine you see.

While classic slot machines started out with just three reels you can now find plenty of games that have more. Six reels, seven reels or even higher feature in some of the most popular online Slots options.


Another pretty basic term when it comes to Slots is the payline. Quite simply, this is the row that a player pays attention to once they set the reels spinning.

It’s the specific combination of symbols that appear on the payline which determine whether the player has won or not. Even if a valid combo shows up on a different line it won’t count for anything.

Games don’t always feature a traditional payline, though, with diagonals, clusters or other patterns potentially acting as the basis for a winning combination.

Return to player rate

The return to player (RTP) rate is a pretty important figure when it comes to Slots and other casino games in general. This figure is what shows the potential percentage of bets that the game in question will pay back.

It’s not a concrete rate, naturally, but it does give players a sense of the odds that they’re up against. Of course, in a game of pure, random chance like Slots the RTP won’t do anything to determine any potential payout.

Random number generator

This one’s probably familiar to anyone who games regularly. Random number generators are what drive every game of Slots by – you guessed it – generating a set of random numbers.

Modern slot machines and online Slots utilise random number (RNG) to ensure that the odds of each spin are always equal, with the results entirely down to randomness.

This means that there’s no way for a player to work out if a spin is going to hit a winning combination or not ahead of time, keeping the game fair and transparent.


You might have seen some Slots referred to as progressive Slots. This refers to the nature of the jackpot associated with the game, which isn’t a flat, set rate.

A progressive jackpot will continue to grow in size until it is eventually won. At this point the jackpot will reset to its original baseline, ready to build back up again.

Feel a bit more in the know now? Hopefully with our rundown you can go out there and read or talk about Slots more confidently.