Many people play slot machines without ever giving a second thought to the paytable. That can be a mistake, as there are numerous reasons why you should pay attention to a slot game’s paytable. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of those reasons and discover how paytables can help you understand a slot long before you ever start spinning its reels.

Payline Structure

Sometimes an online slot machine doesn’t allow you to alter the paylines in the game, and it doesn’t display those lines on the screen, either. An excellent way to learn how many paylines a slot has available is to check out the paytable. Every paytable should let you know how many paylines a slot carries, and where those paylines run across the reels. The paytable can also tell you if you can win in both directions of just a single direction.

Best-Paying Symbols

It is ideal to know which symbols pay the best in any given slot. If you know this information, you can better understand how you can win. By checking out the symbol information on a paytable, you can learn how many you need to form a winning combo to win. That is important for classic slots, too. After all, it would be advantageous to know which symbols to hold and which reels to nudge to help you win, if your classic slot contains such features, wouldn’t it?


If your slot machine offers side-bets or bonus bets, this can severely overcomplicate wagers. You’re going to need to know how much an extra side-bet or bonus bets cost, and what you get in return. That information won’t fit on the wagering menu itself but can be commonly found on the slot machine’s paytable, allowing you to make a more informed decision.

Special Symbols

Wilds, scatters and bonus icons – they are all commonly found in slot machines. However, they aren’t always the same, and the features they can trigger or offer vary from game to game. By checking out the paytable, players can learn how the wilds work, which symbols they can replace, and whether they need scatters to trigger bonuses. Do those symbols need to land on specific reels or anywhere on the reels? This information you can glean from the paytable.

Special Features

Even if you slot has special symbols and special features, what are they? A slot’s paytable can tell you precisely what bonus rounds it carries, how they are played and what they can offer you. If there is a free spin bonus with added features, a click and win bonus or another type of bonus round, the paytable will help you understand them.

What Happens If…

Hypotheticals are also covered in a slot’s paytable. What happens if the game crashes or freezes? Do you lose your money? Is there a period whereby if you reconnect within a specific time-frame you can resume your game where you left off? The rules governing these possible (but unlikely) events are usually displayed on the paytable, too. It is advantageous to learn them, just in case something does go wrong.

Winning a Jackpot, How?

Does your chosen slot have a progressive jackpot? Perhaps it has several? If so, you’re going to want to know how it or they are triggered. Some progressives are won at random, but if yours isn’t, then it is ideal to know how much you need to wager, and what kind of winning combo you need to land to win the progressive. The paytable can help you with this.

RTP Rates

Not all paytables display this information, but they should. If you want a heads up about how often a slot pays out, and what its RTP (return to player) rate is, then checking out the paytable is the way to go. Again, not all paytables provide this, but it is worth looking for before you wager money on a game. If there is a low RTP rate, you may even be dissuaded from playing the slot before you bet.

Other Options

Slot developers like to keep their gaming screens clutter free. To that end, some slots have their options menus on the paytable. If a game is running choppily, you may be able to alter its graphics. If it is too noisy, you may be able to adjust the sound. Other features can also be amended, so if you cannot find those options besides the reels, check the paytable.

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