Slots Glossary


The money a gambler sets aside for a period of gambling. This will vary from player to player and players will adjust the size of their bets according to their bankroll.

Bonus Feature or Bonus Round

A slot machine bonus feature, or bonus round as it’s sometimes called, is the part of the slot machine that’s triggered when you get a specific – or combination of – bonus symbols on the pay line. In the bonus feature you have the opportunity to win some free money, free spins or both. When you enter the bonus round of a slot you’ll never come out empty handed and never have to use up credits.

The bonus round on a slot machine is simply the machine saying “thanks for playing me” here’s some free cash and here’s some great graphics! It’s always useful to know what the bonus symbols are so make sure you check the machines payout table.

Coin Size

The coin size is the size of a single bet on a slot machine. On many slots you can play with varying coin sizes, typically from one cent to five dollars.

Coins Per Spin

The maximum number of coins that can be played on each spin. This amount is usually three.

Hit Rate/Hit Frequency

This is the average rate between winning and losing spins on a given slot machine. Hit rates can range from around 10% for low hit slot machine to over 90% for some multi line slots.


The term “hold” relates to the percentage of coins played on a machine that a casino keeps.

Hold (on Fruit Machines)

The hold button on a UK style fruit machine is a unique one and adds an exciting element beyond just hitting a spin button inanely. The hold button allows you to hold certain reel/s. That reel will then not spin on the next go; helping you to make up winning combinations of symbols.


Slang for a win on a slot machine.


The largest payout possible on a slot machine.

Loose Slots

Also known as ‘hot slots’. Slot machines that pay out frequently.

Max Bet

The maximum bet possible on a single spin. You must play the max bet to be eligible for any progressive jackpots.

Multiplier Symbol

A symbol on the reel that will multiply your win, when aligned with other winning symbols on a pay line, by a certain amount.

Multi-line Slot

A slot game that has more than one payline. Some slot games can have up to 50 paylines. You can decide how many lines you want to play.

Nudge (on Fruit Machines)

The nudge button is unique to UK style fruit machines and can work well used in conjunction with the Hold button (if you get this option). Use the nudge button to nudge down symbols, step by step to make a full line of like for like symbols.


A slots player who only ever plays one coin per spin.

Progressive Jackpot

A huge jackpot that is constantly increasing. The jackpot is linked to other casinos using the same slot machine. With every losing bet contributing to the total the jackpot grows. It is won by a player hitting the jackpot symbols on a max bet. Read more here about progressive jackpots

Pay Cycle

Pay cycle is a theoretical expression used to describe that a given slot or fruit machine will payout after it has reached the pinnacle of its take cycle to meet its payout percentage.


The lines on which winning symbols must be matched. Every slot machine must have at least one although some can have over 50. The more paylines, the more opportunity you have to win but the more expensive it can be. You don’t need to bet on every payline.


The Paytable details all the winning combinations on a slot machine or fruit machine and shows what those combinations are worth in credits.


The amount of money paid to a player by the slot machine on a winning bet.

Payout Percentage

The theoretical percentage a slot machine pays out.

Random Number Generator

Abbreviated to RNG, it is a small computer chip or Geiger Muller Counter that randomly selects hundreds of numbers and symbols every second. When you press the spin or bet max button, a number is captured and this is translated into a symbol on the reels or a slot machine or fruit machine.


These spin every time you place a bet on a slot machine and stop on a combination of symbols. Online slots and fruit machines will always have at least three reels.

Static jackpot

The opposite to a progressive jackpot. The jackpot remains the same no matter how many times it’s played.

Scatter Symbol

The scatter symbol is a common feature on 5 reel video slots, these symbols don’t have to be on a payline or even aligned for them to produce a win. You usually need at least two scatter symbols for them to produce a win.


The symbols on the reel of a slot machine or fruit machine. These will vary from game to game (apart from some classic slot variations). Matching alike symbols on a pay line wins you money.

Take Cycle

The opposite of pay cycle. A theoretical concept used to describe the process a slot or fruit machine goes through before it pays out.

Tight Slots

Also called cold slots. Refers to a slot machine that is not paying out much.

Winning Combinations

The combination of symbols that correspond to a specific win on the paytable.

Wild Symbol

A symbol that can be substituted for any other symbol in the game, thus leading to more chance of a win.