Slot Glossary

Do you really know your Scatters from your Free Spins? Are you confused by Coin Sizes and Cascading Reels? And can you really understand the finer details of Progressive Jackpots and Payout Lines?

For those who may struggle with such lingo, here’s a useful glossary. Our list includes some of the most common terms you’ll meet when playing online slot games.


The Complete Guide to Slot Jargon


3-Reel – An online slot game with three reels. Many of these will also feature three rows of symbols and a classic slots theme.


5-Reel – A typical kind of video slot featuring five reels. Most 5-reel slots tend to feature either three or four rows of icons.


All Ways – A kind of online slot where there are literally hundreds of paylines available. While some will run left-to-right, others will run right-to-left.


Autospin – A feature which enables players to set up the game to spin reels automatically.


Amusement With Prizes (AWP) – This usually means a classic-style slot including fruit symbols.


Bet – The total amount of cash a player wagers on any particular spin.


Bonus Round – This is a special game feature which provides extra free games and/or instant cash wins.


Branded Slots – These are online slots where the game theme is based on either TV programmes or famous movies. This type of game incorporates some major features as well as striking graphics and unique gameplays.


Cascading Reels – With this feature, a winning combination disappears and is replaced by game symbols. Any single real-money spin can then begin to accumulate even more wins. Rolling Reels or Tumbling Reels are alternative names for this feature.


Classic – A traditional-style slot designed like an old-school slot machine. In keeping with the authentic approach, there are often no bonus features and minimal paylines.


Coin Size – The ‘coins’ term usually means whatever standard unit of currency the game offers. Coin size often equates to the amount of money being wagered.


Coins – The hard cash which players use when making a bet.


Drops – A recent online slots feature in which reel symbols appear to fall into place.


Feature – A slot game’s largest, or core, bonus round.


Freeplay / Free-to-play – Slot games you can play without risking or staking any real money. Many online slots also have a similar freeplay version.


Free Spins – In-play free games which are triggered and accessed via a bonus round.


Fruit Machine – A classic traditional slot machine very popular all over the world. Early mechanical machines displayed fruit symbols (e.g. oranges, cherries, bananas) on the spinning reels.


Gamble – A feature which enables players to attempt to double their winnings on an individual spin.


Icons – A digital-age alternative name for on-screen slot symbols.


i-Slot – An immersive genre of online slots. Players can, for instance, save their position in a bonus round, quit the game, and then return to continue gaming later on.


Jackpot – The largest possible payout any slot game can offer.


Lines – Another name for paylines: The format and location in which game combinations will qualify for a win.


Maximum Bet – The largest amount which can be wagered as one transaction within a slot game. This can often be set automatically using the ‘Max Bet’ button, if available.


Megabucks – IGT’s popular land-based slot game which holds the world record – standing at a cool $37 million – for a game featuring a progressive jackpot slot payout.


Mega Fortune – Net Entertainment’s popular online slot game which holds the online record – a staggering €17 million – for a progressive jackpot slot payout.


Multi-line – A slot game which features more than one winning payline option.


Multi-way – A modern online slot betting system which can offer hundreds, sometimes even 1,000, winning paylines.


Nudge – A type of bonus feature normally found in fruit machines. This allows players to move individual reels up or down to create a winning combination of symbols.


One-armed Bandit – A classic slot machine design from bygone days, usually located in a land-based casino. The reels are mechanically spun by pulling down on a physical handle mostly found on the side of the machine.


Online Slot – A game played via the Internet and accessed via desktop PCs or on smartphones and other mobile devices.


Payline – A line of game symbols appearing in a designated on-screen location which can pay out cash prizes.


Payout – The cash prize awarded in a slot game for creating a winning combination of symbols.


Paytable – The descriptive menu of game rules which also specifies the payouts awarded in certain winning slot-game combinations and/or situations.


Penny Slots – Online slot games which are designed for players wishing to bet small stakes only.


Pick Me – A slot-game bonus round in which players have the option to choose a variety of icons to uncover hidden cash prizes.


Pokies – A term commonly used in Australia and New Zealand when referring to online slot games. ‘Pokie’ machine is possibly derived from ‘poker’ machine.


Progressive Jackpot – A very large prize pool which comprises cash accumulated from slots played across a network. Players may qualify for progressive jackpots in different ways – perhaps by staking the highest amount, hitting a random combination, or else by triggering some specific slot-game bonus feature.


Random Number Generator (RNG) – An online software program which governs the way slot reels will spin and thus deliver win/lose combinations. RNGs are carefully and independently audited to ensure the fairness of online casino slot games.


Reels – Vertical columns of game-specific symbols in an online slot game.


Rows – Horizontal lines of game-specific symbols in an online slot game.


Return To Player (RTP) – The average payout (over time) which a particular online slot game will make to the player. An RTP of 96% means that, on average, a slot game will pay out $96 in prizes for every $100 of wagered bets.


Scatter Icon – A slot game symbol which will facilitate payouts in game combinations wherever it might happen to land.


Skill Bonus – A bonus feature which incorporates certain skill-based tasks (e.g. target shooting or quizzes) and rewards success.


Skill Stop – A slot-game feature which allows players to interact with the game e.g. to create winning combinations by stopping the slot reels manually.


Spin – Moving the reels game reels during the course of gameplay.


Stacked Symbols – A winning game situation in which the same symbols appear stacked on top of one another on any particular reel or reels.


Stacked Wilds – Substituting Wild symbols which can appear stacked on top of one another on any particular reel or reels.


Symbols – Another term for the on-screen icons used in slot games.


Trail – A slot-game bonus feature in which players move progressively around a track or up a ladder to gain extra prizes.


Tumbling Reels – An alternative name for Cascading Reels (see above).


Video Slots – Either online or land-based slot games which incorporate graphic elements and animation on the game reels.


Wild – A game-specific icon which can be substituted for other slot-game symbols to form winning combinations.


Wild Multiplier – An additional bonus win which can be applied in specified gameplay situations when Wilds are present.


Win – Occurs when a player lands a combination of prize-winning symbols specified in the slot game paytable.


Win-Both-Ways – A slot game which awards prizes for paylines which can be read not only left-to-right but also right-to-left. The payout is usually made on one combination only – whichever is most advantageous to the player.


Register to Play Online Slot Games

It’s easy to register for a William Hill online slots account. Just click on the ‘sign up to William Hill’ button. Next, enter the requested personal information on the registration page. Then click to confirm, add your deposit, and you’re ready to play slots online.