A slot is a specific area of the reels where matching symbols need to land in order to form a winning combination. When this happens, the game will award a payout to the player based on its pay table. The pay table will display the regular paying symbols, the pay out values of each and if there are any bonus features available in the slot.
In the past, slots commonly offered a single pay line which ran horizontally across the reels and equated to one potential winning combination per spin. However, with technological advances in the gaming industry, slots now come in all shapes and sizes and some even feature multiple pay lines which give players more chances of forming winning combinations. These pay lines can be straight, diagonal, zig-zagged and sometimes even V-shaped.
To understand how to read a slot machine’s pay table, you need to have a good understanding of probability and mathematics. Probability refers to the chance that an outcome will occur and is calculated by dividing the total number of possible outcomes by the number of actual outcomes.
In the case of a coin toss, there are only two outcomes (heads or tails) and therefore the probability of a heads landing is half of 0.5, or 50%. However, when it comes to playing a slot, the odds are much more complicated and this is why it’s important for players to familiarise themselves with the pay table.