The word “slot” has many different meanings. It can be used in the sense of an assigned time and place for a takeoff or landing of an aircraft, or it can mean an unmarked area of the ice surface that allows an attacking player to gain an advantageous position. It can also refer to the slot on a machine where cash or paper tickets with barcodes are placed to activate the reels and earn credits.
The term can also be used as a verb, in which case it means to slide into a position of greater authority or importance. However, the most common use of this word is to describe a position or location on a casino game’s pay table. The pay table is a list of all the different symbols and their payouts, and how much you can win for landing (typically) three or more matching symbols on a pay line. Typically, the pay table will fit in with the theme of the slot, and will include colourful graphics and easy-to-understand information.
A pay table can be found on the actual machine, or – as is more often the case nowadays – embedded in the help screen of a video slot. It’s always worth reading a pay table before you play any slot, as it will tell you all about the rules and guidelines of that specific slot. It will also explain any bonus features, such as free spins, sticky wilds, re-spins and more.
In addition to explaining the different symbol combinations and payouts, a pay table will often list the game’s RTP. This is the theoretical percentage that a slot may payout over a long period of time, and can be very helpful when choosing which slots to play.
It’s surprising that some players plunge straight into playing an online slot without ever taking the time to read the pay table. This is a big mistake, as the pay table can tell you everything you need to know about the different payouts and jackpots on offer. It can even help you decide which machine is the best for your budget, as Machine A might have a low jackpot but reasonable middle-of-the-board paybacks, while Machine B’s high jackpot could cost you your whole bankroll if you bet both coins.
The bottom line is that understanding how to read a pay table will help you to play better slots, and make more money in the process. There’s no need to be afraid of maths, as the probabilities are all mathematically calculated by the microprocessors inside modern slot machines, and can be clearly displayed on the pay table for you to see. Just remember that the odds of hitting a particular combination are completely random! But if you have a basic grasp of how the odds work, it will make your slot experience so much more fun. So why not give it a try today? You never know, you might just find your next favorite slot!