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Paytable Lucky 88 from Aristocrat A frequent topic that comes up with people who aren't very familiar with slots or the gaming industry in general, is the concept of paytables with paylines and different bonuses.

In a slot machine, a payline is usually a path that traverses the reels from left to right, crossing them in a pattern that has been predetermined by the game itself. Depending on the slot machine itself, since by now there are well over thousands of different games, the number of paylines can vary from as little as 1, to as much as 243 or more!

For example, the game Book of Ra deluxe (from Novomatic) has 10 lines, however, the player can choose the number of lines he would like to be active for the spin, and also choose the amount of credits per line he would like to bet. So in this specific case, the player may choose to play only 5 lines, and bet 1.00 credit per line. This would bring the total bet to 5, since 5 x 1 = 5.

Book of Ra deluxe Paylines

On the other hand, a game such as Fire'n'Hot has a set of 5 fixed lines, the player can't choose how many lines to play, only the total amount of the bet he wants to place on each spin.

Fire'n'Hot Paylines

There are other variants as to how each slot machine arranges it's configuration of paylines, bets per line, and total bets. For example, there are machines where one can choose how many lines to play with, but only the total bet can be changed, not on a per-line basis.

A variant with semi-fixed lines is the game Sizzling Hot, where paylines are fixed to 5, however the basic bet is multiplied by 5.

Sizzling Hot Paylines


One of the main reasons people may be drawn to any game specifically, is due to its bonus game. A bonus game can really make a difference in the way people perceive a slot game, and the most known games all over the world usually have their bonus games stand out in a unique way. Some of these games are quite simple, simply allowing the player to choose from 5 "hidden" prizes, while some may be a complete game within-a-game itself!

Here we will take a look at some of the different types of bonus games.

Scatter symbols

In many online slots scatter symbols trigger bonus games, which offer additional opportunities for winning. The games rules explain how this works and players should read them carefully, especially because different online slots may have different rules. Scatter symbols or scatter wins in general mean that 2 or more scatter symbols appeared, and the win is awarded regardless the symbols are on an active payline or not.

Free spins

Probably the most common type of bonus, free spins award the player with a set number of spins that do not deduct anything from his account, while providing him with all winnings from his spins.

Free spins are almost always triggered by receiving a particular symbol in the game. This may be a special "scatter", "bonus" or any specific symbol the game designates. This is shown in the paytable for each game.

In some games, there is also a special "expanding" symbol that will be selected before the free spins start, and is determined at random by the game. When this symbol appears, it expands to cover all reels and will pay as a regular symbol.

Usually, free spins are set up in a way where the bet for each free spin will be the same it was when the player activated the free spins, and on occasion may also carry a multiplier for the duration of the spins.

In the following example, we will take a look at the paytable for free spins in the popular game Book of Ra deluxe, which clearly explains what and how many symbols will trigger the free spins, and also the added "expanding symbol" feature.
Book of Ra deluxe Paytable

Here is another screen of a free spin together with expanding symbol "K":
Book of Ra deluxe free spin Book of Ra deluxe Expanding Symbol

Choose your bonus

Another popular type of bonus game is the choose your bonus. Also triggered by a specific symbol within the game, here, instead of free spins, the player is presented with several hidden options, in which he will have to make a selection . Usually there are several types of prizes, such as free spins, multipliers, and on occasion, straight up cash.

In the following screenshot, a "choose your bonus" example is shown within the game The Slotfather from Betsoft:
The Slotfather bonus

In the previous picture, the player has to choose any bullet hole, and this will reveal a bonus. Once clicked, something like this may come up, where free spins are awarded, and also are attached to a multiplier:
The Slotfather Choose your Bonus

Another example of a "choose your bonus" is found in Net Ent's popular game Blood Suckers, where the player has to open coffins and slay vampires.
Bloodsuckers bonus

Yet another example of the "choose your bonus", is the popular game 50.000 pyramids from IGT. A small variant is introduced, where if picked correctly, the player will get progressively higher and higher bonuses.
50.000 Pyramids

At the beginning of this game, the player is given a number of picks to choose a pyramid that has a different prize in each one.
50.000 Pyramids Bonus Level 1 50.000 Pyramids Bonus Level 2

In this succession of images, the player received a total of 8 free spins, and a 2x multiplier. That means he will receive 8 spins and multiply the win of each won by 2.

In Aristocrats' game Red Baron, the player can try his luck and "choose" a mission that will pay cash depending on how many symbols appear during the free spins. Example:
Aristocrat - Red Baron Bonus
As you can see, the player can risk not getting the required number of symbols, but the more risk he takes, the more potential for rewards.

Board bonus

This is a specific bonus game from the popular IGT game Monopoly. Upon activation of the bonus, the player can choose between the symbols, and this will determine how many "rolls" he receives. The game moves on to the popular Monopoly board. Here a player rolls the die, and depending on where he lands, receives different types of prizes.
IGT - Monopoly
After all his rolls are up, a summary will show what the player has won:
IGT - Monopoly bonus


While not being a bonus game, there is a variant of multipliers that is very popular in certain games, such as Net Entertainments' Gonzo's Quest, where if the player achieves a certain combination of lines, the game awards an "avalanche" multiplier, which increases in each successive spin.
Net Entertainment - Gonzo's Quest
After all his rolls are up, a summary will show what the player has won:
Net Entertainment - Gonzo's Quest Bonus

Active and inactive paytables

Sometimes, players may be confused due to inactive paytables. Inactive paytables show the multipliers of the basic bet instead of the actual win. This refers to the old fashioned machines where the numbers where printed on the glass and mounted on the cabinet

As an example is the paytable of the game Double Diamond from IGT, where the numbers (multipliers) remain always the same, regardless if the player is betting 0.1$ or 10$. The actual win is the result of his bet per line multiplied by the number at the paytable
IGT Double Diamond


eGameProvider Team

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