Understanding the Components of Slot Machines


It is true that most slots out there are standardized, and they all come with some of the standard parts, such as reels, paytable, and paylines, we’ve seen quite advanced slots in recent times. 

No matter which one you choose to play, wouldn’t you like to get better acquainted with all the components that are inside there, directly affecting the outcome of your gameplay?

Understanding slots and all of their vital parts will play an important role in improving your chances of scoring bigger wins, so sit back, relax, and dig deep inside with us!

Slot Reels

Let’s start off with the reels, as they’re what you’ll be looking at the most each time you visit your favorite casino. These are the very core of each slot as the symbols that make your heart go wild rotate on them. Slots commonly have three or more reels [5 being most common, and each one has different symbols on it. 


If you’re playing a three-reel slot with 10 symbols per reels, it adds up to exactly 1,000 different possible combinations of symbols landing on the payline. This means you have a 0.1% chance to land the rarest combo on the reels. A machine with 3 reels and 20 symbols per reels has 8,000 different combinations, but nowadays we have digital machines with 256 symbols per each reel, which adds up to a whopping 16 million combinations…

Keep in mind that the number of possible combinations doesn’t reflect your chances of winning, as these are determined by the frequency of scoring winning combos. This is called the hit frequency and it’s a parameter set by the manufacturer in accordance with the specs issued by the casino operator


This is a horizontal line that spreads across the reels. You must align a winning combination of symbols alongside it in order to score some cash. At first, there was only one, right across the middle of the screen, but the digital age has increased the possibilities, so now slots can have 25 or more different paylines. 

The Paytable

Over here you can check out all the winning combinations and the amounts of money each one pays out, according to a bet you place. You can also find all the special combinations here. If a machine is a progressive one, this is the place where it will be indicated, and it will also show you the total jackpot that can be scored. 

The Coin Tray


Well, if you’ve ever been in a casino before, you will know that this is surely everyone’s favorite component of a slot machine, as it provides the wonderful sounds of coins clanging against it when you score a big win. It is really as simple as that, as that’s its one and only role here. 

The Lever

The lever also has just one simple purpose, as you use it to make the reels spin. Nowadays, it is only there in order to provide a stronger feeling of authenticity, as it triggers the software that makes the reels spin on a digital slot machine. 

Play Buttons

Not all slot machines will have the same set of play buttons, but in most cases these are really very similar. Usually a machine will have the “Spin Reels” button, which, as the name suggests, spins the reels. “Play Max Credits/Bet Max Coins” will make it possible to bet the maximum amount of credits allowed on that machine, and it is commonly favored by high rollers. 

“Play Two Credits” or “Play Three Credits” will give you just that, a bet of two or credits for your next spin. 

Pressing “Play One Credit” will obviously place one credit as your bet for the next spin on the machine. 

The Cash Out button finishes up your game and pays out all your remaining credits, while The Change button signals to casino employees that you’re need of more change. 


These will always show you the exact amount of credits played, along with the remaining credits. Other messages on the displays include the number of credits won, “insert coin” when there are no more credits left, or various error codes in case of malfunction. 

The Symbols

Even though the rise of technology affected the design of symbols, you will still have some of the iconic symbols on most modern machines. The liberty bell was first introduced in 1899, and it’s still being used today. Other classics that have survived the test of time include the bar symbol, lemons, cherries, and lucky sevens.

Besides these, you also have wild symbols that were brought about with the rise of modern slots, and these are favored by players as they can substitute for any other symbol and help you come up with a winning combo. In some cases, wilds can function as multipliers, too.

by Matija Dagovic Matija