How to Read a Slot Pay Table

When you play a slot machine, the pay table will let you know how much you can win for landing matching symbols on a paid line. The pay table will also contain other important information, including the game’s rules and bonus features. It never ceases to amaze us how many players plunge into playing a new slot without checking the pay table first. This could lead to a lot of confusion and even disappointment.

Before modern video slots came along, slot machines were fairly simple – you spun the reels and won when matching symbols lined up on the payline. But now, you can choose from many different paylines and symbols, and the rules of each game vary greatly. Some of the more complex slots are known as high volatility because they don’t pay out often but when they do, the payout is big.

The first thing you need to understand about slot is the symbol system. There are a few basic symbols every player should know, such as bells, spades, and diamonds. There are also the classics such as cherries and number sevens, and even more exotic symbols like a frog or a movie star. But there are many more symbols that can appear on a slot, and some of them have specific meanings that can’t be guessed out of context.

In addition to listing regular symbols, the pay table will also display special symbols. These are typically wild symbols, scatters, or bonus symbols that can unlock a bonus feature or trigger a bigger payout. The pay table will also list how the special symbols work with the regular ones and what their payout values are.

You can find the pay table by clicking an icon near the bottom of the slot screen, or by looking for a question mark or an i. Then, simply scroll through it to see all of the rules and information on how to play. Some pay tables are spread out over multiple pages, but they’re usually easy to read with a few swipes of the screen or a few clicks of a mouse.

The amount that a slot machine pays out over time is called its hold. This isn’t something that a casino is required to release publicly, but it can be helpful to know what to expect from any particular slot machine. Arizona tribes, for example, aren’t required to share their slot machine payback percentages but they can set them anywhere between 80% and 100% on video poker and blackjack machines.