Why A Slot Machine’s Help Screen Is Important?

11 December 2020 5 minutes to read
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The other day we were chatting about the popularity of online slot machines. One of the topics that came up was that many players don’t read the screen pages of a slot game. To be honest it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Moreover, online casinos and slots studios “don’t want you” to read the info in their help screens.

A player by the name of Joan from Arizona contacted us recently. She wants to know what’s the big deal regarding the Help Screens in slot machines. Well, Joan believe it or not this is exactly what we were talking about.

The Help Screen or the Paytable of real money slots contains all the valuable information of the game. You’ll notice that “All” is in bold. Everything about the slot is in the paytable. Therefore, knowledge is power right? And, ignorance is bliss.

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The Slots Help Screen Is Important

If you don’t know where to find the Paytable of a slot, click on the letter “i” or “?”. When you press it a new screen pops up showcasing the various symbols, bonus rounds, RTP, jackpot and hit rate.

The Help Screen tells you about the mechanic or the inner parts of a game. If it’s a Megaways slots with 6 reels, or a simply fruity classic with 10 paylines. The bottom line is there are oodles of hints and tips ‘hidden’ in plain sight. The sad part is that most players know about it but they still ignore it.

The Help Screen also tells you the manufacturer of the online slot. If it’s a NetEnt, Yggdrasil, or a RealTime Gaming slots. The more popular software providers normally disclose as much information about their games as possible. Regulatory agencies such as the British Gambling Commission and Curacao compel them to do so.

Rules For Bonuses

Free Spins With Cascades & Multipliers

Every real money slot machine has its own bonus rules and ways to trigger them. For example, the manufacturer of the online slot notifies players that 3 or more scatters trigger a bonus round. The bonus round we’re talking about is none other than the Free Spins feature.

We love slot games with free spins because 90% of all the slots we’ve played hide their jackpots here. So, it just makes sense that you should stick around to initiate the bonus round. Even if it’s just once. Unfortunately, the Help Screen seldom tells players how many spins they require to trigger a bonus round. Whether it’s for the Re-spins, or Free Spins features. However, the Paytable does disclose if it is a high, medium or low variance slots.

In our popular questions players ask about slot machines 2020. We briefly discussed the Bonus Pulls-To-Hit. We talked about how many spins players must make to initiate the bonus round on average. For example, it takes a minimum of 180 spins to trigger a bonus round of a high variance game.

Re-Spins, Expanding Wilds, Bonus Wheel

Many slot games depending on the software provider of course include an array of bonus rounds. Re-spins features are popular and players can trigger them on any random spin in the base game. Expanding Wilds are cool too. When they pitch they expand to cover an entire reel for the big wins. Slot machines come with Walking wilds as well. The wilds either move from left to right or vice versa across the reels.

Bonus Wheels are popular too. Players can win extra free spins, cash prizes or multipliers on the Bonus Wheel. Can see you why the Help Screen of a slot is so important. It’s like a road map that points you in the right direction.


The Paytable tells you about the theme and the symbols that appear on the reels. If the theme or storyline of a game is about superheroes. The symbols on the reels will reflect it. In other words, if the main protagonist of the slot is Cleopatra. The premium symbols will be Cleopatra, Horus, Bastet, and Anubis. The minor or the low-value symbols are usually the card symbols from 9 to Ace.

Moreover, the Help Screen tells you the payout of 5 of a kind Thor symbols. So, when five Thor symbols pop the payout will 100x your stake. Other important symbols you’ll find within the help screen are Wilds, and Scatters. The wild symbol substitutes symbols adjacent to it when it completes a winning combo. The scatters of course are responsible for activating the Free Spins round. Some slot machines offer scatter pays as well.

Coin Denomination & Jackpot

The Paytable tells you the coin betting range of the game. A typical betting range is $0.20 to $100 with the exception of IGT that goes up to $3,000 per spin. The slots developer specifically targets high roller casino VIPs.

The coin denomination helps you to prepare your bankroll. When you play the slots online with real money for the first time. We suggest you play it at the lowest coin denomination. Set the Auto Play feature to 25 spins. Note, this is what we do. You’re more than welcome to decrease or increase the number of spins. The reason why we select 25 spins; it gives us a ‘quick overview’ of what we can expect in terms of payouts.

Once we’re happy with what we see we’ll increase our average bet to $5 per spin. If you have a small bankroll stick to lower denomination slots.

RTP & Hit Rate

The RTP and the hit rate of a slot machine normally go hand in hand. When you open the paytable of a slot machine for the first time. You’ll see that the game’s RTP. It can be 94% or 97.5%. The RTP is an indication of how tight or lose the slot is. The higher the RTP the more potential the slot has. However, this is not always the case but it’s an indication at least.

Although the payback rate of a slots to play online is important. We prefer the Hit Rate because it tells you exactly how volatile the game is. For example, a high variance slot can have a hit frequency of more than 30%.

Therefore, the game will offer a payout on every 3rd spin. It applies to play in the base game; the pays are relatively small with the odd big win of 50x. If you want something more substantial you must trigger a bonus round. According to the regulatory agencies, slot manufactures must disclose the “best strategies” for the slot in the Help Screen.

Buy Option

The newest addition to slot games is the Buy Option. Instead of waiting for 3 scatters to pitch players can now trigger the Free Spins immediately. Thanks to the Buy Feature. This little luxury also comes with a steep price tag. In some slots the Buy Option costs 50x, 75x up to 100x the stake.

The Buy Option is a great feature for high rollers as it cuts out the base game. However, it can be risky and jurisdictions like the British Gambling Commission don’t allow it in UK licensed online casinos. More importantly, the Buy Option increases the RTP and it throws in a few special features to sweeten the pot.

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