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Slots Terminology And Their Meanings

Cassinowhizz.com gathered all the slot machine terms and wrapped them tightly under one blanket, if ever that was a comprehensive list of slot terms this is it. Many players still don’t understand what the terms a ‘Hot Slots’ or a ‘Carousel’ of slots mean. By no means are we implying that you’ll be transformed into a slots ”whizz”, we’re just saying that once you’ve glossed the contents of this page you’ll be a more informed and hopefully improved online slots player.


Action: Sometimes the word action can have a negative meaning luckily when it comes to casino betting it’s mostly positive. It’s the total amount of money a player spent on a game within a session.


Bonus Modes:
Each slot machine is fitted with different types of in-play bonus rounds be it a Pick Me, Free Spins, scatter pays, stacked/shifting wilds or additional bonuses. They give players an opportunity to win a boatload of money and some extra spins. The beauty of it all is that it’s not only non-progressive slots that have these features but progressive jackpots too.


Carousel: A bunch of slot machines found on the casino’s floor.

Classic Slot: It can be a slots fitted with 3 or 5 reels, the very first slot games contained three barrels.

Coin Size: This is the amount of coins a player inserts into a machine, i.e the amount of coins per line that can be wagered.

Cold Machine: This type of machine offers few random payouts but if it eventually pays the wins can be huge. A good example of cold or high variance slots are progressive jackpots. If you play a ‘cold machine’ make sure you play it with free credits first which gives you an idea how much cash is needed to unlock its bonus rounds (free spins).


Fill: The amount of coins needed to fill an empty hopper.

Five Reel Slot: This slot machine has extra reels as opposed to your 2 or 3 three classics. It’s the most popular slots because it has more paylines, you’ll find them in online casinos or at land-based venues.

Fixed Jackpot (non-progressive): No matter how much cash you wager the top jackpot pays the same amount irrespective of how many players play it.

Free Spins
: Slot games are equipped with Free Spins features that’s triggered by 3, 4 or 5 scatters. The amount of free spins you get are proportionate to the scatters. For instance, 3 scatters trigger 10 free spins, 4 triggers 15 and 5 triggers 20 free spins. The RTP of a game increases substantially during the free falls because players can win a lot of money here.

Fruit Machine:
The British coined the phrase ‘Fruit Machine’ because the symbols on the reels are made up of berries, lemons, strawberries, watermelons and red sevens. They’re normally 3 reel classics found in pubs across the UK, when you line up 3 of the same fruity symbol on the reels you’ll receive a payout.


Hit: When you receive a payout or cash prize on a spin.

Hit Frequency: The amount of times a slot game offers a payout be it on every 5 or 7 spins. Players use it to determine a pattern of sorts trying to increase their odds at winning. Note, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to playing slots they’re based on luck, however, you can improve your winning chances by using a slots strategy.

Hit and Run: When a player tries to get the maximum out the slots by betting the maximum amount of credits on a single spin. It normally applies to progressive slots. If the player has a losing spin they’ll hop onto another slots with similar features

High Volatility: High volatility (variance) slot machines can be a progressive slots or a non-progressive game – their jackpots are substantially higher than low or medium variance games.

Hold Percentage: Also know as the RTP or theoretical return to player percentage. Let’s say the RTP of a slot game like Gonzo’s Quest is 97% despite the fact that it’s medium to high variance. The player wins £97 for every £100 spent on the game or we can look at it from a different angle, the slots keeps 97% for every £3 wagered paying back £97.

Hopper: The cash spent on a physical machine is kept here. When it’s full the cash gets paid out into a bucket, the staff at the casino empties the hopper before players arrive at the casino.

‘Hot’ Machine:
This is complete the opposite of a ‘Cold Machine’ since they offer more winning spins but the payouts are smaller usually a couple of cents up to a dollar, maybe more.


Jackpot: this is the biggest amount of cash a machine offers on a single spin.


Loose Slot: Their payout ratios are higher than your normal machines.

Low Level: Players can play these game while they are seated.

Low Volatility: Slots that offer more winning spins the payouts are smaller though.


Max Bet: This is the maximum amount of coins players can bet on a single spin be it on one line or on multiple lines. The max amount of coins you can bet on a classic slot is 3 which gives you a bigger jackpot as opposed to playing with 1 or 2 coins.

: To improve their odds at winning players bet on the maximum number of lines hence the term ‘Multi-line’.

Multiplier: Slots that have multipliers normally occur during the Free Spins. The free spins feature of a slots can have multiplier wins that range from 3x, 4x to 10x on a single free spin.


Near Miss
: When a player nearly hits a winning spin, fruity machine developers use this tactic as a deliberate ploy to entice players to spend more cash.


One Armed Bandit: Back in the day slot machines found in bars or casinos were had a lever that players had to pull before the reels could spin. More often than not they had a negative connotation hence the term ‘One-Armed-Bandit’ (moniker) that often robbed players of their cash.


Payline: This is the amount of lines a slot machine has on its screen. Depending on the payline pattern it’s the amount of cash a slots pays, players can also pick how many lines they want to play (1 to 30 paylines) prior to spinning the reels.

Payout: The cash amount each winning spin yields.

Payout Percentage: It’s the payback ratio/percentage offered by a slots to the player. If the game has a percentage of 96%, $0.96 goes to the player while the casino gets the rest.

Pay Table: The paytable (i) lists the most important info of the game such as the premium and low value symbol payouts, how the free spins bonus can be triggered (by 3 or more scatters), the game’s average return to player percentage, top jackpot and other bonus modes.

Pokies: Australians and New Zealanders use ”pokies” as a slang word to refer to slots.

Progressive Jackpot: A slot machine that offers a life-changing amount (Mega Moolah) is linked to a group of other progressives (progressive network). Every time a player plays it a portion goes towards it, the net result is that it keeps on growing until it reaches an astronomical amount. Casinos can join to offer players an inter-casino progressive network, but the best bit is you even get interstate-progressive jackpots in the United States where the wins can be staggering!


Random Number Generator: Each slot machine has a built in random number generator (RNG) that guarantees the player fair play. The random number generator offers winning spins that are completely random, essentially all slot machine wins are based purely on luck.

Reels: The reels can comprise of metallic barrels, they can be elongated, broad, narrow and a myriad of symbols are displayed on them. They’re responsible for giving players winning or losing spins. It’s difficult to hit the jackpot on a slot machine if it has many reels.


Scatter: The scatter symbol is responsible for triggering the free spins feature, some slots even offer scatter pays for 2 or more. When an additional 3, 4 or 5 scatters re-appear during the free spins extra free falls are awarded.

Signature Slots: These are normally branded slots where the developer teams up with a movie house a shining example of the aforementioned is Microgaming’s Jurassic World 3D slots (https://casinowhizz.com/slots/jurassic-world-slot-review/).

Slot Tournament:
Online casinos host a series of slot tournaments on selected slot games where players compete on a leaderboard against each other for cash prizes and free spins.

Slot Type: Online slots are divided into classics, video slots, 3D slots (games with bonus modes) and progressive jackpots.

Sound of Rain:
The sound coins make when the fall into the bucket of a slot machine.

Stand up: Players play this type of slots standing upright they’re found in land-casinos.

Symbols: Symbols on the reels normally complements the slot machine’s theme. If the theme of the game is about fairies you’ll see different types of fairy symbols, wilds, low value cards (10 to Ace) and scatters.


Take Cycle: The misconception a lot of players have about slot games they believe that they’re governed by a pay cycle, if they wagered a certain amount of coins they believe that the jackpot is on the verge of being hit. This couldn’t be further from the truth since a game’s pay cycle or each spin is governed by a RNG.

Three Reels: When a slots only has three reels for example your classics slots like Fruity machines.

Tight Slot: Winning spins are hard to come by we played games where we experienced as much as 15 consecutive dry spins.


Wager/Bankroll Management: When it comes to slot machines bankroll management is key, before you play a game find out if it’s low, medium or high variance, your bankroll should also reflect the volatility of the game you’re playing. You’re not going to play a high variance slot with a budget of $50 now are you?

Wild Symbol:
The wild symbol comes in various shapes and sizes. It forms winning combinations when it substitutes adjacent symbols bar the scatter. You get different types of wilds starting with sticky wilds, expanding wilds and walking wilds.

Winning Combo: When certain symbols combine giving you a winning combination.

In summary. If you read our slot terms your knowledge about slot machines just went up by a couple of notches. Next time you see an online casino describe a slot game’s mechanics you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.