Slots Glossary

Slot Machines Glossary

Have you ever found yourself in an airport lounge waiting to board a plane and just stopped to listen and take everything you see inside you? Now let’s imagine that you are in China surrounded by many Chinese families and couples all communicating at the same time – feels pretty overwhelming, right? Well, for the average gambler who wants to try their luck, Chinese is pretty much what they hear and see when they read reviews, articles, or even play online games.

Because at one point we were even beginners in the gambling world, we at CasinoSite New Zealand have decided to do our players and future players a favor by creating a page with concepts so grand that our own mothers would have been touched if they had read it. This Slot Machine concepts page will not only help you become a gambler, but if you learn the concepts by heart, you will never ever feel left out when talking about slots.

The Slot Machine Expressions section is enough to teach you most of what is needed for games and more, but in addition, you can also follow the various links you will find on the page if you want to read more about a single thing. And once you have learned, just check out what you have learned in different games. You’ll find great casinos in all of our leaderboards!


Auto Spin: A feature most video slot machines offer, which lets the game run automatically without requiring pressure from the player. Auto Spin also has several features that let you stop at specific winnings or if a bonus feature is won.

Base Game: The base game is the standard game for a game that has either super meter or bonus features.
Bonus Feature: Bonus features are common in video slots, and come in many shapes and forms. The most common are free spins or “pick me” bonuses. Bonus features are usually released by having 3 Scatter or Bonus symbols on the screen at the same time or in a line.
Big Win: Big Win comes on the screen if you win many times the bet. Although it varies from publisher to publisher, it is common that 15 times the effort equals a “big win”.

Carousel: A group of slot machines.
Classic Slot: Classic slots refer to old slots with 3 reels and 1-5 paylines. Joker games are a typical classic slot machine.
Coin Size: Since you often play at different levels, the coin value you play with a means of choosing bets. For example, 10 coins with a value of 1 dollar will equal a 10 dollar bet, and 100 coins with a 0.10 dollar value will be the same bet.
Cold Machine: A slot machine that apparently doesn’t pay, due to bad luck. Of course, it’s superstition, but it can still be tedious to play on an unpaid slot machine.

Exclusive Slot: Games that are exclusive to a specific casino or casino group. These are either agreements where a casino can offer a game long before other casinos, or games developed in collaboration between a casino and a software developer.

Five Reel Slot: Five-reel slots are 5-reel games. Today, this is the standard when it comes to VCRs, and you will also find classic five-wheeler vending machines, although this is rare on the Internet.
Fixed Jackpot: This is a jackpot that, unlike progressive games, does not increase with each spin. Such jackpots are often won through some form of bonus play, and do not necessarily have to be a slot machine’s top prize.
Free Spins: Free Spins is a way for a casino to let players try a game for free. Free Spins are spins with a fixed value, and the player is paid the winnings from all the spins when you have finished playing. If free spins have higher than minimum value, they are often given other names from the casinos.
Free Spins Feature: See Bonus Feature
Fruit Machine: Fruit machines are games with 3-5 reels, usually with 5 lines, and no bonus features. The name refers more to a type of vending machine than actual fruit, although fruit is the most commonly used theme. These are known to have high variance, so pay rarely but have high profits.
Slots Glossary

Heartstopper spin: This is when you only have one scatter or bonus symbol for a bonus feature, and the reels slow down to give extra excitement whether you get the last symbol or not. Some games also provide heart stoppers for big wins.
Hit: A “hit” is another name for a winning spin.
Hit and Run: This refers to a player leaving a slot as soon as a win or bigger win is won.
Hit Frequency: This refers to how often an automatic “hitter”, ie a winning combination. If the hit frequency in a session is low, an automatic can be called cold, and if it is high you can call the automatic warm.
Hit Spins: Hit spins are a form of free spins where the player is guaranteed a bonus feature. With hit spins, you actually want bad luck, so you can play base game for as long as possible before hitting the game’s bonus feature.
High Variance / Volatility: High variance games rarely give you winnings, but when you first win, the winnings tend to be bigger than usual.
House Edge/Percentage: Se RTP.
Hopper: An old term for the part of a physical slot machine the money played with is stored in the slot machine. Since winnings were kept in a separate pocket, the jumpers were the house’s profit.
“Hot” Machine: The opposite of a cold, non-paying machine is a hot machine that pays frequently.

Jackpot: If a game does not have a fixed or progressive jackpot, Jackpot often refers to the game’s maximum winnings or other extremely high winnings.

Low Variance / Volatility: A low variance game is a game that offers payouts often, but usually lesser amounts. Low variance games can be ideal for completing bonus requirements, or for low rollers.
Low Level: An expression that refers to machines that you can play while sitting.
Low Roller: A player who plays with low stakes, to get the best playing time out of his deposits.
Line: Se: Pay Line, Ways.

Max Bet: This refers to the maximum bet in coins on a game. Max Bet is a bet with a maximum number of lines and the highest number of coins per line. Actual maximum bet is whether you play with the highest coin value at the same time.
Multi-line: Multi-line is all machines that give the player several lines to bet on. Today, this is more common than single-line games, but it was not always the case.
Multiplier: Some machines offer multipliers either by default during base game or as an extra feature in bonus features. These help increase profits.

Near Miss: This is when you get a combination that is very close to a win or bonus feature, but just booms. There may also be a Heart Stopper spin that does not hit.

One armed bandit: The most classic of slot machines, the one-armed bandit is slot machines with a lever (“arm”) on the side that one pulls in to start a game.

Pay Line: A pay line or payline is a line the symbols must be in to reach the payout. Scatters are usually excluded from Pay lines, and pay whatever function. Common paylines are 5 for classic vending machines, and between 10 and 50 for video vending machines, with some exceptions. See also Ways for an alternative to pay lines.
Payout: Payout is the win after a hit.
Payout Percentage: Also called payout percentage. See: RTP
Pay Table: All games have a payout table where players can easily see how much the various symbols pay. On physical machines you can find these on top of the machine, and on digital devices they have their own menu.
Pokies: Pokie is the Australian Slot Machine Slot Name.
Progressive Jackpot: A progressive jackpot is a jackpot that increases every time a spin is made on the slot machine. These jackpots can be split across many casinos, giving you the chance of big million wins.
Progressive Slot: Refers to all slots with a progressive jackpot (see above).

Random Number Generator (RNG): An RNG is a random number generator and you find an RNG in every single slot machine or other digital casino game. An ATM’s RNG sends a random number back to the ATM every time games are pressed, and the ATM display ends up displaying a combination of symbols. To be licensed, an RNG must be 100% random, ensuring that all bets are fair.
RTP (Return to Player): An automaton’s RTP indicates what the home advantage is in a single game. A high RTP is between 97-99% and a low RTP is from 95% down. RTP is measured over billions of spins, and indicates that over time, an automaton’s RTP will reach the set percentage. Because of this, over a shorter period of time machines can pay out either well above or below the advertised RTP, since it is measured over as many spins.
Reels: Wheels in New Zealand, Reels are the different rows of an automaton. On physical machines these are limited to the size of the actual wheel, but on video machines the wheels may be so large that you will never see the same part of the wheel twice. Bonus features on video slots tend to use other reels (with, for example, more or fewer Wild symbols), to achieve a different result than what one would get in the game’s base game.
Respin: A respin is a form of bonus feature where some reels or symbols are spun and others are retained. Respins are similar, but not the same as Free Spins.

Scatter: Scatter symbols are symbols that do not require being in any specific line to make payouts. They are also often used to trigger free spin bonus features, and are mostly found in video slot machines.
Signatur Slot: Exclusive Slots
Slots Tournament: A slot tournament was originally a term used for an actual tournament where the player who wins the most by a predetermined amount wins the tournament and a predetermined prize, but today also applies to tournaments in online casinos where players can play on a specific slot within a period of time. In online slot tournaments, it usually wins the player with the most big wins, so even a low roller can play against a high roller.
Slot Type: This term refers to the type of slot machine you can play on. Common vending types are: Classic vending machines, Fruit vending machines, Video vending machines and Progressive vending machines.
Sound of Rain: Refers to the sound of coins hitting metal after a gain or during the count of a gain that occurs on the screen.
Stand Up: Slots that are played standing. This term is of course not used online.
Symbols: These are the various images and symbols found on slot machines. The most common are card symbols such as 10, J, Q, K and A, various fruits, or unique images. You also have special symbols for Wilds, Scatters, Bonus and Jackpot.
Sticky Symbol: A typical bonus feature includes sticky symbols, preferably Wilds. These are symbols that remain on the screen between multiple spins, and therefore, with proper configuration, can guarantee winnings on upcoming spins.

Take / Pay Cycle: The take / pay cycle is based on the erroneous assumption that slot machines pay according to very specific patterns and cycles, or when a certain number of coins have been entered into them.
Three Reel Slot: This is used to describe slots with only 3 reels. This is usually only classic vending machines.

Video Slot: Video Slots are the most popular these days. Video slots are original slots that have simulated reels and are not limited to some design choices one must make if making a physical game. On the web, all machines are digital and therefore a form of video machine, even if you have a genre of classic machines that mimic physical games.

Ways: Ways or Win Ways are an alternative to pay lines. With Ways, it doesn’t matter where a symbol lies, as long as they are in succession. 243 ways are the most common number, but more are also found, such as 1080 or 4096.
Wager Management: This refers to the method a player uses to effectively manage their bets in relation to total balance. With good money management, a player can easily extend a session from being short to last a long time, and another player can handle for desired gains but shorter sessions in the event of bad luck.
Wild: A wild symbol is common among almost all machines, and is a symbol that counts like any other symbol, except for bonus or scatter symbols.
Wild Line: A Wild Line achieves a payline with only wilds. This is, in most cases, the maximum benefit of a game as long as a progressive jackpot is not available.
Winning Combination: Se: Hit

Try out vending machines today!

Congratulations, you’ve done it! If you remember and understand the different expressions, you should now feel fully equipped to venture out into the world and bring out some good outlets. Not only should these concepts give you the confidence you need to get started and show the casino world what you are made of, but we at CasinoSite have stretched even a little further and even included a great selection of casinos to play at, where you can confidently know that you are getting the best possible offers for as little effort as possible.

So why not take everything you have learned, scroll through our leaderboard and prepare to use what you have learned during games? Listen to us and you will definitely not wake up with remorse tomorrow!