Slots terms: Glossary of Casino Words&Phrases

Slot games have been around for quite a while now. Over the years, we have seen different variations of slots in terms of number of reels, payout lines, themes, and much more.

Thus, it is only natural that both players and operators have come up with a whole range of different slots terms to describe all these different aspects of the games.

Whether you play online slots or find yourself in a brick and mortar casino, this slots glossary will help you always stay in the loop and understand what is being discussed.

Slots Terms: Understanding the Lingo of One Armed Bandits

A certain part of slots terminology makes perfect sense and these expressions are quite self explanatory.

On the other hand, there are numerous terms and phrases that you just could not figure out on your own without actually knowing what is being discussed.


3 reel Slots

Classic slots with only three reels and simple & straightforward payouts. These slots usually have up to seven paylines.

5 reel slots

A slot featuring five reels. These are usually modern slots, with up to 50 (or even more) paylines, interesting game graphics, and various bonus features.


A term usually used to describe one player’s overall play on different slots in the same offline or online casino. In land based casino, the information about the action is usually kept using a player’s card.

Annuity payments

In both online and brick & mortar casinos, big jackpot winners are sometimes paid in installments over several months or even years. These installments are known as annuity payments.

Basic slots

Slot games that only have a single payline and, if there is a jackpot, it is static and doesn’t change based on either time or amount of money put in the machine.


The total amount a player wagers on an individual spin (bet per line x the number of lines played). The bet is usually expressed in number of credits.

Bet max

Most slots have a button that enables a player to easily increase his or her bet to the maximum amount allowed. One thing to be careful about is that often when you press the bet max button, the machine will automatically spin, not waiting for any further confirmation.

Betting units

A different name for credits, i.e. the units used for tracking your wins and losses. A number of betting units is calculated based on the basic monetary value of the unit.
For example, if you insert $10 in a slot machine, and the basic value of the betting unit is $0.10, you would have 100 units or credits.

Big Bertha

An expression from brick & mortar casinos. Big Bertha is a large, flashy slot machine used to attract the players’ attention.

Big hit

Hitting a big winning combination or a jackpot playing slots. In gamblers’ lingo, there is no hard and fast definition what counts as a big hit and what does not.

Bonus feature

A special slot feature triggered by a particular combination of certain symbols. There is a vast number of different bonus features on different slots.


A percentage of lost money which is returned to the player by the casino. Online casino bonuses can be observed as a form of advanced cashbacks.


The expression from land based casinos which is also sometimes used online. A coin represents a denomination used, ranging anywhere from one penny to $10 or even more on high roller slots.

Coin in / coin out

Coin in describes the total amount of money wagered, while coin out stands to describe the total amount won.

Cold slots

Slot machines that either have a lower payout percentage or the ones that players believe do not pay as often or as good as other slots in the same casino.


In slots glossary, to collect means to take your winnings out of the slot to either cash them out or use them on a different machine. On every slot, especially in land based casinos, there is a special “Collect” button.


Perks given by a casino to their loyal players. Comps can be anything from free food and drinks to free transport and accommodation.
On online casinos, comps usually consist of special bonuses, free spins, etc. Comps can be an important part of a successful slots strategy.


Same as betting units. Units used to keep track of your losses and winnings.


A value of a single credit on a particular slot machine.

Fixed value slot

A slot machine on which credit and bet per line values cannot be altered.

Five liner

A slot machine with three reels and five paylines.

Free spins

A bonus feature on some slots, where players receive a certain number of free spins at the bet amount wagered before the feature was triggered.

Hit and run

To play a particular slot for only a few spins in an attempt to win big or trigger a bonus feature before moving to a different machine.

Hold percentage

A total amount of wagered money that the slot keeps. For example, a slot that has an estimated payout of 97% has a hold percentage of 3%.

Hot slots

Slots with a higher payout percentage and also slots that players believe (for whatever reason) have a better chance for a big hit.


The top amount of credits (or money) that the machine can potentially pay. Jackpot slots usually have a somewhat higher hold percentage because of the possibility of a huge pay.

Line bet

The amount of credits wagered on a single active payline.

Loose slots

Same as hot slots. Slot machines with a better chance to pay the player.

Multi-line slots

Slots that offer multiple paylines, often as many as 50.


A bonus feature which multiplies any winnings by a certain number. Multipliers are often combined with the free spin feature of video slots.

Near miss

The expression used to describe slots reels stopping very close to a big hit, but missing it.

One Armed Bandit

A different name for slots, originating from the old days of land based casinos when slots had a lever that one would pull to initiate a spin.

One liner

A slot machine with three reels and a single payline.

Payback percentage

The amount of money the slot pays back to the players. For example, over a long period, the slot paying back 95% will return $95 for every $100 wagered.


The line on which winning combinations of symbols can land to activate a payout.


The amount of money paid by the slot for a certain combination.

Pay table

A table containing all possible paylines and combinations with the corresponding amounts that can be won.


The term used in Australia and New Zealand instead of slots.

Progressive slots

Progressive slots offer a jackpot which increases over time until someone finally wins it, at which point it is reset to the initial value and everything starts all over again.


One of the most common slots terms used to describe disks inside the slots containing different symbols. When all the reels stop, a spin is over and paylines are checked for winning combinations.

Random Number Generator (RNG)

A piece of software that governs slots results and makes sure every spin is independent, unbiased, and fair.


A special symbol offered by some slots. Scatters are special because they pay regardless where they appear on the board, i.e. they don’t have to be on a payline to pay. Often, scatters also trigger the bonus features.

Select lines

Active paylines which the player decided to bet on. For example, you can have just 30 select lines on a slot with 50 paylines if you so choose.

Slot testing

A series of different tests performed to determine the payout percentage of a particular slot.

Slot tournament

A tournament in which a group of players compete on one or more slots, trying to achieve the best results in order to win fixed prizes.


A single round of play on slots. All slots have a dedicated spin button for manual play in addition to the “automatic play” feature.


Illustrations displayed on the reels. Different combinations of symbols on different paylines pay particular amounts according to the slot’s pay table. There is a vast number of all sorts of symbols, depending on the particular slot’s theme.

Tight slots

Slots with lower payout percentage.

Total bet

A total number of credits wagered per one spin.

Video slots

Slot machines that do not have physical reels inside them, but instead contain a screen and a computer software which produces virtual reels.


Another expression from brick & mortar casinos. Well is the bin placed at the bottom of a slot machine, used to catch coins as they drop out after cashout is initiated.


The Wealth of Slots Lingo

As you could see, there are really numerous slots terms floating out there and after reading this you should have a better idea of what many of these expressions stand for.

Players constantly come up with new slots phrases because the games are so popular and from time to time, some of those expressions become so popular that they get accepted as a part of the common casino glossary.

If you are now ready to skip from words to actions, check out our Online Casino Comparison guide and look for those offering slots to your taste.

Armed with this new knowledge, you should be able to recognize what is what and make your pick quite easily.