Online slots terminology explained – Paylines, scatters, wilds, and more

The world of online slots has its unique terminology that may confuse new players. But, understanding key terms is essential for unlocking the full potential of these games. The most basic slots have a single horizontal payline across the center reels. Matching symbols must line up along this line to win. Modern video slots often have hundreds of paylines snaking across the reels in intricate patterns. The number of active lines you play affects your chances to win. More lines cost more per spin but give more ways to land payouts. Hit Frequency refers to how often a slot pays out as a percentage of total spins. A 10% hit frequency means statistically the game pays out once every 10 spins. Higher frequency slots deliver wins more often, but usually with smaller payouts. Lower-frequency slots pay less often, but wins tend to be bigger. Frequency helps determine overall volatility.


Also known as variance, volatility indicates how often and how much a slot pays out. High-volatility slots have rare but massive wins, while low-volatility games land smaller wins more consistently. Medium volatility splits the difference with modest wins semi-regularly. Volatility is tied to hit frequency and payout size. Short for return to player, RTP indicates the theoretical payout percentage of a slot averaged over thousands of spins. An RTP of 96% means for every $100 wagered, the slot will pay back $96 on average. Higher RTP benefits players as they earn more over time.

Scatter and wild symbols

Scatters are special symbols that trigger bonuses like free spins whenever they land on reels, regardless of paylines. Even a single scatter hit usually activates bonuses. Top prizes on some slots come from accumulating scatters during free spins. Scatters add excitement since they pay regardless of line wins.

Wilds are joker symbols that substitute for other images to make winning lines. Suppose a payline is just missing the last matching symbol for a combo. A wild filling in that spot completes the win. Expanding wilds cover entire reels to boost your odds. Sticky wilds remain in place over multiple spins to help create wins.


Many k76 slots incorporate multiplier symbols that multiply your wins. A 2X multiplier doubles payouts, 5X multiplies them by five, and so on. Multipliers dramatically increase the size of wins when they hit. Free spins and bonus rounds also frequently award multipliers on all wins for big potential payouts. Also called tumbling reels, this popular feature causes winning symbols to disappear with new ones that cascade down to fill the empty spots. It creates chain reactions where new wins cause cascades over and over. Each cascade boosts your total payout.

Expanding reels and sticky win re-spins

Some slots have reels that expand to add extra rows when triggered. This opens up more space for additional symbols and new paylines. Expanding reels means more ways to win and bigger payout potential. The main reels may expand uniformly or one reel might expand more than the rest. When you land a big win, some slots freeze those winning symbols in place and award a free re-spin. Any new wins will add to the initial sticky win. Additional sticky wins can re-trigger more re-spins. This feature keeps wins rolling over multiple spins as you accumulate payouts.