Paylines within slots are where symbols land to determine your payout in each spin. With this mechanic in mind:

  • How many paylines should you bet on in each spin?
  • Are there better online slot games alternative to one-payline slots?\

Payline Risk VS Reward

Opening more than one paylines increases your chance of creating matches in a single spin. With that in mind, having “all” paylines active is the best possible way of getting the most out of a single spin. You could be thinking if it is worth betting 20, 25, or 50 times the minimum bet in a single spin just for those paylines. One way to answer that is to look at the “risks” present in one spin versus several spins.

Let us say you are playing a 1 cent per payline slot with a maximum of 50 payline. You forego opening a single payline and decide to spin the reels 50 times. During those 50 spins, you miss numerous symbols that land outside of the payline you have open.

Essentially, risking more money in a few spins instead of spreading it out across several spins can result in better rewards or payouts.

Slot Payline Types

You will encounter several types of paylines for various slots.

One Payline

As a homage to vintage slots, one-payline slots take a minimalistic approach with their gameplay by limiting their lines and reels. What makes these slots appealing is the consistent risk versus reward rate provided by a single payline, allowing players to spin the reels without worry.

While a majority of one-payline slots comes with three-reels, you have unique ones such as Master Joker from Pragmatic Play that have five reels. How can a five-reel one-payline slot be appealing? Pragmatic Play’s symbols have a “pay anywhere” mechanic where you only need three or more similar symbols on the reels to win.

10-50 paylines

Multi-way paylines slots come in 10, 20, 25, 50 lines since they are the most common format in online and physical casinos. These slots are also the ones we will tackle since opening additional paylines in these games require additional bets. Costs for opening a slot machine’s paylines are usually one coin or the same as the minimum bet.

243 ways to win

Slots with 243 ways to win allow you to match at least three similar symbols that appear on the first, second, and third reels. One notable similarity this type of slot has is its fixed payline system where you do not have to increase your bet when you want more active paylines. 1,024 ways-to-win slots share the same mechanics, but with a larger reel structure.

Cluster Paylines

Cluster Pays follows the 243 ways-to-win mechanic where it removes traditional paylines. Matching symbols in this type of slot simply require several similar ones adjacent to each other, which is similar to certain puzzle games. Like most 243 ways-to-win slots, cluster paylines are fixed.

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