Beginner's Guide to Slot Machines

Beginner's Guide to Slot Machines
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Slot Machine Basics for Beginners

New to the world of slot machines? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know so that you can get spinning in no time. Our guide covers all the terms you’ll need to know when playing slot machine games, from paytables to paylines and everything in between!

We’ll also talk about land-based slots vs online slots, and the different types of slot machine games you can play.

Once you’ve read our guide and you’re feeling ready to play, you can choose from our huge catalogue of over 1,200 Slingo, slots and casino games!

Ready to learn the ropes (or the reels)? Let’s Slingo!

What Is A Slot Machine?

Land-Based Slots Vs. Online Slots

There are two different types of slot machines: land-based and online. Land-based slots are physical slot machines, and they’re often found in pubs, casinos and anywhere else that has a permit to run them. Typically players insert coins to operate the machines, and their choice of games is limited to the machines that are physically available.

Online slots offer people the convenience of playing wherever and whenever suits them best – whether that’s at home with your PJs on or on the bus home from work.

They can be played on desktop or mobile devices, and there’s a huge selection of online slots games to choose from (at Slingo we have a catalogue of over 1,200 Slingo, slots and casino games!).

From classic fruit machine style slot games to video slots based on your favourite TV shows, there really is something for everyone in the online slots world.

Many online casinos also give you the chance to try out the games for free, which is great for beginners to help you understand how everything works.  

Online slots also do a great job of replicating an authentic casino atmosphere, with cutting-edge graphics and sound effects to make you feel like you’ve just set foot in a real Vegas casino (but without the jet lag)!

Slot Machine Terms You Should Know

Although playing slots online isn’t complicated, there are a few terms to learn that will help you get the most out of your game. Here’s a quick run-down of all the essential lingo:


The aim of most slot games is to match up combinations of symbols on the reels. Each slot game has its own unique symbols depending on the style of the game, from juicy pieces of fruit to magical fairies and fireballs!

Some symbols are high-paying, meaning they are worth more money, whereas others are low-paying. 


These symbols don’t have to appear on a winline to award a win - they can be ‘scattered’ across the reels.


Wilds have the power to substitute for other symbols on the reels to help you form winning combinations.

Bonus symbols

Bonus symbols unlock a game’s bonus features. In many slot games, you’ll need to find three bonus symbols anywhere on the reels to trigger a bonus round.


The paytable is the list of payouts/prizes for a specific game. It usually shows all the different symbols in the game, as well as the prizes for landing certain combinations (e.g. 5x, 4x, 3x etc.).


Paylines are the patterns or lines that symbols need to land on to win a prize. Different slot machines have different paylines and ways to win, so it’s worth checking the rules for your game before you begin.


RTP means Return to Player, and it refers to the percentage of all wagered money a slot machine will pay out to players over an extended period of time. For example, if you make 100 £1 bets on a slot machine that has an RTP of 95%, you can expect it to pay out about £95.


Volatility refers to the risk of losing a bet in slots and casino games. It suggests how often players are likely to win, and whether those prizes will be big or small. High-volatility slots often pay out less frequently but offer bigger prizes, whereas low-volatility slots pay out more often but in smaller amounts.

How to Play Online Slots

Before you start playing online slots, there are a few things you should do to make sure you have a great gaming experience. The first is to read up about the particular slot you want to play, since the rules of each game can vary. Make sure you understand how wins are awarded, what the minimum and maximum bets are and how the bonus rounds work.

Next it’s time to decide on a good online casino. Although there are lots of online casinos, make sure you choose one with a reputation for looking after its players and providing an amazing gaming experience, like

Once you’ve chosen your online casino, it’s a good idea to play a few demo games to warm up. You don’t have to pay to do this, and it’s a great way to get a feel for the game.

Finally, make sure you set limits before you start playing - both in terms of money and time - and stick to them. 

Types of Slot Machines

In today’s online casinos there are a huge variety of slot machines to choose from, with something to suit every taste! Here’s a quick run-down of some of the most popular types of slot machine games:

Fruit Machines

Fruit machines is a term that is often used interchangeably with ‘slot machines’, and it refers to the classic slot machines that used juicy fruit as symbols on the reels. There are still lots of slots that use fruity symbols, as well as classic BAR, bell and Lucky 7 symbols.

Video Slots

Video slots is another term for online slot machines. There are a huge variety of video slots with different themes and styles - the hardest part is deciding which game to play first!

3D Slots

3D slots are a new generation of slot games with graphics designed to look as if they are coming out of the screen! There’s no need for 3D glasses - just spin the reels and enjoy crystal-clear graphics, immersive storylines and exciting bonus features.

Slots with Bonus Rounds

Many online slots have fun bonus rounds that can be triggered during the main game. Bonus rounds can take the form of free spins, picking games (where you pick symbols to reveal prizes) and more, and give the chance to land even more wins!

Progressive Slots

Progressive slots have a jackpot that increases each time someone plays the game. Many progressive jackpots are linked across multiple casinos, meaning the prize pots can be huge! In some progressive slots, the jackpot will randomly drop on any spin. In others, you’ll need to activate a bonus round to be in with a chance of winning.

Play Slot Machine Games at the Official Slingo Site

Now you’re all clued up on how to play slot games, it’s time to get spinning! And where better place than With a huge range of fast, fun and exciting slot games in a safe, secure environment, you’ll love playing slot games with us. Ready to play? Let’s Slingo!

Slingo Editorial Team is the official site for Slingo games and thousands of online slots and live table games. Our editorial team is geared towards promoting fun, spontaneous, and responsible gameplay and is dedicated to creating high-quality content around the most popular games and more! If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to get in touch.



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