How to Read a Slot Pay Table

When you play a slot machine, every spin is random and independent of what happened on previous spins. This is thanks to a game mechanic called random number generator (RNG). Whether you press a button or pull a handle, every spin of the reels has exactly the same chance of winning or losing. That’s why it’s important to set a time and monetary budget before you start playing.

Slot games are complex, and understanding how to read a pay table is crucial for maximizing your potential for winning. A pay table lists a slot’s symbols, payouts and jackpots alongside detailed rules that explain how to activate bonus features. It’s also where you’ll find information on a slot’s RTP (the theoretical percentage that the machine may payout over a long period of time).

In electromechanical slot machines, a candle or tower light was used to indicate the minimum denomination, and it could also turn on when the player hit a service button indicating they needed help. These lights are now usually LEDs that light up in different colors depending on the status of the machine.

The term ‘slot’ is also a noun, meaning a position within a group, series or sequence, such as a time slot for an appointment or berth on a train or plane. Another definition of the word, originating in Middle Low German, is a narrow opening, especially one for receiving something, such as a coin or letter.