Slot Terminologies

Online slots are arguably one of the most popular casino games not only in South Africa but also worldwide. Even though virtual one-armed bandits are pretty straightforward and easy to play, they come with a host of specific terms used to describe different features and functions. Many players, newbies especially, are often puzzled by slot jargon, and to give them a hand, we have put together the list of important slot terminologies.

243 Ways To Win

One of the most frequently used slot terms, 243 ways to win refers to a type of reel mechanic where winning combinations are completed by landing at least three matching symbols on adjacent reels, from left to right. All 243 ways to win online slots are based on a standard 5×3 grid, meaning that the number of possible combinations is 3x3x3x3x3 or 35, which is equal to 243. 


In the context of casino slots, action is defined as the amount of money staked over a certain time span. Usually measured per hour, this value is widely used in different betting strategies for calculating the odds and probabilities.

Auto Play

Also called Autospin, it is a function that sets the reels in motion automatically. Virtually all online slots available in the South African market come with this feature, allowing players to choose a certain number of rounds and just watch the reels spinning. The most advanced AutoPlayfeatures provide additional options to adjust the gameplay, for instance, stop auto spins in the event of hitting a win, which is equal to the pre-specified amount.

Bet Max 

The largest possible amount of money players can wager on a single spin. Depending on the game, the maximum bet can vary greatly, ranging from as little as R100 to staggering amounts that exceed R15,000. It’s hard to find an online slot without a BetMaxbutton, which lets punters cut straight to the chase.

Bet Min

The smallest possible bet per spin in a particular game. It can be really trifling in online slots with non-fixed pay lines where players have the option to activate just one pay line and bet only one credit per line.

Expanding Wild 

A wild symbol that can expand to cover the entire reel in order to create more chances for completing a win. In some slot games, these advantageous icons expand horizontally and cover the whole row instead of a column. 

Free Spins

The most popular type of bonus among the players, the free spins feature does exactly what it says on the tin. Usually triggered by a certain number of scatters or other special icons, this feature delivers a particular number of rounds that do not require placing extra bets, hence free spins.

House Jackpot 

It is a jackpot offered within a single online casino on selected slots as an incentive for players. House jackpots are often called local and at many websites, they can be won not only once a day or a month but even once every hour. 


The term i-Slots refers to fully interactive online slots from Rival, which are more akin to immersive flicks that tell colorful and captivating stories.

Loose Slots

Slots that are believed to pay out more frequently (and generously) are called loose. 

A single line on which certain combinations of symbols have to land in order to form a win and award a payout.

Pay Table

It’s safe to say, the pay table is a kind of user manual for slots that provides all the necessary information about payouts, special symbols and their role, bonus features and the way they are triggered, as well as the number of pay lines or ways to win and the payback percentage.

Progressive Jackpot

A jackpot that grows over time as more punters play slots that are part of a network. The latter can be local (limited to one online casino, for instance) or huge like Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, the world’s largest and most famous producer of instant millionaires.

Random Feature

A bonus feature that is triggered at random instead of being activated by landing a certain combination of symbols. 

RNG (Random Number Generator)

A special program able to generate unpredictable sequences of numbers to determine the outcome of every single spin completely at random. The RNG is used in modern online slots that take advantage of complex mathematical algorithms that can create up to four billion combinations in order to “tell” the reels when to stop.


Once the barrels, which span inside the slot machine window, the reels today are virtual columns with icons rotated to provide the result of each spin.

RTP (Return to Player)

Slot RTP is the long-term theoretical payback percentage from all wagers placed on a certain casino slot. For example, if an online slot has an RTP of 96%, it means 96% of the total bets made on that slot will go back to players. This percentage is calculated on the basis of millions of spins, therefore do not try to verify its accuracy by risking your own bankroll.


A special symbol that pays regardless of pay lines and often serves to trigger bonus features. 
Scatter Pay

In contrast to regular symbols, scatters deliver payouts no matter their position on the reels. They do not need to appear on an active pay line or on adjacent reels, they can land anywhere on the screen and award a win – that’s what Scatter pay means.


A slot or slot machine is a game of chance with spinning reels. Wins are determined at random and created in accordance with the matching of symbols specified in the paytable.

Sticky Wild

A wild symbol that remains on the reels for a certain number of spins, increasing chances for completing a winning combination in the following round. 

Tight Slots 

Contrary to loose slots, their tight counterparts are believed to pay not that frequently. They are also known as cold slots.

Wild Symbol

A special symbol that can replace all regular icons to complete one or more winning combinations.


In the world of casino slots, volatility (or variance) defines the nature and behavior of a certain game, telling players what to expect in terms of the frequency and size of the payouts. Basically, all slots can be split into three groups: low-, medium-, and high-volatile. High volatility slots pay less frequent but larger amounts while low volatility slots deliver smaller wins but more often.

Video Slots 

Originally a slot machine with a video display instead of physical reels, a video slot today is a game with at least five reels – the opposite of 3-reelers that are called classic slots.