How to Use Online Slot Paylines to Your Advantage

Shane. - October 17, 2022
Classic slot machine cartoon

Paylines are a fundamental aspect of every online slot game. Discover the different types of paylines and the best payline strategies in this in-depth guide.

Visit any online casino, and you will instantly notice that the game library brings you a large variety of slot games. There are thousands of slots powered by different software providers, and with each one, there is something new or different to look forward to.

As a new player, it might be overwhelming, thanks to the different themes, bonus features, and payout possibilities to play. Many slots have free spins, while others have interesting bonus games. Some slots give you the Bonus Buy option to jump straight into the bonus feature fun.

As you explore the slots available, you’ll probably develop a preference. This may include types of slots and, over time, even a payline preference. Here is a guide to the best strategies for using paylines and a better understanding of their purpose.

Understanding Slot Paylines

Before you can jump right into the action, you need to know what paylines are. These are the lines that run through the slot which determine the pay-outs. The slot symbols must fall on these paylines to form a winning combination. The patterns of the paylines vary and are determined by the software provider.

With slot paylines, you’ll find that the majority pay from left to right. You can, however, also find slots that Pay Both Ways, enabling you to trigger winning combinations from left to right or right to left. This increases the chances of winning, but remember that winning is never guaranteed.

Types of Online Slot Paylines

It’s amazing to see how online slots have developed over the years. What started with a single payline quickly evolved into Megaways. Let’s take look at the different payline options and how they affect gameplay to determine what would be the best option.

Here’s a quick overview of the top payline options for slots:

Adjustable and Fixed Paylines

The first thing to be aware of is that slot games can come with fixed or adjustable paylines. If you’re playing a slot with fixed paylines, they can’t be adjusted when making your bet. So, if you are playing a 20-payline slot, you must bet on all 20 paylines. If the slot comes with adjustable paylines, you can change the number of paylines you want active during the spins. You can even choose to have a single payline active.

Classic Paylines

Classic paylines are common in fruit slots or other classic slots. This is the smallest number of paylines you’ll find while playing, as very few software providers prefer single payline creations. These options are straightforward, with little to no bonus features.

10 – 50 paylines

The largest number of slots will fall into this category at online casinos, as it is fairly standard to create slots with up to 50 paylines. The most common option is slots with 30 paylines.

243 Ways to Win

One of the most popular payline setups is the 243 ways to win. It’s interesting to see how providers adapted a generic 5 reels and 3 rows layout to create this amount of paylines. With 243 ways to win slots, there are 243 ways to land a winning combination, and that’s why it is so popular among players.


Another prime choice in terms of paylines is the Megaways feature which can easily surpass 117,000 ways to win. This payline mechanic was created by Big Time Gaming. It is highly popular, so much so that other providers acquired the right to use it for their own slot games. With Megaways, the paylines can jump from 25 paylines to over 117,000 ways to win.

Cluster Pays

Finally, there is the popular Cluster Pays mechanic. With this exciting format, payouts are based on the symbols clustered together on the reels. No paylines are running from one side of the reels to the other. Instead, it’s all about the clusters, which tend to go hand in hand with cascading reels. This means that each time winning combinations are formed, they are removed from the reels, and new symbols drop in their place. This feature gives you even more opportunities to rake in the rewards.

The Importance of Online Paylines

You might wonder what the importance of slot paylines is or how it affects your gameplay. As seen above, there are different payline types, and each can affect your bet and the outcome of a single spin.

For instance, if you’re in the market for winning slot entertainment with more ways to trigger wins, then we highly recommend slots with plenty of paylines. This includes Megaways slots which come with more than 100,000 ways to win.

Take Note: It’s more than just the paylines that affect your gameplay. So, if you’re looking for slots with entertaining features, the paylines won’t really have the biggest effect. You’ll also find that other factors contribute to the win amounts and the frequency of wins. Thus, paylines are only important when you’ve set specific goals.

Important Payline Facts to Keep in Mind

Online slots vary in shape, size, and features. There are endless options to choose from, with new casino games added to the mix every day. When it comes to choosing the most ideal slot variants for you, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Choosing the right slot with the paylines you want and the perfect set of features is the best strategy for making the most of every spin.

  • RTP – Also known as Return to Player Percentage, this ratio determines how much a slot is set to pay out over its entire life span. A high RTP is always a good choice.
  • Budget-based gameplay – Modern slots have become even more immersive, making it easy to keep betting. For this reason, you should set a budget for gameplay and stick to it. You should also choose a slot with a betting range that suits your pocket. Most new slots let you bet for only a few cents a time, which can help you stretch your budget.
  • Types of features – Explore the various features to find the ones you enjoy most. We recommend looking for casino games that offer more than one feature. These features are not only fun but also boost your winning chances. Free spins, sticky wilds, respins, and more can all be found on the most popular slot creations.  
  • Payline preference – Choose slots that come with the preferred amount of paylines you’d want to pay. Whether it’s fixed, adjustable, or All Ways Pay, choose wisely, and make the most of every bet!

Remember that more paylines increase the number of available ways to get a positive outcome, but winning is all about luck and cannot be guaranteed.

Want more information before you play? Always check the paytable for the number of ways to win and payouts. The paytable should give you all the details on the paylines and winning odds so that you can make an educated decision.

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