A slot is a location where something can fit. It can be a physical slot in a machine or a virtual one, such as an appointment or a spot on a list. In a casino, it can be the area where people insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, paper tickets with barcodes. A slot can also be a set of reels that spin and rearrange symbols to create winning combinations, which earn credits based on the pay table for that particular game. Most slots have a theme that guides the symbols and other bonus features.
The pay table is an informational guide for players that describes a slot’s rules and payouts. It typically lists a picture of each symbol, along with how much players can win by landing (typically) 3, 4 or 5 matching symbols on a payline. It can also include additional information, such as the RTP (return to player percentage) and any special symbols or features that may be present in a game.
It never fails to amaze us that many players leap straight into playing a slot without checking its pay table first. This is a mistake, as the pay table is essential for understanding how the game works and which symbols are worth cheering for.
The pay table can usually be accessed by clicking an icon near the bottom of the game screen, or by looking for a tab at the top of the screen. Some online slots feature on-screen pay tables, which are similar to an actual printed table and allow players to scroll down through pages to see the symbols, prizes, payouts and jackpot information for a game.