We’ve all been there in the beginning: you see matching icons land on the reels, get excited and then quickly feel cheated because they didn’t trigger a payout. There’s a very logical explanation for it: the icons didn’t land on a payline.

Paylines are horizontal lines that start on the leftmost reel and end on the rightmost reel. Icons must land on these lines in order to be considered a win. In a basic 3-reel slot, the payline simply goes through the centre. But as you add more reels, the paylines get more complicated.

Five-reel slots can have 9, 20, 25, or 50 paylines, and some even boast no paylines. There are two ways to see the paylines in an online slot. First, you can click the Select Lines button; every click displays one of the game’s lines. Second, you can look at the paytable for the payline grids. For most slot machines, you can select which paylines you want to be enabled during your session, which helps you control the amount you’re betting. 


Playing With Fixed Paylines

You may notice that some newer slots have paylines that don’t give you that option. The paylines are fixed, so you’re playing with all paylines active all the time. An example of a slot with fixed paylines is Caesar’s Triumph. As you’ll see in the paytable, the game has 20 paylines, but you can’t click the ones you want to be enabled. If you play Caesar’s Triumph, you have no choice but to play with all 20 paylines.

If you already prefer to play with the max number of paylines, playing a game with fixed paylines won’t make a big difference. You still choose how much you want to bet per line, or how much you want to bet per spin. But if you generally limit the number of paylines you play with, you’ll notice a cost difference between slots with customizable paylines and slots with fixed paylines: games with fixed paylines have higher betting minimums than games with customizable paylines. For example, the minimum you can bet per round in Caesar’s Triumph is $0.20. The minimum you can bet per round playing 8 Lucky Charms, another fixed payline slot, is $0.50. A customizable payline slot allows you to play for as little as a $0.01 a round.