Slots Dictionary

Slot Machine Terms | Learn the Slot Machine Lingo

9 min

Master slot machine terminology and slot slang with our comprehensive glossary. Whether you’re new to slots or a seasoned player, this guide covers all the relevant slot machine terms and lingo you need to be fluent in the language of offline and online slot games.

Most Common Slot Machine Terms

Most common slot machine terms

These are the must-know slot machine terms, from slots synonyms to casino game mechanics. And we also took care to help you steer clear of any terminological confusion.

Synonyms for slots

Coin machine

Self-explanatory, it’s a machine running on the coins you insert into it.


An abbreviation of Electronic Game Machine. Do not confuse it with EDM, which stands for Electronic Dance Music!

Fruit machine

This slot machine term comes from the fact that traditionally, symbols appearing on your screen are fruit-themed.

However, many slot game developers decide to take a new spin on the symbols, providing Egyptian-themed products or taking inspiration from high-rated pop-culture creations.

One-armed bandit

A metaphorical way to look at slots – since most EGMs have one handle you use to keep spinning, it’s as if you were shaking the arm of a bandit that stole cash out of your pocket.

Gamble responsibly!

Do not spend more than you can afford on one-armed bandits! If you are worried that this situation may apply to you, please check out the tell-tale signs of gambling addiction. Experts describe the principal symptoms, but you should also further your research by consulting gambling authorities.

Slot machine terms concerning gameplay

0 – C

1024 ways

A machine that has 1024 winning possibilities. Remember that in such cases, the game’s variance may be higher than for its counterparts, with fewer ways to score a jackpot.

243 ways

While the product has no traditional pay lines, it provides 243 ways to win. Similar to 1024 ways, it makes up for it with higher volatility.

However, it’s possible to bet lower stakes on such products than on their more traditional versions.


The classic slot variant, where each screen contains three reels of symbols. Their features are generally on the simple side, and you’ll see few pay lines throughout your gameplay.


The developers added two extra reels to the traditional 3-reel, thus increasing your chances of greater funds and making the game more volatile.

Of course, this also means that positive outcomes may be scarcer than for traditional slots.


What about a sixth reel enhancing your gameplay? This rare category was first launched in 2014 by WMS, and it makes the six-symbol combo possible.


This option lets the game do the spinning for you, both in online and offline casinos. It also counts as a responsible gaming measure since you must select the maximum number of spins, as well as the max wagering and acceptable loss.


The light you see on the fruit machine. It goes up as you hit a combo or otherwise score a positive outcome during gameplay.

Cascading reel

When you score a winning combination, the screen will change, allowing you to double up on the gains you got. Also known as falling or collapsing reels.

Coin out

When a two or three-symbol combination brings about double or triple wins.

E – M

Expanding wilds

While a wild symbol is something that can take the form of any other image, helping you score combos, an expanding wild is a feature that may trigger occasionally.

It covers your entire screen in wilds, helping you secure a winning outcome for that stage in your gameplay.

Games per hour

The maximum number of rounds you can play in an hour of gambling. Generally, a slot machine will allow up to 500 games in this timeframe.

Hit and run

A player who bets on max credits on a single payline. Should the slot not pay out, the bettor will move on to the next one.

Hit frequency

The frequency with which you may get a combo or jackpot. Generally, games with high hit frequencies will dish out more low-value jackpots.

House edge

The amount that the house wins each time you spin. It’s like RTP but seen from a different perspective.


A Blackjack game with 99% RTP is also a game with a 1% house edge.

Like the return-to-player rate, this value is calculated over longer periods. Generally, it takes tens of thousands of spins on the same product until you can actually see the practical edge align with the theoretical one, accessible on each game’s paytable.


To better understand how the house edge works, please consult our guide on casino RTP.

Instant winner

Somebody who claims the jackpot on the spot.


The highest prize you may receive during a session.

Max bet

The most you can stake on an individual spin. Generally, slots have lower max bets than card games, although some exceptions may be.

Licencing conditions

The best online casinos that operate under licencing from reputable authorities might restrict your max bets to low values. This is a method to prevent irresponsible gambling.

Max payout

The most you can withdraw after going through gameplay.


This gameplay ensures that all lines can be paylines.

For example

A rough calculation shows around 117649 methods to get the desired outcome.

Generally, these products have lower RTPs and higher volatilities than other fruit machines.

Min bet

The least you must stake during a round. Otherwise, it will be impossible to progress through the game.


An in-game bonus feature that multiplies your payouts.

P – R

Pay line

A line that will grant you positive results if you score a combo on it. Classic slots have three pay lines, while newer products and Megaways can have many more.


The funds you accrue after wagering on slot machines.


It is a rules card. It tells you how many pay lines and reels the game contains, as well as the symbols you should look for.

Checking the paytable is mandatory if you want to be in the know while playing. Information relating to RTP and max payouts will generally be accessible here, too.


Special in-game features that let you spin once more, generally after a losing combination, free of charge.


An abbreviation of Random Number Generator. Fair slots employ this algorithm that ensures that all combinations are randomly generated so that nobody can rig a game’s resolution.

Do all games have RNGs?

Only trustworthy gambling sites feature providers that exclusively create RNG-based games. To identify the safest products and understand more about RNGs, our guide can help you.


Short for return-to-player rate. This theoretical value shows how much of your money you may expect to get back from your wagers after gambling.

Remember that the actual RTP is at first lower than the theoretical one. Still, it evens out after spinning for long periods of time.

S – W

Scatter symbols

These symbols can help you create a combination even if they do not form a line.


It’s what you do each time you place a bet – by spinning, the symbols on your screen will change, and the wager you intended will be deducted from the balance you use for playing.


Also known as volatility, this parameter measures how likely losses are. Generally, high-variance slot machines will provide fewer jackpots.

However, their value will be higher. On the other hand, low-variance ones dish out consistent wins, but they are not spectacularly high.


A perfect synonym for variance. This word finds itself among the most common slot machine terms, more so than its equivalent.


A wild symbol may take the shape of any other character on the screen, helping you create quicker combos. Checking a machine’s paytable will let you see whether the game features wilds.


Coming out of the game session with more funds than you initially had. On a broader scale, any positive outcome you could get while gambling.

Win both ways

While traditional pay lines only work from left to right or right to left, the win-both-ways feature ensures that both sides may provide a good resolution.

Slot Machine Terminology: Game Types

Slot machine lingo game types

3D slots

These are games with three-dimensional-looking graphics, making for a more immersive experience.

Fixed jackpots

Such machines connect to a jackpot with a specified value. Landing a winning combination might lead to your scoring this pot.

Loose slots

EGMs that offer frequent winnings.

Nudge slots

A classic slot type, where you can shift a reel to change your bet’s result. Nowadays, this playstyle is considerably rarer.


NetEnt is a leading online slot creator. Most products coming from this developer shine through high RTPs and varying volatilities. This way, they suit online players of all tastes and experience levels.


Netent titles are often associated with free spins bonuses.


Novomatic is the go-to machine provider for players all over the world. It developed both on and offline iterations of gambling products, and they shine through their vivid graphics and all-around high reputation.

Not to mention the classic status – chances are you’ve been playing at Novomatic casinos even without knowing!

Online slots

The term refers to online games that are playable on specialised gambling websites. They incorporate the same mechanics as their brick-and-mortar versions. However, they tend to have higher RTPs and more regulations.

Always go for reputable websites!

Check the online casino’s footer every time you play to check for its licence. Otherwise, your funds might find themselves in an insecure environment.

Start playing online with bonuses

Getting to know the top online slot sites will also come with precious information on promotional offers, which can help you get acquainted with the platform. You may also learn about the best providers and features to consider. Online casino directories like ours will also help guide you precisely through the best casino bonuses available.

Progressive jackpot

These EGMs also connect to a progressive slot machine. However, the principal difference is that the prize pool increases as more people bet on it.

Remember that you’ll generally need to stake on all the available credits for this type of play.


A slot iteration that combines the classic playstyle with bingo. While you still need to mark off numbers on a ticket, there is one reel, too. Spin it so you can progress through the game’s stages. Generally accessible as an online game.

Video slots

These are all the products that also count as video casino games – the machine does not have physical reels; it has computer-generated ones. Basically, all modern devices count as video slots.

Slot Terms with Multiple Meanings

Slot slang Meaning in gambling Other significations
ATM A slot machine A machine where you insert your card to take out cash
Jackpot The highest payout you may get in slot gambling A phrase you utter to express appreciation
Poke Spin on a machine 1. Touch someone

2. A Facebook mechanic

Slot machine Exactly what it says on the tin. An object you poke holes into with your cigarette so you can make smoking more intense
EGM Electronic Gaming Machine 1. A popular videogame magazine

2. “Epic Gamer Moment”

Unusual and Outrageous Slot Slang

Unusual & outrageous slot slang

The semantic field of gambling also comes with pejorative or odd slot machine terms. Know them to avoid getting into a sticky situation while gambling.

Casino butt

Used to talk about women who sit down to play slots. People who call them that consider that their bottoms got flat as a result.

Ding ding

An illegal gambling machine, which you will not find if you only play with certified casinos.

Grind joint

A casino that favours low-stake betting. Generally, it does not boast high-end conditions.

Penny has dropped

The saying goes back to Victorian times. Back then, pennies would get stuck into arcade games, and players would have to wait for the coin to fall before gameplay could resume. These days, it’s also used to mean that you finally got an idea after a long creative block.


Stealing a machine from the casino.

What to do instead

Find a real Fruit machine for sale – multiple sites are featuring such announcements.


Someone overstaying their welcome, especially when you booked a room (or a casino salon) at a specific time. As such, this person is eating into your timeframe.

Slot jockey

Somebody who struggles with problem gambling.


Having unpleasant physiological effects after a weekend spent partying and pulling the lever on slots.

The Benefits of Knowing Slot Machine Lingo

The benefits of knowing slot machine lingo

Being knowledgeable about standard slot machine terms and less popular slot slang will paint you as a connoisseur.

Understanding jargon

Jargon refers to words used exclusively in a specific social category or field of work. As such, it’s a means to identify people of your kind.

Knowing slot slang means being proficient in gambling jargon, so it will help you create a sense of belonging with your peers. Plus, isn’t it nice knowing that idioms like the penny have dropped go back to a punting practice?

Adina Minculescu
AuthorAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adina’s analytical way of thinking is what gamblers need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, you will get the essential help to make informed financial decisions. Let her be your reliable guide!

Tudor Turiceanu
ReviewerTudor TuriceanuCEO & Chief Editor at CasinoAlpha

Tudor Turiceanu uses his multiple systematic skillsets to oversee and coordinate the CasinoAlpha project. He assists the authors in creating a transparent gambling niche for users. As a CEO and Chief Editor with broad knowledge, Tudor knows the importance of transmitting confident advice.