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Slot Machine Terminology & Lingo

Friday, 28 December, 2018

Slot Machine Terminology & Lingo

Eyup, the Kerching blogs are back for the festive season! Malcolm and Lucky aren’t reviewing a game this week though, instead there helping the newer Kerching members prepare for the new year with their slot dictionary!  They’ll be going through all the slot terminology that you need to make the most of your gaming experience. So, without further ado, let’s hear from the boys themselves.

L: Alright Malc

M: Alright Lucky

L: Something feels different…

M: Could it be because we’re not reviewing a slot today?

L: Are we not?

M: No my canine pal we’re not, we’ve made a change and today we’re doing a special for all the newbies out there!

L: Oh I do like the sound of that, tell me more Malc.

M: Today we’re revealing the first edition of Malcolm and Lucky’s Slot Dictionary!

L: Oh Wow! Wait, what’s that Malc?

M: It’s basically a handy little guide for anyone new to the world of online slots detailing all the slot machine lingo you need to know.

L: Oh no Malc, I’ve prepared for this lad!

M: Don’t worry Lucky, it’s not a test. I’ve got a list here we’re going to work through together, that way it’s not just the audience we’ll be teaching, you might pick up a thing or two as well!

L: Great stuff Malc, shall we start?

M: We shall Lucky. Here’s the list, would you please kick us off?

From A to Z…


L: Well Malc, I ‘bet’ you don’t know what we’re covering first.

M: Of course I do you doughnut, I made the list!

L: Oh yeah, it was only a joke anyway lad.

M: Well it was a bad one, shall I get on with explaining what a bet is?

L: Probably for the best.

M: Right well your bet is the total amount of money you’ve staked on that spin. The number should be visible to see on the sides of the reels. When you’ve chosen how much you want to put on, simply press the ‘spin’ button to place it.

L: Nice one Malc, we’re off to a good start. What’s next?

Bonus Features

L: This is my favourite one Malc

M: Really Lucky?

L: Aye, I love a good bonus me. Can do the talking for this one?

M: Go ahead pal

L: To put it bluntly, bonus features in slots can be the difference between leaving empty-handed and grabbing the big bucks. They can grant a variety of rewards like free spins, extra wilds or reel modifiers. They might have certain criteria you need to meet before they’ll trigger, like landing a specific symbol a certain number of times for example.

M: Good point Lucky. It’s important to remember that bonus features are one of the key ways different games differentiate from each other, so you may find yourself leaning towards some more than others.

L: I might check out a few out after we're done with this!

Free Spins

M: This one’s a goodun Lucky

L: I mean you do love anything with free in the name

M: Hey if it saves me money, I’m not complaining. With Free Spin features, the only catch is that you have to meet the unlock requirements for the game that you are playing. So for example, if you have to land 5 ‘x’ symbols to win 10 free spins and you do get that combination, you’ll be awarded those free spins just like that!

L: Oh yes Malc, I like the sound of that. What about the prize money, do I get to keep all of that too?

M: Good question Lucky. For the vast majority of games, you’ll get the full amount of any winnings you receive from free spins. What’s more, during some free spins modes reel modifiers will be applied which can give a real boost to your overall payout.

L: Sounds tasty

M: It is Lucky and if you like that, you’re going to love the next one.


L: I’m not too sure about this one Malc, I’m terrible with my maths.

M: Jeez Lucky, it’s multipliers, not multiplications. Considering what they can do for your gameplay, I thought they’d be right up your alley.

L: Oh really? Do go on then chum.

M: Well multipliers are a form of reel modifier which makes the symbols in your game way more valuable. Normally they’re unlocked through a bonus feature, free spins mode or landing a specific combination of symbols. Once activated, multiply the value of symbols by whatever multiplier you’ve unlocked. For example, if you unlock a 2x multiplier, then any symbols you land in a winning combination will be worth double.

L: Wow, they’re pretty useful then?

M: Indeed they are Lucky, so keep an eye out for any opportunities to trigger one as they could give you a massive boost.


L: We’re really getting into it now Malc!

M: That we are Lucky, can you tell me what a payline is?

L: They’re the lines on the reels which you land winning combinations on right?

M: Correctomundo but unlike physical slot machines, online slots can have literally hundreds of paylines if the developer so chooses. They don’t even have to stick to straight lines either, now they can zig zag and all sorts! Some games have different numbers of paylines depending on the size of your bet, so check before you play to avoid any disappointing situations.

Progressive Jackpots

L: I think everyone who wants to play a slot knows what a jackpot is Malcolm!

M: Oh really, then tell me what’s the difference between a normal one and one that’s progressive?

L: Er…

M: Ha, got you! Are you going to let me tell them now?

L: Yep, go on

M: Slots with this feature will have a jackpot fund which gets added to every time a player places a bet. The prize will keep getting bigger and bigger until one lucky person wins it. The numbers in Progressive Jackpots can be incredibly higher than your average slot payout, so it’s definitely worth giving these games a try.


M: Now for an easy one Lucky, can you please explain to our adoring audience what reels are?

L: Well Malc, reels are the very thing that makes the slot spin! In a real slot machine, the reels would be mechanical wheels that turn inside the slot to show a fixed number of random symbols. An online slot follows the same principle, only the reels are computer generated.

M: Good stuff Lucky, are there any more key differences between the two?

L: The great thing about virtual reels is that developers often play around with their set up or presentation to offer something you couldn’t find on their physical counterparts. In-game mechanics like tumbling reels change the way in which symbols descend, often to the benefit of the player. It depends on the game, so make sure to check before you start playing!


M: Ah symbols, the things that make the world of slots turn around. Not literally, of course, that would be reels, but you get what I mean.

L: I do love the symbols to be fair

M: Who doesn’t, you couldn’t win anything without them! Now obviously the symbols change depending on each game, but there’s some that get transferred across the slots. These are usually the low-value ones and are often represented by the playing cards 10, J, Q, K and A. The higher value symbols will often follow the theme of the game. A slot based on safaris might have symbols with wild animals on for example. There are different kinds of symbols like wilds and scatters which can provide a variety of different effects to your gameplay as well. To cut a long story short, they are the single most important thing in online slots.

L: Plus, they look good too!


L: Wait Malc, isn’t this just another Symbol?

M: No Lucky, these are special symbols that often play into the various special features found in an online slot. You don’t even have to land them in a payline! Just get the required amount for whatever effect that game has and you’ll unlock it.

L: Can you give me an example Malc?

M: Sure, thing mate. Let’s say the slot you’re playing has a free spins feature, but in order to unlock it, you have to land five scatter symbols. If it doesn’t specify which reels they need to land in then, as long as they’re in view on the board you’ll get your free spins!

L: I like the sound of that Malc!

Wagering Requirement

M: Right Lucky, this one might not be the most exciting, but it is a very important part of online slots.

L: Ok Malc, kick us off then.

M: Well, a wagering requirement applies to free spins and is the number of times you need to wager your winnings before you can take them out. So, say you win some money using free spins but they have a wagering requirement of 20x. You’d then have to wager the winnings twenty times before you could withdraw them.

L: It’s actually pretty simple then.

M: Yes, but you should always be aware of the wagering requirements. You should be able to view the requirements while in the game, so make sure you do!


L: Right, I definitely know about this one Malc!

M: I thought you would, I’ve saved that best for last after all. I’ll let you do the talking this time Lucky

L: Well, the wild mechanic is one of the most important parts of an online slot and can make a big difference to your gameplay. If you’re familiar with the concept of Wild Cards, then slot wilds should be easy to wrap your head around.  They work by substituting for most other symbols in-game to form new winning combinations.

M: Give them an example Lucky.

L: Sure thing, pal. So, imagine that you need symbol ‘x’ to land in a certain position on reel three to complete a payline. If a wild lands in that slot, it will function as symbol ‘x’ and you will receive the win as if that symbol had indeed fallen in place there.

M: Not bad Lucky, not bad. One last question though, are there any symbols that the wild won’t serve as?

L: Scatter symbols are never usually covered by the wild effect and other special symbols. A good rule to follow is that if that symbol is required to unlock a bonus feature, you probably won’t be able to substitute it for a wild.

M: Great stuff lucky, that’s a solid B for effort there!

L: Thanks, Malc! It looks like we’ve got the end of our dictionary though, is there anything else our fans should know?

M: For general terms no. But we should point out that there are literally hundreds of slots out there, each with their own mechanics and special features. Luckily at Kerching, we do the research for you. So, if you have a question about the games symbols, wagering requirements or anything in-between, simply visit the game’s page on our website to find all the information you need.


That’s it for Malcolm and Lucky’s slot dictionary! We hope this has helped you get to grips with the ins and outs of slot terminology. Remember, if there’s a game specific question you have, check its page on the Kerching website to find a detailed explanation of the game’s mechanics and rules.

Here are some of the games worth checking out: Starburst, Siberian Storm & Big Bang

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