Paylines in multiline slots

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about multi-line online slots to help you have a better gambling experience at online casinos. With this crash course on how Multi-line slots work, how they differ from single-line slots and what the pros are of playing these types of slots, you’ll be well set to play them with confidence.

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What is a Payline in a Slot?

A payline or betting line in a slot is a static pattern of either single or multiple lines appearing on the reels that indicate where symbols have to land in order for you to get a payout. A win is calculated depending on a symbol combination that lines up on the payline on each spin.

The reason why you should pay close attention to a payline in a slot is that it also dictates your chances of unlocking bonus features such as free spins rounds or other bonus games.

As technology has progressed, so too did slots and their paylines – they aren’t just horizontal lines anymore. Depending on the game, alongside the traditional straight lines, they come in zigzag patterns and many other jagged shapes. These can be hard to follow when playing a fast-paced multi-line slot.

Therefore, before playing any slot that comes with multi paylines, you should always check the paytable. This way you’ll have a better idea of specific patterns and which symbol combinations form a winning payline.

What are Multi-line Online Slots?

Contrary to the classic slot machines that only have one payline, modern games today possess multiple betting lines giving you more ways to land a win. There can be 20, 30 and even 100 paylines in a slot.

The multi-line online slots aren’t always better than the classic single-line slots in terms of gameplay or wins, but they do offer a wider variety of themes and enhanced bonus features. The best thing about multi-line online slots is that you can land a winning combination on several betting lines on a single spin thus maximising your wins.

You might think that the more paylines a slot has, the more likely you are to win. Although multiline slots does give you more possibilities to land winning combinations, they don’t necessarily offer a higher chance of winning.

Often, the higher the number of paylines, the smaller the payouts will be. Slot developers lower the payouts on these slots as they know players are more likely to land them. The RTP of a slot can give some indication of the likelihood of winning, however, as always when playing online games of chance – it’s always down to luck! In any case, multi-line online slots can be fun to play.

What is the Difference Between Multi-line and Single Payline Slots?


Multi Line Slots

The biggest difference here is, of course, the number of paylines. Classic slots contain a single payline, while modern slots feature 5, 10, 20, 25 or more paylines.

Naturally, due to the increased number of betting lines, multi-line online slots contrast greatly from single paylines slots, which we depicted in the below comparison table.

Present players with multiple chances to form a winning combination. More suitable for players who like to keep things simple.
Come with different themes and multiple bonus features to potentially boost winning potential. Newly released classic slots rarely offer bonus games.
Winning combinations can be formed in different ways such as both ways, megaways, 243-ways-to-win and more. Basic games, known as classic slots, are derived from land-based casino games.
Multiple paylines that can be turned on or off to suit the player. Has a single payline that can not be manipulated.

How Do Multi-line Slot Machines Work?

One of the best ways to get to know each multi-line slot machine before playing for real money is to navigate to its paytable. Here you’ll find all the necessary information on paylines and how they work. Also, you’ll be able to see the web of paylines visually.

The information provided will tell you if the slot pays from left to right or both ways and how many symbols you’ll need to form a winning line. Once you look over the details and familiarise yourself with the online slot machine of your choice, follow the below steps if you would like to start playing:

  1. To play for real money, top up your online casino account via your preferred payment method and choose the slot you want to play.
  2. Before you start spinning, set an amount you want to bet. Each slot has a min and max bet amount displayed underneath the reels for you to select. You can adjust your betting amount as you progress, but you should always set your gambling budget first and keep an eye on your bankroll as you spin.
  3. Choose how many lines you’d like to play, if you play a slot with adjustable paylines. To select all paylines, simply hit the Max button. For players with smaller budgets, it’s recommended to lower the betting amount rather than the number of paylines so that you keep every chance possible of landing a winning combo.
  4. Now that you have your bet and paylines set, hit the Spin button to start spinning the reels.
  5. If you land a win, you may choose to use a gamble feature to increase your wins even more. You can usually do this via a special bonus feature within the slot which may double, triple or even quadruple your wins should you be lucky. But remember – you’ll have as much chance of losing your win!
  6. If you are happy with your wins or if the gamble feature paid off, then cash out your wins via the casino’s banking page.

Always remember to only bet what you can afford and play for entertainment purposes only.

Types of Multi-line Slot Machines


Multi Line Slots paylines

As with different slot themes and bonus features, multi-line slot machines also come with different types of paylines. We’ve identified five major payline categories that are the most common:

Adjustable Paylines

Adjustable paylines in multi-line slots mean that you don’t have to bet on all lines available but can activate a certain number of paylines you want to bet on.

For example, Book of Dead and Dead or Alive are some of the most popular casino games with adjustable paylines.

Players with a smaller budget may prefer slots with adjustable paylines because they provide them with more flexibility.

Fixed Paylines

As opposed to adjustable paylines, the meaning of a fixed payline is in its name. To play slots with fixed paylines, you’ll have to place a bet on all of them. That way you’ll never miss out on a potential winning combination, but it will also cost you more per spin as your bet will be multiplied by each payline. Therefore, these types of slots are more suitable for players with bigger bankrolls.

However, slots with fixed paylines can offer more interesting bonus features than those with adjustable paylines and can potentially increase wins and extend your gameplay.

There are many great titles with fixed paylines to choose from but if you need some help, try the enigmatic Vikings Go Berzerk or everyone’s beloved Starburst slot.

Win-both-ways Paylines

Slots that employ win-both-ways mechanics are popular among players for one good reason. They let you win from left to right and in reverse too so you have double the chance of landing a winning combination on a single spin.

Some of the best examples of win-both-ways slots include IGT’s Siberian Storm,
Turning Totems from Thunderkick or Druid’s Dream from NetEnt.

Paylines with the 243-ways-to-win format

Paylines with the 243-ways-to-win mechanics don’t have fixed paylines but rather produce wins when you land 3 or more symbols of a kind on the reels regardless of their position. As long as they land on adjacent reels, you are due a payout.

One of the biggest advantages of playing 243-ways-to-win slots instead of slots with adjustable and fixed paylines is that you don’t need to bet on all 243 lines separately.

Therefore, slots with the 243-ways-to-win format are some of the most popular games among players. Think of Thunderstruck 2 and Immortal Romance, two iconic titles from Microgaming, as good examples.

Megaways & more than 243-ways-to-win

Invented by Big Time Gaming, the Megaways mechanics have forever changed the way we play online slots today. Take the Bonanza or Rainbow Riches Megaways slots, for instance.

Each spin in these Megaways slots presents players with a random reel modifier giving a far greater number of ways to win than any other online slot out there. Sometimes it can go up to a whopping 117,649 ways to win.

Bonus Features in Multi-line Slot Machines


Multi Line Slot Bonus Features

The advantage of playing multi-line slot machines is that they often come with fun and potentially profitable bonus features which can help you win in many different ways:


Wilds can come in all shapes and forms imaginable and help complete a winning line by substituting for all regular symbols on the reels except scatters, free spins or bonus symbols.

As well as standard wilds, you’ll come across stacked or expanding wilds, sticky wilds, multiplier wilds, walking or shifting wilds and more. All of these provide you with greater possibilities to increase your winning odds.

For illustration, Jurassic Park is a good example of a slot with stacked wilds while Halloween Jack contains the spooky walking wilds feature. Both Punk Rocker and the popular Dead or Alive 2 slots come with sticky wilds.

Scatter symbols

A scatter symbol is always welcome in a slot game. Usually depicted as some kind of fun critter or a logo, it can award a win even if it doesn’t land on a winning line. It also helps unlock the best bonus features such as free spins or bonus rounds included in the slot. You just need to land a required amount of scatters on a single spin to activate them.

Progressive jackpots

Many online slots have progressive jackpots built-in to the game. While they still offer standard rewards, they also offer a special top prize which increases each time a player spins.

The best part about jackpot slots is that they can come with not just one, but multiple progressive jackpots. Online casino players’ favourite, Mega Moolah, for example, has four of them.

We’ve got a handy library of progressive jackpot slot reviews to help you find the best game for you.

Additional bonus features

In addition to the above-mentioned bonus features, multi-line online slots also come with gamble features, multipliers, avalanching reels or free spins rounds. These can occasionally be retriggered.

A vast number of online slots these days come equipped with bonus features that are specific to a particular slot, like the Win Spins feature in That’s Rich. Here the feature guarantees a win on every spin during the bonus round.

Best Multi-line Slots and Providers

From a pool of many outstanding game developers, we’ve picked out the best five that provide online casino operators with fantastic multi-line slots.

NetEnt Gonzo’s Quest
Microgaming Jungle Jim El Dorado
Big Time Gaming Lil’ Devil
Yggdrasil Vikings go to Hell
Play’n GO Viking Runecraft

Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt


Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt

It would be hard to imagine the gaming world without NetEnt and their cutting-edge online slots. Their focus on providing high-quality content has been the case more many years and continues to this day.

One of their iconic multi-line slot titles, Gonzo’s Quest, is a testament to their dedication and passion for online slots.

Featuring an exotic Aztec theme, 20 paylines, avalanche reels, free spins and free fall symbols, Gonzo’s Quest is still a favourite for many players. The wilds here substitute for all symbols, plus, typical to some multi-line slots, increasing multipliers of up to 15x come into play during the bonus round.

Jungle Jim El Dorado by Microgaming


Jungle Jim El Dorado slot review

Microgaming is another top-class casino game provider, well known for high-quality slot titles. With so many video slots in their games collection, you will find a great selection of well-built and mobile-optimised multi-line slot titles to suit your taste and budget in no time.

Jungle Jim El Dorado, one of their most popular slots, showcases an entertaining adventure theme and exciting in-game bonus features characteristic to multi-line online slots.

It comes with 25 paylines, rolling reels, wilds, scatters, free spins and increasing multipliers with a 5x multiplier in the base game and 15x in the free spins round. All of these bonus features, which you wouldn’t get in single-line slots, work in unison to give you multiple chances at hitting big wins.

Lil’ Devil by Big Time Gaming


Lil’ Devil slot by BTG

Big Time Gaming, the leading innovators responsible for the game-changing Megaways mechanics, consistently develop slots that bring players mighty wins. Although their most popular titles are highly volatile, many of them offer great entertainment and even better payouts.

While the 117,649 Megaways to win Bonanza is, no doubt, a hit from Big Time Gaming and features in many respectable online casinos, Lil’ Devil is another excellent multi-line release.

The slot offers 4,096 ways to win and many catchy bonus features that contribute towards the monumental payout of 50,000x your bet. Featuring Angel/Devil Wilds and multiple free spins games, it’s a multi-line slot you won’t want to miss.

Vikings go to Hell by Yggdrasil


Vikings Go to Hell slot from Yggdrasil

Talking about high-quality, entertaining multi-line online slots, Yggdrasil have been consistent in producing online slots that are worth your time. Their content is carefully designed, mobile optimised and beautifully crafted to suit any player.

Their Norse mythology-inspired trilogy ‘Vikings go’ has captivated many multi-line slots fans. With 25 paylines and a myriad of in-game bonus features, Vikings go to Hell encompasses everything that is great about multi-line online slots.

You get sticky wilds in the base game, scatter respins, a rage collection and treasure chest feature plus some free spins. It’s a complicated two-level, high variance multi-line online slot that we’ve come to really appreciate from Yggdrasil.

Viking Runecraft by Play’n GO


Viking Runecraft slot from Play'n Go

Many years of dedicated work and experience in the industry has taught Play’n GO how to spot what’s hot and what’s not. Their high-quality slot games collection houses many players’ favourites which work perfectly on both desktop and mobile devices.

You’ll find an extensive online library of Play’n GO slots with new titles being added all the time, but the 7×7 grid Viking Runecraft game will always stay as one of the superstar slots from this developer.

Viking Runecraft is one of those innovative all-ways-pay slots that doesn’t come with paylines. As a cascading reels slot, wins here can be achieved by landing 5 or more symbols anywhere on the reels as long as they touch vertically or horizontally.

This incredible must-play 10,000 level slot is packed full with bonus features including multiple wilds, free spins and multipliers.

Find the best Multi-line Slots and More at JohnSlots!

Paylines in a slot may seem complicated but if you know the basics, you can enjoy playing multi-line online slots for their captivating themes, bonus features, and amplified winning chances.

At JohnSlots, you’ll find a solid collection of multi-line slots from various top game developers suitable for every player. Our extensive online slot and casino library is continuously updated with new releases to help keep you entertained and up to date at all times.

Did You Know This About Multi-line Slots?


Multi Lines Slots FAQ

For more information, check out the below answers to the most popular questions asked by casino players about multi-line slots:

Can you win more on multi-line slots?

There is a good chance to win more payouts on multi-line slots because you have way more possibilities at forming a winning line compared to single-line slots. At times, you can hit multiple winning combinations on a single spin. However, the payouts aren’t necessarily bigger than on one-line slots.

How many paylines or ways-to-win can there be?

Typically, multi-line slots have 20-25 paylines, but some slots boast 100 or more paylines. You’ll also come across 243 or 4,096 different ways to win and even 117,649 Megaways to win slots like Bonanza from BTG.

Should I play all the available paylines?

With slots which have adjustable paylines, you don’t have to play all paylines. However, it is recommended to bet on all possible paylines to cover more ground and maximise your chances of winning.

How can I see the paylines on a slot?

You can check the pattern of paylines for each slot before playing by looking at the slot’s paytable. Also, depending on the game, the number of paylines will be displayed on either the bottom or both sides of the reel frame like they are in Starburst, for example. You can simply click on each number to see the paylines on the screen.

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Online Slot Expert

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Leanna Madden is an expert in online slots, specializing in analyzing game providers and evaluating the quality and variety of slot games. With her extensive knowledge, she guides players to the best slot options, including high RTP slots and those with exciting bonus features. Leanna's insights help players make informed decisions and enjoy rewarding slot experiences at online casinos.

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