How Many Paylines Should You Play?

I If you’ve ever played on a slot machine, chances are you’ve come across something called paylines. These are either straight or zig-zagged lines that connect symbols on one reel with those on another. And it’s on those lines where the money happens.

So more paylines, more money, right? It’s not quite as simple as that. We’re about to take a deep dive into the world of paylines, how paylines work, and the risk versus reward ratio that can help make you even more moolah.


Risk versus reward

It seems to make sense that more lines mean a greater chance of winning. The thing is, the more lines you play, the more you’re spending.

For example, if you’re betting 1 cent on a 25-payline machine, each bet will cost you 25 cents. And that’s only fair, given that the casino is more likely to lose if you’re playing more lines.

Imagine if you were new to online casino gaming and were betting $10 per spin. That would add up to a total stake of $250, so you can see how these things can add up quickly.

If you’re unsure of how many paylines a game has, go to its info button or read a review of the game from the BitStarz Blog. The image above is from the super-popular Elvis Frog in Vegas slot, which is a really easy game to get into by the way.


Not all slot machines are created equal

Classic Fruit slots, for example, usually come with anything from 1 to 3 paylines, while most video slots rock 15 – 30 (with 20 to 25 being the common average). But really, slots can range from 1 payline to 4,096 or more.

A prime example of this is King of Cats slot – this game’s got 117,649 ways to win!

The general rule is the more paylines a slot game has, the less flexibility there will be in terms of your wagers. Think about a 243-payline slot; it just wouldn’t be practical to wager on each line so these tend to be fixed.

In theory, the more paylines, the greater your chance of winning. However, the game provider may just have lowered the value of the prize to compensate for giving you more winning opportunities.


Keep your eyes peeled

One thing to watch out for is slots with expanding paylines. On paper, you might think you’ve got loads of opportunities, but you’re probably playing on a fraction. Expanding paylines tend to happen when a special feature has been triggered and that’s not a frequent thing.

The same is true for slots that offer random numbers of lines. The number of active paylines changes with each spin so you might not even get close to the number you thought you might. The best way to deal with these types of slots is to check what the minimum number of lines is, compared to your stake.

Next up are cluster slots. These don’t offer any lines and only pay out when certain symbols appear together in a group.

On the other hand, cluster slots tend to be good value for money and offer the chance to win a bunch of times on a single spin (that’s due to a collapsible reel structure). Check out Star Clusters slot if that sounds like your kinda thing.

Also, be aware that some games have rules about how many lines you need to play on in order to be eligible for jackpots, bonuses, and other features.


Throw yourself a (life) line

So, what’s the best way to figure out how many lines to play with? Some of you might not like the answer but it bWe oils down to a bit of math. Don’t worry; it’s simple stuff.

What you need to do is divide your total stake by the number of lines featured in the slot. That leaves you with the amount you’re betting per line. Now compare that against the amount the slot game pays. You just might find that a slot with 243 lines is cheaper per spin, but yields less return on investment than a 25-line slot.

So which strategy should you adopt?

If you want to control the purse strings – Play a slot game with flexible wagers and adjustable lines. Then you can figure out how much you want to pay on a per-line basis.

If you have a tight budget – Play with as many lines as possible but do watch those costs because they will add up with each spin.

Luckily, there are more than 3,600 slot games available at BitStarz, region dependent of course, so you’ll easily be able to pick whichever one works for you.

If you’re new to online casino gaming or want additional insight into games, strategy, or you’re after a review of a particular slot game, check out the BitStarz blog. There’s loads of information there – and it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.