Does the Number of Lines on an Online Slot Make a Difference?

Slot machines in a casino

The paylines on a slot machine can go in many directions. Some games let you choose how many lines you want to use. Others will require you to play with each one. The rules can change, but those lines are essential to scoring a big win.

One question that people have about online slots involves whether the number of lines will make an impact on the game. The answer is complicated, as there are many things that influence whether you win. But it’s important to learn everything you can to help you build a solid slot strategy.

How a Line Works

If you are curious about how the lines on a slot machine work, here’s a quick walkthrough:


  • A line will go from left to right. It will cover one symbol on each of the reels.
  • The line doesn’t have to go straight across each reel. It can go up and down across the reels. You can check the instructions on a slot before you play to see what lines work.
  • You’d have to get at least a few of the same symbols or other qualifying ones on the same line to win a payout. Also, that line must be active for you to win.
  • In most games, the line pays from left to right. It starts on the first reel to the left, and then it goes along to the right.



These rules are consistent among all slots. While the specifics can change between each machine, you can expect these rules to be standard.

Fixed or Flexible?

The number of lines on your slot can be fixed or flexible. A fixed layout means that you must play with a certain number of lines on a slot.

Note:A flexible option means that you can choose the number of lines you’ll use. You can check the rules on your slot to learn more about how the lines on that machine work.

A flexible game lets you control the number of lines, and therefore how much you bet on a spin. The option is useful if you’re uncomfortable with the amount you’d spend on a spin with all the lines intact.

Are More Lines Better?

You might figure that you could win more money on a slot if you have more lines active. But that is not always the case. The random number generator program inside a slot might adjust the rules depending on the lines you use.

Keep in mind that it costs more to use more lines. You could receive a strong payout if you have multiple winning lines on the same spin. But even then, you are wagering lots of money. Sometimes the amount won will be less than the total you spent on a spin.

Meanwhile, a game with fewer lines might have fewer total outcomes. A traditional one-line game may have a few symbols on each reel, for instance. But the random number generator will still dictate how each spin ends.

What About Line-Free Games?

There are also line-free games available in many casinos. A line-free slot is a game that features a traditional arrangement. The screen may have five reels with three rows, but there are no lines. Instead, each symbol is a scatter symbol.

Important:You will get a payout if there are three or more matching symbols on connecting reels. You could win on a right-to-left combination or a left-to-right one.

Such line-free games are marketed as having 243 or 1,024 ways to win. The total varies by the screen layout and the symbols that appear. You could still get a great payout, but that does not mean you have a better chance at winning.

Jackpot Standards

Depending on the machine, there might be rules about how many lines you have to utilize to be eligible for jackpots, bonus games, and other features.

Other games might require you to bet the maximum amount of money to qualify. These points encourage players to spend more money on a spin, although they do not increase the player’s likelihood of possibly winning the larger payouts.

Prepare Well

The best thing to do when playing an online slot is to check out the lines on the game before you start playing. Take a look at a few points of note:

  • How many lines are on the slot?
  • How much does it cost to play each line?
  • Do you have the option to choose which ones you want to use?
  • Are there any special rules surrounding those lines? These include rules where you can get a right-to-left or left-to-right payout.
  • Where do the paylines go? The payout table on the slot should let you know. You might also notice this when you adjust the number of lines you’ll utilize on a spin.
  • Do you have to play with all the lines to be eligible for some of the features of the game?

The most important thing to review is how much it would cost to play a game with some or all lines. You have to figure out the total you will spend based on the lines and how much each is worth. It’s easier to stay within your budget if you know how much each line is worth.

Bias Doesn’t Work

There is one more point to note about the lines on a slot machine. The slot is not going to discriminate between players who wager more or less. The random number generator program that runs a slot will produce unique results with each spin. It does not consider the number of coins you use on a spin or how many lines you utilize.

In general, betting more lines increases your chances of winning more. But that does not mean you should assume that the lines will dictate your odds for winning.

Sometimes, people get big payouts even if they don’t bet as much. Slot machines are always random no matter how many lines you bet.


Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.