Can You Help Me Understand Pay Lines?

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Eureka Reel Blast pay lines

Some players seem to get tripped up by pay lines. We’ve written about them before, but here are some other questions we’ve received on the topic.

Do you get more lines if you play more money. ?? How do you know how many lines you’re playing ??

Terry H.

On older slots, you used to be able to select how many lines you played, and then your bet multiplier. With that structure, you could choose to bet more lines (at a higher cost) or play less lines (at a lower cost). 

Nowadays, most machines just have one row of bets, and the number of lines is fixed, at least for a specific denomination anyway. So upping your bet won’t necessarily gain you more lines; in fact, upping your denomination may reduce the number of lines.

The amount of lines you’re playing (or, if it’s all ways pays, if it’s that format) will be mentioned in the pay table and often on the main screen next to the bets, at the bottom of the bet panel or screen, or next to the reels. Since every manufacturer does it differently, checking the pay table may be easiest if you’re not finding it.

I understand the 5 and 9 lines on a 3 reel slot. But where are the lines on a 10 line 5 Reel?

Brad P.

There’s no one exact answer here – manufacturers can do whatever they want in terms of establishing where pay lines are, as long as they declare it in the pay table. Older reels machine might show you the various zig zagging lines directly on the glass, but commonly for modern machines, it will be shown somewhere within the pay information in the help screens.

Frequently, a manufacturer will often keep the lines they declare consistent from game to game, but can sometimes revisit these setups or do different things, so it’s not even wise to rely on that, but simply check the pay table if you want to confirm which lines are in play for a specific game.

If you have a 5 line game but only bet 3 lines, would the exact outcome be the same if you bet 5??? It seems it shows you that you would have won betting 5- but not 3… or wheel of fortune getting the spin if didn’t bet max.


Yes, in most cases it’s going to do the same thing if you choose less than the maximum lines to bet. The game is built with that potential in mind, and so it’s easier to just deal with that upfront than having multiple different ways to handle things based on how many lines are active. 

Of course, that’s not to say they can’t do it another way, but usually the simplest way forward is the right way forward. This avoids making it more difficult on everyone from the game developers, to the lab testing it before release, to the casinos.

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