Does Changing the Number of Lines Change the Payouts?

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Pay table example

Some machines give you the ability to choose how many lines you want to play within a single denomination. Others do this through the changing of denominations, where the line counts can differ by denomination. A player asks:

Does changing the number of lines from like 30 to 15 on the machines give you more money on the line hits?


It depends on how you are changing the lines. If you are on a machine where it gives you a choice of how many lines you want to play, such as on newer games like Lightning Dollar Link or really old games like Stinkin’ Rich, but your denomination isn’t changing, the answer is no – the amount of the line hit is the same, because the bet per line is the same.

The reason for this is that the pays are established based on how things line up on a line. The amount paid for that line-up is set in the pay table. The actual amount paid for a line hit is effectively calculated like this:

Prize for a certain line pay x line bet multiplier x amount per credit (denomination)

So if you are betting 20 lines with a 4x line bet multiplier on 5 cent denomination (presume 80 credits total bet – $4 – for a basic slot without extra feature bets), and the pay table awards 10 credits for 3 symbols on a line you’re betting on, your pay would look like this:

10 credits x 4x line bet multiplier x 5 cent denomination = $2 (40 credits at 5 cent denomination)

And that’s for the single line. If you win on multiple lines, you’d get paid for each line you won on.

So if the pays aren’t changing, what is? What is instead changing is how much you are betting. If you are betting 1 credit per line, playing 30 lines costs 30 credits and playing 15 lines costs 15 credits. So you’re spending half as much per spin on the 15 line option vs. the 30, and so a line hit will go farther. Of course, that also means less lines on which you can win.

Let’s say you win on one line and get 25 credits on either bet. On the 15 credit bet, you’ve come out ahead for that spin. On the 30 credit bet, you’re a bit short of getting your bet back.

Now let’s say you’re changing denominations, betting 30 lines on 1 cent denomination vs. 15 lines on 5 cent denomination, but betting the same bet. Here, you’re actually betting a different amount per line – on the 15 lines higher denomination option, you’re betting twice as much.

For example, if you were betting $3 a spin, 30 lines on 1 cent denomination would mean 10 cents per line, whereas 15 lines on 5 cent denomination would mean 20 cents per line. You would therefore expect line hits to be double, because each line has a higher bet. But of course you have less lines you can win on.

So when players move up denominations and have less lines on games like Lightning Link, they’re putting more weight on less lines as a general rule, and so that’s why some of the line hits can look impressive. Of course, with less lines, those line hits are also harder to achieve. That makes for a more volatile game, but helps keep bets from getting out of control.

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