Getting to grips with slots can be tricky, especially when you consider the amount of bonus features and symbols that can be involved. However, understanding the core mechanics and basic symbols can help you get started playing online slots and start winning big.

In the early days of slot machines, punters only had to keep track of a few paylines and symbols and cross their fingers for a winning combination. But things have changed a lot over the years and many modern online slots have hundreds of possible combinations on their reels, along with new types of special symbols that don’t need to line up in a traditional way.

To help players keep track of all this, online slot developers include information tables called pay tables to give players a summary of how a particular game works and how the winning combinations read. This can be a simple list of symbols and their payouts or it can be more complex, with the help of coloured boxes to display how specific symbols should land on the reels to trigger winning combinations.

These tables can be found on the face of a machine, above or below the area that contains the wheels. But they can also be located within a help menu on video games, and are often included in the main game window. A third option is for a game to use scatter symbols, which can award a payout regardless of their position on the screen and can even trigger extra features such as free spins or jackpot games.