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All the Parts that Make Up a Slot Machine Wager

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Written by Joshua

This question was recently left on the site:

Dear Anyone.

Can someone please help me understand slot denominations?

So I’m on a fictional-for-illustration-purposes-only slot machine and it’s on $1 denom and it has 25 winlines. Would that make the max bet $25? I’m sure I’ve seen streams on YouTube where the max bet’s higher than the amount of winlines multiplied by the denom, though you’re welcome to tell me I’m wrong on this.

Here’s the question I’ve been trying to get answered for YEARS now and nobody will tell me! I’ve seen streamers playing – for example only, on my mythical 25-line machine – $25 a spin on a dollar denom. Then they say ‘Changing it up a little….’ and they change to 50c denom – BUT THEY’RE STILL DOING THE SAME AMOUNT PER SPIN!! As they’re still doing the same amount per spin, what’s the point of them changing the denom? And how come they ARE doing the same amount per spin? I mean if the bet is amount of lines times denom (stake per line) how can the bet possibly be the same on two different denoms?

I’m very, very confused over all the above, go gentle with your answer if you choose to reply!

Yours feeling-stupidly


Hi Chris! Thanks for the questions, and all fair ones. I got into this topic a bit in this previous post, but I think your questions go in a few new directions so I think it’s worthy of its own post on the topic.

When it comes to your total overall bet, the denomination is one of 2-3 components of what make up a bet. The other are number of lines (sometimes; some machines don’t let you decide how many lines you’re playing, while some do), and then there’s the line bet, or bet multiplier as it’s sometimes called.

So if you’re playing a $1 denomination machine with 25 lines, a line bet of 1 would be 1 credit ($1 in this case) on each of 25 lines, or $25. But a line bet of 2 would mean 2 credits (or $2) on each line, a total of $50. So that’s where you get a scenario where the bets can go much higher than the win lines, because you’re missing that factor of the line bet. Accordingly, the max bet on a denomination is all the lines, with the top line bet available. Line bets can be 5x, 10x, even 20x at the top end, which for your example could get a bit pricey 🙂

This also addresses your question about how changing the denomination can yield the same bet – that multiplier is the great equalizer that allows the same wager to be played on multiple denominations in certain cases (usually the max bet on a lower denomination will be lower than the max bet on a higher denomination). So a 50 cent denomination with 25 lines and a line multiplier of 2 works out to the same overall spend per spin as a $1 denomination with 25 lines and a line multiplier of 1.

As far as changing the denomination, some players think it changes their luck. It might, but no one truly knows whether they’re improving or worsening their outcome vs. if they just left things alone, so that’s more harmless superstition than anything else. The one significant change that may factor into changing denominations is there might be a different line count, which plays and pays a bit differently.

Doing 50 lines on pennies at $5 a spin vs. doing 25 lines on dimes at $5 a spin does work out differently on a spin to spin basis, in that the line pays will be higher, but less frequent, on dimes vs. pennies. But ultimately it balances out in the long run.

Thanks for your question! And this is a good time to remind that your questions help make up a portion of what I write about here on the site, so please feel free to put your questions as a comment to an existing post, or submit through the Contact page of the site.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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