Fixed vs Adjustable Payline Slots – What’s the Difference?

Comparison of Fixed and Adjustable Paylines in Online Slots

Slot machines are known as one of the easiest game categories in the casino industry. They are easy to use and do not require any special skills for efficient playing.

However, there are dozens of details to remember before you start playing. Classes, types, different technical details – all this is important for slot players.

We already explained the importance of paylines in slots. Paylines represent the number of available combinations that you can form to get a prize. The number of paying lines varies from slot to slot.

Some games offer 3 paylines, some offer 40. In some games, you can encounter 243 winning ways, or even have a chance to boost them up to 117,649. No matter how many paylines you have, the point is the same – they represent your chances of winning.

Now, winning ways and paylines are different in casino terms, so for today, we will focus exclusively on paylines.

As you know, you can have up to 40 paylines in a slot (after that they are called winning ways). However, some slots offer fixed paylines, while in some slots you can adjust the paylines. Knowing how and why that is possible is important for every player that enjoys this type of casino entertainment.

Fixing the Lines

The first slot machines came with only one payline. The one-armed bandits boasted three rows and three reels, which meant that only striking a combo on the middle row resulted in a win.

Innovative technology brought in an expansion of slot functionalities, including a revolution in the number of paylines. Nowadays, classic slots are equipped with more paylines and consequently, provide bigger chances of winning.

But if you have, for example, 10 fixed paylines, you cannot change them. That means that you do not have the option to choose how many paylines you want to use, so you must use them all. That might not be a problem per se, but it does restrict your autonomy. On the other hand, you still have autonomy over the bet amount. You can choose how much you want to bet on each round.

Adjustable Lines

Fixed lines were not the peak of innovation, but rather a beginning of it. After years of experimentation, game developers came up with a way to increase the winning chances of players by adding more paylines.

Some slots that have more than 10 paylines (and less than 40) give you an option to choose how many paylines you want to use. For example, if you activate all paylines, you have more ways to land a win. If you do not want to use all paylines, you have the option to exclude them.

This is great if you want to make sure you will claim every combination that lands on the reel grid. It would be a pity if you lost a win that landed on a sequence that you excluded by opting for fewer paylines.

But this mechanism has a drawback. Extra paylines come with a price. You must pay additionally for every payline that you choose to include. That means you will have to devise tactics for bet and coin levels.

To illustrate, imagine betting €5 on a spin. If you use 5 paylines, you must play with 2 coins each with a value of €0.5. This way, you bet €1 per payline, so if you win, the prize will be decent.

On the other hand, if you want to bet €5 using 10 paylines, you must play with 1 coin per line with a value of €0.50. Ultimately, your €0.50 bet per line will bring a smaller prize, but you will have more chances to grab it.


Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Fixed lines bring bigger wins, but very rarely as you have fewer combos to hit. With adjustable lines, you have more available combinations, but the reward will be smaller than with fixed paylines.

It is important to note that slots with adjustable paylines affect volatility. High volatility equals to sporadic wins accompanied by long dry spells. With more lines, you will win more frequently, which is a sign of lower volatility and less risk.

By giving you the option to choose how many paylines you want, adjustable slots provide more stable gameplay. This has a bigger appeal for various types of players, including low-rollers and high-rollers. But it is up to you to decide which version suits you better. If you like to play just for fun, you will avoid risk with adjustable paylines. If that is not the case, fixed paylines should be right up your alley.

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