Paylines in slot machines refer to the predetermined patterns in which symbols must land for a player to receive a payout. These patterns are usually displayed on the game screen, and typically run horizontally across the reels, but can also be diagonal, zigzag or even vertical.
To win a payout, the symbols must align on a payline from left to right, with the first symbol landing on the leftmost reel. The more paylines a slot machine has, the more opportunities there are for winning combinations to appear on the screen.
Players can adjust the number of paylines they wish to activate by adjusting their bet settings, with each payline costing a certain amount to activate. The total bet amount is the cost of activating all the paylines multiplied by the bet amount per line.
The payout for a winning combination is determined by the type of symbols that appear on the payline, as well as the number of symbols that appear on the payline. In most slot machines, the higher the value of the symbol, the larger the payout for a winning combination.