Top Symbol vs Maximum Total Win in Online Slots Explained

Top Symbol vs Maximum Total Win in Online Slots Explained

I have noticed that some casino players confuse Top symbol with Maximum possible win in online slots. In my opinion, it happens because there is no naming convention across the board of slot producers. As a result, they may call it differently, causing some misunderstanding.

On the other hand, Top symbol and Maximum possible win are key parts of any slot game. Why? Because they answer the main question that bothers us all, namely, how much money we can win playing a particular video slot.

So to speak, let’s dive a bit deeper and learn:

  • The difference between Top symbol and Maximum possible win

  • How they affect the main slot’s parameters: RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency

  • Where to find the info pertaining those guys along with some other questions you may ask

Top symbol vs Maximum total win: what is the difference?


Top symbol answers the question how much money you can win per one payline in an online slot. So to say, Top symbol win is a synonym of Top win per one line. Also, as the absolute majority of online slots have at least 9+ pay-lines, it means that Top symbol win is always much smaller in comparison to Maximum possible win.

I would say, it is important to learn what the top symbol of a particular slot is, because with this knowledge you know exactly what outcome you should be rooting for.

Speaking about examples, Wild and Scatter are often among the highest paying symbols in online slots.

Maximum possible win, as the name suggests, answers the question how much money we can win per one spin in an online slot. Opposite to Top symbol win, here we have to sum up all winning pay-lines, which may consist of just one line or as many as 117,649 (called megaways).

Moreover, Maximum possible win is not only limited to winnings by paylines. It might derive from Free spins or Bonus rounds. Actually in some slots, the highest possible win can be achieved only during bonus rounds (and I am talking not only about progressive slots).

On How Top symbol win and Maximum total win get measured

Maximum total win is measured in X times of your bet per spin (your stake). For example, if an online slot has the Maximum possible win x10,000 times, it means you should multiply the total amount of money you pay per spin by 10,000. Hence, if you bet 1 EUR per spin, you can expect to win 10,000 x 1 EUR = 10,000 EUR at maximum, given above conditions. Quite straightforward, I would say.

On the other hand, it is not that easy when it comes to Top symbol win calculation. Some software providers measure Top symbol win in X times, though another part does it in cash values.

In online slots with not too many paylines, it is easier to say that Top symbol pays x1,000 times. In online slots with tons of paylines, which is a strong trend nowadays by the way, it would be a nightmare, especially if a slot has intricate betting mechanics.

Where to find the info in a particular slot

The info regarding the Top symbol win of a particular slot can always be found in the info section of the slot game. Just click on the “i” icon, scroll a few pages if needed to find the slot's paytable, and that’s it.


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Speaking about Maximum possible win, it might be a bit trickier. Some software developers let you know this info in the intro section, which is a smart thing to do as it is in their best interest to advertise it as much as possible. Let’s take a look at how it might be implemented.


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However, a decent portion of software providers do not explicitly let you know the Maximum possible win. If this is the case, I would suggest reading a review of the slot on a website like you are currently on. For example, here is a rating of online slots.

What’s average numbers for top symbol and total win

Total maximum win is often somewhere between x1,000 (low volatility slots) and x20,000 (high volatility slots). It is fair to say that some slots may have it a bit smaller or much bigger. Though those are rather exceptions than the rule.

Top symbol win numbers highly depend on how many paylines a particular online slot has. The more paylines the slot game has, the lower Top symbol win is to be expected, and vice versa. This is actually a quite predictable thing to have, because otherwise Total win would be too big. Anyway, Top symbol win might be as small as x2 or as big as x7,500.

How does Top symbol win affect RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency?

Top symbol and RTP

There is no correlation between these two. You can easily come across online slots with enormous Top symbol and miserable RTP at the same time, small Top symbol and high RTP, or any other combinations.

Top symbol and Volatility

There is clear correlation here. The bigger Top symbol win is, the higher level of Volatility you usually get.

Top symbol and Winning hit frequency

As online slots with a high paying Top symbol tend to be more volatile, the lower level of Winning hit frequency is to be expected.

How does Maximum possible win affect RTP, Volatility and Winning hit frequency?

Maximum possible win and RTP

There is no correlation here, as it is true for Top symbol win.

Maximum possible win and Volatility

Maximum possible win strongly predicts the volatility level. The more money you can possibly win, the higher level of volatility is.

Maximum possible win and Winning hit frequency

Online slots with huge Maximum possible win are more likely to have lower Hit frequency than on average, and vice versa.


Summing up, I would say that Maximum possible win is much more important parameter than Top symbol win. I believe so, because total win per spin answers a much more crucial question, namely, how much money per spin is possible to win. Top symbol win is a rather derivative and plays a secondary role.