Back in the day, the machines didn’t pay out real cash prizes. Instead, players would receive pricey rewards depending on the card combination. For instance, a pair of kings would see you receive free beers while a royal flush would guarantee you a box of cigars. The reward that you were awarded was determined by the establishment that you visited. Today, in this ever-evolving digital world, things work slightly differently. The modern slot machines are complex and cryptic boxes of wonders, full of state of the art graphics. And in this page, we are going to take you through all the basics about modern day slot machines. Information that we have prepared for you include:
- Different types of video slot games online
- Different slot game features
- How to play slot games
- Advantages and disadvantages of playing slots
- Tips and tricks that will better your slots experience
- How to choose the best slots casino
- Important slot terminology
- Answers to slots FAQs
So, there’s no point waiting around, let’s get right to it!
Different Types of Slot Machines Online
Understanding the different types of slot machine games is a crucial step towards ensuring that you get the most out of the online casino slot gaming experience. Whether you are visiting your local land based casino or playing online, your experience playing slots is going to be diverse and vibrant. The sheer choice and diversity of the various slot games can be awe-inspiring as it is appealing. To help you choose the best slot machine games online, we’ve briefly explained the most popular games that you are likely to encounter.
Back to Basics: Three Reeled Classics
3 reeled slots are also commonly referred to as classic slots. These games constitute slot machines developed between 1891 up to the early 1990s. If you’ve always preferred simplicity over excess, then these are the games that you should be playing. Most of these games have 3 reels and a single payline.
More Lines More Fun: Modern Day Video Slots
Video slot games are the modern version of classic slots. The two main improvements seen in video slot games include more reels; 5, 7 or 9 reels as well as multiple paylines, which could be anything from 10 up to 2054. These games also come with plenty of cool in-game features such as wild and scatter symbols, plenty of free spins and lucrative bonus games.
Power to the People: Jackpot Slots
This class of slot machines tend to attract players in droves because of the large, lucrative payout that they offer. There are two types of jackpot slots:
- Flat jackpots: Those that have a fixed price amount
- Progressive jackpots: They offer millions in cash prize to the lucky winner. Unlike the flat jackpot slots, progressive jackpots grow with each bet as each bet made at the casino sees a small percentage go towards the accumulating jackpot. This continues until the jackpot is randomly triggered to award the lucky player the prize money.
You can also play 3D Slots
This is the new generation of video slot games. They feature crisp graphics, sleek animations and themes adopted from some of the trending topics and movies. The crisp graphics and sleek animations have been used to introduce depth into the games and captivate players. Betsoft is best known for designing 3D slots online.
Virtual Reality Slots
Technology: it’s a marvel. Almost 15 years ago, technological innovations in the mobile industry and fast broadband meant that players could get to grips with their favourite slot games. Fast forward to 2018 and the next generation of slots in the United Kingdom is virtual reality slots.
Nowadays, you can easily play slot games without having to download any software. Online casinos have developed no download slots so that you can instantly play them through your browser, without downloading any software or registering an account with them. All you need to do to have a remarkable experience is install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player to your browser.
Different Slot Game Features
The effectiveness of a video slot game depends greatly on the content featured in it. And with the rapid change in trends, it has now become a competition among software developers, with each one of them trying to get hold of as many players as possible. To achieve this, and continue to remain relevant in the industry, software developers come with different in-game features.
Even for the savvy casino players, it can really be difficult to keep up with all the new features in the 21st-century video slot games, but overall, they are categorized into the following sections.
- Ways to Win Features
- In-game Symbols
- In-game Bonus Rounds
Paylines, also commonly referred to as winning lines or betting lines, is the line where all the winning combinations are formed. The traditional slot machines have one payline that run across the center of the reels. To win, you had to match three similar symbols on the line. However, with the advancement of technology, paylines have evolved from being in the horizontal position. They can now be found diagonally, trapezium, zigzag and many other forms.
Ways to Win Feature
Traditionally, you had to form winning combinations on paylines as described above. This means that if you had the right combinations of symbols, but weren’t aligned on an active payline, then you would miss out on your payout. This was one of the hard realities of playing jackpots back in the day until software developers introduced the ‘ways to win’ feature, which liberated slots from the tyranny of the paylines.
Ways to Win is broadly categorized into two. This include:
- Win Left To Right: This means that your winning symbols have to be strictly aligned from left to right. You can see this feature in most of the video slot games including Guns ‘n Roses, Lucha Maniacs and many others.
- Both Ways Win: The ‘Both Ways Win’ feature is the complete opposite of ‘Win Left to Right’. While the later confines you to left to right, both ways allow you to form the winning combinations from left to right and right to left. If you wish to understand how it works, you can try playing games such as Immortal Romance, Avalon, Burning Desire just to mention a few.
These are the most important features in the slot games online. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colours and software developers use them to reward you. A slot game is categorized as a classic game, as a 3D game or modern VR slot depending on the symbols it has. Some of the important symbols found in the game include the following.
There are more than 5 kinds of wild symbols. The most basic one is the regular wild symbol that can replace all the other symbols to form winning combinations. For instance, in Play’n Go’s Book of Dead Slot, the wild symbol is represented by Book Symbol. This means it can replace a symbol to get the minimum three symbols required to form winning combination on an active payline. In addition to the regular wild symbol, there are plenty of other wilds including.
- Expanding wilds as seen in NetEnt’s Starburst Slot
- Stacked wilds as seen in Yggdrasil’s Double Dragons Slot
- Walking wilds as seen in NetEnt’s Wild Toro Slot
- Sliding wilds as seen in NextGen’s Pharaoh's Wild Slot
- Shifting wilds as seen in Playtech’s Dolphin Cash
It’s worth mentioning that Walking Wilds can only be found in NetEnt slots, Shifting Wilds can only be found in Playtech Slots while Sliding Wilds can be found in NextGen slots.
Scatter symbols also play a very important role in video slot games. Usually, they are responsible for triggering free spins/bonus games when you land at least three symbols on the screen. Unlike wild symbols, scatter symbols can appear anywhere on the reels, even outside the paylines to trigger the bonus rounds. For instance, in ELK Studio’s Electric Sam Slot, the Bell symbol is used as a scatter, and it triggers 15 free spins.
Colossal Symbols appear as blocks of 3×3 or 2×2. These are symbols that will boost your chances of winning as they appear as overlays anywhere on the reels. Spinata Grange Slot has the colossal symbols.
Bonus symbols vary from one video slot game to another, and they often come in the form of scatter symbols. They are responsible for triggering different bonus games that are described as ‘a game within a game’ in which you have an opportunity of winning massive prizes. Book of Ra by Novomatic is a perfect example of a game with bonus symbols.
In-game Bonus Rounds
As slot developers strive to make their video slot games to stand out from the crowd, the bonus rounds have evolved into different forms. Below, we look at some of the common in-game bonus rounds that you’ll come across as you play different games and how they’ll affect your gameplay.
Free spins are usually triggered by landing a required number of scatter symbols, though there are other instances during which they can be triggered. Once active, you get an opportunity to receive a certain number of free spins, during which you spin the reels without any extra charge and still win real money in the process. The popular South Park slot adapted from the popular TV series South Park has up to 10 free spins to offer you.
Gamble Bonus Game
This one is only meant for the strong hearted players. If you cannot fathom losing all the winnings accumulated during the base game, you shouldn’t try this game. However, if you like living on the line and can’t seem to have enough of the adrenaline rush, then the gamble bonus game is for you.
Once active, the gamble bonus game gives you two options:
- To correctly choose the colour of the face-down card
- To correctly predict the suit of the face-down card
Correct predicting will see your winnings getting doubled or quadrupled. A wrong guess will see all your winnings disappear. You can play Ramses Book Slot if you want to see a good example of a bonus game.
Multipliers are common features in video slot games. In most cases, they usually appear in collaboration with other symbols to bolster your wins. Sunny Scoops Slot has multipliers during the base game and bonus round that work together with the symbols to ensure that you land the €50,000 top prize effortlessly.
Other Important Features
In addition to all the features above, there are others that are worth mentioning as they frequently appear in the modern video slot games. They include.
The Re-spin feature
Thanks to this feature, the game’s reels will re-spin themselves without any additional cost, and consequently improving your chances of winning big. The only difference between the re-spin feature and free spins game is that during the re-spin game, all the other reels remain locked in place.
There are multiple variations of the re-spin feature, but they all work in combination with the sticky wilds. A good slot game with the re-spin feature is Butterfly Staxx Slot.
Some of you might have come across the names Dropping Symbols, Cascading Reels or Avalanche feature. All these are substitute names used to mean Tumbling Reels.
During the tumbling reels feature, a sequence of things happens. First, winning combinations form. After that, all the symbols responsible for forming the wins disappear creating room for more symbols to fall from above the reels (like in an Avalanche) to take their space. If they too can form winning combinations, the sequence repeats itself until there are no more winning opportunities to be formed. Gonzo’s Quest Slot was the first slot game to incorporate the Avalanche feature.
How to Play Slot Games Online
So, you already know a thing or two about slot games. So far, you know all the regular symbols and features associated with the game, and you also know some of the popular categories of slots. But are you prepared to try some of the slot games listed above? If you’ve ever played at the land-based casinos, yes, you can start playing slots at some of our recommended casinos. But if this is your first time online, you need to read this section too. It’s important, and it will help you understand more about slots.
Step by step guide to playing slot games
Step #1: From the word go, the first thing that you need to decide is how much you want to spend on playing the slot. So to set the bet amount, you need to set the following parameters:
- The number of paylines. Adjust this by using the respective buttons ( + or – buttons)
- The coin value. You can also adjust this by clicking on the + or – buttons. In some instances, such as in Barcrest’s Action Bank slot, the number of paylines is usually fixed, so all you need to do is choose the coin value
Take note that the amount you wager will be calculated by multiplying the number of active paylines by the coin value.
Step #2: Now that you’ve already selected your bet parameters, you can go ahead and click/select the spin button. This will immediately spin the reels. If you used to enjoy the ‘hold and nudge’ feature that was offered by the land-based slot machines, then you’ll like games such as Ted Slot. Otherwise, wait to see if you’ve won any amount that you can immediately withdraw.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Playing Slots
If there are games that have a very bad rap among gamblers, it could be slot games. But most of these players who don’t see anything good to talk about slot games are the sore losers; those who’ve never won a single cent probably because of their bad bankroll tactics. Surprisingly though, video slot games have plenty of advantages that we want to look at now. They include:
- Video slot games are the only game that can make you a millionaire from as little as €0.50. This isn’t possible with all the other games offered at the casino
- Since most of the things are automated in slots, you’ll be spending more time playing and less time worrying about how to go about everything. With features such as the Autoplay and MaxBet, you can now sit back and watch as the reels spin themselves and cash being collected to your account
- You don’t need any prior skill to play slot games. Anyone can play the game and win real cash. In our opinion, this is the main advantage of playing video slots online
- Slot games are totally random and 100% accurate. This means that anyone playing the game can be a winner
The truth of the matter is, most of the bettors think that table games are too complicated to play. Newbies and armature players are more likely to play video slot games instead of roulette and blackjack. While the games are easy to play, your odds of winning improve greatly by playing baccarat, blackjack and craps. Therefore, in addition to being inconvenient to play and win, slot games also have the following disadvantages.
- Even with a strategy, it’s very difficult to predict the outcome of video slot games
- Sometimes, different designs bring different odds in the machine game
- The house edge of slot games is set between 6% and 15%. This is much higher than most of the table games offered at the casinos
Tips and Tricks To Help You Win While Playing Slots
Just like most of the other online casino games, video slot games are based on probability. Also, like the majority of the other casino games, the house always has an edge – and video slot games ate no different. With games such as roulette and blackjack, you can easily see the mechanics of the game at play, but with video slots, it’s all housed within the programming of the reels.
This means that as you play video slot games online, having some sort of strategy can be very useful and greatly boost your chances of winning. Below are some tips and tricks that if used properly, can boost your chances of winning while playing slots.
Know Your Slot
Undoubtedly, the very first step to succeeding while playing slots online is knowing the specifics of the video slot game you are playing. With more than 2,000 slot games online to play, it means that the games come with different in-game features such as bonus rounds, reels, paylines and so on.
But most importantly, it’s imperative that you understand the main difference between the variance/volatility and RTP of the game. These two features will play a very big role in determining how often you win and how much you’ll be winning from time and again.
While most of the online casinos dont offer this sort of information, you can always visit our slot reviews page where we’ve listed all the information. Alternatively, you can visit the software company’s page where you’ll find the information listed.
Know How Much to Bet
One of the selling points for video slot games is that you can easily choose how much you’d like to spend on each spin. While this gives you control over how to manage your bankroll and also enable you to enjoy playing your game safely and responsible, it does have an impact on the amount of payout that you receive once you la
nd the required winning combinations.
By choosing to wager a single credit, you’ll get the least amount regardless of how good your winning combination is. The amount that you are bound to win increases with increasing bet amounts.
In addition to that, your approach to betting should be dependant on whether you’ve chosen to play 3 reel or 5 reel slots. As for the 3 reel slots, it’s only possible for you to land the high payouts by placing a maximum bet, while on 5 reel slots, activating all the paylines and betting on the minimum side can result into the same payout percentage as betting the maximum.
Its worth noting that in some instances, you can only trigger the jackpot after you’ve placed the maximum bet. If that’s what you are after – the jackpot – make sure you understand how bet amounts co-relate with the payout.
Know the Payout
There’s a common misconception going around the internet – and we’d like to shoot it down before it reaches you, that is if you haven't already heard of it. Some people claim that is the slot game has recently paid out, the chances of it happening again are very slim. But, do you know that video slot games online dont have any memory? And are you aware that the results of slot games are very random? This means that the probability of landing successive payouts are just as possible as landing no payout at all.
It’s therefore critical that you know the payout of each slot game to help you determine how much to wager on each bet. All the information regarding payouts is found in the “payout table“ section located under the information table. To access it, click or select the “i“ button.
Understand and know the difference between the Hit Frequency, RTP and Volatility
This is usually considered as the expert stuff, and it’s important that you learn more about it if you want to stand a chance of winning while playing slots.
- Hit Frequency: The hit frequency can be defined as the rate at which the video slot game will form winning outcomes. A slot game with a hit frequency of 15% implies that there‘s 1 winning oppotunity out of 15 spins made on the slot. Slots that offer lower hit frequencies usually have massive wins when they pay out.
- RTP: Payback rate, also known as the Return to Player percentage, is the overall percentage that the video slot game offers its players. Most of the modern video slot games have a value that ranges between 88% and 99%, with those offering higher figures being the best games to play.
QuickSpin Slots by Payout Percentages
Why is it important to look at the game’s RTP? Because on the flip side, you get to see the house edge on the game. And as we all know, the lower the house edge, the better the game.
- Volatility: This will measure the size of the winnings you receive on a slot game. Games with low volatility will give you small payouts more often, while slots with high volatility work the other way around. Good examples of slots with high volatility include JokerPro (the slot with the highest volatility in the NetEnt catalogue) and Novomatic’s Book of Ra.
How Do You Choose The Best Slots Casino
While ‘getting into’ online casino gaming isn’t sophisticated at all, there are few facts and pointers that you need to get right before signing up at any site. Not only will these facts help you enhance your overall gaming experience, but they’ll also ensure that you are safe and secure at all times. Below are some of the points that you need to know.
Choose only reputable online casinos
You’ll be surprised to know the number of new casino players who sign up at random online casinos before giving it an exhaustive vetting. While the majority of online casinos treat all the players decently and fairly, there are still dubious operators that put their interests first instead of that of the players. Such sites will tend to manipulate games; offer poor quality services and in some instances, even refuse to pay your winnings.
Therefore, before you can conclude to sign up at any casino, ensure that your prospective casino has a good reputation in the following areas:
- Safety and security – It should use the latest security technology such as the 128 Bit SSL encryption; strict privacy policies and one that offers self-exclusion services
- 24/7 customer support services – You want to sign up at a casino that has round the clock customer support services. This will ensure that you get the relevant help whenever you need it
- A site that’s transparent in all its offerings – It should make its licensing information public for all the players to see. It should also have its Terms and Conditions well written and easy to understand for players
Choose sites with the best bonus offers and promotions
Talking of bonuses, players should endevour to get as much bang for their buck as they can, which means that they should do a little homework first before signing up at a casino. Since most of the online casinos have incentivized sign ups with welcome bonuses and free spins, you don’t just want to sign up at a good site. Instead, you also want to play at one that has good terms and conditions to accompany the bonuses and promotions.
For example, 888Casino has a £88 No Deposit Bonus which is accompanied with a 100% match deposit bonus up to £100. This is way better than what All British Casino has to offer. Claiming the bonus money is also very easy when it comes to 888Casino as they’ve been subjected to a 30× wagering requirement as compared to the 50× WR on All British Casino bonus.
Know the different types of bonuses – A quick and dirty guide
- No deposit Bonus: No deposit cash needed, no strings attached for this type of bonus. Just sign up to claim the free cash offered by the casino
- Free Spins Bonus: When you sign up at the casino, you’ll be rewarded with a certain number of free spins, which are used on a pre-selected slot as specified in the terms and conditions section
- Match Deposit Bonus: You receive this bonus only after you’ve made your first initial deposit at the casino and only after you’ve made the minimum amount required
Choose sites that offer a large number of slot games
Don’t visit the same online casino and play the same game for months and call it casino gaming. Variety is the very spice of life, which gives it all its flavour! As such, choose an online casino that has a large slots portfolio, from renowned software developers in the industry. If your preference is mobile friendly slots; games that feature 3D graphics; and can be played using Bitcoin, then you might want to choose a site with NetEnt slots (for mobile compatibility); Betsoft (for 3D graphics) and Booming Games (for Bitcoin).
Bet: Every time you set your bet amount and press the play button, you’ll technically be making a bet.
Bet Max: This is a slots function that enables you to place the maximum allowable bet offered by the slot game in a single spin. Different video slot games have different maximum limits, and this button is usually found in a selected number of video slot games.
Bonus: Bonus features and bonuses create a scenario during in-play where the player stands a great chance of winning big. Different slot games have different bonuses, and they all come with different perks and extras.
Classic Game: A classic video slot game is one that features the traditional 3 reels and 1 payline.
Cold Machine: A cold machine is a term coined to refer to a stubborn machine that refuses to pay out any winnings. Understandably, most of the online casino players tend to avoid playing the cold machines because they have minimum chances of winning
Coins: Coins is a word used to refer to units of a given currency that you’ll be using to play the games
Coins Per Line: This is a word used to refer to the number of coins that you chose to wager on a given session
Coins Per Spin: Just like coins per line, coins per spin refer to the number of coins that a player chooses to bet on any given spin
Fixed Value: A fixed value slot machine doesn’t allow you to change your bet amount by either increasing it or decreasing it. Most of them involve the use of one credit for a single spin
Fruit Machines: Also referred to as ‘Fruities’, fruit machines is a slang often used by the Brits to refer to slot machines. The name is derived from the classic slot machines that used to use ‘fruit’ symbols to pay out
Hit Frequency: Hit frequency is the number of times that a video slot game forms winning combinations. Video slot games with a higher hit frequency tend to pay out more often
Hot Machine: This is the complete opposite of ‘cold machines’. A video slot game is considered as ‘Hot’ when it pays out more often. Most of the hot machines across multiple casinos online are normally located in the ‘popular’ category
Jackpot: This is the largest prize offered in any video slot game. It’s the dream for every slot player to land a jackpot in their lifetime
Linked Progressive Jackpots: Linked progressive jackpots are video slot games that are linked together to one jackpot. Each of this games makes a small contribution to the jackpot. The size of this jackpot will continue growing each time someone plays the game for real money until one lucky winner gets to walk away with the prize
Multiplier: A multiplier is just one of the many features found in video slot games. It simply multiplies your wins with the respective multiplier
Payline: A payline is the line where all the winning combinations are made. As a rule of the thumb, always ensure that you activate as many paylines as possible to increase your chances of winning
Pay Table: A pay table is a table that contains all the information on how different symbols in the game payout as well as other useful information about the game. Click on the ‘I’ button to access the game’s pay table
Payback: This is the amount of cash that the slot is going to pay out compared to the amount that you’ve wagered. The payback is usually calculated as a percentage or a ratio
Reels: These are usually defined as the ‘barrels’ on the video slot game that spin during play. Each reel is responsible for holding several symbols
Wager: A wager is simply the amount of cash that a player will place in the form of a bet. In other words, it’s another name for a bet