There is hardly any other online casino game that enjoys as many variations as online slots. Inspired by traditional slot machines that once dominated land-based casinos floors, online slots are an improved, fun and easy experience to enjoy at any online website that offers great iGaming options. Today, the slots you will play are intuitive and highly-polished products, offering multiple paylines, constantly growing jackpots, and personalized gaming experience thanks to a number of unique bonus levels.
A sea of online slots can often be confusing, but we’re here to explain how online slots work and which ones will guarantee you the best value for your money.
An Introduction to Playing Online Slots
Online slots are famed for their easy and pleasant gameplay. Intuitive and easy to grasp, these casino products are a gamer’s favorite, regardless of your online casino of choice. Each slot comes with a pre-determined number of reels and paylines, which are usually available in the “info” box that any great casino slot undoubtedly has.
Once you are familiar with the layout, you may start playing, by first adjusting the value of your bet. How you adjust the bet may vary slightly across one title to the next and across different slot developers, but the basic concept is one and the same.
You can either raise the level that you are betting on or adjust the coin value. Coin value is very easy to read. If you are playing a game with 25 paylines and you set your coin value per 0.01, you will pay a total of €0.25 per spin.
The bet level works in a slightly different manner, but it’s easy to comprehend as well. By increasing your bet level, you are multiplying the value of your coin, and thus 0.02 at Level 2 is actually worth 0.04. With this piece of knowledge, you are ready to start spinning online slots for the first time.
Even if it seems confusing, you will always be able to see how much you bet on an individual spin as the size of your bet will be displayed at the bottom of the game. Don’t worry and tinker freely with both the coin value and levels. Once you are all settled and happy with the amount displayed at the bottom you can press the Spin button, which is usually a round object placed in the middle of your screen.
Symbols in Slots and Their Meanings
All online slots consist of two main types of symbols – regular and special. The regular symbols are the ones that participate in the majority of payline combinations. These symbols have their own intrinsic value which is again available under “Info”.
You will notice that some symbols pay slightly more than others and depending on how many symbols you end up with, your winnings may increase or subside. So far as regular symbols go, it might be useful to know their value, but this won’t improve your chances of winning.
Special Symbols in Slots
Special symbols in slots can offer a significantly better return, although they don’t necessarily have a value by themselves. In general, there are four types of special symbols, including:
Not all online slots feature all these symbols, but the majority will offer a Wild and a Scatter. A Wild symbol is a substitute and it can help winning combinations missing a symbol to hit the mark. Wild symbols have no value by themselves and they can replace almost any symbol, apart from the Scatter or/and the Bonus symbol, depending on the game you are playing.
Scatter symbols offer access to secreted bonus levels and various special rewards. Some online slots even come with a Bonus symbol, which opens up additional games that are different than the ones introduced by the Scatter, if there is one available.
With a Multiplier symbol, you are simply increasing the net worth of your winnings, whether it’s by 2X, 3X, 4X or more. Gonzo’s Quest is one of the slots that you might want to explore when it comes to Multiplier symbols.
What Types of Online Slots Are There?
The classification of the available slots is not an exact science. Many slots overlap in terms of design and available content to the point where differentiation has been made somewhat redundant.
We’re not quite there yet, so today we have a few types of main slots to pick from, including:
- Video Slots
- 3D Slots
- Jackpot Slots
Looking further in the types of available online slots, we must also mention fruit machines, 3-Reel & 5-Reel slots (which are named after the number of reels they come with), and “i-Slots,” which basically give the player a little more say in what happens during the game.
Fruit machines are the classic slots that come with a single pay line and three reels in most cases. Video slots are the types of slots that replaced the casino land-based machines en masse with the boom of the iGaming industry, and 3D slots are pretty much video slots that now feature rich, colourful and dimensional graphics.
Of those, the most interesting type of slot are definitely the Jackpot Slots, which can offer a fixed or progressive jackpot.
Needless to say, the progressive jackpots are the ones that will catch your eye. Their value can easily begin at a few hundreds and soar all the way up to millions worth of any currency. Mega Moolah, one of the most famous progressive jackpot games, has offered life-changing amounts to lucky gamers.
You can easily confirm that by visiting the official website. One very important thing about online slots is that when you play for a progressive jackpot, you almost certainly have to use the Max Bet option to have a chance at accessing the bonus level that opens up the jackpot.
Don’t Ever Play Without Slots Bonuses
Casinos are very slots-friendly. In fact, every time you join a new casino and look for a bonus, there’s a good chance that you will be offered free spins. Free spins are a great promotion that enables you to experience the available online slots at the casino for free while making a small profit in the process.
The only downside with free spins is that you may be restricted as to which games you can use them on. This is not too bad, however, because in most cases, the titles that are available are either the latest releases or very popular games to begin with.
There are other types of deposits that you can enjoy as well. “Free play” and “no deposit” are two other offers that you can choose from when hunting for a proper casino. In both cases, you will find that there are some nominal restrictions either related to the maximum winnings you can generate or once again – the available games. This is understandable, though, as the casino is allowing you to play-test and earn real money at the same time.
One of the things you’ll appreciate about online slots is that they have the most accommodating bonus contributions. In other words, every time you place a spin, the full amount you have wagered will be contributed towards your bonus playthrough requirement.
How Does an Online Slots Game Stay Random?
Online slots have a fully-randomized outcome and they cannot be tinkered with or rigged. This is possible thanks to a Random Number Generator (RNG) casinos use to create completely random progressions of numbers that are too complex for anyone to be able to predict, be that a human expert or a super computer.
RNGs are inspected by accredited third-party agencies, which guarantee that the generators are truthful and fair or provably fair as the technical term stands. To make sure that you are playing at a fair casino, always double check if the casino has been licensed an whether an independent agency, such as iTech Labs has been auditing it.
What Are Return to Player Rates?
Apart from the RNG, there’s another important aspect of the experience – the Return to Player (RTP) rates. This number is unique for each online slot and it indicates how much you can expect to win back. Most slots offer between 95% and 97% in terms of RTP. However, for this number to be precise you will have to play hundreds of games.
This is why your winnings in the short to mid-term can vary immensely and this is the bit that gamers like the best as this “uncertainty” is the main source of entertainment, and also a promise of potential profit.
Slot Volatility and Why It Matters
Volatility is yet another aspect of the online slots experience that you should be at least familiar with. In simple terms, volatility explains how often and how much you will be winning per spin. Slots with higher volatility means that you will win less often but your pickings will be more substantial.
The opposite is also true. A low-volatility game will translate into more frequent profits, but they will be less substantial than the high volatility games. Some casinos allow you to filter games based on their volatility, which is a sweet addition facilitating your browsing further.
How can you know about volatility?
It’s a good question. Reviewers, including ourselves, dedicate a lot of time and effort to cross-reference everything with developers. This is why we examine the game’s documentation to always make sure that the information we provide you is fact-based.
How to Play Slots Online for Free
Lastly, it’s worth noting that every game maker has a “demo mode” or a “fun play” option. This way, if you want to play without actually staking any money, you can.
Where can you play free online slots? Most commonly at a recommended and licensed casino. If you prefer, you can also open the official developer’s page.
We’ve been through dozens of developers and we can confirm that all major brands will always offer a fun play mode for their games. There is something specific you should know about the free play mode, though:
Some legal changes are underway when it comes to playing free online slots online. If you live in the United Kingdom, for example, the national regulator is now planning to restrict even the demo modes until the casino has been able to confirm the customer identity.
These restrictions won’t apply worldwide. Ultimately, it’s up to each regulating authority to decide. Meanwhile, you can still play-test games for free, but let’s face it – the real fun starts when you have money on the line, and better yet – when you actually start winning back.
Online slots are very diverse and enjoyable games to play. The simplicity of the gameplay has made them a beloved gaming product at all respected online casinos. Developers have also been able to guarantee that both businesses that run the casinos and customers themselves would enjoy the experience.
With quite a few opportunities to turn a great profit, the online slots are bound to be one of your favorite pastimes.