Online slots have taken the world by storm, and it is easy to see why. Playing slots online is easy, fun, and offers fast-paced entertainment. Unlike a land-based casino, online casino slots are always accessible, and players can play wherever they prefer. Play in the comfort of your home or on the go using your mobile device.
Online Slots – A Brief History
Since the first gambling machine came into existence in 1887, slot machines have evolved tremendously. Slots improved from purely mechanical to electromechanical in the late 20th century, and with the boom of the internet in the mid-’90s, the first online casinos were developed.
Today, online casinos are far more popular than traditional land-based casinos as it provides more game variety than a casino floor can ever carry. In 2021 the global online gambling market was estimated at USD 57,5 billion and expected to reach USD 172 billion in 2030.
Online Slots Today
Improvements to video games introduced a wave of online slot variants with exciting themes, different structures, and unconventional layouts. Players can choose from hundreds of top software providers, each offering an average of over 5,000 slot game variants, with new online slots launching regularly. In addition, thousands of online slots offer innovative game features and special bonus rounds to keep players engaged.
iGaming developers have taken all the favourite slot game variants and recreated them into thousands of modern-day versions. This guide covers the basics of online slots, how it works and explains the types of slots available. We will help you choose the best online slot and provide valuable tips to give you the best chances of an overall winning gaming experience.
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How to Choose the Best Online Slots for You
With the thousands of online casino slots to choose from, finding the online slots that are best for you may seem like a daunting task. There are many factors to consider, especially if you play online slots for real money. Below we offer some guidelines you could follow to assist you with your choice to find the best online slots.
Safe Online Casino
A safe online casino is crucial when choosing the best online slot. You should only play at licensed and regulated online casinos as it is the only way to ensure safe play with fair outcomes. The casino licensing info should be visible on the website, and the T&Cs must be easily understandable.
A safe online casino should offer 24/7 customer support and have an extensive Q&A section to address all frequently asked questions. Transparency is crucial, and you must be able to make an informed decision when choosing the online casino that is right for you. Choose from our recommended legitimate casinos tested for a safe online gaming experience.
RTP stands for Return To Player and will determine your overall chances of winning. It is always displayed as a percentage (%) and will give you an idea of how much money is given back to players over time. Regulated casino sites must constantly monitor the performance of their game RTP rates to avoid a gradual increase in their favour.
Slots with a low RTP range below 95%, while anything higher than 98% is a slot with a very high RTP. The industry standard for any slot is 96% and is considered a fair RTP rate. The higher the RTP, the higher your chances of winning. Progressive jackpots will generally have a lower RTP than non-progressive slot games. Low RTP slots may result in bigger player wins if you add variance and volatility to the equation.
Slot games come in three volatility settings – low, medium, and high. The game variance (or volatility) will influence the RTP of the slot. Slots with low volatility will provide constant small wins, while games with high volatility will provide less frequent (but more significant) wins. The variance (or volatility) refers to the likelihood of a player winning and determines the winning compared to the stakes.
The key is to choose a slot with the best RTP and volatile setting based on your playing preference and avoid slots described as high paying. High volatility may mean bigger wins but also increases the risk of losing big. Conversely, slots with low volatility decrease your risk of losing over time and can ensure smaller wins more frequently.
In-game bonus features are what will set one slot apart from another. Bonus features may include expanding wilds, free spins, bonus games, and cascading reels, and the slot bonus features make a slot game exciting.
Some slots have in-play bonus features like mini-games, bonus wheels, instant cash, progressive jackpots, and many other features to boost your bankroll. Refer to our online slot features below for more info on the different bonus features available and what they offer.
The theme of an online slot adds to the fun! Software providers use colourful graphics, high-quality software, lively soundtracks, and popular themes to create an immersive gaming experience. The themes range from the classic fruity to outer space!
Movie slots, ancient Egyptian slots, oriental slots, and adventure, horror, or mythology slots are some examples of themes you can expect to find. In addition, you will have various Christmas, Easter, and New Year-themed slots during the festive seasons.
A slot game with an attractive jackpot is hard to resist, but this should not be the determining factor when choosing the best online slots. A massive jackpot is designed to draw you in and may cause you to take more risks with your bets than you should. Playing a game for the winning jackpot is a common mistake online slot players make.
Choose an online slot that offers the best overall benefits while giving you an enjoyable gambling experience. Then, consult our section on the Biggest Payout Slots for the best jackpot slots that are famous for big and regular payouts. Online slot jackpots include standard jackpots, network-wide progressive jackpots, and non-network progressive jackpots.
Types of Online Slots
Only classic casino games such as roulette and blackjack were available when slot games first hit the online scene. Now there are a variety of slot types with unconventional configurations and layouts. Online slot types included Video Slots, 3D Slots, Classic Slots, Vegas Slots, and Asian Slots.
Some players enjoy the simplicity of the classic slots, while others prefer more complex slot games with multiple ways to win. Below we discuss a few online slot types and styles you can expect to find in the casino slot library.
Video slots are the most common of all slot games. This slot type has at least five reels and offers multiple paylines. Video slots provide an extra layer or two of multimedia in a particular theme. Video slots have attractive background images, enticing sound effects and numerous bonus features to enhance the betting experience.
Classic slot games are for you if you prefer games that take after the original slot machines. These slots are simple and straightforward, usually with only three reels and a few paylines, and the aim is to line three of the same symbol on a payline. These games have basic mechanics, typically have fruits as symbols, and offer simple bonus features like free spins.
Fixed jackpot slots can pay out massive wins, with some jackpots reaching a seven or eight-digit figure. Progressive Jackpot Slots typically have a combination of symbols that triggers a mini-game, creating a snowball effect that keeps accumulating the longer you stay in the mini-game. You could win millions if you were lucky enough to progress to the final level of the jackpot round.
Modern technology enables 3D slot experiences that go beyond flat reels. 3D Slots add an extra dimension that creates a more enjoyable and immersive gaming experience by using 3D models and fun themes to capture your attention. Games are often based on popular movie titles or TV shows and come with unique in-game mechanics.
Mobile slots are the same as online slots but can be played on any handheld device. Most popular slots have optimised their games to ensure the player enjoys the same authentic, immersive experience on their Android or iOS mobile device. In addition, flash players and HTML5 technology offer you the chance to play your favourite online slot on the go.
These are online slots that typically resemble the traditional Las Vegas land-based experience. As a result, players can look forward to a Vegas-style social casino experience, just like the games you will play in a real Vegas casino. In addition, some games have a movie-based theme with attractive promotions and lucrative bonuses.
Asian slots offer a distinctive oriental experience. Games are set on an Asian-themed background and include symbols such as dragons, tigers, and other outlandish creatures. Players can expect a unique mythical vibe far removed from the typical online slot. Asian slots appeal to the masses and usually aim to create a pleasing atmosphere rather than a high-energy one.
A branded slot has a theme based on pop culture’s famous and recognisable aspects. Themes include board games, superheroes, celebrities, books, music, tv series, and popular movies as entertainment forms. Branded slots are trendy, and casinos offer a wide variety in the casino library.
Biggest Payout Slots
Numerous top software providers have a reputation for creating some of the highest payout slots. These games have a higher-than-average RTP and are famous for setting record-high headline-grabbing payouts.
Mega Moolah was launched in 2006 by Microgaming and is still one of the most popular video slot games online. This progressive jackpot slot game has made more millionaires online than any other jackpot slot. Mega Moolah is an African safari-themed slot with a classic design and features wilds, scatters, free spins, and jackpots galore!
Be sure to check out the other variants of this world-popular game. Mega Moolah varieties include Mega Moolah Atlantean Treasure, Mega Moolah Immortal Romance, Thunderstruck 2 Mega Moolah, Mega Vault Millionaire, Mega Moolah Juicy Joker, Mega Moolah Absolootly Mad, and Fortunium Gold Mega Moolah.
Mega Moolah has five reels and 25 paylines, and a Jackpot Wheel that can randomly trigger at any time. Jackpot levels include a mini, minor, major and mega jackpot guaranteeing a jackpot of at least 1 million. The RTP of 88% is relatively low, but this slot is still well worth playing, considering the historical massive lump-sum jackpot payouts. For example, in 2020, the total amount paid out of Mega Moolah was over 70 million!
The Mega Fortune video slot is a five reels slot with 25 paylines brought to you by NetEnt. This luxury-themed progressive slot focuses on wealth and riches and has a feel for the life of the elite in Monte Carlo. The game is filled with yachts, limousine rides, and the coveted champagne symbol that triggers the Free Spins round.
You will find various symbols, including coloured rings, a stack of cash, an expensive watch and a limousine. The latter is the best-paying symbol in the game and pays out with just two on a line. You must land three bonus wheels anywhere on the reels to unlock the Bonus Round.
The Mega Fortune video slot has an RTP of 96,9% and offers numerous chances of winning. In Free Spins mode, you can expect a multiplier of between 1x and an impressive 5x your wins. The main feature of Mega Fortune is the three-level progressive jackpot – Mega, Major, and Rapid Jackpot. Mega Fortune has a maximum base game win of over 2,000x your stake and a chance of winning more than 1,2 million!
Meet the friendliest giant online in Jackpot Giant, a progressive jackpot slot game from Playtech. Help uncover the Giants Jackpot for huge wins, and find the hidden treasures of the Volcanoes. The slot has a stone age theme and is played on a grid of three rows and five reels that offer 50 paylines.
Bets range from 0.50 to 4.00, which will favour low-roller players. The progressive jackpot feature is triggered when playing the maximum stake, adding an extra level of tension and excitement. The jackpot is won by landing five wild symbols on any payline and multiplies your stake by 1,000x! In addition, three scatter symbols may trigger a Mystery Bonus, which pays an instant 500x the original stake.
Jackpot Giant has an RTP of 94,22% with medium volatility. Payouts are less frequent, but jackpots regularly surpass over 5 million. The Volcano Bonus regularly triggers, giving players the potential for a decent payout when it does land. This feature activates when bonus symbols land simultaneously on reels one and five. Watch the giant tossing coins into three of seven selected volcanos for a cash prize.
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Online Slot Features
An online slot’s features make it more exciting to play and ultimately boost your wins! Bonus games, free spins, scatters, cascading reels, cluster pays, and expanding wilds are some of the features that keep players engaged. With today’s technological advances, software providers can create some of the best features in the iGaming realm.
Below we list the most popular features added to top online casino slots and explain the jargon to give you a better understanding:
A free spins round can be triggered any time during base gameplay and offers you a free chance at wins. Free spins are a special feature commonly found in most online slot games. During a free spins bonus, a player is granted a specified number of spins that do not deduct cash from their bankroll.
Within the free spins round, special added features like wild symbols or multipliers will often increase your potential wins. Free spins are usually triggered by the bonus symbol known as scatters and will activate if a certain amount of scatters land on the reels. Each slot game with free spins will award 5, 10, or more free spins, depending on the game.
Scatter symbols are unique icons that are effective anywhere on the reels. These are valuable icons that will usually lead to the primary win of a slot game. Scatters usually trigger a bonus round but can also lead to a scatter payout as a bonus. In addition, landing multiple scatters usually activates a free spin game or free spins within the base game.
Scatter symbols are the magic key that unlocks most other special features and bonus rounds. Unlike the symbols in a base game, scatters can be ‘scattered’ across the reel and do not have to appear in a row across a payline. Scatters could also activate unique bonus games like Wheel of Fortune or a Pick Game, where players can win instant cash prizes.
Cascading reels, also known as tumbling or collapsing reels, is a bonus feature that appears each time you land a winning combination of symbols. What makes this feature so popular is its multiple chances to win. Cascading reels allow traditional symbols to be replaced with different ones that can trigger a bonus round or game.
Software developers have designed numerous creative ways of including this popular feature in your favourite slot or video slot game. They all have one feature in common: cascading reels only trigger after landing a winning combination. After that, the symbols disappear and are replaced with a new set of symbols, allowing another potential win. Sometimes the cascading wins are accompanied by a multiplier, making each subsequent one more lucrative.
Jackpots are usually the game’s main feature and set one slot apart from the next. There are two types of jackpots – fixed jackpots and progressive jackpots.
Fixed jackpots are the grand prize that will pay out when a particular combination of symbols lands on the reels. This jackpot is a fixed amount that does not increase the more your play.
Progressive jackpots increase based on wins or specific criteria of a game. The jackpot amount is not fixed but increases in size each time a player makes a bet. In addition, some progressive jackpot slots can run over a network, which means the same jackpot runs across several casinos offering the same jackpot slot. Once the jackpot is won, the jackpot resets for the next play and resumes increasing under the same rule.
Wilds are special symbols and are the most sought symbol while playing online slots. It compares to the joker card in a regular deck of cards that can act as another card of the player’s choice. Wilds in a slot game will substitute for most standard game symbols and can appear at random to help produce a winning combination. Should you land one, two, or more wilds across a payline, they will change to match other symbols to form a winning combo wherever possible.
There are multiple variations of the wilds, and below, we discuss the most popular types:
- Colliding Wilds – this wild occurs when two wild symbols appear together and side-by-side on a reel during a regular spin.
- Sticky Wilds – these wilds stay in play (or stick around) without disappearing over several spins. They are a common feature in bonus rounds.
- Stacked Wilds – these appear on the reels in two or more sets to boost your wins. Stacked wilds can cover an entire reel when it drops.
- Expanding Wilds – these wilds will multiply your winnings by a specific amount should it help form a winning combo.
- Shifting Wilds – these wilds are like sticky wilds but change position on the reel during the following spins.
- Multiplier Wilds – these wild symbols will multiply your winnings if it appears in a winning combination.
The types of wilds above often combine to form more exciting wild combos like Expanded Sticky Wilds and Sticky Stacked Wilds. These combinations of wilds can lead to generous payouts.
Some slot games will include a gamble feature that typically offers players the chance to double their winnings or lose it all. When this feature is triggered, the player can take a chance with a 50/50 outcome – double or nothing.
Slots with a gamble feature allow players to double up on the winnings already accrued. The only downside is that you can make the wrong prediction and lose all your winnings. The gamble feature is an exciting but nerve-wracking feature to take advantage of.
Megaways slots were invented by Big Time Gaming and offer a unique way of playing slots. It plays out on shape-shifting reels that produce a random number of symbols on each spin, usually between two and seven. As a result, there are many possible combinations and hundreds of thousands of ways to win.
To win on a Megaways slot, you must land identical symbols on adjacent reels from left to right. The numbers matched, and the placement on the reels is irrelevant; it’s all about the size of the symbol and the winning line the symbols create.
Most casino slots will feature bonus games within the base game of a slot. It is the best part of any slot game and adds an extra dimension to the game. Bonus games are usually triggered when several scatters, wilds, or other special symbols land within the base game.
Bonus games are in-game rounds like Mini-Slot, Pick a Bonus, Jackpot Bonus, Hold & Spin, Wheel of Fortune, and Bonus Wheel. Read the slot and player reviews, and play the slot in the demo version (if available) to get a feel for the bonus games within the base game.
Tips for Playing Online Slots
Online slots are renowned for being completely random, with no amount of skill involved to tip the edge in your favour. There are, however, some tips you can apply to improve your chances of a winning outcome when playing online slots:
- Read slot reviews: You can save time by reading slot and player reviews. Here you will get an honest summary of the slot’s features and potential payouts.
- Play in demo mode: Play the free demo version (if available) before you play for real money. This trial run will give you a feel for the game and help you decide if you enjoy playing the slot.
- Limit your spending: Set a fixed spending limit and stay within that limit. You should never use real money to gamble that you cannot afford to lose.
- Limit your losses: Set a personal loss limit to minimise your losses. Knowing when it’s time to stop gambling is crucial.
- Bet low: Keep bets low to ensure more extended gameplay. Betting high may increase your overall winnings on a spin, but it does not increase your odds of winning.
- Play high RTP: Find slots with a higher-than-average RTP (97% and higher). Higher RTPs will increase your chances of winning.
- Play promo slots: Keep an eye out for promotional offers on specific slot games. New casinos will typically offer excellent bonus offers and promotions on selected slots.
- Choose in-game bonus slots: Choose online slots that offer in-game bonuses (free spins, re-spins, wild cards, multipliers, etc.)
- Don’t chase progressive slots: With a big spending limit, progressive slots are very tempting. If your budget is small, however, avoid progressive slots.
- Don’t be superstitious: Never rely on feelings when playing online slots. All games are random, and winning with online slots is based on pure luck.
- Always play for fun: If you do not enjoy the slot you are playing, move on to another. Again, there are thousands to choose from.
Make sure that you always play slots by providers you trust for the ultimate safe and entertaining casino experience.
What are Free-To-Play Online Slots?
As the name suggests, Free-To-Play slots are free, and you do not need to deposit any real money to play. Most online casino slots have a demo mode to show you how the game works and is free to play. Look for real money games with no deposit bonuses that allow you to play real money games for free.
Can I Play Slots With Real Money Online?
Absolutely! Online casinos provide several payment options to fund your betting account. Most payment methods include Visa/Mastercard credit cards, debit cards, various eWallets, direct transfers, etc. You can even play slots with crypto coins as an increasing number of crypto casinos online support cryptocurrencies.
Can I Win Real Money On Online Slots?
Yes, you can! Online casino games are based on chance, but many regular slot players win on online slots. Although online slot machines are entirely random, you can do some things to improve your chances of winning when playing online.
Are Online Slots Rigged?
Licensed and regulated casinos are required to offer fair and completely random games. Online casino games are all powered by RNG (Random Number Generator) software, designed to create a random sequence outcome with each spin. In addition, all reputable websites take the appropriate step to ensure fair play for their customers online.
Is It Safe To Play Online Slots?
It’s essential to take the time to double-check the credentials of any online casino before you play for real money. Only sign up and play at licensed casinos that are regulated and equipped with the best online software to safeguard your personal and financial information.
How Do I Choose The Best Online Casino?
Read customer reviews and choose from our list of tested and recommended casinos. Then, research any online gambling site before you sign up or deposit your hard-earned money to play.
Why Do I Need To Provide My Personal Data?
Licensed casinos must verify your data as a legal requirement and therefore need your data. KYC (Know Your Client) procedures are necessary to prevent money laundering, including verifying your name, email address, contact number, and place of residence. Verification is essential before you can make a withdrawal.
Can I Withdraw My Winnings From Online Slots?
Absolutely! Usually, you will use the same payment method used to deposit funds to withdraw your winnings. However, reputable casinos won’t allow withdrawals from your betting account unless you are a verified customer.
How Can I Win The Jackpot On Slot Machines?
The more you play, the higher your chances of winning the coveted jackpot, but no secret method or guarantee will ensure a winning outcome. Instead, all slots contain random number generators (RNG) that generate thousands of different combinations of symbols, meaning that your spin’s outcome is entirely random.
What Does RTP Mean?
The return to player (RTP) refers to the money (or wagers) paid back to players over time. The RTP is implemented to ensure fair play and give players a fair chance to win a winning combination. Therefore, the higher the RTP of an online slot, the better your chances are of winning over time.
What Is A Good RTP Rate?
Games with an RTP rate of 98% or higher are considered a high or good RTP rate. On average, RTP falls between 95% and 97.99%. Online slot games with RTP values below 94.99% are considered low. An RTP of 96% is regarded as an industry standard and an acceptable return.
Is It Better To Choose A Higher RTP Slot?
Yes, the higher the RTP, the higher the player’s chance of winning. The edge is always in favour of the house (or casino) as this is how they make money. By choosing slots with a high RTP, you increase the odds of winning in your favour.
How Does Volatility Affect Online Slots?
The volatility of an online slot affects the RTP of a game. On average, a high volatility slot will have a lower hit frequently but a higher payout, while a slot with low volatility has a higher hit frequency but lower payouts.
Can Playing Max Bet Increase My Odds?
Most of the time, there is no benefit to placing a maximum bet. The payout ratio for wins will increase equally with the size of the wager you make, but it will not necessarily tip the odds in your favour.
Why Should I Play At More Than One Online Casino?
When you play at multiple casinos, you have access to more promotions and will ultimately get more for your money. As a new member of online casinos, you can take advantage of generous welcome offers and first deposit bonuses. Please choose from our top online casino slots to find the best casino for you.