Ever visited any casino ever? Did you see machines lined up, buzzing and flickering as reels spin on their video screens? Those are slots. They’re highly popular with gamblers mainly because they are easy to play, thrilling and come with jackpots as big as €20 million.
Because modern slots no longer require mechanical equipment to spin, they’re available online. They’re programmed to match winning bets at random. The best slots feature 3D graphics, studio-made soundtracks, and VR compatibility.
Playing an online slot machine is the easiest thing you can do. Most games have 3-5 reels. The reels display multiple images and winning symbols related to the game. In a soccer-themed slot, the winning symbols could be three soccer balls. If you match the balls on 3-5 reels, you win. It’s that simple!
What Types of Online Slots Exist?
Online slots differ based on:
Number of Reels
Classic slots used to have three reels. They were mostly characterized by fruit symbols and flickering lights on either side. In the 2000s, 5-reel slots replaced the classics by promising bigger rewards. A group of developers then tried slots with 6 or 7 reels. They’re not as popular as 5-reel games but are not uncommon.
For a game invented more than 100 years ago, it’s not surprising there are so many variations of it. Classics refer to games that were popular before the Internet. Fruit machines are what they sound like. Their symbols are mostly fruit types. Video slots are a modern niche and replaced the simple reels used in classic slots with video-based reels.
These are slots played purposefully to win jackpots. The grand prize increases each week it’s not won and can run for months. With some games, there’s only one winner for the whole tournament. The best slots, however, come with multiple winning bets for smaller prizes.
Freshly new online slots, Megaways broke the limits of betting lines from 35 to at least 243. Some Megaways slots promise up to 11,700 ways to wins.
What are the Main Features of Online Slots?
Every slot online relies on a random number generator to match winning symbols. RNGs are basically computer programs and could be rigged. However, the best casinos use slots programmed by independent providers. Modern slots also consist of RNGs that can’t be hacked.
Reels and Symbols
Reels are the horizontally shaped lines on slot screens. Symbols are the images placed on the reels. As aforementioned, a typical online slot has 3-7 reels. Symbols could be anything from fruits to TV show characters, athletes and cars.
Paylines refer to the combination of symbols that form a winning bet. Modern slots have 5-243 paylines. The higher the pay line the more money you’re required to bet but also the higher your potential wins. Paylines take any shape. A payline could be a horizontal line from left to right, horizontal, a zigzag or any formation that leads to a matching bet.
Free Spins and Money
Of course, the best part of a slot machine is that money is won. Good slots also let you win free spins to extend your gaming time. To make the game fun, they may also multiply your wins. Progressive jackpots are the holy grail of slots. If lucky, you could win thousands or millions of dollars.
Which are the Best Online Slots?
Dead or Alive 2
Developed by one of the best game providers in the industry (NetEnt), the game consists of 5 reels and 9 paylines. Predictably, the game was inspired by the famous 90s fighting game under the same name. Its symbols are sheriff badges, boots, cowboy hats and Ace of cards symbols. All the symbols can form winning symbols for free spins while there are also multipliers.
Book of the Dead
This game consists of 10 paylines and 5 reels. Like Dead or Alive 2, it’s a video slot. But instead of dealing with outlaws and cards, it takes you through an adventure in ancient Egypt. Its symbols are the main character, Riche Wild, letters A, K, Q and J, and other ancient Egypt symbols. Riche and his book form winning bets while matching scatter symbols earn you free spins.
This is yet another adventure slot game. But instead of ancient Egypt, you lead Gonzo through a jungle with hidden treasures. It’s a unique game in many ways. First, winning symbols form when blocks of random symbols crumble down. For clarity, normal slots have reels spinning. Gonzo’s quest is a 3D game with realistic graphics, 20 paylines and a free fall feature that triggers free spins-winning symbols continuously.
Slots developers get inspirations from everyday things. This game was inspired by the famous board game. It consists of 5 reels and 25 paylines and uses most of the symbols on Monopoly board game. Triggering the right symbols win you 8-15 free spins or real money that can be multiplied up to 200 times your stake size.
Double Bubble Slots
Its name sounds catchy and has the classic symbols of fruits, bars, and bells. It’s also divided into three columns. There are 20 paylines and lots of feature symbols. When the “pop the Bubble” feature appears, you get a bonus round. You earn more free spins and real money wins by matching additional symbols.
Zuma is a classic video slot that was far ahead of its time when it launched. Released back when slots were simplistic, this game involves completing missions to win. You must overpower a villain called Big Bad Tiki boss to win big rewards. You earn up to 50 free spins when you shoot the villain. Zuma, the main character, acts as a wild symbol that can multiply your wins up to 20 times.
Most Common Myths about Online Slots
You Can’t Win
This something people who’ve never won on slot machines tend to say a lot. But considering there are games publicly audited and with return-to player percentages (RTPs) of up to 99%, it’s definitely a myth. For the uninitiated, RTP refers to the percentage of money paid back to gamblers in the long run. The slots we reviewed earlier have RTPs of between 96% and 98%.
All slots are the same
This is mostly said to imply that no matter which slot you play, you have equal chances of winning. It’s false by considering RTPs alone. Games with lower slots pay less frequently than high RTP games. Also, slots come from different developers and are programmed to produce wins differently.
Winning depends on the Time of the day
There are all kinds of theories when it’s allegedly best to play and win slots. Some say you win more at night or on the weekends. In reality, all slots are programs to produce winners at random.
Choosing the Best Online Slots
While having a high RTP rate is important, there’s more to a slot than how frequently it pays out. Jackpots, for example, pay less frequently but payout high amounts. As such, find jackpots if you’re looking for life-changing money wins.
Slots themes can also help you determine which games to play. Usually, it’s best to play something themed after things you like. Sports fans can find games themed after each sport while movie fans can pick from brand name slots like the Fantastic Four.
The finer game details are also important when looking for the best online slots. Ensure you’re playing at games with win multipliers, features to trigger free spins and adjust your bets.
Online slots are one of the most common types of online casino games. They’ve been around for more than 100 years and have no signs of going away. Slots don’t require your skills to play but there are ways to increase your win percentage. Play games with high RTPs and choose the best casino sites.