How to Play Online Slots – All the Info You Need to Spin a Win

Slots are widely recognised as the most popular casino game worldwide. Playing on slot machines is fun and easy – but many people are averse to trying to wager real money online. That is why we are here to aid you with our full slot guide which covers all aspects of the gameplay. Even though the slots themselves are fairly straightforward, there is still some homework to be done if you want to improve your odds of winning. Choosing a slot can be an art on its own, as different games have different odds for winning. Most importantly, before you rush off the world of spinning reels, you should take some time to do your research and pick a safe online casino where you can enjoy the game in comfort.

In our guide, we have tried to answer all your potential questions. If you are new to online slots, you can start with our detailed ‘how to play’ section that will cover all the basics that you need to know. We will speak about the different variations of the slot layout and how they influence the gameplay and talk about the importance of good preparation if you want to pick the best slots available. There is nothing to fear if you want to play slots online, in fact – it is very, very easy! So, let’s get started!

Everything There Is to Know About Online Slots

Online slots have been around for a few decades now and have quickly become the favourite past-time activity of the long-distance casino fan. You must be familiar with the base concept at least to a certain degree – after all, slots have become an integral part of modern-day culture. Online slots may seem like completely different beasts, but they are really sticking to the same basic principles that made slots machines a hit – just flashier. The online slots games are powered by RNG software, which determines randomly when winning combinations will be awarded. The colourful screen may look a little overwhelming, but the interface is actually rather simple and friendly to beginners. In our slot infographic, you can see a rough breakdown of all the elements of an online slot screen.

Our Infographic about the Elements of an Online Slot.

Basic Slot Term Meaning
Autoplay A feature of most online slots which allows you to set a number of automatic spins. You have to select the number of spins and your bet size.
Balance A window which displays your available funds.
Coins Just like land-based slots, the online variations are also played with coins. You can adjust the denomination and number of slots that you wager.
Coin Value Some slots allow you to set the value of your coins.
Jackpot The grand prize in all progressive slots. The way in which the jackpot is won varies slot by slot. Of course, not all slots feature a progressive jackpot.
Max Bet This button allows you to place the maximum bet that the online slot supports.
Options The button that opens the different functions of the game. Usually it allows you to adjust the graphics and use advanced features such as Auto Play.
Paylines The lines on the reels where you can hit winning combinations. Classic slots have a single line, while video slots support all manners of variations.
Paylines Number A window which displays how many paylines you have bet on. Some online slots allow you to adjust the number of active paylines, while others are fixed.
Paytable A graphic representation of all symbols in the game and their respective payouts. Each online slot has to offer a paytable.
Play/Spin The button that activates your spin. Make sure you have placed your bet first!
Quick Spin This feature could be a separate button or hidden in your options menu. It allows the slot to skip all the animations and effects in the spin and displays the end result.
Reels The spinning part of the slot which shows the symbols. Since online slots are digital, there are some very innovative layouts.
Standard Symbols The icons which determine your win. You have to land matching symbols on an active payline, though there are exceptions. Different symbols offer different payouts.
Scatters Special symbols which usually trigger a bonus feature of the game. They could have payouts of their own.
Total Bet The final value of your wager. Always remember to check it before you press the spin button.
Wilds Special symbols in some online slot which can substitute any other symbol on the paylines when forming winning combinations.

How to Play Casino Slots: The Beginner’s Guide

As far as casino games go, slots are universally considered one of the easiest and newbie-friendly options for gambling fans. This means that the gameplay is not that complicated at all. However, if you want to play online, then there is an important preliminary work that people often overlook. Your first step if you want to play for real money is to pick a reliable online casino. Internet scams are a genuine danger, so you should stick to licensed operators approved by the UKGC. After you register in a safe casino, you must deposit some money – set a gambling budget you are not afraid to lose if luck doesn’t favour you, and don’t forget to take advantage of any welcome bonuses, since their wagering requirements usually favour slot play. With all that out of the way, you can finally pick a slot and start spinning!

How to Play Slots Inforgraphic

Playing online slots doesn’t require any complex math skills. After you choose your game you go through the following steps to play online slots:

  1. View the Paytable. Each online slot has a paytable which you should review. It shows you which are the best symbols and whether the slot offers any special features or bonus rounds. The paytable also mentions whether there is a requirement for a minimum bet in order to be eligible to claim some of the more alluring prizes – like progressive jackpots, for instance.
  2. Adjust Your Bet Size. Most online slots allow you to select the size of your bet. The bigger your wager, the more you can win. However, you should consider your overall budget and how many spins you can afford. Optimal slot play requires you to slog through losing spins and betting big on winning spins, though this is easier said than done.
  3. Select Paylines. Many video slots give you the option to select on how many paylines you will be betting. If you are feeling lucky, you can select fewer paylines. This will affect the size of your total wager. However, if you are gunning for a big win, it is usually advisable to play with all possible paylines active, otherwise you might miss out on the important combinations.
  4. Press Spin/Play. Well, you are ready. You can proceed to the shiny Spin button and see what fate has in store for you. The Play/Spin button only starts a single spin with the bet you have selected – it is the equivalent of the levers of the classic slot machines in the early casinos.
  5. Take Advantage of the Bonus Features. Most video slots have more in store for you – wild symbols, scatter bonuses, re-spins, bonus games, progressive jackpots, gamble/double up, and quirky visual effects that might make you jump out of your seat when you win. The paytable and the rules overview should contain information about all these features. You should read it carefully so that you know how to react when a bonus feature is triggered. If you are prepared for a larger number of spins, you should also check out the autospin options of the slot. The steps here are basically the same, but after adjusting the size of your wager, you head to the autospin section and select the number of spins that will be triggered.

How to Win – Get the Best Chances for Your Spins

Playing online slots might be easy but winning is a different matter. Many websites try to sell you a ‘sure-fire recipe’ of how to play slots and win; sadly, no such thing exists (believe us, we tried). However, there are ways to improve your odds of winning – make your own luck, so to say. This requires some more research and much better budgeting. The biggest strength of online slots is their accessibility, but many people have tried different tactics for beating the infamous RNG. If you want to check out some of our advanced tips for playing and winning at slots, then feel free to refer to our slot strategy guide.

Online Slots: DOs and DON'Ts

How to Choose the Best Slots to Play?

Choosing Π° slot is often considered something trivial – but in fact, it is Π° no mean feat. In land-based casinos, people used to delve into casino mapping and looked for loose slot machines. There are no such things in online casinos, but you can get overwhelmed by the huge number of slot titles available. There are many software developers that offer you games in different styles – we’ve talked in length about the big three: Playtech, Microgaming and NetEnt, but there are many other casino software studios that are trying to implement fresh new ideas into the market. With all those developers, trying out each and every slot out there is, at best – a mere fantasy.

How do you pick the best slots to play out of casino catalogues featuring more than a thousand titles? Well, in the online casino world the lead factor is the RTP rate, also known as payout percentage. This number shows you the theoretical profitability of the slot game – how much of the wagers will go back to the players in the form of profits. The higher the RTP, the more wins that the slot gives. Of course, there are other factors to consider too – many online players track the perceived volatility of the games, while others try to determine the RNG cycles. However, this requires extensive testing – or finding a good slot reviews database.

Differences Between Online and Land-Based Slots

People often wonder whether online slots play differently from the slot machines at brick-and-mortar casinos. Well, nowadays there is very little difference between the two games. We still speak of slot machines, but for many years they have been powered by RNG modules that are not much different from the software that determines the outcome of an online spin. We’ve spoken in length about Vegas slots and Penny slots elsewhere, but you should remember that online demos are the perfect practice for real casino slot machines.

Still, there are certain myths for casino slots that players from around the world have been adhering to for quite a few decades. Whether there is any truth in those is quite debatable, especially considering that casino officials have known about them for just as long. However, some of those myths do tend to influence many online slots players. For instance, some online casinos offer you the option to look for hot and cold slots – this is a very old slot winning ‘strategy’ which originated in the bustling halls of land-based casinos.

Are All Online Slots Safe: Short Tips for Finding Legit Real Money Casino Games

Well, things nowadays are quite civilized in the online world. However, internet scams are always a legit danger, so playing for real money carries an element of danger. Since their early days though, online casinos have become subject of heavy regulations. If you want to play slots online for money, then you should just check the certification of the online casino that has caught your fancy.

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There are several institutions which monitor gambling operators and ensure the quality and reliability of their services. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is the most prominent of those – a UKGC license ensures that your deposits will be safe. There are also independent audit companies which check whether the RNG of the games is fair. Many people don’t want to play slots for real money online because they fear the games are rigged. However, if the casino is licensed by an auditor as eCogra, this means that the game is truly dependent on luck alone and you can bet real money safely.

Advanced Tips – How to Play in Slots Tournaments

Experienced slot fans may have heard about slots tournaments. Those are great promotional campaigns at land-based casinos, which offer you the chance to meet other fans and compete for substantial prizes. Well, online casinos have taken the hint and started to make slot tournaments of their own. This is still not a common practice, but the number of venues is steadily growing. The operator below is well-known for offering tournament-style events.

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The casino sets a time-frame for the tournament, and an entry fee – the so-called buy-in. The victor is the one who manages to rack up the largest winnings before the end of the time limit. The best part is that you are risking only your buy-in. During the tournament, you should actually be spinning for free – of course, you also don’t get to keep the winnings, your goal is to rack up enough coins to qualify for a real money prize. Since features such as quick spins and autospins are disabled, speed is of the essence – you should get familiar with the game in advance. Fortunately, there are many free slot demo versions, so trying out a specific title is never hard.

In other slot tournament formats – which are usually labelled as promotional campaigns – the time frame is much longer, from several days to a month. You spin the slot with your own cash balance and track your progress on a live leaderboard. Such tournaments can be very convenient for online players since they compensate for the time difference between your country and the casino; however, you should still stay within your gambling budget and not allow yourself to get carried away.

Slot Variations – Do You Need to Change the Way You Play?

On our website, we’ve already talked at length about the many types of slots out there. The number of titles is simply overwhelming, so you need to get familiar with some of the basic variants and what changes in your approach they require. The main distinction is between 5-reel and 3-reel slots. Most of the titles in online casinos nowadays are modern 5-reel video slots – those have a large number of paylines and many attractive visual effects. 3-reel slots meanwhile are also known as classic slots – they usually have a single payline.

On our website, you can find detailed information about the history and gameplay of both 3 reel slots and 5 reel slots. Another variation are the 243-ways to win slots. These slots do not require the symbols to align on specific paylines, they just need to appear on neighbouring reels. Since the wins are much more frequent, their volume is usually smaller. You should just keep in mind that if you want to play slots, it is a good idea to try out the specific titles for free. In our game reviews, we always provide a free slots online demo version you can spin however much you want.

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Jackpot Slots

Jackpot slots are special games much sought by gambling fans. Also known as progressive slots, they feature a rolling jackpot that can be triggered under certain conditions. With most games, the jackpot grows as more people spin the slot – and since the online slots at the different casinos are linked, it can reach very large volumes. Other operators offer private progressive jackpots only valid in their casino, which is smaller in volume but can be triggered more easily. Progressive slots usually have a much lower RTP, which means that the base game does not pay well. People spin them with the hope of hitting the jackpot, which is the slot world equivalent of winning the lottery. This means that it is a good tactic to use a smaller wager – however, you always need to read the slot rules in advance and check whether there is a minimum wager requirement to qualify for the jackpot win. If there is, then you have to set your bet level to cover the requirement – otherwise, playing a progressive slot is completely meaningless.

How to Play Online Slots through Your Mobile – Are the Odds the Same?

Online slots can still be considered something relatively new, but nowadays people are talking more and more about mobile gambling. If you want to play online slots through your phone or tablet, then this is perfectly possible. There are many mobile casinos that can be accessed directly through your phone’s browser. Most new slot games are fully optimised and you can play in your summer car if you wanted to. All the odds and the bonuses are completely the same – in fact, some casinos even offer special promotions for mobile-play fans. The only significant difference you will notice is the fact that the interface is optimised for touchscreen use, which should make things even easier for you.

Alternative Slots: Video Poker Slots, Pokies, Pachinko

There are several games that are not exactly slots, but often fall under the same category. Many people, for instance, want to know how to play poker slots. Video poker slots are, indeed, much more similar to slots than to an actual poker game. However, there is a distinctive gameplay element here, because you have the option to change some of the poker symbols you have drawn in the hope of hitting a winning hand. Of course, you have to be well familiar with the strength of the different poker hands too. Casino poker slots are quite liked by players prefer smaller payouts that can be won more frequently. In online casinos, they can usually be found in the video poker section.

Slot fans may have also heard about pokies and pachinko. If you want to play pachinko slots, then you will have to go to Japan. Slots in Japan are actually illegal, so in their place, you will find pachinko machines there. They are quite similar to regular slots, but instead of coins, you win pachinko balls from them, and you can exchange them for real money later on. It is rare to find pachinko games online – but pokies you can play. ‘Pokie’ is just the name of slots in Australia. Online casinos catering to Aussie clients would often advertise their slot selection as ‘online pokies’, so you shouldn’t get confused.

Questions that Players Usually Have

Well, we’ve already covered all the basics about how to play slots online. However, there is still much to know about these games. Here are the questions that online players usually have before they start playing slots for real money:

πŸ€” Are the slots really random?

Yes, if you are playing at a licensed online casino, then the software of all slots has been thoroughly checked. They are powered by a Random Number Generator (RNG) which cannot be tampered with.

πŸ’° What are the odds?

Determining the exact odds of a slot can be quite hard since there are many winning combinations. However, most slots publish their RTP rate; this percentage can give you a concrete idea about the expected profitability of the slot. Check out some slot RTP rates.

πŸ† How do you win at slots?

Well, that's one of the most common questions out there. We've talked a little bit about slot strategy, but this is still a notorious game of chance. In most cases, you will be playing on a loss – the trick to success is to bet low on dry streaks and increase your wager when the slot starts to give out wins. However, perfecting such timing is easier said than done.

πŸ“± What apps pay you money?

If you want to play slots online and win real money, then there is little difference whether you are playing through your PC or mobile. Most online casinos nowadays are fully mobile-compatible and don't even require you to download an app – you simply have to register and make a deposit.

πŸ”„ How do progressive slot machines work?

Progressive slots are more often called jackpot slots nowadays. All the slots in the different online casinos are actually linked, and a portion of the money that people wager go towards increasing the progressive jackpot. You can hit the jackpot at any casino.

Learn More About Online Slots

Slots are a deceptively simple game. You would think that you just press the button and that’s it – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Slots have become an integral part of our culture and even if you don’t play them, you know of their existence. You can find tens of thousands of slots online – there is bound to be some complexity. As experienced slot fans, we have a lot more we would like to share with you. Feel free to browse the rest of our articles and find out more about the game that we all love. Of course, if you feel prepared to try your hand at some real money slots, don’t forget to check our list of safe casino operators.