Your No-Nonsense Guide to Playing Real Money Online Slot Games
An online casino experience is not complete without a spin on the slots. Modern games have come a long way from the basic ‘fruit machine’-style reels. Today we see stunning graphics, immersive gameplay and a super-smooth user experience.
Playing slots is great way to start your online casino adventure – they’re fun, easy to play and can offer huge jackpots. But to avoid any first-time mistakes and to help you pick the right online casino, our team of experts has pulled together this must-read guide.
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Slots were invented back in 1887, and have taken the casino world by storm. Reels are the main unit of slots, as they hold all the different symbols that line up into ‘paylines.’
When slots were first invented, reels were actual physical things, while nowadays they are mostly digital representations of old-fashioned reels.
It is easy to play online slots, as the player only needs to determine the amount they want to bet per line and the number of lines they wish to bet on (if it isn’t fixed).
Then, you press the spin button and a few seconds later, random symbols will stop on the screen and, depending on where they land, the system determines if you get paid and how much.
How to Play Slots Like an Expert
Stick to these simple principles and you will be playing slots like a pro in no time:
Know the RTP
Every slot out there offers you an overview of different types of symbol combinations and their respective payouts. All of these different combinations are known under the common name ‘slot paytable.’ If you want to play slots properly and have the most fun, the first thing you should do when playing a new slot is checking out and understanding the paytable. While you can’t influence the outcome of any particular spin, knowing what pays what and how you get to the bonus feature is half the fun.
The term ‘RTP’ stands for ‘Return To Player’ and it is one of the most important pieces of information you need to know about a slot. In short, RTP determines how much money that goes into the slot machine will be returned to the players. For example, a slot with 96% RTP will return $96 for every $100 that goes into it. Of course, you need to understand that this number relates to a long period, and during any particular sessions, you can win heaps with your $100 or lose a few hundred without slot ever paying you. However, if you want to play like a pro and play often, you should stick to slot machines with high RTPs (96%+).
Don’t Chase Losses
One thing people often do when they start losing at a particular slot machine is upping their bets to try and quickly make back what they had lost. You shouldn’t do this, as triggering the bonus game on a higher wager isn’t a guarantee of bigger wins. If you’re stuck and want to continue playing, just stick to your usual wager and grind it out. Eventually, the bonus will come and then it is down to luck how much you’ll win. Increasing the bet will only hurt your bankroll and help you lose faster.
Win at Online Slots – Our Top Tips
“Keep in mind that you’re always playing against the odds when playing slots and only play for as long as you’re having fun.”
“Always stick to slot machines with high RTPs to give yourself the best winning chances over a long period of time.”
“Check out the paytable of a new slot before you start. It might not make a huge difference in terms of winning or losing, but you’ll have much more fun.”
Slots are based entirely on the luck of the draw, which means that once you press that spin button, the RNG (Random Number Generator) will determine the outcome of that spin based on a number of factors you have no control over.
This means that there is no actual strategy that will give you an edge over the slot machine, as it will always end up keeping the percentage of bets it was programmed to keep.
However, if you play smart and adjust your bets to the amount of money you have available for playing, you’ll give yourself the best odds to get lucky.
For example, if you have $100 and play $0.50 per spin, you’ll have plenty of spins to trigger the bonus or get a big payline. If you play $10 a spin with the same amount, it will usually be gone before you know it, and you won’t even have fun.
Every slot machine these days is governed by the Random Number Generator, which determines the outcome of every spin. Symbols that line up on the screen are the visual representation of that outcome and the paytable is your guide to how much you get to win for any particular combination.
Once you know this, there aren’t that many rules you need to know to play slots. Once you pay in the money, there are buttons at the bottom or on the sides of the screen, which let you determine the number of paylines you’d like to play, the amount of money you want to bet per line, and, in some cases, buttons to turn on extra features.
When you have everything set up to your liking, you can either press or click the spin button manually or, with most slots, you can use the ‘Auto Play’ function, which will spin the reels for a predetermined number of spins or until you manually cancel it.
Types of Slots
Although slots can be categorized using different variables, the most common categorization is the one featuring three groups: classic slots, video slots, and (progressive) jackpot slots.
Classic slots were the first slot machines to appear in live casinos and some of them made it to online casinos as well. They usually feature three reels with one or three rows and between one and five paylines. The graphic and sound elements of these games are pretty basic, and bonus features, if there are any, are quite simple.
Video slots are the successors of classic slots and they came about with the advancement of technology, which gave game designers a lot of room to improve things.
Video slots don’t use actual reels but rather computerized graphic representations of reels ruled by the software. Video slots usually have at least five reels and three rows, and the number of paylines is between nine and several thousand in some cases. Additionally, bonus features are much more exciting, with cool animations and details, significantly improving the gaming experience.
Jackpot slots can be both, classic and video slots, although most of them belong to the latter category. These are slots where players can win a big amount of money if they line up a certain combination, go all the way in the bonus game or, sometimes, just randomly.
The difference between standard and progressive jackpot slots is in that standard jackpots feature a fixed amount of money that a player can win, usually directly connected to the size of their wager.
Progressive jackpots increase slightly with every bet played on that machine or any of the same-type machines across many online casinos. The amount you can win isn’t connected to the size of your wager, which makes progressive slots very popular. Many players have won millions playing $0.25 a spin on games such as Mega Moolah or Mega Fortune.
History of Slots
There is a difference of opinions as to who came up with the first slot machine. Some believe that Charles Fey was the original inventor, with his Liberty Bell machine dating back to 1887. Others believe that two men, Pitt and Sittman, were the first to the market in 1891, and Fey only came later, in 1895.
Fey’s machine was much more similar to the slot machines we see at today’s casino, especially in the classic slots group. The other one featured 50 playing cards on five drums (reels), with each drum containing 10 cards.
Both machines had the same working mechanism, requiring players to pull a lever to initiate a spin. This is why original slots were quickly named ‘one armed bandits,’ the name that stuck to this day, even though levers are hardly found with any of the modern-day slots.
What made the Liberty Bell machine more popular with the players was the fact there were fewer combinations and it was easier to keep track of what was going on. Additionally, Fey developed a system of automatic coin payments, which apparently made all the difference in the world for the first slots players.
Seeing how popular slots are with the players, many companies got involved, looking to develop on the original system. Liberty Bell was fun, but it was pretty basic, and there was a lot of room for the improvement.
In 1963, Bally Manufacturing (a company that still operates today) launched Money Honey, the first completely electronic slot machine. This game was the predecessor of video slots we all know and love today. Video slots dispensed with the physical reels completely, using the computer software instead. These games easily found their way online when the first internet casinos started to become popular during the early 1990s.
There are no hot or cold slots, every spin is totally independent on the previous one, and whatever happened on the last spin has no bearing on what will happen on the next one.
Try switching your wager up and down, as you play to try and get lucky and win more, but don’t get carried away and play too high for too long.