Being the easiest gambling option for millions of players around the world, slots have gradually become the bread and butter of every land-based casino. Slot machines are the fastest and most entertaining way to boost your bankroll without investing too much into casino play. They have been around for several decades but today, their online counterparts are just as popular and their appeal can be easily explained – they are simple to play, they are packed with lots of exciting features and they have the potential to easily turn the average player into a multimillionaire with just a spin of the reels.
In order to play slots for real money, casino enthusiasts no longer need to travel to Las Vegas or visit a crowded, noisy local casino. There are thousands of online gambling sites, most of which rely heavily on slot games to keep a steady revenue and a loyal customer base. Modern real money online slots are beautifully crafted, state-of-the-art digital games that may have three, five, or even seven reels and up to a hundred pay lines. They can be movie-themed or inspired by fairy tales, they can feature authentic music and three-dimensional graphics, while sometimes they attract us with their impressive, 7-figure jackpots. And one of the most wonderful things about them is that you can bet anything from $0.01 to more than $500 a spin.
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Finding a good online slot can be challenging, especially for less experienced players who are making their first steps into online gambling. One of the most common considerations is the limited budget, which, however, may not be such great an obstacle as it tends to be in brick-and-mortar casinos. Playing over the web is much cheaper and often, casinos also offer no-deposit bonuses, so players can win real money without spending a dime.
Improving Your Chances to Win
In order to win real money when playing online slots, you need to make some deposit even if it is as low as $10 – most casinos require some investment to be made prior to paying out any winnings. This is why players should always try to find a legitimate, reliable casino, as well as a game that suits their budget and experience level. Of course, there are numerous websites offering free-play versions of the games, so that you can understand all the ins and outs of online slots without risking your own money.
Once you learn all the basics, you will want to play for real money and make a deposit as this is the only way you can try your luck at the big jackpots. Experienced players know well that even if slots are a game of pure chance, there are still ways to improve your winning chances.
One of the best methods to optimize your play is taking advantage of the bonus cash offered by many online casinos. Usually, the bonuses are not huge, but they can significantly extend the time you spend on slots and the number of rounds you play.
Finding High Payout Slots
The number of slot variations and themes may seem overwhelming at first, but generally, all slot games function the same way. There is one thing, however, novice players should consider when choosing a game to play at – the payout percentage.
Bonus Cash Additional TipsObviously, there is no guarantee of a big winning, but a gambling budget of $150 is certainly better than $50. Most online casinos offer newly registered members deposit bonuses ranging from 50% to 200% their original value. A 100% match bonus, for instance, doubles your first deposit into the casino, increasing your chances to win. For instance, you can make a deposit of $20, which is often the minimum deposit amount, and the casino will give you another $20 to boost your balance and keep you as a regular player. Another incentive offered by casino sites is the no-deposit bonus which can come in the form of free spins or free cash, ranging from $5 to around $50.
While these bonuses can be quite attractive, certain conditions need to be met if you want to make a withdrawal. Players should be aware of the wagering requirements and the limitations of every bonus they sign up for – typically, the amount of the bonus has to be played through 10, 20, or even 50 times. This means that if you receive $10 as a bonus with a rollover requirement of 20 times, you need to place bets equal to or more than $200 before you can request a withdrawal. Also, betting on certain types of games will not count toward meeting this requirement and most often, you will need to wager your bonus entirely on slots.
High Payout Slots Additional TipsThis is the average amount of money you can expect the game to return as winnings over time and casinos tend to refer to it as Return to Player or RTP. The return of slots varies significantly across casinos – many land-based facilities offer RTPs of 75% to 90%, while at online casinos, you will find return percentages of over 95%.
In order to find slots with higher payouts, you need to open the respective pay tables of the games you are interested in. There, you can find the payouts for the different pay lines, as well as information on how to activate bonus rounds and free spins, what the special symbols are, etc. Often, games offer special jackpots only when you play with maximum coins. That is why the best strategy is to read the instructions and the pay schedule of the game before you start playing.
Many casinos also display the different RTP percentages of games, which is even more convenient – you will want a game that has an RTP of over 92%. For instance, if a slot has a payout percentage of 95%, 95 coins out of 100 coins wagered will return to the real money player over the long term. Slots that feature progressive jackpots tend to have lower average RTP percentages, which make up for the huge payout when you hit the jackpot.
Less experienced players tend to play slots that are highly promoted on the casino site, believing they are the “loosest” games. In practice, online casinos advertise mostly games with a higher house edge where players are much more likely to lose than to win. This is why it is a good strategy to first review the games on the second and third page of the casino site – there, you may find hidden gems.
Types of Slot Machines
There are numerous types of digital slot machines you can play for real money online – classic slots, video slots, bonus slot games or progressive jackpot slots, just to name a few. There are games resembling the first physical slot machines that appeared roughly a century ago – most of them feature traditional symbols like sevens, liberty bells, or cherries. They also have three reels and a single pay line. There are more advanced games, however, which have better graphics, sounds and multiple pay lines that significantly increase your chances of winning.
Known as video slots, these games are much more complex and exciting to play. They feature animated themes and intricate story lines, often inspired by famous books, TV shows or Hollywood blockbusters. The number of reels here is typically five, but there are also games with 6 or 7 reels, while the types of symbols can be well over 25. More importantly, they have multiple pay lines and sometimes, over 3,000 ways to win. Unlike classic slots, video slots can have winning combinations from left to right and from right to left, as well as pay lines in all shapes – Vs, zigzags, etc. Players can choose the number of active pay lines they wish to play at.
Many games, usually video slots, incorporate bonus rounds, which can be triggered by hitting certain symbols or combinations. These rounds act as mini games within the game and are often interactive, resembling regular computer or arcade games. Triggering such a bonus round makes playing online slots much more intriguing and rewarding, so these games have become incredibly popular. Gaming software developers also add progressive jackpots to their slots that are even more attractive because they give players the opportunity to earn huge sums while, at the same time, making relatively small bets.
How Slots Actually Work
It is a common misconception that a slot game that has not hit the jackpot for a while is due to hit a big winning. In fact, the winning combinations that land on the reels are completely random – slots, as well as video poker and all other automated virtual games like online roulette or blackjack, are based on the so-called Random Number Generator (RNG). Thanks to a sophisticated piece of technology the results of every spin are random and the player (or the casino) cannot predict or manipulate them in any way.
Earlier slots and video poker machines also used RNGs even though they were mechanical. Today, modern slot games use a computer, a microprocessor, that generates long sequences of random numbers. These numbers are associated with certain symbols and positions on the reels and they determine the outcome of each spin. The RNG constantly generates numbers and the moment the player places a bet, the computer stops that process and selects a number. So, instead of being based on some mythical cycles, the results in slot games are truly random and jackpots simply cannot be due.
Choosing a Slot Casino
Although slots are a game of chance, players can still make decisions to improve their chances of winning. It is important to carefully choose a good, high payout slot, but it is also essential to pick the right online casino. Understandably, the first things to look for are legitimacy and reliability – you need a casino which guarantees online safety, fair play and fast payouts. The gambling operator should be properly licensed and the games regularly audited by reputable testing agencies. All this information should be clearly displayed at the casino site.
Many online casinos also post the payout percentages of the slots they offer. Experienced players know that choosing a casino with higher average payout percentages is the right move. Of course, you cannot expect a game with theoretical RTP of 96% to return exactly $96 of your $100 wager, but in the long run, it is a better bet than playing a game with a return rate of 88%, for instance. Most of the respected online casinos offer an average payout of around 96%-97%.
Choosing a Slot Casino Additional TipsTo maximize the amount of money you can play with, you should also look for casinos which give good welcome bonuses. As these bonuses are typically a percentage of your initial deposit, you should try to invest the optimal amount of money. For example, if the offered bonus is 100% up to $100, there is no need to deposit more than $100 – even if you make a deposit of $150, the bonus you will receive will still be $100. You should also look for the lowest wagering requirements, as they are easier and faster to meet.
Another aspect of online casinos which needs to be taken into consideration, especially by jackpot hunters, is the collection of progressive jackpot slots on offer. The best web-based casinos host jackpot games from multiple software developers, allowing you to pick your preferred slot based on graphics quality, special features, jackpot amount and plenty of other criteria.
Last, but not least, the casino you plan to play at should offer variety and abundance of slots. Although all of these games use RNG algorithms for their results, each slot has a distinct theme and gameplay that cater to different types of players. You should pick games that not only have high payouts but also the ones that are most interesting or visually appealing to you. There are, after all, all kinds of slots – movie-themed, featuring interactive bonus rounds, 3D-animated slots, music-inspired slots, and many others.
Brick-and-mortar casinos have been luring players with huge progressive jackpots for many years and their online counterparts quickly adopted this technique. The idea of hitting a life-changing win attract millions to the casinos and the games that offer such jackpots. And the more popular a progressive slot is, the larger its jackpot becomes. The idea behind is quite simple – all games of a particular type are linked in a network and a small percentage of every bet placed at them goes to the jackpot.
The odds of hitting that specific combination of symbols that activate the progressive jackpot is extremely small, but eventually, one lucky player wins. The payout is usually given not in instalments, but in one big chunk. However, this varies across game suppliers, so before starting to chase a particular jackpot, players should look closely at the payout policy of the firm. Still, even if you are receiving your winning in portions, it is quite an enticing offering.
Progressive Jackpots Additional TipsWhen choosing an online casino, real money players should be aware of several facts. First, the majority of slots do not feature jackpots. Usually, progressives are divided into separate categories, so they should be easy to find. Also, it is very important to learn the specific rules of every game – how the jackpot can be triggered or how much you need to bet in order to qualify for such a winning. In most cases, you will be required to play with maximum coins and even place the maximum bet to play for the jackpot.
This is the reason why many players who are not familiar with the rules of the game run out of money very quickly. In many progressive slots, you will need to bet more than $100 a spin if you want to play for the jackpot. And remember, the odds of hitting it are extremely small, so before investing real money on a progressive jackpot, you will need to be extra patient and be ready to lose a lot of money.
Winning at Slots
Before diving into the world of online slots, players need to understand how these games work because although some may play only for entertainment, it is always better to have fun and win at the same time. Casinos do have edge over the players, but a well-prepared, knowledgeable punter is likely to lose less than a novice player who does not know what to do.
Learn the Rules
Successful players know well that the first step to winning is to learn the rules of the game. The basics are quite simple and in many aspects, online slots are even easier to play than slot machines in land-based facilities.
Before playing a real money online slot, players should see if it suits their preset budget. There are numerous games, where you can bet as little as $0.01 per spin – these are referred to as “penny slots” and are a good option for novices.
Slots Rules Additional TipsWhen you open a game from a casino software or in an instant-play site, you will need to choose the amount of your bet – the number of coins you want to wager on an active line, the denomination you wish to play with, and the number of active pay lines you prefer. Most modern slots on the web have 5 reels and at least 10 pay lines, which are the winning combinations of symbols you can hit at a particular game.
Once the bet is chosen, the player needs to select the Spin button and the digital reels will start spinning. When they stop moving, the game determines whether a winning combination is formed or not, and if so, the respective winning from the pay table is automatically paid out. Some games have a Stop button which gives players the impression that they can somehow influence the outcome. As explained above, the result of each spin is determined by the RNG and its complex algorithms.
Bet Size Additional TipsYou need to select the number of pay lines you want to play at, although some games have fixed pay lines. Next, you will need to choose the value (or the denomination) of the coins – usually, it ranges from $0.01 to $1 or even $5. You can also pick the number of coins you want to bet per line and in most cases, it will be up to 10 coins.
A large portion of slot games caters to both budget players and high rollers. For instance, you open a game with 25 pay lines. You can activate only one of the lines and bet 1 coin of $0.01 – in this case, the size of your bet will be mere $0.01 for each spin. Of course, the larger number of pay lines means more opportunities to win, so you choose to play all 25 lines. With the same coin size, you will bet $0.25 per spin. Or, you can choose the maximum bet size and play with 10 coins of $1 on 25 lines. This means you will be betting $250 with each spin. For players, willing to risk larger amounts of money, games have a convenient Max Bet button.
Experienced slot players recommend starting with the lowest bets possible. Novices should stick to this strategy so that they can minimize their losses even if they are not familiar with the game, its rules, special features and bonuses.
For many players, the most entertaining and thrilling slots are those that come packed with various special or bonus features. Such features are designed for more than just the adrenaline rush – they increase the winning opportunities, giving you free spins, bonus games, or higher payouts.
Adjusting Bets Additional TipsIt is always better to play with 1 or two coins on more pay lines than playing with 10 coins on a single line. Once you start winning, you can gradually increase the size of the bet and take advantage of your good roll.
There are many betting strategies players can adopt depending on their experience and bankroll. Some punters would double their bet each time they win until they reach the maximum allowed amount. Others would start their betting session with 1 coin per line and if they are on a good roll, they would increase the number of coins each spin. And there are those who would hit the Max Bet button as soon as they start winning on a particular slot. The idea behind all these is that the player can increase the profits of each winning while cutting down the losses.
When it comes to progressive jackpots, it is always essential to play with the maximum number of coins – otherwise, your bets will not qualify for winning the jackpot. Most players would play 10 coins on all pay lines as this means greater winning opportunities.
Bonus Features Additional TipsAlong with the typical 10 to 20 themed symbols in every slot game, you will also encounter wild and scatter symbols. Wilds function much like wild cards in poker games – they can substitute for any other symbol on the reels, creating winning combinations much more easily. There is also a multiplier associated with wild symbols, so the winning is often doubled. In the meantime, scatter symbols would give you a payout if you hit at least two of them anywhere on the reels.
In case three scatter symbols appear on the screen, a bonus round is triggered. Sometimes, the bonus is in the form of free spins (anything from 3 to 50 spins), which in turn, can trigger more free spins. There are also bonus games that open separately from your current session and they can be activated by either hitting at least three scatters or getting several Bonus symbols on the reels. Some slots feature a Pick Me bonus game, where you are given several symbols or cards and you need to pick one of them. You can win a multiplier or a cash prize and then, return to the base game.
Some game developers also add interactive bonus games that are skill-based and sometimes have different levels you need to pass. They can include puzzles, target shoot, and many others. Winning such a bonus game is often associated with either a huge winning or even a jackpot. Other unique features that can be found in some online slots are Expanding Wilds, which expand to cover the entire reel, or Sticky Wilds, which remain in their positions for several spins while all other symbols on the screen are moving.
There are plenty of other bonus features that vary across different games and game developers. Even more kinds of wild symbols are appearing while some slots offer a Gamble or Double Up option after a winning or a certain combination of symbols lands on the reels. This is usually a simple card game where the player can double the winning of the current spin when guessing the color or the suit of a card. If the player does not guess correctly, all winnings from the spin are lost.
Slots Pay Table Explanation
Slots can seem extremely simple games but players who do not understand the pay table of the particular game they play at are much more likely to lose all their money – and much faster. Pay tables are the charts that display all rules, winning combinations and pay lines of any given game. There, players can also check the respective payouts for the different combos and how they can qualify for the big jackpot. Depending on the particular theme of the game, the scatter and wild symbols will be shown in the pay table. The scheme also displays any bonus symbol you can hit during play.
Generally, the pay tables of slots are simple and easy to understand. They can be accessed by clicking the Info or any similar button in the game. Although some players assume pay charts are irrelevant as all slot games are the same, this is far from the truth and may just lead to bigger losses. In fact, the information found in pay tables is very important and every player should review it before starting to play for real money. It contains all the details about how bonus rounds work, how jackpots can be won, and what limitations jackpots have.
For instance, you may want to play for the progressive jackpot but bet only 2 coins per pay line during your session. If you looked at the pay table, however, you would know that only max bets can give you the chance to hit it big.
How Can I Play Online Slots for Real Money?
Online slots work just like fruit machines in land-based casinos but instead of a physical machine, you have a digital representation of reels, symbols and coins. All virtual games found on casino sites are powered by Random Number Generators, so there is no actual spinning of the reels – how symbols land on them depends on random numbers generated by sophisticated computer algorithms. In order to play for real money, players simply need to register at an online casino, make a deposit or receive a no-deposit bonus that can be used for real-money play.
What Payment Methods Are Available at Online Casinos?
Most online casinos accept multiple payment methods for depositing and withdrawing. Usually, you can make a deposit via a credit card, an instant banking transfer, or a digital wallet. Traditional methods such as wire transfers and checks are also widely available but processing times for them tend to be slower. Note that most casinos will process your withdrawal request after a pending time of at least 24 hours and will automatically transfer your winnings via the payment method you have used for your deposit.
Are Online Casinos Safe?
Licensed online casinos are completely safe and will store all your personal or banking data on secure servers. All reputable gambling operators on the web will keep your sensitive information private and will not share it with third parties. Financial transactions are protected by employing modern SSL and TLS cryptographic protocols that ensure secure communication over the Internet.
How Do Bonuses Work?
Welcome bonuses are designed to reward players when making their first deposit into their preferred online casino. They vary from one casino to the other, so it is recommended to check the specific terms and conditions of the bonus before depositing at a particular casino. It is important that the bonus does not have a high wagering requirement, so you can meet it easily and without investing a lot of money. Some casinos also offer no-deposit bonuses such as free spins on select slots or free cash of up to $30.
The phase refers to getting the jackpot combination on a slot game.
Bonus features are almost exclusively found in video slots with multiple pay lines. They are various special modes of play that are triggered by special symbols like scatters and wilds. When a bonus feature is activated the player has the chance to win free spins, increased payout, or a bonus round.
Most online slots allow players to choose the amount of bet placed per spin. You can choose bets of $0.01 up to $5 and play with a different number of coins. For instance, you can play with 10 coins of $0.25, which means you will bet $2.50 per line. If you choose a $5 denomination, you will bet $50 per single pay line.
Also known as straight or basic slots, flat-top slots offer maximum payouts that are constant and do not depend on how many players bet on them, as is the case with progressive jackpot slots. In flat-top games, the jackpot is often referred to as a “static” jackpot.
Short for maximum bet, this is the largest amount of money you are allowed to bet on a single spin. The max bet is different for the different slot games but in most cases, it is required if you want to play for the maximum payout.
Pay lines are the lines, or the positions on the reels, where symbols land after the spin in order to create a winning combination. In the past, mechanical slot machines had a single pay line, while today, modern video slots have multiple lines – sometimes up to a hundred. Traditionally, winning combinations can be formed only from left to right, but there are many online slots which have the so-called “two-way” payout system where symbols can line up in combos in both directions.
The amount of money a slot game rewards players for hitting a particular winning combination.
This is the percentage of every bet placed on a game that is given back to the player as a payout. It is also known as return percentage or RTP (Return to Player). It is an average, theoretical number and is valid for an unlimited number of rounds or spins. If a slot has an RTP of 96%, you may be able to earn back what you have invested in it as bets after thousands or even millions of plays. The other 4% is the casino’s take, or as it is widely known as house edge.
These types of jackpots do not have a fixed value but constantly rise, or progress, until they are won and can reach millions of dollars. Progressive games are linked together and each bet placed on them contribute to a combined jackpot. Often, millions of punters from all around the world contribute to the same jackpot and when one of them hits it, they receive the entire amount. In terms of a pure monetary expression, progressive winnings can be compared only to lotteries.
Random Number Generator
This is a piece of computer software which determines whether a spin wins or not based on random numbers generated constantly. The RNG generates numbers even when the game is not played at and the combination of symbols is determined long before the reels stop moving.
The reels are the wheels that you see spinning in every slot game. The old slot machines had 3 reels that moved mechanically, but today all machines you see across land-based casinos are electronic instead of mechanical. Although online slots do not have physical reels at all, they have virtual reels that are, more or less, there simply for the show – they do not spin or move in any way, they are just a digital representation of what the RNG software has already determined.
These are the different pictures or elements that move around once you click the Spin button in an online slot. The winning you receive depends on how symbols land and whether they form a winning combination. While traditional symbols are fruits, sevens, or cash symbols, the modern ones can be anything as long as they stay within the theme of the game – Greek gods, animals, treasure pieces, etc.
Wilds are special symbols found in many video slots which can serve as substitutes for other symbols. They can replace any other symbol on the reels, except for other wilds or scatter symbols.