Slots are easily one of the most fun casino games out there and they have been around for more than a century. The popularity of this casino genre has only increased in recent times and with the advent of the online casino industry, it has only increased. Once on the Internet, player demand for slots catapulted which directly led to the high number of games available to all prospective gamblers. In fact, the number of slots at any online casino almost certainly outnumber all other games combined, which really says a lot about how popular this genre actually is.
Not only are slots high in number, but they also enjoy a great diversity in themes, as well. This makes the genre appealing to a wide range of gamblers, as due to the different aesthetics chances are you will find something to your liking. After all, with thousands of titles out there, there is bound to be something for you or anyone else, for that matter.
With slots becoming an ever more popular genre, many prospective gamblers are looking to get into casino gaming. Granted, the online gambling industry is not as welcoming as one would hope and while the barrier to entry has become lower with time, there are still some aspects of it that could use better explanations. To this end, we have made this guide to cover all of the fundamental aspects of slot games and to give you some idea of what the rules are. Below, you will find information about every important feature of modern online video slots, how they affect you and your gameplay, as well as, some tips about what you should and should not do.
The gameplay formula to slots is quite basic and it requires very little on your part to get the hang of it. You select a bet size, press the button and watch the reels spin. Depending on what symbols you spin, you may or may not earn a payout. That is slot games at their most basic and it is has been the formula of this genre for more than a century.
There are, of course, other factors that come into effect when you play slots, which you will certainly experience once you spin the reels long enough. To begin with, the symbols you spin will determine the difference between a win and a loss. There are many symbols in any given slot and many opportunities to form winning combinations. Slots are a diverse genre and there are many ways to one could score a win. Additionally, we also have to take into account the different features of slot games, how bets are made, etc. We will go over all of these further down the line, giving you a better idea of these games work.
The symbols are one of the most important features in any slot game. Watching them spin and form winning combinations are the general goals of the game, after all. Not all symbols are created equal, however. Depending on the title you choose, you will find several different types of symbols, each with different payout ratios and probabilities to land in the right positions.
The basic symbols are the ones that you will encounter most often and form combinations with. Traditionally, basic symbols are separated into two different categories, depending on their payout ratios – low paying and high paying. The low-paying symbols will naturally land on the reels more often than their high-paying counterparts. They will not reward you with large amounts of money, but low-paying combinations can keep you in the game long enough for you to spin a more worthwhile combination. The high-paying symbols are more of a rarity in the base gameplay and they will allow you to win larger amounts of money, should you manage to form a winning combination. Speaking of combinations, these are formed by lining up several symbols of the same type starting from the leftmost reel and along one of the active paylines.
After the basic symbols, we come to the special type. There are several symbols included in this category and we will start with the Wild. The Wild serves the function of a fill-in symbol, able to take the place of any basic symbol and complete winning combinations on an active payline. The Wild will often be the difference between a winning and a losing spin, allowing you to score a win where normally you would not be able to. The Wild symbol may or may not feature its own pay table. If it does, it will likely be the highest paying symbol in the whole game and you can earn a pretty penny for your efforts. If it does not, then you will mostly want to avoid such titles, unless you really want to play them.
Slots Symbols Additional TipsAside from that, there are games that assign more qualities to Wild symbols, though these are not common. Some slots will multiply your winnings for every Wild symbol in the winning combination while spinning a given number of Wilds will trigger a reward round. While these features are rare, they are certainly worth your time and you should consider playing such a game should you come across one.
After the Wild, we come to the Scatter symbol. The Scatter is a Special symbol that comes with its own interesting features and it is mostly a staple of the slots genre. To begin with, most Scatters have the ability to form winning combinations in both directions, whereas other symbols can only do so left-to-right from the leftmost reel. You can, however, line up three or more Scatters starting from either the leftmost or rightmost reel and along one of the active paylines. As for payout, Scatters are not the most rewarding symbols out there. They mostly award a paltry amount for the difficulty of forming a combination. However, that is not the purpose of the Scatter.
Another aspect of the Scatter symbol is its ability to award you free spins once you hit a certain number of Scatters on the reels. Generally, most slots do not require you to form a combination with Scatters to give you a round of free spins. Rather, ou will simply need to spin three or more of them anywhere on the reels. The number of free spins awarded and the potential multiplier will depend on the number of Scatters you have spun. A round of free spins is exactly what it sounds like. The game will spin the reels for you a certain number of times and you get to keep whatever winnings you make from that. If during a free spin, you manage to hit three or more Scatters, another round of free spins may or may not be awarded, depending on the game in question. Furthermore, the bet level during the free spins is the same as the wager on the triggering spin.
Finally, we come to the Bonus symbol. Unlike the Wild and the Scatter, this one is sometimes excluded from some games and its functionality is lost. The Bonus does not have the best paytable, but then again, you are not hoping to spin Bonus symbols for their payout. Instead, Bonus symbols are the key to unlocking bonus rounds, if the game offers them.
Bonus games are mini-games triggered by spinning a number of Bonus symbols at once. These will award you some goodies, including cash rewards, free spins and multipliers. Bonus rounds and their rewards vary drastically between different slot games but, as a general rule, they are among the most rewarding components of a slot game. A decent bonus round could be the difference between a large win and a humble win.
Slots Paylines and Bets
After the symbols, we also have to consider the number of paylines featured in a slot game. Paylines are the combinations that you will try to form and the can cover many different positions on the reels. Paylines used to be one single straight line in the middle of the reels, but nowadays they can take many shapes, mostly zigzags.
The number of active paylines on the reels will mostly depend on the game you are playing and how much you are willing to activate yourself. The average video slot title comes with anywhere between 25 and 40 paylines, though some are known to reach 80 and more. Activating each payline will come at a cost, however. More specifically, it will one cost you one additional coin per payline. The value of the coins can typically be determined by you yourself, so you should have no issues working out the perfect settings that work for you and your budget.
Typically, the minimum value of a coin in the online gambling industry is $0.01 and a game with 25 paylines active, you will pay $0.25 per spin. The reason why each payline costs more is to offset your ability to form more winning combinations by activating more paylines.
Slots Paylines and Bets Additional TipsWhen you activate more paylines, you are not increasing the value of the stake and you will not receive more in winnings. Despite the fact that you paying more for activating paylines, you should not think of it as increasing the size of the bet.
The payouts are dictated by the value of the coins, rather than the number of active paylines. Instead, you should consider each active payline as an additional bet on the same spin. You can win from more than one payline at any given time and the winnings are calculated by the value of the coins you use. Therefore, if you wish to have higher payouts, you should increase the size of the coins rather than the number of active lines. Still, we recommend that you play with all possible paylines active and only increase the coin value if your bankroll can handle it.
X-Ways to Win Slots
While paylines are the norm in the world of online slots, there is another system that is being implemented in video slots. We are talking about the X-Ways to Win which does away with the traditional payline patterns. Instead, you form winning combinations simply by lining up the same symbol on the leftmost reel and the adjacent ones. There is no distinct pattern that you have to follow and all you have to do is have the same symbol on neighbouring reels.
This system is prefered by players as it gives them more flexibility in how they form winning combinations. Moreover, there is no need to look up all the various betting patterns that you can follow. Of course, this system also has an impact on how you place bets. In a game with traditional paylines, you can choose how many you can activate and remove after every spin. In the X-Ways to Win system, there are no paylines to control and this also affects the bets you place. In most games that use this system, there is often a set minimum bet that you have to place, for example, $0.25 per spin. You cannot go around it, nor can you reduce it as you would with a more traditional game. You can only increase it in value, should you choose to risk more.
Slot games usually come with a variety of features that make your interactions much easier. Most of these usually involve the logistics of the game and contribute in some way to the experience.
First and foremost, each slot offers its own brief rundown of the rules and the pay tables for all of the symbols. Additionally, it is here that you will find explanations of the unique bonus rounds that are featured in the game and any specifics to the game itself. It is the best way to get all the information about the title that you will possibly need. Everything will be conveyed in a clear and precise manner, allowing you to quickly read up on the game and to quickly go back to playing it.
As for the gameplay features, there are certain ways to impact your game from the user interface. The quick spin button will allow you to increase the overall speed of the game, with the reels spinning and coming in place much quicker. This does not work to your advantage or disadvantage, all it does is speed up the game and allows you to play through more spins in a shorter time period. Using quick spin mostly boils down to personal preference. The only possible disadvantage of it is that if you speed up your gameplay and hit a losing streak you will lose your bankroll quicker.
Controlling your bets is easy with the modern interface of video slots. Somewhere on the bottom side of the screen, you will find the controls to increase or decrease the size of your bets. Moreover, you can also adjust the number of coins that you wager. In the same vein, you can also change the number of active paylines, where available.
Tips for Playing Slots
You may have read up on the basics of how slots work and the basic rule set but that does not mean you know everything there is about this game genre. There are things that you can only pick up from experience and from making mistakes. To save you the trouble, we have included some tips on what to do and what to avoid when playing slots.
Avoid the ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ slots fallacy
There is a myth as old as the game itself that if a machine has not paid a significant sum recently that it is certain to do so after a few spins.
In the same vein, after you win a great payout, your next few spins will be fruitless. This is wrong for several reasons. To begin with, the RNG systems make sure that the outcome of every spin is the product of chance and is, therefore, completely random.
This means that there is no way to predict the results of future spins and no pattern to follow. Since every spin is not influenced by the previous, there is no guarantee that you will win or lose on future ones.
Consider the RTP of a slot game
Something that you should take into account is the house edge and RTP values of a casino game. The house edge indicates the fairness of casino title and how much of an advantage the house has over players in the long run. The house edge and RTP values of slot games vary wildly between the thousands of individual titles available on the market.
Ideally, you should look for a game with an RTP in the range of 94-97% as those will provide you with the best odds. As for where to look for those values, certain software providers post the RTP of each game publicly for all to see, while others post averages. Some casinos will also provide that information in detail so that you may make a better decision when it comes to online gambling.
Manage your bankroll wisely
This should go without saying but it often goes unnoticed by those who need this advice the most. Online gambling is fun but it can often be a downward spiral if you are not careful.
Managing your bankroll is essential for you to have any success while gambling. Being disciplined, knowing when to stop and cut your losses is something that every gambler should know. Failing to do so, you risk losing your entire balance and possibly worse.
Do not try to win back what you lost by betting more. This is one of the worst things that you can do when gambling, both on the Internet and at land-based establishments. Not only is there no guarantee that you will win back your losses, but you also risk losing what you are left with. In fact, doing this is a sign of problem gambling and in that case, you should seek help.