The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions an online casino has to be an online slot. Sure, hard-core table game fans will disagree. Yet, online slots are the biggest attraction at online casino sites these days. These games are exciting, fast-paced, and promise massive prizes to the luckiest players. What’s there not to love, really?
While traditional slot machines included three spinning reels with symbols like fruits and sevens, modern-day online casino slots are everything but simple. They have unique mechanics, special bonus rounds, creative symbols that come to life, and much more. Plus, the selection of these games is next to endless considering that there are thousands of them.
Are you already intrigued and interested in learning more about online casino slot machines? If so, we’ve got you covered. This article will discuss the best places to play these games, the different types of slots, their features, and other online slot essentials.
The offer of online casino slots grows by the month. Online casino software developers tirelessly work towards releasing new titles regularly to keep players engaged and entertained. Sure, you can always turn to classics like Starburst and Book of Dead when you feel like it. Yet, for those seeking new experiences, game providers always have something fun in stock.
All the leading slot developers have been busy this month and treated their fans with exciting new titles. These picks come – no surprises there – with exclusive features that make them worthwhile your time. We advise you to try them out and see if some of them may become your new favorite online slot.
Our Top Rated Online Slot Sites to Join
Online slots are a fantastic product. They come in various themes and boast all kinds of unique mechanics. Yet, none of this matters if you play at sites that don’t deserve your trust. That’s right. Not all online casinos out there are safe, fair, and trustworthy. And even if they are, not all of them have wealthy online casino slots lobbies.
Knowing this, our iGaming experts have done tons of research on their own. We’ve tested numerous online gambling destinations that provide online slot machines and handpicked the crème de la crème. We listed quality casinos with an excellent online slots offer right here on this page.
So, you can simply pick one randomly from our online casino list or read our honest reviews to discover which option suits you the best. Once you’ve made your choice, you can proceed to register with the operator and start playing top-class online slot games.
Different Types of Slot Machines
New online casino players are often overwhelmed and confused by the thousands of slot machines they see. Did you know that some gambling sites have over 5,000 such titles in their game lobbies? That’s why picking a game can become an adventure in itself. At least for those who don’t know the different types of slots and what to expect from them.
We’ve explained the most popular slot categories in the sections below to make things easier for you. Read on to learn what makes each slot type unique compared to the rest.
Classic slots are just like the traditional slot machines old-school players will surely remember. They typically have three reels only and classic symbols like fruits, bars, and sevens. Another thing associated with classic slots is the low number of paylines, usually up to 5, and the absence of unique features. If you’d like to try some top-class classic slot machines, consider NetEnt’s Mega Joker or IGT’s Triple Diamond.
Video slots are modern slot machines that come with excellent graphic effects and animations. Most importantly, these online slots have fantastic and rewarding bonus features, expanding wilds, and other innovative game mechanics. Moreover, they usually have many paylines, and some even offer you hundreds or thousands of ways to win.
Some of the most popular video slots of all time include Starburst (NetEnt), Immortal Romance (Microgaming), and Book of Dead (Play’n GO). Yet, new titles are released each month.
Progressive online slots are jackpot slots whose main prize grows with each bet. Progressive slots may share their jackpot pool throughout the entire network and, therefore, reach multimillion top prizes. Alternatively, there are daily progressive jackpot slots or in-house progressive jackpot slots. Still, the most popular progressive are the network ones as they have the biggest jackpots, like the Mega Moolah or the WowPot slot series by Microgaming. Other popular progressives are NetEnt’s Mega Fortune, Hall of Gods, and Mercy of the Gods.
Fruit Machine Slots
Fruit machines are typically slot games whose symbols are fruit symbols like lemons, cherries, and strawberries. They are a separate category as many players enjoy such symbols, regardless of the slot mechanics. It’s fair to say that fruit slot machines are usually classic slots. Yet, lately, there’ve been some five-reel slots with fruit themes too.
5 Reel Slots
While classic slots are generally three-reel slots, video slots are usually five-reel slot machines. These days the rule has changed as operators have already released six-reel and seven-reel slot games. Yet, most of the video and 3D slots feature five reels. They also boast many paylines, cool features, and great graphics.
With the rise of video slots, a new trend has appeared – 3D slots. These slot machines are just like video slots, but they have 3D graphics and animations instead. Betsoft is the most popular developer of 3D slots, and their games have carefully developed storylines and 3D protagonists. Other than the improved and realistic visuals, 3D slots are much like video slots regarding features and bonus rounds.
Vegas slots are called games that you will typically find in Las Vegas casinos and have been adjusted for online casinos too. There’s nothing special about them in regard to features and mechanics. For example, Diamond Queen and Phoenix Gold are slots you may find both in Las Vegas and at online casinos.
Pokies is the term that players from Australia and New Zealand use for slot machines. So, these are not separate game categories. Instead, pokies can be fruit machines, classic slots, video slots, and so on. If you play at sites that target players from these two countries, expect that online slots will be called pokies.
How Do Slots Work?
Slots are the easiest online casino games to play. The player needs to simply set the bet size and hit the “Spin” button to start and finish an online slot game round. If a bonus round is triggered, some additional actions may be needed.
In any case, slot machines are games that have spinning reels on which symbols are seen. The game starts when the reels start spinning, while it ends when the reels stop to reveal various symbols on the screen. Depending on the symbols and their position, the player may win a prize or trigger something special. However, when playing online, everything you see is just a visual effect because the outcomes are generated in the background through Random Number Generators.
Reels and Paylines
Each slot comes with a number of reels and paylines. Both can be fixed or variable, depending on the game. The reels are the things in the middle of the playing screen that spin when the game is initiated. Typically, classic slots have 3 reels, and video slots have 5. Yet, these days there are games with 6 or 7 reels and even games whose number of reels may change during the gameplay.
Paylines are imaginary lines usually formed from left to right on the playing screen. When certain symbols – typically identical ones – land one next to another on an active payline, the player wins a prize. Online slots can have anything from one to 40 paylines and even more.
To start a game and initiate the spinning of the reels, you must place a bet first. That’s the amount of money you risk for that round. The bet must be within the betting limits of the online slot machine you’re playing. There are games with as low minimum bets as a single penny as well as high roller slots where users can bet up to $500 per spin. Usually, you adjust the coin size and then choose how many coins you want to wager per an active payline. Turning off paylines will lower your bet amount, while adding more paylines increases it.
Slot Machines Features
The beauty of online slot machines lies in the fact that every game comes with various features. Every next game comes with something unique that makes it entertaining and different from the other thousands of slots out there. This has been especially true in the past few years when game developers have outdone themselves in innovative and creative thinking.
It’s important to note that the features may come in the form of special symbols. These can be wilds, scatters, and multipliers, which we will explain below. Alternatively, there are special bonus rounds and games or even game mechanics.
For example, we must mention the popular Megaways mechanic that adds thousands of paylines to the slots. Another popular feature that makes the gameplay unique is the Avalanche or so-called cascading reels feature. Here, there are no reels. Instead, the symbols fall from above and disappear if they are part of a winning combination. As you can see, there are no rules or limits when it comes to special online slot features.
Wilds are symbols that can substitute any other standard symbols on the slot. They help players form winning combinations when they need more symbols on the payline to do so. For example, if you hit two bells and then a wild symbol on an active payline, this will count as if you’ve hit three bells. Naturally, you’ll get the payout for the three-of-a-kind bells combo in accordance with the payout table. There are various types of wilds. Some appear randomly on the screen, some expand to cover the entire reel, and so on.
Scatters are typically the best-paying symbols on online slots. They also have a special design, which often goes perfectly with the theme. Scatters may appear on all or selected reels only and may pay when they land on an active payline or anywhere on the screen. Everything depends on the game’s rules. Also, on many online casino slots, the scatter symbols trigger special rounds and free spins. That’s why they are often the players’ favorite symbol on the screen.
Multipliers are symbols that will multiply your prize. They may exist independently or in combination with wilds or even scatter symbols. Multiplier symbols come with different figures on them, too. For example, one multiplier may double your win, while another one may triple it. Sometimes, multipliers aren’t symbols at all. Instead, they may be next to the screen and activate after every consecutive win. Again, game providers have been really creative, and so there are various ways that any symbol or feature can exist.
As the name suggests, free spins are spins you get as a bonus from the game. You may get anything from a single respin to 10 or even 30 free spins. When they are triggered, they pay out prizes in accordance with the bet used to activate them. Yet, you won’t have to pay anything for these spins. Basically, you get the prizes without investing the wagers. Some slot games have special free spin rounds that come with more wilds or multipliers or free spins that happen on uniquely designed screens.
These are rounds triggered by scatters or bonus symbols. Typically, bonus rounds are where the big payouts are “hidden” on online slots. These rounds can be anything these days, but the most common one is pick-and-win ones. Basically, there are several hidden fields like treasure chests, for example, and you get to pick one or more to reveal prizes. Sometimes, bonus rounds can also be free spins or even games like the memo game, where you get to match symbols to win a specific award.
Online Slot Machines RTP (Return to Player)
Return to Player is a percentage between 0% and 100% that represents the expected return rate of the game. For example, if the Return to Player (RTP) of a game is 98%, the house edge is 2%. This means that the expected return of every $100 wagered on the game is $98, while the remaining $2 is the casino’s profit. That’s why it’s a general rule to stick to games with an RTP as close to 100% as possible, as they are the most rewarding ones.
However, it’s important to note that the RTP is calculated upon millions of rounds, meaning there are no rules or guarantees that you will get the 98% payout rate when you play. Instead, you may win much more than you’ve bet, while another player may lose hundreds of dollars on the game. Still, the RTP is an important concept, and you should never overlook this percentage when choosing what online slots to play.
Online Slot Machine Volatility
Volatility is another essential concept that online slot players must know about. Volatility is the setting that dictates the frequency and size of winnings. The volatility can go from low to medium and high. Some games may have a medium-low or medium-high volatility too.
Low volatility means frequent yet small wins, whereas high volatility means the winnings are big yet not that common. So, players with low bankrolls typically stick to low and medium-low volatility slots. The same applies to those who want to clear playthrough requirements. On the other hand, high rollers who wish for massive wins and aren’t afraid of risking more money tend to play high volatility slots.
Online Slots Software Providers
A considerable part of the online slots magic comes from the creative minds that develop these attractive games. That’s why knowing what game provider stands behind a classic or a video slot is essential. Besides the quality of the gaming experience, reputable game developers guarantee security, fairness, and innovative features.
For instance, brands like NetEnt and Microgaming hold various licenses and certificates. Plus, they are transparent with their slots’ RTPs. Hence, you know that their games are 100% fair, and you can focus on the gameplay without any worries. Moreover, some providers have trademarked features that you’ll find on their games only. So, you should never overlook the software provider that supplies the online slots you want to play.
NetEnt is a Swedish company that has been around ever since 1996. It’s one of the leading iGaming software developers and a leading supplier of online slot machines. Expanding wilds, the Avalanche feature, and the Cluster Pays are among its most popular features. As for top slots by NetEnt, we must mention Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, and Asgardian Stones.
Book of Dead, Honey Rush, and Reactoonz 2 are some of the top picks from Play’n GO. This brand is another leader that has been around for years and has won multiple awards for its 200+ games. The provider’s main strengths include spotless graphics, well-developed storylines, and entertaining themes. All the best slots sites feature Play’n GO games.
Relax Gaming has been supplying world-class online slots ever since 2010. There aren’t too many Relax Gaming slots or about 30 at the time of this writing. However, the company has multiple partnerships with other iGaming brands, and so casinos with Relax Gaming slots often have more than 1,500 titles on the menu. Mega Masks, Money Train, and Iron Bank are top picks from this provider.
Realtime Gaming, widely known as RTG, is one of the longest-standing slots suppliers on the market. The company has been successfully working ever since 1998, and it has a solid portfolio of slot games. Some best picks include Cleopatra’s Gold, Aztec’s Millions, and Pay Dirt. Recently, the operator has started revamping its best picks, so they now boast improved graphics.
Golden Goddess, Jeopardy!, Siberian Storm, and Cleopatra are just a few of the numerous online slot machines developed by IGT. International Game Technology is a leading brand on the market that boasts impeccable graphics and progressive jackpots. Besides boasting top-class online slots, IGT is also a popular land-based slot machines and cabinets provider.
Free Online Slots VS Real Money Slots
Many players are wondering how free slots are different than real money ones. In their nature, they are not that different at all. Yet, some aspects of the gameplay and the overall feeling may vary, considering that playing in demo mode includes no risks and no real money prizes.
Let’s see how free online casino slots are different from real money online slots.
Require no real money investment.
You can’t win real cash on them.
Some features like progressive jackpot bonus rounds may be missing.
Graphics and gameplay quality aren’t affected.
Excellent for casual play without any risk involved.
Real Money Slots:
Must deposit real money to play.
All prizes are paid out in real cash.
You can hit progressive jackpots and all features.
You can use bonus money and free spins on them.
Excellent for high-adrenaline action.
Tips for Winning Online Slots
Rookie slot players always want to discover new ways to make the most out of their gambling adventures. We have handpicked some tips to consider when choosing what slot game to play. However, please note that online slots are games of chance, and no playing strategy can make you a sure winner. Instead, you can just play smart and maximize your winning potential and extend your playing time.
Stick to online slots with a high RTP of 95% and higher.
Play max bet on progressive jackpot slots.
Focus on one game at a gambling session.
Have a spending budget and always respect it.
Don’t play online slots when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Play low volatility slots for meeting wagering requirements.
Get familiar with the game and its rules by playing in demo mode first.
A Final Word About Online Slots
There is a reason why online slots are the most popular type of casino games. Even though the gameplay may seem identical, and they all follow the same concept, innovations have elevated the online slot experience.
Now, a single spin can lead to massive prizes and even multimillion jackpots. Moreover, some slots aren’t like traditional slot machines at all. They include complex storylines, attractive audiovisuals, and rewarding features. So, even if you play online slot machines with the same theme, the overall gameplay can be completely unique.
One thing not to overlook is where you play your favorite slot machines. That’s why we made sure to list both established and brand new online casinos that boast the top offer of such games. As long as you stick to these brands, you won’t have to worry about anything and could relax into the slot action instead.
FAQs About Online Slots
What Are Online Casino Slots?
Online casino slots are games that let you gamble for real money and win real prizes. They are inspired by land-based slot machines and often follow the same concept. They have spinning reels and symbols alongside special features and various themes.
How to Play Online Slots?
Playing online slots is very easy and straightforward. The first step is to select one of the best slot gambling sites recommended by our experts. Then, make sure to sign up and deposit using one of the supported payment methods. Finally, pick a slot from the game lobby and start playing. Don’t forget to adjust the bet size before you hit the “Spin” button, which will initiate the session.
What Is RTP of Slot Games?
The Return to Player (RTP) percentage is a figure that informs players of the expected potential return of the money invested into the online slot. Most online slots have an RTP of 95%, and that’s the industry average. Anything under or over that figure is considered insufficient or very good. On a slot with an RTP, the expected return of every $100 wagered is $95. The other 5% represents the house edge and the casino’s profit.
What Does Slot RNG Mean?
Land-based slot machines have actual reels that spin and then stop to reveal the outcome. Online slots work differently because their results are generated by Random Number Generators (RNGs). RNGs are programs that work in the background and provide unpredictable and 100% random results. The things you see on the screen are just visual effects that correspond to the outcomes generated by the scripts.
Can I Play Online Slots for Free?
Yes, you can play online slots for free. Most online casino operators will let you try their games in demo mode. Some platforms will even let visitors do this even without asking them to register for an account. Alternatively, you can play for free by using free spins, in which case you may even win real money prizes.
What is the Best Online Slot Game to play?
The truth is, there isn’t one online slot that can be crowned as the best one. The industry boasts thousands of slot machines with different themes, mechanics, and features. So, it depends on the player to find a game that suits their taste. However, Gonzo’s Quest, Avalon II, Bonanza Megaways, and Cleopatra are among the most popular ones.