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Guide To Online Slots: Everything You Need To Know


Of all the games of chance on the internet, online slots have been the most triumphant. There is something uniquely appealing about seeing all the colourful symbols on the spinning reels.

Since the days of the one-armed bandit, slots have gone through radical changes. But, the most seismic change to slot machines occurred when they moved into the digital realm.

Why Are Online Slots so Popular?

Learning How to Play Online Slots is Easy

Although some online slots are skill-based, one doesn’t need to acquire complex skills to start winning on slot machines. Players can get a hang of the game pretty quickly.

This isn’t the case with some other popular online games of chance, such as video poker and blackjack, where you need to master complex strategies in order to become a great player. Online slots are purposely designed to reach out to a larger player base.

But this doesn’t mean that there’s no skill or strategy involved at all. You can get better at playing online slots over time. In fact, there are players who make a living just by playing slots.

Higher Payout Ratios

Online slots offer players the chance to win big amounts of money with limited stakes. The average online slot pays out 1000x the line bet—routinely. Moreover, you can easily find online slot machines that pay 10,000x the line bet or more.

Attractive Packaging

As you know, another term for a slot machine is a fruit machine. The name comes from traditional slot machine symbols—watermelons, lemons, oranges, plumbs, and cherries. These symbols are iconic, but they are not the norm anymore.

There are countless unique slot machine themes. Some of the more popular themes include entertainment, pirates, food, fantasy, sports. For instance, there’s a Games of Thrones slots game that’s free to play. The audio effects, graphics, and symbols work together to create an immersive experience.

Innovative Gaming Features

When an experienced player is choosing a website to play online slots, one of the first things they check is the number of available games and themes. The average online slots platform offers over 1,000 different games.

The nature of slots machines makes it easy to add novel gaming features. Each online slot machine game has something different about, whether it is the bonus feature, reel structure, or type of wild symbol. It’s hard to get bored of slots because you are constantly getting something new.

How Online Slots Work

The first slot machine (built way back in 1894) was a coin-operated mechanical device. Today, both physical and online slots are controlled by software. To determine which symbols will be displayed on the reels at the end of each spin, the software uses a random number generator (RNG).

As you can assume, the moment slot machine had gone digital, players started to question how fair the game will be. But, to ensure fair-play, online slots have to undergo rigorous tests. Typically, an independent software-testing agency (usually a part of a government body or a private agency hired by the government) test the RNG software of an online slot machine. If the outcomes are unbiased and random, the platform can get licensed.

So, in case you are wondering if and how you can win at online slots games or even tournaments, the first thing you need to do is check whether the online casino where you are playing is licensed. If it is, only then should you look into different playing strategies. In the UK, the Gambling Commission licenses online casinos.

Placing Bets

A payline, also called a winning line or betting line, is a linear combination of symbols (doesn’t have to be straight) that results in a win. The number of paylines can vary from game to game. Typically, it goes from 1 to 50.

In earlier-generation online slots, you have to select the number of paylines, the number of coins per payline, and the coin size to determine the total bet.

Your bankroll dictates the number of coins per payline and coin size. Experience players will tell you that you should always activate the maximum number of paylines.

To make things simpler for players, new generation online slots combine all of the aforementioned elements. When it comes to increasing or decreasing the bet amount, different slot providers offer different mechanisms. Slot providers explain everything in the rules, so always make sure to check them out.

Receiving Payouts

The player clicks the spin button after they place the bet. Then, the system will deduct the bet amount from the player’s balance. Then comes the fun part—the reels start to spin and the player excitedly waits to see what the final arrangement of the symbols will be.

When the reels stop spinning, the online slot machine automatically checks for matching symbols that make up an active payline. If there are any, it awards payouts.

The payout table displays the payouts. The slot machine can express payouts as a multiplier of the bet amount or as absolute amounts based on your bets. Often, the payout table shows the other rules of the game as well. If the player wins anything, the system will add the amount to their balance.

Return to Player

RTP (Return to Player) is the percentage of all the stakes an online slot pays back to players over time. Simply put—it can tell you how much an online slot pays out on average. The casinos calculate the RTP based on a large number of plays.

Let’s say that an online slot has an RTP of 89%. So, on average, it will give you 89p back for every £1 you wage. The other 11p will go to the casino.

Professional or experienced slot players always make a point of checking the RTP of a slot machine before they start placing bets. The higher the RTP, the better for the player.

But, keep in mind that, for a single player, the RTP doesn’t guarantee much. Some players win more often, some don’t.

Types of Online Slots

Classic Slots

Classic online slots are also the most straightforward ones. A classic slot machine has just 3 reels. Like the mechanical slots from the old, they usually include symbols such as diamonds, 7s, bars, and fruits. Classic slots don’t come with bonus features typically, but they are fast-paced games.

Video Slots (5-Reel Slots)

Video slots are best known for their thematic content and audio-visual side effects. They come with 5 reels or more. Often, they offer attractive features such as pick objects bonuses and free games.

Progressive Slots

A progressive slot machine increases the highest payout with every bet. A player can hit the jackpot through a bonus game, certain payline, or even progressively.

Branded Slots

Branded slots are the ones that come with themes based on rock bands, sports celebrities, popular games, TV series, movies… you name it. This is the latest trend in online slots.


Online slots are even more fun when you know exactly how they work. Even though there is a myriad of different slot games out there, the concept is still the same. And, no matter what themes or varieties you prefer, you can rest assured that you can find the perfect online slot machine for you.


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