Online casino slots work exactly in the same way as physical slot machines you would find in a land-based gaming hall…
- First, you deposit playing credits, tokens, or coins
- Load the online casino slot of your choice
- Choose the bet or coin size
- Press, tab, or click on the ‘SPIN’ button
- Watch as the reels spin
- You win if the right combination of symbols appears on the pay line
- You can then cash out your payouts or continue playing
Although the gameplay functions and features can vary from one online slot game to the next, it is straightforward.
The big difference between physical slot machines and online casino slots is the use of random number generators (RNG). While the classic fruit or slot machines use a computer chip device to generate a randomized set of numbers for outcomes, online casino slots use computer code as RNG.
The sole and primary purpose of the RNG algorithm is to generate a set of varied and random numbers that will help determine the outcome of each spin.
Specifically, the RNG helps determine which symbols will appear on each reel after every online casino slot spin. That makes sure the result of each and every spin is unpredictable and independent of the previous outcome.
No matter which online casino game you play, the random number generator plays a big role in deciding which set of symbols land on the payline. For this reason, you often see different combinations of symbols appear on every spin. The RNG determines the outcomes of many online casino games of chance, such as keno, roulette, video poker, and scratch cards.
For instance, unlike blackjack games, online slot machines don’t maintain a record of your losses and wins. They are instant-play games in which the outcome of every spin, every round, and every session is calculated based on a randomized mathematical algorithm run by the random number generator system.
Types of Online Slots
Because online casino slots are programmed using computer software, they can be made in various ways, but all of them use virtual RNGs for generating random outcomes, which are practically impossible to trick. It is essential to know each type of online casino slot to find out how it works:
Three-reel classic online slots
These are simple 3-reel online casino games based on the original slot machines. These old-school slots feature familiar card symbols (like 10, J, Q, etc.), as well as wild symbols.
They are easy to play, too. To win a spin, all you have to do is to match symbols on one payline, which is usually the middle line.
Online casino video slots
This is the digital version of a traditional slot machine. They look and play like video games, and that is because they feature video gaming elements like soundtracks, theme-based symbols, and bonus games.
Online casino 5-reel slots
Most producers of online casino slots are no longer interested in the three-reel classic design. The advancement of software programming and computing power has made it possible to create advanced video slots. The 5-reel slots have five spinning reels plus multiple paylines, providing players with more ways to bet and win.
Online progressive slots games
These are online casino slots that are linked together across a network with jackpots that grow in size every time someone plays them. Although the odds of winning the progressive jackpots are low, their payout is typically huge. In fact, the biggest online casino wins are often won on progressive jackpot slots that pay out regularly, such as Mega Moolah, Beach Life, Deal or No Deal, Mega Fortune, or Arabian Nights.
Multi-reel and multi-payline slots
These are advanced video slots that feature many paylines that work across many sets of reels. They usually have more than five reels. The number of paylines or bet lines is usually 3, 4, 5, 25, or 50, but there can be more than that. The paylines can be diagonal, horizontal, vertical, or even zig-zag, giving the player more opportunities to bet and win.
Mega spin online casino slots
If you wish to play more than one online casino slot simultaneously, you are in luck. Mega spin slots allow you to play multiple slot games all on the same screen and at the same time. Most of them have progressive jackpots and enable players to play 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 slots, all at once.
As you can guess from the game, these are online casino slots with multiplier features, which give you a chance to multiply your payout by a preset number. You can typically double, triple, or even multiply your winnings by up to 100x or greater with these multipliers.
Mobile casino slots
As the name suggests, these are online casino slots that have been specially designed to be played on mobile devices, such as tablets, iPads, iPhones, and Android smartphones. These slots allow you to play them on the go, and they bring all of the features of their desktop versions to the mobile screen.
How do online slots work?
Online slots work similarly to old-school slot machines (also called fruit machines). The basic concept is the same, as the symbols must match up on the spinnings for you to win the cash prize.
However, instead of using coins, you use your account balance to purchase play credits. Online slots have virtual gameplay features, such as spin, coin size, auto spin, and sound effects instead of using an arm or physical buttons to operate the machine.
Just like traditional physical slot machines, online slots have many symbols, bonus features, and paylines.
To win the cash prize, you must align the desired symbols (such as 777) in the payline. The paylines are usually straight, but some online slots do have zig-zag and diagonal paylines, which means that you have more ways to wager.
The most significant difference is that online slot games come in a wider variety than physical slot machines. Another thing is that online slots usually have more paylines, reels, and special symbols, such as:
- Wild symbols – These are special symbols that substitute for any symbol that is missing on the payline to form a winning combination. Therefore, wild symbols provide you with a better chance of creating a payline. In video slots, they can be dynamic or static.
- Scatter symbols – Similar to wild symbols scatter symbols don’t need to land on the payline to form the winning combination. So long as the scatter symbols appear anywhere on the visible reels, you use them to create a winning payline. They can also trigger the start of a bonus round.
- Multipliers – These are special symbols that give you the chance to multiply your winnings by a certain number. For instance, a 3x multiplier will triple your payout, while a 30x multiplier will multiply your winnings of, say, 20 coins by 30 to give 600 coins.
- Bonus rounds – These are extra rounds of the slot game that you can unlock using wild or scatter symbols. They can come in the form of mini-games, free spins, or a chance to play for the jackpot.
All of these features are there to increase your probability of creating a winning combination. You can also use several different tips to win at online slots…
- Cover as many paylines as possible to increase your chances of winning big payouts. If you have a small budget, consider reducing the bet size in order to cover the paylines you want to play.
- Read the online slot paytable before you start playing
- Take advantage of bonus rounds and other special features
- Practice regularly in free-play mode
- Play simple online slot games with low variance
- Make use of online casino bonuses and promotions codes
Is it possible to play online slots for free?
The answer is yes. Most online casinos offer you the option to play or practice any online slot game for free in the free-play mode. You can also use free spins, bonuses, and other rewards to play online slots without making a deposit.
Can you win money playing online slot games?
Absolutely! You can win a decent amount of money playing online slots. Additionally, you can play online slots for free in demo mode, but the real magic happens when you make a deposit and play real money games.
Online casino gambling has grown over the years to become a multi-billion industry with gross revenues of more than $50 billion. Revenue and player base keeps growing year after year. Recent estimates show that there are well over 2,000 regulated and licensed gambling sites that offer online slots and there are potentially many more non-licensed ones.
At the end of the day, an online slot is a game of luck. The random number generators ensure that they are almost 100% luck. Thankfully, there are tips and strategies you can use to improve your chances of winning money while playing online slots…
Pick online slots with the highest payback percentage
Payback percentage is also known as return to player or RTP percentage. It is a theoretical portion of the bet amount the player expects to get back from the slot machine. The best online slots have high RTP, meaning they pay back more money.
RTP is conversely related to the house edge, which is the mathematical advantage included in the online slot for the casino. Higher RTP means the slot game has a lower house edge, providing you with a higher chance of winning.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of high-RTP online slots. They come from top software developers like NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, IGT, Yggdrasil Gaming, and Betsoft. We highly recommend any online slot with an RTP higher than 97.5%. Typical examples include:
- Ugga Bugga (99.07%)
- Mega Joker (99%)
- Jackpot 6000 (98.8%)
- Blood Suckers (98%)
- White Rabbit Megaways (97.77%)
- The Catfather by Pragmatic Play (98.10%)
Use online casino bonuses
Most online casinos provide a wide range of bonuses that you can use to play slot games on the house. They include welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, reload bonuses, cashback offers, rebates, and more importantly, free spins.
Practice often in demo mode
You have the option of trying online slots before you begin playing them for real money. It is a great way to have fun and get to understand the ins and outs of the game. We highly recommend trying online slots with bonus rounds and free spins features. They will help you learn and sharpen your skills.
Stop while ahead
This might sound like a trivial enough tip, but the best way to win money while playing at a casino is to quit while you are still ahead.
Only bet max on progressive jackpot slots
Most progressive slots have lucrative jackpots that can turn your fortunes around. However, to be able to win the jackpot, you will have to bet maximum to cover all the paylines.
Manage your money properly
Winning money playing slots in only half the battle. The other half has to do with managing your bankroll property. You should set a budget before you start playing online slots. Don’t forget to set win and loss limits, as well.
How do online slots pay?
Online slots pay out when you line up winning symbols on a payline. The paylines can be horizontal, vertical, wavy, or specialized lines. Some online slots have multiple paylines, from 10 up to 100 or more. You will get paid when symbols form certain combinations on these paylines. Landing on a jackpot will also trigger a payout.
Which online slot has the highest payout?
Progressive jackpot slots give the most payout at online casinos. The most popular progressive slot known for paying out the most money regularly is Mega Moolah. Other well-paying online slots include:
- Mega Fortune
- Arabian Nights
- Blood Suckers II
- Cleopatra’s Gold
- Jackpot 6000
You will find many different online slots, with each paying out differently. As an intelligent player, you should try out as many multi-payline slots, 3-reel classic slots, video slots, and progressive jackpot slots as possible to find out which type suits your style of play.