Online slots: The Definitive Guide

This is the most comprehensive online slots guide on the Internet.

After reading this article, you will have a complete understanding of how slot machines work and what strategies you can use to maximize your odds.

The key takeaway?

You will learn our exact step-by-step process for finding the best games without having to filter through thousands of titles. (which we’re sure you are tired of!).

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What are online slots?

Online slots are digital versions of traditional slot machines that are optimized for different screen ratios. Internet slots are more excellent than the land-based versions since thousands of titles are available, offering different paylines, reels, themes, and gameplay types.

Still, technological advancements in the gambling sectors have made slot machines increasingly complex. As a result, casino game developers are constantly looking for new creative ways to make their slots more engaging and unique.

Based on our research, here are the three main unique features provided by online slot machines:

  1. Scatters – Also known as the “special,” scatter symbols don’t need to appear on the winning line to trigger their effect. Instead, finding three or more scatters across the board will trigger the bonus mini-game round, which generally offers you free spins and a chance to multiply your winnings.
  2. Wilds – The wild symbol acts as a substitute for other symbols (except scatters). These special symbols can be static or dynamic, and they can come in handy when you need to get a winning combination, and you’re one symbol short.
  3. Multipliers – Modern slot machines come with a “win streak” feature, called the multiplier. In essence, you need to find the multiplier symbol (which can sometimes be the wild or scatter), and your payout will be multiplied by a given value.

These symbols are great additions to the online slot machines. Still, the most attractive feature is the bonus round, which can take multiple forms, including free spins, mini-games or rewards triggered at random.

Most modern slots offer a bonus round, but you need to understand that the more rewarding the feature, the lower the RTP, which can drastically minimize your long-term profits (unless you get lucky).

The truth about the randomness of slots

The first slot machine ever created was electromechanical.

As new technologies have quickly shaped the gambling industry, both land-based and online casinos have implemented software-generated games.

The most crucial element of a slot machine is the RNG (random number generator), a software that randomly displays the symbols on the reels once a spin is complete.

All licensed operators must use the RNG technology in their slots. Regulatory bodies like eCOGRA run a periodical test to ensure that the outcome of the slot machine is entirely random and fair. Since the results are compared with some benchmarking projections, nobody can tamper with the system and change the odds in their favour without getting caught.

Explaining the Return to Player (RTP)

If you want to play online slots the right way, you need to learn all about RTP.

In a nutshell, the Return to Player is a percentage that represents the amount that you should expect to win after every spin. This percentage needs to be lower than 100% for the casino to profit in the long run.

Most high-quality slots available online will offer you an RTP between 94% and 97%, which is more than enough for a profitable gambling session.

Here’s an example of how you can easily calculate your profit rate by knowing the RTP:

Suppose you play a slot machine with 95% RTP. In that case, for every $100 wagered, you will get $96 back, and $4 will go to the gambling operator. Of course, this example is just a quick estimate since you may get lucky and make more than $96 or lose everything if you’re out of luck.

The five main types of online slots

The online slot machine market is huge.

Assuming that a game provider creates 500 slots on average and there are over 31 companies that develop casino games, we’re going to estimate that there are at least 15,000 unique slot machines in the world.

Although this number is just a rough estimate, it’s still quite overwhelming. It would take you months or even years to try out each title and see what it has to offer.

We as players don’t have the time to individually test every game to decide which one is better. However, industry experts deal with new slot machines daily, and they understood that slots fall under five main categories, including:

  • 3-reel classic slots – inspired from the electromechanical retro slot machines, the 3 reel slots are the most straightforward casino games you can play: adjust your bet, spin the reels and match the symbols to win.
  • 5 reel slots – this format is the most common in online slots, allowing you to bet on more pay lines and maximizing your chances of landing a winning combo.
  • Progressive jackpot slots – these are the slots that can make you a millionaire. These games (e.g. Mega Moolah) have a large jackpot that each player contributes to when playing. Once someone claims the jackpot, the counter resets back to its default value.
  • Mega spin slots – for the multitasking gamblers out there, the mega spin allows you to play more slots at once on the same screen, offering you more chances with a single spin.
  • Multipliers – slots with multipliers increase your winnings by a predetermined amount, based on some criteria that depend on the game you’re playing. The multipliers can range from double to as much as 150 times the outcome.

Now you know how casinos categorize online slots to make them easier to navigate. But wouldn’t it be great if you knew how the pros play slots to maximize their odds?

Let’s find out.

Quick guide for beating the online slot machines

If you were to ask any gambling expert what is the best way to win at slots, they would probably answer, “It’s all random, so you need Lady Luck by your side.”

Before you get thoroughly disappointed about this statement, understand that slot machines are designed to give random outputs. Therefore, there is no real way to increase the likelihood of a winning combination to occur.

While an RNG software determines your outcome in slots, we’ve found a way to maximize your playtime, step by step:

  1. Choose a reliable casino platform – Before you start spinning the reels, you need to pick a trustworthy slot operator that industry experts personally tested and reviewed. While there is no correct answer when choosing an online casino, we recommend sticking with a platform licensed by a well-known operator such as the Malta Gaming Commission.
  2. Take advantage of bonuses – Most casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players. These deals are great to increase your playtime and can take the form of extra credits or free spins. However, be advised that the promotions have a wagering requirement that you need to complete before you can withdraw your bonus winnings.
  3. Pick a slot with high RTP – As you already know, a slot that has a high RTP can bring you more wins in the long run. Ideally, you want to use the return to player rate as a main decisive factor when choosing a slot machine to play.
  4. Read the paytable – Even though most slots have similar controls and features, it’s essential to check the paytable before you start spinning. This section contains helpful information about the game, including payouts and bonus round requirements.
  5. Go for maximum coin denomination – While this step depends on your budget, it’s recommended to go for the maximum coin size available. That’s because some slots (especially jackpots) require you to bet a certain amount to qualify for a particular feature. This way, you will maximize your payout potential.
  6. Improve your bankroll management – Any pro knows that gambling is all about taking risks. Thus, keeping track of your profit/loss ratio and betting only 1-2% of your total bankroll at a time will ensure proper money management, crucial for long-term success with the casino.

Final thoughts

By using everything mentioned in our guide, you will maximize the results from your gambling sessions.

Still, we don’t guarantee that you will get any results using this process, but it worked for us in the past. Winning at slots is not an exact science, so you will also need to get lucky if you want to get results.

Our recommendation?

Don’t bet more than you can afford, and remember: gambling is a form of entertainment, not a passive income source.

If you have additional questions about slots, feel free to leave a comment below right now.