The explosion in popularity of online slots means there's an unending choice of games to choose from with thousands of newly themed, newly formatted and newly designed slots being released each year.
So let's look at some of the things to consider and look out for when picking a slot to spend some time with.
Which Slot Should I Choose?
Classic slots are good for beginners as they are far easier to understand but video slots are generally more exciting and rewarding once you get to grips with them. It’s hugely important to check the paytables for each game as this will explain what rewards you get for certain combinations. You can find out which symbols will give you a jackpot and which symbols will lead to smaller payouts. The paytable will also explain if the game pays out on diagonals, corners, zig-zags, etc.
When choosing a slot you should check if the game is low, medium or high variance as this will determine your chances of success and what the jackpot will be. A low variance game will offer smaller payouts on a regular basis while a high variance game offers bigger prizes far less frequently. Most people opt for medium variance games, which fall in between these two extremes.
You should also try to find out what the Return To Player (RTP) percentage is for each game. This determines the long-term payout from a machine and for video slots it ranges between 80-99 per cent, with most machines offering an RTP in the mid-90s. With an RTP of 96 per cent, for example, the machine will theoretically pay out £96 for every £100 bet, keeping £4 for itself. This might not seem like a big number going to the machine but when you consider that millions of pounds are spent every day on slots, it adds up to a monumental profit.
Obviously you should aim to play RTP slot machines that yield a high return in order to give yourself the best chance to profit.
Are slot machines fixed?
No. Every slot machine runs via Random Number Generators so each spin is completely random and to chance.
These number generators have no memory of each spin so those who claim a machine is ‘due’ a payout because it hasn’t delivered in four or five spins are wrong.
There is no way to predict what a Random Number Generator will do next so slots are the ultimate game of chance. This also means there is no successful strategy for playing a slot machine but you can boost your chances of increasing the size of your payout by learning more about the bonus features offered in each game.
There are several in-game quirks and bonuses in online slots and I will examine them in the next section.
These symbols will bring a smile to your face as they boost your chances of a payout. A wild substitutes for another symbol so they can create winning combinations.
For example if a wild lands between two cherries and another cherry, it will create a winning line of four cherries. The only symbol a Wild can’t replace is a Scatter.
These symbols activate bonus rounds and features such as free spins. They usually lead to a payout if you have three or more scatters on screen and a bonus game will also start.
These bonus games will vary from machine to machine and some of the more sophisticated video slots will have arcade-style bonuses. Make sure you check the paytable to see what combination of scatters trigger different payouts.
These symbols can double, triple or boost your payout by much larger figures, with some games even offering multipliers of up to 1000. They are more commonly found in bonus features.
FREEFALLS or CASCADES
This feature in video slots boosts your chances of winning more times in one spin. If you have a winning line then the symbols will disappear from the game, with the rest of the board dropping down to fill the empty spaces.
When this happens, new winning lines can often be created. If you’ve played games like Candy Crush you will be familiar with this feature.
If you're new to online betting and in particular playing slots online then a good place to start is with a classic slot. These are the kind that you might be familiar with in the real world and are closest to the traditional “Fruit Machine”.
Once you get a feel for the world of online slots then make sure you target slots and casino games that payout the most. Always check the RTP and familiarise yourself with the various in-game features and bonuses that trigger the big wins.
Finally, have fun and never gamble more than you can afford to lose.