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Online Slots: Everything You Need To Know
Online slots are basically online versions of the traditional slot machine which can be found at most brick-and-mortar casino venues. These games follow the same rules of those games, requiring you to spin reels to land combinations of matching symbols for wins.
The reason online slots are so popular is that unlike most other casino games, they’re generally much more simple to learn and play. All you need to do is hit a button to spin the reels and wait for the results of your spin, some slots even have an auto-play feature which allows you to select the number of times you want the reels to automatically spin!
Another reason online slots are so popular is that they come in various themes and generally come packed with special features to help you make more wins. Most online slots will have the same main special features, they include:
- Wild Symbols: Substitute symbols to help create more winning combinations
- Free Spins: Trigger by Scatter symbols or bonus symbols, this feature offers you a select number of free spins to make more wins
Depending on the video slot, there will be plenty of more special features to take advantage of including multipliers, jackpot bonuses, special pick bonuses where you can pick cash prizes, and so much more. Since these are dependent on the individual slot, it’s worth checking out a review of the slot to find out what’s included before playing.
The Different Types Of Slots
Although online slots are rather simple, there are a few different variations of online slots, each focusing on providing different experiences to you, the plater. You can discover more about the different online slot variations below to find which is best for you.
Video slots are the traditional online slots, simple to play and make wins on. These are the slots described above, simply requiring you to spin the reels to make wins. Video slots tend to be based on varying themes, some of which are unique while others are based on pre-existing properties such as films, television shows, music, and even video games.
While most video slots tend to follow the traditional slot formula, there are others which have mixed things up. For example, Big Time Gaming launched the MegaWays game engine in which the number of symbols and paylines change with each spin on MegaWays slots. There also other slots which do not rely on paylines, and instead require you to make clusters of matching symbols for wins. Both of these mechanics revamp online slots and make them much more exciting for users to play.
Alongside online slots are jackpot slots. These games function just like ordinary video slots but they tend to offer you big jackpot sums. There are two types of jackpots slots, those with a fixed jackpot which doesn’t change and those with progressive jackpots which grows with each bet until it’s triggered by a player.
Of these jackpots, there are different ways they work. Some jackpots are tied to a select game while others can be triggered via a network of different games, and some can be triggered via a network of casinos. If a jackpot is available across a network, it’s important to remember that only one person can win a jackpot at any time, which means there’s a harder chance of landing a networked jackpot.
Most jackpot slots will also offer three or four various sized jackpots, giving several players a chance to win life-changing sums. Alongside this, you can expect the same special features from video slots like Free Spins and Wild Symbols, and you can play jackpot slots based on various themes.
More recently, Slingo has grown in popularity. This unique game is a combination of slot games and bingo, combining elements from both games to create something brand new. In Slingo, players are required to match the numbers on their scorecard by spinning reels. However, users are only given a select number of spins to complete the game and spins can generate bad symbols which make it harder for you to land your required symbols. You can find out more about Slingo sites here, including game rules and more.
Slot Terms You Need To Understand
If you are interested in playing slots, there are some terms that you’re going to need to understand before playing as they’ll help you figure out what games are worth playing and which are not. Take a look below to get started.
Volatility is a term which describes the size and frequency of wins made on an online slot. For example, a slot with high volatility will award big wins at a low frequency while slots with low volatility will award frequent wins which are smaller in size.
Sadly, most online slots don’t publish their volatility which can make it difficult to discover which method you prefer. However, Wazdan, a popular game provider, has implemented a volatility feature in most of its slots, allowing players to change a game’s volatility to their preference. Discover more about Wazdan slots here as well as the developer’s unique special features.
RTP, known as Return to Player, is the percentage rate of wagered money that is paid back to a player over a long period of time. As we’re explained before, you cannot calculate the RTP of a slot to beat it and work out when exactly it’ll pay you. This is because the RTP generally informs you of your probability of making a win depending on all wagered money.
On the opposite side of this is the House Edge which is the casino’s chance of winning. Luckily for you, it’s easy to find a slot’s RTP rate as most slot developers publish the RTP of their slots on their websites and most RTP rates can be found by navigating towards a video slot’s paytable or its information section in-game. You can discover more about RTP and the best payout online casinos right here.
Finally, paylines is one of the most important terms you’ll need to learn before playing online slots. Most video slots and jackpot slots have a varying number of paylines which are used to determine winning combinations. This means that your combination of matching symbols must land on an active payline to make a win, but if they do not land on a payline you do not earn a win.
As previously explained, some online casino slots have done away with paylines and replaced them with a Cluster mechanic in which you must land a group of matching symbols to make wins.
Can You Play Online Slots For Free?
Generally speaking, there’s only one way of playing online slots for free; no deposit bonuses. These are special bonuses which can be credited to you without you having to make any deposit. These no deposit bonuses can either come in the form of bonus funds or spins, both of which can be used on slots and effectively allow you to play online slots for free. Some common no deposit bonuses include £10 no deposit bonus, £5 no deposit bonus, and free spins with no deposit bonus.
Unfortunately, these no deposit bonuses are now quite rare as most online casinos only offer deposit bonuses. If you are looking for a site which is offering a no deposit bonus, take a look at some suggestions below as well as links to our in-depth reviews:
- Wink Slots: 30 free spins with no deposit
- 32Red: £10 free with no deposit
- Pink Casino: £10 free with no deposit
- Mfortune: £10 free with no deposit
- LeoVegas: 20 free spins with no deposit
We do have to inform you that while these no deposit bonuses are great and provide you with a chance to play online slots for free, they may not be worth it. The reason for this is because no deposit bonuses tend to come with incredibly restrictive terms and conditions such as high wagering requirements and low maximum wins.
These restrictions can sometimes make it pointless to claim these bonuses as you may end up with nothing in the long-term. This is why it’s important to always read through the terms and conditions of a casino bonus to understand exactly what you’re getting and what you need to do for the bonus.
Other Promotions And Bonuses To Play Slots With
There are other casino bonuses which provide you with more funds or spins to use on video slots, although these generally all require a deposit for you to claim. Most online casinos offer a welcome bonus to new users who make a deposit and these bonuses usually come as funds or spins which can be used on video slots, giving you even more chances of making wins before having to use your own money.
Other promotions and bonuses which can provide you with more chances on video slots. Some online casinos offer no wager free spins bonuses which require a deposit but do not require you to wager your wins – this means you can keep everything you earn.
There are also slot tournament promotions available at most online casinos which allow you to play a tournament against other players on a select slot to win big prizes. Depending on the online casino, you’ll sometimes need to purchase tickets to enter these tournaments or win entry tickets by playing other slots. Regardless, entry tickets are usually redeemed for a select number of spins on the slot and you can win some big prizes if you’re lucky enough!
Where Can I Play Online Slots?
As already explained, one of the reasons these online casino games are so popular is because they’re widely available at most online casinos. You’ll be able to find video slots at most online casinos, as well as a selection of other titles too. If you’re looking to find an online casino offering a great selection of video slots, we suggest you check out some of the recommendations below:
- PlayOJO Casino: Over 3,000 casino games including video slots
- SlotsMillion: Over 2,000 video slots, no other casino games
- The Grand Ivy Casino: Over 1,500 casino games including video slots
- Fun Casino: Around 500 casino games including slots and more
- Mr Play: Offers hundreds of casino games like slots and a sports betting service
Those are just some of the online casinos we recommend you register with although there are plenty more. You find addiction suggestions at the top of this page, and even more online casino recommendations by checking out our list of the best casino sites in the UK.
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
Can you actually play online slots for free?
If you’re lucky enough to find an online casino offering a no deposit bonus, you’ll generally be able to play slots for free. However, most online casino bonuses require you to make deposits in order to successfully claim a bonus.
What are the best slot developers?
There are dozens of different casino game developers available right now, each of which creates unique new titles with fun gameplay and exciting special features. The most popular slot developers, however, are Microgaming, Big Time Gaming, Play’n GO, NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, and Blueprint Gaming. All of these are worth checking out if you haven’t done so already!
What casino sites offer free slots with bonuses?
There aren’t many online casinos offering free slots with bonuses, but we’ve put together a list of recommended casinos offering no deposit bonuses on this page. These bonuses will allow you to play for free since you aren’t required to deposit any money.
Why are online slots so popular?
Online slots are so incredibly popular now because they’re simple to understand and play, are widely available at online casinos, and are just fun to play! They also give you a great chance of winning big, particularly when you play jackpot slots!
What type of online slots should I play?
As we’ve explained here, there are several different types of online slots to enjoy. If you’re new to playing slots, we recommend you stick with the basic versions of slots until you understand how they work. From there, try out MegaWays slots or those with Cluster mechanics, or even try out jackpots to make bigger wins!