If there’s a shortlist of the popular online casino games that truly defines the online casino industry, then online slots will definitely land on top of the list. With titles like Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, Dead or Alive, Thunderstruck, Hulk, and At The Copa from respected software providers like Netent, Betsoft and Microgaming, casino entertainment has become exciting, lucrative and truly memorable. In fact, these instant win games have become the main drivers of growth for most online casinos. As long as these casino games are hosted on the platform, casino players and enthusiasts form a beeline to sign up for an account and explore the games for free and real money mode. There are a number of reasons that explain the popularity of slots, but all these lead to a few critical features- ease of gameplay, variety in terms of themes and designs and profitability when the right games are played. Today, no popular online casino is complete without a solid portfolio of slot games offering instant winnings, massive jackpots and an exciting online entertainment.
Learn How to Play Online Slots
Before online slots changed the way online casino games are played, these games were seen in casino floors, in brick-and-mortar casinos. These are often seen as colorful and noisy presences on the casino floor, available in different themes. Known as ‘one-armed bandits’, the slot machines are the favorites of casino players since these only require pennies to play, but can deliver massive winnings. With the popularity of the internet, slot machines made its way online, and were designed in various reel configurations and paylines. At first, the online casinos were dominated by 3-reel slots which were called classic slots. For these games, the symbols used were the traditional bells, fruits and the number 7s. With the subsequent changes in technologies and changing player needs, slot games have changed, featuring a larger number of reels and paylines. Five-reel slots have become the norm, slots with different paylines have been introduced and novel games like 3D and progressive slots have been introduced to the gaming public. And to ensure that all outcomes of spins are at random, games are powered by a Random Number Generator (RNG).
Whatever the design or slots type, the gameplay remains the same. To play online slots, players will first set the wager, and identify the number of paylines. In terms of the betting range accepted, slot games are categorized as ‘low variance games’ and ‘high variance games’. Low variance slot games will have a betting range that starts at $0.01 per line, and high variance games may start at $0.50. Next, choose the number of coins that will be played in every line. Usually, a player can choose from 1 to 10 coins for every line. After this step, identify the number of paylines to be played. If a slot game features 25 paylines and betting ranges from a low $0.01 to $1.00, it means that you can play a coin at $0.01 for a single payline, and a bet for the same amount. For high-stakes players, the bet can be increased to a maximum of $1.00 a coin, covering all lines. This means that the player of the game will spend $250 for every spin.
Once the wager and number of paylines have been set, then a player will have to click ‘Spin’ to start the game. The objective of the game is simple- just match at least 3 similar symbols to win in the game.
Wilds, Scatters and Bonus Symbols
Now, the type of winnings can be earned will depend on the symbols that have been matched. In slots, it pays to know and understand the symbols since different symbols have different values. Some of the popular symbols used on these games are low-paying symbols, high-paying symbols, wilds, scatters and bonus symbols. The combination of these symbols will deliver different types of winnings, culminating with scatters, wilds and bonus symbols that can deliver progressive jackpots.
- Low-paying and high-paying symbols. These are the regular symbols included in slot games, and combining at least three symbols will earn coin credits.
- Scatters. These are specialized symbols that can be used to unlock a number of bonus rounds and features on the slot game, including the free spins mode. In most online slots, the free spins mode can be be activated if the player can match at least 3 scatters. The number of free games earned varies, but normally starts with 10 free games.
- Wilds. Wild symbols are critical items on the reels as these can replace other symbols of the game to come up with more winning combinations. The design of the wilds will depend on the theme of the game. In many classic and video slots, these are represented by the word ‘Wilds’. In many themed video and 3D slots, the wilds are represented by images that relate to the theme. Today, wilds come in many types depending on the slot game and the software designer or provider. Players can now check out stacked, sticky, multiplier, giant, random and expanding wilds.
Bonus Rounds and Extra Features in Online Slots
Although the popular way to earn instant winnings in slots is by matching 3 similar symbols, modern slot games are also known for its bonus rounds and other extra features that promise improved winnings. As soon as the high-paying symbols, scatters and wilds start appearing on the reels, bonus rounds and extra features are activated, which can boost winnings, and give players a chance to with the biggest prizes, including the progressive jackpots.
- Free Spins Bonus Round. By far, this is considered the most popular, and highly sought-after feature of a slot game. This can be activated by matching at least 3 scatters on the reels, and the lucky player can win from 5 to 50 free games. Depending on the design of the game, free spins can be re-triggered. Game of Thrones by Microgaming and a number of popular titles from Netent are known for its exciting free spins feature.
- Gamble Mode. This is one of the most popular features in an online slot game which gives the players a chance to double his winnings. The most popular variant of this feature gives players the opportunity to predict the suit of the card or a color, whether red or black. If the pick is right, the winnings are doubled. If the choice is wrong, then all winnings earned are gone, hence the term.
- Click Me Feature/Random Win. These are often triggered by landing at least three scatters on the reels. The symbols/icons will then turn into mystery symbols that will contains prizes and instant winnings. The player simply selects or picks a few of these to reveal the prizes. This is a fun and popular feature in Royal Reels by Betsoft.
- Pick Me Bonus. Similar to the Click Me feature of most slot games, Pick Me Bonus can be activated by landing three bonus symbols on the reels. Once activated, the player is given access to the second screen, where he is shown a list of 8 to 12 objects, and these objects contain a number of prizes that includes coin credits,free spins and in-game multiplier. The player is asked to pick a few of these objects, and the prizes will be revealed in an instant.
Tips on How to Win Big With Online Slots
While these games are easy to play and treat for the senses, players should still take a few tips and strategies seriously. Primarily, slot games are casino games that are designed to offer players with memorable winnings and massive jackpots, so it’s only best that one should maximize its full potential. To fully realize the full potential of the game, here are some recommendations on how players can win big, in a memorable way.
- Play the free demo version of the game. Most slot games are playable in both the free mode and real money version. If you are a beginner or you want to know more about a slot game, then it’s highly recommended that you try it for a few games. Free demo versions of slots allow players to explore the gameplay and features without the risk. Playing free demo games also allow players to pass time in an exciting manner.
- Bet on max when playing progressive slots. When it comes to the promise of massive winnings and record jackpots, the best games to try are the progressive slot games. Compared to other slots, progressive slots offers a larger jackpot that grows in size each time no winner is recorded. It’s now common for top progressive jackpot games like Mega Moolah and Gladiator to offer millions of dollars as the jackpot. To be eligible for the jackpot, one must the maximum amount.
- Know the paytable. As an informed online slots player, it’s best that you are armed with knowledge, knowing which games offer the best prizes, combos and bonus features. The paytable can be accessed by checking the ‘Settings’, or by searching for the game’s paytable using a search engine.
There are reasons why online slot games are well-loved online. If you are into an exciting and memorable casino experience with great opportunities to win big, then these are the best games to play. Available in multiple reel configurations, themes and styles, you can surely find a specific slot game that can suit your gaming lifestyle.