Whether it’s at a land-based casino or in a local pub – most of us have had a go at slot games before. These days, thanks to the number of online casinos in the space, you can have just as much fun playing your favourite slot titles without having to leave the house!
Here at New Casino Sites, we believe that trusted game developers, variety and transparent fees are essential when looking for the best slot games. In this guide, we cover everything from how slot games work to strategies, types, bonuses, and myths.
What are Slot Games and how do They Work?
Slot games are an entertaining pastime that involves placing a bet and relying on luck to get a cash prize. The machines these titles were housed in were often called ‘one-armed bandits – because of the heavy lever used to kick-start the game.
The goal is usually to match a row of symbols – traditionally fruit and bars.
Firstly, to guarantee a fair experience for all players – every title has RNG (random number generator) software. This cuts out the concern about so-called ‘fixed spins’ on slot games.
The vast majority of slot games include a:
- Reel: There are usually between 3 and 5 reels on each slot game and each contains a vertical line of between 3 and 5 symbols.
- Payline: This is often referred to as a ‘winning line’ and will form an arrangement of symbols that will bag you a prize. These days you will find that a slot game can contain anywhere from 1 to over 100,000+ paylines!
- Wild Symbol: The wild, or joker/scatter symbol, will transform into something else to trigger a win. For instance, if you get – bell, bell, wild symbol, bell – the wild can become a bell to give you a payout, or just offer you a bonus of some sort.
- Free Spins: Many slot games offer players free spins. This doesn’t affect your balance and may just provide you with some more bonuses, wild symbols or multipliers.
Nowadays, many of us choose to play slot games online – the prizes are often more generous and you don’t have to get dressed or pay for an Uber to your nearest casino! The online version of this popular casino game is much the same as the one-armed bandit we mentioned – at least in terms of gameplay.
Slot Games Guide: Different Variants
As with anything popular, there are now heaps of different variants of slot games to play.
We have listed just some of them below:
- Progressive Jackpot: As its namesake suggests, a progressive jackpot slot prize gets bigger and bigger until someone wins it. Each player who spins the reels is contributing to the bigger prize pot. As such, the more people playing, the higher the prize gets.
- Mobile: The best slot game designers in the industry ensure that your playing experience is as immersive and fun on your mobile phone as it is on your desktop.
- Multiplayer: Community slot games will usually see you playing elements of the session on your own and then joining other players for bonus rounds with optional interaction. This is a little bit like a chat room. There are also tournaments that involve playing against lots of other players. This can continue for anywhere from 10 minutes to months.
- Multi Payline: As we mentioned, unlike traditional slot games that only had 1 payline, some titles now offer anywhere up to 100,000+. The higher the number of paylines it has – the less payouts you will get on each line – generally speaking.
- Different Reels: Traditional slot games only had 3 reels, with around 15-20 symbols to try to match. There are now varieties with 5, 10 and more.
- Penny Slots: A penny slot game is one where the cost you pay for a payline is a penny, or lower in some cases. For instance, you might see a penny slot that requires a minimum of £0.05 – which is because there are 5 paylines and all must be wagered on.
As you can see, you won’t be short of options when looking for slot games to play. On top of this, you will also find themed titles such as history, bands, movies, books, TV, travel, and almost anything you can think of. Each will have varying bonuses and such.
Slot Games Strategies
Although slot games are not about logic and rely purely on luck – people still adopt strategies to stay on track, albeit financially.
You will see below some tried and tested slot game strategies:
- Practice bankroll management: Set yourself a budget and never go above it. For instance, you might never bet more than 2% of your casino account balance on any one game. Alternatively, with each new game, consider what you can realistically afford to lose in the name of fun – and stop at that point. All players make a loss at some time, so the important thing is to not risk more than your budget allows.
- Try small stakes: We mentioned bankroll management there, so you might also try and make your casino budget last longer by playing penny slot games with small minimum bets. Additionally, you could try a slot game with 5 paylines or fewer. Remember though, the higher the minimum denomination is, the more impressive the prize usually is.
- Join A VIP or loyalty casino scheme: This is usually free or low cost and can get you access to special bonuses, prizes, free spins, multipliers and more. You will probably gather points as you go, and be able to swap this for bonus money to spend at the platform, cash prizes, or coupons.
- If you are playing short-odds – avoid progressive jackpots: They say that unless you are a long-odds slots player, you are unlikely to gain any advantage from playing progressive slots. For instance, you can quickly and easily drain your casino budget by staying in a game for longer than you should, hoping for a chance at that ever-growing prize. However, if you can’t afford to keep playing for the entirety of the game, then you are essentially putting money into someone else’s lucky win.
- Try slot games for free: Some of the best online casinos offer free demo versions of the most popular slot games. This can be a fun yet risk-free way to try out new variants such as a higher number of reels, or perhaps a different theme. Again the best place to do this is via respected casino providers – of which there are many.
None of the aforementioned strategies is guaranteed to increase your odds of winning, and most revolve around being careful with your gambling bankroll. What works for you will depend on various factors such as how much you are prepared to stake, and how much time you have to play.
Slot Games Bonuses
There are tons of different bonus types to get your hands on when playing slot games online. In the name of simplicity, we have listed the most commonly seen below, with a brief explanation of each.
- Cashable slot bonus: Once you meet the wagering requirements set out by the casino, you can withdraw it as real cash (rather than to bonus funds that must be spent on games).
- Sticky slot bonus: You will not be able to withdraw this type of bonus no matter how much you are able to wager. Different variants of this include what’s known as the ‘phantom’ sticky bonus. It will be added to your deposit and you can use it to play slot games. If you request a withdrawal – the bonus is removed from your casino account balance. Sticky bonuses are usually higher than non-sticky and can offer as much as 400% on your initial deposit.
- Non-sticky slot bonus: As you may have guessed, a non-sticky bonus plus any winnings you receive from it can be withdrawn from your casino balance! Crucially, this type of bonus doesn’t usually have wagering requirements attached. Many people call this a ‘lifeline’. Each online casino will differ, so always check the all-important terms and conditions.
- Free spins slot bonus: Rather than using real money to play your favourite titles, this type of bonus allows you to have a whirl on slot games for free. The tendency is for casinos to pay winnings for this type of bonus in actual money. You will find no deposit free spins, where you can play before funding your account. There are also no wager bonuses, where you don’t need to meet a minimum rollover requirement.
We at New Casino Sites can’t stress enough the importance of checking the terms of slot game bonuses. This should be done before getting excited and signing up. After all, you might find that although the promotion is impressive – you would never be able to wager that amount within the time specified!
3 Slot Games Myths Debunked
There are some popular misconceptions about slot games that we are going to clear up right now!
- Myth 1:Online slots are more addictive than land-based – If anything – the opposite could be true. Online casinos must find out who you are and will have a record of how much and how often you play. Furthermore, many online platforms support safe gambling limits and will enable you to set restrictions on the time you play slot games – and how much you are able to wager.
- Myth 2: Slot games are rigged – It is simply not the case that slot machines are rigged. Ever since the 1950’s the majority of slot machines, both on land and online, have been fitted with the aforementioned RNG technology. This microchip invents millions of different mathematical sequences that are transcribed into a spin that is truly random every time. Furthermore, all games are tested for fairness by an approved and regulated testing house.
- Myth 3: Online casinos don’t honour promised bonuses – There are shady casinos that don’t have the player’s best interests at heart – luring people in with the promise of huge prizes. The way to avoid this is to only sign up with licensed and respected casinos – and always read the promotion’s small print. As is often the case, player’s don’t read the rules surrounding the bonus they receive and come unstuck. For this reason – it’s crucial to check the wagering requirements to make sure you are capable of meeting them and that there isn’t a maximum deposit and such.
Whilst all games are random and thoroughly tested, the higher the RTP is the higher your odds are of winning. Whatever slot games you decide to take for a spin, the chances are you won’t be short of promotional offers and free spins!
Slot Games Guide: Conclusion
There you have it. We’ve taken you on a journey through the basics of slot games. This includes the different variants you can play, bonuses you might be offered and a few strategies along the way.
For instance, some people stick like glue to the most sought-after and heavily advertised games, thinking the payout will be better. However, the payout percentage has nothing to do with how much of a crowd-pleaser the title is, so the popular option isn’t always the best.
With that said, the payout might not be your main concern, as some players just look for a specific game developer, or are looking for a particular bonus type or theme. You might also look at details like volatility, RTP, odds and so forth to narrow down your search.