How to play online casino slots. All you need to know about slots

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Daniel C. White
28.02.2021

Initially, slots were very primitive, like some of the classic models that are available today. However, the situation has changed with time. It is no longer three reels, one payline and a couple of buttons. Playing slot machines has become much more fun thanks to extra functions and opportunities. This article will teach you how to properly play slots in a casino.

How to play strategy slots properly?

No strategies can be used when playing slots. This is not the kind of entertainment where you can somehow influence the result, which means that strategies are useless. Strategies are just part of the fun, nothing more. There will be no need for lessons on how to properly play casino slots either. Everything is extremely simple, because you are trying your luck rather than making money. The player chooses a bet and presses the start button, the rest depends on luck.

Online slots may seem a bit confusing when you face them for the first time. However, the beauty of such games is that you don’t even need to know what a certain function or a special symbol mean. Once the reels stop, the slot will show you whether you won or not. Understanding the terms and definitions will come with time.

Please note that players generally get less in winnings than they spend on bets. Little by little, players can always win in slots, but it takes a lot of luck to win a decent amount.

How to bet on slots in a casino properly?

How to play online casino slots

To do this, let us examine the main elements of the slot machine.

Slot symbols

Symbols are images that spin vertically. Each symbol has a different value. As a rule, the more rarely you see the image, the higher payouts it offers.

Slot Paylines

Paylines are a sample for how winning combinations should line up on the reels. However, there are some slots that don’t have traditional paylines: for example, Aloha! Cluster Pays, Finn and the Swirly Spin from NetEnt or Cloud Quest and Viking Runecraft from Play’n GO.

As a rule, identical symbols must line up on adjacent reels from left to right.

Slot Reels

Reels are vertically spinning rows of symbols. When reels stop, random symbols appear on the screen. Classic slots usually have 3 reels, while most modern ones have 5 of them.

Spin/Start button

Spin/Start is the button you press to get the reels rolling. The Autospin button allows to automatically get the reels rolling a certain number of times or until the player loses/wins a certain amount, or the bonus game starts.

Coin Value and Bet Level buttons

There are also Coin Value and Bet Level buttons. They adjust how much you play for per spin.

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Paytable explains the details of the game, how to place bets properly in this casino slot, what winnings can be, how they are paid out, bonuses, paylines and more.

Winnings in slot machines

To win, you need identical symbols to fall on the reels in a certain order. The entire line does not have to be filled with the same symbols. Three identical images are usually enough to get the minimum prize. However, the winnings will be less in this case.

Win left to right. This means you’re winning by collecting identical symbols in a row from left to right. There are many slots with such paylines – for example, in Hotline.

Win both ways: both left to right and right to left. This means that you can win by collecting identical symbols in a row from both left and right. Wonky Wabbits is this type of a slot.

The number of lines has varied from 20 to 50 for a long time, before Immortal Romance appeared in 2011 – the first slot to feature 243 winning combinations without the requirement for the symbols to line up in a specific order.

Thanks to this breakthrough, you can now find slots with up to 7,776 winning combinations, such as Kaiju from ELK Studios or Phoenix Sun from Quickspin. However, Laser Fruit slot from Red Tiger Gaming with its 60,466,176 winning combinations thanks to increasing the number of reels is the absolute record holder.

Feature symbols in slots

Wild symbols

Wild symbols replace most other symbols, usually except the bonus and scatter symbols. That is, if you get a wild symbol inserted between two sevens, you will win as with three identical symbols. Example of such a slot machine: Reel Rush

Expanding Wilds

In addition to the regular Wilds, there are Expanding Wilds, which do not just replace, but can expand, taking up more space on the reel. Example of such a slot machine: Starburst

Stacked Wilds

Stacked Wilds can appear not one by one, but two or several stacked on the same reel. Example: Wild Turkey

Walking Wild symbols

Walking Wild symbols move with each spin without disappearing from the playing field. Example: The Invisible Man

Other feature symbols

Except for Wilds, there are a lot of other different symbols with special features.

Scatter symbols

Scatter symbols can be found in almost any modern slot. These are symbols for which the position on the reels is not important, only their number. Imagine two scatters fell on the first reel, and the third fell on the fifth reel. The player will still win as with three scatter symbols – usually a small cash prize and a bonus round, or free spins. Slot with Scatters: Piggy Riches

Colossal symbols

Colossal symbols are a relatively new trend. Symbols may appear on the reels that occupy a block of cells rather than just one cell. For example, a colossal 4×4 symbol will occupy 4 rows on 4 reels. Examples of a slot with such symbols: Spinata Grande from NetEnt or Gem Rocks from Yggdrasil Gaming

Bonus game symbols

Bonus game symbols. The bonus game symbols differ from slot to slot, and they are often Scatter symbols, but can be a separate symbol as well. They trigger different bonus games that can be described as “a game within the game”, in which players have the chance to win extra huge prizes. Example: Planet of the Apes contains several bonus games.

Game features in slot machines

Gamble feature allows players to multiply the winnings that they receive on a particular spin. It’s usually activated by allowing the player to guess the correct color of the cards. If the player guesses right, their winnings are doubled; if wrong, they lose the money. There are also other options of the gamble feature – for example, when you need to guess one of the four card suites for increasing the winnings four-fold. The most interesting variation may be presented in the Microgaming slots of the Untamed series, where you can adjust your chances of winning and the size of your winnings.

Respin is an additional spin, helping you complete winning combinations. Example: Stickers slot

Avalanche feature, also known as Cascading Reels, is when new symbols do not spin on the reels, but rather fall down. The winning symbols disappear, causing symbols from higher up on the reels to fall down into their place to win more. In this case, the player does not risk any additional credits. This feature is available in Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt.

Multipliers simply multiply your winnings. For example, a 2x multiplier means that your payout will double.

Free spins are usually triggered by three Scatters, but sometimes in other ways. The player will not pay for a certain number of spins, while the winnings will be real. Additional features are often activated during free spins. Example: South Park

What are the criteria for evaluating the slot generosity?

Hit frequency: the more often the slot machine pays out, the less the wins are. The less often prize combinations fall out, the larger the wins are.

RTP is an overall percentage that a slot gives back to all its players. The theoretical return is usually 90–99%.

Volatility measures the size of the winnings. Low volatility slots will give you lots of little payouts often, whereas slot machines with high volatility work the other way around.