Online slots are by far the most popular casino games online. It’s the same story in Las Vegas—the typical casino has seas of slot machines on its gaming floors. Why do gamblers love these games so much?
For starters, they’re conspicuous. Slots have colorful graphics, melodious soundtracks and whirring reels that make them standout from poker and blackjack. Secondly, slots are easy to play. Yet, you can win a lot of money on your lucky day.
In this guide, we’ll tell you more about slots: what you ought to know and helpful tips to help you win.
#1: No Two Slots are Created Equal
The first thing you should know about slot games that pay real money is that they can be incredibly different. Even when these games come from the same software company, there are always some differences:
- Bonus Features
- Type of Slots
Some slots are based on Greek Mythology. Others are inspired by ancient Egypt, sports, TV shows or sports. These games also differ in their payouts—the RTP varies from 90% to 99%.
Owing to that backdrop, you want to select slot machines carefully. Look for games based on themes you love. Ensure they have high RTPs to increase your chances of winning. Then look for more features like wilds and scatters.
#2: Types of Slots
Slots have been evolving ever since the industry started. In the early days, slots were simple and bland. They had dated graphics, repetitive gameplays and low payouts. Today, this first generation of slots is known as classic slots.
Over time, more slot types have launched. There are video slots: these games have modern visuals, dynamic themes, immersive gameplays and tons of features. Examples include Money Train 2, Starburst and Book of Dead.
Then there are progressive jackpots. These games resemble video slots except in two ways: lower payouts and progressive jackpots. Progressive slots have lower payouts to reduce the number of people who can win huge jackpots.
If you’re one of the lucky people who trigger a progressive jackpot, you could win millions of dollars. A case in point is John Heywood, a British ex-soldier who won over €17m in 2015.
Progressive slots aside, there’s one more type of pokies you ought to know: Megaways. These games have an engine that modifies the reels to produce new symbols with every slot.
The result is that there are thousands of ways to win. But the chances of winning reduce. Examples of great Megaways slots include White Rabbit, Buffalo Rising, and Queen of Riches.
#3: Slot Features
If you want to win more often at slots, learn how to select games with the right features. We’re talking about scatters, wilds, multipliers, avalanche reels, free spins and jackpots.
- Free Spins: this feature helps you play a slot without using your betting money. You earn free spins in a slot by activating a different symbol like scatters or the bonus round.
- Wild Symbol: this feature replaces every other symbol on the reels with a specific icon to increase your chances of winning.
- Scatter Symbol: when you trigger 3-5 scatters, you may activate free spins or a real money win.
- Multiplier: this feature multiplies your winnings x5, 50x or x5000.
- Expanding reels: the reels expand to accommodate more symbols, thereby increasing your chances of winning.
- Pays both Ways: conventionally, you win if symbols align from left to right. If a slot pays both ways, you win even if the symbols align from right to left.
A slot with the features mentioned above is more likely to be entertaining than a game without. Also, it will probably trigger free spins and real money winnings—the exact reason we play slots.
#4: Slot Bonuses
Now that you know what you should look for in a slot, let’s talk about one thing you should look for in an online casino: bonuses. They’re like free shopping freebies expect you can use you bonus to win more money.
Casinos provide a wide range of slot bonuses:
- No deposit free spins
- First deposit free spins
- Loyalty program slot bonuses
- VIP free spins
- Reload bonuses
Find the best slot bonuses and use them to play your favorite games. Keep in mind every casino has rules on how you should use its bonuses. For example, no deposit free spins require that you play slots the casino has selected for you.
The casino may choose Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest or Book of Dead and Money Train. That’s alright because these slots are awesome. However, also look at other important features like wager requirements, withdrawal limits and game weighting.
#5: Volatility in Slots
Also known as variance, volatility shows you how often a game triggers payouts. A low variance slot activates winning symbols regularly. But there’s a catch. These games pay up in small amounts.
Take Mega Joker by NetEnt as an example. It has a 99% RTP, meaning it’s a must-play slot. It has scatters, multipliers and wilds. Yet, most slots payout small amounts.
On the opposite end of low variance slot is the high-volatility games. All megaways are high-variance, meaning they have long dry spells. But if you trigger winning symbols, you walk away with a lot of money.
In between high and low variance is a category of slots that will appeal to most players. Medium volatility slots offer the perfect blend of decent winnings and frequent payouts. Most top-rated slots fall into this category.
#6: Budgeting and Strategy
So far, we’ve been talking about what you should to become a better slot player. But here’s something you shouldn’t do—playing slots without a budget or strategy.
Without a budget, you can easily overspend your money. And if you overspend on slots, you can lose more than you win. Likewise, you need a strategy to help you select the best games.
A good slot strategy is based on game features—RTP, wilds, scatters, paylines and gameplay. It’s also determined by your goals. Do you want to win a lot of money? Play progressive slots. Want to increase your chances of winning? Try out video slots.