Gone are the days when playing slots merely involved putting a coin into the ‘one arm bandit’, pulling a lever and waiting to see if you’d won. Modern technology has completely revolutionized the game. High definition graphics, bright colours, exciting sounds and many new variations of play make online slots a must try.
Playing slots does not require any skill, experience or strategy, but delivers plenty of fun and could potentially win you big jackpots. If you’ve ever wanted to get into online slots, but don’t know how to, this article will run you through the basics of online slots to help you get started.
The History of Online Slots
Slot machines have been around since the late 19th century. The first slot machine as we know it today was invented by Charles Fay between 1887-1895. It was called the Liberty Bell. It was capable of automatic payouts and become very popular in bars and restaurants.
Despite an official ban on slot machines in 1902, the Liberty Bell evolved into the ‘fruit machines’ that featured fruit symbols in place of playing card symbols and paid out prizes in the form of sweets and chewing gum of corresponding flavour. These fruit machines were updated with video screens and the pulling lever was replaced by a button.
The rise of online slots came in the mid 90s with the development of the first online casinos. Early versions of the game were similar to real-life slot machines, using the same symbols and number of reels. Thanks to computer technology and creative developers, this quickly changed and now there are many new types of online slots games emerging, with captivating themes and imaginative layouts.
Playing Online Slots
The main objective of slots is to spin reels and have the symbols on the reels line up along Paylines. Slots differ in the numbers of reels, but the mode of play is basically always the same – players bet money before each spin and win money if they match up 3 or more of the same symbols. The amount of money won depends on a player’s initial bet and the value of the symbols.
Online Slots Terms Explained
- Paylines: These refers to winning lines that run across slots screens. Winning combinations must land on paylines in order to win the payout amount. You can bet on one or multiple paylines. The more paylines you bet on, the more chances you have at winning.
- Bonus Features: Slot machines may include extra features that enhance gameplay and give players additional ways to win more money. Bonus features often include extra spins, scatter symbols, wild symbols or bonus games.
- Free Spins: As the name suggests these are extra spins usually triggered by a bonus round. You don’t have to bet any money on free spins.
- Jackpot: The highest amount of winnings that a player can get.
- Paytable: A table or page showing payout amounts for different winning combinations. Here you will find information about the value of each symbol and the paylines available.
- Scatter: A symbol that can appear anywhere on the reels and activates a winning combination even if it’s not aligned on a payline. Scatter symbols often activate bonus features.
- Wild: A wild symbol allows you to substitute it for any other symbol (except the Scatter) to make a winning combination.
- Random Number Generator: Random Number Generators or RNG for short, are built into all online casinos. RNG ensures fair play by making sure slot spin results are completely random.
Variations of Online Slots
- 5 Reel Slots: These are also known as Video Slots and are the most common of online slots. They feature 5 reels and between 1-100 paylines.
- 3 Reel Slots: This type of slots is based on the classic Fruit Machine slots. They are the simplest form of slots with only 3 reels.
- Free Slots: Players will not need real money wagers on free slots. They’re a great way to familiarize yourself with online slots.
- MegaSpin Slots: This variation of slots takes the game to a whole new level. You can play up to 9 slots games simultaneously. Most mega spin slots use 3-reel slots.
- Progressive slots: Unlike normal slots which have a fixed jackpot, progressive slots have a progressive jackpot that grows as players within a region play that specific progressive slots game. Payouts here are huge.
- 3D slots: 3D slots are one of the newest forms of online slots. During play you interact with 3D animated characters. The game also has a narrative feel with a setting and storyline. .
- i-Slots: If you enjoy online MMO games, you might like to try i-slots. This new type of online slots allows players to develop their own storyline taking part in an adventure and spinning reels to advance in the game.
How to find good Online Slots Sites
With so many new slots casino sites in the UK today, choosing the right one for you can become overwhelming. Make sure to take these important factors into consideration before deciding on an online slots casino:
- Do your Research: Check sites reviews to see what other players have to say about your chosen site. Don’t forget to check if their customer support has good reviews too.
- Security: This is a key feature of any online casino. A good slots casino should have firewall protection and 128-bit SSL encryption to ensure maximum safety of your money and financial information.
- Sign up bonuses: finding a site that offers players sign up bonuses is actually quite easy. Online slot site need you to visit, you do not need to visit their sites so remember that your custom is valuable.
- Licensing & Regulation: Ensure that the online slots casino you are dealing with is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. Licensing and regulation ensure players get a fair chance of winning. Also check whether the casino site’s random number generator software has been certified by an independent certification body.
- Slots Variety: Choose to play at a casino offering a large selection of the latest slots games.
- Withdrawal/Deposit Options: Pick an online slots casino that provides all of the major withdrawal/deposit methods with quick processing times. Options should include credit cards, wire transfer, e-wallets and more.
- Mobile performance: Even if you don’t usually play on mobile devices, make sure the casino is making good effort to stay current and relevant by providing mobile slots apps or a mobile responsive website.