What are online slots and how do you play them? Are there differences between real and virtual slots? First, I want to start by telling you a little about my personal experience with online slots. After that, I will answer these questions about best online slots for real money in as much detail as possible.
I am what some would call an online gambling convert, and I became a self-proclaimed expert in online slots after winning high prizes, and even a couple of online jackpots. My passion for gambling, specifically for playing slot machines, was sparked at the age of 26 when I first entered a Las Vegas casino. The glowing and flashing images, as well as jingling sounds of real slots, left me with my eyes wide open. I was enamored by the swirling reels and that special sound of the coins falling out of the machines. When I won for the first time, I couldn’t believe the thrill I felt! However, I made the switch to online slots fairly recently because I had some negative experiences with real slot machines, and I saw that virtual slots actually offered a lot more advantages. Yes, they do eliminate the physical element of actually playing the machines, but they offer higher winning chances in addition to some insanely good game designs that you will never find in real slots.
Why I Learned to Play Online Slots
In Las Vegas, I loved how the slots looked and was fascinated when I won. However, I wasn’t able to win a lot of money, and my prizes would only cover my investment each time I played. It took some time before a colleague of mine suggested I should try playing online if I wanted to score big. Bear in mind, this was in the early 2000s, and I was sort of skeptical, thinking I would get some computer viruses or get scammed big time. On top of that, I was a little nervous when it came to actually learning how to play online. I thought, what if I make a mistake and lose a lot of money?
However, when I tried some online slots, my experience was the complete opposite: I picked a good and reputable casino for US players and quickly found out that learning how to play slots wasn’t difficult at all.
How to Play Online Slots
There are many different varieties of online slots. However, they generally have the same rules. The basic concept is the same, like with real slot machines if you’ve ever played one. First, you insert coins, place bets on paylines, and then pull the lever to make the reels spin. When you get a combination of the same symbols or another winning pattern specified by the game, then you win. In online slots, all this is done on your computer.
When you want to play online for real money, you have to register on a good casino site and then choose a slot game. If you don’t want to spend real funds, some casinos offer their slots in free mode so that you can test the games. That’s what I did before playing with real money, and it helped me to get a good grip on online slots. However, something you have to know is that most online casinos don’t feature their own games — they use games provided by respected and reputable software developers. Among the best developers for slots are RealTime Gaming, Rival, or Betsoft. Also, if you are wondering about how to play slots, I will explain this simple process in more detail.
How to Start
When you finish with the sign-up process, simply go to the “Game” section of any casino website, and you will see a variety of slot games in the “Slots” section. Click on one to open it, and you will see the main screen — a virtual representation of the slot. You will see that the interface (buttons for spin, betting, and other controls) is very similar, if not identical to real slots. However, there are some differences.
Online slots are animated, and most of them offer great visuals — you will immediately notice that when you start to play. For example, a popular slot game named Mega Moolah has some cheery animations of animals that can pop up on the reels. Moreover, what I found out when I played online slots was that they look even better than actual slot machines. Game developers can create games based on many themes, like aquatic, nature, movie, pirate, space, etc., and the animated game symbols can look much better than in real life. Crisp animation and fast gameplay of online slots can enable you to play and entertain yourself for hours from the comfort of your own home.
So let’s say you’ve selected your game, and it’s time to start playing. When you play slots for real money, first, you have to pay attention to how many reels and paylines your game offers: this number might be a little different than average slots in real casinos.
What you need to do is select how much money you want to bet (usually indicated by the arrow buttons and a number that shows you the amount you wagered). When you do that, you also have to choose the number of paylines you wish to bet on by clicking on them. Afterward, you can press spin and watch as your luck unfolds. Paylines, winning combinations, and other details about the rules can be complicated to explain in one sentence, so that’s why I’ve touched upon them individually in the following sections.
How do you use paylines in online slots? Paylines are a key part of the game. When you bet on one or more, you are essentially selecting the lines where you can get winning combinations and win money.
The number of paylines can vary on many online slots, and games can have even 20 to 50 of them, or even more. You can bet on all of them or on just one. When you bet on one payline, the winning combo has to run straight on that line (e.g., 5 of the same game symbols). If you bet across multiple lines, you can score the game symbols in zig-zag patterns or diagonally. However, some online slots like Asgard by RTG don’t have paylines but instead always pay out — but only if a winning match pops up anywhere on the screen.
When you place a bet on the paylines, you are essentially inserting virtual coins. Each coin can have a minimum and a maximum value. For example, for most slots, you can bet $0.1 to $5 per line. When you multiply that number by the total of paylines, you get the maximum bet amount on a slot. In the previous example, that would be $125 for a bet of $5 on all 25 paylines. Now, let’s see how you can win.
Game Symbols, Wilds, and Scatters
To win at slots, you need to get a certain combination of game symbols that is specified in the paytable. The table (usually shown in the “Help” section) will display how many of the same game symbols you need to get in order to win a prize. For example, if you win 5 boat symbols in RTG’s Loch Ness Loot, you will win a prize of 2,000 coins. Moreover, most slots have wild symbols and scatters, which can lead to even bigger prizes. Here’s a short explanation of the main game symbols:
- Game symbols: these are the symbols that can help you get winning combinations. They can be major and minor symbols — majors are usually icons and illustrations and minors are usually card names or letters.
- Wild Symbol: this is usually an illustrated symbol, and it works as a substitute for any of the symbols in a winning match.
- Scatters: these symbols can appear anywhere on the reels, and they unlock some additional features of the slot, like bonus features or free spins. When you win scatters, they will be multiplied by your total bet.
Return to Player
When you play slots, it’s important to pick a game with the highest RTP percentage to get good chances of winning. To put it simply, if the RTP is 97%, you have the opportunity to win back 97% of your bets over a period of time.
In terms of winning a lot of money, every game has different prizes, which are specified in the paytable. I would advise you to focus on getting the highest winning combination and also to use wilds and scatters to your advantage. Multipliers might be the best way to get a big amount of money. In short, when you get a x2, x3 or any other multiplier, your total prize will be very high. Some slots offer even 20x or more multipliers. In most cases, multipliers also work during free spins and can lead to big winnings.
Another amazing feature of online slots is the progressive jackpot. This jackpot can be won randomly every time you finish a game. Whenever someone plays a round, the jackpot will increase. Sometimes, slots can feature multiple progressive jackpots. If you hit one of these jackpots, you could win an entire fortune.
I want to provide you with a quick step-by-step recap of playing online slots:
- Choose an online casino, sign up, and pick a banking method.
- Choose a slot game.
- Place a bet on the available paylines.
- Click spin and watch the action unfold.
Playing online slots is very easy, and it doesn’t require you to think or to have a complicated strategy. Online slots have higher RTP rates than slot machines in real casinos, so you have the chance to win very big prizes. Whenever I play, I try to bet a minimum amount on all paylines, which allows me to play for a long time and gives me higher chances of winning. I hope this secret tip will work for you too and hopefully, this simple guide to online slots has explained everything you need to know before you start playing. Have fun, and try some online slots!