Want to Try Your Hand at Casino Online Slots? First Read our Helpful Guide
In the world of gambling games, slots are a relative newcomer. Games such blackjack, Sic Bo and craps have been around for much longer and have a far more interesting history behind them. Slots are one of the most, if not possibly the most popular online casino game and are played by millions of people every day. Why are casino slots online so popular? It may be something to do with the fact they have become so familiar. Many of you will be able to remember the one-armed bandits or fruit machines from your youth. It could be that the fact it’s so easy to play has made it so popular.
Where do online casino slots come from?
We’ve got America to thank for the slot machine as it was an invention of Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York in 1891. It was a gambling machine based on the game of poker. The machine contained five drums that held a total of 50 card faces. It proved to be a very popular game and was soon to be found in many Brooklyn bars. Players had to insert a nickel into a slot (hence the name slots), and pull a lever that would spin the drums. The aim was for a player to get a good poker hand when the drums stopped spinning. Players wouldn’t get a payout directly and the prizes were dependant on what was on offer at the local establishment. It could be a free beer, a pack of cigars or a round of drinks. The house was able to better the odds by removing the ten of spades and the jack of hearts from the deck, thereby doubling the odds against a player winning a royal flush. It was also possible for the drums to be rearranged to further reduce a player’s chance of winning. The next step in the history of slots came when Charles Fey of San Francisco, California devised a simpler automatic mechanism that only had three spinning reels and total of five symbols, horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell. This last symbol gave the machine its name, The Liberty Bell. The simplicity of the machine meant that an effective automatic payout mechanism could be included. The gambling devices were banned in California after just a few years but there was still plenty of demand elsewhere. By the early 1900’s there were various versions of this machine in most cigar stores, bowling alleys, barber shops, saloons and brothels. Skip forward to 1963 and the first fully electromechanical slot machine was developed. This was the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper and automatic payout of up to 500 coins, without the need for human intervention. Next came the video slot machine in 1976. With the final piece of the puzzle falling into place with the introduction of online casino slots.
How to play casino slots online
Things have moved on in a big way for the humble slots game and it’s now possible to play online casino slots that are far more complex than the games of old that had just a few reels and one payline. Slots casino games nowadays have 3 or 5 reels and multiple paylines, some as many as 1,000. The games are much the same as they’ve always been with just a few minor differences.
First check the payout table
Before you start playing you need to check the payout table so you can find out as much as possible about the game. Because not all slots casino games online are exactly the same. There will always be a paytable and generally an ‘info’ button you can click on that will bring up the game information in a separate screen. You’ll be able to find out the various payouts you can receive for certain combinations of symbols. There will be a list of all the different symbols you can find in the game and whether you can expect there to be bonus rounds. You’ll also find a figure known as the payout or Return to Player (RTP) percentage.
Next set your paylines and the size of your wagers
When you play the best casino slots online you’re given the opportunity to set the size of your wagers and how many paylines you want to play. Bets can be as low as $0.01 per line., and these games are obviously aimed at those with a much smaller budget. Once you’ve decided on the size of your bet you then have to decide how many coins per line, anything from 1 to 10 is generally the norm. Then you pick the paylines you want to play and click on them down the side of the gamescreen. Some of the slots games will have fixed paylines so you might want to check whether this is the case. When you set your paylines and your wagers all you have left to do is to click on the spin button and then wait for the spinning wheels to come to rest. If you’ve got a winning combination in your chosen paylines you’ll be automatically paid out.
Paying symbols are usually in a line from left to right
It’s usual for the paying symbols to fall in a line running from left to right, but if you’re playing video slots be aware that it’s slightly different. There are special images or symbols that will lead to bigger prizes. A Wild Symbol, for example, can be substituted for regular symbols and lead to a winning combination. They can also have a multiplier attached to them meaning your prize could be doubled, possibly even trebled. Scatter symbols are also included and these pay out if two or more are hit in any of the reels. Three or more Scatters may well trigger a bonus round.
What is a bonus round?
Play at the best online casino for slots and you may well trigger a bonus round, for example, if you hit three or more Scatter symbols. The bonus round is usually a free spin, but it could be anything from 3 to 50, depending on what is decided by the computer software. If you hit three more Scatters you can get a bonus round all over again.
Another type of bonus is called a Pick’em bonus which can also occur when you hit three scatters. You get the option of choosing from a selection of symbols, all of which will have their own prize or multiplier. There’s also a Click Me Bonus that can be triggered when three bonus symbols appear. You get to choose from three icons and reveal your prize. There are a selection of other bonuses that can be offered but you’ll need to check with the slots online casino to see which ones are relevant.
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Different type of games you can play at an online slots casino
There are a wide variety of different types of slots you can play. We’ll introduce you to the most popular.
- 3-reel or classic slots – this type of slots game is based on the physical machines that were the forerunner to online slots. They are a very easy game to play and involve matching symbols along the top middle or bottom line in order to win.
- 5-reel slots – with advanced programming it was possible to move away from the classic design making the games more attractive and exciting. This game uses 5 reels and increased payline possibilities.
- Progressive slots – these have become very popular because the rewards of the game are much greater, sometimes as much as a million dollars. The value of the jackpot in this type of game increases by a small amount each time if it’s not won during the game.
- Mobile slots – these are slots that have been created specially for playing on smartphones or tablets, allowing players to enjoy their favorite games on the move.
- Mega spin slots – with this type of game you can play several games all at once, on the same screen.
- Multipliers – with this type of game you’re given the chance to multiply your winnings by a predetermined amount. Usually double or triple but it could be as much as 100 times.
- Multi-payline slots – play this game and you’ve got lots of chances to win. Multiple paylines can be straight, diagonal, zig zag and be 3,4,5 or even 25 paylines
There are hundreds of different software companies that have helped to make slots so popular. But there are just a handful who have the lion’s share of the business. Microgaming and Playtech were at the forefront of the online casino revolution. But names such as Gamesys, IGT, NetEnt, OpenBet and Cryptologic have also played their part. We’ll be looking at some of the software developers in a little more detail on some of our other pages. So take some time and find out more.
Our top 3 tips for anyone playing at an online slots casino
There’s not really a lot you can do to improve your chances of winning. Slots are games of chance and there’s nothing you can do to predict where the reels will stop. There are a few tips we’d like to share though, as they may reduce the chance of getting carried away or losing all your bankroll.
- Bet the most you can afford to – this is going to feel like it’s against all the rules but there is actually some method in this particularly mad tip. The more paylines you bet the better your chances of winning and there’s also more chance of you triggering a bonus round. Classic 9-payline slots are alright for a while but you might start to feel a little bored. Whereas 20-30 payline games will be far more exciting.
- Choose a selection of different games to play – mix up the games you play rather than sticking with one particular type. Three or four different games in your portfolio will allow you to get a better feel for the different games. A good combination would be one with lots of Wilds, one progressive jackpot game, one low-variance game and one with a good free spins bonus.
- Check the Return to Player (RTP) percentage – all the best online casino slots will provide you with details of the Return to Player percentage to be expected. The best online casino for slots you can choose would be one with more than 95% if possible. A slots online casino with lower payout games, such as 91% or even lower just isn’t worth giving the time of day to.
If you’re looking to play casino games online slots are a good place to start. They aren’t too complicated to play and the rewards can be very pleasing. With the information we’ve shared you’re in a good position to find the best casino online slots games and have lots of fun.
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