Regardless of which casino you are playing at, you will find that most of the games on offer are slot machines. It is not unusual to find hundreds or even thousands of different slots to choose from ranging from truly basic classic slots to extremely modern video slots. There is a myriad of different themes to choose from and the games are often packed with exciting bonus features. You will also find progressive slots that give you the chance to win life-changing sums of money. In short, modern online casinos provide slot players with everything they could possibly need.
The first thing you need to do when choosing a slot is to make sure that you understand how it works. Then it is simply a matter of finding a game with a theme and features that appeals.
Slot machines are made of reels, the vertical strips of symbols that spin round. Classic slots tend to have 3 reels while video slots usually have 5; however, this is not set in stone. Each reel will have a number of visible symbols, and these are known as rows.
The aim of a spin is to land matching symbols across the reels. The symbols need to land on something known as a payline. A payline is simply a path that can be traced from the first reel to the last that passes through one row on each reel. Some slots with have very few paylines while others may have hundreds or even thousands.
The payline structure is linked to how you bet on the slot, and there is some variation in this. In some slots, you can choose how many paylines you want active, and will place a bet per payline. In other slots, you will always be betting on all paylines. It is fair to say that the more paylines there are, the better your chances are of landing a win. However, the more paylines you are betting on, the more expensive the game will be to play. Ultimately, it is up to you to find a balance that suits you.
The other thing to be aware of is the different types of symbols on the reels. The regular symbols are those that award payouts. Often they will relate to a slot’s theme and the more of them you land along a payline, the more that you will win. Wild symbols will substitute for the regular symbols to help you form winning combinations. Scatter symbols take their name from the fact that they will payout when enough of them land anywhere on the reels (scattered). Finally, there are bonus symbols, and the way that they behave varies from game to game.
You will come across many different types of bonuses in online slots, and very often, they will be combined together in unique and enjoyable ways. It is rare that something truly original comes alone, but developers are very good at breathing fresh life into standard bonus features.
Nearly all video slots offer some form of free spins. These are exactly what they sound like, spins that you do not have to pay for but that can award real money winnings. Very often free spins come with additional bonus features, such as payout multipliers, tumbling reels, sticky symbols or expanding symbols.
A payout multiplier simply multiplies your winnings by a certain amount, for instance, if you win a x3 multiplier, then your payout will be tripled. Payout multipliers can appear in many different contexts, in the main game and in bonus games.
A sticky symbol is one that remains frozen in place for a certain number of spins once it has landed. The most common form is sticky wilds in free spins. After landing, they may remain on the reels for the duration of the free spins.
Expanding symbols are symbols that will grow to occupy more positions when they land. A common example of this is an expanding wild symbol, when it lands it will grow to fill the entire reel that it is on.
Tumbling reels, also known as cascading reels and rolling reels, are a very popular bonus feature. It means that when a winning combination lands on the reels, after the payout, the symbols in the combination are removed to allow more to fall from above, and the procedure can then repeat itself indefinitely. Sometimes this inverted so that the winning symbols remain in place and all the other symbols are replaced.
You will also find many slots that offer bonus picking games. In these, you simply pick from objects on the screen, which usually relate to the theme, to reveal prizes. They may be cash prizes, multipliers, additional picks, free spins, and so on.
You may find many more bonus features in slots, such as gamble features, hold and spin games, and more, and all of them give you more chances to win.
Slots are games of pure luck, so there is very little you can do to improve your chances of winning. However, there are some things that you should be aware of.
First of all, you should always play the maximum number of paylines. Even if this means reducing the amount you bet per payline, it is worth it, as it will give you more chances to win.
Secondly, you should be aware of a slot’s volatility when planning your bets. A low volatility slot will payout small amounts regularly while a high volatility slot will payout larger amounts but less frequently. This is important as when playing high volatility games you will need to budget for more spins, while when playing low volatility games you may be able to bet a little more per spin.
The final thing you can do is check the slot’s RTP percentage. This is a percentage of the money bet on a game that is returned to players over time. The higher the percentage, the more money is paid out. However, it will never guarantee that you will win.