Flashing lights, perhaps blinding if you've never been to an offline casino with a series of slot machines. That's the pre-eminent theme in land-based casinos offering this centurion enigmatic casino game. However, don't let that unnerve you. Slots are the most uncomplicated casino games to play on online and offline platforms.
Initially, slots were regarded with contempt by table game players since you could wager less money. That made slot machines a liking for the poor. While the elites enjoyed complimentary drinks and meals at the tables, slot lovers had nothing extra to relish. Currently, among all online casino games and platforms, the adoration and universality of slots are unparalleled.
Sought-after casino games don't come much better than slots or pokies (as most Aussies call them). They're the most admirable games since they're easy to play and require little-to-no finesse, unlike Blackjack, Roulette, or Baccarat. For beginners looking to try out any casino game, slots sit top-of-the-pile. In addition, they're entertaining, fun and are developed with additional features like reels, free spins, etc.
In our beginner's guide, we'll dive deep and showcase every aspect of the game. We purpose to hone you to maximum slots expertise. As easy as it is playing slots, you need to know the basics of the game. Moreover, you'll need a few tactics to help you maximize your winnings. Our handy guide has all that, plus more, in abundance.
Slots possess a magnetic pull and reputation in the iGaming market. Therefore, it's not rocket science that hundreds of casino operators want their fair share of the piece of cake. Thus, for a newbie, it'll be challenging hunting down the best online casinos. Worry not! Our guide has gone the extra mile to recommend top arenas like Wild Casino. We only want the ultimate experience for you.
A Brief History of Slots
Before learning how to play this evocative casino game, let's go back to the archives to get its memoir. Knowing the game's history will add spice to your gaming experience. So, the year is 1891, and Sittman & Pitt company has engineered the first-ever slot machine in New York City. The machine had 50 playing cards with five (5) drums.
You're probably wondering what cards are doing in slots. That's understandable. We would probably ask the same question. Here's why. In our previous article, how to play video poker, we saw slots using similar-looking machines to video poker. So, instead of a 52-card playing deck, slots used 50 cards.
The missing cards were the 10 of spades and the Jack (J) of hearts. They were discarded to increase the house edge by halving the chances of acquiring a Royal Flush. Also, that's why there's much debate on the similarities of both games among gamblers. Here's where the name Pokies, referring to slots, came from. Now, you're up to speed.
Therefore, to play the slots, a player had to insert money into the machine and pull the in-place lever. If your reels lined up poker hands, you'd then receive non-monetary pay in terms of drinks and cigars. However, the first automatic slot machine came about in 1895, although the exact date isn't precise. The inventor being Charles Fey or the ‘Father of Slots.'
The automatic slot machine used three (3) reels and five (5) symbols which replaced the playing cards. Fast forward to 1976, and the Fortune Coin Company crafted the 1st video slot. The famous IGT then bought Fortune Coin.
Slots: The Modern Shift
Since the emergence of the Internet, there's been tremendous development in the iGaming industry. Slots lead the way in that department. The change has been ecstatic from mechanical to automatic machines, and now to the modern era of the Internet slots. Currently, slot games occupy a grave sector in the lobby of online casinos.
Initially, the first online platforms featured only classic slots, which resembled those at offline casinos. In an eye's blink, there were other thrilling variations of the slot games. They included video slots and jackpot slots that had multiple reels and offered higher payouts. The dominance of slots is unmatched in the iGaming market, with plenty of software developers crafting newer games.
The most famous names in that field are NetEnt, RTG, IGT, and Microgaming. Modern-day slots use the Random Number Generator technology to decide slot outcomes. The RNG is a computer chip fitted into slot games to ensure the results of spins are fair and random.
In addition, you don't have to visit a brick-and-mortar casino to play your ideal slots. You can play at home or wherever the urge finds you. Online casinos have an integrated HTML-5 framework that allows you to play online via browsers like Google Chrome. Furthermore, owing you have an Internet connection, you can play on multiple devices such as Tablets, Mobile, and PC. The fun is at your fingertips!
Basics of Slots for Beginners
Now that you're familiar with the slots' history, you can converse with other slot aficionados without feeling out of place. However, before learning the art of playing the game, you'll need to equip yourself with essential elements of the game. These elements are standard whether you're playing offline or online.
Have you ever heard the term ‘spin the reels' in any casino setting, and you got confused? Reels appear horizontally or column-like across your gaming device. Depending on the slot game you're playing, you'll find different icons or symbols within those reels.
Slot games, such as classic slots, have three (3) reels. On the other hand, video slots can have five (5), seven (7), or even nine (9) reels. After wagering and spinning, you win if a particular combination of symbols appears on a payline.
As its name suggests, a payline is a pattern that can make a winning combo. In any slot game you play, you'll see numbers indicated on either game edge. A payline has rows running from left to right across the slot reels. In addition, paylines can have symbols in one row or alternating rows.
Slots pay lines can range from one up to 50 paylines or more. For example, let's say the slot you're playing has 50 paylines. If you activate all paylines with a max bet, you'll have 50 different winning styles. For beginners, cramming the payline can be intimidating, but worry not. That's because the slot games automatically show you the winning paylines and payout accordingly. Tapping the max bet button will play all the paylines of that specific slot game at online casinos.
It's common knowledge what a row is. In slots, they run vertically, and a game can have three or more rows. A combination of specific symbols in one row will give you a payline. However, paylines can't always appear on one row as they go in all directions as long you have matching symbols.
These are icons that spin on the game's reels. You're bound to have different symbols depending on the game you're playing. For example, if you're playing sports-based slots, you'll have matching symbols to the specific sport's theme.
The icons have different values, and aligning certain symbols will payout according to their values. High-valued symbols mean higher payouts; the opposite is also true. However, some symbols come with additional properties like bonuses, wilds, and free spins. We'll expound on this in the next chapter of this article.
5. Payout Table
The payout table is the critical part of gameplay. With sheer luck, you can hack it at slot games. However, flying in blind isn't advisable. Hence, we would advise you to read your ideal game's payout table before having a go at it.
The table indicates what symbols have a winning combination or which icons lead to free spins. Also, the table will show you how much you stand to win on particular combos and much more.
Symbols on Slot Games
Earlier, we mentioned what symbols are in slots. Here, we're going to explain what the common slot symbols mean in detail. Matching these symbols in specific combinations will allow you to unwrap the gifts they bear. Note: These icons/symbols vary according to the slot game you're playing.
1. Wild Symbols
In Video Poker, a wild card can substitute any card to give you a winning hand. Similarly, when the wild slots icon pops up, it can replace any other symbol to provide you a winning combination. Therefore, the icon gives you boosted winning opportunities.
2. Scatter Symbols
Although rare to land while playing, this symbol prompts bonus rounds where you can grab free spins, among other prizes. Interestingly, this icon doesn't have to show up on your combination line to earn you points.
The scatter symbols are usually a gambler's best allies as they can offer a chance at a progressive jackpot. So, anywhere you see the icon, it means goodies are up next.
3. Sticky Symbols
When you land on this symbol, your reel stays put for several spins. They're often hard to acquire, but you need only to match two icons to win when you do.
4. Multiplier Symbols
A multiplier symbol multiplies your winnings should you be lucky enough to land on one. Depending on the slot you're playing, the multiplier can increase your payout by 4x, 2x, or 6x. Unfortunately, they're rare symbols and are popular with online slots.
They add a different thrill to the game. Who wouldn't fancy a multiplier to increase winnings? In some scenarios, wild and scatter symbols could function as multipliers. That would madly escalate your payouts.
5. Bonus Symbols
When you land a bonus symbol, you'll steer away from your regular spins and play bonus games or rounds. In the bonus rounds, you might get free spins which will increase your winning chances. However, there's no full-proof tactic to ensure wins in bonus rounds. So, it all falls to how lucky of a gem you are.
6. Stacked Symbols
These symbols allow standard icons to occupy more than one slot on a reel. Hence, your chances of acquiring a matching combination are magnified. Fortuitous as it may be, you land a stacked wild symbol, your winning opportunities increase exponentially.
The Guide: How to Play Slots
By now, we hope you know the essential elements and symbols of the game. So, let's get to the fascinating stuff; how to play slots. May the games begin! As stated earlier, playing slot games is straightforward. Our beginner's manual simplifies it further with the following few steps:
- Sign up and deposit funds into your player account.
- Select your preferred slot game at our recommended casinos
- View the game's paytable to see the value of each symbol.
- Choose the paylines you'd fancy playing. If you'd like to play all the paylines, press the ‘Max Bet' button.
- Push the ‘Spin' button to spin the reels. If you win, your winnings will be showcased on your screen.
That wasn't complicated, was it? That's done and dusted, but it's not the end. We'll go ahead to show you how you can maximize your winnings.
Handy Slot Games Tips
We've done the homework for you. All you require is to follow our handy tips while playing slots. In doing so, you'll be having a virtuoso display at the slots.
- Set deposit ceilings to manage your bankroll. Don't gamble more than you can afford to lose. Decide how much you can lose and stop playing when you lose that amount.
- Choose the slots with the highest Return to Player percentage (RTP%). Each game's RTP varies. Some have 98%, others 97%. Therefore, please select the best since it means higher winning chances.
- Wager on as many paylines as your budget can support. Betting on multiple paylines means you stand to win more often.
- It's typical gambler's knowledge to stop gambling after winning big. If you continue playing, you might lose everything.
- You can play the demo version of each game for free to learn the rules and gameplay. Later, you can wager on real money slots. Furthermore, you can play the free slots versions at our casino.
- Play at safe online casinos such as Wild Casino.
- Finally, remember to have fun and gamble responsibly.
Types of Online Slots
Slots are commonly determined by the number of reels they possess. In that regard, we have three (3) main types of online slots, as discussed below.
1. Classic Slots
These variants are also known as 3-reels slots. You'll also hear them being referred to as ‘one-arm bandits.' That name comes from the traditional slot machines, which required the player to pull a lever to initiate a spin.
For beginners, these are the best variants to start with. That's because they're easy to play, learn, and are fast. Landing three matching symbols at classic slots will win you a jackpot. Although few reels reduce a player's winning opportunities, classic slots have the best payouts.
2. Video slots
Also known as 5-reel slots, video slots are an upgrade of the classic slots. They have excellent in-game graphics and entertaining gameplay soundtracks. That would lure in anyone. In addition, they're the most played slots at online casinos, and they're the predecessors of modern-day slots.
Automatically, 5-reel slots come with more paylines. Hence, that means that you have enormous winning chances compared to classic slots. Video slots have additional features, such as free spins, which make the game more fascinating.
3. Progressive Jackpot Slots
These types of slots can increase your bankroll beyond your imagination. Have you ever seen the jackpot amount of a slot game rising by the minute? That's because every time you and other players bet, part of your wager diverts to contribute to the jackpot. Hence the reason why it's always displayed by most online platforms, if not all.
Although jackpot winning odds are slender, when you do, you'll have a bankroll that'll envy even the house. However, to qualify for the jackpot, you must be wagering with a max bet. The jackpot pools usually reach millions.
These are the significant slot variations popularly played in online casinos. However, there are other types of online slots that you can learn and enjoy playing.
Odds & Payouts
Unlike other casino games, the odds of slot games don't change; they don't fluctuate. Payouts vary incumbent on the slot game you're playing and the game's software provider. The crucial aspect is to read the paytable of each slot game you love playing.
In slots, you don't always know the odds of a particular symbol combination. That's why some people prefer playing other casino games such as video poker to slots. Without a doubt, not many would pass the opportunity of playing slots because of that. Most gamblers enjoy the itch of the anonymity of slot odds.
However, to ensure you win regularly, we recommend choosing slot games with high RTP percentages. A slot with 95% RTP going upwards is ideal. The payouts of winning paylines are automatically calculated and will be displayed. So, you'll receive the appropriate payout if you win.
Where to Play Slots for USA Players
We recommend these casinos:
Ignition Casino – Our current favorite for players from the USA or Australia. Ignition casino offers 100s of different slot machines including classic 3-reel slots and more advanced video slots. The progressive jackpots are huge and life changing.
The games are supplied by recognized game developers such as Revolver Gaming and RTG. These games have high-definition video graphics that allow gaming across multiple devices. More importantly, this casino has some of the fastest payouts of winnings on the planet, along with responsive 24/7 customer service.
Wild Casino – This is an online casino that caters to USA players by offering a safe gaming experience with responsive customer service. The top notch software includes over 300 of the best slot machines from top software providers including some of the best slots in the industry such as Mystic World and Thunderbird, along with a large collection of table games. There's a generous sign-up bonus for all new players, and a myriad of deposit and speedy cashout options.
Cafe Casino – Established in 2020, Cafe Casino is a relative newcomer to the gaming scene but they have established an impeccable reputation amongst players for offering state of the art games along with responsive customer support, and fast payouts. They offer 100s of slot machines that are all extremely super realistic and they offer the option for free practice play. New players can of course claim a generous sign-up bonus, and they offer multiple deposit options including by Bitcoin.
Where to Play Slots for International Players
For readers from other jurisdictions we have compiled the following guides:
No casino game rivals the charisma of slot games in online casinos. They're easy to play and offer some staggering payouts with the progressive jackpot variants. Although less skill is required to play, tactics are a must-have. Using our handy tips, you'll be winning most of the time.
While gambling, remember to have fun and gamble responsibly. If you develop a gambling addiction, our casino has features that will help you manage it. You can set deposit limits or even self-exclude from playing for a specific time.
Stephany loves gaming, she is especially fond of bingo games, blackjack, slot machines, and old school Nintendo. She has a special place in her heart for Sega and online poker.