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Slot games get the most play, let’s be frank. It’s the equivalent of going to the dance and watching all the guys standing on the side trying to muster up the courage to chat up the lovely young ladies. Slots are those lovely young ladies. The popularity of slots, and in this context online and mobile slot games, is constantly growing, so much so, that even established norms or styles we thought would never change, are changing. The evolution of the slot game is real! If you thought it all stopped at video slots, then you were wrong, but so were we.
So with all this in mind, we thought we’d give you a rundown on the types of slots available in today’s modern age of casino gaming.
So let’s start with the basics. Most of us are quite well acquainted with these type of slot games, but for those new or not in the know, 3 reels slots remain popular and are also the earliest form of the game, going way back to the 1960s. They’ve seen some changes. Over the years they’ve gotten more paylines and they’ve even been made into progressive games with the ability to pay over a million. In the UK mainly they’ve come to be known as fruit machines.
5 reel slots, AKA video slots offer a more complex and elaborate type of slots game and are the most popular type of slots game in existence. 5 reel slots also form the bases for many of the exciting features that players often enjoy playing slots for in the first place. In fact, it could be said that the 5 reel slot is the well-spring from which all creative endeavours to do with slots gaming flows.
Built on the foundation of the 5 reel slot platform, 3D slots are visual feasts for the eye and entail the latest in animation technology. Characters appear more detailed, bolder and thus entice a deeper involvement or engrossment from the player. Initially it was just one or two companies that were known for the creation of 3D slot games, but it’s become a trend and nowadays quite a few of the big boys have been creating their own line-up of 3D slots. Leading the pack through are the originators of the trend, Betsoft.
Another newer addition to the slots game family, and once again using the 5 reel format as a spring board, i-Slots expand the lore of the game by deepening the extent of immersion. Prime examples of such a game include Microgaming’s Castle Builder. These games require the completion of tasks for further advancement and profit-rearing possibilities.
Featured slots are interchangeable with 5 reel slots and that’s because both fall under the banner of video slots, and video slots are popular for their features. These features generally include Wilds, Scatters, Free Spin bonus games, pick-and-choose bonus games and second screen bonus games.
A lot of players tend to confuse multiplier slots with the multiplier symbols, which are a bonus feature contained inside slots games. Simply put, a multiplier slot increases or multiplies the amount you can win with each new coin inserted into the machine. In terms of odds, the chances of winning remains the same, but the amount you can win goes up significantly.
Multiplier slots encompass a wide range of games; just about every game that you can bet multiple coins. For example, betting one coin could pay out a jackpot of 5000 coins while betting 10 coins could push up the jackpot to 50 000 coins. After each spin, you can choose how many coins you want to play. Since the chances of hitting the jackpot are incredibly low to start off with, playing the maximum number of coins is always a good idea. Then if you do happen to trigger the jackpot, you will be rewarded with the highest payout possible. The slots odds in this type of game increases with every coin you bet, so you can improve your chances of landing a bigger win simply by wagering more.
The big boys, the kahunas, the life-changers, the ones you really want to win. Progressive jackpot slots cover all the categories of slot games. They can blend into any format as long as they stick to the one facet that makes them progressive and that’s that each machine takes a segment of the bet and pools it into a central pot. These pots can unleash wins that exceed the million-dollar mark, and what’s not to like about that?
Progressive slot machines are all linked together on a network. Depending on the game and the networks, there could be a couple of hundred players all playing at once, or a few thousand. Every time a player makes a wager on the game, the progressive jackpot increases in size. Over time, the progressive jackpot can reach a point where the payout runs into the millions.
Sometimes, the progressive jackpot is triggered at random and other times it is triggered by landing a specific combination on a set payline. In most cases though, the progressive jackpot only pays out on a maximum bet, with all paylines activated. Progressive slots are incredibly popular owning to the fact that they can literally be life changing, but the odds of winning one of these payouts are quite slim. The chances are better than winning the lottery, and with many progressive slots featuring more than one jackpot; it’s easy to see why they are so popular.
Unlike the other types of games, multi-line slots actually do change the odds and increase your chances of hitting a winning combination. Multi-line slots are slot games where you can “activate” multiple paylines. After any spin, you can increase or decrease the number of paylines you want to play.
In most cases, each additional payline will cost one coin. If we take a look at a standard 5-reel slot with 50 paylines playing just one payline will only cost you a single coin, but the chances of hitting a winning combination are fairly low. On the other hand, if you activate all the paylines, you are 50 times more likely to hit a winner. Essentially, this makes the slots odds in multi-line games the best of all variants.
While there are probably thousands – if not millions – of different symbols across all of the slot machines ever created, there are a few basics and standards to look out for and understand. Any slot machine worth its spins will offer up a comprehensive paytable, clearly citing the different game symbols and how they function. In summary, the most common ones you’ll find include:
In those online slots games that offer bonus and free spins rounds, the Scatter symbol is clearly demarcated. Most commonly, landing at least 3 Scatters across the reels will trigger a free spins round (or different kind of bonus round), which may or may not be re-triggered if more Scatters are landed during such a round. Depending on the pay structure of the slot (paylines or ways-to-win) Scatters might have to land in certain combinations or positions in order to trigger anything special.
As with Scatters, most online slots games will feature Wild symbols. Much as the joker might do in a deck of cards, these symbols stand in and substitute for other symbols across the reels to help you form winning combinations. Often, the only symbol they cannot stand in for is the Scatter. Many video slots up the ante even further by adding special features to the Wild symbols, and you can see some pretty impressive wins pile up, or crash onto your screen.
A quick glance at the paytable of an online slot will show you which symbols are high-value and which are low-value. Depending on the theme of the game, all of these game symbols could be stylised as various, relevant items or images. Most of the time, though, the low-value symbols are simply stylised as the standard card suits A, J, Q and K. Sometimes you’ll see 9 and 10, but hardly ever lower than that.
Some online slots can be incredibly complex and complicated in terms of their bonus features. While the aforementioned symbols are the most common, you may often stumble across an online slot that features special symbols which will activate an interactive bonus round (a common one is having to select various items on screen to reveal hidden prizes) or multiply your stake by an impressive amount.
For those wanting a more competitive approach to their gambling activities, online slots tournaments are the ideal way to go, and there are plenty of options on offer. Let’s take a closer look!
Online slots tournaments are competitive games where you face off against other players, and where the aim is to win as many credits as possible playing the same game.
There are different types on offer, and the structure changes depending on the how the casino has set it up. In general, the more you win in the game, the further you will progress, and the higher up the leaderboard you’ll climb. Players who make it all the way to the finals receive a payout according to their finishing order.
In order to enter or qualify to play in an online slots tournament, you must be a member of the particular casino running the event. There are also independent sites that run these types of competitions and accept credit card transactions, but in most cases, certified Internet-based casinos will run the events.
Some of the larger events require you to sign up days beforehand, while the smaller Sit And Go events offer instant sign-ups. Freerolls usually also require a sign up at least a few hours in advance. One you are signed up and your entry confirmed, you must make sure you are logged in at the scheduled time when play begins.
Most online slots tournaments will have a specific start and end time. Everyone who is taking part in will be playing the same game, with the same amount of starting credits. So you all begin on an even footing.
Once the competition starts, the aim is to use your playing skills to win as many credits as possible in the allocated time period.
For anyone just starting out, the best way to get into this type of competition is to join a freeroll tournament. As the name suggests, this is a free competition where you don’t have to pay to enter. Winnings usually consist of a small amount of credits, free spins or reload bonuses. Freerolls are a great way to test out the waters and build your skills for the paid events.
Buy-ins are where the big money is. This is where you pay a joining fee that is deducted from your online casino account. There are a number of tournaments that fall under the buy-in category, including One Shots, where you have one entry and one chance to win. Payouts can either be a set amount, or come from the pot distribution of entrance fees. Either way, the winnings are significant and certainly worth the small buy-in fee.
Sit And Go’s, or SnGs are the most popular and the quickest of all. Similar to the Poker version, Sit And Go’s run throughout the day and are filled up as players join in. Once enough players have joined, the competition begins. The time limit is usually around 30 minutes to an hour, and the player with the highest score at the end takes all the cash.
Knockouts are slightly different to Sit And Go’s. They require players to move through different levels or round. In the first round, hundreds of players all play the same slots game. At the end of 5 or 10 minutes, the game stops and the top 3 players in each section move onto the next round. Usually there are 3 to 5 rounds before the final, where the last 10 players battle it out for first, second and third place.
In re-buys players start with a standard buy-in, which gives them a set amount of time to play. To extend their playtime, they can reload their time with a second or third buy-in, essentially starting over with a brand new entry, and voiding all past results. Only a limited number of reloads are available, so it is important to know when to extend your time. Adds on are similar, but they allow you to retain your original score and pay an additional fee in order to keep playing and build on it.
If you love the thrill of competitive gaming and want to add something extra to your online slots play, any of these tournaments offer something a bit different. You can opt for the one that works for your budget and the amount of time you have, and reap the rewards of taking on other players who also love spinning the reels.
A lot of online Slots players are content with wagering small amounts of money and playing mostly for the entertainment factor, with any small winnings acting as an added excitement. Every person, however, dreams that one day luck will strike and they’ll end up winning a huge Jackpot. However, the big bucks usually only pay out for those who have the finances to place huge wagers.
Players who make such large bets are known as High Rollers and they enjoy gambling with large amounts of money on High Limit Slots to boost their chances of winning an enormous reward.
Currently, online Casinos are a little way behind land-based Casinos when it comes to enticing High Limit Slots players. Where land based Casinos shower their High Rollers in comps, online Casinos seem much more inclined to reward players with deposit Bonuses rather than actual tangible gifts.
High Limit Slots players aren’t just your average gambler; these prolific Casino fans have such a large bankroll that they can afford to wager, and lose, large sums of money in one go, because when the rewards eventually roll in they will be worth the wait.
In terms of land based Casino gambling, High Rollers tend to frequent such spots as Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas where they will be treated like royalty. It’s not unheard of that these big spenders will receive such incentives as helicopter transport, free hotel suites and a whole range of extravagant gifts when they visit some of their favourite Casinos.
Many of the comps experience by High Limit Slots players are not dependent on how much money you win, rather on how much you play. This means that even on a losing streak you’ll still be treated to a luxury experience. However, the main incentive for the High Rollers is that risking a lot of money at a Casino is the only real way to win a lot of money; and, so long as you have the bankroll to bet high, it’s almost a failsafe way to win some huge cash prizes.
Playing High Limit Slots in the online Casino world is slightly different, however, but High Rollers still spend a lot of their time playing these thrilling online games. At many online Slots you only qualify for the biggest jackpots if you are wagering the maximum amount, so you need a big bankroll to ensure a big payout.
Here are some of the best online High Limit Slots, as chosen by our readers here at GamblingInsider.ca:
One of the most popular High Limit Slots for High Rollers is Break da Bank Again. As its name suggests, this exciting Slot has a huge amount of money stashed inside and its calling out to be taken.
High Rollers playing at this Slot will be able to match the maximum bet of 90 coins per spin, which means that they’ll be in with a chance of winning the massive 93,750 coin Jackpot.
As far as High Limit Slots go, Break da Bank Again is one of the best. As well as its big Jackpot, it also features Multipliers, Wilds, Scatters and a Free Spin Bonus game, all of which massively increase your chance of winning some serious cash...Read More
This cute-looking High Limit Slot has some serious rewards available for lucky players, but you’ll need to be able to maximise your chances with all 100 paylines in order to be in with a chance of winning the big money. The maximum payout is a stupidly big 2 million coins in the base game, boosted up to 6 million in the Free Spin feature.
Cashapillar is frequently voted as the top High Limit Slot of all time...Read More
Burning Desire High Limit Slot offers some of the most frequent payouts if you’ve got the bankroll to bet big. That’s because instead of paylines, this Slot has 243 Ways to Win, with combos forming along any adjacent symbols.
You’ll be able to wager up to 250 coins per spin, making the maximum reward a massive 90,000 coins. It’s no surprise that Burning Desire is such a popular choice among High Limit Slot fans...Read More
In Atlantis Queen, Playtech takes you on another underwater adventure to the legendary sunken City of Atlantis. Filled with excellent graphics and mesmerizing background music, this 5 reel, 25 payline video slot game will have you pulling in big wins faster than you think.
With a set Jackpot of 500 coins, Atlantis Queen is packed with bonus features. Wild symbols, Scatters, a pick-me Pearl bonus and the Atlantis Temple bonus add to your winning potential, and you can win up to 12 free spins with a 4x multiplier in the exciting themed bonus rounds...Read More
Microgaming returns to one of its favourite themes – mermaids. Instead of Mermaids Millions, this time it’s Ariana, a new mermaid game on the block that offers 5 reels and 25 paylines. Take your bet from as little as 0.25 a pop all the way to 125 a pop and stand to win up to 240 times your bet in its cool free spins feature... Read More
Play N’ Go brings you another exciting adventure slot with Rich Wilde and the Aztec Idols. This 5 reel, 15 payline video slot is all about the intrepid archaeologist Riche Wilde and his search for the magical Aztec Idols hidden in the depths of the jungle. The game is filled with high quality graphics; 3D animations, authentic jungle sounds and plenty of big win action.
In addition to the Wild symbol, the game features two bonus rounds, the 1st is where you simply pick and win, while the 2nd is the free spins round where you can win up to 20 free spins with an additional Scatter added to the reels...Read More
Explore the wild jungles of India with IGT’s exciting Golden Jungle slot. This 5 reel, 50 payline slots game is set in the heart of the Indian jungle and is filled with high quality graphics, authentic nature sounds and big win opportunities. There is plenty of action to look forward to; including collectable statue symbols that trigger entire Wild reels.
There is also a 2-symbol high Tiger Wild, as well as bonus round where you can choose from 3 different free spins bonuses. Each bonus comes with sticky Wilds and it’s up to you to decide how many you want...Read More
IGT is back with another Multiway Extra slot extravaganza! Fire Horse is a visually stunning 5-reel equine-fire themed game with 720 Ways to Win. Fire is the theme, and fire is what you get in this fast-paced game. Fire Horse is filled with exciting visuals and a background track that gets you going. In addition to the exciting reel setup, IGT have loaded the game with bonus features, including stacked Wild symbols, Scatter symbols, bet multipliers and a double-feature free spins bonus round...Read More
All right boys and girls and all would-be Canadian slots players. Now, we’re going to be talking about tips for playing online video slots. But before anyone gets too excited and starts thinking that there is some kind of hack or a software program that will help you win, this is not the case. Also, if you think that there is any valid literature out there that will show you how to cheat a slot machine, you need to know that he or she is a hack, and that the con is on. The only valid information applicable to playing and hopefully winning in online video slot games is to be practical and logical in your approach – that’s it.
There you have it! Practical real life tips for playing online video slot machines. No miracles solutions, no hack jobs, no wonder software that you can purchase – that’s not how it works – just hands on tips to help you make the best of your online slots experience.
Now, using the word ‘strategy’ alongside online slots might be something of a misnomer. Reputable online casinos boast the use of Random Number Generators on all their machines, so playing online slots with the idea that doing this or that will result in a massive win might leave you disappointed. But, there are ways in which you can maximise your game time and, thus, your winning potential.
Unless you’re playing for a jackpot win on a progressive online slot, there’s no need to dive straight into max bets and select all paylines. As a general rule, you should try and limit your bet sizes to approximately 1% of your bet balance. That’s the first rule of thumb in terms of extending your game time. On some online slots games, the paylines are fixed; so if you’re still new to the scene, rather find a game on which you can select just how many paylines you wish to make use of. Whatever size your stake per coin, this will be multiplied by the number of active paylines. So, if you’re betting 1 coin at 0.50 and have activated 10 paylines, your total stake per spin will be 5.00 credits.
Easy enough, right? Of course, online slots also give you the option of increasing the number of coins per spin, so for 5 coins of 0.50 being bet on 10 paylines, the total stake per spin will be 25.00 credits. That’s a significant difference! It takes one quick look at the paytable of any online slots game to understand that the higher the odds, the bigger the potential win. But take it slow, play around with those coins and paylines, and find a bet level that works well for you and your bankroll. Mixing up the bet sizes across spins can also keep you playing for longer.
One would think that playing an online slots game would simply involve selecting the size of a bet and pushing ‘spin’, and in some cases it could well be so. But, as we have seen above, there is a lot of correlation between paylines, coin values, number of coins being wagered and the payout potential. Coin values and bet sizes can be confusing at first, but playing around a bit will quickly show you how easy it is to understand.
Let’s say you select a coin value of 0.10. You might think you’re only betting 0.10 credits per spin. This may well be the case if you’re playing with only 1 coin and 1 payline, but it helps to remember that coin value and bet size are not the same thing. Selecting a max bet of 5 coins with that same value and activating 15 paylines will result in a bet size of 7.50 credits. Up the value of those same coins to 5 and you’re looking at a staggering 375 credits being bet per spin. As above, play around - mix things up, wiggle those buttons and bet sizes a bit and find a level that feels right for you.
While slots are by far the most popular of all the casino games played online, very few people actually understand how slots odds work, and the differences between the various types of games. Multiplier slots, progressive slots and multi-line slots each offer different chances of winning due to their varying formats. If you are going to play for real money, understanding the mechanics of each game is as important as deciding how much to bet. Knowing what the slots odds are will stand you in good stead, and you can choose a game that works to your advantage.
Advising someone on the best slot machine to play is akin to telling someone else what colour their living room should be – without having even met them. In simple terms: find one that you like. Find a hundred that you like. The options are almost limitless. But, it also helps to consider what kind of experience you’re after. If you’re chasing a win of a million or more, then you’ll want to go straight to progressive online slots games like Mega Moolah. These beloved games will see a percentage of every wager being added to the jackpot pool. Betting on max bet across all paylines could see you walking away an instant millionaire, but always bear in mind the kind of bankroll you are prepared to stake.
3-reel slots are a favourite amongst players who prefer a simple and straightforward experience. Here, there are more limited options in terms of bet sizes and complex paytables, as well as an absence of bonus rounds, and while the payout potential may not be as awe-inspiring as some of the newer video slot machines, the chances are that you’ll actually be playing for longer. So, that’s also something to consider: are you playing for fun or are you after massive winnings? Of course, there’s no reason you can’t go for both, but being hasty or greedy won’t work to your advantage.
5-reel video slot machines are the most popular, given that they are often jam-packed with bonus features and free spins rounds, keeping them immersive and fun. Whatever kind of theme you like, you’re sure to find a video slot that has it.
You may or may not have heard about the ‘volatility’ of online slots, but it’s an important concept to learn and bear in mind when determining what kind of experience you’re after. Of course, no one is going to advertise whether an online slots game has a low, medium or high volatility, but you can quickly see for yourself. Reputable online casinos will have customer support teams, who can quickly tell you what the volatility of a specific game is. If the word ‘volatility’ confuses you, consider it the same concept as the ‘risk’ of a game.
Low volatility slots are the perfect option for those players who are looking to play for a longer period of time, and who prefer to place lower bets. Low volatility games are those that pay out very often, but in small increments. As such, you’re unlikely to hit a massive win, but the wins you do incur will keep boosting your bankroll and keep you playing for longer. What’s more, you’re less likely to get frustrated by endless sets of spins with no wins. You’ll win, for sure, but just enough to keep you spinning at the same bet level.
Medium volatility slots are quite self-explanatory, now that you know a little bit about how volatility works. In short, these games occupy something of a middle ground between games that pay out often but in small amounts, and games that pay out less often, but in bigger increments. These kinds of slots are great for players who are looking for a little more excitement as opposed to a lengthy session of play, and are also better suited to someone with a bigger budget.
High volatility slots are, in short, games that pay out less often than low or high volatility games, but when they do, they pay out big! These are the high-risk, high-thrills options of the online slots world, and can see you earning some massive rewards – now and then. Best suited to players with a lot of patience, a big bankroll and a willingness to put their wagers on the line.
Educating yourself on the correlations between coin values and bet sizes, as well as paylines and volatility will go a long way in helping you find an online slots game that works for you. As any casino will tell you, though, the primary focus should be on your entertainment. You have a responsibility unto yourself to only bet within a budget that is comfortable for you, and to know when to stop. If you look at online slots and other casino games as something that will give you a ‘return on your investment’, you’re looking to be highly disappointed. Find a game that looks and feels right, determine the kind of experience – and thereby, volatility – you’re after, and have fun. If you win, great. If not, don’t find yourself chasing losses. Slots can provide hours of endless entertainment, but as with anything, practice moderation and enjoy yourself responsibly.