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Playing online slotsQuick guide to online slots

Online slots are highly popular. There is a wide range of games available in online and mobile games titles, offering you gaming on the go. Most of our stunning games are available for play on our mobile site.

Their popularity may arise from the fact that they are simple to play and come in inspiring themes. Video slots vary from traditional fruit machine slots with 2 to 9 paylines, to multi-adventure slots with spectacular 3D graphics, top-notch sound and FX. Some of the more popular franchise brands have jumped on the bandwagon, including names such as Jurassic Park ™, Marvel ™, DC Universe ™ and Terminator 2 ™.

Reels and paylines

Reels are the virtual spinners that bear symbols and emblems and generate combinations on each spin. Older traditional games started with only 3 reels, but more modern titles average 5 reels to play with, sometimes more. The height of each reel usually ranges from 3 to 4 symbols.

Each game will have varying paylines, which can run either horizontally, diagonally or in a zigzag pattern across the reels. If matching symbols fall on these paylines from left to right, you will be paid in accordance with the symbol values.

Both the payline patterns and symbol values can be viewed by clicking on the information menu under or next to the reels. Older games may only have one payline, but modern versions offer multiple paylines, ranging from 3 to over 1000, depending on the game. Often the wager amount may determine the number of paylines played, if it is not a fixed-line slot.

Bonus stages

Most of the more modern slot games carry at least one bonus stage per game. The most sought-after of these is the free spins bonus feature, which can be triggered in different ways, depending on the individual game – check the game features and reviews. Other bonus rounds sometimes involve instant cash or prize-pick games.

Progressive slots

Standard games have standard jackpots allocated to them. The jackpot is the highest combination of payouts possible in the game and is usually won when landing 5 of the highest-paying symbols on a payline.

Progressive jackpots work differently -  they accumulate as you play. A percentage of your wager will be allocated to the progressive tally. This type of jackpot round is usually randomly triggered in the game, offering you the chance of winning the actual jackpot or other consolation prizes. 

Often progressive slots have more than one progressive jackpot running at a time on the screen (visible in various windows). Your wager may influence your jackpot winnings tremendously, so don’t always hold back on your betting, or you will find that the machine may hold back on you.

How to play

Online slots are traditionally very simple to play, as they are really a game of chance. Winning combos are already programmed by a random number generator. Once you click spin, your fate is sealed. There are a few controls you may need to know in order to keep things fluid:

●    Before spinning the reels, you need to adjust your wager by clicking up or down on the betting arrows. If you don’t, the default bet will be made, which may be higher or lower than you anticipated.

●    Monitor your bankroll, which is usually displayed in a window below the reels. 

●    Once ready you can hit spin to send the reels on their way.

●    Should you want to automate the spins, many slot titles will allow you to pre-set a number of rolls that the machine will spin for you automatically. This comes in handy if you are pre-occupied with something else at the same time as playing.

Things to remember when choosing slots

You will need to pay attention to details like RTP (Return to Player) and slot volatility when selecting a game. The RTP shows what percentage of the profits are paid back to players over time. Slots often average in the mid 90% range, so an RTP of 96% or 97% is good. 

The slot volatility speaks of how often the slot will pay out. A lower volatility game will pay out smaller amounts more frequently, whereas a higher volatility game will pay out less frequently, but wins can be considerable. A medium volatility game is a happy compromise. To determine these factors, you can read through our slot reviews before you choose a game. 

For more information on these topics, see our volatility guide.

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