Beginners’ Guide To Online Slots

Are you new to the world of online slots and looking for detailed information on how to play and win online slots?. Whether you are a total beginner who has never played a slot title before or have played a couple of times but still don’t understand how it works, this beginner’s guide for online slots will arm you with all you need to start spinning like a pro. Our slots experts covered everything you need to know about online slots from A – Z.

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By reading this beginners’ guide to online slots, you will learn:

  • Basic slot terms every beginner should know
  • How online slots work
  • How to choose the best online slots
  • Types of online slot
  • How to play online slots
  • Beginners tips to winning on slot machines

Basic Slot Terms Every Beginner Should Know

Before playing slot games at online or land-based casinos, there are basic terms associated with slots that every beginner should know. Understanding these terms will help you know what to expect when playing and how to choose the best online slot for you. Below is a run-down of the basic slot terms you should know.

• Reels

Reels are one of the most important aspects of slots. They are the columns that spin when you place a wager on a slot game. The number of reels on a slot is always odd, usually three, five, or seven. They also feature various symbols, and players win when they spin the reel, and it stops where the symbols align to form a winning combination.

• Paylines

Paylines are the rows that pass through the reels from left to right. They feature different symbols and show players the lines symbols need to land on to produce a winning combination. The number of paylines differs from slot to slot, with some having over 100 paylines. Understanding paylines will help you understand the outcome you are looking for. Though the outcome of slot games is solely based on luck, knowing what you are looking for makes the game more fun.

• Symbols

You win on most slot games by forming a combination of symbols on the reels. Each combination has differing prizes; while some are high-paying, others are low-paying. The symbols on most slots depend on the theme of the game you choose. For example, if you are playing a movie-themed game, the symbols will include images and characters from the movie.

Aside from these game-themed symbols, you will also come across other symbols like free spins, wild spins, and bonus symbols. You get free spins when a specific number of the free spins symbols appear when you play. When you get a wild symbol, it is up to the slot machine to determine what happens next. Sometimes, the wild symbol can become another symbol to complete your paylines. Lastly, you get a bonus round anytime a bonus symbol appears on the slot.

• Paytable

All slots have a paytable that spells out the combination of symbols that will earn you a prize, bonus round, or free spins. A paytable also explains how you can qualify for the casino’s jackpot. Additionally, you will find information on how much you can bet and the amount you can win with a specific combination of symbols. We advise you to always skim through a slot’s paytable before playing with real money.

• Jackpot

A jackpot refers to the maximum amount you can win from a single spin. The pot prize of a jackpot game increases every time it is played until a lucky player wins it and scoops up the entire money. The jackpot prize can be a few thousand, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars. Usually, the higher the pot prize of the jackpot, the more expensive it is to play.

• Random Number Generator (RNG)

All slots are equipped with a random number generator (RNG) that determines the game’s outcome. When you spin the reels of a slot, the RNG tells the reel when to stop, and the slot calculates the outcome of the game, which is then displayed on the screen. The RNG ensures fair and random outcomes, so whether you will win or lose is based purely on luck. Also, your previous plays, whether wins or losses, do not affect the outcome of future games.

• Return to Player (RTP)

Return to Player (RTP), sometimes called payout percentage or payout ratio, refers to the percentage of the total wagered money the slot machine will pay out over a period of time. For instance, if the RTP of a casino is 96%, it means the casino only pays out 96% of the total amount staked by players. However, this does not mean you will get back at least £96 when you bet £100 on a slot game. RTP is calculated using the total stakes from all players, not a single player.

• Variance

Variance, sometimes called volatility in some online slot guides, is another basic term every beginner should know. Slots with higher variance have higher payouts, but they are more difficult to win, while those with lower variance have lower payouts and are easier to win. Variance is an important factor to consider when choosing an online slot.

We advise beginners to go for slots with low variance because the payout is more frequent. Most bettors who go for high variance slot games, like jackpots, are those who have tons of money to spend. Furthermore, if your funds are limited, playing on low variance slot machines will extend your playtime and help you have more fun.

How Online Slots Work

Playing slots online is easy. It works almost the same way as the mechanical slot machines at brick-and-mortar casinos. You start playing by placing a wager on your preferred slot game. The wager depends on the slot title you choose, as most games have a minimum bet amount. Once done, you hit the spin button and wait for the game’s outcome. You win on most slots when you match three or more symbols in a payline. When you play slots, you can win money or get a bonus. You can also play online slots and not win anything.

Sounds easy and simple, right? Well, before you head to an online casino to try out slot games, you must know how to choose the right online slots and the different slot machines you will come across at online casinos. Continue reading this beginner’s guide to online slots to get this information.

How To Choose The Best Online Slots

With thousands of online slots available on the internet, choosing the right one can be a daunting task for beginners. It is not uncommon to see novices who don’t know how to choose the best online slots leave casino sites with regrets. Our slot experts have helped you compile the factors to consider before choosing a slot title.

1. Slot Variance

The slot’s variance is one of the first factors to consider when deciding which title to choose. As earlier discussed in this slot guide, games with low variance usually reward players with low payouts while those with high variance offer large cash rewards.

We recommend viewing variances as the level of risk involved in the game. High variance means high risk, while low variance means low risk. So if you are a low-risk taker who is comfortable with small but steady wins, you should opt for low variance slots. However, if you are a high-risk taker who is ready to stake a substantial amount of money for a chance to win a big payout, you can go for high variance games.

There are also medium variance games for players who do not see themselves as low or high-risk takers. Games with medium volatility offer bettors a fair risk vs reward ratio. When you play this category of online slots, you can expect a decent payout each time you win.

2. Slot Return to Player (RTP)

Another essential factor to consider when choosing the best online slots is the Return to Player rate. This figure shows you how much you can expect to win back after playing the title for a long time. The RTP of online slots is categorized into high RTP, Medium RTP, and Low RTP.

Games with an RTP of 97% or more are considered high RTP, those around 96% a medium RTP, while titles with 95% or less are considered low RTP. If you are just starting with online slots, we recommend playing games with high RTP and low variance to increase your chances of winning and extend your playtime.

However, if you are after big payouts and can afford to spend big on slots, games with high variance and medium RTP are your best bet.

3. Check the slot’s legitimacy

Most beginners forget to check the legitimacy of online slots before they start playing. You should avoid making this mistake. Some slots, especially scam casinos, operate using a fake random number generator (RNG). When you play these games, the faux RNG manipulates the outcome of your spins to favour the casino.

The best way to avoid fake slots is by choosing reputable and licensed online casinos. You can use our guide on how to choose the best online casinos if you don’t know how to find good sites. If you are in the UK, ensure the casinos are regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, or the Gibraltar Gaming Commission.

Aside from confirming that the casinos’ licenses are legit, you should also check their reviews. Some sites, although licensed, don’t operate by the book. So checking players’ feedback can help you make a good decision when choosing either a gaming destination or a slot game to play.

Another step you can take to determine the credibility of a slot is by checking its developer. You are in safe hands when you play slot titles from popular providers like NetEnt, Microgaming, and Play’N Go. If you are not familiar with slot providers, you can look up their names on the internet to learn more about them. You should avoid slots whose providers are anonymous.

4. Bonuses and wagering requirement

If you have ever visited an online casino, you have likely come across bonuses and promotions. These offers are rewards, like free cash, free spins, free games, and cashback bonuses you get for playing at casinos. Usually, the bonuses come with wagering requirements that you must meet before withdrawing your winnings. So before playing a slot title, you should check the available bonuses and wagering requirements.

You should always ignore slots with unreasonable wagering requirements, even if their bonuses are tempting. A decent bonus with a 30x wagering requirement is better than a big bonus with 60x wagering requirements. Want more information about bonuses and promotions? Please, check our beginners’ guide to casino bonuses to get all the information you need.

5. Slot theme

Unlike before, when online slots feature only generic fruit symbols and some flashing lights, today’s slots have a wider range of themes. It is common to see movie-themed slots titles like the Expendables, King Kong, Jurassic Park, and more. Aside from movie slots, other popular themes on online casinos are horror-themed slots, music-themed slots, adventure-themed slots, space-themed slots, oriental-themed slots, and many more. The slot’s theme and style you choose can influence your overall experience playing the game.

6. Choose from our list of best online slots

Don’t want to go through the stress and time of finding the right online slots? You can start spinning right away by choosing titles from our list of best online slots. Our experts scoured the internet to bring you slots that offered the best gaming experiences, high RTP, low variance, and big bonuses. In addition, all the slots on our list are credible. Independent casino game testing organizations have tested them to verify their fairness and randomness.

Types Of Online Slot

Now that you know how to choose the best slots, you must acquaint yourself with the different types of online slots. Below are some of the most common types of online slots available to UK players in 2022.

• 3 Reel slots

3 Reel slots, sometimes called classic slots, are the simplest types of online slots. They are designed based on the traditional fruit machine found in physical casinos. Three reel slots are pretty straightforward to play and understand. The slots feature three rows and three columns of symbols. You win on the slot when the symbols that appear on reels form a winning combination from the paytable.

Three reel slots are best for beginners because of their simplicity. They come with basic rules that newbies can easily understand. Some classic slots come with progressive jackpots, and you get this jackpot anytime you land three similar symbols. Newbies can start spinning on three-reel slots and switch to more complex slots when they gain more experience.

Classic slots are volatile; they have high variance. When you spin on three-reel slots, you either win big prizes or lose everything fast. The high volatility can be attributed to the low number of reels, which means a low number of winning combinations.

• 5 Reel slots

Another popular type of online slot is five-reel slots, also called video slots. These online slots feature five reels, and most of them come with a video screen. Five reel slots are more advanced than classic slots. Video slots are popular for their stunning graphics, videos, and sounds.

An advantage five-reel slots have over three-reel slots is their higher paylines. This high number of possible winning combinations means your odds of winning playing video slots is higher than that of classic slots. Furthermore, you will likely enjoy longer playtime with your bets on video slots than classic slots. Five reel slots also feature higher jackpots, so you have a chance of winning big on these slots too.

• Progressive jackpots slots

Progressive slots are popular among newbies and experienced bettors. These slots give you a chance to win a big-pot prize. However, the drawback of jackpot slots is that you must play with the maximum bet. In simpler words, progressive slots require you to risk more money than you would on classic and video slots.

So, how do these types of slots work? Whenever you or any other player places a bet on a jackpot slot, a percentage of the bet goes into the total pot prize. This pot prize continues to increase, sometimes reaching millions until a lucky player wins it.

Most online slots display the total amount accumulated in the pot prize per game. So before you play, you already know the amount you will win if you are lucky. As of the time of writing these beginners’ guide to online slots, the biggest amount ever won on progressive slots is $20 million.

• 3D Slots

3D slots are one of the newest forms of online slots. They have similar features with video slots, except that they come with 3D animated characters. Aside from the improved 3D animation on these slots, you also get better audio effects and storylines. Most 3D slot themes are inspired by popular video games, movies, and more.

• Virtual reality Slots

More online casinos are starting to add VR slots to their slot lobby. These games offer players immersive experiences. VR games are more exciting and realistic and give you an experience that is almost at par with what you will get at land-based casinos.

How To Play Online Slots – A Step By Step Guide for Beginners

This online slot guide for dummies won’t be complete without a step-by-step explanation of how to play online slots. Follow the steps below if you are ready to have some fun and try your luck on slots.

• Step 1

The first step is to choose an online slot game you like to try. You can play the game via your desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. If you don’t have a preferred slot game yet, you can check our picks for the best online slots to get started.

• Step2

The next step is to check the game paytable to determine the worth of each symbol and know which winning combination to look out for.

• Step3

The third step is to decide the amount you want to bet and how many paylines you like to play. If you want to pay all the lines at once, you can select the ‘max bet’ button that’s usually feasible on the screen.

• Step4

The last step is to click the spin button. Once done, the reels will start spinning. When it stops, you will know whether you won or not. If you win, the slot will display your winnings, and you will get a payout. Your payout depends on the winning combination you landed, the value of each symbol, and your bet size.

Tips To Winning On Online Slots

As earlier discussed, winning is purely based on luck. However, some tips and tricks can help you have a better iGaming experience and hopefully help you win something.

  1. Set a budget and manage your bankroll effectively. Never be tempted to go over your budget. In addition, only gamble with the amount you can afford to lose.
  2. Check the volatility of the slot game. First, determine your game-playing strategy. Do you want to play games with big payouts but lower chances of winning or small payouts with a higher chance of winning? Your answer to this question would help you in choosing the right game.
  3. Check the paytable and the casino bonus and promotions sections to learn how to get the most out of their slot bonuses. Top online casinos in the UK offer free spins as a bonus from time to time.
  4. Have lots of fun. Always remember that online slots are meant for entertainment. So choose games that excite and stop betting when you no longer feel the thrill.
  5. Only play at legit casinos. Do your homework before you choose an online casino. Some sites are out to rip you off your hard-earned money. Playing at scam casinos will only leave you with regrets.

We hope you have found our guide to online slots helpful!. If you would like to discover more about other types of casino games then check out our main casino guide page.

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