Online slots constitute the bulk of online casino gaming, and these have come a long way from the land based electromechanical slot machines built over a hundred years ago. Today both land casino and online casino slot machines are based on simulated spinning of the reels on the screen that are operated through computer software involving random number generation. In online slots the software is on the server of the online casinos remotely located from the players. This section describes the different types of online slots offered, online slots strategy and the advantages and disadvantages of online slot games.
- Online slots are the most popular of online casino games and also the games category with the largest number of titles. Almost all new games released are online slots.
- Online slots are visually appealing with graphics, animations and audio revolving around a theme. Branded slots use content from popular movies or TV shows.
- Online slots have the potential to deliver huge payouts. Some progressive jackpot online slots pay out in millions of euros each time they are hit.
- The outcomes in online slots are based only on luck with no skill involved. The average return to player is about 95%.
Different types of online slots
The earliest online slots had three reels and are referred to as classic slot machines. They are very simple games without many additional features. Most online casinos continue to offer a selection of classic slots. The dominant category today is video slots, which mostly have five reels and a host of additional features like wild symbols payout multipliers, free spins and bonus games on the second screen. Video slots have symbols and graphics that create various themes like sport, food and mythology.
There are certain types of slot games that are very popular. One of these is progressive jackpot slots. A part of every bet adds to the jackpot payout, which keeps on increasing. The player who hits the progressive jackpot gets the full amount. In many progressive slots, like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune, this amount runs into millions of euros. Some progressive jackpots are hit by landing a certain combination of symbols. Others are awarded randomly after any spin.
Today most of the leading software providers develop online slot machines under license from copyright holders of movies, television shows, music groups and the like. These are referred to as branded slots and use audio and visual content from the originals. Jurassic Park, Guns N Roses and Batman & The Joker Jewels are popular branded slots.
How to play online slots
You begin by setting the line bet, which is the amount wagered per payline. In some slot games the line bet is chosen directly. In other online slots the line bet is obtained as the product of the chosen coin size and number of coins per payline. The total bet per spin is the line bet multiplied by the number of paylines activated.
After placing the bet you activate the reels by clicking the spin button. When the reels stop, the software automatically checks each active payline and makes payments for the winning combinations. The payout table specifies the winning combinations and the amount to be paid for each. In most cases the winning combinations are three or more like symbols landing in consecutive reels starting from the first one. In contemporary video slots you have bonus features that award additional payouts. You may be awarded a number of free spins for which no stake is deducted from your balance but the winnings are credited to your account. The other common type of bonus feature asks you to pick objects for extra credits.
Online slots strategy
Online slots are casino games that involve only luck and no skill. You cannot influence the combinations of the symbols on the reels when they stop spinning. These are randomly determined by the software. However, there is one golden rule of slots play that you should always follow. If you are allowed to select the number of paylines, then activate the maximum possible. If a specified combination lands on a defined payline that is inactive, you will not win anything. Also in some online slots, progressive jackpots and bonus features are available only if all defined paylines are active.
Online slot games differ in a characteristic known as volatility or variance. This is not mentioned anywhere in the rules or other information. Online slots that are less volatile will offer payouts more frequently, but the payouts usually will be smaller. These are suitable for conservative players more intent on preserving their bankroll. High variance online slots will offer much larger payouts, but not as frequently. Risk taking players who go after big wins prefer this type. The variance of an online slot can be ascertained from the payouts offered and by playing the slot game for some time. You should learn to assess the variance of online slots so that you can play at those that suit your requirement.
Advantages and disadvantages of online slots
Online slots are visually appealing casino games with high quality graphics, animations and audio. They have the potential to deliver very high payouts per euro wagered. Many online slots award fixed jackpots of 10,000 times the line bet and there are progressive jackpot payouts that run into millions of euros. Most bonuses and promotional benefits offered by online casinos are for slots play.
One of the disadvantages of online slots is that they offer average returns of about 95%, which is lower than the returns offered by most other casino game categories. Because there is no skill involved in playing online slots, there are players who do not feel challenged enough to go for them.