How To Play Slots: Quick Start Guide
Online Slots can be a little daunting to beginner players. The symbols, flashing lights, and rules which vary by the game make it tricky to get started. But never fear; CasinoGuide can help you – just follow the steps below to give it a try!
- Pick a casino from the list above, sign up, and make a deposit and claim your welcome bonus. Navigate to the Slots games page, choose a game that looks interesting to you and try it out.
- Before spinning the reels, assess your game. Identify the win lines, and find out what the wild symbol is and how it works. Are there other special symbols – for example a scatter or bonus?
- Next, check to see if there are any features, free spins, or multipliers.
- Finally, decide how much to bet on each spin. This will depend on your bankroll and how many spins you want to get for your money. Your bet can be controlled using the coin value, level, and lines options.
- You’re ready – time to spin those reels!
Classic slots aim to emulate those found in casinos’ halls during earlier times: one-armed bandits and arcade-style spinners or steppers. The Classics tend to follow a 3-reel, <10 line set-up, and with all of the game action centred in the base game, this type of casino slot focuses on high-worth payouts and paytables that feature all your favourite symbols – think liberty bells, bars, and fruit symbols!
Check out any of these classics to get a taste for this type of online slots machine:
- Mystery Joker 6000
- Mega Joker
- Fruit Zen
Video Slots come with cracking narratives and bonuses symbols and rounds like wilds and free spins interlinked with the theme. Typically 5 reeled games with up to 243 betlines, video cover all genres, and have stunning graphics, plus, fascinating gameplay due to the bonus rounds like click and pick bonuses, free spins, re-spins, expanding wilds, sticking wilds, and loads of win action. It’s the thrilling bonuses, grand graphics, and immersive nature of video slots that make them all-rage with players.
Some of the most popular video slots to spin include:
- Gonzo’s Quest (regular, VR, and Megaways ™)
- Vikings Go Berzerk
- Dead or Alive 2
- Book of Dead
- Immortal Romance
- Jack and the Beanstalk
Branded Slots are video slots based on licensed themes or franchises such as a film, popular music group, or series. This type of slot includes options like Game of Thrones, Ace Ventura, Jumanji, Guns N’ Roses, and Anchorman. Usually sticking to the video slot set up, these games bring your favourite characters back to screens again but add the awesome option of winning real money prizes at the same time.
New Slots are the games leading the industry forward with groundbreaking or disruptive innovation, like Megaways™ (this was the first type of casino slot to have reels that modify during the gameplay, increasing the possible ways to win over one hundred thousand).
New slots are the most exciting, bringing something new to the table with every release, like cascading reels, colossal symbols, pick your bonus rounds and so on!
Check out these titles for a thorough introduction to new slots:
- Bonanza Megaways ™
- Hades Gigablox
- Vikings Unleashed Megaways ™
- Gods of Gold Infini Reels
- Star Clusters
Jackpot Slots, progressive or not, offer up a larger-than-usual prize pot that is won by completing a bonus round, like free spins or a bonus wheel. In the case of progressives, the jackpot can potentially payout million-pound sums, so there’s plenty to play for with Jackpot Slots.
The top progressives to play at any online casino are:
- Mega Moolah
- Mega Fortune
- Divine Fortune
- Hall of Gods
- Arabian Nights
- Age of the Gods (all seven slots in this series)
not sure if I was meant to cover this here again? Delete if not rq. due to the jackpot section above.
3 Great Reasons To Play Online Slots
- Huge selection of games
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- Massive signup bonuses
Best Software Providers for Slots
As the UK is one of the biggest gambling industries globally, almost every casino slot developer wants or has UKGC licensing, which means UK players have a wealth of software choices at their fingertips. If you’re not sure which casino slots you want to start playing or need a refresher then these are the front-running studios that produce the best online slots:
NetEnt is at the top of the food chain when it comes down to casino slots (matched only by Microgaming), leading the way in terms of graphics, bonuses and innovation. This award-winning studio releases multiple titles each year and is the most popular choice for casino software with 200+ hit-titles in its portfolio. NetEnt doesn’t stick to a pattern other than RTPs of 96%+ and cutting-edge graphics. With great payouts guaranteed by superior math models, NetEnt focuses on attracting players with cracking narratives and immersive artwork, making their games some of the best online.
As well as making slots of all kinds, NetEnt has produced some of the most popular progressive jackpots in the industry including, Mega Fortune, Hall of Gods, Arabian Nights and Cosmic Fortune.
Microgaming has been in it since the beginning. With a portfolio of over 800 in-house titles and a total of 1,500 games (total includes partner’s games), Microgaming is head to head with NetEnt as the leading casino slot game provider.
The MG portfolio’s strength comes in its diversification, as MG has forged exclusive deals with several smaller studios creating a diverse, unique and competitive portfolio of titles all supplied via the Quickfire Platform.
MG’s partner studios for 2023 include Alchemy, Gameburger Studios, Switch Studios, Fortune Factory, Slingshot, Stormcraft and Triple Edge Studios: with such a line of top-notch software playing at an MG Casino is never a mistake, especially if you’re looking for the best range of games, bets, themes, bonuses and new releases every month. What’s more, Microgaming’s progressive jackpot network includes Mega Moolah and has paid out over €1.6billion to players in total.
Those seeking classic land-based slots converted to online games and modern video slots head to SG Casinos. These bad boys have been breaking-out hit casino slots since the 70s and are a feature of all land-based casino halls, as well as most online casinos, worldwide. SG has acquired several other gaming brands, including WMS, Bally, NextGen Gaming, Shuffle Masters and Barcrest, which keeps the studio’s game reels fresh with new content, ideas and varying game styles.
IGT hits big with classic slot players, but the studio’s games offer the full range. The game style is unique and tends to stick to a traditional arcade slot feel, but you can find all sorts of thrilling slot titles in the IGT portfolio, including braided titles like Family Guy.
The company has been around since 1981 and has over 100 titles in the casino collection. Like SG, IGT began as a land-based slot game specialist and is responsible for bringing some of the most player-loved land-based gaming terminals to online players. IGT slots tend to have RTPs between 94-97% and the studio has a range of progressive jackpots too, but they do not garner the same type of attention as NetEnt or MG progressives.
Top IGT slots to play at the casino include Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune on Tour, Siberian Storm and Da Vinci Diamonds.
Big Time Gaming
Big Time Gaming is a younger software studio, but arguably they’ve done more for modern gaming in the last five years than any other producer, and so deserve a spot at the top. BTG is the studio that created and licenced Megaways™, MegaQuads™ and MegaClusters™.
Throwing the rulebook out of the window, this daring slot producer created the world’s first slot machines with thousands of ways to win, through altering the number of symbols and reels in play on every spin. As one of the few licensed slot mechanics on the market, BTG’s Megaways™ are used by other studios, worldwide, (including NetEnt, MG, SG and IGT) who pay for the rights.
Aside from BTG’s licensed slot mechanics, the studio’s in-house slots total around 35 games. Each is highly exciting, featuring cutting-edge graphics and innovative maths or concepts and making each new BTG release a must-play game.
Rather Try an Up-and-Coming Software Studio?
There are plenty of rising star slot studios struggling to get a look-in with so much competition between games providers these days. These studios are making some of the best and most innovative casino slots on the market. Still, they don’t garner as much attention as the leading producers, because they are not as widely featured at the casino. For this reason (and to keep their games fresh and competitive) more prominent producers like Microgaming have begun partnering with studios and releasing their games under a single platform and license. But, many studios still go it alone, determined to carve themselves a place in the market and player’s hearts. Here are some of the best slot software studios to try out in 2021.
- Lightning Box
- Booming Games
Choosing Between Online Slots Casinos
There are a great many Slots online casinos for you to choose from, and that can make it difficult to get going. Starting with a list such as ours is a good way to ensure you’re choosing from the very best Slots casinos that are legally operating in your area with a relevant regulatory license, but how to decide from those?
Fortunately, we rate and review our recommended Slots casinos on a number of different criteria. These can be seen either in the list above, or by clicking through to your prospective casino’s review page. Here’s some aspects of online Slots casinos for you to look out for:
- Number of games – the vast majority of these will be Slots games, so this figure is a big help in assessing the size of a Slots casino’s library
- Bonus amount – the best Slots casinos know that competition for loyal players is fierce; you should expect a sizeable bonus for making a deposit
- RTP percentage – try to ensure you choose a Slots casino offering over 95% RTP
- Payment options – check that the casino makes and accepts payment using your preferred method to avoid disappointment
- Check for certifications – the footer of the Slots casino website should display some accreditations and logos which speak to its authenticity
Slots Online: What Is An RNG?
Random Number Generators (or RNGs) are what make online Slots work; they constantly generate numbers which correspond with the symbols on the reels. When you press the spin button, a number is generated, thereby deciding the result of each spin.
An RNG is like a computer program. A series of instructions, called an algorithm or formula, is used for generating the numbers. There will be numerous combinations that simply cannot come about, and each full set of combinations (possible spin outcomes) is called a cycle. However, this doesn’t mean Slots have ‘cycles’ of winning and losing.
RTP is represented as a percentage, and it is the amount of money a slot machine returns over time compared with the amount paid in (100%). For example, if a game has an RTP of 96% then for every $100 spent on a slot, $96 is returned to players, and $4 is the house-edge or casino’s profit.
RTP is not reflective of a single player’s experience, but the total, and so it doesn’t indicate that you would win $96. but rather on average for all the bets placed, the game returns 96% of the stakes.
As a general indication of how a slot game pays out, you can use RTP to tell which slots are more generous and which have a higher casino profit. RTP does not tell you how a slot game will payout when you play it, because as an average, RTP includes the players who hit jackpot payouts and those who spin and accumulate a total loss at the end, rather it’s an overall indicator. Game RTPs are tested and certified as part of gambling regulation.
Why Play At Slots Casinos Online?
In the past, you could only play Slots when you were fortunate enough to be in an area of legalized gambling such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City or an Indian casino. Now, thanks to online casinos, Slots games can be accessed easily via your computer or mobile phone.
Playing online Slots is simple and entertaining. There’s no need to learn a complex set of rules, or even a strategy. Just sit back and relax as you spin the reels in hope of that life-changing jackpot.
Online Slots Offer Better RTP Percentages
Real-life Slots play used to be dominated by the hunt for ‘loose’ machines that were more likely to pay out. Some players felt that the looser machines were at the front of the casino where passers-by could see them being hit. Others felt that you could only find a loose machine in a bank of tight machines.
With online slots, the hunt is made very simple. You can find out specifically what the average return to player (RTP) percentage is for all online Slots games, and simply choose the highest ones. Online casino Slots will typically offer an RTP of at least 95%, with the best online Slots offering even more. To put that into perspective, consider that the best Slot machines in real life usually offer an RTP of only 90%.
The Vast Selection Of Online Slots Games
It is true that there are many different Slots games to choose from in a real-life casino. But the number of machines is still finite and there may not be any seats available for the game you like to play. Fortunately, this is never a problem with online Slots.
First of all, there is a huge range of online Slots games for you to choose from – varying in complexity, variance, graphical theme, and game mechanics. And just as importantly, any online casino Slots game you would like to play is available 24/7 as long as it is still supported by the provider.
Play Online Slots With Real Money
It is possible to play Slots online without making deposits just by heading to one of the well-known online Slots casinos and using their practice mode. This option is generally available for all the best online Slots. But most players quickly find that this lacks the inherent thrill that comes from playing online Slots with real money.
When you hit that jackpot, you want to be able to claim the money and spend it out in the real world. Playing real money online Slots enables you to do this, whereas any wins accumulated on a free game will disappear as soon as you leave the page.
Online Slots Bonuses
When you’re looking for a casino where you can play Slots online, bonus offers should be at the front of your mind. The great thing about playing online Slots with bonuses is you aren’t necessarily risking any of your own money.
In the majority of cases, you will get the best possible Slots bonus by making a deposit – here at CasinoGuide we’ve collected the best online Slots bonuses in one place for you. All of the best Slots casinos listed above offer fantastic online Slots bonuses as incentives for signing up.
Play Online Slots On Mobile
This is a huge benefit if you are the kind of online Slots player who doesn’t have a great deal of time to sit at home and play Slots games online. Now you can enjoy playing the best online Slots anywhere you like, so long as you have an Internet connection – whether you’re on the bus, at the airport, or in the waiting room.
The number of people playing online Slots on mobile has seen a huge surge in the past few years, and shows no signs of slowing. Now all of the best online Slots game developers are ensuring that their games are compatible with mobile devices. And all the best Slots casinos either offer an app, or more commonly, make their website fully accessible to mobiles.
These days very new casino game released is mobile-first: ready to play on any device. Now, most older titles have also been coded in HTL5M so they can be played via a mobile device too, which means you can play almost any Casino Slot on the go!
Explore Our Online Slots Section
Slots is the biggest and most popular of all the casino games available online today. So much so, that putting everything onto this one page would be almost impossible!
Check out the other pages in our online Slots section to find out more about the different kinds of online Slots available to you.
Online Slots New Releases
Are you a fully paid up Slots enthusiast? If there’s a new game on the block, you want to be first to know about it! You will also want to know what the latest and greatest Slots games are, who develops them, and what the relevant bonuses are.
Check out our new Slots games page for the latest and greatest online Slots innovations, collected and presented in one simple place! We review each one, assess the features that make it stand out from the rest, and even show you where you can play it.
Online Video Slots
Arguably the most popular kind of online Slots, Video Slots have played a huge part in transforming the game and bringing it into the 21st century. No longer are Slots games limited by sub-par graphics and lack of narrative, as Video Slots bring full HD video and highly arresting visual effects to the genre.
Swing by our online Video Slots page for everything you need to know about this massively popular addition to online casino libraries. Plus, you can grab some top-level bonuses to use when you play on them!
Play Slots Online Free
Sometimes, you just want to play some Slots online without risking any of your hard-earned money. And that’s fair enough, especially if you are a beginner and not used to playing online Slots for real money. They are also good for getting used to a new Slots game and all of its intricacies.
That’s why here at CasinoGuide we have collected together some of the best free Slots games for you to enjoy. No sign up required, no download required (even on mobile) – just head to our page, pick your game, and start spinning!
This is one of the most common online Slots-related offers you will find. Free spins, sometimes also known as extra spins, are easy to understand. They basically offer you the chance to make a certain number of spins on a Slots online game, without using your own money!
Here on CasinoGuide, you can find our recommended list of the very best online casinos with free spins. These are offered by the most reputable and reliable online casinos out there, and often come attached to very generous sign up bonuses.
A progressive online Slots game is distinguished by its collective prize pool which grows as you (and others) play. If you hit a very rare combination of symbols, you win the pot, known as the progressive jackpot.
Because everyone playing on the same progressive jackpot game pays into the same prize pool, the prize pool can sometimes reach astronomical numbers. There have been several recorded cases where players have won over $10 million! For your chance to win a life-changing sum like this, head over to our progressive jackpot Slots page.
Online Slots Tournaments
These are hugely popular with online Slots players who are looking for a fast-paced and potentially lucrative session on the reels. The concept of Slots tournaments is fairly simple; at the start, you and the other competitors all have a certain amount of credit. Whoever can make the most winnings from this credit within the time limit wins!
The concept is based upon real-life tournaments, and has long been active at online casinos worldwide. Head over to our dedicated page to find the best Slots tournaments online and join in the fun today!