When slots were created, they were the second-class games at casinos, merely pastime entertainment machines with simple gameplay and modest payouts. Now, slots rule the casino floor, particularly in virtual gaming environments, with online casinos featuring hundreds, even thousands of titles, for players to enjoy around the clock.
Here’s what you need to know about slots – we give you the basics in a step-by-step guide that will make you a slots aficionado in no time.
Educate Yourself on How Slots Work
Slots are easy to play, but before you stake money on them you ought to know the concept. A slot machine, whether it is physical or online, has a set of symbols which are arranged on vertical spinning elements called “reels”.
Once the machine is activated, the reels rotate and stop to show a random series of symbols arranged on the screen, covering all the available positions. In order to receive a win, you need to land specific combinations and patterns of symbols.
The combinations are connected with lines, referred to as paylines, win lines or betways. A slot machine can have one winning line, 25 or 50, and modern video slots have ways to win which can produce thousands of different winning combos through aligning matching symbols on adjacent reels.
This category of slots is also characterised by including bonus rounds which can take the form of free spins (the reels spin a determined number of times without charge), symbol-picking mini-games and various other features designed to help you rack up extra winnings.
The grand majority of slots include a Wild symbol which is like a Joker card. The Wild can replace any regular symbol in the game and complete a winning line, helping you earn the corresponding payout.
A frequent symbol is also the Scatter, which can often issue payouts regardless of the paylines, all it takes is that several of them appear anywhere on the screen. The Scatter is also often the trigger for bonus rounds.
Do a Test Run in Demo Mode
The great thing about slots is that you can find a multitude of them online available for practice play. Simply choose “play for fun” or “practice” or any similar option the casino is giving you and you will be able to experience your chosen slot in its entirety, except you won’t be playing with real money.
Free play slots operate on virtual casino credits and even though all the wins and stakes are authentically simulated, this money is not cashable and doesn’t exist apart from being there to complete your gambling experience trial. The rest of the game stays identical to the version which accepts real money wagers.
The symbols, the paytable (a table of associated symbols and their respective payouts), the bonus rules if there are any, the visuals and sound effects, all to the smallest of details. So you can see how playing a few spins would familiarise you with the game in all its aspects and prepare you for placing your first real money bet.
Select a Trustworthy Casino
With so many online casinos active online, one needs to eliminate all the websites with suspicious operations and weak reputation before engaging in proper betting.
You don’t want to risk your money even more by depositing into a casino with a questionable operator, unresponsive customer service or unlicensed software. Spend some time researching the best online casinos accepting players from your region and make sure they are licensed, certified for fairness and promote responsible gambling.
Choose Recommended Slot Machines
As a beginner, you may fall for the razzle-dazzle of flashy slot design, but keep in mind that there are many themes and slot configurations out there that may provide you with memorable gaming experience.
Follow your personal preference, but also be aware of the slots’ possibilities to deliver rewarding payouts. Player feedback is often helpful, as well as slot reviews you can read online. The slot world can take you in many different directions, so feel free to explore it and find your favourites.
Go Through the Settings
Once you’ve loaded the game, take a moment to go through the paytable and get a general understanding of the value of the symbols, as well as the stages of bonus rounds and special features.
Customise the settings – most slots will allow you to adjust the sound effects, offer you automatic spins and let you play in full screen. Depending on the game, you may be able to select the number of active lines. In some slots, all the lines are active and fixed without the possibility of choosing which ones to enable/disable.
Select Your Wager
When you create an online casino account, you will deposit money into your balance and exchange this money for casino credits or coins. The balance will be displayed usually at the bottom of the game’s interface. You now have to choose your stakes.
Some slots merely display the total bet, meaning stake per spin across all active lines. Others display bet per line, which needs to be multiplied by the number of active paylines to get the value of your total bet per spin. The size of the bet is usually manipulated by clicking on +/- buttons or arrows, depending on the game’s design.
Hit the Spin/Play Button
After you’ve decided on your bet, there is nothing left to do but to click on the Spin button (or Play button) and watch the RNG (Random Number Generator) software perform its backstage calculations and produce series of numbers to finally determine which symbols will populate the reels once they come to a stop.
Observe the Magic and Enjoy!
With the reels put in motion, there is no way you can affect the game’s outcome. Observe the spinning and savour the suspense. When they stop rotating, the software will indicate if there are any winning combinations formed and you will be paid as it is indicated in the paytable for that particular combination of symbols.
If a bonus round is triggered, you will proceed to play out the bonus and if you are playing a progressive jackpot slot and you have hit the jackpot you will see those balance numbers go high at full throttle.