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In addition, online slot games are very inclusive and can accommodate penny players and high rollers alike, which makes them appealing to a very wide range of gamblers. So let’s break this major topic down and see what the world of online slots sites has in store.
All slot games use a mechanism that ensures the randomness of the outcome of each and every spin. It is called Random Number Generator or RNG. And there are even legitimate gaming authorities that test these generators and confirm that they indeed function properly. With that said, there’s no way to beat the game and influence the outcome. Slots are a game of chance, and that is precisely what makes them so thrilling to play.
All slot games have something called a Return-to-Player ratio or RTP, which shows you how much you can expect to get back from the money you put in – over a longer period of time. With online slots, the RTP tends to always be above 90%, and with the most popular offerings it reaches about 95-96% and more.
It’s a good idea to choose slots with a higher RTP, and once you’re that far, next is mastering the buttons and learning how to place stakes. All slot games have paylines; some fixed, others are adjustable. But the bottom line is that you bet per payline, and then that amount is summed up to give you your total stake per spin.
Studying the paytable in the game settings, as well as the paylines, is a good way to determine how much you want to bet. And after you’ve developed enough confidence as a player, you can even start making use of the Auto Spin feature that most games offer. You can set it to make a certain number of spins for you, so you don’t have to do it manually every time.
As mentioned, the best online slots games come in every shape and size imaginable. You can check out our best online slots reviews for a more detailed look at some of the separate categories and prominent examples of each of them.
But to give you a rough idea of what’s out there, video slots are mainly distinguished between multi-payline slots (aka multi-reel slots) and 3-reel slots (aka classic slot games) or by volatility. This is as far as the structure of the games goes. But upon delving deeper, you will also find a plethora of genres and subgenres, as well as a separate category of slot games known as jackpot slots or progressive slots.
Slot games can also vary in terms of their layout, and more specifically, in terms of the number of reels they have. Classic titles usually have the minimum of just 3 reels (they are even referred to as 3-reel slots), whereas the most popular format for video slots these days is without doubt the 5-reel layout.
The number of reels in any given slot game determines the number of paylines or ways to win. Hence, the more reels there are – the more possibilities to form winning combinations. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean you will win more in a slot game with more reels, it certainly does make for a more varied and exciting gaming experience. And developers are always on a quest to invent new and more entertaining gaming solutions. So you can come across slots with 4, 5, 7, 10 and more reels. In some instances the number of reels can change as the game progresses and under certain conditions.
Like for example a very interesting feature that entails an increasing number of reels during gameplay is the Infinity Reels feature. If after a spin the rightmost reel has a symbol or symbols that can improve a winning combo, then another reel is added to the right. And as long as each new reel can better a winning combinations, new reels are added to the screen – infinitely!
Online slot providers are, as must have become abundantly clear by this point, also oftentimes have their finger in the decision making process when it comes to choosing an online casino. And so we have even categorized online gaming platforms by software developer. But here’s a glimpse of some of the best online slot providers and what exactly makes them the best.
Online slot games themes create the atmosphere and are almost as important to gameplay as the structure and features. And some players even choose online slot games solely by theme. With that said, there’s an endless variety of different themes out there and unlimited room for software providers to unleash their creativity and craft unique, captivating stories.
Some of the more popular slot themes out there include TV and movie slots, adventure slots, action slots and holiday slots. Fairytale or fantasy slots have also gained momentum in recent years. Then you can go deeper than that even and distinguish different themes by setting, e.g. Western slots, Ancient Egyptian slots, Nordic slots, etc. So whatever makes you tick – you will be sure to find a slot game for it.
Paylines are critical to any online slot game’s structure as they determine how wins are formed. And wouldn’t you want to know what influences your payouts?When we look at the setup of a certain slot game, we consider the layout, the symbols, their value, betting limits and, sure, the paylines, as well. But only briefly. Somehow the paylines don’t really get all that much attention and that’s not very fair.
A typical payline scheme, Book of Ra Slot
Now, on your basic slot game grid, you have a number of reels, rows and symbols. When the reels stop, the symbols fall in a certain way on the grid and depending on where those symbols are in respect to the paylines, winning combinations can be formed. The paylines essentially crisscross the layout of the slot game from the leftmost reel, along the adjacent reels – and all the way to rightmost reel.
Slots paylines vary in numbers from title to title, but as a rule they are always between 1 and 50. And bets are usually calculated per payline to give you the total amount you will be staking for the spin. E.g. if you stake $0.01 per payline on a 20-payline slot, your total bet per spin will be $0.20.
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Many players prefer to have their favorite games available instantly at their fingertips, as opposed to having to navigate to the online casino in their browsers. What’s important here is that all the games in the casino’s lobby be scalable and mobile-friendly, so that the smaller screens don’t eat away at the quality of the offerings.
Online slot games can be played both for real money and with real cash wins, as well as for virtual money or for free. Free slots are essentially the demo mode of the real thing, and it turns out that they are much more played than their real money counterparts. And while free play slot titles do have their perks, they also have some clear disadvantages if you compare them to real money online slot games.
Slot games are generally thought of as solitary games. After all, it’s just you and the game – no other players, no dealer, nobody. But did you know that there are actually online slot game tournaments? And it’s an interesting way to share the whole solo experience and add a competitive edge to it, as well. Here is how it works.
The rules are very simple and pretty much nothing changes in the way you would normally play your favorite slot titles. Namely, every player spins the reels and makes their bets as they would on a regular day. Only the results are gathered and compared among all the participants in the tournament. And the player who comes out with the most winnings at the end of the competition is declared the winner and awarded the grand prize.
Typically the casino will choose one specific slot game, or perhaps a select few (e.g. based on genre) titles for the tournament. And it is very common for such tournaments to have a certain admission fee or buy-in that needs to be paid in order to partake in them. And in that case, the buy-ins would go towards the main prize. But there are also free tournaments out there that have a different approach.
Another thing to note is that online slot tournaments typically have a time frame attached to them, and it can range from anything as little as half an hour up to several weeks or a month. And once the time is up, the results are announced and the winner – named.
So, with hundreds and hundreds of various online slot games to choose from – how do you pick one that’s right for you? To break it down, there are several important factors to consider that may help you narrow down your choices.
Many of the bonuses offered by casinos are often actually online slots bonuses, which makes complete sense given that slots are the most popular casino games. No deposit free spins, as well as complimentary free spins to deposit bonuses are usually how these promotions are packaged.
But aside from that, there are also numerous online slots with bonus features that include free spins and other extras as part of gameplay. These offer wonderful wining opportunities and can genuinely up the excitement levels of just about any game. And developers will often go above and beyond to come up with new ways in which surprise players with these types of special features. And there are endless possibilities to trigger them, too. You may need to land a certain symbol or sequence of symbols, perhaps you will have to play a mini game, or sometimes the special features are only triggered at random. In any event, they’re a very fun addition to gameplay.
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