Exploring the World of Online Slots

The online slot industry is booming, and as we go into 2024, it's likely online slots will continue to increase in popularity. Online slots are among the most popular types of online casino games for multiple reasons. Online slots are diverse, fast paced, imaginative and rewarding. Plus, you don't need to be a gambling expert to play slot games and relish all of the winning opportunities that can be presented through a game. Of course, it's important to know what to look for when picking a slot game, along with knowing the differences between the different slots available. If you sign up for what you think is a reputable and legitimate online casino, and notice their slot section is lacking variety, that's often a sign that the casino itself isn't up to par.

Most of the time, you'll have hundreds, maybe even thousands of slot games to choose from. Each game will come with its own flare and style, along with unique special features that fit the theme of the game. There are a lot of options to choose from, which can be overwhelming for a newbie.

Slot Game Software

There are a lot of different companies that specialize in crafting casino games to perfection, and some are better than others. Some of these software companies include the likes of Whimsy Games, Microgaming, PlayTech, NetEnt, Betsoft, RealTime Gaming, IGT, Thunderkick, and others. These are the top software development companies of 2023, but just because a game was developed by a lesser known company, doesn't mean the game isn't worth playing. There are a lot of other factors to consider when evaluating an online slot's appeal.

Special Features

Slot games are a unique genre because slot games can come with a lot of variety, meaning there are many different playing options, but the playing options don't make the basis of the game any more complicated or less beginner-friendly. Common slot features include wild symbols, scatters, jackpot symbols, avalanche reels, free spin rounds and random triggers.

Before you begin, you'll want to read the pay table associated with the game. It'll include information on the highest paying symbols, the lowest paying symbols and the special symbols associated with the game. The special symbols often trigger special bonus features. It'll also include instructions on how the bonus rounds are triggered. The pay table also lists important information about the slot, like RTP, volatility, hit rate and maximum win.

How Slots Work

Now, let's go over some of the basics! Any slot game, regardless of the theme will begin when you place your stakes. However, most slots do offer demo mode these days. Demo mode, or free play mode allows you to play a game that is identical to a real money game without the wager. It's a great way to test out a slot before committing to it.

After you've tested the game out, place your stakes. However, there's even a variety in how wagering works in slot machines. Some games allow you to just place a basic, overall wager. In some games you can adjust the number of pay lines, and set the wager per pay line, so the total wager is how much you'll actually be per spin. Some games operate using a coins system.

When it comes to spinning, there's two ways to spin! Most games have a manual spin button, and an auto spin button. The manual spin button speaks for itself. You can usually set this as your space bar, and you just need to press the button and it'll spin. The autospin button however allows you to preselect the number of spins you'd like the game to spin for. Sometimes you can auto spin up to 100 times. Speaking of game mechanics, many games will also allow you to adjust the speed of the reels by pressing the lightning bolt button, or adjusting the settings in the menu. The goal of any slot game is to land a match of three to six symbols. Some games do give out payouts for matches of two. Most games are played either in a three reel, three row format, or a five reel, three row format. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

How Slots Run

Most slots operate using something called a Random Number Generator. This will guarantee you that every spin is different from the last. The outcome of every spin is based on the RNG, so it's a purely luck based game. Your chosen slot will generate thousands of numbers per second.

Slots also operate using an RTP rate. The RTP is the percentage of bets placed on average that will result in wins. Every slot has an RTP which is set by the developer, some slots even offer the same game with different RTP rates varying from 95% to 97% or higher. Along with RTP, you'll want to research the volatility of a slot. Votatltity just means the number of wins and the size of those wins. So low volatility games will pay out often but the payouts will be small. Media volatility slots mean the hit rate and payouts will occur at a medium rate, and high volatility slots mean the payouts are harder to trigger, but when they are triggered they'll be a large sum.

Classic Slots

Classic Slots are referred to as classic slots for a reason. They're chic, they're stylist and they're simplistic. Classic slots are as close as you'll ever get to the original slot machines that debuted over a century ago now, and are often presented as a throwback to the days of land based casino dominance. Most classic slots are three reels and feature one horizontal pay line. However, some classic slots might feature three, four or five pay lines, sometimes even more than that. Another way to better identify a classic slot is by observing the variety of symbols offered. Does your game offer cherries, lemons, and oranges? What about lucky 7s or bell symbols? Well, that game is likely inspired by, or based on a classic slot. These type of slots typically lack special features, but might include some basic features like sevens or bells.

Multi Payline Slots

Many slots with multiple pay lines feature more than three reels. These games can be highly entertaining, but it might take a period of adjustment if you're used to more simplistic, classic slots. Pay lines for these type of games can range from nine to one hundred. Many of these pay lines are not only horizontal, but also vertical, diagonal, zigzagging or even award v-shaped wins. These types of games also often offer a wide range of symbols, and wider betting options. The minimum coin value can be as low as 0.01 EUR per spin, which is very common.

Bonus Game Slots

Some of the industry's most popular slots contain special features and additional bonuses. These types of slots typically incorporate the bonus game into their slot and it's triggered by some random combination of symbols. Usually the bonus game will accompany the slot's theme. Bonus games require players to gather specific symbols or prizes, or by choosing from different objects. For example, a 'pick me' bonus game is common.

3D Slots

3D slots are probably the most visually appealing types of slots on the market these days, and the most popular software companies often stack their catalog with 3D options, such as Betsoft or NetEnt. Not only do these games offer superior graphics, but they also offer lively animations, enhanced sound effects and top of the line special features.

Progressive Slots

Progressive slots are likely to be found at nearly every online casino. These slots come with a massive progressive jackpot attached to them, and a small portion of every player's bet will increase the progressive jackpot prize pot. Eventually the jackpot will pay out to a lucky player, and the progressive jackpot will reset. Some progressive jackpots are linked to a single slot at a single casino, while others are shared between several online gambling sites.