Slots Guide on how to play online slots
Slots are exciting games of chance. The player’s actions do not affect the outcome of the game, as the result of each spin is down to luck. To play slots, you simply need to place your bet and start the reels spinning – then wait for your money to start rolling in! To win a payout, you usually need to match at least three symbols on an active payline. But there are a few other basics to get to grips with before playing slots online.
Paylines are the lines on which the matching symbols must appear for you to win a payout. Typically slot machines have 20 paylines, though some have only 5 or 10 and some can have 50, 100 or even as many as 250. Sometimes paylines are fixed so that all the paylines are in play each spin, while other slots let you change the number of paylines you bet on each spin. Generally, the more paylines you play, the higher your total bet will be.
Slots have different ways to change your bet. Some slots allow you to select the size of your bet by changing the coin value, others let you also change your bet level, while others also let you alter the number of paylines in play. All of these options help you select the right bet per spin for your bankroll, depending on how much money you want to risk on each spin.
You can find out more about the game you are playing by clicking on the information button which can usually be found at the bottom of the screen. This button can be a tool symbol or a question mark. This page will let you read the game rules and learn how to trigger the bonus rounds. You can also see the paytable where all the symbols and their payouts are displayed, along with the rules for any scatter and wild symbols.
Now you know how to play online slots, come and spin to win!
Slot games have symbols related to the theme of the game. They also have some special symbols, which can award bonus rounds, bigger payouts and multipliers. Some symbols can substitute for others to create more possible wins. Here are the main special symbols you will find when playing online slots:
Wild symbols are special symbols that can substitute all other symbols (except scatters, in most cases) to help create more winning combinations. This means if you spin two matching symbols and a wild on an active payline, the wild will substitute to create 3 matching symbols and you will win a payout. Wild wins always pay the highest possible win on a payline.
In some slot games wild symbols can act differently. Sometimes they will stay on the reels for the next spin (these are called ‘sticky wilds’) or stack up on the reels (‘stacked wilds’ or ‘expanding wilds’), move along the reels (‘creeping wilds’), multiply your wins or even trigger bonus rounds.
Scatters are special symbols in slot games that have the power to launch bonus rounds. They can also often award a high payout when they appear anywhere on the screen, not only on an active payline. In many slots, if you spin 3 scatter symbols on the screen you will trigger a number of free spins. The more scatters you find, the more free spins you will be awarded. Scatters can also unlock bonus games, which can be highly lucrative.
Fancy hitting a wild win? Come and try your luck!
Choosing your slot game
To maximise your winning potential it is important to choose a slot game that suits your pocket and playing style. Some slot games tend to pay regular small amounts, while others pay larger amounts but less often. This difference in payout rate is called volatility. The volatility rating of slots is generally divided into low, medium and high.
Low volatility slots typically pay out more often, but the wins are smaller. This allows you to play longer and hopefully build up your bankroll. High volatility slots on the other hand do not pay out as often, but when you do hit a win, you win big. Medium volatility slots fall somewhere between the two.
If you want to maximise your play time and build up your bankroll slowly, then you should choose a low volatility slot machine. High volatility slots are more risky, but the rewards can be much greater. For players who have a medium bankroll, the medium volatility slots can offer the best of both worlds.
One way of finding out the volatility of a slot is by checking the paytable in the game to view the payouts. If the highest paying symbol awards 250 coins, the slot is said to be low volatility; if the highest paying symbol awards 10,000 coins, the slot is most likely high volatility.
Learn more about slots’ volatility.
Online jackpot slots
All slots feature a jackpot, which is the highest possible payout in the game. Some slots have a fixed jackpot, while other games have a progressive jackpot. Fixed jackpots are always the same, while progressive jackpots continue to rise until someone wins the whole amount. These progressive jackpots can build up to huge sums, often many hundreds of thousands of pounds or more.
Whenever a player places a bet on the slot, a percentage is added to the progressive prize pool. This allows the jackpot to climb ever higher until one lucky player hits the big win. Progressive jackpots are usually linked between games across multiple casinos, so they can grow quickly to large amounts and offer one lucky player a life-changing win. Other times progressive jackpots are split into multiple levels, such as a mini, maxi and mega jackpot, so more than one player can win a payout from the jackpot prize pool.
Read more about jackpot slots.
Will you win the next progressive jackpot?
Myths about online slots
There are many myths surrounding online slots. The most prevalent myth is that slots are somehow ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ and that certain slots are ‘due’ to payout after a certain length of time. In fact, slots never go through ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ spells, as the odds of winning are always the same. The length of time since the last jackpot was won makes no difference at all to your chances of hitting the jackpot on your next spin. This is because each spin is entirely independent of the others and as random as the toss of a coin.
Another closely-related myth is that there is no point playing a slot if it has just paid out a big jackpot. Again, this is nonsense as your odds of winning are exactly the same. It is true that perhaps if the progressive jackpot has just paid out, it won’t be as big yet because it needs time for the jackpot to climb higher, but that is the only reason to hold off playing.
Tips for playing slots
There are some important tips for playing online slots:
Stick to your budget
The reason to play slots is because they are fun. If you lose the money you have marked for gambling, then it is gone. Under no circumstances should you chase your losses.
Don’t chase your losses
Perhaps you will be able to recoup your lost cash but just as likely you will lose even more and be tempted to keep playing to ‘win it back’ – this is a dangerous road so don’t go down it!
Play for free first
Play slots for free to practise them before committing any real cash. This way, you can see which types of slot you like best.
Choose your theme carefully
Slots are all about having fun so you should think about the theme you will enjoy the most. There are so many options, whether you like movie-themes, adventure themes, exotic Egyptian themes, mafia, animal, circus, Halloween, superhero or space themes. There is an engaging theme to suit everyone and picking your favourite is one of the most enjoyable parts of playing slots online!
Superhero, adventure, pirate or movie: which theme will you choose?
Even though slots are evolving with more advanced features and visually improved designs, their basics are usually the same. Whether you’re new to the wonderful world of casino or have already been playing slots for a while, it’s to your advantage knowing what these basic components are. In this article we will therefore cover the basics of how slots are played, how you win at them, what type of symbols there are and the mechanics behind them, which is affecting our experience and chances of winning.
This is how you play slots
Getting started with slots is super easy! Through a betting panel in the slot you’re able to easily choose the stake you would like to play with. In most slots you’re betting coins, in which the stake can be adjusted by a coin value and a coin level. The coin level determines how many coins you will bet, whereas the coin value determines the value of each coin. In slots that don’t use coins, the betting panel will instead consist of various amounts, where you can easily choose the amount you would like to play with.
When you have chosen your stake, you’ll usually find a big button with an arrow on in the center of the betting panel. If you click on this, the reels will then begin to spin. It’s quite common to find an auto spin feature, which if activated will have the reels spinning automatically without having to press the button.
This is how you win
Most slots are made up of several symbols, three to five reels and a certain amount of paylines. No matter what game you’re playing, you’ll always find a paytable to easily find out what each symbol does and pays, as well as where on the reels the paylines are situated.
Winnings are paid out when you get a certain amount of symbols in a row, on an active payline. The majority of slots only pay from left to right, but there are some games where you could win from right to left as well. There’s also a few specially designed slots that you might come across, which neither have any reels or paylines. On these slots winnings are created by getting a cluster of a certain amount of adjacent symbols.
Different type of symbols
Even though one slot can differ from another, they’re usually made up of the same type of symbols; standard symbols, wild symbols, scatter symbols and bonus symbols. Some slots have all of these, whereas others only have a few.
Standard symbols are the ones that pay out winnings when a certain amount appears in a row, on an active payline (or in some slots in clusters). There’s usually around four or five that have a low value and three to five with a much higher one. The more symbols you get in a row (or cluster), the higher the win.
Wild symbols act as replacing symbols to others. Usually they can only replace the standard symbols, but in some slots others can be replaced as well. There are several different types of wild symbols, such as walking, expanding and multiplying wilds.
Scatter symbols usually don’t have to appear on a payline, but as long as a certain amount appear on the reels, a special feature will trigger. Most commonly this will be a free spin feature, which means that you get a certain amount of spins for free that usually also have some kind of special attribute to them, such as the winnings being multiplied.
Bonus symbols are usually the most anticipated ones. Sometimes a certain amount (usually three) have to appear on a winning line, while they at other times can appear anywhere on the reels. When this happens some kind of entertaining bonus game is triggered, which usually is where the biggest wins are lurking.
The mechanics behind payouts
When it comes to technical aspect of payouts, online slots are all using the same mechanics. How often you’ll get a winning hit is determined by “Hit Frequency”, whereas the payout you’ll receive in the long run is determined by “Return to Play”.
Hit Frequency is the probability of a winning hit. Every possible winning outcome in the slot has a different probability to occur. A line of five high paying symbols will for instance have a much lower probability than a line of five low paying ones.
Return to Player (RTP) is a value that determines how much you’ll win in the long run. This value is based on the hit frequency for each outcome as well as how much that outcome is paying. A common RTP value on online slots is 92-97%, which means that you on average will get 92-97€ back on every 100€ bet.
Read more about Hit Frequency and RTP
Slots with high and low risks
All slots have something called volatility, which basically determines if the slot is of high or low risk. A high risk slot generally means that winnings can get very, very high, but that winning hits don’t happen that often. For slots with a low risk it’s the opposite. On these the winnings can rarely reach any huge amounts, but smaller and decent sized winnings happen more oftenly.
I want to learn more about volatility
Every month there are new, entertaining slots being released with features that are getting more advanced, bringing new levels of excitement. Even though the slots are evolving, they are more or less all based on the same type of symbols, which makes it really easy for you to learn and get to know a new game as long as you just know these different types.
In this article we will therefore present and thoroughly describe the type of symbols that you’re likely to come across. This includes the most basic, paying standard symbol, a wild symbol that replaces others, a scatter symbol which can trigger exciting free spin modes and a bonus symbol that brings you entertaining bonus games, which are usually where the biggest wins are lurking.
This is the most basic type of symbol which you’ll come across in all type of slots. These are the symbols that pay out money when a winning line is hit. The least valuable ones are in modern type of slots usually represented by playing-card icons such as an Ace (A), King (K), Queen (Q), Jack (J), Ten (10) and Nine (9), or by the card suits Hearst, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs. In retro and classic type of slots these low value symbols are however more commonly represented by fruit symbols, such as Cherries, Oranges, Melons, Lemons and Grapes.
Along with these low paying symbols you’ll find that the slots also have standard symbols with a much higher value. In the retro and classic type of slots these are usually represented by the number Seven, a Diamond, a Bell and a so called BAR-symbol, whereas the design of the symbols in modern ones varies a lot from one slot to another. This is because the symbols are usually designed to fit the slot’s theme. If you’re playing a slot with an underwater type of theme, the high paying symbols could for instance be represented by colorful fishes, treasure chests, sunken ships or anything else that would fit that theme. It also happens that the low paying symbols, like Hearts, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs have received a unique touch to their design just to fit the theme as well.
Typical for standard symbols are that they don’t have any other function than giving you a certain amount of money when enough appear in a row, on a winning line. Sometimes two symbols are enough to win and sometimes three or more are needed. Usually a winning line can only be made from left to right on the reels, but in some slots you can win from right to left as well. Starburst is for instance a popular game where winning lines can be made from both directions. In some slots that you play, you’ll find that there are no reels or paylines at all, but winnings are paid out when enough symbols appear in adjacent clusters.
Next to the standard symbols, wild symbols are the most common type of symbols you’ll come across. You won’t necessarily find one in all slots, but if you’re playing modern ones it’s quite rare not to find one. The wild symbol replaces other symbols when appearing on a winning line. Should you for instance have a symbol of the playing-card icon Ace (A) on the first and third reel, a wild symbol on the second reel could represent an Ace, hence creating a winning line of three Aces and giving you a payout, provided that they’re lined up on an active payline. Usually the wild symbol may only replace standard symbols, but in some slots other symbols can be replaced as well.
As slots have been evolving, there are nowadays several different types of wild symbols that you may come across, such as walking wilds, expanding wilds and multiplier wilds.
When a walking wild symbol appears on the reels, it will stay and then move one position for every new spin. Depending on the game, the wild will either move one position to the left, the right or even up or down until it’s no longer left on the reels.
Expanding wild symbols will cover the whole reel that they appear on with wilds, whereas multiplier wilds will increase the amount won for the winning lines it’s a part of. It could for instance be that the won amount is multiplied by x3 if a multiplier wild symbol is a part of the winning line. Sometimes wilds can have several different qualities, such as being both walking and multiplying.
In addition to the wilds mentioned above, there are several other types of wilds you may come across, but these usually only appear as special features in a free spin mode or bonus game.
The scatter symbol, which is one of the best and most anticipated symbols, usually have two functions. Just like the standard symbol, it usually pays out a certain amount of money, which can reach quite high amounts if enough appear. Even though it’s quite an uncommon symbol, it has its advantage of usually not having to be a part of a payline, but as long enough appear anywhere on the reels you’ll hit a win.
In addition to paying out money, the scatter symbol will also trigger a special feature when enough appear, which is usually a type of free spin mode. Most commonly three are enough for this to trigger, whereas if more appear the rewards are usually improved in some way. It could be that three scatter symbols trigger 10 free spins with a multiplier of x3, whereas four scatters trigger 15 free spins with a x4 multiplier. “Image”
It could be that the scatter symbol triggers other type of special features than free spins, but usually there’s a certain bonus symbol that does that, which you can read more about below.
Just like the scatter, the bonus symbol is a highly anticipated one as it triggers some type of bonus game, which is where the big wins are usually lurking. In retro and classic type of slots these symbols are quite rare, whereas they are very common in modern ones. As slots have been evolving, these bonus games can be extremely entertaining and very creatively designed to match the slot’s theme.
Unlike the scatter, the bonus symbol usually doesn’t pay out any money and normally there are no more symbols that can appear than what is needed for the bonus game to trigger. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and in the slot Mega Fortune it is for instance possible to get a bonus symbol on all five reels even though three are enough to trigger the bonus and despite the fact that hitting more doesn’t give anything extra.
In some slots the bonus symbols need to appear in a row from left to right on a an active payline to trigger the bonus, whereas they in other slots can appear anywhere. Sometimes you’ll find that the symbol can only appear on certain reels, such as the first, third and fifth.
Get to know the symbols
When trying a new game it’s always recommended checking out the different type of symbols and how they work. That way you won’t get disappointed if a bonus game didn’t trigger even though the symbols appeared on the exact same positions as another game you’ve previously played. It’s also way more entertaining knowing what symbols pay out the most and how the bonus game or free spin mode is triggered. You’ll then notice every time something big is about to happen and get that wonderful feeling of thrill and excitement.
As most slots have the same type of symbols as explained in this article, it’s very easy to find out what type of exciting features are hiding in every game. Therefore we highly recommend always taking a few seconds reading through the game information. We promise that the big wins will wait for you!
Slots – Myths and Facts
Playing online slots doesn’t only offer a high level of entertainment and excitement, but there’s always a chance of hitting that big win and even winning life changing amounts. Unfortunately there are a lot of myths in circulation that could affect our gaming experience in a negative way, should we take this false information to heart.
Maybe you’ve heard that slots pay better on certain occasions than others and that the chance of hitting a win is bigger if you’ve had many losses in a row? Perhaps you’re of the opinion that slots have a better payout on certain casinos than others and that the casinos themselves are able to change the payout settings? Have you ever heard that a jackpot has a higher probability of being won the bigger it is or that the chances of winning in the casino can’t be affected? These are all very common myths which we in this article will reveal the truth about.
Slots pay better on certain occasions
This is a widespread myth amongst many casino players, which has a few variations. Some people claim that the slots pay out more at a certain time of the day, while others say that the slots have the most generous payouts after an account has just been created with a casino. They say that the reason for this is to give us a great first experience and have us hooked, and then have the payouts automatically lowered to get all our money.
Fact: Slots have a random number generator (RNG), which guarantees that every spin is unique and independent of any external factors. No matter when or how a spin is made, the chance of hitting a certain win is always the exact same.
The longer the losing streak, the higher the chance of a winning hit
Unfortunately a lot of casino players wrongly assume that a winning hit must be right around the corner if there has been several losing spins in a row. Many imagine that the longer since a win, the higher is the chance of a winning hit, which creates a false a hope and many times lead to disappointment if that hit doesn’t happen.
Fact: Slots have something called “hit frequency”, which is the probability for a certain winning outcome to happen on each spin. As every spin is unique with the random number generator, it doesn’t matter how many times one have won or lost in a row. The probability for a winning outcome is always the same.
The slot’s settings can be changed by the casino
This is one of the most common myths in circulation, which mainly has its origin from players that have had incredibly bad slot sessions they’ve never experienced before. An example would be that one would be used to always hitting a bonus game within 200 spins, but have now spun close to 1000 times and still haven’t hit it. The unlucky player is then assuming that the casino must have changed the settings so that it’s now harder to get the bonus game.
Fact: No slots can in any way ever be affected by casinos. These slots are rented by the companies that have created them and therefore the casinos themselves have no access to the slot’s settings. Having bad and even terrible sessions is completely normal as luck always plays a huge role. The same way that long, bad sessions can occur, it can also happen that really good ones will, with one bonus game being closely followed by another.
The slots payout better at other casinos
This myth is very much alike the previous one and is based on the same phenomenon, but between two different casinos. That is that a player is only or very often experiencing bad sessions on a certain slot playing at one casino, while usually winning on the same slot on another one. When playing online slots this is more or less always a myth, even though there actually is some truth to it.
Fact: All slots have a certain probability for a winning outcome (hit frequency), which together with the value of each outcome creates the slot’s theoretical payout percentage, also known as return to player (RTP). How high the RTP is can always be easily found out by reading the information provided in the slot. The truth is that there’s usually a few different RTP settings that the game provider could apply to the slot, but these are more or less always the same between online casinos, which can be easily verified by just reading the slot’s information about RTP on each casino. Should you however find the same game in a land based casino, there’s a high probability that the RTP is way lower as that’s usually the case with land based slots.
The higher the jackpot, the higher the chance of winning it
Many believe that there are occasions when the jackpot has a higher probability of being won than others and that this probability is linear to how big the jackpot is. In other words, the assumption is that the higher the jackpot, the higher the chance of winning it.
Fact: The chance of winning a jackpot is always the same and independent of the jackpot’s size. For some jackpots higher bets do in fact have a higher chance, but the size of the jackpot never matters. It is however true that we rarely hear about jackpots being paid on smaller amounts, but this is simply because the marketing value isn’t as high as when a huge one has been won.
There’s no way to improve the chance of winning
If you weren’t already of the opinion that the chance of winning can’t be affected, there’s a small risk that our talk about probability and unique game rounds have made you believe so. What we’ve previously said is of course true, but there are still ways you can affect your winning chances.
Fact: All slots have different settings when it comes to the probability of a winning hit and the theoretical payout percentage. There are indeed slots which are better than others as they would pay you back more in the long run. Furthermore, slots also have a volatility which determines how high and low the risk of the slot is. Because of this, you’re chances of winning can in fact be improved by simply choosing the right game. In addition to this, using a bonus is also something that could improve your chances of a profitable withdrawal.
While new game providers are entering the entertaining world of casino, already established ones are regularly releasing new slots. The variety of slots is huge, to say the least and is just continuing to grow. Even though game providers are competing with each other to make the most amusing, exciting and innovative slots, there’s one little thing they all seem to have in common. May it be famous musicians, popular movies or historic events, some themes are frequently reused by game providers – for good reasons! In the following article we will take a look at some of the most commonly used themes and why they are so popular and frequently used.
TV-shows and slots
There’s a huge selection of slots based on famous TV-shows and the game provider IGT is the creator of several ones. In their fun packed library of slots you’ll for instance find the animated and funny show Family guy, the romantic comedy Sex and the City and the competitive quiz show Jeopardy. These are all very famous shows that most of us have heard of or seen and the slots are very much alike them in their design. In the slot Family Guy, you’ll for instance find the same ridiculous and entertaining atmosphere, with Peter, Stewie and the rest of the lovely crew telling funny jokes throughout the game. You’ll also play through three amusing bonus games based on the show and spin to the same music we love and recognize from the TV-nights.
Why the theme is a winning concept
For many of us TV-shows are a big part of our lives, which we associate with high entertainment. While some of us like to relax and laugh to a comedy show after a hard day’s work, others prefer competing in a quiz show like Jeopardy. We all have our personal favorites and when we find slots based on these, we of course would like to try them out and experience the same entertainment.
Slots with movie themes
Another popular theme among game providers are famous movies, which NetEnt, Yggdrasil, IGT, Nyx and Scientific Games among others have released slots within. You’re for instance able to visit the fascinating dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, hunt down ghosts with Bill Murray in Ghostbusters and prevent the doomsday from happening with Arnolds Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2. No matter what slot with movie theme you decide to play, the music, background and symbols in the game will instantly provide you with the same atmosphere as the movies. In Jurassic Park you’ll find the same adventurous feeling, while Terminator 2 will give you the thrills and Ghostbusters lots and lots of humor.
Why the theme is a winning concept
Just like TV-shows, most of us regularly watch movies. We snuggle up in the couch, visit movie theaters and then talk with friends and family about what we’ve seen. Movies are simply an entertaining way to spend our time and is everywhere around us. Therefore it’s no wonder that slots are being based on these. If we like the movie, we probably like the slots as well!
Music as a theme
Another theme that is very common to come across among slots is music, which NetEnt among others have released several famous slots within. You’ve maybe heard of or played the slots Motörhead, Guns N’ Roses or Jimi Hendrix? These are all slots created by NetEnt that have become a huge success among casino players. Not only do these games have numerous of exciting and entertaining features, but you’re also able to enjoy the lovely tones from songs created by these musicians. In Guns N’ Roses there is even a playlist which you can browse yourself and choose your favorite hit to listen to.
Why the theme is a winning concept
Even though TV-show and movies play a big role in our lives, it’s nothing compared to what music does. Wherever we turn and whatever we do there is music around us, which many times have a huge positive impact on our feelings. What could then possibly top enjoying the casino with slots that have the music we recognize and love listening to?
Cartoon themed slots
How many times have we not seen a new release of a cartoon movie becoming a great success? The same way several game providers are using this formula of taking famous classics and turning them into new, entertaining slots. Playtech is for instance a game provider that has released slots based on The Pink Panther and The Incredible Hulk, while Yggdrasil has released a slot based on Walt Disney’s famous masterpiece The Beauty And The Beast. In this last mentioned slot you’ll find the same magical and fabulous atmosphere as in the movie, along with several entertaining and exciting features. On top of that you’ll enjoy visually stunning graphics and a world class music.
Why the theme is a winning concept
We have all been children glued to the TV whenever a cartoon movie was being shown. Considering the numerous classics many of us have been growing up with, it’s no wonder at all that game providers copy the entertainment that we have long been familiar with and given us hours and hours of pleasure.
Even though historical themes are very commonly used among game providers, we probably don’t pay attention to this as much as we do with the previously mentioned themes. More or less all game providers have created one or several slots with a historical theme. Scientific Games has for instance created the slot Zeus, which is based on the Greek mythology. A mythology which NetEnt also has created a game based on, which is the jackpot slot Divine Fortune. There are also numerous slots based on the history of Egypt, where Play’n Go’s Book of Dead has become a great success. The selection of slots based on the history of Central- and South America is huge as well. Scientific Games masterpiece Montezuma for instance belong to this category as it’s based on the Aztecs.
Why the theme is a winning concept
In school we have all learnt about several historical events, which make these historical themes familiar to us. Even though familiar, most of these events happened very long ago which also give the slots a mysterious and exciting feel about them. This combination of familiarity and mystical thrill is very appealing to many of us, making this a winning theme.
Find more themes at Mr Green
In addition to the mentioned themes, there are several others to be found with plenty of games within each category. In Mr Green’s huge selection of games you’ll for instance be able to find slots with a sports theme, wild western themed slots, space and science fiction based ones, slots with an Asian theme and slots centered around gold and riches. This is just a few of the themes you’ll find and no matter what you’re looking for, you can be sure that there are several games that will suit you perfectly. So what are you waiting for?
Let the fun begin and go check our slots out!
Big thanks to Mr Green for the help with this article.