A brief guide with all you need to know about slots.

Slots IconSlots are by far the most popular casino game both online and in land based casinos. The possibility of betting small amounts and winning huge jackpots is the main draw and provides players with a real sense of excitement. Despite being a game based primarily on luck, slots have grown massively in popularity thanks to various technological advances such as the advent of the video slot. It's these advances that have also paved the way for the variety of themes that are used in slot machines. Big names such as American Idol, Spiderman and Lord of the Rings are just three of the many branded slots now available around the world.

While the spinning of the reels and various bonus features may seem complex, playing a slot machine couldn't be easier. The most complicated it could ever be is to select a number of paylines, select how much to bet and then press spin. Once you've taken care of this part then it's all up to luck and you can only watch as the reels come to a stop. Wins or the triggering of bonus features are then take place automatically. These will occur if any of the reel combinations match those outlined on the slot's paytable.

The first ever slot machine, the Liberty Bell, was created by Charles Fey in 1887. The Liberty Bell included three spinning reels with five different symbols spread across them and the biggest payout was ten nickels. Slot machines have come a long way since then and whereas traditional slots may have simply relied on a few payouts for different combinations, modern video slots have all kinds of ways to reward players. These include multipliers, free spins, bonus features and progressive jackpots.

With the huge variety of slots available it's easy to be a bit overawed, but with slots experience comes knowledge. Once you've played a few different games then you'll know what you like and be able to identify slots that provide what you want. Or, if you're in search of high entertainment levels, as well as profits, then check out some of the branded slots – these can include extra jackpots, characters and clips from the corresponding show or film.

Online Slots

Online slot machines come in a variety of forms: traditional, video, single payline, multiple payline, ones with bonus rounds, free spins and even multipliers. The biggest benefit of playing slots online is one that's general across all online casino games, however nowhere is it truer than with slots. This is the incredible range of choice that you're presented with when playing at an online casino. Many online casinos carry a selection of more than 100 slots of all shapes and sizes so there's bound to be one to suit everyone's taste.

Online Slots Screenshot A Win on the Call of Duty 4 Slot at InterCasino

Another major benefit of playing slots online that's not often talked about is better payouts. The amount of competition among online casinos has meant that they are constantly trying to outdo each other by offering better slots and better odds. As a result, payout percentages for slots at online casinos are regularly around 98% or 99%, compared to the 96% that could be expected in a land based casino. While this may not sound like a huge difference, in the long run it has a significant effect on the bankroll of a slots player.

Perhaps one of the best things about playing slots is the range of bonuses that are offered to you. Slots bonuses are fairly common and online casinos like to reward their slots players with generous deposit bonuses or cashback options. So when looking for a suitable casino for all of your slots needs there are two things to keep in mind; the variety and the bonuses.

Rules of Slots

Due to the nature of slots there are very few, if any, rules to abide by. This is because the gameplay is automated, so there aren't really any ways in which you can break any rules. Instead, there are simply a few playing options as well as extra features that sometimes require added input.

To play a slots game simply follow these instructions: Enter the amount you wish to bet (such as 50p, £1, £5 or even £100), choose the paylines you wish to bet on and click spin. By betting on paylines you ensure that if a combination of winning symbols appears, such as 3 BAR symbols, on this payline, you'll win a prize. All slot machines work in this manner, even the huge video slots which offer upwards of 50 paylines.

If you're wondering how progressive slots work, then they function just as normal slot machines do; you choose your bet, place it on the paylines and click "spin". The only difference between a normal slot machine and a progressive one is that the latter has an ever increasing jackpot attached. This jackpot is pooled from a percentage of all players' wagers on that particular slot machine and it can be either randomly dropped, or triggered by a certain combination of slots symbols.

There are a number of other game features that are often included in online slots. These are designed to provide more money winning opportunities and can really add some extra excitement to your spins. They are listed below:

  • Wild symbols - These symbols can take on the form of any other symbol except scatters to create a winning combination.
  • Scatter symbols - Scatter symbols usually don't have to appear in a single payline to create wins and when they do create a win are often multiplied by the total bet rather than the line bet.
  • Free spins - These can be won in a variety of ways and usually take place immediately. They're a great way to win big money and prizes won during them are often multiplied.
  • Multipliers - This refers to any instance where wins are multiplied. This may occur during free spins, during a feature or when designated symbols are involved in a win.
  • Bonus features - The highlight of any slot. Bonus features come in many shapes and sizes and will usually offer huge prizes. They can be extremely entertaining and have been known to take on the form of video games and scenes from films.
  • Progressive jackpots - The nature of online progressive jackpots means that they can rise very quickly to provide players with huge prizes.

Slots Strategy

As you may well have gathered, unfortunately there's little to be done in terms of slots strategy. This is because of the restricted gameplay options and dependence on luck rather than skill.

However, that doesn't mean that there's nothing that can be done to improve your slots play. To begin with, selecting a slot carefully can play a major part in creating profits. Checking out the paytable and ensuring that there are plenty of features to provide you with extra winning opportunities are crucial to ensuring that you make the most out of your slots play.

Also important is money management and the age-old issue of ensuring that you know when to walk away. Slots money management includes selecting your line bet and number of paylines to play. When playing a multiple payline slot we strongly recommend that all players use the maximum number of paylines. This means that you have more opportunities to win and even if it means lowering the bet per line then it's still worthwhile.

Apart from these tips, there's not that much that can be done when hoping to strike big apart from hoping to get lucky. But this doesn't mean that slots aren't worth playing, as the possibility to win huge amounts from a tiny bet is one that's hard to resist.