Slots have always been popular since they were introduced into casinos, but it wasn’t until the 1990s, when they became computerised and split into land casinos and online casinos, that their popularity truly soared.
This massive growth of online casinos provided developers with the opportunity to create a wide range of slots for hundreds of different sites. It also presented the opportunity for players to win huge jackpot prizes and enjoy plenty of bonus features that land based casinos couldn’t offer. It’s fair to say that the introduction of slots to online gambling took the industry by storm, granting almost anybody and everybody the opportunity to play.
Today there are hundreds if not thousands of online casinos that have dedicated themselves to slot games. These sites offer the potential for players to win millions on a single spin and there have been many occasions where people have done just that.
What types of slot can I play?
There is an incredible variety of slots that players can enjoy and they tend to differ in several ways. Below we have listed some of the key criteria that are used to categorise online slots. If there is a particular slot style that you enjoy then knowing it will allow you to easily find similar slot games.
Number of Reels – the spinning symbols on each slot are called reels. Classic slots would usually consist of three reels side-by-side but today slots can easily offer 5 or more online. Online casinos often categorise slots by their reel number.
Fixed/Progressive Slot – visit an online casino and you’ll often notice a ‘progressive slots’ tab. At one point all slots had a fixed top jackpot and whilst many still do, the introduction of progressive slots allows for the jackpot to grow over time and provides players with the incentive of being in for a chance of winning a huge cash prize.
Game Type – slots have changed considerably since their basic 3-reel format, now online slots are extremely interactive and rich in features. Today it isn’t uncommon to see online casinos filled with the latest 3D slots, video slots, as well as classic fruit machine slots. There is definitely going to be something in this list that will attract all players.
Software Developers – the developers a casino uses often dictate the slot type. It is not uncommon for an online casino to use one particular developer to provide their entire catalogue of slot games. Many providers offer a collection of the top slots from a range of different developers. If you have a particular style of slot you enjoy playing, then it is worthwhile finding the developer and choosing a casino based on who provides their games.
Live dealer slots
Unlike in online casino table games there is no ‘live dealer’ in slots. Different providers do offer players the ability to play immediately online or to download software for a smoother, uninterrupted graphical experience.
Online slots are available on all device platforms provided you have an Internet connection. Some games are perfectly optimised for your touch screen phone and tablet.
How to play slots
The basics of slots are very straightforward and this is what attracts so many players. Most people will be familiar with the traditional slot format of three reels and a spin lever/button, where the aim is to match three identical symbols. Online slots take this principle and often expand it with more reels and paylines.
The main concept of these slots is the higher the risk (amount wagered), the higher the potential reward. It is up to each individual player to decide how much they are willing to risk and how quickly.
The main factors you should take into account before spinning are:
Bet Amount – every slot has a minimum and maximum bet (lets say 10p to £1). Before you start spinning it is important to set the bet amount to a figure you are happy to play with. Remember the higher the bet (£1), the higher the potential win, but your money won’t last as long compared to if you had a lower bet amount (10p).
Paylines – every slot has a variety of possible winning lines. This typically varies anywhere between 9 to 30 different symbol combinations (there are slots with over 200) that can result in wins. The more paylines you choose the more opportunity of matching symbols, but the greater the cost of the bet.
Once you have taken this into account you are ready to spin!