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When it comes to the most popular game type found at an online casino, slots reign supreme. Online slot games can be found at every casino, with 1000s of titles on offer. It is easy to find a game you enjoy as there are so many to pick from.
This guide will review the different aspects of slot games so you know what to expect from an online casino. Read on to learn how slots work, the various elements of games, and strategies you can implement to enhance your overall reel-spinning experience.
What Are Online Slots?
Online slot games are played similarly to land-based titles. The game features a set of reels you spin with paylines attached. Land a matching symbol combination, and you win a prize or trigger a special feature. Slots are the easiest games to play at an online casino and can award players large prizes.
How Do Online Slots Work?
While every online slot is different based on theme and features, they work similarly. Slots have certain elements that create the base configuration of the title. We will cover these elements below, so you have a better understanding of how games work and what to expect.
Every slot game has a set of paylines. To trigger a prize, you must land a matching symbol combination on an active payline. Some games offer a set number of active paylines, while others allow you to select how many are in play.
Paylines can appear in a game in a horizontal or diagonal placement. As well as zigzag or odd patterns. Each game will showcase the number of paylines on the game grid.
Wild & Scatter Symbols
The most common symbols seen on slot reels are the wild and scatter. Each has a certain job to do. Generally, a wild will substitute for other icons in the game to help create winning combinations.
Wilds only sometimes substitute for scatters but can do so, depending on the game. Wilds can also offer multipliers to boost prize potential or other incentives, such as walking across the reels or expanding.
Scatters are usually attached to bonus features of the game, such as free spins. You need a certain number of scatters to trigger the free spin round. The number of spins you trigger is generally associated with the number of scatters that activate the round.
The scatter icon can also provide access to payouts. Some slots offer prizes for a set of scatters plus free spins and even multipliers from time to time.
Bonus Rounds & Free Spins
As mentioned, free spins are often an element found in games. The feature is generally connected to a scatter but can also be part of a bonus round. Special bonus symbols will trigger additional elements in a slot game, like free spins or a pick’em round.
Software developers often add bonus rounds with a secondary screen to change up the visuals of a slot game. You may see a pop-up or new screen on the reels where you play the bonus game.
Some slots offer bonus rounds with a pick feature where you make selections. Each selection can help you win a jackpot prize, free spins, or multiplier. The incentives provided by a bonus round will vary based on the individual game.
A progressive game is one of the most popular online slot game types available today. This type of slot offers a special jackpot that players can trigger. A progressive jackpot can be fixed or rolling.
With a fixed jackpot, the player can win a prize that remains the same. This prize is based on a multiplier. The prize could be 2,500x the bet or higher. You can win the prize if you trigger the jackpot based on the game rules. The trigger could be a certain symbol combination or based on a bonus round.
With a rolling progressive, players will find the jackpot continues to grow until it is activated. A small portion of each bet goes towards the prize. This progressive type is usually triggered at random or with a bonus round.
What Is Return-to-Player?
Return to Player or RTP describes the percentage or prizes that will be returned to the player based on the amount of funds played. It sounds confusing but is generally easy to understand.
Let’s say a game has a 97% RTP. If you play $100, you should be expected to see a return of $97. Playing games with a higher RTP helps to increase your return potential.
We will cover RTP more extensively below so you can learn how to use this element to your advantage.
What Is a Random Number Generator?
To create a fair gaming experience, slot games include a random number generator (RNG). Software developers must use quality random number generators to ensure that the outcome of every spin is fair and random.
The RNG consistently generates numbers at a fraction of a second to input the outcome of a game. Random numbers determine the win or loss from each spin. Slot games are a gamble because the RNG makes the outcome completely random.
It also protects the integrity of slot games because the outcome is not controlled by the casino or software developer. Online casinos must test their software regularly to ensure that RNG and other elements operate correctly for a secure and fair gaming environment.
Types of Online Slots
Online casinos offer a wide range of slot games for players to enjoy. It’s easy to find a game you like when hundreds of titles are offered within one platform. Software developers focus on making quality games for players of various types, including 3-reel, progressives, video slots, etc. Read on to find out more about the types of online slots you will come across to decide which game type will suit you best.
Progressive slots are one of the most popular online game types available today. Players can enjoy quality reel spinning with a chance to trigger an extra prize with the progressive. Some games have just one additional jackpot, while others can offer four or five extra prizes.
Fixed progressives offer a set prize based on your bet amount. Rolling progressives will continue to grow until activated. These prizes can reach massive heights, with some players earning seven figures or more!
Divine Fortune is an example of a popular progressive played in the United States online. This is an older slot game with a mythological theme. It is often featured at most online casinos in the US and is known for offering major jackpot prizes.
This type of online slot game has just three reels and is generally based on a classic, Las Vegas-style theme. Titles will offer diamonds on the reels along with fruits, 7s, bar icons, bells, and dollar signs.
3-reel slots do not have any major bells and whistles. The game usually just offers payouts for a three-of-a-kind symbol match. You might come across a wild or jackpot prize, but free spins and bonus rounds are rare with this game type.
Double Diamond is an example of a 3-reel game that is popular among online gamblers. Created by IGT, this 3-reel title offers a max payout of $100,000 and includes a classic reel-spinning experience.
In this category, players have access to quality gaming options. Video slots fit the genre of games with five or six reels that include features like free spins, bonus rounds, and wilds.
Video slots include quality graphics and animations with fun themes that entice players to keep spinning the reels. You will find games that offer Egyptian or Wild West themes, Greek Mythology, and Roman Times, among many other options. Video clips or animations make the gaming experience much more interesting and fun for the player.
An example of this type of game would be Mercy of the Gods. This online slot is a popular one, and it features an adventure theme with an Egyptian twist. The game includes three jackpot prizes plus many special features to explore.
Yet another game type you will find at online casinos in the US is Megaways titles. This type of game features a Megaways mechanic. Instead of offering traditional paylines, this game will include several ways to earn a prize. Most games start at around 50 megaways or higher, and as you play, you can hit up to 100,000 or more ways to win.
Each Megaways game plays differently. Most require you to hit certain symbol combinations or activate features to trigger the full mechanic. Once you do, this activates even more ways to win, and prize money can reach astronomical heights.
An example of this game type is Atlantis Megaways. The slot has an underwater theme based on the lost city of Atlantis. Spin the reels and explore the underwater realm with up to 117,649 ways to win. The slot includes four jackpot prizes, with the top one offering 2,000x the bet.
Best Online Casinos With Real Money Slots
The iGaming states available in the US include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia. Each state offers a select number of providers, with some operators offering services in multiple states.
Through our research, we have come up with a list of the best online casinos offering services in the US. Take a look at our suggestions to see what you can enjoy based on location and provider.
BetMGM is a top brand offering real money online casino gaming in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Players have access to a large collection of games, including slots, table games, virtual sports, exclusive titles, and much more. There are also plenty of promotions to explore, with options offering incentives for new and existing members.
The Caesars brand is synonymous with gambling, so it is not surprising to find it operational in NJ, MI, PA, and WV as well. Caesars provides a personalized gaming experience in each state, offering players slots, table games, and featured titles. The brand is smaller than the others on our list but still provides a quality gaming experience for members.
Golden Nugget Casino
Golden Nugget operates an online casino in New Jersey, Michigan, and West Virginia, offering players a premium platform on desktop and mobile devices. The brand has yet to launch in Pennsylvania but is expected to do so. Golden Nugget is known for its mega collection of games and provides a demo mode so players can test titles first before investing real money. Promotions and contests are also heavily prevalent for earning rewards and incentives.
With over 800 slot games and counting, DraftKings Casino is a top option for players in NJ, MI, PA, and WV. The online platform provides a huge collection of titles with all types of slots, table games, video poker, live dealer, and more. The casino and sportsbook can be accessed via one platform, perfect for players who enjoy both options.
Slots for Fun
Along with real money gaming, players can also access slot gaming for fun via sweepstakes casinos. Plenty of free play sites provide slot titles, including progressive, classic games, and video slots.
Below are a few examples of the best sites to play slots for fun. Choose to join any of these providers with free slots.
Pulsz is one of the larger online sweepstakes casinos offering services to players in the United States. Members use gold and sweeps coins to play slot games with a wide selection of titles from top-rated providers. Megaways, jackpot games, classic titles, and more are offered here. Play in sweeps coin mode for a chance to win real money prizes.
At Fortune Coins, players use gold and fortune coins for gaming. The site offers a nice collection of slot titles with many features and four connected jackpot prizes. Land a prize, and your bankroll is boosted considerably. Game themes vary at Fortune Coins and include fairy tale slots, Vikings, mythology, and much more.
b spot is an online gaming site that is different from traditional sweepstakes sites. Players use virtual currency to play classic slot games known as spinners. Many games are locked here and can only be opened once you have confirmed your account. The site includes several game types, such as classic and Irish-themed games.
Casino4Fun is a free play-only option created by the Rivers casino brand. Players can experience a realistic online casino site, but only virtual currency is allowed. You cannot win cash prizes but simply have a chance to enjoy quality slot titles by such providers as Greentube and Everi.
Best Online Slots
Now that you know where to play, what about the best slot options? We have you covered below. Check out our short list of the best slots you can find at our recommended online casino operators.
This classic game is a player favorite, offering a Chinese theme and an RTP of 96%. The game is often used with bonus deals and includes 243 ways to win on its five reels. There are special features to trigger that include free spins and wild icons.
This slot game features the Megaways mechanic and offers up to 117,649 ways to win! Spin the reels of this mining-themed game for a chance to trigger win multipliers and free spins. The title includes an RTP of 96% and a starting bet of $0.20.
Yet another Megaways title, this game takes players into outer space. Travel to the blackest galaxies with a chance to trigger a win with up to 117,649 ways to win on every spin. The game includes Jackpot Respins and many other features. The RTP is 96.10%, and the max payout is a whopping $400,000.
This Asian-themed slot game includes low-medium volatility with an RTP of 94.20% and 243 ways to win. The title offers free spins, fortune coins, and a jackpot bonus ready to be triggered as you play. Fly with the golden dragon as you spin the reels of this exciting game.
This slot is set deep in the jungle, which the Gorilla calls home, with a Lightning mechanic that helps produce more wins. The game includes a lightning bolt that will trigger Lightning Respins, with a chance to earn massive symbols with big money values. The RTP for this game is 96.18% and includes five reels with 40 paylines.
How to Choose the Best Online Slots
Choosing the best online slots will create a more enjoyable experience and increase your win potential. Below we list a few tips on how to find quality games for your reel-spinning sessions.
Not all slot games have the same RTP. Each software developer will list the RTP of a game within its info section. Before playing a game for real money, look at the RTP information. Play games that have a strong RTP of 96% or higher. Lower percentages only decrease your win potential. With higher percentages, you can see a better return on your investment.
Another great tip is to look for games with free spins. You can trigger free spin rounds with scatter icons as you play. The feature allows you to play at no cost but still earn wins. This helps to lower the amount you spend as you play.
Look for games that feature bonus rounds for an added element during gameplay. Bonus rounds can include pick’em options where you select items for instant prizes or free spins. You can also access bonus rounds that can produce jackpot prizes for even more win potential.
Easy to Play
If you are a beginner, look for slots that are easy to play. We suggest games with three reels for starters. This helps you to know how a slot game works before moving on to larger reeled games like video slots.
It is also a good idea to think about the game type. Suppose you want a more involved game; select megaways, video slots, or progressives. These games will offer multiple features and include various ways to win.
How to Win Real Money Playing Slots Online
There is no surefire way to win real money while you play slots online. However, there are some strategies you can employ to help give you the upper hand. We suggest players look at the RTP of an online slot game and select titles that have a 96% or higher. This helps to increase your return on investment potential.
Players can also utilize welcome offers to increase the bankroll with bonus cash. Many sites offer a deposit match or a no-deposit offer you can use for slot play. The max bet also can increase your win potential, especially with progressives, but it is not an option that most people can afford.
Keep in mind that at the end of the day, online slot games are based on luck and will randomly award wins to players. Enjoy playing slots for fun; remember, it’s about entertainment value and having a good time.