Slots constitute over 70% of online casino games and this is an indicator of their popularity. The design and appearance of slot machines has gone through radical changes since the days of the one-armed bandit. In land casinos today, slots are played in cushy consoles that induce long sessions. You can access online casinos from desktops and smartphones to play wherever you want.
Several factors have contributed to the popularity of online slots.
No complex skills required: The outcome of slot machines is based entirely on luck. You do not need to master complicated strategy, as in blackjack or video poker, in order to get better results. Slot machines reach out to a larger player base.
Higher payout ratios: Slot machines routinely pay out 1000x the line bet. Quite a few pay 10,000x or more. The attraction of winning big amounts with limited stakes is irresistible.
Attractive packaging: Today slot machines convey a theme. Popular themes include sports, fantasy, food, pirates and entertainment. Not only the symbols and graphics, but also audio visual effects combine to create an immersive experience aside from the gaming. There is so much variety that you will easily find themes that resonate with your interests.
Innovative gaming features: It is far easier to incorporate novel gaming features in online slots than in other casino games. Practically every new game has something different: a different type of wild symbol, an unusual reels structure, a multi-level bonus feature etc. You are constantly getting something new. Boredom can never set in.
How Slot Machines Work
The first slot machines were electromechanical devices. Today, both in land and online casinos, every aspect of the slot machine functioning is generated and controlled by software. The software uses a random number generator (RNG) that determines the symbols displayed on the reels at the end of the spin. You can rest assured that the whole process is fair.
- The RNG used by the software is initially and periodically tested by independent expert agencies to ensure that the outcomes are random and unbiased.
- The licensing and regulatory agencies ensure that the tested software cannot be tampered with by online casinos or players.
- The actual results of every slot game over a period of time are obtained and compared with theoretical projections.
Slot machine operations can be divided into two parts: placing bets and receiving payouts.
- In the earlier online slots (many of which are still available for play) you had to select the coin size, number of coins per payline and the number of paylines to determine the total bet.
- The coin size and number of coins per payline are dictated by your bankroll.
- The only dictum in slots play is “always activate the maximum number of paylines”.
- Many of the newer slots combine these elements to make it simpler for the player.
- Different slot providers offer different mechanisms for increasing or decreasing the bet amount. These are clearly explained in the rules.
- After placing the bet you click the Spin button. The bet amount will be deducted from your balance.
- When the reels stop spinning you will see the final arrangement of symbols.
- The software automatically checks for the required number of like symbols in active paylines and awards payouts.
- You can check the payouts in the payout table. These may be expressed as absolute amounts based on your bet or as a multiplier of the bet amount. The payout table will also give the other rules of the slot game.
- The amount won, if any, will be added to your balance. Keep in mind that because of multiple win possibilities, your payout may be less than your total bet.
- You can then spin again with the same bet or with a changed bet.
- All contemporary slot games come with an Auto Spin feature that spins the reels a set number of times without manual operations, but at the same bet.
Online Slots Return To Player (RTP)
Knowledgeable players check the RTP of casino games before playing.
RTP is the amount that you can expect to win in a spin or hand expressed as a percentage of your bet. RTPs have to be less than 100% otherwise the online casino will go bust. Most online slots will have an RTP of between 94% and 96%.
You need to understand RTP very clearly. An RTP of 95% for a slot game indicates that in the long term for every $100 bet on the game the players will get back $95 and $5 will go to the casino. Some players will win at times. Some will even win a lot of money. But some will also lose. If you are lucky then you will win more than you lose.
Types Of Online Slots
When you check out online casinos you are likely to come across different types of slot games. This section will help you understand these slot machines.
These slot machines have three reels. They often use symbols like fruits, bars, 7s and diamonds from the electromechanical slots of old. Classic slots are fast paced games usually without bonus features.
Video slots come with five reels, sometimes more. They have strong thematic content supported by audio visual side effects. You will find attractive features like free games and pick objects bonuses. Most of the slot games fall in this category.
The highest payout in these slot games is not fixed. It keeps on increasing with every bet. The player that wins the progressive jackpot gets the full ticker amount at the time. The jackpot may be hit through a combination of symbols, a bonus game or even randomly. Mega Moolah is one of the most popular progressive slots.
This is the latest trend. Branded slots are based on movies, television serials, popular games, sports celebrities and rock bands. They are developed through licensing agreements and use content from the originals. Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt are the leaders in development of branded slots.
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