Slots are likely the most recognizable and popular games in any casino. They are their main revenue providers, and can even be found in venues that are not associated with gambling, such as hotels, airports, and bars.

Unlike classic table games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat, that require a player to get acquainted with rules that might seem overly complex, at first. However, slots are very simple and easy to understand. They offer high entertainment value and profitability to players at any experience level.

Even though they might not require any skill and are games of great simplicity, due to the rapid pace that they are played at, losses can accumulate quickly. Thus, it’s important for any player to get familiar with the way they work, and what’s behind the curtain.

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How to Play Slots

Each slot has a specific number of reels. When a player hits the Spin button, these vertical sections turn, and combinations form. A payline is a line that connects the symbols on the reels in a winning pattern.

Slots can be played both for free and for real money. Most online casinos allow players to demo the games available without registering. 

As soon as you pick a casino, you get a welcome bonus. Most casinos match your initial deposit which gives you double the funds to try slots for free. However, it’s best to carefully read the terms and conditions, seeing as these bonuses come with wagering requirements.

These requirements are also known as turnover/rollover requirements. This is a condition that specifies the number of times you must wager the bonus money before you’re able to make a withdrawal. If you don’t meet the wagering requirements on time, you will not be able to cash your winnings. 

Placing Bets on a Slot

Slots are great because they are suitable for any size of bankroll. However, before placing a bet, a player may be able to adjust the number of paylines, the number of coins per payline, the coin denomination, and the total bet size. Not all games allow this level of control, though.

There are also limits to the size of the bet a player can place. And, some games might require a certain number of paylines to be played if a player wants to be eligible for a jackpot.

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Slot Mechanics – Paylines, RNGs, and RTP 

In the past, all slots had one payline. A line that cut across the gaming area. When the qualifying symbols stopped on it, the player won. While there are still single payline games, many advanced slots, feature more than a hundred. 

Today, there are diagonal and zig-zag patterns that provide the opportunity for a variety of winning combinations. If the paylines are not fixed, then you can pick out the number of active ones that you can bet on.

To understand how slots work, one has to know that these are truly games of chance. Random Number Generators are their backbone. These are microprocessors that constantly generate random sequences of numbers in the thousands per second. They cannot be rigged and do not take the outcome of previous bets or spins into account. Numbers are generated constantly, even when the game is not played. This makes the odds of winning consistently. 

RTP – or, Return to Player, is a term that describes the percentage of bet money that the game will payout over time. For instance, if all the players bet $1,000, and the RTP of the slot is 95%, the slot is expected to give back $950 as winnings to one or more players. The slot’s variance, tells the likelihood of landing big winning combinations.


Slot Symbols – Low-and High-Paying Symbols, Wilds, Scatters, and Bonus Symbols

The regular symbols are the most common ones found in the game and are usually the least visually appealing. In modern times, the low-paying ones are often represented by playing-card icons, and their combinations don’t provide big wins.

High-paying symbols do the same job as their low-paying counterparts, except their combinations provide bigger wins and the symbols themselves aren’t as bland. 

Wilds are the jokers. They can substitute other symbols on the reels needed for a winning combination. Except for other special symbols. Typically, if you land two or more, the payout will be significantly higher. Landing them on your reels can also provide other benefits, such as access to free spins and bonus rounds.

Scatters are the highest paying symbols in a game’s paytable. They come in all shapes and sizes, and each game has its specific design, that corresponds to the theme of the game. They don’t have to appear in a given position for the player to land a win. And, if two or more appear anywhere, usually, they trigger a special feature.

A bonus symbol like the scatter is a highly-anticipated symbol that usually doesn’t provide big wins, but activates a bonus game, where big wins can happen. 

A good slot for beginners is Starburst and for those who are ready for more excitement you can take on Mega Moolah. The perfect place to play these slots is at Bethard, 10bet Casino and Zodiac Casino.

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Special Slot Features – Free Spins, Bonus Games, and Multipliers 

A free spin is one that the player doesn’t pay for. Almost all slot games provide free spin rounds that are activated when certain symbols appear on the reels. And, once in this round, or mini-game, players are given a specific number of free spins that can be used to land wins. There could even be an option to re-activate more free spins, during a free spins round.

Bonus games can also be activated when special symbols appear on the reels. Often three. The specifics of these games depend on their particular game. Some may have several levels, others may require skill, while many are just simple games of chance. The prizes they provide can also vary.

Multipliers are not available in all games, and some symbols may act as one in certain ones. Usually scatters. These can multiply your winnings many times over. How much? It depends on what that particular game has set.

Types of Slot Jackpots

Jackpot slots can be games that are branded as such, or your normal slot game can too, provide a jackpot win. This is a large prize, far greater than what the other winning combinations can payout. And, they’re divided into fixed and progressive jackpots.

Fixed ones are flat, standalone prizes. They provide a certain amount every time. This sum never grows but is replenished as soon as it’s won. Meaning, others can win it, again.

Progressive jackpots work on the idea that the pot accumulates until someone has won it, and it’s paid out in full. Until this happens, it keeps building. When it’s won, it goes back down, and the process starts over. 

If you want to play slot jackpots you should read our review of Jackpot City, Spin Casino and Videoslots respectively.

Check out our glossary if you want to know more about casino expressions.

Casinos that offer slots to Canadian players