It’s for good reason that online slots are the most popular casino games in the world. Ready to be enjoyed on your desktop, tablet or mobile device, the fun never stops with the classic fruit slots, Vegas games, and so much more. Try them all with free spins at top online casinos.
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In many ways, slots are the backbone of the online gambling industry. They’re by far the most common casino game available online today and they’re arguably the most popular. They come in pretty much every kind of theme imaginable and have all sorts of exciting and creative features to keep you coming back for more. Here are some of our favourite games:
The typical online casino has several hundred slots available to play - in fact, some of the best have over a thousand. Since online slots are so diverse, the typical slots collection is suited to every type of player. There are three main types of slot: video slots, classic slots and progressive jackpot slots. You’ll find that most online casinos have a good mix of all three.
The way slots work is quite simple indeed. There’s a reel set with a number of rows and columns (or reels). You’ll find that most slots released these days have three rows and five reels. Each position is occupied by a symbol, so most of today’s slots have a total of 15 symbols displayed on the reel set. There are usually at least half a dozen different symbols that can appear on the reels.
When it comes to playing, you simply click to spin the reels. Once the reels have spun and come to a stop, any wins are paid out. In order to win, you need to land enough matching symbols on an active payline, which is a line going across the reels, usually from left to right and starting with the leftmost reel. Paylines include one symbol for every reel and the number of paylines varies greatly. Landing certain symbols may also trigger bonus features.
Betting values vary greatly depending on the slot you’re playing, as do payouts and jackpots. Some slots pay out more frequently than others and some are likely to pay out more money than others. Most slots let you play for as little as 1p, so if you’re on a budget, you’ll still find many slots you can play. Of course, you can always play free slots online.
The Evolution of Slots
Slot machines have come a long way since they were first created in 1887. The original machines used cards as playing symbols and paid out prizes such as free drinks and cigars.
Over the years, the machines evolved to add more sounds, more prizes, and more exciting symbols to make them enticing to players. Mainly found at bars and gambling halls, slot machines quickly became a hit.
In 1964, the first fully electronic slot machine was released on casino floors by Bally. The machine was called Money Honey and the one-armed bandit could pay out up to 500 coins as a jackpot prize.
With the creation of the internet, online casinos quickly took to the web and in 1996, the first online slot was released by WMS Industries. Reel ‘Em drew players from all across the net and software providers realised that this would be the future of playing casino games.
Now, many years later, online slots are more than just casino games. Vibrant graphics, exciting themes, and mind-blowing jackpots are available on thousands of games. Online slot creators are always pushing the boundaries of what could be the next big thing when it comes to slot features and rewards.
It’s an exciting time at online casinos and it should not be missed!
Popular Types of Online Slots
Online slots are so much more than just reels and features. There are a number of different types of slots that can be enjoyed. From new slots that are released frequently to Vegas slots that are popular on casino floors, and so much more.
Take a look at the most popular types of online slots you’ll find at casinos today.
New slots are launched almost every day and with so many game providers around, it can get a bit overwhelming. How do you decide which game to choose and where to play it? How do you find the best offers that let you try the game out. Which casinos offer free spins on that game? Whichcasino.com makes it easy; simply head over to our New Slots section where we review all new releases and find you the best casinos to play them along with any special bonuses that might be available.
The term ‘Vegas slots’ basically refers to high-quality, modern video slots. You won’t come across this term too often - many casinos simply refer to these slots just as ‘slots’ or ‘video slots’. The reason some call them ‘Vegas slots’ is because they’re designed to replicate the Las Vegas gambling experience.
Of course, these slots are named after the desert gambling mecca of Las Vegas known for being one of the world’s top gambling destinations. It’s home to some of the largest casino resorts and has countless gambling opportunities available, including thousands upon thousands of slot machines.
Online Vegas slots are intended to let players all over the world experience Vegas-style gambling for themselves. These slots are typically immersive and detailed, with high-quality graphics and sound effects, plus lots of exciting gameplay features.
These slots are based on the earliest version of slots: the physical slot machine, or fruit machine. This gaming machine had a large drum with three reels and a single row where you’d have to match symbols to win. There was also a large lever to the side that you’d have to pull to spin the reels. You would be surprised to find out that these games had some interesting slots strategy.
Over the years, these machines became more advanced, eventually incorporating video screens, before online slots started getting developed. Online versions of classic slots typically have just three reels and few, if any, special features; many of them are themed after fruit machines and have various fruits as symbols. Nowadays, games can be as grand as Conan slots - with multiple bonus features, free spins and 3D graphics.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
Of all casino games, it’s the progressive jackpot slots that are responsible for paying out the highest cash prizes. What sets these slots apart from others is that they don’t have a set jackpot. Instead, their jackpots grow each and every time you place a wager. The more you wager and the more other players there are placing wagers, the more the jackpot grows.
Since there’s no upper limit on the jackpot, it can get very high indeed. Some progressive jackpot slots wins, such as Microgaming’s Mega Moolah and NetEnt’s Mega Fortune, have been known to pay out eight-figure sums to incredibly lucky players. We suggest checking those out.
Megaways is a genre of games built with Big Time Gaming's Megaways technology. It's one of the most popular game engines out there - and has now been baked into many iconic games. The excitement of Megaways is that each betting round is different from the last. On one spin, you could only have a chance to win a couple of hundred ways. On another, you may be able to form lucrative combinations on 117,649 ways to win!
Online Slot Features
As online slots evolve and software providers aim to make them better and better, it’s important to understand features that are added to make casino games more exciting. Here are few key features to online slots that you should know more about.
RTP – The Return to Player percentage (or RTP) is a hypothetical rate at which online slots could pay out wins over its lifetime of spins. The higher the RTP, the lower the house edge and the more chance you stand to win.
Volatility – Also known as the variance, this aspect of online slots can help you determine which slots will suit your budget best. High volatility slots pay out large sums less regularly while low volatility slots pay out small amounts more often.
Paylines/Ways to Win – Paylines or ways to win will vary from slot to slot. These paylines are the number of lines available for you to bet on. They can range from 10 to 7000 ways to bet on a single slot.
Free Spins – One of the most popular bonus features found on online slots, free spins give you the chance to play without spending any cash. Triggered by landing certain symbols on the reels, free spins can often be retriggered for more ways to play for free.
Multipliers – This feature is a great way to boost your bankroll with ease. Multipliers allow you to double, triple, or even quadruple your win by triggering this feature. Many slots offer multipliers and can even go as high as 50x your bet or more!
Wilds – One of the most popular features found on most online slots, Wilds come in many different shapes and forms. Expanding Wilds, Stacked Wilds, Sticky Wilds, and Shifting Wilds are all forms of this feature available. Check out the game’s info section for more information about the Wild feature, how it can be triggered, and how it will work.
Scatters – These bonus symbols are often used to trigger special games such as free spins when playing an online slot. Scatters can also have extra bonus uses but this should be explained in the slot’s info section.
Top 5 Online Slots
If you’re keen to try some of the most popular online slots in the world, here’s what you can look forward to. These slot games are so loved that you’ll probably find them at any of our recommended online casinos.
1. Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt
One of the most popular online slots in the world, Gonzo’s Quest follows the Spanish explorer as he searches for the city of gold, El Dorado. The slot was released in 2011 and it quickly grew to be a fan favourite.
Designed with 20 paylines, Gonzo’s Quest has a medium variance and a maximum win of up to 2500x your bet. It has stood the test of time with beautiful graphics, an enticing soundtrack, and exciting bonus features that can pay out huge wins thanks to avalanche reels and multipliers.
2. Mega Moolah by Microgaming
Known as the ‘Millionaire Maker’, the Mega Moolah slot is one of the most rewarding casino games ever created by Microgaming. Set in the hot Savanah, the Mega Moolah slot has simple graphics and a soundtrack that may not be very exciting but the possible rewards are huge.
As a progressive jackpot slot, Mega Moolah has a jackpot that grows with every bet placed by players around the world. Released in 2006, this slot has 25 paylines and bonus features that include free spins. Don’t miss your chance to win one of four progressive jackpots.
3. Immortal Romance by Microgaming
Sexy vampires and dark tales of romance are only a couple of reasons that this vampire-themed slot is so popular. Released in 2011, in the era of Twilight and other vampire films, Immortal Romance was instantly a homerun for this software provider.
Designed with 243 ways to win, Immortal Romance has a very high variance and a maximum win of more than 12,000x your bet. Exciting bonus features include free spins, multipliers, and more.
4. Book of Ra Deluxe by Novomatic/Greentube
The Book of Ra series paved the way for an entire genre of book-themed online slots set in ancient Egypt. Book of Ra Deluxe took the original slot and amped up the thrill of searching for hidden treasure among mummies and pyramids by providing even more ways to win.
Released in 2005, this slot still remains a favourite choice by players and provides 25 paylines, high volatility, and an RTP of 95.1%. Enjoy free games as the bonus feature and the chance to win up 5000x your bet.
5. Starburst by NetEnt
Blast off into outer space with the brilliant Starburst slot by NetEnt. Released in 2012, this slot has always been a firm favourite among players and online casinos. Many slot bonuses feature this game as their choice for free spins and it’s easy to see why.
Simple in design but packing a punch in terms of bonuses and rewards, Starburst may not look like much, but it’s almost always a winner. Designed with 10 paylines, a 96.09% RTP, and low volatility, you can look forward to small but frequent wins when spinning the reels.
Best Slot Software Providers
There are so many online slot providers creating new games regularly that choosing a new way to play can be tricky. Take a look at the table below for a quick look at 10 of the best providers in the industry and their most popular slot creations.
NO. OF SLOTS
POPULAR ONLINE SLOTS
Mega Moolah, Immortal Romance, Book of Oz
Starburst, Dead or Alive, Aloha! Cluster Pays
Age of the Gods, Leprechaun’s Luck, Jackpot Giant
Valley of the Gods, Easter Island, Vikings Go to Hell
Big Bad Wolf, Sticky Bandits, The Wild Chase
Book of Dead, Moon Princess, Fire Joker
Book of Ra Deluxe, Sizzling Hot Deluxe, Lucky Lady’s Charm
Crystal Quest, Beat the Beast, Gods of Rock
Cleopatra, Balloonies, Double Diamond
Rainbow Riches, Invaders, Spartacus
Playing Slots on Mobile
While online slots are popular, mobile slots have taken the world by storm. Having the ability to play while on the go has a massive appeal to the general public and it quickly became clear to software providers that mobile is king.
When this first took off, many online slots were not easily accessible via mobile devices. You either needed Flash to run the games or you had to download a separate app. As technology advanced and the needs of users changed, slots have been converted to run on mobile devices with ease.
Whether you’re playing on your Android or iOS mobile or tablet, mobile slots are now available easily thanks to HTML5 technology.
Many online casinos no longer have apps that need to be downloaded but they may be available from time to time. If you ever need to download a casino app to play slots on your mobile, make sure that it’s from a trusted source.
Play Free Slots Online
If you find slots appealing, you’ll be pleased to know you can play them online for free. Most casinos offer demo play for all, if not most, of their games. With demo play, you use virtual money and can play as much as you want. You can’t lose any actual money, nor can you win any actual money.
A lot of the time, you can play online casino slots for free without having to sign up to a casino. All you have to do is simply visit the casino, head to the games section and find some slots you want to play. Pick a slot and you should see an option to play for free. When playing in demo mode, everything about the slot runs as normal, so you get try it out and see what it’s like for yourself without spending a single penny.
Sure, slot games are a mostly solitary experience. But they don't have to be when you join a slots tournament. In these type of multiplayer competitions - you're not just aiming to win big on the reels. You are also aiming to beat your competition to a top place on the leaderboard. And there are plenty of lucrative prizes in store for the best spinners. Huge stacks of cash, cutting edge gadgets... you could even win a holiday.
There are many online casinos out there that host these competitions. And there's thousands up for grabs every day. To get started, you usually need to buy-in by making a qualifying deposit. Once you are in - you can start hitting those reels. This is a thrilling way to enjoy your favourite games - and puts a whole new competitive spin on online slot machines.
Online Slots Bonuses
To attract new players and keep existing players coming back for more gaming fun, casinos routinely offer all kinds of promotions. Many of these involve online slots bonuses. For example, welcome offers for new players usually reward you with free bonus money that you can use on slots (as well as other casino games) and/or some free spins to use on some of the casino’s slots.
A lot of casinos have ongoing or limited-time promotions involving their most popular slots, or the most recently released ones. Popular slots are often the focus of promotions because they’re more likely to encourage players to take part and play. The same can be said for new slots, especially if they’re a big-name release by one of the leading providers. Slot game reviews are always useful to find out about new games.
No Deposit Free Spins Slots
One of the coolest things you can find are no deposit free spins slots. Yes, there are actually casinos out there that are willing to give you free spins to play slot games - with no deposit needed. Simply join these sites and you will get instant spins to play. Best of all? You can win real money from the bonus winnings. This is a rare opportunity that shouldn't be passed up.
Of course, how much you win from the bonus is down to luck. At the end of the day, these offers do have wagering attached. And you could end up losing the bonus funds. The good news is that there are plenty of sites out there with more freebies to claim. And as there are no deposits involved - these kinds of slot games come with zero risks.
Note: Struggling to understand the various jargon behind slots? Read our online slots glossary for an explanation into every common term.
How we review online slots
If you’re searching for online slot reviews that you can trust, look no further than Whichcasino.com.
When reviewing the latest and best online slots available, we’ll make sure that you know everything there is to know about the game you’re interested in. Start by taking a look at our star rating to see if this game may just catch your eye.
We’ll provide all of the details you need including the software provider, the reel layout, paylines, volatility, and what genre this game falls into. Keep reading and find out more about bonus features, the RTP, and finish off with our verdict on the slot before you.
Finally, our trusty slot reviews will answer any burning questions you may have before you start playing. Honest and thorough reviews to help you make the best decisions are what you’ll find here at Whichcasino.com.
3 Tips for Playing Online Slots
Now that you’re ready to dive into your first online slot experience, here are a few handy tips to keep in mind before you get started.
Set your budget – Always set a budget before you start playing. Your budget should be cash that you’re willing to use and never money that you need to survive. By setting a budget, you’re on your way to being a responsible gambler.
Read online slot reviews – Before you get started, make sure that you know everything about the slot you’re considering. Read our handy slot reviews for more information about paylines, volatility, the theme and more.
Know when to stop – If you find yourself on a losing streak, resist the urge to chase down a win and rather step away. Play again another day and perhaps Lady Luck will be on your side.
Online Slot FAQ
Are online slots rigged?
No, they are not. Online gambling games have to be tested to ensure they produce random results every time. Failure to so will mean that the game does not pass regulatory requirements.
Do online slots pay real money?
Yes, they do. As long as you are playing with real money. If you are playing a free slot, then you will have a demo balance. And if you are using a bonus, you will need to meet wagering requirements first.
How to play online slots for money?
First, you will need to make a real money deposit at a casino. Then you will need to use that money on a slot game of your choosing. Wins credited to you will be in real money.
Can you cheat online slot machines?
No, you can't. Online slot games are programmed with a random number generator (RNG). This ensures that all game results are 100% random. This is something that can't be altered or tampered with.
What bonus features are available on online slots?
There are many different bonus features that could be available on the slot of your choice. Free spins, multipliers, Wilds, Scatters and much more are all a possibility.
Can I play online slots free?
Yes! Most software creators provide demo versions of their games. You can find the demos at a wide range of online casinos where you can try the game before you play for real money. If you’re lucky enough to claim a no deposit free spins bonus, you can also enjoy slots without having to make a deposit.
Are casino bonuses available when playing online slots?
Yes, in fact, they are the most popular form of online casino bonus. Many online casinos provide free spins bonuses along with deposit offers. Always read the terms and conditions to find out more.
Which online slots are the best?
This depends entirely on your preference! Thanks to the huge number of slot themes and bonus features available, choosing the “best” online slot is tricky. Find one that suits your needs and your budget by reading our slot reviews.
Will I need to download software to play online slots?
No, thanks to HTML5 technology, all you need is a browser and steady internet connection to enjoy everything that online slots have to offer.