Online slot machines require good financial management, like any other game of chance, but other than that you don’t need to develop any particular set of skills to be able to play them. Most of the time, all you need to do is adjust your bet size, choose the number of paylines you want active if the slot game allows it and hit the spin button, that’s all. Good fortune, the random number generator and the symbols will do the rest. Any online casino visitor can play slot games, and you’ll always find something for everyone in the slots section.
Online slots come in various shapes and sizes, sporting different themes and various gameplay mechanisms. That is the key to slots – although they have a similar basis, they can never be boring or be copies of one another. Instead, they always provide the bettor with an original gambling experience. There are thousands of slots titles on the web, produced by various companies and as long as you stick with proven software providers and slots with stable payouts, you’ll become a profit-generating spinner.
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How Do Slot Games Work and What Do They Feature
In the earlier days of slots entertainment, there were only mechanical machines with three reels and only one paying line. They worked on coins and by pulling the lever on the side if the machine, the player would set the reels in motion and start the game. These lovely contraptions were called one-armed bandits, and the name stuck even though all slot machines now operate on buttons and virtual buttons if played online. The entire concept of a slot game has been expanded by creative minds of developers around the world. One payline and three reels is something you can rarely see nowadays. Slot games have more reels and more paying lines, therefore more winning potential and more room for interesting symbol combinations that trigger special additions known as bonus features or bonus rounds.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The base of every slot game is the reels, which are columns of symbols and rows, which intersect the columns and form a grid against which the game is played on. Columns move (spin), while the rows are formed once the columns stop moving. Normally, every slot will offer the player the possibility to set the size of the bet, and the only thing left to do is hit the Spin button. As it is usually the biggest control button on screen, you can’t miss it. See, anyone can play a slot machine (anyone of legal age, of course), and these basic slot games are ideal for players that are just getting into casino and getting familiar with the logistics. Once you get the idea, and you will after a few initial spins, you can proceed to explore the online slots world, which is enormous, and rich with all kinds if spinning goodness.
Once the spin button is pressed, the reels will start moving. They will spin for a random number of times and eventually stop. The goal is to achieve a winning combination, which is usually comprised of three identical symbols aligned in a certain fashion, depending on the number of paying lines in the slot game. Some slots have 9 paying lines, some have 25, whereas some offer over a thousand ways to create a winning comb that will boost your balance.
Apart from the reels and base game symbols, which all have their own value and pay out different amounts for combinations of several matched icons, most slots also feature a Wild symbol.
The Wild is almost never present in traditional Vegas fruit machines, but the rest of the slot games world gladly embraces the Wild symbol. This special icon has a main function to replace standard symbols when it appears on screen and there is a symbol missing to complete the winning combo. That’s when the Wild steps in. By introducing the Wild, slot developers have made the game more interesting and created more ways for the player to triumph. Anything other than that could be classified as an advanced, modern slot games that includes, besides the standard features we’ve already mentioned, complex payout dynamics, intricate themes, impressive graphic quality, suitable sound effects, possibly some characters depending on the theme, and multiple bonus rounds and special features that makes the game authentic and unique.
Slot machine reviews and ratings
Types of Online Slot Machines
Determining a type when it comes to virtual slot games can be a bit tricky. In general, most online gambling venues address the categorization of slots in a broader sense and simply divide the entire portfolio into classic slots, video slots and progressive jackpot slots.
… are also referred to as traditional slots, and often as fruit machines. These games are quite similar to the original slots which had symbols of fruit like lemons, cherries and plums. Their recognizable characteristics also include simple gameplay without too many new and flashy details. Classic slot games are usually played across 3 reels, but sometimes they can have 5 reels and more than just one paying line, as it was customary some decades ago. Even though traditional slots are somewhat old-fashioned, players still enjoy them very much. A bit of nostalgia never hurt anyone and it’s great to see that the old charm of casino slots still lives.
… differ from the classic ones, as they are more modern and much more diverse. There is a ton of them available online, and new additions are being produced on a monthly basis by numerous providers. Video slots are, indeed, the most popular type of free slot games. They commonly have 5 reels and 20 to 40 winning pay lines, as well as at least one special feature and/or bonus round. In recent years, there have been quite a few video slot games with 243 ways to win and more.
These titles don’t feature regular paying lines; instead, winning combinations are formed by three or more adjacent symbols. Video slot games are also advanced in terms of graphics and music, including visual and sound effects to further enhance the gaming experience. It’s not uncommon for them to incorporate animation whenever the slot benefits from it and some additional symbols as well.
Apart from the Wild symbol, you can expect to encounter the Scatter. This symbol triggers a bonus round and often pays out the highest win in the game. Another thing about video slot games – they have the most diverse themes, from fairytales and phantasy stories to cars, sports, and celebrities.
Progressive jackpot slots
… can sometimes have a more traditional style, and on other occasions, they can be quite visually impressive and gratifying even if we disregard the major prize they are known for. A progressive jackpot is a massive prize that gets bigger and bigger as more players join in the game and place wagers. A small portion of their wager contributes to the pool, and until the jackpot is won the amount will continue to grow. Once it is paid out, the jackpot will restart at a smaller sum and then rise from there again. Progressive jackpot slots are often networked jackpots, meaning their prize is collected across multiple casinos or casino app, wherever the slot developer is distributing the game. That’s when the jackpot reaches millions. Depending on the slot, progressive jackpot can be awarded in special bonus rounds or they can be triggered randomly. When you play for the jackpot, you often need to play max bet in order to unlock the possibility of winning a life-changing sum of money.
Most Common Online Slot Bonus Rounds and Special Features
Since online slots are so varied, it’s quite hard to keep up with all the innovations the developers are launching together with their projects. It’s hard to say if all of them will stick around and become part of the future generation of slot machines. Currently, the most common and most popular slot bonus features are free spins, re-spins and pick-me bonuses. As for features, players seem to love Expanding Wilds and Sticky Wilds, Cascading Reels and of course, multipliers.
Free spins are one of the bonuses that can truly make a difference. Imagine what you could do if you win 20 free spins – some slot games even go as high as 50 free spins per round! Lots of slots combine free spins and multipliers and give the players a choice: less multiplier and more free spins or vice versa.
Cascading Reels are one of the latest phenomena in the real money slots and casino app world, and one that is catching on quite fast. This feature introduces the possibility of chained wins because when you create a winning combo those symbols will vanish and make room for new symbols to come down from above. New symbols line up and there is a possibility of a new win without paying for a spin. Some developers call them Avalanche Reels, too. There are plenty of other intriguing features and slot worlds to go through, so don’t waste time and start your expedition into the expanding slots dimension!
Slot Volatility – Slot Variance Explained
Slot Volatility Explained: With thousands of online slots available these days, how does one choose the one best fitting their preferences, style and bankroll? Picking a game from your favorite developer is easy enough, as is choosing a theme which appeals to you the most. But games differ in more ways than one, even when they’re part of the same company’s portfolio. One of the most important elements a player needs to understand in order to make an informed decision is slot volatility or slot variance. But what does it mean and how can you identify it?
What is Slot Volatility?
To put it simply, the term volatility (or variance) refers to a size of the wins vs their frequency. A highly volatile slot delivers large payouts but less often, while a game with low variance pays smaller amounts more frequently. High variance titles are considered to be of higher risk because, unless the player carefully manages their balance, potential long streaks of non-winning spins could make them go bust in no time. That’s why this kind of games generally appeal to high-rollers with bigger budgets. Highly volatile slots usually feature generous bonus rounds, such as free spins with large multipliers, or progressive jackpots.
Your bankroll will normally last longer when spinning the reels of a low variance slot, with frequent small amounts continuously contributing to the bottom line, but it’s unlikely you’ll get to enjoy one-off massive wins. If playing with limited funds, slots with low volatility are probably your best option.
How Can One Tell if a Slot is High or Low Variance?
The easiest way to find out if a Vegas slot has low or high volatility is by reading a review from a trusted source. Experienced reviewers will almost certainly be able to assess variance easier and more accurate than you could. If you’d prefer to do it yourself, or want to double-check what you’ve read, here are a couple of clues on how to identify games with low hit frequency, which are in effect highly volatile slots.
- Check the size of the lowest payout within the game’s paytable and compare it to some other high/low variance titles you’re already familiar with. The general rule is: the bigger the lowest payout, the lower the hit frequency.
- Check the game’s multipliers. Slots with multiplying symbols usually have lower hit frequencies than those without them, and the higher the multiplier, the lower the hit frequency.
High variance titles can also be identified by the size of maximum reward displayed in the pay table. Games with large top payouts, comparable in size to progressive jackpots, are very likely highly volatile.
Now that you’ve learned all this, all that remains is to pick between a bumpy ride which could make you fortunes or end with a crash, and a long, steady, enjoyable cruise, more likely to safely deliver you to your final destination.
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