Whether you’ve just come back from a trip to Vegas or recently seen an advert on TV, the appeal of online gambling is greater than ever. And online slots are the king of the digital casino.
As a complete novice, however, it’s important that you follow the right path to fun online gaming activities. This quick guide to playing a slot online will answer all the key questions you have as a beginner, such as;
- When did online slots become so popular?
- What are the best online slots to play?
- How can I be sure a vendor is legit and fair?
- How can I make online slots more fun?
The slots are a game of luck, but you don’t want to leave your choice of title to chance. Let’s take a spin.
A Brief History Of Online Slots
The history of slot machines can be traced back as far as the late 19th century to the iconic Liberty Bell slot, but the concept of video slots didn’t enter the market until 1976 – unsurprisingly in Las Vegas. Video slots would soon spread to casinos around the world while also appearing in amusement arcades and betting shops in various countries.
Once the internet started to make its way into homes, it was inevitable that online video slots would soon enter the market.
Online slots started to appear in the mid-1990s. While they were fairly primitive games with basic graphics at the start, their instant popularity made it clear that this was the future of slot machines. Along with card games and table games, online slots had already built a huge following of casual and frequent players.
Fast-forward roughly 25 years to 2021, and the global online casino and gambling sector is worth over $230bn. While this does account for all aspects of online casinos, video slot machines are unquestionably at the heart of this.
Online slots have evolved at a rapid pace. Today’s offerings range from simple video versions of traditional games like a one-arm bandit to titles with advanced graphics and engaging minigames that deliver the fast-paced excitement and heart-racing prospects of big wins to your computer – or even the palm of your hand.
The evolution of online slots over the past 25 years has been nothing short of mind-blowing, and it is now the preferred method of play for millions of players. Frankly, it’s not hard to see why.
Why Are Online Slots So Popular?
Statistics show that around one in four people gamble in some form with the biggest gambling countries including Australia, Singapore, the USA, the UK, and Ireland. Slots have dominated the industry for many years.
Online slots have many attractive features, including but not limited to;
- The bright lights and sounds trigger the brain’s reward response systems. While it can be problematic for people with gambling addictions, it is something that enhances the gaming experiences of many players.
- Online slots are extremely accessible and do not require experience and skill, as is the case with games like poker. This makes online slots very popular with new players, casual players, and more seasoned players.
- When playing online slots, you gain quick gratification and results. Unlike playing lotteries, where you may have to wait days for results, it is possible for a player to transform their life within a matter of seconds.
- Online slots can be played on your computer or handheld device, such as a smartphone, meaning you can access the fun at any time. This is better than having to travel to a casino or amusement arcade.
- Many of the top online casinos and slot websites have titles with progressive jackpots. This gives people a chance to win millions of dollars on a single spin – as has been proven in the past.
- Online casino players can access dozens of slots even if they are only signed up to one website or platform. Most slots also give players full control over how many lines they play and the stakes per line.
Meanwhile, many players like the fact that they are playing against the house. Unlike poker and other games, their winnings have not come directly from another player. It is you against the machine.
When added to the flexibility of gaming options, there is a slot machine for every player. Whether you like a simple video version of the Liberty Bell or want the flashy lights of a licensed title that depicts your favorite cartoon characters and plays enticing mini-games, there are endless options at your disposal.
In today’s social climate, the ability to play from the comfort of your home is another attractive feature for anyone who is still concerned about the coronavirus or would not enjoy playing in a physical casino with social distancing and mask-wearing measures in place.
Where To Play Online Slots
Appreciating the appeal of online slots as a concept and an industry is one thing. However, finding the right place to play is another challenge altogether. The truth is that you probably see dozens of adverts for online casino operations every single day, which isn’t a surprise given that studies in the UK found that over one-third of players start to gamble as a result of exposure to adverts.
First and foremost, all prospective players must first check their eligibility to play. Gambling is completely illegal in some countries, while all territories will have age restrictions. Some may ban online gambling or only permit it in certain places. Confirming that you are allowed to play should be the first item on your agenda.
With hundreds of online casinos and slot websites available, it can feel as though you are playing potluck. However, there are some easy steps that can validate your decision, including;
- Look for a website or app that has been running for several years.
- Check the reviews and testimonials left by other players.
- See if there are any live stats for how many players are currently playing.
- Look to see whether they offer some of the big slots from major developers.
- Investigate their contact details and customer care services.
- See how quickly the website loads individual games.
If the website has a lot of players along with the best online slots on the market, you can use the company with confidence.
A Quick Glossary Of Online Slots Terms
The fact that you can play and win without any prior knowledge is an attractive feature of online slots. Nevertheless, most players will find that it is beneficial to familiarize themselves with key terms. This helps them avoid any nasty surprises or sources of frustration.
Here are some of the key phrases and words you should know when playing online slots.
- Real play – this means you are playing with real money.
- Demo play – this means all funds (winnings and losses) are virtual, like if you were playing video game.
- %RTP – return to profit percentage is the overall payout. So, if it is 98%, every $100 cumulatively played by players will return $98 and a $2 profit for the house.
- Lines/Pay lines – many slots allow you to choose whether you want to play just the 1 line (middle row) or multiple lines. This figure can vary from slot to slot.
- Line stake – this is the stake per line. So if playing $0.10 per line for 20 lines, it is a $2 bet per spin.
- Total stake – some online slots will also tell you the total stake per spin.
- Bonus feature – this could mean going through to bonus rounds, extra spins, or other features.
- Progressive jackpot – a jackpot that increased over time as players continue to bet, it will eventually be won to create a life-changing payout.
- Win both ways – a slot that pays out for rows going right to left as well as the traditional left to right.
- Fixed value slots – slot machines that have a set wager. The lines and line value stakes cannot be changed. Often set at $1 per spin.
Top Tips To Make Online Slots More Fun
Before hitting the online casino, it’s imperative that you set yourself up for optimal levels of joy. The online casinos industry has become increasingly inclusive in recent times with many operators looking to grow their number of female and/or older players. No matter your background, there will be a variety of slots that take your fancy. Finding them won’t always be easy. When you do, though, the online experiences are greater than ever.
Here are 10 quick tips to help you get more out of your online slots experiences;
- Before signing up to any online casino, conduct a little research into any promotions and sign-up offers that may be offered. Many will give new members a matched deposit or a bonus of some kind. This instantly gives you more money to play with and a better shot at winning.
- If you do gain a promotion when signing up, make sure that you have checked your eligibility and completed the steps needed to unlock it. You should also familiarize yourself with any wagering requirements you may have to complete before withdrawing your winnings.
- Acknowledge the capabilities of your computer, smartphone, or other devices. There is little point in loading up an advanced title that your graphics card cannot handle. For a similar reason, you should check your WiFI or 4G/5G connection. We all want to win, but actual enjoyment should be a priority.
- When looking at specific online slots titles, try playing the Demo version where you do not use real money. While the winning won’t be real either, it gives you a chance to see whether you enjoy the game itself. It also helps you get familiar with any minigames or board features.
- Always use the responsible gambling tools that are available to all players. This can range from alerts to tell you that you’ve been playing for 30 minutes to deposit limits and ‘stop loss’ features. Online slots shouldn’t just be fun, they should be safe. Removing the dangers is key.
- Set a winning goal in your mind and stick to it. If you tell yourself that you want to win $500, for example, and reach that level, you should stop playing for the day. You have achieved what you set out to do. Besides, the winnings can be spent on enjoying other aspects of your life.
- Be aware of the games software developer. For starters, choosing titles from a reputable developer gives you an added source of trust. More importantly, if you know that you love one game from the software developer, it’s likely that they will produce other brilliant titles.
- Take advantage of loyalty bonuses that may offer free spins. They work in a similar fashion to your sign-up promotions but can be enjoyed at different times. They may be linked to a specific slot or could be a reward for your loyalty to the chosen online casino.
- When looking at progressive jackpots, look for the local jackpots. While network jackpots are bigger, not all casinos that use the specific game are identical. So, you may inadvertently restrict your hopes of winning simply by playing on the wrong website or app.
- Trust your gut. If you feel that a specific online slot doesn’t pay out enough, there’s a good chance that its percentage return to player (%RTP) may be lower than what you’d ideally like.
Finally, once you find a casino and online slot that you love, be sure to remember it. Very few players stay exclusive to a single slot, but most will find that they only use a handful of titles. It may sound a little counterintuitive considering the plethora of slots that are available, but humans like what they like. There’s no point in fighting that.
Do all of the above, and you should have a lot more fun at the online casino – not least because you’ll have a fair shot at winning.
Whether you’re a casual gambler who fancies their first online flutter or an experienced punter who wants to make the transition from the real world to the digital arena, online slots are the most attractive feature by far. They offer a chance to win big, even when playing with small stakes, while the excitement of modern titles and advanced graphics adds an extra layer of fun.
For a fun hobby that can deliver a few moments of happiness and excitement whether you’re alone or with friends, there is no better solution. Game on!