When it comes to online casinos, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of spinning the slots. Online slots have become increasingly accessible in recent years because they can be played at home on a computer or even when you’re out-and-about on a mobile device. One of the best things about slots is that there’s no strategy to learn – it’s pretty much as simple as pressing spin and hoping for a big win.

However, as online casino software has developed over the years, slots have become increasingly immersive. These days, the best slots around contain lots of entertaining animations, in-game features, bonus rounds, and many of them have well-known themes. The great news for casino players is that there’s a slot for everyone – low variance, high variance, progressive jackpots, and so on.

Some casinos offer players the chance to load a slot in demo mode. This is a useful feature for a couple of reasons:

1. It gives people a chance to learn how a slot works without having to use real money.
2. It provides a chance to experiment with a range of slots to discover the ones you enjoy the most.

Nevertheless, if you’re going for a win that counts, you’ll need to use real money or bonus funds. Therefore, it’s important to know how to play slots online and to understand some of the features they contain.

How to Play Online Slots

Although slots have a variety of themes and features, most of them follow a similar play format. It’s a straightforward process, but if you’re new to online casinos, then the following steps will teach you how to play slots:

1. Choose a Slot – Most online casinos will provide an array of slots to choose from. Many modern slots are mobile-friendly and can be played on desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Once you’ve found a slot you like the look of, click on it and it will load up on your device. Some slots will have animated intros or require you to press a button that’s labelled ‘play’ or something similar.

2. Read the Instructions – Online slots come with a handy manual in the form of a paytable. This provides you with information on the value of each symbol, the amount of money you can win, minimum and maximum stakes, special features, bonus rounds, and so on. It’s worth reading these to understand how wins and features are triggered within the game.

3. Choose Your Bet – Slots will allow you to select how much you want to bet on each press of the spin button. There will usually be options to increase or decrease things such as coin size, number of coins per line, and the number of paylines. It’s important to check your bet value before you press spin as once the reels spin, there’s no way to change your mind.

4. Press Spin – Once you’ve selected your bet value, it’s time to play. You can press spin manually to do this, but some slots have auto-play features that allow you to choose how many times it will automatically spin. All that’s left to do is to play, have fun, and hope for a big win.

Slot Features and Terms

There are several slots features and terms that you should learn to understand so you can fully immerse yourself in the games and know what’s going on when you’re playing them:

Symbols – Slots contain a variety of symbols that represent different pay-out values. A winning spin occurs when the reels create a line of identical symbols.

Paylines – These are lines that connect identical symbols together to produce a win. Some slots have simple paylines that run straight across the screen or in a diagonal. However, other slots have lots of complicated paylines that zigzag all over the reels.

Wilds – A wild symbol can substitute for any other symbol other than a scatter. For example, if you require 3 identical symbols on a payline to win and only have 2, a wild symbol on the payline will act as the 3rd symbol, producing a win. Some bonus features also contain special wilds. For example, the wilds can remain in place on paylines or even grant extra free spins when they land.

Scatters – These symbols are exciting to see because they activate bonus features and extra rewards. You’ll usually be required to see a certain amount of them on your screen to trigger a special feature.

Multipliers – These can appear in some slot base games but are common features of many bonus games. They multiply wins by a range of values and can quickly turn an average win into a big win.

Bonus Rounds – Most slots contain bonus rounds that are triggered by events such as 3 scatter symbols landing on the reels. These come in a variety of forms, such as free spins and mini-games, and provide an opportunity to win big.

Progressive Jackpots – In some slots, a small percentage of each bet is added to a progressive jackpot until a player wins it. At this point, the jackpot resets in value and starts to accumulate again. These can pay huge amounts of cash in some instances.

Return to Player (RTP) – This is the long-term return a player can expect to receive from a slot. For example, if a slot has 95% RTP, on average you’d expect to receive R95 returned for every R100 staked over a long-term period.

House Edge – This is the opposite of RTP and is the advantage that a casino has over a player. For example, if a slot has a 95% RTP, the house edge is 5%, and the casino would expect to earn R5 for every R100 staked by players over a long-term period.

Can You Improve Your Chances of Winning?

No. Whether you win on an online slot comes down to luck. Unlike table games such as blackjack, no strategy can be used when playing slots to improve your chances of winning.

Online slots use a random number generator (RNG) every time you press spin to determine the outcome of the bet. This software makes sure that slots are fair for customers to play and licenced casinos are checked regularly in this regard.