How to Play Online Slots April 2024

Online Casinos · How to Play Online Slots

Online Slots Overview

Bright lights, the soothing chimes ringing in the distance, and the wheels spinning rapidly are all part of the casino experience. The last couple years have seen a massive growth in bringing the casino business from the brick-and-mortar standalone casinos straight into your living room. That includes the gentle whir of the slot machines as you watch your favorite sports team on your television while in some comfy pajamas.

The total handle of legal gambling topped $53 billion in 2021. We expect an even bigger total number in the years to come. Slot machines see the most money handled within the casino industry, and that includes online casinos. Many slots utilized in the online atmosphere are similar to those in the stand-alone casinos, except you can play them anywhere and do not have get dressed up and leave your house.

Slots are the most popular casino game mostly due to the lack of skill required. Slots are easy to comprehend and are splattered with some dazzling themes and storylines that may intrigue certain players. Slots have continued to evolve and even may contain some themes from current pop culture such as shows, movies and music.

We vetted a number of online casinos to pick our favorites with the best slots. Check it out below:

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How Do Online Slots Work?

Playing slot games online is relatively easy and, from start to finish, takes just seconds per spin. As soon as you click spin, the slot machine begins churning the scrolls until a random combination is selected and the spinning stops. Slots machines at standalone casinos spin the wheels at a rate of hundreds per second, but advanced technology has increased that rate on the online slot machines. Once the wheel has stopped, your fate awaits.

You either win or lose. Simple right?

Choosing the right slot machine may depend on the number of lines available to play or the “Return to Player (RTP) Value” of an individual slot machine. A player wins by certain combinations landing and each combination having a set prize or win amount. Each symbol in the game is given a certain value. When paired up with other symbols, the value may increase.

Random Number Generators

There are two types of random number generators to be aware of when utilizing online slot games. The “Hardware Random Number Generator” is the truest form of a random generator because it is not a computed value from an algorithm. The lack of algorithm is an indicator that the generated computation is truly random.

The second type of number generator is known as the “Pseudo Random Number Generator.” This type of number generator only looks random, but if you know the exact state of PRNG, you can reproduce the number sequence.

These are both utilized and important in the online casino slot games. When you spin the wheels of the game, the RNG algorithm will spit out a unique set of numbers and ultimately determine the total amount won and lost. If a game were to have 30 symbols per reel, the chances of landing a particular value or symbol is just 1 in 30, and that gets computed into effective probability of the other two, or three and so on, wheels.

Lower symbols are typically more heavily weighted, and landing the lower symbols is easier or more likely to occur than the heavier symbols. An example of higher symbols would include bonus symbols.

When utilizing slot machines, the biggest factor is to ensure safe and equal game play. To ensure this happens, all online casinos must go through an in-depth RNG audit completed by an independent third party with a reputation for neutrality in online casino gaming. Some of the more reputable third-party auditors for the RNG’s utilized are Technical Systems Testing, Gaming Labs International, iTech Labs, and NMI.

Reels, Rows, Pay Lines

Slot machines, whether in a casino or online, typically consist between three to five wheels. Each wheel contains approximately 24 symbols, but it could be more or less, and the way the symbols line up makes up the rows. These are effectively the possible combinations of winning spins.

Each slot will differ on the possible combinations. Slots give the player the option on how many lines you can lay per spin. You can bet on just one pay line, two pay lines, or even all available pay lines within the game. Each pay line can line up in horizontal, vertical, diagonal and even zigzag patterns. Slots that have more available pay lines offer a higher chance for reward. Conversely, playing limited lines reduces your chance to win.

Look at the pay table on the slot game, and it will give you a detailed breakdown of rewards available.

Coin Values

The coin value is a term which relates the price per line on each spin. There is a difference between total bet per spin and coin value per line, but it's ultimately calculated to one end goal for total spin. For example, if you set the coin value to .20 cents x 1 (bet level or coins per line) x 20 (pay lines), that would equal $4 for the spin. Again, total pay lines will differ on slot games.

Pay Tables

Pay tables are available in most online slots for players to refer to before taking a few spins. The table shows each possible winning combination in the game. The pay table will also show how much would be won for each particular amount bet on the specific combinations or pay lines. The online slot machines will have a clickable link located on the game, and a slot game pay table may be the reason we end up playing that game.

In short, the pay tables will give you information about all future wins, payouts, winning combinations, probabilities, winning combinations, and even give details on how to play any bonus rounds won while playing the slot.  

How to Play Online Slots
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Rules For Online Slots

Decide the Type of Slots

Deciding on a slot game to play could depend on a few features, and we found that a bigger opportunity for reward is key factor. A slot machine typically has a Return to Player (RTP) average between 85%-95%. That means that for every $100 wagered, between $85-$95 is returned to the player. Casinos typically average the higher end %95 RTP, while grocery stores, airports, and bars have a lower RTP with just a %50-%75 average.

Online slots are in line with higher RTP averages, some even as high as 96%. We love the bigger chance to win rewards, and that most likely attracts us to those slots. Bonus spins are also an easy sell for new players, and the higher chance to hit a bonus, the better odds are of making a bit of money.

We cannot forget about any cool themes that may also intrigue us.

Play Free or Paid Slots

A lot of online casinos offer slots, and some offer some free slots. Free slot games are a good way to try out the casino without having any real risk to your bankroll. The game play of the free slots are similar to those of real money and can help determine if you want to jump in and utilize a bankroll.

Paid slots can be played with as little as just a cent per spin on one pay line. Of course, you can always lay higher limits and more pay lines.

Set Budget

As always, we at VegasInsider will always recommend safe play well within your limits. You should not gamble money you cannot afford to lose. We like to recommend setting aside a certain amount of money to wager with. If you lose that set amount, end the session and come back another day. Another great tool is to have a goal in mind and do not alter that goal. If you set a $100 goal, reach $100 and end your session, stop play. This could help retain some winnings and limit your losses.

Check Pay line/Pay tables

Always check these tools and features to ensure this is a game you want to play. This could help determine possible winnings and/or losses on a particular game. These tools also help determine available bonuses and the bonus structure for each game.

Check Features

Each slot game will have different features, including the ever-important RTP. Some slots will also feature wildcards on certain spins, including shifting, spreading and expanding the wilds. Increasing multipliers, synced reels, sticky wilds and random wilds can also be features on slot games. Check these features to decide if that particular game is for you.

Online Slots Common Questions (FAQ)

How do you play online slots and win?

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula to win in an online slot game. Trust us, we wish there was some secret recipe to guarantee a big win, but there just simply is not. The key to some success in online slots is to set your budget and stick to that game plan.

Is there a way to play slots online?

There are dozens of online casinos that feature slots. To play slots online, you must be in a legal state. Always use a reputable online casino and deposit some money to begin. Slots require little skill and is based on long odds, but they provide nice entertainment value and are easy to navigate even for the most novice gambler.

How do you play slots for beginners?

As stated above, there are a ton of options afforded across the web. One important factor to keep in mind is that some online casinos offer free slots. For those just trying to feel their way around the online slot universe, a free slot game may be the best option because there is no risk to your bankroll. We recommend giving the free slot games a try before jumping in with real money and a bankroll.