Slot machines have evolved a great deal since their first appearance in brick-and-mortar casinos, but also since they’ve chosen the virtual way. Although there are a lot of titles on the web, with all sorts of themes, formats, and features, they are all developed on the same ground. So, if you know the elements and the way one online slot works, you basically know how they all work, more or less. As we at Social Tournaments like to hold free slot tournaments, but also to keep our players informed about the latest releases but also about the fundamentals, here’s a guide for beginners to how slots work.
How to Play Online Slots
No matter if they’re played in a land-based casino or on the internet, slots are games of chance that work on a spinning mechanism that you can activate by placing bets. See, easy-peasy up until now, right? Now, let’s take each element that makes up a slot, and see what part it plays in the story.
- Reels – all slots have a series of reels that spin when you click the Spin button (duh!). What’s important to remember is that the number of reels is always odd and, in order to win, you must align the symbols on it in a certain combination called a payline. Some Megaways slots, such as Crystal Caverns Megaways slot or Big Bass Bonanza Megaways slot, have more reels (6 or 7) than the average number – 5.
- Rows – in addition to the reels, slots also have rows going from left to right that help create paylines. Depending on the slot you can play with up to 5 reels, like you can find in the Gates of Valhalla slot or only 3, like in the Pragmatic Play slot Wolf Gold.
- Paylines – are essentially the combinations of symbols you need to form in order to land a win. Some slots have only one payline, while others have 20 or more. For example, the Smugglers Cove slot takes you sailing on 20 paylines in search of the pirates’ treasure while the latest John Hunter adventure, the Book of the Fallen slot invites you on an Ancient Egypt riches raid set on 10 paylines. There isn’t a right number when it comes to paylines.
- Bet – the bet is the amount of money you are about to place on the paylines. It’s mostly represented as coins per line, where the coin’s value can be adjusted to your liking. Real money slots can be joined after you’ve created an account on the casino’s website, but don’t worry, videoslots can also be played in demo environment which means you won’t have to place a real money bet. However, this also means you won’t be able to win real money. What can we say – fun and money don’t always go together.
- Symbols – are the instances or images that you need to align on a payline to land a prize. The complexity of the game relies partially on the number of symbols you need to align to hit a payout. We all know the retro slots where all you had to do is align 3 Lucky 7s on the middle row and there you have it, a big win! However, as technology evolved, so did the mechanics of the slot machine, and now we can choose between multiple symbols-slots, such as the Wild and the Scatter in the Wild Depths slot, or classic slots with a basic paytable and one payline, like in the Super 7s slot.
- Volatility – tells you how often the slot can pay. A high volatility is a right choice if you want to have a shot at becoming a millionaire overnight. A high volatility slot rarely pays, but when it does, buckle up for an avalanche of coins on your screen! On the other hand, a low volatility means that the slot pays often but in smaller amounts. So, if you’re looking for some adrenaline rush, games like Bounty Gold are for you, but if you’re into a more relaxed gaming session, the Big Juan slot might be the right option for you.
- RTP – or the return to player rate is a projection of much you can expect to win, and it’s set by every game developer. A higher RTP provides more chances to win, while a low RTP comes with fewer opportunities to hit big. However, don’t take into account only the RTP or the volatility when choosing a slot to play – you must think of them as a whole. A high RTP title is Caishen’s Gold slot, but if you’re looking for an above-average value, you can give Fruit Part 2 slot a go.
- Payout tabel – is the key to finding out how much a certain combination of symbols results in. For instance, 5 Purple Lucky Symbols pay out 75x the bet in the Lucky, Grace and Charm slot, whereas 5x 9 Symbols hit only a 10x multiplier in the same game.
How to Choose the Best Online Slot
There are so many incredible videoslots on the market, with enticing themes and thrilling features that making up your mind about what to play can be a bit of a challenge. We know how hard it can be, and we decided to give you a hand!
Here are a few questions that might help you decide on an online slot:
- Do you like the theme of the slot?
- Is it exciting to play?
- How many bonus rounds does the game have?
- Are the numbers of reels and paylines satisfactory for you?
The best way to find out what you like to play is by… playing the demo, of course! Social Tournaments provides over 200 Pragmatic Play free online slots, from outer-space titles, like Star Bounty, to slots inspired by mythic characters, such as Gates of Olympus or Lucky Lightning. There’s no such thing as the best slot, but rather the best slot for you.
Now that you know the basics of slots, you can go ahead and try our Pragmatic Play demo slots!