When slots first appeared on the marker they took the world by storm. When the first Liberty Bell slot hit the shops it became incredibly popular, even though the prizes were paid out in candy and other trinkets from the local store. But when slots were adopted by casinos they attracted a massive number of players each day. There’s just something luring and fun into playing a slot game, waiting for the big payout to land. Slots have come a long way from the first one armed bandits which dominated the casino floors. Today online casinos have a massive offer of video slots, which can easily match the number of games at the biggest land based casinos. So, how exactly do you play slots?
How to play slots
The biggest reason why slots are so popular across casinos is because they are simple games. You can start playing slots right away even if you’ve never seen a slot machine before in your life. In general, the only options you have is to set your bet size and hit the spin button. The reels will begin to spin and symbols will land on the screen which may or may not form a win. That’s pretty much it. So, you can see why most players prefer to play slots, rather than learn all of the rules which table games, like Blackjack or Roulette, require. But, online slots offer a few more options which you can use in order to make your game play more enjoyable.
The betting options in most slots are pretty much the same. But depending on the software provider which produces the games one slot can have different betting options from another. Let’s see what they are:
The coin denomination serves to determine the size of the total bet. Each spin can come with a coin denomination of 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.50, 1 and more. So if the minimum bet is 0.20 per spin raising the coin denomination to 0.02, 0.05 will bring the total bet size to 0.40, 1 and so on. The higher the coin denomination is the higher the bet size is.
Number of Coins or Bet Level
The number of coins or bet level option basically says how many coins you want to bet per spin. Usually it starts from 1 and goes up to 10 or more. So if the minimum bet is 0.20 setting the coin number to 2, 3 or more will result in a bet of 0.40, 0.60 and so on.
The number of pay lines can be adjusted in a number of slots, which have a pay lines system in place. On some slots however the number of pay lines is fixed and can’t be altered in any way. The math here is simple. Play with all pay lines active in order to increase your chances in winning.
Auto Play option
The Auto Play option is godsend for long gaming sessions. Just click on the Auto Play button and a window will appear where you can set to play anywhere from 10 to 1,000 auto spins. This feature comes in handy when you want to keep an exact count on how many spins you put into a game.
The gamble option in slots was first made popular by video poker machines. The concept is pretty much the same. When you hit the gamble button after a win you will need to guess the color of the next card in order to double your payout. This feature comes in handy for smaller payouts, which you can afford to risk losing, in order to get a bigger win.
Game play options
Pretty much all modern video slots also offer the player a number of game play options. These options have nothing to do with the bets and the payouts, they serve to deliver a game play according to the players’ preferences. Some of the most common game play options are:
The game speed option determines how fast the reels’ spin and how fast the payouts are calculated. Usually most slots come with 2 or 3 speeds, but some slots also have a turbo feature available. With this option activated it takes less than a second for a spin to land, so you can go through a massive number of spins in a short time.
The volume option allows the user to increase or decrease the game sound.
The sound option allows you to play the game with or without sound. Most players prefer to play slots with the sound on, in order to enjoy in the full slots experience.
This option is usually available on modern slots, which have strong visual details. By using lower settings, you basically reduce the visual details, resulting in a smoother game play. This option comes in handy if you’re playing from a weaker phone or PC.
Clicking on the pay table button will reveal the game symbols along with the payouts and the bonus features.
The help screen in the slot is similar to the pay table. The only difference is that here you can find information about the slot, like the RTP value, the variance and the bonus rules.
When playing slots, you have surely noticed the big number of symbols which land on the reels. You have also surely noticed that some symbols have lower payouts than others, while some trigger a bonus round. This is because the game symbols are divided in several categories and each one has its own function and payouts. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Low payout symbols
Low payout symbols are just what it says they are. These symbols form the lowest payouts on the reels and at the same time they land most frequently on the screen. Usually in most slots the low payout symbols are the card symbols, ranging from 9 to A.
Medium payout symbols
The medium payout symbols are responsible for forming medium payouts on the reels. Depending on the slot theme they can come in many forms.
High payout symbols
The high payout symbols form the biggest payouts in the game, but unfortunately they land rarely on the reels. At the same time these are the symbols you want to see the most while you play the game.
The special symbols in the slot have extra functions attached and they are responsible for triggering the bonus features. The most common special symbols you can come across at online slots are:
The Wild symbol is also referred to as the Joker symbol by many players. This symbol will substitute for all other symbols in the slot, in most cases without the Special symbols. The Wild can contribute to forming more wins across the reels and bigger payouts. In many slots the Wild comes with extra functions attached, so it’s no wonder why you want to see as many Wilds on the screen as possible. In many slots landing 5 Wilds on a winning pay line is considered to be the top payout in the game.
The Scatter symbol is a special symbol which is responsible for triggering the bonus round. In most slots you need to land 3 or more Scatters in order to trigger the feature, while landing another 3 or more awards a feature re-trigger. In some slots the Scatter has a hefty maximum payout attached, ranging in 500 times the total stake or even more.
The Bonus symbol has a similar function as the Scatter symbol. But in most cases the Bonus symbol is responsible for triggering the cash pick and win feature, when more than one bonus round is available in the game. In some online slots, like Mega Fortune, the Bonus symbol triggers a mini game where you can win the jackpot.
The main reason why slots are so fun to play is the bonus features. The bonus rounds on many slots can produce massive payouts, so when a feature is triggered the adrenaline starts pumping. You always expect and hope that a big payout will land once you trigger the feature. When it does you can easily be overwhelmed by emotions, as you see the coins pouring on the screen. Here are some of the most popular bonus features you can come across at online slots.
Free spins bonus
The free spins bonus is the most common bonus feature found on most slots. Once the feature is triggered you are awarded with a number of free spins, which come at no cost. The free spins usually come with extra features attached, like a win multiplier, stacked symbols, rolling reels, etc, leading to bigger payouts.
Cash pick and win bonus
The cash pick and win bonus is usually the weaker feature in the game. This is an interactive bonus where the player clicks on certain items on the screen. They are revealed awarding cash prizes in return, which are summed up and added to your account.
The win multiplier is a feature usually associated with the free spins bonus or the Wild symbol. If the free spins bonus has a x3 win multiplier attached it means that all payouts during the feature will be tripled in size. On the other hand, the Wild usually comes with a x2 multiplier attached, essentially doubling all payouts it contributes in. So, if a free spins bonus has a x3 multiplier attached, with a doubling Wild function, it means that all payouts during the bonus with a Wild symbol involved will have a x6 multiplier attached.
The Sticky Wild feature is also common in many slots. With this feature active all Wilds which land during the free spins bonus will stay in position for the remainder of the feature. This way you can hit big payouts, thanks to the big number of Wilds on the screen. In some slots you can get 5 Wilds on a winning pay line, which is called a Wild Line, and in most cases this is the highest payout the slot can produce.
Wild Reels and Expanding Wild
The Wild Reels and Expanding Wild feature can produce massive payouts in many online slots. The Wild Reel is simply a reel full with Wilds, while the Expanding Wild feature will expand the Wild when it lands on a reel. On some games you have a chance to land 5 Wild reels, which again is the top payout the slot can produce.
A Progressive Jackpot is a very attractive feature which is attached to a number of slots across the industry. Progressive jackpots are known to pay out millions of dollars in one lucky spin. The reason for this is that the top jackpot prize is pooled over an entire network of slots or casinos. This means that every bet made on the game at every casino which offers it, contributes to the top jackpot prize.
Strategies on how to play slots
As you already know slots are games of chance so it’s only up to lady luck whether you will win on a game or go bust. But every experienced player will tell you that there are some strategies you can use in order to increase your chances of winning on slots and eventually make a withdrawal at the casino. So let’s take a look at some basic strategies on how to play slots and win.
This is a strategy pretty much all newbie players use, based on pure luck. The trick here is to go with your gut. Browse the slots collection at the casino and see which game catches your eye. If you’re lucky enough the game can pay big and you can make a nice withdrawal.
Low variance, high RTP slots
This strategy involves doing some basic research in order to come up with a list of low variance, high RTP slots, with a decent pay table and bonus features. Why? Well low variance slots are known to produce frequent payouts which are smaller in size. So what’s the strategy here? Simple. Make a bigger deposit, claim a hefty bonus and play these games on higher bets of up to $5 per spin. This is the maximum allowed bet per spin at most casinos while playing with a bonus. If luck is on your side, you can play a big number of spins on these games and gradually increase your balance. Even if a game is not willing to pay you shouldn’t take a serious hit on your balance and you can make up for your losses on the next game. Eventually you will clear the wager and have enough bankroll left for a nice withdrawal.
High variance slots
High variance slots are known to be able to produce massive payouts. The only problem is that the payout may never come or it can come after 500 spins or more. So how to play slots with a high variance and win? Again you need to make a bigger deposit and claim a bonus. Consider the payouts you can get during base play and your total bankroll, making sure you have enough to cover about 500 spins. After that? Pray! If you manage to hit a good bonus round you can easily end up with a payout of several thousand times the total bet. After that immediately move on to low variance, high RTP slots with higher bets. This will allow you to clear the remaining wager, without losing a huge chunk of your balance.
Like we mentioned earlier slots are games of chance, but it’s always a good idea to plan your game play and to try and predict how much you can win or lose on some game. By carefully planning your bankroll you can spread it out to try a bigger number of games and eventually hit a nice payout. If you manage to do that several times in a single session you are guaranteed to walk away with a hefty withdrawal.
Play free online slots
In order to learn what a certain slot is about it’s best to give it a try first in fun play. You can do this at all online casinos by creating an account and clicking on the demo or fun play mode. You will be able to try the games just like you would for real money, expect for the fact that you won’t risk losing any real money of your own. You can do this at any of our recommended online casinos, just click on the link and create an account.
Play slots for real money
Once you’re confident enough you can move on and play slots for real money. The main question here is how to play slots with a real money deposit? Well it’s quite simple. All you need to do is choose a casino from our site and click on the link. All of our casinos were tested in real play by our casino experts, so you can rest assured that they are reputable ones. Once you follow the link to the casino website you need to create an account by entering your personal details. Don’t worry, the casino will keep them safe and never abuse them. Afterwards you need to make a real money deposit and preferably claim a bonus. You can easily do this by clicking on the deposit button and choosing one of the many payment providers the casino has on offer. After the deposit is processed the funds will instantly appear on your casino account and you can start playing right away. You can choose from a big number of slots, divided in a number of categories. If luck is on your side, you can easily hit a nice payout and make your first withdrawal.
Today online casinos offer several ways for you to access the casino and play the casino games. The play modes simply depend on what you are using to play at the casino, it being a mobile phone, a tablet, a personal computer or a laptop. In that regard you can play online slots in:
Instant play mode
Today most online casinos prefer to use instant play mode. The reason for this is that the player has easy access to the casino directly from his web browser. There’s no need to download any additional software, so in order to play the games all you need to do is visit the casino and create an account.
Download mode was popular in the past, as it was the more stable platform. Even today some providers still use instant play mode, like Playtech and Realtime Gaming. With this mode you will need to download the casino software and install it on your computer. Afterwards you only need to log into your account and you can play right away.
The mobile casino platform is incredibly popular today, as many players prefer to play from their mobile device. The casino games are designed with the HTML5 protocol, which allows a seamless game play and full compatibility with all mobile devices. This means that you can play from all mobile phones powered by Android or iOS, including tablets. A lot of casinos today also have their very own mobile casino apps, so you can easily download the app and take the casino with you on the go.
We hope that we were able to help you learn how to play slots online and to better understand the games. We know that the entire online gambling industry can be confusing at times, so we took the time to create guides like this one and help you get started. Now that you know how to play slots we recommend that you create an account at some of our recommended online casinos and put your skills to the test. Just remember, gambling is meant to be fun so keep a cool head and keep your expenses under control.
If you’re a newbie player the chances are that you don’t know a whole lot about online slots, how these games work or what payback means. In general, you don’t really need to know these things. Slots are simple machines where all you need to do is set your bet, hit the spin button and hope for the best. Right? Well, not exactly. Yes, slots are games of chance so whether you win or lose on a certain game depends purely on your luck. But on the other hand knowing how slots work and what payouts you can expect to get on certain games can be a huge asset for you. You can plan which games to play at the casino, which bets to use and the expected payouts you can get in return. In the end all of this will help you become a better slots player and increase your chances in making a real money withdrawal at the casino.
Return to Player (RTP) explained
One of the first things most players look for when they encounter a slot which they know nothing about is the RTP value. This is the promoted value which the slot is expected to return to the player in forms of winnings, over a period of time. The RTP value differs from one slot to another. Some slots have a higher RTP value, while others have a lower one. In general, online video slots come with a promoted RTP value of around 96%. So what does this mean exactly? Let’s see a few examples.
Playing 100 spins on a slot with an RTP value of 91%
Playing 100 spins on a slot with an RTP value of 99%
Playing 100 spins on a slot with an RTP value of 96%
So let’s assume that we are playing flat $1 bets per spin in all examples above with a starting bankroll of $100. Once the spins are over our actual bankroll is as follows:
Bankroll of $153
Bankroll of $83
Bankroll of $112
Not quite the results you expected are they? So, why is this so? Well you see the RTP value of a slot is not fixed at all times. This value will be reached, but only after millions of spins. In the meantime, a slot with a promoted RTP value of 99% can have a current RTP value of 40%, 400% or any other value. Depending on what the RTP value was for those 100 spins you got different results. In the first example the slot hit a bonus round and you got a nice payout. Thus the profit of $53, despite the lowest promoted RTP value. To understand this even more keep on reading to learn about other mechanisms which affect the payouts in slots.
Understanding how slots work
In reality, from a player’s point of view, slots are very simple games. There are no special rules which you need to learn and no betting patterns to abide by. The only options you have available are the size of your bet and the spin button. When you hit the spin button the reels will spin and the symbols will land on the screen, giving you a payout or not. But what makes slots work and what affects the payouts on the screen? How can one slot hit a payout of 1,000 times the total stake on the fifth spin, while another can eat away hundreds of dollars without paying anything decent. Let’s take a slot apart and see what generates the payouts on the reels.
Random Number Generator (RNG)
The RNG is a mechanism which makes sure that the outcome of every spin in the slot is random and in no correlation with the previous one. This is what makes predicting the outcome of the next spin impossible. You never know when the slot with hit a bonus round and pay big. If you did, well you’d be a millionaire by now and probably close a few casinos along the way. But in reality there is no way to tamper with the RNG of a slot game or affect the payouts in any way.
A common myth among many players is that when the slot starts hitting 2 Scatters on the reels a bonus round is nearby. So the advice here is to raise the bet and catch the bonus on a higher bet. What happens next? Sometimes this can work and you hit a bonus round and win big. But many other times it doesn’t and you end up losing your entire bankroll. In reality it doesn’t matter what was happening on the reels in the previous spins. The game can shell out a bonus round without hitting one single Scatter in the previous 100 spins. The RNG makes sure that you can’t predict when a bonus will hit.
The slot variance is another important factor to take into consideration when you play slots. This is also a great indicator for the slots payback and what you can expect to happen on the reels. In general slots are divided into Low, Medium and High variance games. So what does this mean in terms of payback?
Well it’s very simple actually. The slot variance is the frequency of payouts on the reels. Low variance slots will produce small but frequent payouts, medium variance means fewer payouts which are bigger in size, while high variance slots should pay big, but only after you put in a big number of spins. Many experienced players refer to the variance of slots as measures of luck. Low variance slots are lucky games with frequent payouts, while high variance slots are unlucky machines which can eat away your bankroll pretty fast.
RTP, RNG and Variance in real play
Ok, so now you know how slots work and what makes them spin. Let’s see how all of these factors translate to the reels in a real game. Again we will use a few examples of slots with different values.
High Variance slot, RTP value of 94%
Low Variance slot, RTP value of 99%
Medium Variance slot, RTP value of 96%
Once again we will play 100 spins on each game with a starting bankroll of $100. Once the spins are over our results are as follows:
Bankroll of $563
Bankroll of $112
Bankroll of $61
So let’s explain what happened to the payback, based on the slot variance and the RTP value. In the first example the high variance slot shelled out a great bonus round with a payout of 500 times the total stake, giving us a hefty profit. Considering the variance and the RTP value this was not expected, but again the RNG came into action and surprised us.
In the second example the slot did what it was expected. We got steady payouts in most of the spins, leaving us with a small profit of $12.
In the last example the slot simply failed to meet our expectations. We were expecting a small profit or a minimum loss, but instead we ended up losing $39, meaning that the promoted value of the slot during the spins was only 61%.
So you can easily see how the payouts can be predicted on some slots and work in your favor. But this is never consistent, since all of the mechanisms work together and form the payouts on the reels. This is why you can hit a great bonus round fast on a high variance, low RTP slot and win big or lose hundreds of dollars on a high RTP, low variance slot.
Advantages of knowing the slots payout
The biggest advantage players can have from knowing the slots payout is to know what to expect during the game play. But, as we explained before, you also need to consider the variance of the game and the RNG, knowing that the results you expect may not happen. So how can you create a strategy for playing slots based on the promoted payouts? Well quite simple.
You know that low variance, high RTP slots are games which will create frequent payouts which are smaller in size. So which strategy can you use here? The first one is to simply make a bigger deposit, claim a bigger bonus and play these games on higher bets. In theory you can gradually increase your balance because you are playing on higher bets, without losing any of your balance. You can easily switch among slots with similar promoted values and after some time you can rack up a hefty amount for a withdrawal. Other players like to use these games when wagering massive bonus amounts, with pretty much the same strategy. The goal here is to keep as much of your winnings as you can, while clearing the wager.
Another strategy many players use is to target high variance slots with medium or small bets. The strategy here is to simply put in enough spins in order to force the game to award you a bonus round and pay big. But since high variance slots are highly volatile a bonus round may not come at all. On the other hand, you can trigger one in the first 50 spins and end up with a massive payout. In the end it all depends on the current slots payback and your luck on what will happen on the reels.
RTP values of online slots vs land based ones
Online slots have an average payback value of about 96%. So in theory the casino has a house edge of 4% when it comes to payouts from slots. Why is this important? Well if you compare the slots payback value at online casinos to land based ones you will see that it’s considerably higher. Online casinos in general have a lot less running costs than land based casinos. So they can afford to offer their players slots with a higher payback value. At land based casinos the slots payback is regulated by law. Depending on the country in question the casino can have slots with a payback as low as 80%. You can easily do the math and see that for you as a player it’s much more profitable to play slots at online casinos, rather than at land based ones. In the end online casinos don’t have to buy properties, set up casinos and hotels or employ hundreds of employees to run everything. This results in more money going back to the players, in form of winnings.
How do you find the slot RTP value?
This is relatively easy to do. Most software providers will display the slot RTP value in the game rules or game information. All you need to do is open up a game and visit the rules section in order to find out the right value. Some providers will also display the slot variance there. If such information is not available, you can visit the provider website and do some research there. But some providers in the industry don’t offer this info to players. The values are kept confidential for business customers only. So in order to learn the value you would need to open up an online casino and see how the entire process works. Another simple way to learn the RTP value for a slot is to do a basic Google research. There are many affiliate websites, including our own, which will display the RTP value for certain slots. As you can see the choices are big. All you need to do is decide which method works best for you and you can find the payback value for pretty much any slot you want.
Best payback slots online
Ok, so we explained in detail pretty much all you need to know about how slots work and how the payouts are formed. Now what about the best payback slots online? Which games take home the title? Well this question can be answered in two ways.
The simplest way to answer this is to take the slot RTP value into consideration. So the best payback slots would be the ones which have an RTP value of 99% or even more. Yes, this is possible. Even though the house edge on these slots is very small, the casino will still make a profit in the long run. But the problem with most of these games is that the payout potential is simply too small to be worth playing.
This is why for many players the best payback slots are high variance slots and progressive jackpots. The answer can be a bit strange as you know that these games are very hard to win on and they can eat a lot of balance without paying anything decent in return. But here we are talking about the best payback slots in terms of payout potential.
So let’s take a look at Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune for example. These are the two most popular progressive jackpots in the world. The top prize in these games is pooled over the entire Microgaming and NetEnt network, so it easily reaches tens of millions of dollars. So, what are the chances of winning the Mega jackpot? Well astronomical to say the least.
But consider another detail. The top prize in these slots can be won by any player, playing on any bet. This means that you have a chance of winning the top jackpot while playing on minimum bet. Like we said the chances are astronomical as the games are played by thousands of players across the world each hour. But, nevertheless this has happened. A player from the UK won £13 million on Mega Moolah, while playing on minimum bet. That payout equates to 52 million times the total stake. So you can easily see why for many player’s progressive jackpots which can be won on minimum stake are the best payback slots which you can play across online casinos.
Other Important factors to consider when playing slots
When choosing which slots to play at online casinos you need to take other factors into consideration, rather than just the promoted RTP value and the game variance.
The paytable in a slot is very important if you want to know what payouts the game can produce during base play. This is best done when you consider the payout potential a slot can have, without the bonus features involved. It’s a very simple process where you take the lowest, the medium and the highest payouts the slot can produce in terms of times per bet payouts. For example, the lowest payout in a slot can be 0.5 times the bet, the medium payout can be 5 times the bet, while the highest payout can be 20 times the total bet. But another slot with the same RTP value and variance can have a better paytable. The lowest payout can be 1 times the total bet, the medium payout can be 8 times the total bet, while the top payout can be 30 times the total bet. Naturally it would be better for you to go for the second slot. Why is this important? Simply because the base play payouts dictate your bankroll as you play the game. If the base play payouts are higher, then you can put in a bigger number of spins in the game and have a bigger chance to trigger the bonus round.
The bonus features are another important factor to consider when looking for the best slots payout. If the game in question has a solid paytable you want to see a good bonus feature which can create bigger payouts. For example, a slot has a top paying symbol of 50 times the total stake and a free spins bonus with a x3 win multiplier. So the top payout per payline can be 150 times the total stake. But another slot with the same top payout has a Sticky Wilds or Wild Reels free spins bonus. So here you have a chance to land a big number of Wilds and hit much bigger payouts. By carefully planning on which slot you want to invest your money according to the bonus features you have a better chance in hitting big payouts.
Maximum promoted payout
The maximum promoted payout in a slot usually correlates to the paytable and the bonus features. If a slot has a weak pay table and simple bonus features, you can expect the maximum promoted payout to be lower. But on the other hand slots which have a rich paytable and attractive bonus rounds will surely come with a higher maximum promoted payout. In all fairness hitting the maximum payout in the game can be a Sisyphean task, but it doesn’t mean that with some luck on your side it won’t happen. So when it does it’s better to walk away with a payout of several thousand times the total stake, rather than a few hundred.
Our Final Thought on best slots payback
We hope that after reading our guide on the best slots payback you managed to understand how slots work a little better and how to find the best payback slots across online casinos. As we explained this is pretty easy to do. All you need to do is devote some time for research and come up with a play strategy which suits you the best. Our advice is to play all of the slots in fun play first, before you make a real money deposit. This will easily give you an idea on how the games will behave during real play and what you can expect in terms of payouts. You can later use this info when you make a real money deposit. It’s also advisable for newbie players to start playing with a bonus first. This way if you don’t have any luck with the best slots payback you won’t lose too much of your own money. It’s always a good idea to try the game’s first with minimum risk to your bankroll and what better way to do this than with some free money from the casino.
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