The world of online casino games is broad and for everyone to enjoy. With a 99% chance and a 1% science, or maybe the other way around, slots have fascinated players from all over the world since the beginning of the century, and well beyond that. Now, with the help of the internet, computers, mobile phones or tablets, you can literally take your favorite slots machines with you, anywhere you go.
Slot machines have come a long way from their debut in 1887, when San Francisco’s Charles Fey invented “Liberty Bell”, the first slot machine that had the Liberty Bell as the most wanted symbol on the grid, along with diamonds, swords, hearts, and horseshoes. The invention was wildly successful and generated a national and then a worldwide fever for gambling and slots.
The numbers of players rose so high that the authorities had to ban the games in some countries and US states. Nowadays, online casino slots are available everywhere and for free, and it’s up to the player if he wants to bet his money away on the next roll or not.
What are online slots?
Simply put, online casino slots are the virtual version of the brick and mortar slots that people are used to seeing in a traditional casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Because everything happens online, the player is cutting on the expenses of traveling to the actual casinos and gains time to prepare and calculate on his next move, rather than be distracted by all the lights and glamour that traditional gambling places offer.
On the other side, the benefits are also important because of the expenses that are cut from a business point of view. Online slots need no room for storage, no maintenance rather than the virtual one, no flashy seats or expensive, on-the-house drinks and pretty girls to walk along the rows of machines. Because of this, online casinos offer better payback and odds than land-based places.
There are many types of slots, but for the most part, you’re probably going to end on a web-based online casino, which means that the entire game will happen in your browser. There is no need to download a separate program and install it on your device, just log in and play away at your favorite slot game. Another popular online casino is the virtual kind, where every single move is generated randomly with the help of a pseudo-random number generator, which uses an algorithm to generate the next roll on a slot machine for example.
If you’ve played a slot machine at least once before in your life, you might be familiar with what a slot game is. Basically, every slot game has a configuration of 5 columns (vertical) and 3 rows (horizontal) and also a set number of lines, usually 9, but there are 1052 lines which you can play. The main objective of the game, which will generate as much income as you are willing to bet on a spin, is to obtain as many identical symbols, from left to right, on the same line.
You can win a roll with just 3 identical symbols on one of the 9 winning lines of the game, with higher winnings if there are 4 or 5 symbols on the same line. Also, depending on the game that you play, some symbols are more valuable than others, so they bring different winnings at the end of the spin, depending on where and if you strike on them.
Most online slots have the following symbols: wild, scatter, bonus, or other symbols. Let’s take a look at each of them for a better understanding:
- Wild: this symbol turns any other symbol on your screen into the best one for a great win. Think of the Wild symbol as the Joker card at the poker game. When you hit the Wild symbol, your typical losing 2-identical-symbols line turns into a winning one, and when there are more than 3 symbols and a Wild symbol appears, the game will award you even more money;
- Scatter: with this symbol, which usually comes in a bunch of 2 or 3, you get an extra or a bonus game or a free roll strike, which can be anywhere from 5 to 30 rolls long. During the bonus rolls, no money will be drawn from your stats, so everything that you play is free, increasing your chances of winning while you keep your money safe;
- Bonus: 3 bonus symbols allow for a bonus game. These types of symbols are usually found in the slots that offer a jackpot win, but that’s not necessarily a rule;
- Other symbols: some slots have special or unique functions. For example, you can stumble upon a Wild symbol that extends to the whole roll or you can find a symbol which generates a roll on the same bet, as a bonus.
Before starting your game, you’ll find the description of the special symbols that are offered by the game you’re about to play, along with the bonuses the game releases if you land on them and how they can help you win more if you’re playing them right.
What Should you play?
Each slot has a specific theme. From Ancient Egypt to fruits, crates, magical creatures, poker and so on, you’re guaranteed to find a game of your liking. The most popular games are Book of Ra, Mega Moolah, Starburst, Zeus and Buffalo, just to name a few. The Vegas slots, as in, online slots identical to the physical ones you can play Las Vegas are also amongst the favorites. The new generation of players enjoy games that encapture movie characters or music stars, but also retro style slots that captivate the older players.
Before storming the bank and spending all of your money on slots, make sure you do your own research about the website that you’re about to play on, the payout policies and the way the games work. Make sure the online casino you’re about to play is safe, has a secured payment system and is trusted by other players. And as always, make sure you’re not stretching your blanket further than the length of your bed.