How to Play Online Slots

Online Slots

Slot machines are some of the most popular games you will find on any online casino.  They are very easy to use, are less intense than some table games like roulette and blackjack and many people find they have a more rewarding experience.  This is because they can relax and don’t have to concentrate too much while betting relatively small bucks (if they choose to!).  This doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t large sums of money to be won though.  These days there are a whole host of slots that have jackpots that regularly pay out millions of dollars in prize money.

Different Name for the Same Games

Depending on what country you are reading this from, you might be more accustomed to using different names to describe what Americans refer to as slots.  In the UK many people call them fruit machines, although this is normally more applicable to the games you find in bars and pubs.  Many Australians call online slots, “online Pokies” – which is slang for the slot.  Whatever word you use to describe them though, this guide will help to teach you how they are played!

Some Casino Slot Terminology

Although playing online slots isn’t rocket surgery (well I thought that was funny), anyone new to playing on them could benefit by learning some of the lingo to help them with their spins.

Winning Symbols These are the icons you want to see appear on one of the pay lines you have covered.  The symbols will vary from slot to slot and will tend to be designed around the theme of the game.  Different symbols will tend to be worth more than others and the more valuable they are; the less likely it is they will appear on your screen.  As with any form of betting luck and persistence are two of the main ingredients to winning big.

Pay-lines The pay line is the line you want to see winning symbols appear on.  Before you spin, you can choose how many pay lines you wish to cover and the number available to you will depend upon the slot in question.  Some slot machines will only have 5 win lines while some others, like MIcrogaming’s “Cashapillar” have a whopping 100 pay lines to choose from.  Bear in mind, the more lines you choose to cover, the more it will cost you.

Line Bet Prior to making a spin, you will decide upon the value of each line covered for that spin.  If for example, you choose 2c per line and cover 25 lines, every spin will cost you 50c.

The Aim

It goes without saying that the main goal when playing a slot is to win money, but how do you go about doing that?  The first way you can win money is by spinning symbols in a winning combination on a win line.  The amount you will win depends upon how many of these symbols appear consecutively and the value of the bet.  Other things come into play on some slots such as multipliers.  The other way to win is to trigger a feature.  We will discuss features in the following section.

Slot Features

If you want to win big then the best way to do so is by triggering the games feature level.  Features can involve a number of things but will typically be centred on the theme of the game.  In some cases you might be awarded a set number of free spins with a multiplier.  Another common feature will give you the chance to pick prizes from a random selection of hidden boxes or icons.  In my experience, the highest prizes occur when you receive high multiplier values and hit a top winning combination with the free spin.


Another feature of many slots is the scatter bonus.  A scatter bonus is triggered, typically when 2, 3 or more of the scatter symbols appear on the screen or on a win line.  Although they don’t tend to pay huge bucks, they can help maintain your bankroll until you see a high value win appear.

Different types of slots

Most of the modern casino software offer different variety of slots to choose from: classic slots, video slots and fruit machines.  Classic slots (also known as reel slots) are traditional looking, three reel slots that resemble something you would have seen in a video arcade in your youth.  They normally provide 1 or 3 win lines.

The most popular type of slot is the video slot which is the ‘bells and whistles’ variety of the game.  They tend to be centred on a particular theme, be it a super hero, historical period, or even something simple like an animal.

Finally, fruit machines are UK style slots that are simply in their design and come with hold and nudge features.  If you have ever been in a pub in the UK, you will know exactly what they look like and how they work.

Playing Slots for Free

If you would like to play slots for free, either to get a grounding on how they work, or to judge the quality of a particular casino’s offering, then you will find that most companies offer a free “play for fun” option.  If you want to learn to play online slots then this is probably the easiest and certainly the most risk free way to do so.  OK, you aren’t going to win any real money but it will give you a good idea as to the quality of slots on offer.  It will also help you judge the pay-outs available.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

Although the majority of slots give their players the chance to win substantial sums of money with the push of a button, there are others that can literally turn them into overnight millionaires.  Microgaming offers the best selection of progressive jackpots where the prices have on a number of occasions, exceeded $5 million.  The way these bonuses tend to work is that when the random bonus is activated, the player stands a small chance of hitting the big money.  The more cash you bet per spin, the more likely it is that the random feature will be activated.


Online slot machines are probably the easiest game to get involved in and can be played with small amounts of money.  The rewards can be very high but in the majority of cases, this will depend on the stake you are willing to put on a spin.  If you are looking for somewhere to start spinning then check out 32Red Casino. They offer a free to play feature, excellent sign up bonuses and have been ranked by Casinomeister as the best online casino for a number of years running.

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