On visiting a casino, irrespective of its being a brick and mortar or an online, you are sure to find it loaded with a huge number of slot machines. The reasons are not difficult to guess. Online slot games are hugely popular with gamers, particularly among the beginners. These slick games having high tech features are simple to understand and play. Casinos too find these very profitable. It is estimated that most casinos earn an estimated seventy percent of their revenue through online slots.
When online slots made their first appearance during the 1990s, they used to have only a couple of reels plus one payline. These days you get slots having three or five reels and over one thousand paylines. You can also find slot machines based on some of the Hollywood blockbusters! Irrespective of the online slot you may choose to patronize, their functioning is essentially the same, though the features may be slightly different, varying with the developer. A very helpful and frequent feature offered by many websites is 'try before you buy,' allowing you to get familiar with the game and its rules. A number of slot developers also offer free-to play editions of their actual money games through their respective websites.
How to play slots online?
It is very easy. You just need to sign up with one of the online casinos offering slot games and complete an easy to fill registration form and begin playing. You may choose to play in a free practice mode, offered by majority of online casinos or play with real money. You can select the game you like to play from the game lobby and understand its features and pay table before you start playing the chosen game. This is how it proceeds:
Spinning the Slot Reels
Having loaded an online slot from one of the online casinos, you'll find a game screen loaded with reels. The traditional slots would have three perpendicular reels, though most of the current video slots come with five.
Each reel would normally contain more than 20 to 25 symbols, related to the theme of the slot. The objective is to rotate the reels to hit winning arrangement of symbols when the reels stop dead. You can surely understand the likelihood of millions of possible combinations due so many of symbols contained in reels and a large number of paylines.
You can locate the 'spin' button that initiates the reels' motion at the right hand bottom of screen. Some games also provide a 'skill stop' button that allows you to stop spinning of reels on your own.
Examine the payable
Before you spin a reel, you should get all the necessary information about the game. You can access the info by clicking on the 'info' or 'paytable' icon appearing on the screen, while you are driven to a different screen. There, you'll come to know of different payouts offered for striking different winning permutations, list containing various symbols plus information pertaining to bonus rounds.
Betting size & Playlines
Before you start playing on slot machine with real cash, you need to set the size of your bets and the number of playlines you wish to play. Slot machines appropriate for smaller wallets allow betting for as small an amount as one penny a line.
Then, you need to select the number of coins you are willing to bet on any particular line. Generally, the machines allow you to bet from one to ten coins per line. Next, you select the number of paylines i.e. the combination of symbols over the reel that you like playing. You could bet on only one payline and go up to the maximum offered by the machine by just clicking on the paylines located on one side of the screen game.
Here's is an illustration to give you a better understanding. Suppose, you are playing on an online slot machine with 25 paylines while the betting varies from one penny to one dollar a coin and the maximum permissible bet is ten coins per line. So, you may play just one penny on only one payline. In such a case, your per spin bet is only one penny. Or you may opt for the maximum of one dollar a coin, ten coins per line with maximum permissible 25 paylines. In this case, your per spin bet will amount to 10X25=$250.
Then, there are also slots with fixed paylines that don’t give you any freedom of choosing the number of playlines for your game. These can prompt you to spend more money over a period of time but they also present the possibility of striking an increased number of winning combinations.
You can find online slots in 2-cent, 10-cent, quarter, and dollar denominations. A frequent arrangement consists of nine paylines on which you may bet 1 to 5 credits. You also get slots having 5, 15, 20, 25, and even 50 paylines, which can accept up to 25 coins per line. Usually you’ll find five reels spinning on your screen. Paylines may not necessarily run in straight lines but also in V’s, inverted Vs and in a zig zag manner across the screen. You’ll find at least five paylines, though the trend is to have up to fifty.
When you want to play, you set the number of paylines you want to get activated and also set the number of stakes per line. Once you are done with your settings, you strike the ‘spin’ button and reels start spinning before finally coming to a stop. A winning combination is paid out but some online slots give the choice to double your booty, generally through a simple ‘lower or higher or ‘black or red’ card game.
Bonus rounds & Scatters
Online slots generally feature bonus rounds and ‘scatter pays.’ Nominated symbols would trigger a scatter pay when two, three or more of them appear on screen, though they may not be on the same payline. This is the most frequent award, giving the player any number of free spins from three to fifty. Often, the spins may get retriggered, if you happen to strike another three scatter icons on those reels while taking your free spin rounds, giving you another free batch of spins!
Likewise, special symbols would trigger a bonus event. The bonus may be by way of a specified number of free spins or the player may be offered one of these bonuses.
A Pick ‘em Bonus
As you hit three scatters, you are driven to a different game screen, wherein you are asked to select from an assortment of symbols, each illuminating a different multiplier or prize. Often, the icons are in line with the theme. You touch one icon and open a package to collect your bonus payout. You may keep touching different icons for additional bonuses till one icon displays a ‘pooper’ and ends the round. All the wins that you made from the bonus round are added up and deposited to your account. It’s mainly because of such bonus rounds that online slots have turned out to be the fastest growing casino game over the last decade.
Click Me Bonus
This feature gets triggered when three relevant bonus symbols simultaneously appear on the reels. You just select one from those three icons to get a cash prize.
It is a normal practice for developers to include some unique bonus features in their games and you are very likely to find them in different online slots.
Payout percentages have gone up after casinos realized that they gain more on holding five percent per dollar than eight percent per quarter or ten percent per nickel. Slot players can expect about 90% payout, meaning that out of every 100 dollars, ninety go back to players over a period of time and the balance is retained by the casino.
However, you should remember that payout percentage is a long term average. Though you may expect frequent payouts, it should not surprise you if 30 or 50 or even more attempts don’t deliver any payout. At the same time, it’s not unusual to get back 150 percent or more after a dozen attempts. The programmed percentage is always retained at the end. So, play responsibly and fix your budget before hand and stick to that.