Slots are without any doubt the real casino king for millions of global players. The reason for this popularity is that they are so simple to play and offer many hours of fun.
Slots are purely about luck, so everyone has an equal chance of winning. But there are still things you can do to make your games more effective and by reading the information provided on this page, you will understand the games better, resulting in even more fun and, hopefully, a lucrative outcome.
Since 1895 slot machines have thrilled gamers looking for entertainment, coupled with the real chance of big lucky wins. The early machines were fully mechanical. In 1975 the first electronical slot was born. All mechanical parts were replaced by electronics and the game was displayed on a video screen. Hence the name video slots. Back then they still were stand alone machines though.
In 1994 the first online casino was launched, powered by software from Microgaming. From then on everyone was able to play slots on their computer. Today, all online slots are in fact video slots. The games have gone deluxe and hit the web with awesome realism, advanced features and cool themes and graphics.
Reels and Paylines
The heart of any slots game are the reels and paylines.
A reel is a vertical spinning wheel which has several symbols on it. A typical slots game has 3 or 5 reels. Every reel can have 10 up to hundreds of symbols.
A payline is a line that crosses through one symbol on each reel, along which a winning combination is evaluated. Video slots generally have 1 up to 20 paylines, but this can exceed to more than 100. Paylines could be of various shapes (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, triangular, trapeziodal, zigzag, etc.).
The winning combination and alignment of the symbols varies per game and is explained in the paytable of each game.
The paytable lets you know how much the symbols in the game are worth and which combinations pay out. It also tells you which ones are wilds, scatters or which trigger a bonus round, free spins or other feature.
Symbols are the images shown on the reels, which also can be blanks. Depending on the paytable, certain symbols have a specific worth, as explained below.
Scatter symbols are not confined within the parameters of other symbols. This symbol can appear anywhere on the reels and doesn’t have to fall on any particular payline to give you a win. Although the number of scatter symbols required for a win can vary from slot to slot the general principal remains the same.
Wild symbols act like jokers whereby they can be seen as any symbol in order to give you a winning combination. If you have 2 symbols and a wild, the wild will act as a 3rd symbol therefore giving you a winning combination.
A bonus symbol is a special symbol that triggers a special feature within the game. This could be a bonus game, free spins or any other special feature. Depending on the rules of that specific slot game, the bonus symbol will trigger the bonus feature when one or more appear.
Multiplier symbols as the name suggests can multiply your winnings, for this reason they are very popular among slot machine players. They increase the payout of a winning combination by their given multiplier amount.
To start a game, you have to insert some cash (coins) first. You can choose how many coins to stake on each line, starting from 0.01 up to 5.00, 10.00 or sometimes even 100.00.
Then you select the number of lines you want to play. Depending on the available paylines, this multiplies your initial bet, so if your bet is set to 0.05 and the number of paylines is set to 20, you will pay 1.00 for every spin.
This is the maximum amount of coins you can place on one spin. Hitting this button will set your bet to the maximum, so be careful using this option.
To prevent having to hit the spin button manually, this feature allows a player to select how many spins the game will automatically play for you. Manual or autoplay doesn’t influence the outcome, since this is randomly calculated by the RNG. However, using the autoplay function, the game can easily get less exciting.
The jackpot is the biggest prize to win in a slots game. The maximum amount to win is stated in the paytable of each game. Generally it varies from 1,000 to several hundreds of thousands.
This is a jackpot that gets bigger the more you and other slot players play. Progressive jackpots can amount to many millions.
Random Number Generator
All modern slots use a random number generator (RNG), which is constantly generating a sequence of random numbers at a rate of hundreds and sometimes thousands per second. As soon as the “Spin” button is pressed, the most recent random number is used to determine the result. This means that the result varies depending on exactly when the game is played and is set before the reels stop spinning. A fraction of a second earlier or later and the result would be completely different. For this reason one never can predict the outcome of the game.
Slot machines are typically programmed to pay out as winnings 82% to 98% of the money that is wagered by players. This is known as the Return To Player (RTP). The winning patterns on slots – the amounts they pay and the frequencies of those payouts – are carefully caculated to yield a certain fraction of the money played to the “house” (the operator of the slots game), while returning the rest to the players.
Suppose that a certain slot machine costs 1.00 per spin and has a return to player (RTP) of 95%. It can be calculated that over a sufficiently long period, such as 1,000,000 spins, that the machine will return an average of 950,000 to its players, who have inserted 1,000,000 during that time.
Myths & Facts
Slots games are surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Reading about these myths will hopefully help you avoid the mistakes too many players make.
Myth: Slots have pay cycles you can master.
Fact: Slots are based on Random Number Generators, so patterns and cycles in slot games are impossible.
Myth: Winning Systems exist to beat slot machines.
Fact: As stated above, it’s impossible to predict the outcome of the RNG’s calculated outcome. Investing in such systems equals throwing your money out of the window.
Myth: Playing 1 coin at a time increases your chances of hitting a jackpot.
Fact: In order to win the maximum jackpot amount, the Bet Max amount must be used. Look at the paytable of the particular slot game to see what will trigger the jackpot.
Myth: One more spin will make you win.
Fact: This is the sign telling you to stop playing. Winning is not triggered by how many spins you play; it is completely random, so it could take 1 spin or 50 for that matter. Chasing losses is always a bad idea.
Myth: The jackpot symbols were near the payline. I am due a win soon.
Fact: As stated earlier, it’s impossible to predict the outcome of the RNG’s calculated outcome.
Myth: If the payout percentage is 95.04%, I will earn back 95 for every 100 I stake.
Fact: Whilst this is true to an extent, this is based on an average payout percentage. All game play across the game will result in this number being met, but will factor in millions and even billions of spins over a long period of time.
To enhance your casino experience, we have some useful tips:
- play maximum lines at minimum bet to increase the chance for a nice win and to prevent big losses
- play for entertainment, do not expect a big win
- set a budget upfront and stick to it
- set winnings aside and only play with your gambling budget