A Comprehensive Guide to Understand How Online Slots Work

Slots are by far the most popular games at online casinos. You may have realized that, based on the fact that there are literally hundreds to choose from. There’s everything from ancient themes to pop acts these days, with more choice than many players know how to handle. But how do online slots work exactly? If you want to play them, it’s important that you know all the mechanisms that make these games tick.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how slot machines work, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how slots work. By the end, you’ll be ready to start spinning the reels on slot machines today.

Top Casino Bonuses

When you play slot games, it’s wise to look for casino bonuses geared towards slot players. Most sites will have a deposit match bonus up to a certain amount, meaning that the amount you top up your account with could be doubled.

However, it’s important to note that these bonuses are often subject to wagering requirements. That means you’ll have to stake them on the reels a certain number of times before you can withdraw.

You should also watch out for free spins bonuses. These are often used with specific online slots, and they give you a chance to win money before you invest any of your own.

The Heart of Online Slots – Random Number Generator (RNG)

How does a slot machine work? It may look like a set of reels that randomly spin and land in different zones, but there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. At the heart of these games is a random number generator governing every spin.

RNG is a sophisticated algorithm that determines the outcome of each spin. The great thing about this is that it is completely random, meaning that the games are totally fair.

You can spin with peace of mind because the RNGs used in slots are independently tested by licensing companies, ensuring that neither players nor casinos predict or manipulate the outcome.

Before you play at a site, you can check the licenses and see if it’s regulated by credible authority. Then, you know that it’s completely safe to play.

What is RTP in slots?

Another acronym that you need to know before you play slots is RTP, which stands for return to player. Every slot game has its own RTP, listed as a percentage. This governs the machines in that they must return a certain amount to the player based on how much they have invested.

In theory, therefore, if a slot game has an RTP of 96%, you should expect it to roughly pay out $96 to every $100 spent. Of course, it isn’t this exact. It could pay out the 96% after a player has spent $1000, or even $10,000. The slot can also pay out smaller amounts to stay in line with the RTP, and that’s why it’s also crucial to check the machine’s volatility.

So, what are the best slot machines to play? We recommend going for the ones that have a high RTP.

What does Volatility Mean in Slots?

Aside from being able to check the RTP of the slot game you are playing, you’ll also be able to see its volatility. This refers to how often and how much it pays out.

For example, a game with low volatility is more likely to pay out smaller amounts on a more regular basis. A game with high volatility, on the other hand, could hand players lengthy dry spells interspersed with random big wins.

Can Online Casinos Change a Slot RTP and Volatility?

You may be wondering if the same slot game is different depending on which online casino you play at. For example, Mötley Crüe is one of the top rock-themed slots on the market, and you can find it at a range of online casinos.

The good news is that no matter where you play, the RTP and volatility remain the same. Online casinos don’t have the power to change these settings – only the developers can do that.

Slot Game Elements & Mechanics

Before playing any online slot game, it’s important to read the instructions and study the paytable. This will give you a great idea of how the game works. The main base game involves spinning the reels and attempting to match symbols. Different symbols have different values, ranging from high to low paying.

There are also special symbols that expand on the regular gameplay. Wilds, for instance, can replace any symbols and sometimes cover more than one reel.

Here are some slot game aspects to watch out for:

-Reels: Where the symbols are located and the things that spin.

-Spin Button: The button you press to spin the reels.

-Autoplay: This allows you to spin the reels for a certain number of spins without having to press the spin button yourself.

-Max Bet: This is the maximum you can bet per line.

-Balance: This is the amount you have to spend on the game.

-Paytable: This tells you the value of the symbols in the game with their potential returns.

-Paylines: These are where symbols can match to make winning combinations.

-Symbols: These are the artwork on the reels, usually fitting with the game’s theme.

-Wild Symbols: These can replace any other symbol on the board to generate combinations.

-Scatter Symbols: These are special symbols that trigger bonus features.

-Gamble Feature: Some games have a gamble feature that gives you a chance to multiply your winnings.

-Theme and Graphics: All games have a specific theme, and the graphics are designed to relate to this.

-Software Provider: There are a few main slot providers in the industry that you should follow. If you like a game from one of them, you may enjoy their other offerings.

How do Progressive Slots Work?

You’ll notice that some slots have jackpots listed above them that are constantly rising in value. These are progressive slot games, and they are linked together over a network. Mega Moolah is a famous example of this game type.

Anyone playing the Microgaming offering at any site contributes to the overall jackpot. This then randomly pays out over a lottery system to one lucky player. The jackpots can be huge, but they often come at the expense of low RTP on the machines.

There are also standalone progressive jackpot slots that aren’t linked over a network. These tend to have smaller prizes that pay out more frequently than progressive games.

Other Types of Online Slots

If you want to learn more about online slots, check out our How to Play Slots guide to learn more about the topic. There are plenty of other slots to watch out for. For instance, there are classic slots that pay homage to the slot machines of old, along with themed slots that draw on popular culture.

Rock slots and pop slots are blowing up in popularity these days, and there are plenty of options to choose from.

How do Slot Machines Work FAQs

If you’ve still got some questions about how online slots work, you may want to check out this handy FAQ section below to see if we’ve answered any of your queries already. Before you start playing, don’t forget to read our tips on responsible gaming.

Online slots aren’t that much different from traditional slot games, except that they often have more animations and features. Internet-based games have many advancements that traditional slot machines don’t have, such as the Megaways engine. Online slots also tend to have more reels and paylines than traditional games.

RNG makes online slots completely fair because there is no way anyone can predict the outcome of them. These complex algorithms go through rigorous testing, so you don’t need to worry about the games being rigged.

Online casinos can’t manipulate the settings of online slots – if they tried to do that, they’d be shut down by independent authorizing bodies. Always check a site has the correct licenses in place before you start spinning the reels.

Most online slots come with a special feature or two, such as a free spins round. These are activated when special symbols land in view on the reels.

For example, the free spins round may start when you get three scatter symbols anywhere on the reels. During the bonus round, the game will keep spinning in wins. This is one of the best ways to get large returns on your stake.