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Play Slots Online Spin the Reels

Slot machines have been keeping players on the edge of their seats since the late 19th century. They don’t seem to have lost any of their allure in the 125 years or so since the first machine came spinning out of a Brooklyn workshop.

Today’s slots games are multi-coloured, interactive, digital audio-visual fun machines with truly immersive and often complex gameplay that keep players coming back again and again. The idea is simple: push a button, click a symbol or pull a lever, watch the reels spin and cross your fingers.

Basic Things to Know About Slots

There’s certainly an element of skill in lots of slots. But, at heart, it’s a game that engages our love for taking a flutter on a random what-happens-next. You’ll find slots ranked in their thousands in casinos, in specialist gaming arcades, and, in the UK, traditionally in pubs; where even the most run-down bar will boast an ancient one-armed bandit – often called a fruit machine after the symbols on the reels - flashing away in the corner.

More and more of us like to spin our reels online. Slot machines work brilliantly as computer games. There’s great scope to produce fantastic visual and audio effects in a host of styles, from the cutesy to the futuristic. Developers do a great job of adding multiple bonus games to test players’ skills even further.

Online slots are big business and have a huge mainstream following. There are tie-ins with big movies and TV franchises like the Terminator pictures, Batman, and Game of Thrones. The relatively simple layout of the games and their controls make slot machines ideal for playing on the small screens of smartphones and tablets.

Slots will continue to spin on multiple platforms and using the latest technology both on and offline for decades to come. We just love to watch the reels go round!

Who Plays Slot Games?

All sorts of people play slots. They’re a very accessible game, and it’s possible to start winning big as soon as you start playing.

All parts of the world seem to love them, as the particularly patient academics who carried out the last machine count in 2013 found. The countries with the most machines were: Japan, America, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Peru.

Who the players are is harder to quantify. A 2012 study from Oregon State University found that the typical American player was a woman who owned her home, was between 55 and 60-years-old, had some college education and pulled in more than $55,000-a-year.

The branding of online slots suggests that everyone plays them. Some games are themed in a way that would appeal to young men – fast cars, sports, pretty girls – others are themed like romance novels. 

The biggest collection of slot machines in the world is in – you guessed it – Las Vegas, Nevada, a state that would come fifth on the list of countries with the most slots, between Spain and the UK. The MGM Grand Casino has nearly 4,000 slots.

Why Play Slots?

Slots are fun. They’re more visually appealing than they ever were and often sound great too. And, we’re humans, we’re fascinated by not knowing what happens next.

They also demand skill. While the heart of the slot machine is the random stop of a spinning wheel, there are numerous tactical options, hand-eye coordination tests, and skills-based bonus games, particularly in online slots.

And we must not discount the cash. It’s possible to win very big on slots. In October 2015, a British soldier put 25p on an online slot and pulled out £13.2 million. In the real world, a software engineer from Los Angeles turned $100 into $39,710,826.36 thanks to his 16.7 million-to-one win.

Slot machines used to pay out relatively small amounts – no more than they could physically hold – but things have changed. Online, progressive jackpots, which build up as players wager on the game, can be massive. High-paying slots are big draws in real life casinos and are often networked by computers for their progressive jackpots.

Playing Slots 

Slots are at heart simple. But if you want to go deeper, there’s lots of fascinating stuff to learn and bring to your game.

A slot machine will have a set of reels. The most common numbers are three and five; three for mechanical machines, and five for video and online slots. These reels are packed with symbols. Players can usually also see three rows of these symbols.

Press the play button and they’ll spin – or in video slots or online games, spin, drop, ascend, explode…

When the reels stop the position of the symbols determines if the player has won or not.

Prizes are usually paid for matching symbols left to right on the machine in what are called paylines. There can be a huge number of paylines, and they’ll be explained in a paytable on the machine or, on a screen. You can often choose how many paylines you play – making a bet on each one, increasing your chance of winning and also your total bet size.

In-Game Slots Bonuses

Most slots games boast symbols called “wilds” and “scatters.” Wild symbols are like wild cards in a card game; they substitute for other symbols to allow the player to complete winning combinations, usually the best win available. Scatters can be matched for wins wherever they fall on the reels.

Wilds and scatters are often the keys to opening bonus games in video slots. These are many and varied, but they often involve sets of free spins bonus rounds with increased wins, wins that are multiplied, more scatter and wild symbols on the reels, wild symbols that expand to cover more reel positions and many other variants.

There are also popular slots brands which add mini games to their online fruit machines. For instance, majority of new slots from Elk Studios feature multi-level bonus games which players can unlock after a specific winning spin. This gives them an opportunity to play the game for a while and have an exciting adventure while spinning the reels.

Slots Strategy

The advent of computer slots has made the machines much more complex for players to beat. When the number of positions for symbols was limited by physical reels, it was theoretically possible to work out when a big payout was on the way. 

Now slots, including new UK slots and brand new mobile slots, are governed by random number generators that can’t be outguessed in this way.

Even though slot machines are genuinely random, there are still plenty of strategies to playing it effectively.

Here are some practical slot game tips that will help you enjoy your game and get good value for your money:

  • Don’t bet more than you can afford. Decide how much you’re going to wager before you start playing and stop when you’ve spent that amount;
  • Make sure you’re playing at a legitimate, regulated site or casino, and do some research on their reputation;
  • Check what the payout percentage (sometimes called theoretical return to payer - TRP) is – go for the highest number you can;
  • As a general rule, the more complex a game is, the higher payouts will be. But simpler games are more likely to supply more regular wins;
  • Look for big progressive jackpots, but remember that chasing the big win may cut down on your chance of smaller payouts;
  • Make sure you’ve read the rules and fully understand the game before you start playing;
  • Betting on all paylines will increase your chance of winning when there is a choice;
  • Check how the wagering works on the machines you play, and go for one where you can afford to make the maximum bet;
  • Last but not least, some players recommend increasing your bet when you are winning and cutting it when you are losing. This is just a way to extend the amount of time you can play, it won’t guarantee you big payouts.