We hate spam and only email you when we have something worth sharing.
Slots 101: A Rookie’s Guide to Online Slots
By Brodey Sheppard - February 24, 2016
There are many top reasons to play online slots. And, online slots seem simple enough. When you hit the Play button, things start happening. The exciting music kicks in and the reels spin until everything stops to reveal if you’ve won or you’ve lost. But even though it’s not a complicated game, you still want to make the most out of your play. As a rookie in the online slots world, here are some things you may want to know to better understand how the game works.
If you think about the classic slot machine, you know how it works. In order for you to win, you need to get three identical symbols to line up in the middle. When it comes to the newest online slots, some have more than three reels. This means that there are more possible winning combinations.
Let’s Get Started: Some Terms You Need to Know
Before getting into the tips and tricks of online slots, it will be helpful to talk about the common terms used in the game.
- Symbols are the colorful images that serve as the frontier between you and your prizes. These have to match in a certain way in order to get a win.
- Coins are the units of play money you bet with.
- A pay table is your address for information about the rules and prizes of the game.
- Reels are the vertical columns of symbols that you spin on each play, while rows are those horizontal lines across the reels.
- Paylines are the sets of symbols that determine the prizes up for grabs after you spin.
This just the bare essentials list. For more slot jargon explained, have a read over our game glossary blog.
The Basic Gameplay
The gameplay for online slots is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. You start with deciding how many coins you want to bet for each payline. Once you’ve decided how much to bet, you press the spin button and watch the reels turn to reveal your fate.
Today there is a wide selection of online slots that you can choose from. Usually, these games differ in how many reels and paylines are featured. The number of reels and paylines affect the number of winning combinations that you can have.
Three Reel Slots
The most familiar kind of slot machine has three reels. Usually, three reel slots have paylines that run horizontally through the reels. This means you have to have three symbols that align in order to gain winnings.
Five Reel Slots and Video Themed Slots
The main difference between five reel and three reel slots is that the former has much more winning combinations. Because five reel slots have more possible combinations, these tend to have bigger jackpots.
Video themed slots are usually five reel slots. Taking advantage of the latest innovations in web technology, video themed slots feature high-definition graphics, compelling animation and sound effects. These games are usually follow a story line. Sometimes, these are based on movie or television franchises.
Five reel slot games can have anywhere between five to forty paylines. This means there are completely unique combinations you can bet on.
For example, this image below shows an example of 20 different paylines. See how diverse these are?
This second image illustrates even more unconventional paylines that are used in five reel slots. See how the winning streak does not have to appear in the middle row? It can be in the bottom row or top row. It can even be diagonal or in a zigzag pattern!
A progressive jackpot game takes its jackpot from an entire casino network, and is not limited to the game being played. So if you are up for a really big payout, then these are the kinds of games you will really enjoy. These games are linked across different online casinos, so that means thousands of players may be adding to the jackpot every few seconds.
Tips for the Rookie
For a rookie, all these game options can be overwhelming. But there are simple things you can do that will ultimately lead you to be a slot master.
- First, you can start by playing free online slot games. This is a great way to get familiar with the elements of the game before you start with actual money wagers.
- Before you begin making money wagers, it’ll be nice helpful to determine first what your budget is or what your limit is. This way, you don’t accidentally go overboard when you are having too much fun playing the games.
- When choosing a game, check the reputation and the payout odds of the online casino site. Payout odds slightly differ from one game to another, but that marginal difference helps increase your chances of winning.
- A common question that first-time players have is, “Do I increase my chances of winning if I bet on more paylines?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question varies. Some would say that you should always bet the maximum number of paylines. Some say that you can get more money by betting on a single payline per spin. So there is no definitive answer to this question. Instead, what you should consider is finding the game that offers you the best odds. As shown earlier, if the game has a greater number of reels, the bigger the payouts will be. BUT, the best odds are usually offered by games that feature lower numbers of reels, which means the three reel slots.
- But, if you want to hit the jackpot in five reel slots or progressive slots, then you have to bet the maximum. You’ll only win the jackpot if you are willing to bet the highest possible amount.
Ultimately, when it comes to playing, the decision is yours. You can try different kinds of strategies and see what is more enjoyable (and profitable) for you. As you get more proficient at slot gaming, you’ll get better at increasing or decreasing your bet lines at crucial points in the game.
Getting into the Game
Online slots offer a wide variety of great playing experiences, plus the chance for great winnings. And the opening animations, cool soundtracks, amazing 3D graphics and enticing bonuses make it fun and entertaining too!
If you are still not sure how to start spinning and winning, you can start by trying out websites that offer free spin bonus slots. You can familiarize yourself with the games until you are confident enough to put cash on the line. Once money is involved, the game turns into a whole new level of fun. But there’s nothing wrong with taking your time and learning the ropes first. After all, playing online slots is a way to have fun at your own pace while winning cash at the same time.