Understanding Online Slots

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Slot machines are games which feature rows of reels on a grid, with either an arm or a button to one side of them for making the reels spin. The purpose of the games is to try to score a reel where all of the picture symbols are the same.

These days people mostly play online slots instead of the physical machines. The handle that was found on one side of the machines and that led to them being known as ‘one-arm bandits’ has now been replaced with a digital button.

The online versions also feature lots of different themes and symbols on the reels instead of just pieces of fruit. They come with sophisticated bonus rounds and video graphics too.

All of that has contributed to making them very popular. That popularity means that there are literally hundreds of online slots on offer at casinos, to capitalise on it.

This variety and the different features can make them seem a bit confusing to those who have never played before though. That is why we have produced a guide to understanding online slots.

How An Online Slot Works

Bear in mind at this point that there are some areas of variance in the workings of online slots, but the basics are the same for all of the games. The initial game screen will consist of a grid that usually has five reels and a number of symbols on each of them.

The superior online slots have a theme and will include reel symbols that fit it. An is Fishing Frenzy, where the theme is fishing and the reels include a boat, fisherman, fishing rod, pelicans and various coloured fish.

Picture symbols on an online slot are usually the ones of higher value. Lower value symbols are most often numbers or playing cards. Each slot will also have pay lines that players can lay bets on, although the number of them varies.

Then it is a matter of pressing the button to spin the reels and seeing if you get a matching row of symbols on an active pay line. The more pay lines you bet on, the greater your odds of a win. That is something that holds true for all online slot games.

How much you can win for a matching row of symbols depends on how many symbols make up the row, their value and how much you have bet. Every online slot has a minimum and maximum bet per pay line.

How the Jackpot Works

One feature that is guaranteed to be a part of an online slot is the jackpot. Winning it is what everyone who takes a slot for a spin is trying to achieve, but the jackpot sizes vary a lot.

When it comes to the Fishing Frenzy game, the maximum jackpot is 1000x your bet. The jackpot being a multiplier of a player’s wager is quite common, but they are not all as high as that one.

Some online slots feature what is known as a progressive jackpot. Whereas with most slots, the jackpot stays fixed, a progressive one grows each time a player lays a bet on the slot.

It keeps growing until it is finally won. These slots can produce life-altering payouts. That draws a lot of players to them, but they do not pay out very often so the chances of winning a huge sum are remote.

What Volatility and RTP Mean

One of the big reasons why progressive jackpots are harder to win than those with games like Fishing Frenzy is because of volatility. Volatility refers to how frequent the payouts are and therefore the risk level of the slot. Progressive jackpot ones are always high volatility, which means very rare payouts but big ones when they do come.

At the other end of the scale there are low volatility slot games where very frequent small wins are the norm. These are good if you have a tight gaming budget, but otherwise a game with medium volatility will provide the best reward to risk ratio.

The RTP (return to player) is a percentage indicating – in theory – what a slot will pay out per session. 95% is a good minimum RTP to go by, but higher will be better.

What Wild and Scatter Symbols Are

Two features that you will encounter with many online slots are the Wild and the Scatter symbol. If the Wild symbol appears on a reel where all the other symbols match, it will stand in for the missing one to give you a winning line.

Scoring a certain number of Scatters is usually rewarded with free spins. 

Now you have a clearer understanding of how online slots work. They are simple to grasp.

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