The origin of slot games can be traced to the 19th century when the first machine was developed in New York. Then the game comprised five drums with 50 playing cards where players parted with a nickel to play. They would insert their monies in the machine and pull the lever to start playing. The game quickly evolved to using five symbols (spades, hearts, horseshoes, a liberty bell and diamonds) instead of the five drums. Many land-based casinos adopted these slot machines for their spaces as it created the illusion that players could control the outcome of the game.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and the use of the machines is nearly non-existent. The introduction of the internet in the mid-90s meant that the game would now be available in an online format. Its style was similar to the land-based game as the same number of reels and symbols were used. Also, advanced computer programming meant that more exciting themes, layouts and structures were introduced. As a result, online slots are available in three and five-reel formats and offer innovative bonus rounds and special gaming features. The number of slot developers and game portfolios has also increased. For example, Microgaming provides more than 500 titles, including jackpots games like the Mega Moolah.
How to Play Online Slots?
The game has slots arranged in reels that spin and stop to reveal a series of symbols arranged in a pay line. The player wins once he hits pre-determined combinations and symbols. It is important to get acquainted with the standard features used to know how to play the game:
The games have 10-12 symbols apart from the regular ones, and special symbols like the scatter, wild and the bonus. The wild replaces other symbols to create winning combinations while the scatter provides a winning spin every time two or more appear on the reels. The scatter symbol also activates the bonus round. The bonus symbol triggers larger prizes, valuable bonuses and second-screen mini-versions of the game.
It is a line that joins the combinations. Most games have 25 pay lines, but others have more. You can play one or multiple pay lines. The more pay lines played, the higher the chances of hitting special bonuses and hitting the jackpot.
The bet level
It is the basic unit used for placing a bet. Players are required to choose the number of coins to bet on each pay line and the total pay lines he intends to play.
Play slots online for free
There are numerous alternatives to help you play the game for free on most online casinos. The free version of the game allows you to explore the casino before signing up and play for fun. Online casinos host games from different developers hence, the need to play the new titles before opening an account and making the first deposit.
Variations of Slots
Online slot games are developed using computer programmes that ensure they are designed in numerous ways hence, the diverse and exciting gameplay styles. Here are the most common types of slot games:
This is any form of a game that imitates the design of the mechanical slots. It is the simplest to master as it only uses pay tables without bonuses and other extras. Most of them have three lemons or cherries on a three-reel slot game. Just like other versions, it uses a random number generator to determine the reels and symbols that should be displayed on the screen.
They are similar to classic slots; the only difference lies in the number of reels. Classic slots usually comprise three-reel games and resemble the old-version of the land-based slot machines. Video slots, however, are played on five or more reels, sometimes up to 1024 pay lines.
These games use 3D graphics that appear on a screen without the need to use 3D glasses or other such equipment. The premise for developing this version was to create a more interactive experience than the classic video poker. It achieves this by offering an immersive storyline, depth to the gaming experience and a replay feature.
The slot games multiply the player’s outcome by a predetermined value. There are three types of multiplier slots. The first multiplies pay-outs based on the number of coins wagered. As such, the more coins wagered, the more you are likely to win or lose. The other kind uses scatter symbols to multiply your outcome after making a spin. Thus, if the outcome is a loss, the scatter symbol does not multiply. Another form of multiplier slot offers an incentive for placing a bet on the maximum number of coins hence, the need to wager on the highest number of coins.
The slot game is similar to other 3- or 5-reel games with wagers and pay line only that the player uses a VR headset to play the game. It’s not just about sitting in front of the monitor and clicking on the mouse, but the game introduces the player to a new world, which is more immersive and interactive.
This kind increases the ultimate prize each time a player plays the game. It rises in pre-determined amounts set by the casino. The most common progressive slots are the Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune.
Online casinos have designed slot games for play on mobile devices for players who want to play on the go. The mobile slots games are optimised for play on Android, iOS and Windows operating systems to cater to the diverse group of players using mobile devices. Note that these are not casino apps, but players can access the slot games by logging into their accounts via the web browser to play. Players enjoy all the features available on desktop versions, e.g., bonus rounds, the scatter symbols, wilds and multipliers. Players can also participate in progressive jackpot games.
Useful Tips and Tricks for Slots Online
Several tips and strategies go a long way in helping players win and gain experience in playing slots online. Here are tips and tricks to help you:
- Select games offering a high RTP: If you want to increase your chances of winning, choose games with a high return to player percentage as they have a lower house edge.
- Take advantage of the free spins on offer: Most free spins are tied to a range of slot games; you want to take advantage of them to learn more about the casino and its game offering.
- Diversify the games you play: Most slot fans stick to one game, but it is important to diversify to avoid missing out on bonus rounds, jackpots, free spins and multipliers
- Maximize on the number of pay lines you play: If you don’t want to spend lots of cash on the game, reduce the value of each coin and maximise on the number of pay lines you bet on for each spin.