How to Play Online Slots and What You Need to Know About their Mechanics

Video slots, progressive slots, and classic slots combine to create the most popular sector of online casino gaming. While table games, video poker, and the ever-growing live games options continue to win over players, it’s the slots that are played the most and receive the most new creations. In fact, in the UK, slots generated some £2.9 billion ($3.8 billion) of online casinos’ £4 billion ($5.2 billion) in 2020/21.

However, it’s not always easy to know how to play slot games, what to expect, and the best games to play for the experience that you seek. While some will say you just open a game and press spin — which isn’t completely untrue — there’s a lot more to video slots that will influence how you should play.

How to play online slots

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It’s quite simple to play slots, but once you’ve picked one that you like the look of, like Cash Eruption or Royal Tiger, there are some key parts to check to know how to play. Upon opening the game, press on the small “i” button to open up the information window. Here, you’ll be able to see how many paylines you’re playing on and the symbols that trigger features.

These are the main playing components you need to understand to know what’s going on in your games, regardless of whether it’s slots online, like Lucky Golden Clover or Fishin’ Frenzy, or anywhere else. Paylines are the lines that run across the game, and it’s only on these that your winning combinations can land to reward the payouts. Features are randomly triggered or unlocked by symbol combinations, so it’s important to know why a set of spin results do or don’t get the game’s features underway.

After this, you will have a better understanding of how much you want to bet. Whatever value you put in at the bottom of the screen as your bet is how much you’ll pay for one spin. So, you’ll need to calculate how many spins you’d like to try and work out the ideal bet based on your balance. Once you’ve set the bet, press spin and see if you land some matching symbols.

RTP matters, but not as much as volatility

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You’ll see many people online looking for the RTP (return to player) percentages of games. While it is important, the vast majority of slots on reliable casino sites adhere to the industry standard of having RTPs of 92 percent or better. Because of the wide-ranging nature of online slots, few feel the impact of an RTP value that at least meets the 92 percent standard.

Volatility is the value that matters to your gameplay experience. Volatility — also known as variance — details how often and in what size sums a slot game will payout on average. High volatility games tend to pay less often but in larger sums, with low volatility games doing the opposite. As an example, Bigger Bass Bonanza is a high volatility game, Cleopatra is medium volatility, and Age of the Gods: God of Storms is a low variance slot.

The only problem with volatility is that not all casino games show the value on their information pages. So, to get a feel for a game’s variance, you can use bonuses. Much like promo codes in online video games, you can get bonuses for slots via an opt-in or a promo code, with free spins offering a way to test a game. It’s a good idea to use these to get to grips with a slot to see if its style is for you.

With the information above, you should now know how to play slots and the key elements that create different experiences when playing these popular online games.

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