Online Slots: An Expert Guide
It's as simple as this: casino players in the UK love playing online slots. There's no messing about or beating around the bush. Slot machines are massive among players for a number of reasons, but no one can deny that the biggest contributing factor is that just one spin can make a massive difference.
Given that slots are also a game that doesn't require a lot of hard work. Simply hit the spin button and you are away, which means players are not required to be experts on the game itself. Slots are also the more enticing and visually appealing of games. When we compare the best slots in the market against the best video poker machines, it really is no competition. These are the games which dominate casinos, for obvious reasons.
If you have yet to sample even one slot in your life, then this guide will walk you through what you can expect. There is a wide range of slots, which can be played via your browser, downloadable software, or on your mobile or device. UK players have access to a cornucopia of slot games, which means they will never be at a loss for finding one to play.
UK players can access an online casino and simply bask in the glory of the hundreds of slots they can play on. There is a massive range, from classic fruit machines to 5-reel video slots, those with progressive jackpots, and even 3D slots where you will be taken on an aesthetic journey courtesy of the best software developers out there. Online slots are the sole reason why many people sign up to casinos every year.
It seems as though UK players just cannot get enough slot games. This is evidenced by the sheer range of titles which emerge every year. The greatest minds in the slots industry invest millions in delivering the games which eventually become classics. Then, there are the classics of this age. The games which endure time and stand ageless among others which seemingly come and go without making even a fraction of the impact.
It is important to know of the range of differences and features which are carried by slots. As the old saying goes, "each to their own." For both new and existing players, sampling a slot for the first time can mean falling in love with that game, the format, or the software developer behind it. It takes just one generous slot for us to sit up and pay attention, after all.
Online slots are popular for a reason. When we sit down at our laptop or desktop computers and become enthralled in a game, it has to be something special, right? Think of how many slots out there, which you have not come across yet, could grab your attention.
If you have ever engaged in a session playing slots only to have to leave the house for something annoying like work, food shopping, or getting married, then you will understand the frustration. Thankfully, the advent of mobile slots has changed that. Who cares what your future wife, family, and priest at the altar think? A few more spins and you'll land that bonus, right?
Well, no. That is not to be advised. However, and more to the point, mobile slots allow players to take the fun with them on the move. There are a number of casinos that support mobile slots via a wide range of devices. Pretty much every smartphone and mobile device will allow you to access a world where you can pick your favourite slot while being out and about.
Are Slots for You?
It is likely that slots could be the game which keeps you hooked. The various slots out there, with their own unique charms and appeal, are too many to mention. Just like any other game in a casino, we all tend to have our favourite. Even those who have never got the appeal of slots can admit that they find them curious. As the industry continues to grow, more and more casino enthusiasts flock to slots.
A reason for this is that slots generally have more variety to them than the other games which you would find in an online casino. Roulette, blackjack, video poker, backgammon, baccarat - developers of these games have never really found a way to modernise them to make them more popular. Well, they are popular enough without having to be changed, but sometimes the repetition can get exhausting. With slots, there are just so many different kinds.
The Various Types of Slot Machines
UK players will probably be aware of the wide range of slots out there. From those based on famous movies and movie characters to Egyptian-themed slots, Superhero-themed slots, and those which make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Exploding fruits, colourful blocks, treks through the jungle, you name it, slot developers have jumped on it at some point.
Did you know the difference between these slots in how they perform? For example, the traditional pub fruit machines are structured in an entirely different fashion to 5-reel video slots. There are big differences, and every slots enthusiast has their own personal favourites.
Everyone with even a basic knowledge of slots will know that these are the Godfathers of slots. You can be certain that any casino you play in will have at least one form of 3 reel slot in their repertoire of games. Paylines are typically 1-3, with bonuses (if any) generally triggered with 3 special symbols.
The original slot. Anyone in the UK that has been to a pub at some point will have seen the bright, flashing lights of fruit machines illuminating an otherwise stale-smelling and depressing boozer with the allure of a siren.
Online casino software developers realise that, for many, this is where the love affair of slots started. Many have chosen to replicate the classics for online play, but they are far from the most popular slot out there. We just thought you needed a reminder of the importance of slots history...
Now, this is where things get exciting. 5-reel slots have pay lines which can range from 9 to over 1,000. These are the second wave of slots, where bonuses and features are regularly built into. They are widespread in almost every single online casino operating today. The vast majority of slots will be based on the 5-reel structure.
While not as common as 5-reels, 6-reel slots are still commonly found in online casinos. They are not as widespread as the 5-reel variety, but there are many players who prefer to play them.
UK players who play 7-reel slots will have access to more combinations and a higher chance of winning big. Once again, these are nowhere near as popular as other slots out there, most notably, their 5-reel cousins.
Now we're talking, eh? Did you know video slots are a child of the 1980's? They have been around for longer than most of the footballers and singers who dominate the best teams of the country and annoy us from the radio waves. This type of game grew incredibly popular with the growth of the internet, reeling us all in (pardon the pun) with their exciting graphics.
Bonus chasers love video slots with as many features jammed in as possible. Luckily for UK players, more and more slots are built around the bonuses that can be unlocked more than anything else.
These slots may or may not have their own in-game "jackpots" or could be part of a network where a life-changing amount of cash is up for grabs. One simple Google search will return a number of lucky players who have changed their lives by playing slots.
Jackpot slots are massively important to online casinos, as a huge number of players tend to seek out slots with the potential for record-breaking wins. We're talking millions and millions of pounds which could fall into your lap faster than you can say "holy s**t".
3D slots are the future, and even the ones we have presently do a good job of reminding us just how far software developers go with their designs. 3D slots typically have incredibly intriguing graphics and a complex storyline which can hook players in faster than a master-fisherman with the best bait on the planet.
Features & Bonuses
Features and bonuses keep players happy. They attract players like a light bulb attracts moths. The more exciting ones can be the sole reason why many play these games in the first place.
With the chance of wilds, sticky wilds, pick 'em bonuses, free spins, cascade wins, there is usually something for everyone. You can typically check any features and bonuses of the game before you play them, which will give you a chance to figure out if they are right for you. Alternatively, you can play in demo mode and try them out with fake money before you commit to depositing.
Think of boxing's Pound for Pound rankings: there are boxers and then there are great boxers. The stand out performers of the craft. Software developers are pretty much the same, there are the big boys (Microgaming, NetEnt etc) and the smaller, boutique developers which would be more akin to a rising prospect.
Microgaming is always a great example of a heavyweight developer. Based in the Isle of Man, this company claims to have designed the very first online casino in 1994 and has been hitting it out of the park ever since. The company is renowned for more than just their slots, but the design and ideas which have driven the online casino market to the heights it enjoys today.
RTP & Volatility
What players want is slots with a high return to player (RTP). Slots which have an RTP of 95% and above are desirable. Slots with RTP of 90% are generally to be avoided, as the chances of wins are much lower. Higher RTP's are not always an indication of high payouts, as a slot with 97% RTP and low volatility pay out small but frequently.
It is important that you understand the RTP of a machine before you play it, in order to determine what to expect.
High variance games are usually those where wins might take a while, but the chance for bigger wins is greater. These machines typically have infrequent wins until you hit wins or trigger one of the various features of the game. These slots tend to be sought out by those with a budget strong enough to maintain their session while they wait to hit a big win. These games can be very strong in taking your money for a while, so don't favour casual players.
Low variance slots are more popular among players who want frequent but smaller wins, and just want to enjoy themselves or pass some time. While the chances of winning massively are lower, you could accumulate a decent balance over time. Low variance games do not really appeal to those looking for big wins.
What we want when we play slots comes down to our own motivations. We will have a unique perspective on casino games and this could be anything from looking for the elusive jackpot win to just having fun. Fun is the name of the game for many players in the UK, even those that are comfortable spending hundreds or even thousands per session.
When it comes to slots from the perspective of a casino, there is no doubting their importance to them. As the casino industry relies on players participating in games, you can usually figure out how they look at a game by studying how many are produced each and every year. There are more slots developed than any other game, and they will typically be the first thing you see when entering a casino for the first time.
From 3-reel slots to progressive jackpots, slots are massive for a reason.