Best Online Slot Sites & Complete Guide

Your Full guide to playing online slots. Learn the rules, bet types and strategies to win. See our selection of the best slot sites.

Updated for December, 2022

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slot games

 

What are Online Slots?

 

Online slots make up a large part of any casino catalog. Understanding how they work and what to look out for means that you don’t have to miss out on the fun that they offer. The game category covers many different titles with some variations in format.

We’ve got you covered, though. As casino and slot experts, we’re here to point out how to play, tips and tricks to improve your chances, and recommend some top-class titles. Read on to learn everything about slots and what features you can expect from these games.

 

 

Discover More Casino Game Guides

 

Your Ultimate Guide to Online Slots

We’ve prepared a detailed guide including the basics, strategies and tips for playing online slots. Here you will find everything you need to know before playing slots for real money. Follow the links below to read more about each of the topics.


 

 

How to Play Slots Online in Five Steps

 

If you’re new to slots, you might be wondering how to get started. Although the style and features vary for each game, it’s possible to follow these steps to get to grips with the basic game mechanics. We’ve set out everything you need to know below.

 

 

Step 1

 

Launch your chosen slot

Picking one of the recommendations from our list below is an ideal way to start. They’re fun but not too complex, which will help you get a feel for how slots work. It’s best to begin with a standard video slot and then work up to Megaways or progressives.

Step 2

 

Check the paytable

Click on the question mark, menu, or information button to open the slot’s paytable. It’ll contain essential details, such as which symbols to look out for, which is the highest paying, the paylines, special symbols, and any bonus rounds. It’ll also cover the rules for the slot.

Step 3

 

Set your bet

Slots have controls to reduce or increase your bet. You might also see a max bet option to increase the amount quickly. Be aware that your bet will apply across each line, so there could be three amounts to check: the coin value, the bet per line, and your total bet.

Step 4

 

Spin the reels

Once you’re familiar with the rules and symbols and have set your bet to a comfortable amount, it’s time to start the game. The arrow symbol will spin the reels to make new combinations appear. Some slots have a stop option, or you can let it stop naturally.

Step 5

 

Collect your winnings or spin again

If you’ve won some money, you might get the option to cash out or gamble. There are side games that mean doubling your money or losing it all based on a prediction you make. If you don’t win and want to play more, keep spinning.

 

 

 

 

Try Some Slots for Free

 

Before playing for real you can try any of the slots below in demo mode. Get a feel of the gameplay, bonus features and overall experience without spending any money.

 

 

 

online slot features

 

Popular Slot Features

 

While most slots are played across a grid that makes up the reels, each one has features that make it different from the others. They usually lead to more excitement in the game, especially as they’re linked to bigger wins. Let’s take a look at the popular features of slots.

 

 

Scatter Symbols


Scatter symbols are the special icons that trigger bonus games. Most scatters lead to a free spins round. For some slots, the scatter only appears on certain reels. Most of the time, the number of scatters you land tells you how many spins you’ll get, with three being the minimum and five usually the max.

Wild Symbols


Wild symbols help you form winning combinations. They act as substitutes for the other symbols, although the scatter is usually excluded. Some games reward you for lining up multiple wilds. You might also experience wilds with special abilities, such as ones that expand to cover the reels or stick for your next spin.

Bonus Games


The base game of a slot is where you spin the reels. Many also have bonus games. These are triggered by scatters or other bonus symbols. They might be played on special reels or have an entirely different format. The rules will be different, and you can typically get bigger wins and jackpots in this round.

 

 

Types of Slot Games

 

Features aren’t the only way to separate slots into categories. Over the years, new formats have been used to keep the games fresh and interesting. From changing the reels to adding various gameplay mechanics, slots have a familiar feel but a unique style that suits different tastes.

 

 

slot types

 

classic slots

Classic Slots

Classic slots are where the game started. The online versions are designed to resemble the original fruit machines. There are usually fewer symbols and lines, creating a simple but traditional version. Symbols might stick to the original Vegas-style or branch out to a different theme, and bonuses and extra features are rare.


fruit slots

Fruit Slots

Fruit slots are a version of the classic theme. They might embrace more modern technology and bonuses, but they stick to traditional symbols of the classic fruit machine. Most will feature cherries and lemons, as well as the seven and bar icons; others include grapes, strawberries, plums, and oranges.


online casino video slots

Video Slots

Video slots is a broad term that covers most of the online slots today. It marks the change from classic slots to more complicated grids with multiple paylines. Most video slots have three rows and five reels. Instead of being designed to resemble machines, they use graphics and animations to create an immersive experience.


jackpot slots

Jackpot Slots

Jackpots or progressive slots follow the video slot format. However, as well as the standard gameplay, they have large maximum wins. These prizes are triggered randomly or by specific actions in the base game or bonus rounds. Progressive prizes build as a portion of each player’s bet goes into the pot.


megaways slots

Other Slot Types

There are a few other slot types you’ll encounter. For example, Megaways usually have much larger grid structures and include hundred or over a thousand potential paylines. Slots have also been combined with bingo to create Slingo, a hybrid variant that appeals to fans of both games.

 

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online casino tips and tricks

 

Online Slots Tips and Tricks

 

Once you’ve got the hang of slots basics and you’re enjoying playing, you can start thinking more about what you play and how you make the most of your time. We’ve put together our top tips for slot players.

 

 

Tip 1: Budget
Playing slots is fun. While you may want to get your winnings as soon as possible, it’s important to enjoy the game. Set a budget of how much to spend on slots and work out how long that will let you play. It’s the best way to leave a session happy, not disappointed.

Tip 2: Check RTP

While the return to player number is theoretical, it’s still a useful indication of slots that have a good average payout. The higher the percentage, the better, and it’s a useful way to narrow down the game selection.

Tip 3: Explore New Formats

Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, we recommend exploring slots packed with bonus features. It’s not only a way to take your entertainment to the next level, but it can make the wins more exciting, too. Look out for jackpots, Megaways, or innovative formats in provably fair games.

Tip 4: Try Autoplay

If you’ve set your budget and know how many spins you’ve got planned for your session, then autoplay is a good way to set that up. You can choose the bet and the number of spins, so you don’t have to keep clicking. The screen will stop for bonus rounds and big wins.

Tip 5: Bet On All Paylines

Your budget might not always stretch very far. However, lower bets across all paylines will leave you feeling less disappointed than medium bets across a few. When you don’t bet all lines, you’ll see potential winning combos pass you by.

Tip 6: Use Free Spins

Most casinos have free spins promotions for slots. They’re an excellent way to explore new titles and potentially get some winnings without risking your own cash. You can still trigger bonus rounds and enjoy the game, so you don’t have anything to lose.

 

 

online slot machines

 

 

How Do Online Slots Work?

 

Online slots are the digital version of the original fruit machine. The aim is to combine symbols on the designated lines to trigger a win. Before you spin the reels to refresh the symbols, you’ll set your bet amount. It’ll be multiplied by a specific amount depending on your combo.

Slots are games of chance. The element of control you have is to choose how much to bet and to pick a game that suits you. You can check the RTP or return to player rate, which gives you a theoretical payout amount over thousands of spins.

 

 

 

Popular Online Slots

 

There are some slot titles that stay at the top of the charts and stand the test of time. These games become player favorites that they go back to many times over. Popular slots usually combine a mix of interesting features, a strong theme, and quality graphics. Now you’re ready to give these slots a try.

 

Book of Dead

Book of Dead from Play’n GO is a video slot. It features the memorable character Rich Wilde on an adventure looking for treasures in the tombs of the pharaohs. It’s a detailed slot where the theme is expertly carried out across all elements. The bonus includes a free spins game with expanding symbols.

Fire Joker

Another Play’n GO favorite, Fire Joker, turns up the heat on fruit slots with traditional symbols like bar, cherries, plums, and grapes. It follows the classic slot format with a three-by-three grid and only five paylines. However, the joker acts as a wild to give you more chances to win.

Starburst

This colorful slot from NetEnt has been topping the charts for some time now. It mixes a gem theme with space to create a simple but effective video slot. Players love that you can win both ways, rather than just left to right. Another stellar feature is the expanding wilds, which also trigger respins.

 

 

casino game developers

 

Popular Online Slots Providers

 

Several software providers have perfected their ability to deliver innovative and entertaining slots. It’s about combining the right themes, graphics, and features to keep it fun for players. Big names, like Microgaming, have been there since the beginning, earning a reputation for delivering quality slots.

Well-known developers, such as NetEnt, have earned attention from their popular games that are sought after by every online casino. We’ve also seen smaller game studios rise in popularity, including Yggdrasil, Wazdan, and Thunderkick. Variety is crucial when it comes to slots, and healthy competition keeps the industry on its toes.

 

 

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in conclusion

 

In Conclusion

 

Slots are one of the most popular sections of the casino catalog for good reason. They’re simple to play. Plus, the design means that you can keep a familiar format but reinvent it to stop the game from getting boring. The three keys to enjoying a slot are to check the RTP, read the rules, and keep an eye on your bankroll.

There’s a theme for everyone, so once you’ve explored the popular slots on our list, you can try out music and TV games, Megaways, or unique Slingo formats. With a casino bonus, like free spins, you can have even more fun playing.

 

 

FAQs

Why play online slots?

Online slots are packed full of variety. Once you get the hang of one game, you’ll likely be able to pick up any other slot quickly. You can play for small amounts, and some of the jackpots are significant, so slots suit all types of players.

Can I get a bonus while playing online slots?

Yes, you can get bonuses while playing online slots. As well as the exciting features within the games, the casino might reward you for playing too. Look out for deposit matches, free spins, loyalty programs, and tournaments, which all give you something extra to explore slot titles.

Can I play slots for free?

Yes, there are two ways to play slots for free. One is with free spins awarded by the casino; the other is demo games. These allow you to play a slot risk-free to test it out. Since you’re not betting real money, you won't collect any winnings from these slots.

What is a progressive jackpot?

A progressive jackpot slot is a game where a portion of each player’s bet goes into the prize pot. These games feature at many casinos, which form a network where bets from all across the world contribute. The result is a large jackpot that you can trigger with certain actions in the base or bonus game.

Which are the most popular online slots?

The most popular online slots come from software developers like NetEnt, Microgaming, and Play’n GO. We’ve listed a few options that players just keep coming back to. They include the video slot Starburst, fruit slot Fire Joker, and Book of Dead.