Ever wanted to get into online slots, but not known how to? In this beginner’s guide, we’ll run through the basics of which elements make up online slots, what they all do and how you can use them to win. We’ll even provide some examples of great online slots to put you on your way to enjoying everything that the world of online slots has to offer.
The main aim of slots is for the player to spin reels to line up rows of the same symbol. Slots differ in numbers of reels, but the main input is always the same. Players will spin the reels by clicking a spin button and then betting money on each spin. They win money if they match up 3 or more of the same symbol along a payline (which we’ll get to a little later). The amount they win depends on how much they bet and how many points each symbol is worth. Different slots have different symbols and different values for each symbol.[table “7” not found /]
Remember to read the paytable before starting any slot to find out this information. The more a symbol is worth, the less chance there is of it appearing. The paytable is available on the main menu of all slots and tells you the rules of the slot and the worth and function of all symbols in the game.
The rows of a slot are what are known as the reels. In physical slot machines, these reels spin. Now, in video and online slots, reels only have the appearance of spinning, whilst an RNG (Random Number Generator) selects which symbols will appear once the reel has stopped “spinning”. Most traditional slots have 5 reels, but this number can be greater or smaller depending on the slot. Reels are made of varying columns of symbols. Some reels may contain just 3 columns, whilst others can contain many more.
The number of reels and columns on a slot can have a drastic effect on the probability of what symbols you can receive, potential winnings and all sorts of things. Always be aware of a slots reel and column number before playing it, if you’re looking for a certain type of slot.
Wild symbols are the substitutes for any of the Face symbols. These symbols allow you to create combinations of symbols, even if you have too few symbols, or your symbols are dispersed across a payline. Wild symbols will often be confined to only certain reels of the slot, or be fewer in numbers, so that it doesn’t destroy the balance of the slot.
Also note, you cannot create lines of Wild symbols. Wild symbols are there to fill the gaps of other symbols. You cannot win money from Wild symbols alone. Wild symbols will have a value, but it only applies when it is in a complete line, sandwiched by two of the same Face symbol.
Scatter symbols are used to activate bonus rounds. These can be anything from free spin modes to other more inventive minigames. If you see Scatter symbols, it usually means there’s a bonus game. Land 3 in one spin and you get a bonus round. The chance of getting this is much lower, which is why bonus rounds are so different to the base slot game and usually have a higher payout. Scatter symbols have sometimes been used in the same way as Wild symbols, substituting all symbols, including Wild symbols. Though this is a rare implementation.
Bonus rounds are the secret weapon of any great slot. The basics just won’t cut it anymore. We’ve played a regular slot too many times for it to feel good anymore. The really great slots are the ones that surprise you with a little extra.
Bonus rounds are usually activated by spinning a certain number of Scatter symbols, usually three. Once this has happened the bonus round may begin. Of course a slot may have no bonus rounds. It may have one or it may have several, which are activated by different means. Traditionally though, Scatter symbols are the way a slot activates its bonus round. The wonderful thing about bonus rounds is that they are separate from the base game of the slot. They can be as different as they want to be. Some bonus rounds are like playing entirely different games.
Free Spins Mode
Free spin mode is exactly what it sounds like. The slot will offer you free spins, where your bet for each is whatever your bet was when you won the free spins round. You then have a set number of free spins and then get to keep whatever the total is of what you won at the end of the round. Some slots may throw in extra Wild symbols or multipliers in order to make your free spins worth a lot more than normal.
This is effectively the same as spinning the reels, but now it’s in a Wheel of Fortune style. You’ll have a wheel with certain prizes on it. These could be anything such as multipliers, free spins or just instant cash prizes. You spin the wheel once, or a few times and then collect your winnings.