Online slots is easily the most popular online casino game in the country, and if you haven’t played before you might wonder why. Frankly, there are a lot of reasons. Chief among them could be that you can play with extremely low stakes, as low as 1p per spin! Slots is also unlike any other game in that you don’t have to bet big to win big: every slot game has a “jackpot” sequence which, even if you’re only playing a penny, could unleash a torrent of pounds.
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What people don’t realise is that slots are also super versatile. With changing themes, designs, special features and bonuses in every game, no two online slots are the same. Some of the best UK online slot casinos are 32Red, Casumo, Leo Vegas, Mr Green and Ruby Fortune as they offer a broad, fun collection of games.
Recommended Slot Games
Since there are thousands of online slots options out there, and given the best ones are all well-designed, fun and engaging, it can be hard to know where to start.
Mega Moolah (aka “The Millionaire Maker”) is one of the UK’s biggest online slot games and is famous for offering the biggest jackpots in the country. The record is £13 million, and the main jackpot always has a minimum of £1,000,000 guaranteed by Microgaming. It has a “wild Africa” theme, with roaming animals like lions meaning bigger bonuses.
Five reels, 25 paylines and scatters to unlock 15 free spins and triple your winnings during the free spin cycle!
Join Gonzo on his quest to discover the lost city of El Dorado – and all the gold that goes with it! With Avalanche Reels and their “free fall” bonus round (which is super exciting), as well as the chance to win a 5x multiplier with every spin, you’ll quickly be hooked. Most casinos will let you play a demo game (i.e. no money) to give you a feel for it before investing yourself.
Twin Spin is a classic game with sleek, modern features. The soundtrack is catchy and the game is well-designed, its five reels whirring along effortlessly. You can put on as little as £0.01 or as much as £250 per turn – it’s completely up to you! As with any slots, there are loads of ways to win, and the jackpot is always available.
Different Types of Slots
3 or 5 Reels
If you watch old movies or picture a slot machine in your head, you’ll probably be looking at 3-reel slots. This is the classic version of the game, with fruit, diamonds and 7’s deciding your payout. They are simpler than the modern, 5-reel video slots and this simplicity makes them attractive, especially to new players.
5-reel slots offer a different experience entirely. There’s still the same thrill of adrenaline when the reels move, but it goes further: online casinos offer way more bonuses and free spins to 5-reel slots. Even better, there are way more paylines and ways to win big than on 3-reel games – and let’s be honest, a big win is what we all hope to get from online slots!
One good example of this is the “ways win” slot machine. There can be up to 25 different paylines, which means that every possible combination of a 5-slot machine (all 234 of them) could be a winner. These are also called “234 ways to win” machines. Remember you have to bet on all 25 lines to access the 234 ways.
Also known as video slots, 5-reel games now offer extensive animations, unreal graphics and frequently licence big-name brands (such as Marvel) to enhance their games. Why play fruit and diamonds when you can be Captain America?
If you want to win it big – seriously big – then you should be looking at progressive slots. These are slot machines (both land-based or online) where the jackpot incrementally increases every time someone plays, until a player literally hits the jackpot.
The benefit to playing progressive slots is obvious: bigger payouts. However, you’ll only win the jackpot if you’re betting the maximum every time. It’s always possible to land the jackpot symbols, but if you’re betting below the maximum then you’ll only win a part of the big prize.
Jackpot Giant, MEGA Fortune and Arabian Nights are 3 of the most enjoyable progressive slot games which also offer the biggest online jackpots. If you’ve never tried a progressive slot before, there’s nothing else quite like it – you don’t know what you’re missing!
How to Find the Right Game for You
There’s more to online slots than meets the eye. Not all slots were created equal, and there are a few different factors that will sway your opinion.
In the age of online and mobile gaming, software is king. You want a game which runs smoothly, has entertaining and stylish graphics and which doesn’t ever freeze or glitch. The most popular UK gaming developers are Microgaming, Playtech and Net Entertainment. Each has a long history but has also embraced technology and now offers seamless, interactive play across hundreds of games.
While the odds will never be totally in your favour, you want to play games with the highest chance of success. This is known in online casino as the “house edge”. Basically the house edge represents the mathematical odds of you losing your bet: high is bad, low is good. Some games have a house edge of 10%, others as low as 2-3%. I know which I’d pick – the 2-3% house edge makes me 3 times more likely to win!
There are hundreds of games out there with good software and a low house edge; what it then comes down to is the theme and style of the game. Do you want to roam through the jungle, play as your favourite film and TV stars or use old-fashioned, classic animations like diamonds and fruit? There’s something for everyone, so poke around a little and you’ll find plenty of options.
Any game worth its salt will let you play a demo. Basically you’ll use the game as if it were real, with all the normal functionality, but without using (or withdrawing!) any actual money. This is the best way to get to know a game before investing your own cash, alongside no-deposit casino bonuses.
How to Play Online Slots
Slots is one of those games where the strategy and skill levels required to play are quite low. However, understanding how the game, payouts and bonuses work is pretty handy.
For most online slots, you place your best by choosing the value of your coins (usually between 1p and £100+) and the number of paylines you want to use. More paylines = higher chance of winning, but costs more money. If you bet £0.10 per spin with five paylines, your bet is actually £0.50 per turn.
In general the icons used on each reel don’t really matter, but some of them perform special functions. Important symbols include:
- Wilds – A wild can essentially replace any other symbol in an adjacent reel, making it easier to win bigger payouts!
- Scatters – These can trigger bonus games and free spin rounds, as well as multiplying the total payout of that turn.
- Colossals – Blocks (2×2 or 3×3) which spin independently from the rest of the reel, increasing your chance of a full payline.
- Bonus Game Symbols – Sometimes scatter symbols are only for multiplying the payout, and separate “bonus game” symbols initiate bonus games and free spins.
A cool part of modern, digital slots is the plethora of bonus features and free spins which become available during the game. Usually through scatter symbols or wilds, you can win free spins, “pick me” bonuses, scatter combos and trail bonuses (hitting 3+ scatters across the reels) and all sorts of other freebies, depending on the game.
When it comes down to it, slots is easily the most carefree and enjoyable game in online casinos today. It doesn’t require a lot of skill, but the flexibility regarding paylines and coin value mean you can adopt more aggressive or passive strategies as you like.
If you enjoy the excitement of gambling but want to have fun playing, instead of stressing, check out our recommended online slots casinos and get playing, today.