Casino Slot Games for Real Money
Casino Slot Games for Real Money
Their roots go back to San Francisco, but slot games evolved to become one of the most popular, diverse, and high-tech casino games over the globe. There are reasons for this popularity. First, the game is blessedly easy, and you do not need extraordinary talent or skill to play and win. You only need to pull the handle or press the button and wait for the winning combination to line up. Second, there is a chance to win a life-altering amount of money while playing slots. You know what I’m talking about- the JACKPOT. Jackpots are the maximum amount of money you can win through playing a slot, and this is what keeps people hooked to these machines.
In this article, you will learn the nuts and bolts of slot games. After you read this article, you will be ready for the one-armed bandits.
- What are online slot games?
- How to play slots online and win?
- Slot machines odds and payouts.
- Slots strategies and winning tricks.
History Behind The Slot Machines
A slot machine or slots (American English), is known as a fruit machine or fruities (British English), puggy (Scottish English), the slots (Canadian English and American English), and poker machine/pokies (Australian English and New Zealand English). The machine is a gambling device and falls under the category of games of chance.
German immigrant Charles August Fey is known to be the father of the game.
In the late 1800s, he made the first slot machine in San Francisco and called it Liberty Bell Slot. The Liberty Bell was a metal box standing on cast-iron feet and featured three metal reels through a window.
Early models worked with nickel and featured ten different symbols or 1,000 possible combinations. The player would win the JACKPOT or 10 nickels if three liberty bells lined up.
In the 1940s, when Bugsy(Benjamin) Siegel– a mobster and a driving force behind Las Vegas Strip- started the gambling industry in Las Vegas, slot machines were more of a distraction. They kept wives occupied while their men were playing craps or other table games in casinos. The machines had poor odds and for this reason, were known as one-armed bandits. But now, generations after the liberty bells, electronic and sophisticated slot machines have become so popular that count for nearly 1/3 of casino revenue.
How Do Different Slot Machines Work?
The overall design of the machine remained the same despite the technological advancements used to modernize the game. One big detail did change, though. The possible combinations have increased to 8,000 because the reels have expanded to 20 symbols instead of 10. This made the jackpots bigger and added to the game excitement.
Technology has added new twists, updates, and themes to the original game. But the game objective remains the same: players must line up identical symbols in up-down, left-right, or diagonal form to win. Machine models vary: five-reel machines instead of three reels, some have multiple paylines, and some have buttons instead of a handle. No matter what options are added to the machine, the concept has never changed.
In the past, slot machines used to be entirely mechanical, powered by lever brake disks, and sensors that would control the reels and different payouts. But today’s slot machines at land-based casinos and even online ones across the US and globe work with microprocessors. The electronic slot machines have a computerized chip located inside them. But in the case of online slot machines, the Random Number Generator(RNG) program is managed and stored by the software developer, who has to get it audited independently by specialized testing labs to ensure it works completely fair.
Rookie slot players may look for a strategy to press the button or pull the lever that increases their chances of winning. Sadly, I should say there is no such strategy. You can blink three times before pressing the button or pulling the handle. You can press hard, press with your right hand, or say some prayers, but none will make any difference. Because once you press the button or pull the handle, the outcome will be predetermined by the RNG. The chip works non-stop and creates millions of random numbers even when the machine is not being played. Once a player hits the spin button, the RNG freezes the numbers at that specific moment, and their corresponding stops on the reels. RNG technology makes it impossible to predict the outcome of each spin because each spin is independent of the one before and after it. Newer slot machines only show you the representation of the old-fashioned spinning reels. The outcome is already predetermined by the RNG and everything you see in front of your eyes is just for show.
Coin-operated slot machines are becoming a part of history and are disappearing from land-based casinos. Because the new technology called ticket-in ticket-out or TITO makes it possible to play with paper tickets or vouchers. This technology is a win-win for the casinos and gamblers-mostly casinos! Casinos should not pay staff for refilling the machines with thousands of pounds of coins. In addition, players can play non-stop and more spins per hour because they should not wait for the machine to be refilled. The result is more profit for the casino and more fun for the players. But to keep the nostalgic feeling of playing with coins, new slot machines make the sound of clicking coins when a player hits Jackpot- the lovely old sound of DINK!DINK!DINK.
Another perk of TITO technology is more flexibility. If a player is playing on a machine without hitting anything, they can cash out(ticket or cash), and the machine will print a new ticket with their remaining credit. Then, they can take it to another machine and start playing, even if the other one uses a different denomination.
In traditional machines, you pull the handle or push the button to hope for three cherries to line up. Although on typical slot machines you can play only for one credit/coin, on new generation machines, you can play with a multiplier or five credits. The multiplier increases your wager but does not offer any specific advantage. Because slot machines pay out proportionally. For instance, if you play one credit(coin) and hit three cherries, you will get paid $50. Similarly, you would get $100 for playing with two coins, $150 for three coins, $200 for four coins, and $250 for five coins.
But a bonus multiplier offers a bonus payout for the jackpot. In other words, if you play five coins and hit the jackpot, you will get paid twice a normal multiplier or $500 instead of $250. Although these machines seem tempting, they offer the same odds as regular slot machines. These machines entice you to play maximum credit because to get the bonus, you always should play the max coins.
Traditional and video slot games come with multiple payline games. This means they pay out on several lines. The lines come in straight and zigzag formats, and you are allowed to make multiple line bets. Each line corresponds to one of the up, down, or diagonal lines that appear on the screen.
Of course, you can bet on only one line, but if the winning line is something that you didn’t bet on, you will not win. You will typically see multiple paylines among lower-denomination slot machines such as penny and Nickle ones.
Another group of new generation slot machines is theme machines. These machines use the most popular themes like popular TV shows such as Wheel of fortune and Bewitched, classic board games like Yahtzee, movies, animations, cartoons, and so on to encourage you to play more. Maybe tomorrow we’ll see a new theme inspired by Minions: The Rise of Gru that has broken the box office records in Jul 2022! There is a piece of bad news about these machines, though: you should avoid them simply because of their poor odds and payouts. Casinos should pay celebrities, movie, and game owners. So, the machines’ paybacks will be lower.
The other popular category of slot machines is the progressive jackpot machines. These machines are connected to each other in one casino or even multiple casinos. For instance, Megabucks game is linked to several casinos across Nevada state. The Jackpot increases little by little as players play on each machine. Eventually, a lucky winner will hit it, the amount reset, and the process continues as before. The odds with these machines are long, and there are not so many winners. So, if you are okay with small wins, stick to regular slot machines.
The hottest trend among slot lovers is interactive slot machines. As the name suggests, these games allow players to make very few decisions during the game via a touch screen. However, only blackjack slot machines allow for some skills to be involved. These machines do not change the odds, but they are quite addictive because of their themes, offered bonuses, and the fast and fun nature of the games. The games’ manufacturers get quite creative with these games. For example, the games are offered with increasingly challenging levels, and each step up the ladder provides more money to get you hooked. Also, bonuses appear in the middle of the game as bonus rounds. Your overall winning in the bonus round depends on the number of coins or credits you play. Better yet, some bonus rounds give you bonus spins, and you can double or triple your winnings and play free games using them.
What Are Online Slot Games?
To give you an idea about the slot games’ popularity, I give you some statistics: slot games count for 1/3 of land-based casino revenue and make over 70% of online casino games. Beyond the reasons I already mentioned for the popularity of slot machines, several factors have contributed to the popularity of online slot games. Some of the factors are:
- Zero skill requirement
- Higher payout ratios
- Attractive themes and graphics
- Creative and new gaming features
How To Play Slots Online And Win?
Playing online slot games is pretty straightforward even if you have not played a slot game before(which is very unlikely!). You need to sign up with one of the best online casinos you find on this page, go to their slot games section, and let the fun begins. You can select the game with a minimum bet limit that suits your bankroll. Also, you can pick a game with specific features like paylines, themes, etc.
Once you have selected your game, specify the stake level and the number of spins to start.
The gameplay is as easy as I just explained. But before you spin those reels, we better review some main concepts about slot machines. Let us talk about odds, paylines, and other factors determining your game outcome.
Understanding The Slot Machine Odds
A little heads up before we get into the subject: it is impossible to turn the odds in your favor. Sad but true, this game is entirely random, and the casino has an absolute advantage over you. So, coming up with a strategy to beat that is not possible.
Typically, slot machines have a payout of 90 to 95%. In other words, for every $100 wager, the machine will pay $90 to $95- the player will lose $5 to $10. This is a big casino advantage. For this reason, slot machines are one of the worst casino games in terms of payouts. Also, if you factor in the game speed, you will see why these machines make 1/3 of casino revenue.
In the vast sea of slot games, finding the one with the highest theoretical return percentage is a difficult task. Comparing the machines is also tricky. Because a game may pay $10,000 for the jackpot, whilst the other pays only $2,500. But jackpot is only a part of the equation. More factors like other winning combinations and how frequently they may hit will affect your overall return.
With that in mind, you cannot do anything to manipulate the odds of hitting a jackpot, but you definitely can do something to extend your gambling bankroll and make your money last longer. One way is by understanding the paytables and paylines.
Slot Machines Paytables Explained
Paytables provide the most important information about slot machines like the number of paylines or winning combinations, required credits to play, etc. Make sure to read the paytable and understand it well before pulling that handle or pushing that button. A paytable is where you can get all the information you need about that specific slot machine.
Machines with higher paytables typically feature a greater number of symbols per reel, but this does not make the machine any better or any worse. Because more reels only increase the number of potential combinations.
|Slot Machine||Number of symbols||Possible combinations||Player’s odds of hitting a jackpot|
|Old 3-reel||20||8,000||1 in 8,000|
|4-reel||20||160,000||1 in 160,000|
|5-reel video machine||20||3,200,000||1 in 3,200,000|
As you can see in the table above, you have a higher chance of hitting a jackpot in a 3-reel slot machine, but the amount of your winning will be smaller than the 5-reel. Now, if you are wondering which machine you should stick to, I should tell you that it does not really matter. Because the casino always has a big advantage over you on every single slot game.
Slot Games Paylines Explained
In a nutshell, paylines are patterns on the reels where the winning combinations appear. A payline is a combo of winning symbols.
Every slot machine and game comes with different paylines and varying amounts of them. More paylines suggest higher chances of hitting the winning combination. However, some paylines are more common than others. For this reason, they offer smaller winnings.
The key takeaway here is that slot machines come with varying paylines.
Suppose you jump on a new slot machine at a land-based casino and do not check its paytable. The reel stops, and you get CHERRY-BELL-CHERRY. You start jumping up and down and celebrating your winning. Then, you realize no flashing lights or music is suggesting your win. This is where you will remember my sentence that slot machines have different paylines!
To avoid such kid-in-a-candy-store embarrassment and confusion, look at the pay-lines. Trust me, this kind of embarrassment does happen!
Types of Online Slots
I have mentioned several kinds of slot machines and games. But to make things easier for you to remember, below, I bring a list of slot games you can find online.
These are the old 3-reel slot machines. Typically, their symbols are fruits, diamonds, bars, and 7s. In general, these games come with no bonus features and are fast-paced.
These are the 5-reel or more slot machines, and most slot games come in this category. The games come with strong graphics and audiovisual effects. Video slot games offer tempting features like pick objects bonuses and free games.
Branded or Interactive Slots
As I have said in previous sections, these are the hottest trends for slot games. The best interactive slot games are powered by the big software providers in the industry like Microgaming, Playtech, and NetEnt.
Slot Wilds And Scatters Explained
Most online slot games have two additional features called Wilds and Scatters. Wilds are equivalent to Joker in a pack of cards. There is no specific time or rule for their appearance. They may appear at any time throughout the game and help you win or get more out of your game. For instance, in the 5-reel slot game, two Wild symbols may appear after you press the spin. These symbols work as mediators and link up the lines with other symbols. This way, you will win the round.
Scatters, on the other hand, help you to get more bonuses as they unlock the bonus features in the games. Once Scatters appear, they bring free spins, mini-games, pick objects bonuses, and so on. Sometimes, you will be paid out immediately after their appearance.
If you want to know what Scatters to expect from the game you decide to play, read the information guide first. This way, you will know if the game offers Scatters or not and if it does, what the value of each symbol will be.
What Is Variance or Volatility In Slots?
You may have heard “this slot is volatile” or “that machine has potential. But what does any of these mean? Why should you bother learning about the volatility?
Let us start with a couple of simple definitions:
First of all, variance and volatility are the same things.
When a slot has high volatility, it means you have a chance to get a REALLY BIG WIN. Really big may pay 200 or 1,000 times your spin or maybe even more. However, the downside is that you rarely may hit the big win, and on a high volatility slot, most of your spins will not pay out anything as well as a lot of their bonus games.
On a low volatility slot, on the other hand, you are most likely to win on a single spin, but it will be around 50 or 100 times your spin wager. These machines give you more of these winning spins even though the size of the winnings is not big.
|Variance||Winning Frequency||Win Sizes||Comments|
|Low||Often||Small||low risk, low reward|
|Medium||Average||Average||an average risk, the average reward|
|High||Rare||Big||high risk, high reward|
For mathematicians out there, you expect me to give you a formula here. Okay, I don’t let you down, here is your formula:
Slot designers call this Volatility Index or VI.
Now let’s practice some math.
If a slot has a VI = 5, it is considered a low volatility slot. On the contrary, a slot with a VI>15 (more than) is considered a high volatility.
BUT, VI is an insider secret, and you-slot players- cannot see the VI for the slot machine and game. So, the best way to decide which machine to play is by understanding this:
The slot volatility is the risk factor associated with slot games. It shows how often and how big you may win and is congruent with the machine RTP percentage. As you may already know, an RTP shows you the percentage of the total turnover one slot machine will pay back to you. For example, a slot machine with a 96.5% RTP will return 965$ for every $1,000 played. The remaining 35$ will be the casino profit.
To summarize, RTP and variance are interrelated as follows:
- Higher times the bet(the maximum times you can bet)=higher variance.
- How often the slot gives you a winning spin? More often=lower variance.
- What is the average amount you win on a winning spin? Higher amount= higher variance.
In short, a slot machine with low variance gives you more winning spins with lower payouts, while a slot machine with high volatility gives you fewer winning spins but bigger payouts.
Tip to recognize a high volatility slot machine:
The maximum payout is the best way to identify the high volatility slot machine. For instance, if a slot pays out 5000 times your stake, it is most likely a medium to a high volatility slot machine.
How to calculate slot RTP?
100% , total money players spend in that slot machine
5% , share of money kept by the casino aaperator
95% , remaining money paid out to players as wins and jackpots
What Is a Loose Slot Machine?
When a slot has a higher payback percentage in the long term compared to another one, it is considered to be a loose slot machine. In other words, these machines take the smallest bites out of your money in the long term. But remember that looseness and tightness are not absolute concepts and are comparison measures between the slot machines.
Let me explain this using the volatility and RTP concepts we already learned: a loose slot machine pays lots of money more frequently. In other words, a loose slot machine has the highest RTP and the lowest volatility.
Typically, loose slot machines are located near the entrances at land-based casinos. They do that on purpose, so the passerby sees more players winning and gets enticed to go and spend their money on the machines.
Best Online Casinos To Play Slots For Real Money
Hundreds of online casinos and game providers offer slot games. But we recommend playing at the following best online casinos as they are trusted and licensed, offer the best online slot games, a variety of safe banking methods, cool bonuses, and excellent customer support.
|Online Casino||Welcome Bonus||# of Slot Games||US Players||Crypto-friendly|
|Betonline||Up to $3,000||Over 320||Accepted||Yes|
|Super Slots||Up to $6,000||287||Accepted||Yes|
|Wild Casino||Up to $5,000||350||Accepted||Yes|
|Bovada||Up to $3,000||Over 130||Accepted except , New York, Nevada, Maryland, New Jersey.||Yes|
|Red Dog Casino||260% slots bonus||6||Accepted||No|
The Slot Machines With The Best Odds of Winning
|Top 10 Slot Machines With The Best Odds|
|Slot Machine||RTP %||Powered by|
|Ooh Aah Dracula||99||Barcrest|
|The Catfather||98.10||Pragmatic Play|
|Rainbow Riches Pick n Mix||98||Barcrest|
|White Rabbit Megaways||97.77||Big Time Gaming|
Is there a Trick to Winning at Slot Machines?
NOPE! I have already explained why there is no magic trick to beat the slot machines. If you still have doubts, go back, and read the odds section, again.
To Sum It Up…
I have covered everything you need to know to make your slot experience more profitable and memorable. Although slot machines are one of the worst casino games in terms of odds, if you stick to the high RTP machines and manage your bankroll, you will have extra fun spinning those reels.
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