Free slots: everything you should know
One could say that the slot machine is the bread and butter of casinos and have few opponents to voice their difference of opinion. They are the traditional sights in casinos, filling the floors of vast halls of gold and marble in our dreams of Las Vegas, forming rows that extend ever and ever, taking in bets and spewing out victory. Who hasn’t heard the rattle of coins and the screams of joy emanating from the endless banks of one-armed bandits? Who wouldn’t love to win that huge jackpot that has been counting up and up all month long and is already reaching in the millions?
Now you can be a part of that fantastic world of opportunities and to take with you on your journey, we have drafted this handy guide about online slot games. They are one of the most popular types of money games around, whether you are playing on the internet or in the real world. But don’t take our word for it – try them yourself! Most online casinos offer free versions of their slots and other games so that you can try your hand at them and learn for free without any financial risk. Our slot reviews link to such free versions, so you can learn the best strategies and start training for them immediately!
Slot machines online
Online slot machines come in a variety of different styles, yet most follow the same basic principles. The common idea in slot games is to spin the machine’s discs that are filled with markings of symbols that may have special characteristics attached to them. The player wins if they receive a favorable combination of symbols visible. These symbols must usually be aligned in a certain way, typically on a straight line through the middle or on a diagonal line crossing the middle symbol. Other variations also exist and that is why it is always important to properly familiarize yourself with the game, although they are automated to a great extent.
In the online casino environment it becomes also very important to make sure you are not being fooled. This is best done by using only trusted casinos with good reviews and our online casino guide is a great resource in that area! Use it to find a reliable casino that you can use without doubting on their games’ fairness. Online casinos often use third party services to validate their random number generators and other algorithms that can have a bearing on how the games play out.
Online casinos have the great habit of offering free demo versions of their games. This is definitely a money-saver for all gamers, as they can learn the rules and test strategies in potentially risky games, without putting a dime on the line. We provide links to free games in our reviews and strongly encourage you to take advantage of them. Remember, that free games should also come from a trusted source, so don’t just run around the internet searching for them. There are many phishing attacks out there that may try to lure you into giving up your personal details or credit card numbers by offering a free sample game to play. Optimally, trying out demo or free versions should not require registration nor download, and least of all a deposit!
Our online slot reviews include information about how to access free versions of the games. It is highly recommended to do so before putting your own money at risk. In accordance with modern times, the free versions generally work well on mobile devices too. Use them to learn while you are away from your computer, for example travelling.
Classic slot machines
The evergreen one-armed bandit is the stereotypical classic slot machine that once upon a time could be found in every casino and over time became an icon. It got the name from the game mechanism which was based on using a lever attached to the machine’s side – the arm – to start the round. The bandit had three reels and was loved all around. Other popular classic slot machines include the fruity and BAR bandit. Pennyslots are a special subtype of slot games which according to their name allow the player to bet a minimum of one cent per line.
Modern slot machines in online casinos expand on the original concept in many ways and we will go over a few main types in this guide. You can find more information in each game review, where all these things are discussed in more detail. The classic slot consists of three or more reels and a selection on winning line or lines across the reels. Although the symbols and themes differ, the games in general have the same working principles. The goal is to have a combination of winning symbols on a winning line once the reels have stopped spinning. It is often possible for the player to activate or deactivate individual winning lines and change the size of the bet.
Some of the biggest differences among slot games are due to different slot features. They are:
- and other features that allow for extra winnings and add excitement to the game.
Free spins, for example allow you to play rounds without using your balance for bets, but may still pay out winnings. Respins, on the other hand, let you choose a reel to spin again in order to gain a better result, but in exchange cost credits to activate.
Another very common feature in slot machines is the wild symbol. The basic function is to replace the wild symbol with any symbol in the game that produces the best winning combination for in a given round. In other words, it works in a similar fashion to the joker card found in many card games and is indeed sometimes called a wildcard. In slot games, wild symbols come in many different flavors. One of them is the sticky wild which sticks to its places for a number of rounds providing many more chances of favorable substitution. Another type of wild symbol is the expanding wild which upon appearing has a chance to cover the whole reel with wild symbols giving the bonus feature for every active winning line. Yet more examples of this feature category include cascading and random wilds, among others, and they are always discussed in more detail in our game-specific reviews. Remember to check those out!
Scatter symbols are also often found in modern online slot games. They are very special symbols that increase the player’s chances of victory considerably. They appear at random on the reels and a certain number, usually two or three, is required for their respective winning to be triggered. Their special perk is that they don’t have to appear on the winning lines or in any other logical place on the reels – thus the name scatter, of course. There are also symbols that offer instant prizes upon appearing on a winning line or apply multipliers to any existing prize money on a line. Some games host mystery symbols, which allow the player to pick one symbol in blind for a surprise prize.
Whereas the slots of old naturally had reels with fixed symbols, maybe at most with some lighting effects, their modern counterparts do away with this limitation. Online slot machines called video slots are some of the most visually appealing games around the internet. They combine the idea of a traditional slot machine and a video game to produce a living experience to a classic game. Adding this kind of interactivity has freed the game developers from previous shackles and allowed for things such as the previously discussed expanding wild symbol to literally cover the whole reel. But the concept can and has been taken further than that. At their most extreme, video slots include minigames which are very much like quick and small video games. These kinds of slot games are very rewarding and offer you a plethora of interesting new games to try and experience! As an added bonus, mobile casino games have lately gotten very good and video slots among them, so you are in for a treat even with your smartphone or tablet.
Slot machines have traditionally been responsible for some of the biggest jackpots seen on casino floors. This is because many games have progressive jackpots which means that a portion of losing bets go to a jackpot that can be won with the most rare combination of symbols only. Sometimes this jackpot is shared between multiple machines in which case it may get very large. You may have seen these iconic jackpot billboards on casino floors high above the long rows of slot machines. Non-progressive slots are the opposite of slots offering jackpots. Their main advantage is that the player avoids funding the jackpot that likely goes to somebody else and so in a sense you get to play your own game and your own game only.
How to play
The basic gameplay of slot machines is usually pretty simple. The game consists at the minimum of first selecting the desired bet and then starting a round by using the launch switch. This basic gameplay may then have features added to it, such as selecting a custom combination of winning lines in case there are many. Also advanced betting tools may be available. Some games also feature and auto play which is a possibility to automate playing the game with certain parameters to guide the bot.
After the starting procedure the game progresses with the spinning of the reels. The spin result dictates how the game progresses. Here any special features usually step into play. While the basic slot machine is finished at this point and announces any winnings to the player, modern online slots may for example enter a minigame. This can be as simple as guessing between heads and tails, for a chance to double your winnings but may also include far more complex tasks with the help of modern technology. In some games the player may upon satisfying certain conditions lock some of the reels and spin again, which naturally offers a greatly increased chance of a win.
Recommendations and advice
We always recommend that you get well familiar with any game before playing it with real money. In the case of slot machines this is very easy in online casinos because most of them offer free versions that you can use to learn and hone your skills. Once you have reached proficiency in the game, you can start playing with real money for added excitement without added stress. In our game reviews and guides you can find all the necessary information to get prepared for this fantastic world of online gaming.
Along with the above, it is also very important to select a reputable and trustworthy online casino to play your games in. The internet is full of evil and malicious attempts so it really is best to play it safe and use one of our recommended and reviewed casinos. Our guide offers you all the necessary details to make an informed decision about which casino is the most suitable for just you. Some of the things we consider are softer and more subjective qualities, such as the selection of games available and general user experience. But the reviews also cover hard and important facts to gauge the reliability and security of the casino.
Regardless of whether you are just beginning your online gaming career or have been already playing for a while, we have all the necessary information for you. Our reviews include best practices and hot tips to help you play your best and take full advantage of the game mechanics. We always recommend testing them out in free versions of the games to minimize your financial risk. Also remember to check out the bonus schemes for each casino and game as they may offer you considerable extra prizes.