What are online slot games?
An online or virtual slot is simply an internet-based software version of the slot machines you will see in land-based casinos. Their virtual nature frees them from many of the restrictions found in hardware-based slot machines. They utilise no physical space only virtual space allowing online casinos to stock and offer a near limitless number of slot titles in their gaming library.
Virtual slots require very little maintenance compared to their hardware-based brethren. Virtual-online slot versions ensure fairness in their resultant game outcomes via randomness, achieving randomness via a dedicated, highly secure software program called a Random Number Generator (RNG).
Specific, easily identifiable slot categories allow players to quickly distinguish and differentiate between the vast multitude of unique virtual slots currently in existence.
Types of slot games
There are a few common slot types which you can find at the online casinos. Below there is an information about them:
Classic, also known as 3-reel, or single payline slots, originate from the earlier mechanical one-armed-bandits, are one of the earliest and most uncomplicated of all online slot designs. Classic slots, due to their simplistic gameplay and lack of complicated special features remain the easiest for newcomer players to get to know and understand.
Classics all possess specific attributes making them easily identifiable, they all possess three reels, a single payline, and none or very few bonus features. They generally offer very low wagering limits while still delivering healthy winnings. However, a couple of exceptions come with a progressive jackpot.
A video or multi-reeled slot represents the next evolution in online slot design. Some players refer to these as 5-reel slots which is not really correct as video slots offer up to ten reels which in the process allows them to deliver in excess of thousands of ways to win. One of the main exciting advantages is the numerous bonus feature such as wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spin rounds, multipliers, and progressive jackpots.
Video slots offer high levels of immersion through fantastic graphics, 3-D animations, and mood enhancing sound scores, all of which deliver sophisticated, attractive means by which to significantly enhance their player experience.
Slots offering progressive jackpots allow players the opportunity and means to win big. Progressive jackpots continuously grow in value, funded by small contributions of each bet made by every player going into the jackpot pool. There are different methods of linking the progressive jackpot pools, and these determine the size and value of the jackpot prize offered by a specific range of slots.
Slots offering progressive jackpots come in singular self-funded games, linked across just a couple of local in-house machines, with the largest networked across different numerous casino websites and games. Those linked across numerous machines and online casinos offer the largest prize pools, and if triggered by a massive life-changing win, the prize resets to a minimum guaranteed seeding value from where it starts to increase in value once again.
3-D slots became the next breakthrough after the advent of video slots, soon gained favour and quickly found their way into the most popular slot lists offered by the most prestigious online casinos. Every player that has ever come across the amazing graphics, live animations, and incredible sound effects will agree these slots deliver an absolutely unequalled player experience.
Today’s slot developers have successfully captured the immense potential offered by technological advancements in 3-D graphics. This has turned slots of this nature into one of the most thrilling, immersive online casino experiences. They do this through the use of vivid HD graphics, outstanding 3-D sound effects, all of which are combined with exciting bonus features such as stacked symbols, expanding wilds, exploding wilds, pick and win bonus rounds, and numerous others found in the more conventional video slots.
Why play slot games for free?
Online casinos and leading software studios both love to entertain players, especially those exploring their site and the ones trying out new games. This is also the major reason why casinos and software developers offer free versions of their slots.
It allows players newly entering an online casino to explore, allowing them to get to know the site, game types, and individual game titles. All leading software developers offer free versions of virtually all their games. It allows players not familiar with the brand to freely explore and get to know the quality and levels of entertainment offered by their game titles. In addition, it also offers new players the opportunity to learn and understand the mechanics of slots in general, while more experienced players appreciate the ability to learn the detailed mechanics of each game before they start playing for real money.
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What to consider when you choose a slot game?
Below there are the most important things to consider when you choose a slot game.
- Types of slot games
Aside from the categories discussed above slots offer a massive variety of unique themes, reel layouts and combinations, bonus features, special effects, and audio backdrops all combining to create great online entertainment. This is one of the reasons you need to play as many different free demo versions to experience as many of the above characteristics as possible, the experience you gain will enable you to make a better-informed decision about your choice of preferred games.
- Basic rules
Most new players view slots as a simple repetitive bet and spin activity with no requirement to understand the rule set or adopt any form of strategy. This is an entirely incorrect assumption. Yes, slots, in general, share a basic rule set, but each possesses a totally unique betting and payout structure, based on its own bonus features, minimum and maximum bet levels, number of featured paylines, which all come into consideration to determine its Return to Player (RTP) percentage.
- Aim of the game
Any player interested in online slots needs to understand what it takes for you to win and make money if not this activity quickly turns from an interesting, fun form of entertainment into an endless money pit. The main focus of this game is to align a specific predetermined combination of symbols into in a pre-set sequence thereby forming a winning payline which will see you walking away substantially wealthier.
- Slot Paylines
We previously made mention of a slot’s paylines, in layman’s terms, paylines indicate a designated line compiled out of the icons indicated in the slot’s table of symbols that if aligned in these predetermined positions form a winning combination.
In multi-payline slots, they also serve the purpose of making the game more exciting by allowing players to select and activate, by placing an additional bet on each additional payline. Depending on the style of game, players are free to activate from 1 to 100 lines.
The odds of winning and the value of the resultant win increasing with every additionally activated payline. Interestingly depending on the software developer and which slot you select, its payline rules will calculate winning combinations from left to right, or right to left, or diagonally across, and in the cases of some slots every which way in all directions.
- Bonus symbols
Bonus symbols serve the purpose of boosting both the odds of striking a winning combination as well as the value of the resultant win. Despite innovative software developers blessing these bonus features with hundreds of different names and effects, they essentially fall into just a couple of easily recognisable categories. In the interest of fully understanding a slot game, you may want to familiarise yourself with the following basic bonus features, Scatter Symbols, Wild Symbols, Expanding Wilds, Stacked Wilds, and Free Spins Bonus Rounds.
Scatter symbols often deliver the highest value winning combinations, normally requiring at least three aligned on a single payline from a specific direction. These wins can trigger automatic bonus features or deliver direct cash wins.
Wild symbols enjoy similar status to that of the Joker in a deck of cards and resultantly can aid in forming additional winning combinations by becoming a substitute that stands in for any of the other reel symbol. If you land three in a single payline, you will strike it lucky with a definite winning combination which will reward you are either with an automatic entry into a bonus round or a direct cash win. Expanding and Stacked wilds of both variations of wild symbols that simply arrive in greater numbers covering more paylines.
Free spins bonus rounds offer players the opportunity to quickly increase their winnings, with the bonus value varying from slot to slot. When triggered it simply means you receive a random number of free spins as an award, with some offering a multiplier attached to their winnings. Typically free spins are triggered whenever you line up a specific set of special symbols or landing a specified number of scatter symbols.
- Is it mobile-friendly?
Virtually all recent releases of slot titles during the past two years came fully purposed for complete compatibility to all late-model mobile smart devices, with software developers continually renovating scores of older titles to achieve full mobile compatibility.
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Most important slots terms and their explanation
Understanding the value of the three factors below will prove highly crucial in determining your future success when playing any game of chance at any casino.
The hit frequency of a virtual slot simply refers to how regularly each particular machine’s random number generator triggers a winning combination. The hit frequency (HF) come expressed as percentages comparing the number of spins to the number of triggered wins, i.e. machines with high HF percentages pays out more frequently.
Each individual slot machine offers a uniquely calculated Return to Player (RTP) normally expressed as a percentage, reflecting the average value of money the machine returns to players compared to the amount the player wagered, i.e. machines with high RTP percentages payout larger winning values.
Each slot’s House Edge differs according to its HF and RTP. The House Edge helps you understand which games offer you a better chance of winning over any given period of time. The House Edge is an indicator of how much the casino expects to win over a period of time i.e. a game offering a low House Edge simply translates to you having a better chance of walking away with a greater profit when compared to a game offering a higher House Edge.
The Advantages of playing Free Slots
The demo versions of slot games are a valuable feature that can benefit all players, regardless of whether they have just entered the world of online casino industry or they can boast about having vast experience of playing virtual casino games. Free slots allow you to not only gain more confidence in your knowledge of the game but also hone your gaming skills fast and without having to spend a dime. Thus, once a player decides to bet real money on slot games, they feel at ease and more relaxed to enjoy their gaming session fully.
How to proceed from Free Slots to Real money slot games?
You can play all free to play slot versions on offer at our partnered casinos for real money by clicking on the sign-up button and then selecting your favourite casino. Once you complete the registration process you will easily find your preferred game in the games library of their casino lounge.[/s]
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