How to play slots online?

Online slots are among the easiest – if not the easiest – games to play in online casinos. You don’t need any special knowledge beforehand. Regardless if you’re a new player or a seasoned spinner, slots are easy and simple to play. Set your bet, hit the spin button, and wait for the result.

Of course, it’s not that simple, but in essence, it shouldn’t be much harder than that. What you need to know about online slots is that they come packed with action and are quickly closing the gap with video games. In this guide, we’ll cover more about the different slots types, their bonuses, and share a few tips that will help you get the most out of your slot sessions.

How to play slots: step-by-step guide

Step 1

Choose a trusted casino site and go to the game library. Click on Slots to bring them all up, then choose a game to play. Open the game and it’ll load on the screen. You can turn to fullscreen if you want to – your bankroll will be displayed in a corner of the screen.

Step 2

Before you start spinning, take a look at the slot machine’s guide. This is where you’ll find the paytable which reveals information about the symbol pays and the slot’s bonuses and special features.

Step 3

Choose your bet – we suggest starting small. If the slot has variable paylines, you can set how many lines you want to play. Most modern slots have a fixed number of paylines such as 20 or 50, or even more depending on the math model and gameplay mechanics.

Step 4

Once you’ve set your bet, click on the spin button. Alternatively, you can use the Autoplay feature to set dozens or hundreds of automatic spins per row. This eliminates the need to click on the Spin button or mash the Space bar all the time.

Step 5

Play the slot for as long as you want. But, in order to play responsibly and keep your bankroll intact, you should always keep an eye on your bankroll.

How do slot games work?

While online slots look simple on the surface, there’s a complex math model running in the background. In the past, slot machines had just a few reels and paylines, with no complex mechanics or various elements that affect their volatility and gameplay. But, in the modern era we live in, online slots function as complex machinery with a lot of moving parts and key pieces including the ones below.


RTP stands for Return to Player. It’s a number displayed as a percentage that shows the amount of money a player can expect to win from their bets. For example, RTP of 96% means that you can expect returns of C$0.96 for every dollar you spend. Keep in mind that this number shows the expected return over a larger number of bets and longer period, not after a few bets. If you play just a single dollar, chances are you won’t win anything, but in the long run, you can expect 96% returns in this case. The average RTP in the industry is 96%, and you shouldn’t settle for less. The lower the number, the harder it is to win the big prizes. For example, progressive jackpots often have the lowest RTP numbers such as 93-94% due to the record-breaking jackpots they offer.


Slot reels are the vertical positions on the grid that spin when you start playing. In the past, slot machines had but a few reels. But, modern online slots typically have 5 reels or more. Slot games running on the Megaways engine have 7 reels, and some mechanics – such as Infinity Reels – will add an infinite number of reels under specific conditions.


Paylines are the horizontal, diagonal, or vertical lines of symbols that award a payout. Classic slot machines usually have just a single line – when three matching symbols land on it (horizontally or vertically), you get paid. Modern online slot games have hundreds or thousands of ways to win. They don’t pay like regular paylines – instead, you get paid for matching symbols on adjacent lines in Megaways titles. Then there are cluster pays which pop 5 or more symbols in a cluster to deliver a win. Slot developers are getting quite innovative with modern paylines or ways to get paid, and that’s why it pays to read the slot guide when trying a new slot machine.

Ways to win

Ways to win mechanics are getting increasingly more and more popular in today’s slot industry. Instead of a fixed number of paylines, you get paid for matching symbols on adjacent reels. Microgaming was the first studio to introduce this payline mechanic. Due to its popularity, it evolved into an entirely new ways to win mechanic called Megaways slots.

Wild symbol

Think of the wild symbol in slots as a joker. It substitutes for other symbols in winning combinations and may or may not pay on its own. The wild is usually represented by a W or a block with the letters Wild on it, but a developer can take another approach to this. Wilds played the substitution role in the beginning and over time have evolved with new functions. Depending on the slot, they can double as a scatter or have multipliers attached to them that boost any win they’re a part of.

Scatter symbol

The scatter – or bonus symbol – is key for triggering the bonus round. They activate certain bonus features, more specifically the free spins bonus round. They don’t have to form a winning line in order to trigger a bonus. The key is for them to appear on screen, which will get you to the bonus where you can expect more exciting gameplay and possibly bigger wins.


Multipliers do what they say – they multiply a win they’re a part of. Not all online slots have multipliers, but the ones that do are more popular. Some slots keep them simple, with double and triple multipliers on offer. Others have huge multipliers that can boost your wins by 100 or more, and these are usually tied to specific bonus features.

Bonus features

Online slots are closing the gap with video games year by year. Not just visually, but in gameplay features too. Unlike vintage slot machines, the newest online slots have exciting bonus features that boost your wins in many ways. The bonus round is the most exciting part of each slot and also the part of the game where the slot reaches its peak winning potential.

There are different bonus features in today’s online slots, including the ones you can read more about below.

Free spins

Free spins is the most common bonus feature in most slots. Even if they don’t offer something else, there will surely be a base game and a free spins round. Typically, you receive a various number of free games when landing three or more scatters. Sometimes, the number grows exponentially higher with more triggering scatters. Some slots allow you to retrigger more free spins, others don’t. Either way, you can always trigger the free spins bonus organically during the base game.


Avalanches are typically part of Megaways slots, and might also come under the name of cascades or tumbles. They all have the same thing in common. When you score a win, the winning symbols disappear and new ones take their place, potentially creating new avalanche win combos. This can go on as long as there are winning symbols on the reels.

Cascading symbols

Cascading symbols are part of avalanches and they replace the ones already used in winning combinations. As long as there are winning cascading symbols, the cascades will continue.

Pick and click

Pick and click bonuses are common for jackpot slots. Sometimes, you’ll need to pick three matching symbols out of 5 picks or so to hit one of the jackpots. Other times the slot will simply offer cash prizes that pay much less than jackpot prizes.

Mini Games

Some new online slots may also have mini games that are different from pick me bonuses or free spins. Their gameplay is a lot like video games’ and they offer cash prizes that might be tiny or large.

Slot jackpot

Slot jackpots can grow quite large, sometimes paying thousands of times your bet. To hit these you’ll either play a mini jackpot game, play a pick ‘em bonus, or simply hit 5 matching symbols to trigger the jackpot.

A-10 and card symbols

Card royals symbols are typically low-paying symbols in online slots. They pay much less than high paying character symbols. Slots that usually rely on these symbols are vintage slot machines that don’t pay much. As for why slots use card symbols, they can be easily wrapped around any theme. If you check Irish-themed or underwater slots, you’ll see the card royals being stylized to fit the theme. It’s great that they’re universally accepted as the low-paying slot symbols of the bunch.

Tips on how to win playing slots

The first thing you need to realize about online slots is that there’s no way to improve your winning chances. The RTP number is set and the RNG device randomizes each spin’s outcome. Instead of following slot formulas that are fake, you should stick to our tips below and get the most out of your spins.

  • Don’t even register at a casino without setting a budget limit. Your bankroll needs to be kept in check before you start playing;
  • Always try slots for free before you play for real money so you can get a feel for the volatility and winning potential;
  • Since you can’t beat online slots, it’s best to take things slow. Start with smaller bets, bank your winnings, or use casino bonuses to get the most out of your spins;
  • When choosing slots, it’s better to pick medium volatile machines rather than slots with a high RTP and extremely high volatility. The latter doesn’t pay that often;
  • Be smart and patient – wins may come after longer dry spells, so that’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your bankroll;
  • Never chase your losses – that kind of behavior will only get you into trouble;
  • Progressive jackpots are appealing, but the chances to hit the top prize are almost non-existent.

Slots are de facto the simplest and most popular game in the online gambling industry. We’re saying that in the most positive meaning possible. These games are easy to play, yet rewarding, giving players the gambling thrills previously reserved for Vegas alone. But, unlike their machine counterparts, online slots pay much more and are more entertaining too.

Compared to any other casino game, slots are the most popular game in the industry. With gamification already present and being the future basis of online slots gambling, slots will only get better from here.


What are online slots?

Online slots are digital versions of Las Vegas slot machines, improving upon every aspect of the original. They feature new functions and bonuses and are quickly closing the gap with video games in terms of gameplay and features.

How do online slots work?

Online slots are controlled by RNG – random number generator – devices that randomize each spin’s outcome. You need to set a bet and hit the spin button after which you get paid if regular symbols and/or wilds land in a matching combination on a payline.

Are online slots fair and random?

Absolutely. Online slots offer fair results per spin and are completely randomized. The best casinos will confirm this with an RNG certificate, which means the games have passed a filter by independent testing labs that confirm their authenticity and fairness.

Is there such a thing as a loose online slot?

A loose online slot is one with a higher RTP percentage. You can check this under the slot’s specs, and you should go for it if you’re looking for high payouts.

Can I beat online slots?

No, you can’t. Trying to beat online slots is fighting windmills. Each spin outcome is randomized, and since they’re games of chance, there’s no strategy that will optimize your wins.

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