Online slots are easy to play and a whole lot of fun. You sign up or sign in to an online casino, ensure your account is funded and click the slot you want to play. Once the slot loads, you place your wagers and hit the Spin button. You win if you land the right combination of symbols across the reels; it is as simple as that and picking up real money wins is that easy.
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Online slots span a significant number of themes. So how do these games work? What features do they come with? Let us take a look at each of these aspects briefly.
How Online Slots Work
One thing about online slots: you can’t usually fix the results because of the infinite levels of randomness associated with each spin. Driving the way the results of a spin are thrown up is a random number generator (RNG).
The RNG is usually software that throws up random sequences every microsecond. There is an entire science behind the functioning of a RNG and we would do well not to get into that discussion here. Suffice to say that the RNG ensures the integrity of the game and prevents the possibility of it being fixed.
Each sequence of numbers thrown up is random, which means the outcome of a particular spin doesn’t have any influence on the outcome of any other spin. The number combination that is generated when you hit the Spin button with your mouse determines the symbols that will land across the reels.
The following steps sum up how the RNG works in an online slot:
- You place your wagers and hit the Spin button.
- The game software’s mathematical module converts the spin into mathematical data.
- The different sequences of numbers landed in the RNG determines the outcome of the game.
Important Features of Online Slots
Each online slot comes with a set of features that add to the appeal and winning abilities that the game offers. We list the top features for you below.
The symbols at an online slot usually depend closely on the theme of the game. In fact in every game the theme is showcased beautifully through the symbols and the backdrop on which the reels are placed. Two of the most critical symbols at an online casino are:
- Wild: The wild symbol is the wild card and has the power to replace all the symbols except the scatter to help you put together a winning combination. There are different kinds of wild symbols available including, among others:
- Frozen wilds
- Sticky wilds
- Expanding wilds
- Tumbling wilds
- Scatter: These are special symbols that can appear anywhere on the reels – and on designated spots in some reels – to give you cool wins. Scatters usually pay among the highest and in some games can also trigger the bonus feature.
These are special features that, when they appear, can multiply your winnings by that many times. The multipliers can be from 1x to 1000x.
So if an online slot is themed on food, most of the symbols will center on the different kinds of food that you are likely to encounter at a popular restaurant.
Ways to Win
This is another cool feature that gives you a chance to win a specific number of ways. The different ways to win commonly seen include:
- 243 ways to win
- 1024 ways to win
- Both ways win
Every online slot comes with a set of reels. The reels form the landing area across which symbols land at the end of a spin. The number of reels a game has varies and include the following:
- Classic 3-reel slots: These are games with 3 reels and come with a classic look and theme, including the quality and type of graphics.
- 5-reel video slots: These are video slots with 5 reels. They look very contemporary not just in terms of the graphics and animation but also in terms of the way they play out.
- 6-reel video slots: These are special slots that come with 6 reels instead of the conventional 3 or 5. These are slots usually provided by RTG and come with randomly triggered jackpots attached to them.
The reels may also come with innovative features added to them. A good example is cascading reels: These reels are different in terms of how they appear on a game. When you hit the Spin button of a game, the reels don’t spin. Instead, they cascade down from the top of the screen directly. Symbols that form a winning combination disappear from the screen to make space for other symbols to appear.
The payline is where the symbols land to give you a shot at putting together a winning combination. The number of paylines vary depending on the game and also software provider. There are games with a single payline, and then there are games with more than 50 paylines, or even higher.
All high quality online slots from leading online casino software providers come with cool features designed to heighten your gaming experience. Quite a few games come with bonus rounds that take your game experience to the next level. There are different kinds of bonus rounds available, including:
Free spins bonus round: You get a specific number of free spins when you unlock the bonus round in specific games.
The paytable is among the most important features that you find at an online slot. It lists out all the information and details about the casino that you may want to know about including:
- The different symbols available
- The payouts for each symbol
- Listings and explanations of free spins and bonus games
- Payline information
This feature is available in games only from some software providers and gives you a chance to double your winnings from a spin in a double-or-nothing kind of play. You are required to predict the color or value of the next card to be drawn. Making the correct prediction doubles your winnings from that spin, while making the wrong call cancels out all your winnings from that spin.
A number of slots from some of the top providers like Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Real Time Gaming (RTG) and BetSoft Gaming, among others, come with a progressive jackpot. From each wager that is placed, a specific portion is set aside to contribute to the progressive jackpot.
The progressive jackpot can be a local jackpot or a network progressive jackpot. Local progressive jackpots are available on machines within a single casino and are of fairly decent size. Networked progressive jackpots, on the other hand, are especially huge as different machines running the game across casinos contribute to the jackpot pool, causing it to reach massive levels in quick time.
Once someone hits a progressive jackpot, the jackpot value is reset to a certain base value, which is called the seed amount. For the big progressive jackpots like Mega Moolah, the seed amount is set at $1 million.