Whether they're one-armed bandits or modern button machines, slot games are played worldwide – from the fruit machines of Great Britain, to the pokies of Australia and New Zealand, to the slots of the United States of America. In line with advances in video games and networking, slot machines shed their clunky mechanical workings to make way for intricate software and dazzling graphics.
The move to online slot machines afforded the top game developers a whole host of opportunities that were free from the restraints of a physical game. No longer were developers limited to 2D graphics, bells, 3-reels, and 1 payline, instead embracing 3D and HD quality animations, exceptional theme music and seemingly endless reels and paylines.
Players can now enjoy a wealth of cutting edge titles right next all the classics when visiting the top online casinos. It's just up to them to choose their favourite. Below our extensive list of slot game reviews you'll find some frequently asked questions regarding online slot features including slot types, paylines and reels, betting amounts and payouts, bonuses and symbols, and even progressive slots.
Online slot games are by far the most popular type of online casino games in the world. Regardless of where a player might be betting from, most top online casinos around the world offer significantly more slot game titles when compared to all other game types. Some of the world's most popular online casinos even offer hundreds of slot game titles.
With such high demand (as well as supply from the game providers), online slot games tend to be the focal point of most punters' inquiries into online casino games. In hopes of answering some of those questions, as well as any others players might not of even known they had, here's some of the most frequently asked questions regarding online slot games.
Slot games in general have come a long way from the early days fruit machines, with the move from real-life slots to online slots providing ample opportunity to continue that growth. Now players can enjoy a wealth of online slot types: video slots, 3D slots, progressive slots, 243-payline slots, and even slots designed to mirror popular video games.
Online video slots allow for a diverse range of gameplay, from games that imitate classic slots, to more hi-tech video slots. Players can also enjoy titles using 3D graphics as well as progressive slots, where the jackpot is tied to all those playing the same game. Whereas classic slots often utilise recognisable symbols from fruit machines, video slots often create their own symbols and icons based on the brand or theme that they're set to.
Most online slot games follow the popular 25-playline structure with some varying north or south of that a bit but mostly staying close to that range. But thanks to digital slot games, players can also enjoy up to 243 ways to win, a option not afforded prior to the launch of online slot games. The most recent type of slot game hitting the market is those mirroring popular video game formats but these unique formats aren't wide spread just yet.
A number of video slot developers licence characters from existing films, TV shows, and comic books, like the range of slots based on the characters that inhabit the Marvel Cinematic Universe all brought to you by Playtech. Following Marvel's purchase by Disney, Playtech turned to DC Comics to team up on a line of slot titles from their epic collection of characters as well. NetEnt slot games are also extremely popular.
The virtual "reels" of online slot games are used to represent the software program that randomly generates the symbol combos of each spin. The symbols of online slots are not subjected to the order they appear in like with old reels but instead can appear in any random order the software commutes. Although the word "reel" is used for online slots, it actually represents a vital part of real-life slot machines.
The term "reel" originates from real-life slot machines that used painted symbols on (typically 3) round metal drums to represent the winning combos. Working like a gear, the reels would spin until they naturally came to a stop with a combo of symbols on display. The advent of online slot games eliminated the need for actual reels but the word stuck around.
"Paylines", unlike "reels", do not originate from the days of real-life slot machines. Original slot machines used the center row as the winning line so no need to refer to it or multiples of it. "Paylines" was coined to describe the different ways an online slot player can win on a spin. Online slot games offer not only more than one way to win but up to 243 ways to win depending on the number of reels and title you're playing.
The standard classic slot machines had 3 reels, with one payline across the centre. Online video slots offered game designers the chance to expand on both of these. 5-reel games have become the standard for many online casinos, while a game can offer anywhere between one to 243 paylines, going forwards or backwards, as well as creating various diagonal shapes.
Players can choose how many lines they wish to play and in which combinations they want, as well as deciding how much money to place on each line. A slot offering 25 paylines does not mean you have to place your bet on all 25, instead you can select how many, say 10, and which of the paylines, say 1-5 and 20-15, you'd prefer to place your bet on.
The amount that players can bet on an online video slot differs wildly, depending on what the games developer has set as the minimum and maximum, the casino that's hosting the game, and the currency that's being wagered. It will also depend on how much the player places on the line bet – not forgetting to multiply this by the number of lines activated.
For example, a player may choose a line bet of ten coins, playing 25 paylines, which equals 250 coins per spin. Depending on the number of symbols scored on a specific line, payouts can range from 10x to 2000x the initial bet. If a player is lucky enough to land two wins on the same payline, the vast majority of online video slots will only offer one payout per line, favouring the higher cash prize.
In addition to wins using only standard symbols, online video slots feature a wide array of bonus icons and rounds, which improve a player’s chance of success, while also adding some variety to gameplay. The most commonly used slot game bonus features include Scatters, Wilds and Multiplier bonuses.
Wild symbols act as chameleons and can be substituted for other icons, which can help turn a losing line into a winning one. It's worth bearing in mind, though, that wild symbols are not usually able to replace a scatter symbol.
Scatter symbols are icons that do not necessarily have to appear on the payline in order to be activated. In most online video slots, the appearance of three, four or five scatter symbols spread out across the reels will generate a bonus payment, or even launch a bonus round or free spins round.
Scatter bonus rounds can take various forms, but ultimately lead to a player trying to progress through several rounds in order to increase their score. This is often then multiplied by the initial bet to reward the player with a much higher cash prize.
Safety while playing online casino games can be top priority for some punters and with online slots being the most popular option, some worry about the overall safety of the games. Fortunately, online slots developed by the industry-leading game providers and offered at top online casinos are definitely safe to play for the average player so no need for any players to worry.
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