Slots, also known in the UK as fruit machine (fruities) and in Australia as poker machines (pokies) are casino games with at least 3 reels which spin when you hit the button called “Spin”! That much I guess you already knew.
Originally called one-armed bandits due to the design of the machine, slots have become one of the most popular games at online casinos thanks to the variety of games on offer and networked accumulating jackpots called progressives that regularly exceed a million pounds. Here in the UK, we play all sorts of slots, particularly online, but we do have our particular favorites.
Here´s a summary of the main types on offer online.
Fruit Machines or Pub Slots
Online Fruit Machines or Pub Slots are commonly found in pubs, clubs, arcades, and take-aways and have from between 3 to 6 reels with 16 or 24 fruit symbols on each reel. They generally have plenty of additional features such as skillshots, trails and other mini-games within the game (or bonus rounds) but the jackpots are limited. You´ll be able to hold and nudge the reels to make winning combinations, and play bonus games (such as the skillshot or double or nothing).
There is little to learn before playing pub slots online- and this is part of their appeal. Just drop in some credits and off you go. Make sure that you read up on the pecularites of each game- understanding how they play and what the pay out rates of individual games are is key to putting yourself in a winning position. So make sure you spend 5 minutes studying the rules before diving in.
Before you start, it is useful to brush up on the jargon that comes with the territory in Online Slots. Knowledge is power, and power usually means money!
A Progressive Jackpot is a big payout on a slot where the value of the pot increases over time by a small amount every time the game is played. Usually more than one machine (or game across multiple online casinos) are “linked” to form one huge progressive jackpot that builds quickly because more players are contributing to the pile of winnings simultaneously.
3 Line Slots
3-Reel Slot machines are the classic slots. Bet the maximum on a 3-Reel Slot machine, and you´ll get as many as 5 payout lines, (3 horizontal and 2 diagonal).
5 Line Slots
A 5-reel slot machine is a machine with 5 reels that increases the combinations possible. Wild symbols, scatter symbols and special bonus features are the norm as well as lots more paylines.
Multiple Payline Slots
Most modern slot machine fall into this category. With multiple paylines thare is more variety of winning combinations (although the odds don´t necessarily improve!)
These are machine with games within the game, or bonus rounds. If you are going for the maximum jackpot , you will need to play the maximum number of coins. Additional awards include free spins, the chance to double your winnings, and cash prizes.
Video Slots is a term borrowed from Las Vegas where it refers to machines that don´t have a physical reel (just a graphical represenation of one), so in the online world, all slots are video slots in reality. They tend to come with bonus rounds and big jackpots, (including progressives).
Slots Machine Random Number Generator or RNG
This is the bit of of the slots machine that does the dealing and picks thousands of numbers and symbols randonly every second. The RNG is working away even when you are not spinning the wheels. The RNG sets the online slot’s average % payout. Over the long haul, this goes in the house’s favour of course, but it moves through cycles of high to low payout.
Reels: the majority of online slots have either 3 or 5 reels.
Slot Machine Payout: information online about the type of slot machine and level at which you are able to win for each credit that you play. Make sure that you study this and compare the pay outs across online slots machines.
Loose slots pay out more to players. They will have a superior pay out over the long haul. Tight slots are worse for players (unless you happen to like losing), and are tighter with their pay outs.
Slot Cycle: a fruit machine´s average payout is set for the long haul. In between, it will go through Up Cycles where the slot machine is looser and may be greater than 100% to Low Cycles where the payout will be tighter. Your aim is to find the fruit machine that is running through its high cycle.
Multiplier Slots. Most online fruit machines pay for wins on a set scale. Eg, on a 3 reel, you may get 5x payout for a 3 cherries playing 1 credit, 10x for 2 credits and 15x for 3 credits. The bigger slots jackpots can usually only be won by playing the maximum credits(often known as Bonus Multiplier Slots). ALWAYS make sure that you check the payout. If hit 3 triple bars come up, and did not take the maximum bet, you may not win the big jackpot. But on the other hand, you won´t get through your buget so rapidly.
Short Win: this is the holy grail of the fruit machine world: a big jackpot win after a small amount of bets. If this happens to you, either stop playing right away, or switch machines!