Video slots are certainly the most numerous of games you can find at any typical online casino. More than that, many would argue that they are also the most popular. With literally thousands of video slots to be found at casinos online across the net, players are spoilt for choice. Not all video slots are going to be epic releases which will keep players captivated for hours, though. Some are rather poor deals. What you really want is to find the best slots on the net to play.
About Video Slots Online
When you hear the word “slot”, you often think of a 3-reel machine. You’re likely imagining a single line running across the centre, upon which you must match symbols. It is also likely that the reels are filled with fruit symbols, horseshoes, dollar signs, bells and sevens. This is indeed a slot, but what is known as a classic slot, a fruit machine, or a one-armed bandit. Video slots are wholly different.
Most video slots are played over five reels instead of three. Moreover, they are likely to contain many paylines. As well as being thematic symbols, there are also going to be special symbols. The wagering range is considerably more flexible, and the prizes tend to be worth much more. Video slots can also offer bonus rounds. In short, they are far more extensive and have a lot more to offer players than classic slots.
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How To Play Slots?
Video slots form the majority of any games at a casino, not just slot machines. They come with many themes, some of which will appeal to you, and others which won’t. If you haven’t tried your hand at video slots yet, here is how you can start playing these games.
Reels and Paylines: A video slot will feature several reels and paylines. The paylines won’t be visible on screen but may range from 1 up to 117,649 ways to win. A payline is a route across the reels, or a pattern if you will. Identical symbols need to appear on one of these “lines” to denote a win. Some symbols are worth more than others. The more high-value paying symbols you can land on the payline, the more your win is worth.
Setting Up a Bet: Players may be able to choose a bet by using a slider. They could also choose from a series of predetermined bets in some games. However, in most slots, your wager is determined by a calculation. That calculation is the value of your coins multiplied by the number of coins you stake. This stake is then multiplied by the number of paylines you wish to play with. The more lines you have, the higher your odds of success, but also the costlier your stake will be.
Wild Symbols: Wild symbols can appear in video slots, too. These act like wild cards in poker games. The symbols can substitute for all standard paying symbols in the game but seldom do so for other special icons. Wild symbols can come in all shapes and sizes and may offer a myriad of different features. Some may dish out multipliers, and others can be “sticky”, remaining in place for a series of spins. Some may even pop up at random.
Scatter Symbols: Scatter symbols are so-called because they count no matter where they land on the reels. They do not have to appear on paylines to provide a win. However, scatters may also trigger bonus rounds, such as free spin features. In most cases, players need three or more to land these rounds.
Bonus Symbols: Bonus symbols only appear on selected reels. These icons can also often trigger bonus features. You need them to appear on all designed reels at the same time to trigger such a round.
Randomly Triggered Features: Also known as base game modifiers, these can consist of anything. Generally speaking, the game will attempt to modify your gameplay in some way, often to your benefit. For instance, a random event may add wilds to wilds, or dish out a multiplier for your win. It may also rearrange the symbols on the reels to give you another shot of winning. Some even extend the number of paylines in your game or even the number of reels.
Progressive Jackpots: Most slots are non-progressive. This means that their jackpots are fixed and can be won time and time again, by anyone. However, some slots have progressive jackpots. This means to say that the jackpot is not capped. It rises with each spin by any player. It can also be won by any player at any casino. Once it is won, it cannot be won again. Instead, it reverts back to its default size, before rising with each new bet once more.
Bonus Rounds – How Do They Work?
If you are fortunate enough to trigger a bonus round in a slot, you could end up with anything. The nature of bonus rounds varies from slot to slot. Most commonly offered bonus round in slot games are free spins features.
The nature of the free spin bonus is to provide players with a handful of free games. These do not cost a thing; however, you can win real money. Most free spin bonuses go far beyond just handing out free games, though. Many will also include a few added goodies. Randomly triggered bonuses, multipliers, extra wilds, and other perks are often included in these features. Once your free spins counter reaches zero, or another triggered event has occurred, you are returned to the base game.
At the same time, some slots may dish out re-spins to players. These work like free spins, but we’re generally talking about just a few spins. These commonly occur in the base game and may occur at random. However, there is often a catalyst which triggers a re-spin bonus, and one which ends it. For instance, in some slots, landing a wild will trigger a re-spin bonus. In this same example, when no new wilds appear on the reels, the re-spin bonus ends.
Other bonus rounds can also appear in video slots. These can include click and win features (instant win), trail bonuses, and money wheels, amongst others. An instant win bonus invites players to click items on a screen to win cash prizes. A money wheel can be spun to win free spins or cash prizes. A trail-based can see you move around a board (like a board game) to win prizes. These bonus rounds vary from slot to slot.
What are nice video slots online?
Almost every online video slot has five reels at available. The number of symbols is very variable here. Usually it will be 15 to 20 or 25 symbols. You can make a profit with these symbols. To do this, you have to make combinations of similar symbols. There are many ways to win by playing with slots. You can think of 100 paylines, but the number of paylines can even go up to 3000. There is a difference between a payline and a win way. In the case of a payline you must follow a pattern. This pattern must have the same symbols. In the case of win manners, prizes are awarded if the same symbols are rotated on reels that are contiguous. Video slots can be played at any online casino claim a casino welcome bonus when playing. A number of advantages of playing video slots online:
- You don’t have to home to play. Play 24/7.
- No queue at popular slots, such as at a land-based casino.
- Good casino bonuses online.
- Incredibly large range of slots.
- Better payouts.
- Extra video slot features
The best slots on the net
Every player has their own opinion on what constitutes the best slots on the internet. Of course, some players choose their favourite games by their theme; others by the number of paylines they offer, some by the features are available. And notably some will opt to play video slots which have specific wagering ranges and prizes.
Despite the confusion that this can cause. There are certain slot games which are universally acclaimed for being amongst the best. Many of these games will have plenty of things in common with one another. Generally speaking, the criteria for the best slots will include games which offer large prizes. Cheap bets, lots of paylines, clearly identifiable variance and RTP rates, and plenty of special features. They will also be audited and regulated to ensure that they don’t cheat players.
Oddly enough, great graphics don’t seem to weigh into the equation as much as you might think. While playing videoslots with groovy graphics may be a plus. There are plenty of fan favourite slots out there which have dated or poor graphics. When it comes to the best slots, most players are after big wins, not shiny graphics.
Major casino software providers will do their best to create games which fulfill many (if not all) of the criteria listed above. Who are the best in the business, though, and which software providers are known for developing top slots? Let’s take a look at the leading software provides which usually deliver the best slots online.
Microgaming leads the way
The chances are good that players will have heard of Microgaming. They were one of the first casino software providers to produce online slots back in 1994. They are also created with creating the 243 ways to win payline structure and are widely thought of as being the creators of expanding wild symbols and randomly triggered bonuses.
Microgaming’s slots are known for their big themes, many of which are branded and based on video slots and films. They are renowned for offering cheap bets, major progressive prizes, and plenty of special features. Some of their more notable releases include Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones, Playboy, Immortal Romance, Thunderstruck II and Mega Moolah.
RTG cater to the American crowd
Real Time Gaming (also known as RTG) primarily cater to players based in North America, at offshore casino sites. However, RTG games can also be found in South Africa, Australian, Canadian and other global casinos. They are not as popular in Europe, where larger developers tend to reign supreme.
RTG slots do not feature the best graphics, but they are notoriously cheap to play. Moreover, many of their slots offer progressive jackpot cash prizes at random, free spins and click and win bonuses. Admittedly, their jackpot prizes seldom tend to scale the heights found in Microgaming or NetEnt slots.
NetEnt offers Scandinavian slots
Speaking of Net Entertainment, let’s look at them next. The Swedish casino software provider is often regarded as the second biggest provider of slots. Their games span many different themes, and like Microgaming, they are very much a pioneer in new and unique features. NetEnt are responsible for walking wilds, cloning and synched reels, amongst other features. Good casinos to play videoslots are SlotsMillion Casino UK and Casilando UK.
Net Entertainment videoslots usually offer fixed paylines, but they are all mobile-friendly. Gonzo’s Quest with its collapsible reel structure, simple little slots such as Starburst, and Twin Spin are popular games from this provider. NetEnt currently maintains the world record for the biggest ever progressive jackpot paid out to casino players. Which is set at over £13m and was won on their Mega Fortune slot. The Scandinavian software provider’s Hall of Gods slot is also frequently worth many millions of pounds, though.
The power of Playtech
Another major casino software provider which is renowned for progressive prizes is Playtech. In the past, many of their jackpot games were licensed by Marvel. Today, they have switched over to DC Comics. Aside from superhero-themed slots, Playtech also runs the Greek mythology Age of Gods series of jackpot slots, as well as a multi-million-pound paying Gladiator slot.
Playtech’s games generally offer more flexibility with paylines than their counterparts, and bets can be considerably cheap. Their games often contain click and win features, free spin bonuses and an ample supply of wilds and multipliers. Playtech slots are more commonly found in UK casino sites.
Other notable providers
Of course, while those four software providers do provide the bulk of the best slots on the net. There are also other developers who come up with cracking titles. It would take too long to list them all here. However, we have put together a quick run-down of those providers. Software companies who do tend to produce quality video slots more often than not. They include:
- BetSoft Gaming: They specialise in 3D slot games, which means to say slots with 3D graphics. Cheap bets are their forte, and they also excel at offering gamble (50/50) bonus features in those titles, too.
- Yggdrasil Gaming: Another Scandinavian powerhouse, Yggdrasil games can often be found at NetEnt casinos. Their slots feature quirky themes, bizarre payline structures and creative features.
- Red Tiger Gaming: A relatively new provider. Red Tiger Gaming excel at offering strikingly gorgeous slots. Ones which provide a host of randomly triggered bonus features to their players.
- ELK Studios: Another big winner when it comes to graphics. ELK Studios are known for their zany slot themes. Their dedication to offering hundreds of lines in their slots, and their imaginative wild features.
- IGT: Arguably the most experienced slot provider on the net. IGT have a lengthy background in land-based games. Many of their slots are ports from brick-and-mortar casinos. Their games are always catchy if a touch on the expensive side for some.
More Casino Software Providers
- Play ‘n Go: Play ‘n Go games are known for their simplistic nature. They are ideal for beginners, feature slider bar wagering menus, and aren’t shy about doling out top prizes to players with small budgets, either.
- Big Time Gaming: BTG (as they are sometimes known) aren’t exactly a new software provider. But it is only recently that they have hit the big time. Their MegaWays gaming engine has become such a success; it has been loaned by many rivals. This engine sees their slots able to offer a random number of lines on each spin. With sometimes as many as tens of thousands of ways to win being available.
- NextGen Gaming: Another veteran of the online casino world. For years most NextGen Gaming slots were basic stuff, ideal for beginners. They feature spin bonuses and click and win games, and all had similar gaming structures. They have since broadened their horizons. Many of their newer releases are a touch more complex, but the same great gaming experience.
- Scientific Games: WMS Gaming, Barcrest and Ballytech are all popular developers you may have heard of which are owned by Scientific Games. Ballytech offer land-based style slots, while Barcrest are renowned for their buy-a-bonus side-bet features. WMS Gaming is notable for producing unique and inventive gaming engines. With many of their games featuring colossal reels, transferrable wilds, and other original goodies.
As mentioned, there are many more software providers out there which dish out decent titles, too. But it is up to you to explore those options. All of the software providers listed above are guaranteed to offer you a handful of quality games, if not more.
Where can I play the best video slots?
It is almost impossible to find an online casino which offers you games from all of the software developers listed above. However, there are many top casino sites which offer you an arsenal of titles from a selection of these providers. Given that the software producers listed above are the ones which are most renowned for providing the internet’s best video slots to sites; we would recommend any online casino which carries games from as many of these providers as possible.