Just as physical slot machines have dominated bricks-and-mortar casinos, video slots attract an unrivalled number of gamblers to online casinos. These computerized slot games function just as you’d expect, with players placing their bets before they hit the spin button, looking to land winning combinations across the reels.
The biggest casino game developers in the world concentrate their efforts into producing stunning online slot titles, knowing that they’re a sure-fire favourite for online casino players. You can expect dynamic animated sequences, pristine graphics, entertaining sound effects, and jackpot bonus rounds. There’s something for all slot enthusiasts at the best Canadian online slot casinos, with titles inspired by old school slot machines, fabled stories of classical mythology and the ancient world, and familiar figures, themes and motifs from popular culture.
You’ll find that both real money slots and free-to-play versions are available at the best online slot casinos, and we recommend starting on the latter before committing your hard-earned cash to wagers. Free-to-play versions allow players to get up to speed with the gameplay, understand which symbols to pay close attention to, and how they can trigger the all-important bonus rounds.
Slot Variance and Return to Player (RTP)
Every online casino provides information about how the mechanics of its video slots work, with the most notable details relating to the variance and RTP. This information can give players an indication of the game’s payout rates.
A slot’s variance, or volatility, will rank as being either high, low, or medium. It indicates how often players are expected to land on a winning combination of symbols, and how big or small the prize will be when they do. If a slot has a high variance, it will deliver infrequent but large wins. Low variance slots, by contrast, will deliver the reverse. Medium volatility slots position themselves somewhere in between.
RTP figures are provided as a percentage, aiming to give players an idea of roughly what rate they can expect the slot to payout at. This figure is usually quite high, somewhere between 90-99%. In theory, a slot with 90% RTP will pay back $90 out of $100, so the higher the RTP, the more players can expect to win.
However, players should avoid taking RTP rates at their face value, as they’re the summation of masses of data sets, taken from millions of players all over the world. Although RTP numbers reflect what players can expect to retain on average over a period of time, the sheer volume of data that’s accounted for in an RTP estimate means there can be massive deviations over any one gambling session.
The best online slots feature bonus rounds where punters are given opportunities to land the biggest jackpots. Bonus rounds are usually triggered by a certain combination of symbols, such as three wilds appearing in sequence on the reels, and reward players with free spins which they can then use to try and win big. While prizes in the main game tend to stay relatively small, it’s often the bonus round that pays dividends.
Most slot titles have a fixed jackpot, but the top online slots casinos will also include progressive jackpots in their games libraries. Progressive jackpots have prize funds that build every time the game is played but not won, with contributions made by players from all over the world. You can think of progressive jackpots as a mix between spinning a video slot and playing the lottery, as the odds of winning aren’t too dissimilar. While progressive jackpots have the highest volatility of all online casino games, they offer an exciting dimension to the online casino experience.
Another exciting element of playing slots is the tournaments they allow you to take part in. Different online slots sites have different types of tournaments, but they tend to work in a similar way.
To get started, you’ll need to opt in to a tournament from the slot site’s promotions page. Then, you’ll collect points whenever you play the selected slot: more points are awarded for larger wins, while some sites, such as Coral and Party Casino, also dish out points for three consecutive losses. Be sure to check the terms and conditions before you opt in ‒ there will likely be a minimum bet amount required for your spin to earn points.
As you collect points, you’ll advance up the tournament leaderboard. Once the tournament period is over, if you finish in one of the prize positions, you can expect some juicy rewards to come your way — winners often receive a payout in the thousands.