How To Play Slot Games Online
If you’re not already familiar with online slot games, the concept is simple: players stake real money bets and hit the spin button to set the reels of the slot machine in motion. Once they settle, if matching symbols appear in certain positions across what’s known as a payline, the player is awarded a payout based on which symbols they’ve matched.
Online slots come in many different shapes and sizes, and using a free spins bonus is a great way to try some out. This section will walk through some of the most common formats and features you’ll come across.
3 Reel Slots
A slot machine is made up of several spinning reels with a selection of symbols on each. Slots with three reels might sometimes be called classic or traditional slots, since this is the typical format found on physical slot machines. One payline always runs through the centre of the reels, but diagonal paylines are standard too.
5 Reel Slots
Five-reel slots function much like their three-reel counterparts, but the addition of two more reels allows for more payline shapes. These games might also have more rows, offering extra payline options and more ways to win. Most paylines start from the left-hand side, so you’ll only win if your matching symbols cover the first reel.
Most slot games you’ll see today can be considered some form of bonus slot, a term referring to the availability of bonus rounds within the game. The rounds are often triggered by matching particular combinations on the reels, such as three scatter symbols anywhere on the board. Players then begin the bonus round, which usually grants them free spins and may unlock other bonus mechanics such as multipliers.
With so many titles available, many slots try to stand out from the crowd with special gameplay features. Some are unique to a particular title while others are more common. Examples include:
- Wild symbols – these count as any symbol and can help complete a winning payline.
- Scatter symbols – these symbols pay out whenever they appear on the reels. Landing three at the same time often unlocks further bonus features within the game such as a free spins round.
- Expanding or stacked wilds – like a normal wild, but these symbols fill the whole reel to give players a chance to win on more paylines.
- Ways-to-win slots – these slot machines offer players a huge number of paylines, sometimes into the hundreds of thousands.
Progressive slots can be particularly exciting. With every spin of the reels, a portion of each stake is added to the progressive jackpot amount in real time. This jackpot is linked to a network of games, so all players of that slot are contributing to the same prize; once somebody wins the jackpot, the amount is reset and starts to build up again. Check the slot’s rules before you play, as you might only be able to win the jackpot if you’re placing the maximum bet with each spin.
Since slots are suitable for both short and long play sessions, it’s no surprise they’re so popular on mobile devices. Game developers have remastered many of their classic titles for smaller screens, implementing intuitive touch controls and vibrant graphics.