A Beginner’s Guide to Online Slots

They’re easy to play and there’s lots of variety, so it’s never a dull moment when you hit the online slots. These are two of the reasons why online slots have become so popular. Others include the music, the prize money and the general affordability. All of these have produced a winning combination, but what if you’re a beginner looking to enjoy the action? Where do you start? This guide is here to help you do that. 

A few things to know before you play online slots

There are a lot of operators and a lot of different slots out there, so there are a few basic things you should know before you start playing. 

Winning isn’t guaranteed

This is a bit of a harsh reality. As well as a way to win money, online slots are a form of entertainment. Although operators take various steps to ensure safety and fairness, you should be aware that just because you bet with a stake, it’s not certain you’re going to win it back.


‘RPG’ stands for ‘random number generator’ and refers to the system that generates the numbers in a sporadic order. This is what creates the ‘luck’ element of a slot, as the symbols won’t appear in a specific or predictable sequence, and keeps the game fair. It’s all down to the mathematics and the algorithm.

‘RTP’ stands for ‘return to player’. This refers to the percentage of their stake a player tends to win back over a long period of playing. 


This term refers to the frequency the slot pays out. A low variance means the game pays out frequently but only small amounts, whereas the term ‘high variance’ applies to games that don’t pay out often but when they do, they pay out high amounts. A lot of games have a medium variance, which serves as a middle ground between the two.

Beware of rogue operators

Unfortunately, not all of the operators online will be legitimate online casino operators. To confirm you’re playing at a licensed, responsible casino, you can check the following:

  • Are they operating under a licence from a known jurisdiction, such as Gibraltar or Malta?
  • How is their customer service? Contact them and see what kind of response you get. Responsible online operators respond fast and make it easy to get in touch with them. If they’re slow to respond or you just don’t like the response you do get, don’t play at the casino.
  • Check the terms and conditions for withdrawals and wagering. They should be clear. If they’re vague, avoid playing at the casino.

There’s no peak time that’s advantageous

Online casinos are open around the clock. There’s no real time when it’s more advantageous to play on a slot than others. Note, too, that playing online slots is an individual pursuit. It’s just you against the reels rather than competing against other players. 

Choosing a game

When choosing a game, it’s a good idea to pick a game that offers a ‘demo’ mode. This gives you a chance to practise playing the game and decide whether you enjoy it, before you start laying your money down on the game.

You should also check the maximum and minimum bets on the game. Are they within your budget? A look at the pay table, which indicates what you can win, is also important and will help you decide whether the game is worth your time (and your money).

Ideally, you should select a game that has an RTP of 95% or more. This increases the chances of a more substantial return when you win.

Playing on the slots

Games feature reels, which show different symbols, some of these symbols more valuable than others. The objective is to line symbols up to form a payline, a winning line of symbols on the reels from left to right. 

Wild symbols can transform into other symbols that can complete a payline so that you win money, whereas bonus symbols will take you into a bonus round in which the game awards you some free spins or other chances to win some extra coin. 

Here are few tips for while you’re playing:

Track your spending, wins and losses

Slots are exciting, no two ways about it. You should keep a careful eye on how much you’re spending and how much you’re winning or losing. It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill and the fast pace of the games and not notice. 

Decide how much you’re willing to spend

Before jumping onto an online slot, decide how much you’re willing to spend. By extension, that means how much you wouldn’t mind losing. This makes it easier to stop playing if you end up on a losing streak. If it’s not your day on the slots and you lose the amount you were prepared to spend, stop playing. 

Enjoy the game

Always pick a game you enjoy. Slots, as entertaining as they are to play, aren’t to be considered a substitute for other ways of producing income. Yes, you can win money by playing on slots, but don’t rely on them to pay your rent or bills.

Online slots are a riveting form of entertainment, not just a way to earn some extra money, and can appeal to anyone who takes the time to learn how they work. They’re easy to learn to play and, in no time at all, you’ll soon be getting the best out of your gaming experience on them.

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