Without a doubt, slots are one of the most popular online casino games in the UK. Online slots come decked out in beautifully animated themes with free spins, win multipliers and sometimes unlockable bonus games – it can feel like you’re sitting right inside a first class interactive production for adults. Wins can range from a couple of pennies to a few million for the really lucky folks who win a progressive jackpot – and there’s been some lucky Brits who’ve won in this astronomical range. Slots great entertainment and there’s a chance to win a huge pot of money – it’s easy to see why people love playing slots.
UK players definitely have preferred casinos to play online slots. The top favourites include 32Red – famous for its Welcome Bonus, plus Mr Green and Leo Vegas. Mr Green and Leo Vegas in particular have been amassing awards year on year and have exceptional mobile casinos on top of a great desktop casino. Although a little less slick, Ruby Fortune is a popular choice for Microgaming fans. And for those in search of new adventures, Casumo is a relatively new casino and has been winning ground for many UK players – it’s a clean, lighthearted place with a selection of some astounding and funky slots.
Recommended Slot Games
Players have preferences for casinos, and it’s because they also have preferences for games. These 3 slots have consistently topped the charts.
Mega Moolah is a progressive jackpot by Microgaming that pays out regularly in the millions. We’ll explain later what exactly is a progressive jackpot, but for now, it suffices to know that these jackpot slots pay out significantly more than regular video slots. And Mega Moolah is the most famous of them all because it holds the world record for the largest jackpot payouts ever. FYI, the record payout was over £13 million, and was won with a 25p bet from Jon Heywood, a British soldier in Cheshire.
This is one of NetEnt’s most loved games. Gonzo’s Quest is where the so-called Tumbling Reels feature became a staple in online slots. Instead of the reels just spinning, the symbols tumble down like rocks. But it’s not just an aesthetic pleasure – the winning symbols will crumble and new rocks will fall into place to make new wining combinations, making the game much more engrossing.
This is another one by NetEnt. At first it looks like a space age take on the fruit machine, but it’s much more than that. It’s a 5 reel slot with 243 ways to win, and the secret sauce kicks in on the twin reels (hence the name). Often, 2 reels will be mirror images of each other, therefore increasing your chances of hitting a winning a payline, and sometimes these twin reels expand to cover 3, 4, or even all 5 of the reels. That significantly multiplies the excitement, and changes the whole game play from traditional slots.
Different Types of Online Slots Explained
Compared to land-based slot machines, online slots come with a lot more variety – and it’s not just about the looks, but about how they function. They can largely be grouped into 3 reel, 5 reel, and progressive jackpot slots.
3 Reel Slots
This is the most basic slot game, similar to the traditional slot machines you see at land-based casinos or in pubs. So there are 3 reels that spin; in classic slots, it’s 3 reels with 3 rows, but in online slots, you’ll sometimes find 3 reels with 5 row games. And while the classic game only pays when you get matching symbols on the center row, with video slots, there are often more paylines – that means more ways to win.
5 Reel Slots
It’s like the 3 reel game, except with 2 more reels (obviously). With 5 reel slots, there are always more paylines, often going into 25 lines, or the famous 234 ways-to-win. It basically means there are 234 paylines in the slot and you can win 243 times with just 1 spin. How do they fit in a whopping 243 paylines into a game? Well, the paylines don’t have to be straight and often go up and down the grid. Players don’t have to worry about losing track of the paylines either, because the game will highlight all your winning lines for you when you spin out a winning combination or 234!
Possibly one of the best things that the internet has done for slots is the development of progressive jackpot slots. These are similar to 5 reel slots, except that the same game is networked across multiple casinos. For example, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah is networked across all casinos that host the game, and every time someone plays, the jackpot grows. Thanks to the network, it means you can have thousands of people playing the game at the same time, making the jackpot grow significantly bigger than regular slots. Payout from a progressive slot can go from a cool ten thousand quid, or a few million pounds.
Online slots regularly come with themes – they can be based on movies, TV series, fairy tales, or just great stories. And with video slots, you will find that the themes are hyper animated and sometimes interrupt with dazzling special sequences when you hit a win, or enter a bonus game or special feature with additional free spins and multipliers!
Tips: How to Choose a Slot Game
For the uninitiated, the plethora of slots online may come across as confusing at first. Where do you start? If you prefer a more systematic method to choosing a game, then start by choosing a game developer, also known as a game provider. The 3 big names are Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech. They all make great online slots, but they’re styles are little different. Microgaming is known as a solid choice for relatively frequent payouts. NetEnt is a bit more of a trailblazer in slots, with extremely innovative visuals and animations, and sometimes even new game mechanics – like the tumbling reels in Gonzo’s Quest and the mirror reels in Twin Spin – which many other game developers later adopt. Playtech is generally known for its mid to high variance slots – these are games that don’t pay out so frequently, but when they do, the amounts tend to be bigger.
To check the variance of a slot, look for the game’s RTP – that stands for Return to Player. The RTP is the expected percentage of payback to the player in the long term, and is calculated based on the house edge. The higher the RTP, the more likely you are to win and the lower the house edge the casino has on you. A 100% RTP means that your chances of winning are perfectly equal to the casino’s.
And of course, choosing a theme that fits your taste is of course important! There are slots based on hit movies, TV shows, pop cultural icons, or just ones that have a funky sense of humour. It may just be the skin of a slot game, but a good theme provides the entertainment behind your money adventures.
That may sound like a lot of information for the beginner starting from scratch. But it’s actually much simpler – you can quickly pop into an online casino and play demo games for free to see if it’s your style before putting in any cash. Then you’ll get a feel of how everything really works.
How to Play Online Slots
At the most rudimentary level, you just have to know how to hit the “Spin” button, and when you win, all the lights will flash, so you can’t miss it. But before you do that, it would be good to adjust your bet. Set your coin size – this is how much each coin is worth in real money – it can range from 1p to £1 or more. When you bet, you bet with coins, and when you win, you win coins. So the larger your coin size, the greater the risk, but also the greater the win. Then with some slots, you can further adjust how many paylines you want to bet on, or how many coins you want to bet per line. After that, you can start spinning.
Lots of online slots will have special features, like free spins, multipliers and bonus games. A free spin, as the name suggests, will give you an extra turn on the reels on the house. Multipliers will multiply your bet size or your win and can be very lucrative. Scatter symbols can trigger bonus games where there are extra coins, free spins and multipliers in store. All slots will list these features and symbols in the Info section of their game. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything, because the slot will automatically show you when you win, and progress to the bonus features when relevant.
Unlike other casino games like Blackjack or Roulette that require understanding rules and developing a strategy, slots are really straightforward and easy to get into – even a beginner can win handsomely with this luck-based game.
Online slots come in all sorts of styles to suit different tastes and playing styles, with a lot more extra features packed in than your traditional one armed bandit. They’re fun too, with hilarious storylines or suspense filled themes. Check in to some of these popular UK casinos to try some games for free before setting off to win some real money.