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Online Slots Guide: Play Casino Slots (Real Money & Free) Today

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Online slots are the most popular casino games in the world. When you play online slots for real money, you're playing games modeled after bricks-and-mortar slot machines. In some cases, all-new slot designers like RTG, Microgaming and NetEnt design the slots. In other cases, world-famous slots companies like IGT, WMS and Bally provide the games.

Between 3-reel classics and 5-reel video slots, players can choose from a massive collection of online slots, numbering into the tens of thousands of game titles. The sheer number of slots online creates confusion for new players. They'll encounter a dizzying array of 3D slots, licensed slots and progressive jackpot slots. Even in a single game, they'll find a lot of different bonus features.

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Our guide to real money online slots provides a glossary of terms, along with information on the best slot bonuses and the gaming sites that feature them. It also provides slots strategy tips, while pointing out the common myths and misconceptions about slots. If you still have questions, we provide an online slots FAQ at the bottom of the page with answers to commonly asked questions.

Benefits Of Our Online Slot Game Guide

Reading online slot guides increases your fun, while saving you money. Whether it's an individual online slot review or an overview of the slots industry, here are reasons to keep reading.

  • Find More Slots Bonuses: Learn about the best slots bonuses in your region. These focus on welcome bonuses.
  • Play at the Best Slots Casinos: At the same time, read reviews to learn about the best casino sites in your country.
  • Pay tables and RTP Information: Read about the online slots with the best return-to-player ratios. This saves slot players a lot of cash.
  • Play Your Favorite Slot Games: Players who prefer fun themes or special bonus features get information on these from slot reviews.
  • Improve Your Gameplay: Absorb slots tips on avoiding gambler's fallacy, stretching your bankroll and debunking slots myths.

Types Of Slot Machine Games

Due to their global appeal and huge fan following, many slot machine types exist. Read the guide to slots terms below to help you select the perfect slot machine for you.

  • Classic Slots: Also called 3-reel classics or 3-reel spinners, these are the original slot machines. Usually with simpler graphics, smaller fixed jackpots and better return-to-player (RTP) ratios.
  • Video Slots: Electronic slot machines led to 5-reel video slots. These have great graphics and sounds, more bonus features and bigger jackpots.
  • 3D Slots: A type of 5-reel video slot with cinematic 3D graphics. Produced by slot designers like NetEnt and Sheriff Gaming.
  • Licensed Slots: Gaming machines that use the name and image of a pop culture franchise. They usually have a license from a movie, TV show, board game, comic book or pop music franchise.
  • Fixed Jackpot Slots: Also called flat-top slots, these games have a fixed prize pool that never changes. These can be large six-figure amounts or as little as $1,000.
  • Progressive Slots: Have a jackpot that increases with each spin that doesn't trigger the top prize. Games like Mega Moolah, Wheel of Fortune and MegaBucks range into the millions of dollars.
  • Fruit Machine: A name for a slot machine in the United Kingdom. Also called fruit slots, these gaming machines are located in UK pubs.
  • Pokies: The slang term for a poker machine, this is the standard name for slot machines in Australia.

Leading Slot Machine Providers

If you’ve ever played a slot machine, there’s a strong chance that one of the companies listed below was responsible for making it. Some of these companies power slots for online and in-person casinos while others focus solely on the internet market. 

Betsoft

These slots are designed and released by Betsoft Gaming Ltd., an online casino software developer based in London. Best known for their line of innovative 3D slots, this company is often cited as being on the cutting edge of the video slot industry. Learn More about Betsoft

Microgaming

Responsible for one of the largest online payouts in internet history, this virtual gaming manufacturer provides software for 32Red, Ladbrokes and numerous others.
Learn More about MicroGaming

NetEnt

NetEnt slots are created by Net Entertainment, a Scandinavia-based company that first made its name in the land-based casino business. While the online company was created in 1996, its actual roots within the gaming industry go back much further.
Learn More about NetEnt

RealTime Gaming

Founded in 1998 and including clients such as Bodog, this online casino company is known for its progressive slots, many of which are connected across all casinos powered by RTG.
Learn More about RTG

Rival

Rival slots, as well as other casino games from this online software provider, made their debut in April 2006. While the selection was limited to begin with, the company has since grown to offer over 160 games for both desktop and mobile gamblers.
Learn More about Rival

Best Online Slots Features

When playing 5-reel video slots, you'll encounter a lot of slots features. Here's a quick rundown of the most common slots features.

  • Bonus Game: A special part of the game where you don't have to risk money in order to win money. Often with enhanced graphics and sounds.
  • Scatter Symbols: The reel icons that often trigger bonus games and free spins. So-named because they can appear anywhere on the reel, it usually takes 3 or more scatter symbols to trigger a bonus.
  • Free Spins: Often a part of a bonus game, these can be anywhere from 3 to 50 (or 100) free spins. If you can re-trigger free spins, it's called a respin.
  • Multipliers: This multiplies the amount of the bonus you receive – often a part of a bonus game. Games with multipliers don't need jackpots as large.
  • Wild Symbols: Reel icons that substitute for any other reel symbols, increasing the odds of a winning combination. Usually don't substitute for scatter symbols.
  • Cascading Wilds: These symbols disappear from the screen when you're paid off, much like completed squares in Tetris.
  • Sticky Wilds: These stick in place over multiple spins. Shifting wilds are sticky wilds that shift across the reels from spin to spin.
  • Stacked Wilds: Over successive spins, stacked wilds stick in place and allow you to stack up a whole reel full of wild symbols.
  • Expanding Wilds: Instead of stacking up and down, these expand across several reels.
  • Gamble Feature: Essentially a double-or-nothing bet when you have bonus winnings.

Top 10 Payout Slots Of 2021

ONLINE SLOTPROVIDERTOP FEATURERTP %
Ugga BuggaPlaytechWild Symbol99.07%
Mega JokerNetEntProgressive Jackpot99.00%
Jackpot 6000NetEnt6000x Jackpot98.86%
Sweet SixteenRTGBonus Multipliers98.10%
Blood SuckersNetEntBonus Game98.00%
Quest to the WestBetsoftMeter of the Heavens97.53%
Jack Hammer IINetEntFree Spins 97.10%
Caesars EmpireRTGWild Symbol97.00%
Avalon IIMicrogamingRolling Reels97.00%
Bubble Bubble 2RTG3 Bonus Games96.00%

Online Slot Features

What Are The Best Online Slot Bonuses?

Luckily for slot players, casino sites favor them with the biggest bonuses in the market. Players therefore receive the best online slots bonuses when they make a first deposit. Even on reload bonuses, slot players receive the biggest offers.

Even better, casinos stipulate that slots clear the wagering requirement with a 100% the contribution rate. Here's a quick look at the best slots bonuses you'll find online.

Welcome Bonus

Most of the time, these are the biggest bonuses you'll find at an online slots casino. These match the amount of your initial deposit, though some gaming sites offer match bonuses on the first five to 10 deposits. The match percentage tends to be 100% or higher, often with rates as high as 200% or 300%.

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Free Spin Bonus

Often, casino sites attach a free spin bonus to the traditional welcome bonus. At other times, these are stand-alone free spin offers or free bonus chips. Players find these less confusing, because you keep the cash from the bonus spins and don't worry as much about match rates.

Reload Bonus

Similar to the welcome bonus, this offer applies to continuing or loyal customers. While the match percentage usually isn't as high as a welcome bonus, it's often redeemable many times over – as much as five times per day in some casinos. This makes it potentially more lucrative.

Slot Of The Month Offers

Many slots casinos feature their newest slot games or most popular online slots with a "Slot of the Month" offer. This either provides double or triple the comp points from playing the slot or a certain number of free spins on the slots game.

Match Bonus

A catch-all term that might apply to welcome bonuses, reload bonuses or weekly bonuses. Essentially, it matches the size of the deposit you make. Remember that match bonuses have a wagering requirement or rollover before you can withdraw your winnings.

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