How to Play Online Slots – A Beginners Guide

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Online slots are some of the simplest and most entertaining casino games you can play. They can seem confusing at first, but once you understand the core concepts, you will find yourself enjoying your time and winning!

Online slots often come with a bonus, have many features, and you don’t have to spend a small fortune as you would at a Las Vegas casino for example. 

Today, we will take a look at how to play online slots, pick the best games, and find the ones you specifically like. We will take a look at the symbols, features and betting limits and explain what a return-to-player rate is and how you can benefit from it.

Online Slots: What Symbols Are There? 

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As mentioned, online slots are very easy to play. Yet, it helps to be familiar with all the neat little details, such as the value of symbols for one. There are two, let’s say three, groups of online slot symbols:

  • Low-paying symbols
  • High-paying symbols
  • Special symbols

The lowbie symbols are usually depicted as 10, J, Q, K, and an Ace. The high-paying ones are always unique to each slot and they match the theme of the game in most cases. As to the special ones, there are quite a few of those but two that are always there are Wild and Scatter.

The Scatter Symbol usually triggers free spins or lets you access some secreted level. The Wild Symbol will replace any symbol on the reels and help you finish combinations missing a symbol or two.

There are also the “bonus symbols,” that are unique to each title and introduced at the discretion of the online slot developer. Of course, there are some variations we can’t encompass in one article.

For example, there are variations of the Wild Symbol, such as Sticky Wilds and Expanding Wilds. There are also some other features, such as Swirly Spins and Cascading Reels, or Cluster Pays.

Don’t worry about these, though. They are all very easy to understand and make perfect sense over time.

How to Start Playing Online Slots?

You can either experience playing slots for real money or in a demo version, as most games have this fun play option these days. To start playing, you need a bit of money, and we say a bit because most betting limits begin at $0.10. 

Once you have adjusted your bet size – some slots allow you to bet up to $120 per single spin, mind – it’s time to press the play button. There is nothing more to an online slot, to be honest.

Some slots have bonus levels. Other ask you to “gamble” your winnings for a chance to double them, but generally – spinning is all that you do. Well, that and adjusting the size of your bet.

For those of you who don’t want to press 100 spins in a row, there is a very handy feature – the AutoPlay feature which allows you to set a pre-determined number of free spins and then kick back and watch the computer do the trick for you.

Online Slots and Theoretical Return: Does It Matter?

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There are a few myths you are bound to run into over your gaming sessions. For example, some players believe that they must stick to a certain bet-size or a particular title, or if they play longer, they have a better chance of winning.

None of this is true. Slots boil to one thing only – sheer luck. This being said, there is, of course, a reason why better return-to-player (RTP) rate means a better chance of winning – or at least minimize potential losses.

However, as long as you understand that everything boils down to luck, you won’t fall victim to what is gambling parlance is called “the gambler’s fallacy.” We still advise you to pick games with better RTP, but also, games that offer a better hit rate.

Some online slots might take too long to land a win. They would require a bigger bankroll, too. If you are a rookie, a game with low variance, good hit ratio, and decent RTP is what you should look for.

What is a good RTP you ask? Anything above 96.00% these day passes as a great slot title to try, for sure.

Slot Bonuses: Do You Need Them?

It never hurts to have access to slot bonuses. They come in many forms. You can benefit from a welcome bonus or play with free spins. 

There are free money and no-deposit bonuses. The fact of the matter is the majority of online casinos out there will want to give you some form of bonus to try playing slots with.

Not all bonuses are worth your while, of course. Some will come with too steep wagering requirements, making it unnecessarily pesky to actually fulfil the T&C’s.

However, most free spins bonuses are totally worth it, and you can opt into any promo that offers purely free spins. 

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