Slot machines, like roulette and craps, are a game of chance – if Lady Luck has the hots for your neighbor, it might be pennies you’re going home with rather than the jackpot – but all slots aren’t created equal; choosing the right game for your tastes and budget can improve your chances of winning at the online casino. So, while there are no highfalutin books or websites promising overnight success, you’re far from helpless against the computer.
Regular vs. Progressive
One of the most poorly understood aspects of playing slots is the different types of games available to play; should you stick to regular slots or go for progressive slots? The only real difference between the two is how their jackpots are created: the former has a jackpot that never changes while progressive slots offer a larger prize with each successive bet made, one which may incorporate wagers from multiple casinos at the same time.
Regular slots tend to be cheaper than their progressive variants with a larger range of different games on offer; they’re also simpler as far as winning prizes is concerned. Progressive slots can be won by matching up so many symbols, at random, or by getting lucky in a bonus round. It’s good practice to alternate between the two – tackle the progressive games when a multi-million dollar jackpot is at stake but spend the lion’s share of your budget on the regular reels.
Seek out Bonuses
There are plenty of reputable casinos brands with real money promotions out there, but it can be a chore wading through them all so it’s always worth browsing a review site first. Welcome and deposit bonuses can be nice but there’s not much of an incentive to keep playing if the user never hears from the casino again. Aim to find a brand that offers free spins, competitions, and other perks, and spread the bonuses out over a lifetime of play.
Begin your slots journey by finding a game that offers “wild” symbols, a type of reel decal that takes the place of any other picture for the purposes of matching up a win. Wilds come in several variants (“frozen”, which are always on the board, the self-explanatory “random” wilds, and “walking” wilds that move from reel-to-reel) but they all serve the same role, as a means of improving players’ chances of winning.
Multipliers and Minigames
Multipliers increase your winnings by a given amount – that bit is easy to understand. What’s slightly more confusing is how and where they appear, as “scatter” symbols, as part of bonus rounds, and in minigames. Scatter symbols can be used to form winning lines regardless of where they appear on the board, but remember that their presence comes at the cost of regular symbols; they can reduce a player’s chance of winning if they’re overdone.
Minigames are a distinctly modern facet of the slot machine, usually taking the guise of a separate screen that offers instant win mechanics or the option to pick up multipliers. Minigames usually require no more effort from the player than a mouse click (they’re still subject to the whims of a random number generator rather than paying out according to player skill) but they can be a novel distraction from the standard experience. There is also an emerging trend for skill-based minigames in slots, which will require you to hone your platformer or puzzle game-type skills.
Finally, most slot machines have their payout chance (usually between 80-90%) displayed publicly. Games with smaller jackpots pay out more frequently, and that chance increases with greater denominations. For example, unless you hit the jackpot, a machine that accepts quarters won’t be as rewarding as a dollar one. It’s also worth hunting down spinning or mechanical slots as opposed to video ones, as these have fewer symbols (22 to 32).
So, what’s the best game to go for? If you’re eager to get started right away, try Avalon II at Royal Vegas. With many of the more valuable features listed above, as well as multiplayer functionality, it’s a good place to start. But if you’d really like to find the slots game that suits you, take a look at a reputable review site, to learn not only about the slots on offer but special promotions and sign-up bonuses across the internet’s best casinos.