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The best online slots have provided hours of great reel-spinning entertainment to players all around the world and made more than a few lucky gamers richer than their wildest dreams!
The games listed below are our choices for the best slot games. Slots are generally divided into classic 3 reel games and 5 reel video slots , with the latter coming in a huge variety of themes.
Picking slots by theme is probably the easiest way to find your perfect match. Do you like nature or boast some Irish heritage?
They can be offered for a full category of games such as blackjack or video poker or for an individual game within those categories.
This type of bonus usually consists of a small amount of free play designed to make the casino stand out in a popular game category or to drum up interest in a category that is underplayed.
Video slots often have in-game bonuses that have the theme of another type of game. A popular example would be the Wheel of Fortune slots, in which you spin the titular wheel during the bonus round.
Board game themes are commonly seen, and with the rise of skill-based play expect to see arcade or video game bonus round types more frequently.
If players put a substantial amount of money through the casino tens of thousands of dollars per month , they may be awarded these bonuses very quickly, sometimes even before their first full month of play is up.
As with the loyalty bonuses, these are often not listed publicly, but you may be able to get information on them before signing up by contacting the casino directly and indicating the amounts you intend to deposit and play.
An in-game bonus is one that appears only while you are playing a specific slot machine or online slots game. These are most commonly found in slots, but certain video poker variants will offer an extra prize.
During a leaderboard tournament, you see a list of all the other players currently playing that particular game, along with how many points they've scored during the tournament window.
The player with the most points at the end of the tournament wins a jackpot of cash or free play. A loyalty bonus is usually offered as part of the casino's loyalty program or player's club.
As the name indicates, you will usually have to be an active member of the casino for some time to be given this bonus. Since these are given to established players, they are usually easier to cash out than the other bonus types.
Online casinos do not always advertise that they have loyalty bonuses available, so players may not find out about them until they are surprised with one.
A type of timed bonus granted in the middle of the week, which is generally a slower period for casinos due to players being at work.
It's usually a percentage bonus and may be among the most generous that the casino offers though also potentially only available to higher rollers.
Some players may get a repeating monthly bonus of a fixed amount from their casino. This usually does not happen until sometime after the month of initial sign-up.
No deposit bonus slots technically have no hidden restrictions; the casino gives you some amount of either free play or free spins simply by opening an account.
But if a player wins while playing with house money free play or free spins , there may be some real money wagering requirements before that player is allowed to withdraw those winnings.
Should the player fail to meet those wagering requirements within a certain amount of time, the winnings are forfeited.
Still, no deposit bonuses are more favorable to slot players than they are with other games. It's important to note that some sort of deposit may be required for this type of bonus, but the player may still receive it even if they deposit only the smallest possible amount to activate their account.
Since a deposit isn't required, this is usually a fixed amount of free spins or rolls rather than a sum of free play. As the name suggests, online slot bonuses are rewards offered to online slots players.
An opt-in bonus requires the player to take some proactive action in their account for it to activate. This may involve following a link in an email offer or responding to a pop-up while playing.
A pay line is any line in a slot that gives you money if you get winning symbols across it. Casinos sometimes offer a bonus for using a specific payment method to fund your account.
This is often due to a direct relationship between the casino and one particular e-wallet service. A type of deposit bonus that offers a specific percentage of the deposit amount in free play.
Some slot machine bonus rounds will give you the option of choosing certain tiles or doors, but in some cases, the bonus you're going to get is already predetermined and your choices don't actually matter.
The only way to tell for sure is if the regulations governing that particular casino require that the results not be predetermined.
Progressive jackpots get larger as players make wagers. A portion of each wager is contributed to the jackpot until someone hits it, at which time it reverts to a smaller amount and begins to build up again.
A progressive may be tied to one specific game, or a number of different games may feed into it. Some casinos will pay out a bonus when you refer a friend.
You'll get a unique referral ID that is put into a link for your friends to follow to the sign-up page. You can either send them the link manually, or some casinos will generate a referral email to them for you.
These rarely pay out simply for getting the friend to open an account, however; they'll most likely have to meet certain deposit and play thresholds before you get a referral bonus.
This is a type of bonus that applies only after your initial deposit. These can be either an ongoing permanent bonus or a temporary promotion, and the amount may increase with your status in the casino's loyalty program.
With reload bonus rewards, the biggest bonus is the initial deposit, but a lot of casinos give smaller bonus every time more funds are deposited.
Since the amount is smaller, wagering requirements to withdraw winnings from this free play are smaller.
Some casinos don't set any minimum requirements at all. A special promotion is usually a one-time offer.
The casino may offer this to all players during a limited window, or may only make the offer by email to members of their loyalty program.
It's the basic principle by which free play works. A timed bonus will allow the player to basically have unlimited free play for a fixed amount of time, often one hour or so.
Various limitations are placed on these promotions to keep every player who comes along from cleaning out the house. They will often require that some amount of the free wagers be covered by any winnings, for example, or they may not allow you to withdraw winnings until you have made additional wagers after the timed promotion period is up.
This is a bonus given as a welcoming gift when a player signs up. It may be contingent upon making an initial deposit of a certain amount.
These bonuses also usually have a limited shelf life, often they must be used within 24 hours or they will be forfeited. The most common bonus of this nature is an amount of free play matched to the deposit amount.
An alternate term for a welcome bonus. As it's very rare to see a welcome bonus presented in actual cash, it's also relatively rare to see casinos use this term.
If they do, expect they are referring to free play rather than actual free money deposited to your account. Welcome bonuses are the most common incentive.
The player receives a reward for the first deposit made to an account. It's usually an amount of free play matched to the deposit, with a multiplier of up to 4x attached.
But welcome bonuses usually entail significant wagering requirements before any winnings can be recouped. A happy player is a lucky player, so always be sure to have fun while playing or else it will feel like if you are working instead of playing.
Beginners or Low Bankrolls Usually when players are just starting out, they will have a relatively low bankroll or do not know much about playing slots in general.
So, it is a good idea for them to start with the basics. They should aim for 3-reel slot machines, which are simpler and still plenty of fun.
This way they can get in some practice while they make some money; there are also free to play online slot games that they can play as well.
When starting out, do not go for the big bets, look for games that have lower denominations, as they will still be able to get big prizes and limit the amount they could lose.
Progressive Slot Machines For the players that decide to play on these one-armed bandits, which have the progressive jackpot, and are wanting to win the big jackpot, they may have to bet more in order to achieve this.
Players have to bet on all of the lines, at the maximum denomination in order to win the jackpot. This could get very expensive, very quick, so players that want to win big jackpots could also look for smaller denomination slots and still be able to win big prizes.
Using Information The one aspect that makes playing on slots so great is the fact that they are straightforward and have all of the pertinent information readily available for everyone.
Players need to use this information in order to improve their chances of winning, as well as being informed of which combinations and bets will win them the big prizes and jackpots.
Payout Table Paytable The paytable is where the player will get most of the information. They will be able to find the explanations of the different symbols, as well as the special symbols.
Any important features will also be explained here. Slot players should look for machines that have higher or better payouts for the simplest or easiest combinations.
This will give them a better chance at getting those winning combinations and increase their bankroll. Payout Percentages Players that really want to win need to put in time and effort.
They will have to research which slotmachines have the better or best payout percentages. These percentages determine how much the system pays out to a player and how often.
Searching and finding slots with high payout percentages could take time, but in the end it will be worth it. Our final Slots Tip and conclusion is that players should take all of these individual tips into consideration, as they could very well be the difference between winning big or losing big.
Do not trust anyone that says they have a one hundred percent accurate system for winning, as these are scams. All electronic casino games depend entirely on random numbers, so it is impossible to predict any outcome, unless the game has been tampered with.
Always check on the validity and reputations of the online casino as well, as this plays an important role in trust, since they will be handling your money.
By definition these games are of chance—where you can only win by the luck of the spin. Yes, there are sites that will talk about software programmes that break the random number generator and allow a win, but this is cheating and worse you can be banned from any casino for the rest of your life if you are caught.
Casinos are designed to catch this software and monitor for players who are constantly winning, even small wins.
It is all a part of the fair and safe rules that make a casino undergo RNG testing from at least one independent source. Since you cannot devise a strategy to win, it is far better to understand how the machines work and look for specific ratings machines are given.
Return to play, hit frequency, variance, game rules and bonuses are important to playing comfortably. Return to Player Percentage - Slots RTP Return to Player or RTP is a percentage assigned to slots, usually by the software developer and sometimes by the reviewer who has tried the game to times.
Think of the RTP as the percentage of wagered money that is paid back to players over time. The idea is for players to get back most of what has been put into the game since it is a game of chance.
No one would want to play the game that takes all the money of the player. The percentage does not have to mean you get the return of funds, just that the casino game averages a Return to Player of a certain percentage to keep within the rules of fair play.
The percentage also has to take into account the jackpot wins that a player may win versus each player getting a small return of their stake. It is how often a winning combination will appear on the reels.
As the best playing tips go, you want to know if the game provides a high RTP and hit frequency. Obviously, the higher the RTP the more the game returns on average to players over the long term.
The higher the hit frequency the more often at least one winning combination will appear on the reels. Game Variance and Volatility Variance and volatility are two other ratings these games are given.
However, variance and volatility mean the same thing. Consider volatility to be equal to risk. A high volatility is going to mean a high risk and vice versus for low variance.
But what is better to play low, medium, or high volatility? Low variance slots provide entertainment, work with a small bankroll, and the game will be quick.
High variance means you are chasing big wins, with low RTP and hit frequency, and you won't mind if you have to sit through a few bankrolls and several hours to have that machine payout.
Certainly high variance is more exciting, but you also have more to lose. The good news is the average game is a medium variance that provides a happy middle to winning and game excitement.
Slots Game Rules and Bonuses Game rules and bonuses are part of best playing tips for slot-machines because this is where the excitement and understanding of machines come into play.
If you seek a high level of entertainment in your game play, you want to look for games that have a bonus round and often one that provides more than your standard free spin bonus option.
Excitement is found in the multipliers, increasing levels of free spins; pick and choose games and wheel of fortune bonuses.
You also have some bonus games that are quests where you have to rescue the damsel in distress, get through alien hives or journey on the path of the Lord of the Rings map.
As you look for excitement, do not forget to assess the RTP, hit frequency, and variance of the slot before devoting hours to the game. Best Online Slots What do you think the best online slots are?
Have you ever played one or are you new to the industry? Most of us have played at least one gaming machine in our lifetime and it was probably a slot.
Yet, did you understand the game? Did you enjoy it or find it lacking? Did you read reviews first or just with both feet and start playing the first game that looked interesting?
Most players look at the themes before they begin to play. They choose what they like, but this can be a letdown.
There is a better way to determine the best online slots than to go with the first themed machine you like.
Understand that what is best for someone may not be best for you. If you asked 10 people what the best machines are you would probably get 10 different answers.
Rather than relying on others, take a look at what makes a great machine. Game Theme Theme is going to get you started, but it should not be your main focus.
Yes, it can be great to play a machine that is all about your favorite things such as nature, Sci-Fi, movies, or animals.
For example Big Chef is all about kitchens, cooking, chefs, and waiters. It might interest you, but you will find out the bonus is accessed with two scatters and both lead to free spin rounds.
If you are not excited about free spin bonuses and want a more interactive game you might choose Lord of the Rings, even if you do not like the movies or books because it has a quest bonus feature.
The point is, while theme is nice you want to look at more features and specifications of the slot machine. Bonus Rounds Bonus rounds run the gamut of free spins to quest games.
Some will have a map that you follow around picking up prizes. There are other slots with Wheel of Fortune. When spun the wheel provides prizes like multipliers, free spins, instant cash winnings, and more.
Other games have quests that reach levels like Aliens where you go up three levels killing off the queen Alien and destroying the hive. Look for the bonus rounds and how they are accessed before deciding, which are the best online slots because some bonuses are very difficult.
You may need a symbol that appears on reel one and another symbol that appears on reel five. Getting those two symbols to line up is harder than needing three of one type of symbol.
Also look to see if the bonus can be retriggered while in a bonus round. For example a quest bonus that has several levels can keep you going up levels with the right conditions or the round can end before you access the next level.
Most bonus rounds, unless they are free spins, cannot be retriggered from the bonus round. Casinos like to keep the house edge, which means a low hit frequency.
Hit frequency determines the number of times a winning payline will be revealed. The lower the hit frequency, the lower potential chance of winning with any active payline is going to be.
RTP or return to player is a percentage the software developer comes up with for their slots. Some developers stay in the 92 percentile like Playtech.
It is an average so not all players see the RTP. It is based on calculating the amount of wins, including jackpots. Slot Jackpot Choices Jackpots are another way to choose between the best games available online.
Certainly progressive slots machines are desirable; however, what does it take to win it? Is it random or does it require certain symbols?
Has the progressive jackpot been won before and if so how frequently? Some machines have two standard jackpots and other games have 4 levels of progressive jackpots.
Learn how they are won, how frequently the machine has paid out, and then choose the machine you want to play. Online Slot Machines Online slot machines are available in two forms: Players can enjoy over 1, different online casino slots games plus new game themes and versions that come out nearly every month.
There are more than a dozen software developers that create slots based on different themes; where you can download the software or use the instant play feature.
When you combine all of this together the world of online gambling just on the "One Armed Bandits" is exciting and full of entertainment.
For players the decision to play online games is often based on winning money, but what if you could play for fun and without risk to learn about the machines.
This is what free play is all about. All a player has to do is do a search in any search engine for free games. Any of the top machines available for demo or free play will come up.
It is important to know that demo is going to have a limited amount of credits, designed to entice you to play the game for real money. Free play also has limited credits, but usually it is 10, versus demo play that is limited to 1, free coins.
The great thing about free play is being able to learn the game. You can do your own review of the game to decide if you are winning enough to warrant playing it with real money.
Game play in free and real money play is the same. The return to player and hit frequency will not vary just because you are playing without true funds.
As stated, the software developer and casinos want you to play the game, so they are not going to change the rules just to entice you into a casino.
It would not behoove them to do so, and in the end it would cause you to write bad reviews. If you are ever unsure of a slot machine make sure you try free play first.
You have time to examine the paytable, test the RTP, and hit frequency. You also get to see how the paylines line up and payout.
Part of free play options is seeing how easy or difficult it is to access the various bonus features that are part of these games.
Real Money Play with Online Slot Games Real money play as explained is no different in terms of the game rules, information, and paytables.
However, it is where the most excitement can be found. Now you are in a mode that is actually paying out with money you get to keep every time you have a winning payline.
This is where it matters that you determine how much you want to spend on each spin and for how long you are going to play whether you win or lose.
There are strategies for playing, so that you do not spend your entire bankroll all at once. First consider the percentage of bankroll you are willing to lose at any game including online games.
If you have 20 put into the game and it has 99 paylines, obviously you won't be spending the maximum bet, as you don't have it to spend.
If you are okay losing the 20 you put in than you may play until it is gone. Theoretically you are earning money with wins as you play, thus you hope your small stake is growing.
Yet, you have to determine if you are willing to spend the amount you win or if you want to continue with your stake. It is very easy to go through 1, coins or credits in an hour by continually hitting the bet max or auto play buttons.
As long as you remember it is real money you are playing with, set up certain stops to make certain you do not spend more than you want to lose, and enjoy the game you can have fun.
All you have to do is choose from the new games that come out onto the market as well as the old favorites. Remember that software developers tend to come out with a new game every month to three months.
One developer might have a release in April and not another for three months, but another developer released in May, and yet another in June.
The market is flooded with new slot games of various varieties to keep you playing and entertained. You can always search by developer and then find a game and casino or go to your favorite casino and start playing.
Online Slots Have you ever wondered what makes online slots so different from one software developer to another?
If you have spent any time looking at these machines you may see hundreds of themes available, but not see the nuances with each game. To learn about online slots and what sets them apart, making them so popular you have to delve into the details.
Software Developers Over a dozen software developers provide "one armed bandits" online. A few of the companies include: Each of these software companies has different agreements with casinos.
In fact, some power casinos, while others actually own a piece of the online casinos. Many of these casinos also have partnerships with other companies like Marvel, DC Comics, and Hollywood film studios such as Universal.
These partnerships are how the companies are able to bring some of your favorite films and comics to life on the reels. Theme The theme of a slot machine is definitely a major part of the offering.
Others are simple, based on fruit and playing cards like the classic machines. Types of Online Slots The type of slot is defined by a couple of things: A classic game goes back in history to the first of its type called the Liberty Bell.
The game had 3 reels and 1 payline. It took a couple of bet sizes and had mostly fruit and playing cards on the reels, other than the liberty bell.
Since the original game, developers have created the "video" slot, which changed the mechanics of the reels to a video program rather than metal reels.
Now games are virtual video slots because they are available online. Games can still fall under subcategories like progressive jackpot, game developer, and payline options.
Progressive jackpots continue to grow as a player tries their luck at winning the big jackpot. A standard jackpot is set at a certain amount and will not change for other games.
Paylines tell you the amount of lines that will form a winning combination. This distinction between the types of games can lead to 1 up to ways to win.
Games used to go up to at most 3 paylines. The standard then became 25 and now there are ways to win with 5 reels. It adds to the excitement and the winnings a player can obtain.
It also means that slots vary based on more than just theme. Bonus Features Bonus and special features are another area where a slot will vary.
Bonus features run from not existing on a machine to being some of the most complex games unlocked with the right combination of three symbols.
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Free spins can be one or over depending on the game. Although, most developers keep the free spins under Some games will require a different opening to the free spins.
A player may need to pick from among treasure boxes, grapes, or other items where the number of free spins are revealed. Animation such as a timer going off might reveal the number of free spins.
It is how the free spins are allocated and the difference in theme that often sets one machine apart from another. If the game has free spins and multipliers, there can also be an added part to revealing the multipliers the player will earn on wins.
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Slots give the house an advantage over the player, and that's true of both online games and machines in traditional casinos. However, bonus slots games give the player a temporary advantage if they are used strategically.
There's a huge variety of different types of slot bonuses, and it's important to understand how bonus slots work to know exactly how much of an advantage they're giving you.
This article will teach you how all the different types of slot bonus codes work, how to recognize ripoffs and scams , what the bonus symbols on each slot machine mean, and how to calculate the amount of real money you'll have to wager before your bonus winnings become available.
There are a few different forms a slot bonus can come in. You may also get an in-game slot bonus that offers you a reward like free spins, rolls or rounds that can be cashed in on certain machines.
For players looking to redeem bonus slot online, you'll generally see the biggest bonus as a welcome gift, and then smaller periodic bonuses over time.
The country you are logging in from can also influence what bonuses you are eligible for. There are also a few different ways to find the best bonus slots from different casino operators.
One type of bonus slot reward is a one-time gift just for signing up, though expect terms and conditions to be attached. Some online casinos will also give them out as part of periodic promotions, in some cases on a weekly or even daily basis as part of their slots bonus loyalty program.
They also sometimes send offers by email unexpectedly, and if the casino has a referral program you may get in-game slot bonuses for signing other people up.
The wagering or playthrough requirement is the amount of real money that has to be wagered before bonus slot winnings can be withdrawn.
Each eligible game type will contribute a certain percentage of each wager to that requirement: Do keep in mind that a bonus may be tied only to certain games, however.
While a slot bonus is active, you may not be allowed to make cash withdrawals without forfeiting the remainder of the bonus amount.
These multiply the total amount won during the bonus slot rounds. In some games, this multiplier will increase with each winning spin and decrease with each losing spin.
Base game multipliers may also only appear temporarily as part of a slot bonus round. These slot bonus symbols may appear as part of the reels and will magnify any winning pay line that they happen to fall into.
This depends on whether or not there is a wagering requirement attached to the winnings. The no deposit bonus slot spins are free to use, but you might have to take any winnings from them and put them back in play a certain amount of times before you can actually withdraw any of that money.
You can find this information on the casino's bonus policy page or by contacting their customer support division. This depends on what your play style and favorite types of slots are.
For example, do you look for the biggest and most exciting jackpots? Then you'll want to look for the games with the largest progressives. This will change over time as the jackpots grow and pay out, but games that commonly have progressives in the millions of dollars include Wheel of Fortune, Shopping Spree, Jackpot Pinatas and Aztec's Millions.
As far as welcome and ongoing bonus offers go, casinos change these up fairly often, so it's important to shop around regularly. Of course, always check the casino's bonus policy to be sure.
Video slots very frequently have a bonus round that is triggered by getting a certain amount of bonus symbols. These rounds either let you have some free bonus slot spins, or let you play a mini-game.
Either way, you don't have to wager money during the bonus rounds, but you get to keep any winnings from them.
If a game has a bonus round, it's important to get to it as often as possible, because doing so dramatically increases your expected return.
Bonus funds are basically like playing with house money. You make wagers as you would normally, but instead of putting your own money on the line you draw on the bonus amount.
These bonus slot game offers aren't always entirely free money, however. They often have a wagering requirement attached to them, which means you'll either need to wager the amount of the bonus or any winnings from your free spins a number of times before you can withdraw cash.
It depends on the game. Some machines do have predetermined bonuses — for example, if you're playing a bonus game that allows you to choose from a few options, the prize you're going to get has actually already been decided before you choose and it doesn't actually matter which one you pick.
Rules about this vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Most slot machine manufacturers don't reveal whether or not their bonuses are predetermined.
You can check to see which jurisdiction oversees the casino and check up on their rules about bonus slots online for the best possible information.
Though it sounds like something you'd hear at an online casino, this is actually a term used for a common type of bonus in professional sports contracts and has nothing to do with gambling.
If you see it pop up in search results for gambling sites, those sites are likely a scam attempt created by people who don't speak English very well and don't know this isn't a casino term.
Needless to say, clicking on links containing this term will probably put your computer at risk. Slot machines can have a couple of different types of bonuses.
Many have a progressive jackpot, which grows over time as other players make wagers and is hit by getting a certain combination of symbols.
These can be as simple as a series of free spins, to as complex as playing an entirely new game. Any site using it to refer to casino gaming probably does not know what they are talking about and may put your computer at risk.
An additional deposit slots bonus is usually a fixed amount of cash or free play given to the player each month, calculated by the amount the player deposited either during that month or the previous month.
If free play is given, the player may get a match bonus equivalent to their total deposit. Bonus round prizes included free spins, cash, extended play time and a chance to win a progressive jackpot.
The pay table of a bonus round usually differs from that of the main game; players can expect to collect more small wins in these rounds, but the jackpots and larger win amount present in the regular game may not be available.
An alternate term for free spins. Spins earned through play or as part of an ongoing promotion are more likely to be presented this way.
If a casino offers a cash back bonus, it means you'll get real money back. These bonuses are most commonly part of a loyalty program or only offered to high rollers.
A cash drop is a periodic bonus given to a random player who is logged in at the time. They may consist of actual money, free play or free spin vouchers.
These bonuses are collected once during their time period. They will usually be percentage bonuses of any deposits made during that time and will be reserved for players with a significant betting history.
Additional free spins may be provided to a player in return for making deposits of a certain amount. As with most other types of bonuses, expect them to potentially expire within 24 hours of the deposit and to be available for no more than 30 days at the absolute maximum.
Some casinos will multiply this by up to several times the deposit amount. However, a condition is almost always attached that requires players to play through some multiplier of the bonus amount before any winnings can be withdrawn.
So, for example, the player might have to wager the amount of the bonus two or three times over before they are eligible to withdraw winnings.
Online casinos usually offer a version for desktop computers and a version for mobile devices. It's effectively the same thing as a match bonus, though be aware that nearly all casinos will limit the eligible amount to no more than a few hundred dollars.
Casinos may periodically send offers by email to their current players. To receive email offers, players are required to open an account with the casino but to get special rewards and benefits, players must remain active and play through a significant amount of money.
Exclusive offers are those that are only available through a particular referring site. Casinos will sometimes partner with one particular casino review or gambling information site for an exclusive sign-up bonus offer that is only available by following a link or using a special code from that site.
After a gambler exhausts his or her slot bonus, that particular promotional coupon can never be used again. This is in contrast to progressive jackpots, which will increase as players make wagers and then reset to a smaller amount when someone hits it.
Free bets allow the player to make a wager without putting any money on the line. A one-off free bet may have no strings attached to it, but a series of free bets will most likely have the same limitations that sign-up bonuses usually do.
The casino gives you money that can't be withdrawn until the full amount has been wagered at least once; once you've wagered it enough times to meet the requirements, you're then free to convert any winnings from it into actual cash.
The match and percentage bonuses almost always offer free play as the matching funds. A type of free bet that is specific to dice games, such as craps.
Freeroll tournaments are becoming increasingly popular among poker sites in the U. Periodically, the player receives free spins and very often they have no wagering requirements.
As with live casinos, patronage determines the magnitude of these sporadic offers. While all of these bonus types can be powerful tools, it's imperative to check the terms and conditions at each casino.
The house is free to set limitations on all bonus offers. So the prudent player researches and finds a game that fits a budget and individual play pattern.
Though it costs you nothing, you get to keep the winnings if it hits. A free trial of an online casino allows you to play at no risk.
However, some might give you a no-deposit bonus such as a handful of free spins, which lets you actually make a real wager without having to put your own money on the line.
As the name indicates, these bonuses are granted for playing particular games. They can be offered for a full category of games such as blackjack or video poker or for an individual game within those categories.
This type of bonus usually consists of a small amount of free play designed to make the casino stand out in a popular game category or to drum up interest in a category that is underplayed.
Video slots often have in-game bonuses that have the theme of another type of game. A popular example would be the Wheel of Fortune slots, in which you spin the titular wheel during the bonus round.
Board game themes are commonly seen, and with the rise of skill-based play expect to see arcade or video game bonus round types more frequently.
Modern computer technology has resulted in variations on the slot machine concept. Slot machines are the most popular gambling method in casinos and constitute about 70 percent of the average US casino's income.
The "slot machine" term derives from the slots on the machine for inserting and retrieving coins. It contained five drums holding a total of 50 card faces and was based on poker.
This machine proved extremely popular and soon many bars in the city had one or more of the machines.
Players would insert a nickel and pull a lever, which would spin the drums and the cards they held, the player hoping for a good poker hand.
There was no direct payout mechanism, so a pair of kings might get the player a free beer, whereas a royal flush could pay out cigars or drinks, the prizes wholly dependent on what was on offer at the local establishment.
To make the odds better for the house, two cards were typically removed from the deck: The drums could also be rearranged to further reduce a player's chance of winning.
Due to the vast number of possible wins with the original poker card-based game, it proved practically impossible to come up with a way to make a machine capable of making an automatic payout for all possible winning combinations.
The bell gave the machine its name. By replacing ten cards with five symbols and using three reels instead of five drums, the complexity of reading a win was considerably reduced, allowing Fey to devise an effective automatic payout mechanism.
Liberty Bell was a huge success and spawned a thriving mechanical gaming device industry. Even when the use of these gambling devices was banned in his home state after a few years, Fey still couldn't keep up with demand for the game elsewhere.
The Liberty Bell machine was so popular that it was copied by many slot machine manufacturers. Thus in , manufacturer Herbert Mills from Chicago produced a slot machine called the Operator Bell.
By lots of "bell" machines were installed in most cigar stores, saloons, bowling alleys, brothels and barber shops. Other early machines, such as the trade stimulator , gave out winnings in the form of fruit-flavoured chewing gums with pictures of the flavours as symbols on the reels.
The popular cherry and melon symbols derive from this machine. The payment of food prizes was a commonly used technique to avoid laws against gambling in a number of states, and for this reason a number of gumball and other vending machines were regarded with mistrust by the courts.
The two Iowa cases of State v. Ellis  and State v. Striggles  are both used in classes on criminal law to illustrate the concept of reliance upon authority as it relates to the axiomatic ignorantia juris non excusat "ignorance of the law is no excuse".
Despite the fact that the result of the next use would be displayed on the machine, the courts ruled that "[t]he machine appealed to the player's propensity to gamble, and that is [a] vice.
In , Bally developed the first fully electromechanical slot machine, called Money Honey although earlier machines such as the High Hand draw poker machine by Bally had exhibited the basics of electromechanical construction as early as The electromechanical approach of the s allowed Money Honey to be the first slot machine with a bottomless hopper and automatic payout of up to coins without the help of an attendant.
The prototype was mounted in a full size show-ready slot machine cabinet. The first production units went on trial in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
After some "cheat-proofing" modifications, the video slot machine was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission and eventually found popularity in the Las Vegas Strip and downtown casinos.
A person playing a slot machine can insert cash, or in ticket-in, ticket-out machines, a paper ticket with a barcode , into a designated slot on the machine.
The machine is then activated by means of a lever or button, or on newer machines, by pressing a touchscreen on its face. The game itself may or may not involve skill on the player's part—or it may create the illusion of involving skill while only being a game of chance.
The object of the game is to win money from the machine. The game usually involves matching symbols, either on mechanical reels that spin and stop to reveal one or several symbols, or on simulated reels shown on a video screen.
The symbols are usually brightly colored and easily recognizable, such as images of fruits, numerals or letters, and simple shapes such as bells, diamonds, or hearts; newer video slot machines use animated cartoon characters and images of popular actors or singers in the case of themed slot machines, as described below.
Most games have a variety of winning combination of symbols, often posted on the face of the machine or available on a different screen, accessible by touching a button on the main touchscreen, on video slot machines.
If a player matches a combination according to the rules of the game, the slot machine credits the player cash or some other sort of value, such as free spins or extra games.
Free spins are a common feature in modern slot games allowing the user to spin the machine's reels without charge. Many online casinos advertise their free spin rewards and emphasize this feature.
There are many different kinds of gambling slot machines in places such as Las Vegas as well as casinos modeled after those in Las Vegas, including those operated on Native American reservations.
Some of the most popular are the video poker machines, in which players hope to obtain a set of symbols corresponding to a winning poker hand.
Depending on the machine, players can play one, , or more hands at one time. Another popular type of machine internationally are video bingo machines, where a player can play Latin style bingo or American style bingo.
Depending on the machine players can play one bingo card or more at a time. Multi-line slot machines have become more popular since the s. These machines have more than one payline, meaning that visible symbols that are not aligned on the main horizontal may be considered for winning combinations.
Traditional 3 reel slot machines commonly have three or five paylines, while video slot machines may have 9, 15, 25, or as many as different paylines.
Most video slot machines have a themed game, some of which feature graphics and music based on popular entertainers, motion pictures or TV programs The Addams Family , I Dream of Jeannie , Happy Days , etc.
Most accept variable numbers of credits to play, with 1 to 15 credits per line being typical. The higher the amount bet, the higher the payout will be if the player wins.
There are also standard 3 to 5 reel electromechanical machines, of various types. These are the typical "one-armed bandits".
Since about there have been hybrid machines introduced, which combine elements of both video machines and traditional electromechanical machines.
One of the main differences between video slot machines and reel machines is in the way payouts are calculated. With reel machines, the only way to win the maximum jackpot is to play the maximum number of coins usually 3, sometimes 4, or even 5 coins per spin.
With video machines, the fixed payout values are multiplied by the number of coins per line that is being bet.
As an example, on the Wheel of Fortune reel machine based on the popular Wheel of Fortune TV game show created by Merv Griffin , the player must play 3 coins per spin to be eligible to trigger the bonus round and possibly win the jackpot.
On the Wheel of Fortune video machine, the chances of triggering the bonus round or winning the maximum jackpot are exactly the same regardless of the number of coins bet on each line.
Large denomination slot machines are usually cordoned off from the rest of the casino into a "High Limit" area, often with a separate team of attendants to cater to the needs of those who play there.
In the last few years, new multi-denomination slot machines have been introduced. With these slot machines, the player can choose the value of each credit wagered the stake from a list of options.
Based upon the player's selection, the slot machine automatically calculates the number of credits the player receives in exchange for the cash inserted and displays the number of available credits to the player.
Bonus is a special feature of the particular game theme, which is activated when certain symbols appear in a winning combination. Bonuses vary depending upon the game.
In other bonus rounds, the player is presented with several items on a screen from which to choose. As the player chooses items, a number of credits is revealed and awarded.
Some bonuses use a mechanical device, such as a spinning wheel, that works in conjunction with the bonus to display the amount won. Some machines feature two or more of these bonus styles as part of the same game.
Candle is a light on top of the slot machine. It flashes to alert the operator that change is needed, hand pay is requested or a potential problem with the machine.
It can be lit by the player by pressing the "service" or "help" button. Coin hopper is a container where the coins that are immediately available for payouts are held.
When a certain preset coin capacity is reached, a coin diverter automatically redirects, or "drops," excess coins into a "drop bucket" or "drop box.
Credit meter is a visual LED display of the amount of money or number of credits on the machine. On video reel machines this is either a simulated LED display, or represented in a different font altogether, based on the design of the game graphics.
Drop bucket or drop box is a container located in a slot machine's base where excess coins are diverted from the hopper. Typically, a drop bucket is used for low denomination slot machines and a drop box is used for high denomination slot machines.
A drop box contains a hinged lid with one or more locks whereas a drop bucket does not contain a lid. The contents of drop buckets and drop boxes are collected and counted by the casino on a scheduled basis.
Free Spin is a term used in slot games and online slot games to specify that the spin will be completed without a charge or on the same wager.
Free spins can get triggered by a number of things, each game uses a different method. Usually, landing a number of special symbols on reels is required to activate the free spins bonus round.
Mostly scatter symbols are preferred for this activation, although wild symbols or a completely different symbol dedicated for this feature can be used too.
In most slot games, landing at least three special symbols on reels is mandatory to trigger the feature. Once triggered, free spins bonus round award a number of spins free of charge to the player.
The number of free spins differ from game to game. If there is the ability to re-trigger free spins during the free spin bonus there is no theoretical limit to the number of free spins obtainable.
The spins are automatically used by the game and the player keeps any profit after the spins are complete.
A single free spin is sometimes called a respin. Hand pay refers to a payout made by an attendant or at an exchange point "cage" , rather than by the slot machine itself.
A hand pay occurs when the amount of the payout exceeds the maximum amount that was preset by the slot machine's operator. Usually, the maximum amount is set at the level where the operator must begin to deduct taxes.
A hand pay could also be necessary as a result of a short pay. Hopper fill slip is a document used to record the replenishment of the coin in the coin hopper after it becomes depleted as a result of making payouts to players.
The slip indicates the amount of coin placed into the hoppers, as well as the signatures of the employees involved in the transaction, the slot machine number and the location and the date.
MEAL book M achine e ntry a uthorization l og is a log of the employee's entries into the machine. Low Level or Slant Top slot machines include a stool so the player has sitdown access.
Stand Up or Upright slot machines are played while standing. Optimal play is a payback percentage based on a gambler using the optimal strategy in a skill-based slot machine game.
Payline is a line that crosses through one symbol on each reel, along which a winning combination is evaluated. Classic spinning reel machines usually have up to nine paylines, while video slot machines may have as many as one hundred.
Paylines could be of various shapes horizontal, vertical, oblique, triangular, zigzag, etc. Rollup is the process of dramatizing a win by playing sounds while the meters count up to the amount that has been won.
Short pay refers to a partial payout made by a slot machine, which is less than the amount due to the player.
This occurs if the coin hopper has been depleted as a result of making earlier payouts to players.
The remaining amount due to the player is either paid as a hand pay or an attendant will come and refill the machine. Scatter Symbol It is required to place at least two of the same symbols on a pay line to get paid in slot games.
However, scatter symbols work differently and award a prize whether they are placed on a pay line or not. But the player still needs to get at least two of them in modern slot games.
The more, the better. Scatter symbols are usually used to award a number of free spins. The number of free spins differs from game to game; i. They can also award coin prizes, based on their number.
The prizes are usually small, but they are paid in addition to other winnings. The scatter symbol is usually a special symbol, which means the wild symbol cannot replace it, although in some games the wild symbol also substitutes for scatters.
Slot variance is a measure of risk associated with playing a slot machine. A low variance slot machine has regular but smaller wins and a high variance slot machine has fewer but bigger wins.
Taste is a reference to the small amount often paid out to keep a player seated and continuously betting. Only rarely will machines fail to pay out even the minimum placed a bet over the course of several pulls.
Tilt Electromechanical slot machines usually include an electromechanical " tilt switch ", which makes or breaks a circuit if the machine is tilted or otherwise tampered with, and so triggers an alarm.
While modern machines no longer have tilt switches, any kind of technical fault door switch in the wrong state, reel motor failure, out of paper, etc.
Theoretical Hold Worksheet A document provided by the manufacturer for all slot machines, which indicates the theoretical percentage that the slot machine should hold based on the amount paid in.
The worksheet also indicates the reel strip settings, number of coins that may be played, the payout schedule, the number of reels and other information descriptive of the particular type of slot machine.
Weight count is an American term, referring to the dollar amount of coins or tokens removed from a slot machine's drop bucket or drop box and counted by the casino's hard count team through the use of a weigh scale.
Wild Symbol Wild symbols act like joker cards in a slot game. Basically, they substitute for all other symbols in the game, usually except for other special symbols, such as scatter and jackpot.
They can appear on any of the reels. However, this is not mandatory and can be changed from game to game.
In some games, wild symbols can appear only on certain reels. Or, they can appear only during the bonus rounds. The player must refer to the rules and paytable of the game to learn about the landing rules.
Mobile is when the slot machine is hosted for online gambling and it is usually available for use on a phone, tablet, or other portable device.
These are often standalone mobile casino applications but are also found as part of the online casino site. By , HTML5 technology and the advancement of mobile browsers had negated the need for standalone mobile apps.
New slots are, by majority, playable on both mobile and desktop devices. Each machine has a table that lists the number of credits the player will receive if the symbols listed on the pay table line up on the pay line of the machine.
Some symbols are wild and can represent many, or all, of the other symbols to complete a winning line. Especially on older machines, the pay table is listed on the face of the machine, usually above and below the area containing the wheels.
Most video machines display the pay table when the player presses a "pay table" button or touches "pay table" on the screen; some have the pay table listed on the cabinet as well.
Historically, all slot machines used revolving mechanical reels to display and determine results. Although the original slot machine used five reels, simpler, and therefore more reliable, three reel machines quickly became the standard.
This limited the manufacturer's ability to offer large jackpots since even the rarest event had a likelihood of 0. Although the number of symbols eventually increased to about 22, allowing 10, combinations,  this still limited jackpot sizes as well as the number of possible outcomes.
In the s, however, slot machine manufacturers incorporated electronics into their products and programmed them to weight particular symbols.
Thus the odds of losing symbols appearing on the payline became disproportionate to their actual frequency on the physical reel. A symbol would only appear once on the reel displayed to the player, but could, in fact, occupy several stops on the multiple reel.
With microprocessors now ubiquitous, the computers inside modern slot machines allow manufacturers to assign a different probability to every symbol on every reel.
To the player it might appear that a winning symbol was 'so close', whereas in fact the probability is much lower.
In the s in the UK machines embodying microprocessors became common. These used a number of features to ensure the payout was controlled within the limits of the gambling legislation.
As the coin was inserted into the machine it could go one of two routes, either direct into the cashbox for the benefit of the owner, or alternatively it would go into a channel that formed the payout reservoir, the microprocessor monitoring the number of coins in this channel.
The drums themselves were driven by stepper motors, controlled by the processor and with proximity sensors monitoring the position of the drums.
A "look up table" within the software allows the processor to know what symbols were being displayed on the drums to the gambler.
This allowed the system to control the level of payout by stopping the drums at positions it had determined. If the payout channel had filled up, the payout became more generous, if nearly empty, less so thus giving good control of the odds.
The video slot machine is a more recent innovation, with no moving parts at all — instead a graphical representation of one appears on screen. In addition, because there are no mechanical constraints on the design of video slot machines, most display five reels rather than three.
This greatly expands the number of possibilities: As there are so many combinations given by five reels, the manufacturers do not need to weight the payout symbols although some may still do so.
Instead, higher paying symbols will typically appear only once or twice on each reel, while more common symbols, earning a more frequent payout, will appear many times.
Video slot machines typically encourage the player to play multiple "lines", so rather than simply taking the middle of the three symbols displayed on each reel, a line could go from top left to bottom right, or any of the other patterns specified by the manufacturer.
As each symbol is equally likely, there is no difficulty for the manufacturer in allowing the player to take any or all of the possible lines on offer — the long-term return to player will be the same.
The difference for the player is that the more lines he plays the more likely he is to get paid on a given spin — though of course he is betting more in the first place.
To avoid the feeling that the player's money is simply ebbing away whereas a payout of credits on a single line machine would be bets, and the player would feel they had made a substantial win, on a 20 line machine, it would only be 5 bets and would not seem significant , manufacturers commonly offer bonus games, which can return many times their bet.
The player is encouraged to keep playing to reach the bonus: All modern machines are designed using pseudo random number generators "PRNGs" , which are constantly generating a sequence of simulated random numbers, at a rate of hundreds or perhaps thousands per second.
As soon as the "Play" button is pressed, the most recent random number is used to determine the result. This means that the result varies depending on exactly when the game is played.
A fraction of a second earlier or later, and the result would be different. It is important that the machine contains a high-quality RNG implementation, because all PRNGs must eventually repeat their number sequence,  and if the period is short, or the PRNG is otherwise flawed, an advanced player may be able to 'predict' the next result.
Having access to the PRNG code and seed values, Ronald Dale Harris , a former slot machine programmer, discovered equations for specific gambling games like Keno that allowed him to predict what the next set of selected numbers would be based on the previous games played.
Most machines are designed to defeat this by generating numbers even when the machine is not being played, so the player cannot tell where in the sequence they are, even if they know how the machine was programmed.
This is known as the "theoretical payout percentage" or RTP, "return to player". The minimum theoretical payout percentage varies among jurisdictions and is typically established by law or regulation.
The winning patterns on slot machines — the amounts they pay and the frequencies of those payouts — are carefully selected to yield a certain fraction of the money played to the "house" the operator of the slot machine , while returning the rest to the players during play.
Within some EGM development organizations this concept is referred to simply as "par. A slot machine's theoretical payout percentage is set at the factory when the software is written.
Changing the payout percentage after a slot machine has been placed on the gaming floor requires a physical swap of the software or firmware , which is usually stored on an EPROM but may be loaded onto non-volatile random access memory NVRAM or even stored on CD-ROM or DVD , depending on the capabilities of the machine and the applicable regulations.
Based on current technology, this is a time-consuming process and as such is done infrequently. Other jurisdictions, including Nevada, randomly audit slot machines to ensure that they contain only approved software.
Historically, many casinos, both online and offline, have been unwilling to publish individual game RTP figures, making it impossible for the player to know whether they are playing a "loose" or a "tight" game.
Since the turn of the century some information regarding these figures has started to come into the public domain either through various casinos releasing them—primarily this applies to online casinos—or through studies by independent gambling authorities.
The return to player is not the only statistic that is of interest. The probabilities of every payout on the pay table is also critical.
For example, consider a hypothetical slot machine with a dozen different values on the pay table. However, the probabilities of getting all the payouts are zero except the largest one.
Also, most people would not win anything, and having entries on the paytable that have a return of zero would be deceptive.
As these individual probabilities are closely guarded secrets, it is possible that the advertised machines with high return to player simply increase the probabilities of these jackpots.
The added advantage is that these large jackpots increase the excitement of the other players. This game, in its original form, is obsolete, so these specific probabilities do not apply.
He only published the odds after a fan of his sent him some information provided on a slot machine that was posted on a machine in the Netherlands.
The psychology of the machine design is quickly revealed. There are 13 possible payouts ranging from 1: Most players assume the likelihood increases proportionate to the payout.
The one midsize payout that is designed to give the player a thrill is the It is programmed to occur an average of once every plays.
In contrast the The highest payout of 2, The player who continues to feed the machine is likely to have several midsize payouts, but unlikely to have a large payout.
He quits after he is bored or has exhausted his bankroll. Despite the fact that they are confidential, occasionally a PAR sheet is posted on a website.
They have limited value to the player, because usually a machine will have 8 to 12 different possible programs with varying payouts.
In addition, slight variations of each machine e. The casino operator can choose which EPROM chip to install in any particular machine to select the payout desired.
The result is that there is not really such a thing as a high payback type of machine, since every machine potentially has multiple settings.
Without revealing the proprietary information, he developed a program that would allow him to determine with usually less than a dozen plays on each machine which EPROM chip was installed.
Then he did a survey of over machines in 70 different casinos in Las Vegas. He averaged the data, and assigned an average payback percentage to the machines in each casino.
The resultant list was widely publicized for marketing purposes especially by the Palms casino which had the top ranking. One reason that the slot machine is so profitable to a casino is that the player must play the high house edge and high payout wagers along with the low house edge and low payout wagers.
Other bets have a higher house edge, but the player is rewarded with a bigger win up to thirty times in craps.
The player can choose what kind of wager he wants to make. A slot machine does not afford such an opportunity. Theoretically, the operator could make these probabilities available, or allow the player to choose which one so that the player is free to make a choice.
However, no operator has ever enacted this strategy.