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How To Play Online Slots (And Win) - Full Guide

Online slots are digital versions of traditional slot machines that you can play in an online casino anywhere, at any time. If you're new to playing slots online, we have just the guide for you.

In our complete guide on how to play online slots, we'll be going through everything you need to know: how slots work, how to understand a paytable, how to play online slots for real money, how bonus features work, and how you can win.

How Do Online Slots Work?

The first thing you're probably asking yourself is - how exactly do online slots work?

Online slots use a Random Number Generator (RNG). This computer mechanic works based on a seed value going through a complex algorithm and producing an outcome. It happens continuously at extremely high rates, and the algorithm's outcome determines what shows up on the reels.

Over the years, online slots have advanced a lot since the first classic slot machine was created. Online slots are controlled by computers or mechanics that cause the reels to spin and stop at the right time. The reels contain various symbols. A win is made by landing a number of the same symbols on a payline.

Each of these symbols has different values. Therefore, the amount you win when matching symbols on a payline differs. The amount you win is also dependent on your wager.

Random Number Generator

Every online slot contains a microcomputer. This computer is called a Random Number Generator (RNG). Even when a slot isn't being played, the RNG continues to create random number sequences. The RNG will generate numbers between one and several billion, hundreds of times every second.

When you spin and play slot machines online, the numbers generated will determine the combination of symbols on the reels. Playing slots, as you can see, is random. You can never predict what sequences the RNG will create. It could generate no wins for several days or even two big wins in a row.

The random number generator ensures playing slots are fair for all gamblers. Slots that use a random number generator are secure and monitored by the online casino's license. RNG in slots guarantees that your outcome will be completely random every time you play. There isn't anything you can do to cheat or significantly increase your chances of winning. It's all completely random.

Reels, Rows & Paylines

Now that you know how online slot machines work, let's look at the reels, rows and paylines.

A reel is the vertical positions on the grid in slots that spin when you place a bet. A different combination of symbols will land on the reels every time you hit spin. Every online slot machine has reels; without them, there would be no game to play!

Traditional slots had just 3 reels, but with technological advances over the years, slots have become more exciting and complex. You will still find some online slots with 3 reels, but most modern online slots have 5 reels.

3-reel slots aren't as popular as they once were, but if you enjoy the nostalgia of a traditional slot, there are still many great ones to play online. These slots often mimic classic slot machines with fruits, bells, 7s, and BAR symbols filling the reels. These slots don't usually have many bonus features, but more have been incorporated in 3-reel slots over the years. Want to play a popular 3-reel slot? Try Autumn Gold.

The most popular slots to play are slots with 5 reels. You can find hundreds of the best 5-reel slots to play at Wizard Slots, including Fluffy Favourites. 5-reel slots tend to be the most unique, containing a wide variety of exciting bonus features such as bonus spins. Slots with 5 reels also usually have bigger and better prizes and more aesthetically pleasing graphics.

Next, let's talk about rows in slots. They are pretty self-explanatory! A row is a horizontal line in a slot containing symbols. The rows and reels form the layout of an online slot.

Paylines is also another term you may come across when playing slots online. The paylines in a slot have a significant role to play in how you create a winning combination. They are the patterns that matching symbols can appear to award a payout. When you spin the reels, the reels will come to a stop and reveal a combination of symbols which may or may not be a winning combination.

When you look at the paytable (more on this soon!), you will see different patterns on the reels for all the winning combinations of that particular slot. Make sure to check as these are different for every online slot machine.

Paylines begin from the leftmost reel. Some winning paylines appear straight, while others form a zigzag line. The paylines in a slot are predetermined and will always follow the same patterns, no matter how many times you play.

Traditional slot machines have just 1 paylines, but nowadays, slots have between 1 and 50 paylines. Most commonly, many slots have 10, 20 or 25 paylines. 

There are so many 25 payline slots to play. These are among some of the most popular slots, and you can play them here at Wizard. Some of our member favourite slots with 25 paylines include Blood Suckers, Jungle Jim El Dorado and Gunslinger.

Coin Value, Paylines & Paytable

Some online slots charge per payline, while others have a fixed amount no matter how many ways there are to win in the slot. One online slot where you can bet £0.10 can mean something completely different to a £0.10 bet on another.

The coin value determines the amount of money you bet per payline when you play slots with real money. Let's use Fluffy Favourites as an example.

Fluffy Favourites has 25 paylines and a minimum bet of £0.25. When you click on the coin stack below the reels, you will see that the coin value equals £0.01. As Fluffy Favourites has 25 paylines, it will cost you £0.01 (coin value) x 25 (paylines) = £0.25, which is the minimum bet you can make. Therefore, you can set the coin value between £0.01 to 20 per line in Fluffy Favourites.

Now that you understand the coin value and paylines, let's take a look at how to read a paytable. It is worth noting that every slot online has a paytable, and each one is different. Be sure to read them to familiarise yourself with the game before you hit spin.

A paytable is a table of information that contains the rules of the online slot. For example, some things you could expect to see in a slot's paytable are information about the number of paylines and reels, wagering requirements, symbols, and bonus features.

You can easily find the paytable at the bottom of the reels or on their side. When you open up the slot's paytable, you often see is the slot's rules first. Some slots could have very few rules, while others can have several. Details of the paylines and how to make a winning combination will be mentioned. This is accompanied by small diagrams of the reels, with coloured lines representing how a winning combination looks.

The betting range is also mentioned in the paytable. This range could help you decide whether to play a slot or not. Most slots have both a minimum and maximum betting requirement.

Another thing you will see in a paytable is the symbols. Each symbol is shown alongside how much they award when they make up a winning combination.

Typically, you will also see wild symbols and scatters. A wild symbol can usually substitute for all other symbols except the scatter. The scatter symbol is usually the key to unlocking one of the bonus features.

If there are any bonus features in the slot you're playing; these will be outlined in the paytable. In addition, there will be clear instructions on how to activate and play the feature. Possibly bonus spins or cash prizes.

How To Play Online Slots For The First Time

Once you have got the hang of online slots, they are relatively straightforward to play. Here's our step-by-step guide.

  1. First, you will need to choose a slot you want to play. Browse through the best online slots UK here at Wizard Slots. Click onto the game, and the reels will load and fill the screen.
  2. Next, look at the slot's paytable to familiarise yourself with the game's rules. The table will also tell you about the paylines, symbols, and bonus features. You may also want to check the highest paying symbol, so you know what to look for.
  3. Now it's time to choose your bet. You can adjust your bet using the arrows (or +/-) at the bottom of the screen. You can check the paytable if you're unsure of the minimum and maximum bets you can make. If you're a slots beginner, we recommend starting with a smaller bet.
  4. Once you have chosen your bet size, it's time to play. Hit the giant spin button to get your slot game started.
  5. When the reels have stopped spinning, you will know if you have landed a winning combination or not. Lines will go through the winning symbols, and you may hear the noise of coins or see money appear on the reels. If you're unsure if you have won, check your balance to see if it has gone up.
  6. You may unlock bonus features which is very exciting! Check the details on how to activate and play the bonus features in the paytable. Every game is different!
  7. You can adjust your bet if you wish and continue spinning the reels to keep playing, but remember to gamble responsibly and keep an eye on your bankroll.

Slot Bonus Rounds Explained

Plenty of slots these days have a variety of exciting bonus features. Details on how a bonus feature is activated and how to play them can be found in the slot game's paytable. There are many different types of bonus features in slots, which we will get into below.

Wheel of Fortune

One popular bonus round in slots is the wheel of fortune. When you unlock a bonus feature with a wheel of fortune, you will have a chance to spin the big wheel. The wheel comprises various cash prizes, multipliers, or/and bonus spins.

Free Spins Feature

Many modern online slots have a Free Spins feature. This feature is perhaps the most popular and well-recognised bonus. A Free Spins feature is typically activated by landing 3 or more scatters on the reels. Sometimes, you will instantly unlock a certain number of bonus spins. The more scatters/bonus symbols you land to activate the feature, the more bonus spins you can get.

Picking Games

Another popular style of bonus feature is the pick-style game. When you trigger a picking game, the slot will take you to a new screen where you will see a certain number of random objects/symbols. You will then be able to choose one or more of these symbols, which may then reveal a coin prize or multiplier prize.

Re-Spin Feature

In some slots you may trigger a re-spins feature when you land a particular combination of symbols. This is because the symbols that made the combination will stay in place while the other symbols spin, giving you a chance to create a new winning combination.

Multi-Level Bonus Feature

Some online slots have a multi-level bonus feature, which means you will do certain tasks to get a bigger win. For example; climbing a coin ladder, filling a meter, or completing certain rounds. Usually, the higher the level, the more exciting prizes await.

Rainbow Riches - Best Slot With Bonus Features

If you're looking for an online slot with lots of bonus features to play, Rainbow Riches is a great choice. This 5-reel and 20 payline slot has an Irish theme and plenty of exciting bonus features to play. One of those bonus features is the Wishing Well bonus. This bonus is a picking style game where you choose between 3 wishing wells for a multiplier prize.

Rainbow Riches also has a Road to Riches feature. This feature is a multi-level bonus game where you move along the path to collect prizes. When you reach the "collect" section, you can spin the wheel to reveal a prize.

The final bonus feature is the Pots of Gold feature. The pots of gold will spin around, and when they stop, you will claim your multiplier prize. 

How To Win At Online Slots

To win at online slots, it's a good idea to understand how they work. As slots use a Random Number Generator, it's impossible to know when or if you will land a winning combination. So playing slots online is completely random whether you're a novice or expert slot gambler.

You also need to choose a slot that has a reliable developer. There are hundreds of online slot developers out there who are all unique and have something different to offer. Make sure the slot provider you use has a good reputation and offers fair and safe gameplay. Some of the top slot developers you will find here at Wizard Slots include Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, and Pragmatic Play.

Playing in a reputable online casino like Wizard Slots is also a must. Some things you can expect to find in a reputable online casino include being licenced and regulated by the Gambling Commission, having security measures in place to safeguard information, and information on responsible gambling.

Another way to increase your chances of winning at slots is by choosing online slots with a high RTP. RTP stands for Return To Player and is a percentage a slot machine pays out over a set amount of time. For example, a slot with a high RTP would be anything over 96%.

It's important to note that online slots have no guarantees, as with all gambling, it's down to chance. 

Online Slots FAQ

Are Online Slots Really Random?

Online slots are random as they use a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG creates numerous random sequences every second, each producing a different outcome.

How Do Online Slots Payout?

Slots payout when you land the required minimum number of matching symbols on a payline. Paylines begin from the leftmost reel. Some winning paylines appear straight, while others form a zigzag line. The paylines in a slot are predetermined and will always follow the same patterns, no matter how many times you play.

Can You Win At Online Slots Without Cheating?

There is no way to cheat at online slots. You can, however, improve your chances of winning by choosing slots with low volatility. In theory it means that the slot pays out lower amounts more frequently. 

Familiarising yourself with the paytable could also help you be less likely to make mistakes when it comes to bonus features where decision-making is often involved, as you will know what to expect.

Do Slots Let You Win At First?

No, winning slots is entirely random. All gamblers, new and old, have the same chance of winning.

What Happens To Slot Winnings If The Game Freezes?

Check the game's paytable to check what happens to slot winnings if the game freezes. In most cases, if the game freezes, your winnings will be added to your balance.

What Does Wagering Mean On Slots?

A wager is a bet placed on an online slot. However, there are also wagering requirements. These are requirements that a player must accept when opting in for a bonus. Before a player can withdraw any winnings earned from using the bonuses can be withdrawn, the player must meet these requirements.

Are Free Spins Worth It?

Yes, of course! Whether you're new to online slot gaming or an experienced player, bonus spins can add a lot to the game. Extra spins are a great way to try out a slot to see whether you want to play with real money or not. They may also help extend gameplay.

Which Online Slots Payout The Most?

Online slots with high volatility usually pay out the most. In theory, high volatility slots pay out less frequently than lower volatility slots, but when they do, the payouts are likely more substantial. Jackpot slots also have the potential to award large payouts, but these are not so easy to win.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this slot game are subject to change at any time.