Slots Online: The Basics

Slots are some of the most popular games found at both real-life and online casinos. Most people new to gambling start off by playing slots online because they’re fun, exciting, require no skill and they’re easy to learn.

Slot machines date back to around 1887 when a man named Charles Fey from San Francisco made one of the first ever machines called The Liberty Bell. It featured one payout line, three reels and five symbols of horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell.

Over time the machine changed and with it, the symbols used. Fruit symbols began appearing on slot machines, and the game became a hit with gamblers. They soon became a staple at real-life casinos where they featured three reels and several pay lines. However, online slot games now feature more pay lines, amazing graphics, and sounds as well as licensed themes from Hollywood films or popular television shows.

For example, most games can have as many as 25 payout lines and up to five reels. However, users can still find the traditional three-reel classic slots at online and real-life casinos.

The Rules

Slot games are easy to play. The aim is to match a certain number of symbols to win. At traditional casinos, this involves pushing a button and pulling a lever while inserting coins into the machine’s dispenser. At online casinos, it isn’t much different.

After loading up the game at your favourite slot site, whether on desktop or mobile, you are required to bet on a pay line and tap or click ‘Spin’ to start the game. The reels will then spin before stopping and awarding the player with money for any winning combinations.

To win, players need to get a correct number or specific combination of symbols to appear on their betted pay line, a betting line that can go in any direction across the game’s reels. Most games feature 25 to 30 pay lines, and they can be straight, diagonal or zig-zagged.

Many UK online slots also feature special symbols such as Wild, Scatter and Multiplier symbols, and each has different effects on the game which may make it easier for players to win or trigger a bonus round or game.

Special Symbols

Most video slots (the successor of classic games) feature extra symbols that can help players win more money or trigger special events. For example, Wild symbols replace other symbols on the reel, making it easier for a player to create a winning combination. There are also Scatter symbols which can trigger a win even if they aren’t on the better pay line and Multipliers which multiplies payouts.

On top of that, there are special events which can include extra spins or bonus rounds where players can win prizes or play interactive mini-games. The availability of these extra symbols and gameplay features depends entirely on the UK slots game being played.

Online Slot Payouts

We’ve gone through the basics and revealed everything we know about the rules, gameplay, and variations. Now it’s time for the important part, learning about the payouts and what is referred to as ‘payout schedules’.

Slots online have a high payout rate compared to the machines found at real-life casinos. But what most people don’t know, is that the payouts are controlled by a payout schedule which is built into the device and later updated by technicians on a regular basis.

These payout schedules, which can sometimes be referred to as a pay chart or table, basically explain how the slot game will pay each winning combination. The schedule reveals the ratio between the number of coins bet and how many coins the better will win. The calendars are generally printed on each machine at real casinos but can also be accessed online when the player taps or clicks on the ‘Pay Table’ or ‘View Pays’ button.

The schedule determines the size of various payouts, when payouts will be made (Such as when making specific combinations) and the RTP and house edge. Ultimately, payout schedules are there to ensure that everyone feels like a winner.


RTP and RNG are two essential abbreviations players should try to remember and not just for slots online since most casino games feature them.

RTP stands for Return to Player, which means the payout percentage for each casino game. It varies depending on what game users are playing and, if playing online, which the developer created it. However, the RTP at online casinos is generally much higher than those at real-life casinos. For example, most online slots have an RTP of 96%, though some do go higher. Meanwhile, games at brick-and-mortar casinos often have an RTP of 80-90%.

RNG stands for Random Number Generator and is responsible for the entire game. The outcome of the slot game is based on a random number generated by the RNG, which effectively tells the reels when to stop. RNGs are also used in games such as Keno, Roulette, and Bingo.

Slot Game Variations

Just like other casino games, there are numerous variations of how you can play. They feature different rules and gameplay, which can make the game more exciting. Some differences include:

Video Slots

This variation is like an ordinary version of the game, but it generally features fun graphics and sounds effects. Players can find video slots based on all sorts of licensed Hollywood, gaming or television themes including Jurassic Park, Game of Thrones, Hitman and even Lord of the Rings. These fun versions of slot machines are designed so players can bet on multiple pay lines in any pattern.

Virtual Reality Slots

Though this is still a fairly new technology, anyone with a VR headset can play VR games. Virtual reality technology places the player into a fully-interactable 3D environment. VR Slot games are no different, and the player is set in an interactive environment based on the game’s theme. While there aren’t many VR games out, the available ones include Jack and the Beanstalk, Starburst, and Dracula.

Free Slots

Many online casinos offer players a chance to play free Slot games without having to spend a single penny. This is helpful for anyone interested in playing Slots but worried about spending real money. However, it’s important to remember that users cannot win anything because the game is free to play.

Progressive Slots

Probably the most popular variation of online slots available. Progressive slots feature a jackpot linked to a gaming machine which takes a small percentage of every player’s bet and places it in a large pool of money.

Everyone who plays the progressive slot game or machines adds to the jackpot and has a chance to win from it. However, players who want to eligible to win the giant sum must play the maximum amount of coins per spin the game or machine allows.