For decades the fun and excitement of slot machines has been attracting millions of avid gamblers to live casinos. In the last few years the internet has made these ever-popular machines available to everyone. With online slot machines you can now play slot machines 24/7 from the comfort of your own home. Many slot fanatics find they enjoy online slots even more because of their amazing variety and bigger jackpots.
There are many notable advantages to playing slots online. For one, the biggest and best casinos on the web offer free versions of their most popular slots. You heard us right: FREE online slot games...hundreds of them! You can test every slot machine available on the web without losing a single quarter, or you can play your favorite online slots for real money and earn tons of other exciting bonuses and prizes in the process.
There is no denying that online slots have a promising future. They are already better and brighter than the real thing, and new and more exciting versions are being created every day. Why get your hands dirty sitting at a slow, old slot machine in some low-ceilinged casino when you can play hundreds of scintillating slot games on your own computer? We know true slot machine enthusiasts are probably eager to jump right in and try some new slots, so we’ve prepared this guide to get you started.
How Slot Machines Work
An online slot machine works in much the same way as a real one. On a real slot machine there are typically three reels, and each reel is covered in symbols. The slot machine’s display window shows three rows and three columns of symbols for a total of nine visible when the reels stop spinning. Traditionally it is the middle row of symbols that determines the prize won (and the jackpot is usually still limited to this line), but modern slots may also recognize combinations on the lines above and below the center.
Video slots changed the face of the game by allowing for more reels and more symbols in a smaller machine. Players put their money in the machine, pull the arm or press the "Spin" button, and the video display on the slot will show an image of reels spinning just as they would on a normal slot machine. Meanwhile a software program called a random number generator (RNG) determines the combination of symbols that will stop on the display window. Despite video slot machines being electronic and having more symbols and reels, their RNG software ensures that they offer the same odds of winning as a traditional machine.
Online slots are very similar to video slots in that they use the same random number generation software. Players still load their credits, press spin, and watch the reels turn, and their odds of winning remain as good or better than they would be with a real slot machine. As an added bonus, the improved technology means fewer errors, easier use, and more interaction.
How to Play Slot Machines
Learning how to play slot machines in any form is a snap. The only difference between the live and online games is that instead of cash or chips you will be betting with credits from your account. On some sites you will need to download the software before entering a slot machine game screen while other sites let you play with a no-download Flash version of the site.
Once you have logged into the online casino, you'll head over to their slots page. From here, you can view dozens and sometimes even hundreds of different slot machine titles. Click on one you like and the game screen will load automatically. Online slots are virtually identical to video slots. Your computer screen will show an animated slot machine with three to seven reels; pay, play, and cash out buttons; the machine’s pay scale; and game graphics or occasionally a scrolling progressive jackpot. From this game screen you will select how much you want to wager per spin. Every time you press "Spin" that bet will be deducted from your total credits or points. Learning how to play slot machines is as simple as mastering the bet, spin and cash out buttons.
Slot Machine Strategy
Slot machines are truly a game of luck. Online slot games and even free slots are no different. There is no such thing as a winning slot machine strategy. The only advantage you can give yourself as a player is to choose a slot machine with a high payback percentage. For example, 97% is about average. That means that if you are playing $1 per spin, on average you are getting $.97 of that back. There are many sites that offer machines with payback as high as 98% or even 99%. Because you are losing less per spin, your odds of coming out ahead are better. This is the only slot machine strategy that directly effects your bottom line.
The Best Slots
For new online players, the sheer quantity of options available may be overwhelming. You're in luck because we've already done the hard work for you by hunting down the best slots. To find out which online casinos offer the best slots and even the best free slots simply look to the “Top 5 Casino” window to your left.
Free Slot Games
A quick search of "free slot games" will give you hundreds of thousands of results. We weren’t kidding when we told you you can play free slots; they’re everywhere! Whether you’re looking for the Vegas experience without the high roller risk, or you want to test the waters before making your first deposit, free slot games are a great way to play. Many casinos have point systems that allow even free slot games players to cash in their winnings for cool prizes. Some online casinos will even give you sign-up bonuses that allow you to play cash slots for free. That means you can play free slots but win real money.
Deciding which slot machines are right for you is a highly personal choice. If you just want to play free slots, then you have thousands of machine options available at literally hundreds of websites. Free slot machines are everywhere, from the fanciest casinos to the smallest entertainment gaming sites. Not all free slot games are created equal though. Some free slots may require you to load software, while others can be played right on-site, and still others may be slow to load or poorly functioning. Even if you’re not playing for money, why waste your time on a low quality site? It won't cost you a thing to play free slots at even the biggest online casinos.
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