Online Slot Games Explained

If you are new to the online casino world, then your first stop may well be slot games, because in principle, they are the simplest games around.

However, in a similar way to those found in land-based casinos, pubs, and other venues, each online slot game had its own features and its own ways to win.

That being said, there are some generals that, if you are aware of, will mean that the majority of slots will be understandable without too much issue. Of course, there’s exceptions to every rule, but those immensely complex slot titles that exist in far corners of the internet can be ignored for now!

The basics

Let’s start at the beginning. Classic slot machines had three reels full of symbols, those reels spin when a lever is pulled, and if you land three identical symbols on the middle line, you win a corresponding amount.

Online slot games started this way also, but there has been quite the revolution since then. Now, most slots have five reels, although some will go higher than that, and others have got rid of the concept of reels altogether.

Winning lines have also changed, instead of just being a straight line across the middle of the reels, now, winning lines can come in diagonals, zigzags, and more. The pay table for each individual slot will explain how it works.


Often, most symbols on the reels of a slot game will be designed to match the theme of the slot, although you will also find that many also use royal card symbols. In these cases, the themed symbols will tend to be higher value, meaning you will get more for a winning combination made up of these symbols.

You will also often get wild symbols, which will substitute for any other symbol (normally except for the scatter symbol) to form a winning combination, wild symbols can also come with multipliers on certain slot games. Some slots will also give a cash prize for a winning combination made up entirely of wild symbols.

Scatter symbols tend to trigger features, for example, if you land three scatter symbols on a slot, this may trigger a free spins feature, and if you land four or five scatters, that free spins feature may give you more free spins.

It is important to remember that you don’t need to land these scatters on a payline, three on the screen is normally enough to trigger a bonus round.

Getting started

Once you have found the right slot for you in terms of what features it has, how many paylines, and so on, then it’s time to set your bet amount.

Most slots have a wide-ranging limit on how much you can bet, often starting at less than 50p, and going all the way up to the hundreds, or even more in some cases. Simply select the cash (or coin) amount that you want to be with, and then on how many paylines you want to bet on. Your bet amount is for a single payline (usually), so be aware that if you bet on more, your wager will be multiplied.

Once you’ve made these choices, then you’re ready to go, simply start spinning the reels, and wait to see if the winning combinations come in. Unlike many land based slots, you rarely get Hold options or anything that manually affects your spins, it’s all on luck. Start landing wilds, landing scatters, and triggering bonus rounds, and you never know, you could be the next millionaire made from a lucky spin on a progressive jackpot slot!