Beginners Guide to Slots

GambleScope Research Team

Are you keen to try out online slots but find them confusing? Don’t worry; this beginners guide covers all the basics and more. Be prepared to play all sorts of exciting online slots with the help of our quick play guide below.

1. How to Choose the Best Slots Games to Play

Visit any online casino, and you’ll likely find literally hundreds of slots available. They come in all sorts of sizes and themes, plus they have a wide variety of features and payout rates. So when there’s so much choice, how are you meant to choose the best one to play? First of all, you might like to try one with a theme that appeals to you. If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, for example, why not start off with the Game of Thrones slot? Another approach is to give the popular slots a spin. Casinos usually group a top selection of their most-loved slots. Some of the most prominent at the online casino include Starburst, Fluffy Favourites, Gonzo’s Quest, and Rainbow Riches to name a few. You may also want to consider looking at the features the slot offers, such as bonus rounds, free spins, number of paylines etc. If you’re going to take this approach, you’ll have to do a bit of research to see which slots have the features that appeal to you.

2. What are the Basic Rules for the Slots?

For the most part, slots games are easy to play, which is partly the reason for their massive appeal. You’ll notice that every slot has reels which make up rows and columns. Most slot games have three rows and five reels, though some will have a different set-up. All you do is place your bet and then click to spin: the reels will then turn, and after a short while each one will come to a stop. There’ll be a new assortment of symbols displayed, and if you happen to land a winning combination, you’ll subsequently receive a payout, bonus feature, or the chance to gamble. Once the round has finished, just click the play (or auto-play) button again and hope to land another win - it’s as simple and straightforward as that!

3. Win lines and how they work

When you first start playing the slots, it is normal to ask how you actually go about winning? The answer to this question depends on two things: winning combinations and paylines. A winning combination is a series of matching symbols (usually at least three) that rewards a prize; a payline is a line going across the reels from left to right that can go up, down, or just straight across. To win, you need to land a minimum number of matching symbols on a payline you have wagered a bet. Each slot has a maximum amount of paylines, and each of these paylines will reward payouts if you bet on them and display enough matching symbols. Keep in mind that if you haven’t bet on a payline, you won’t receive any winnings if the symbols show a winning combination. Some slots let you choose how many payline you can wager on; others require you to bet on every one. You may come across the phrase ‘active payline’ - this simply refers to a payline you’ve wagered and is in play. If you have a choice, it’s cheaper to bet on fewer paylines, though this will reduce a players chances of winning on each spin of the reels.

4. Know the Paytable

Each slot has a variety of different symbols that can appear on the reels. As mentioned above, you need to land a minimum number of them on an active payline to win - but, the amount you can win will vary greatly. The specific amount will depend on what symbols you’ve matched and how many. While you usually need three to qualify for a win, landing four will offer a bigger payout and landing five will reward you with an even bigger cash prize. Slots typically have around ten different symbols, all of them providing different values. Many have card values, such as 10, J, Q and K, as lower-paying symbols, with symbols based on the slot’s theme offer payouts of a higher value. The Paytable displayed on a casino slot shows the exact values of the different combinations possible in a game. This Paytable for each slot is accessible from one of the games menu buttons when playing online, and displayed next to the reels on a physical slot machine.

5. Button Features Explained

When you first start playing the slots, don’t be overwhelmed by the button options as they are simple and straightforward-

There’ll be one button where you can adjust the number of coins you can bet on a single payline.

You’ll also be able to change the number of paylines you can bet on (remember though, some slots require you to bet on every one).

There will be buttons linking you to the rules of the slot and its pay table.

Click on the Play or Autoplay button to get started when you are ready to get going.

Some slots have a dedicated Gamble button, which becomes available if you land a winning combination. If you click on the Gamble button, you’ll get to play a mini-game where you can increase or lose your winnings. An example of one is where you have to guess the result of a coin flip. Guess correctly, and you will double your winnings, but guess incorrectly, and you lose. Some of these mini-games have as many as five rounds - if you’re lucky enough to win each one, you can increase your winnings multiple times over.

6. Standard Slot Bonus Features

One of the reasons why so many players love slots is because of the array of exciting bonus features they offer.

Many offer free spins rounds, where you earn a set number of spins that don’t cost you a penny at all. To trigger this feature, you usually have to land three special symbols known as ‘scatter symbols’ anywhere on the reels (they don’t have to be on an active payline).

Wild symbols can substitute for other symbols to help you create winning combinations. For example, let’s say you’re playing a fruit-themed slot. You spin the reels and get Apple-Wild-Apple-Apple-Apple across the central line, which is an active payline. In this example, the WILD would represent an Apple symbol, meaning you’ll have created a winning combination of five matching symbols.

So there you have it. Once you have the basics down, the rest is easy. Sign up for an online casino today and try giving the slots a spin. They are a lot of fun to play, very exciting, and if your luck is in you might even land a winning combination and receive a big bonus!