For decades, slots have been the most popular games in every casino, far outperforming any other casino game in terms of revenue. When gambling transitioned online, the situation didn’t change much. Apart from sports betting, slots are the most popular online gambling activity on the planet. Each day, millions of players log in to their favorite online casinos and have fun playing slots, hoping for that one big jackpot. But before you plunge yourself headfirst into the world of online casinos, there are a few essential tips for playing online slots you should know.
Choose Your Casino Carefully
Choosing the right casino may be the most important tip for playing an online slot. Well, any casino game, for that matter. The popularity of online gambling has created a vast market and a lot of people are trying to get a piece of that pie. That means online casinos are popping left and right, and not all of them are legit. Please note that we are not talking about downright scams (we have a separate chapter on that), but rather unsavory business practices that are just this side of legal. That is why it is important to always read the fine print on any terms and conditions you agree to, as there can be some incredible things there.
Take Advantage of Bonuses
The influx of new online casinos has led to a saturated market on the supply side. The battle for each and every player, both new and old ones, is very fierce and one of the best ways casinos came up with is to throw money at them. This money comes in the form of various bonuses casinos use to try and keep players and prevent them from going over to the competition. But be careful, as a lot of these bonuses come with strings attached. One of the most common ones is wagering requirements, stipulating how many times you have to wager the bonus before you can withdraw any winnings you made with it. For instance, if a $100 bonus comes with a 10x wagering requirement, it means you have to make bets in the total value of $1,000 before transferring the money to your bank account. That is why many players forego bonuses and only play with their own money.
Check Return to Player (RTP)
Even slots from the same developer can have different odds or Return to Player (RTP). RTP is a crucial part of how slot machines work and you need to understand it fully.RTP specifies how much money, percentage-wise, will be paid out to players in form of winnings. In essence, RTP stipulates how often an online slot will throw a winning combination on the screen. Most online slots have an RTP ranging from 94% to 96%, while some go as high as 98%. That means that the casino has an edge of 2% to 6%, far bigger than in many other casino games. In theory, that means that for an RTP of 96%, a slot will pay out $96 for every $100 of bets players put in. In practice, however, the RTP is calculated over the lifespan of the machine, so there may be periods that it will pay far less than its stated RTP and vice versa. The trick, of course, is to catch it on the upswing.
Check The Slot Developer
Since online slots are the most lucrative part of online gambling, many gaming companies try to get into the market. More established ones usually have a sound reputation, so there is rarely anything to worry about when playing their slots. New ones, however, can and often will create games that heavily favor the casinos, in order to secure the business. After all, casinos decide which games to use and can be persuaded to host those that give them the biggest profit margin. This is why we recommend sticking to reputable game designers’ slots, at least in the beginning. After a while, you will be able to deduce for yourself whether to trust a game developer or not when it comes to choosing which online slot to play.
Make Use of Free Spins
Free spins are a form of bonuses only applied to online slots. They can be universal, meaning they can be used on any slot, or specific for a certain game. Casinos usually throw this in as a part of a bigger bonus package, as it costs them nothing. Often, you can’t even gather winnings from them, as all winnings from free spins can be only used to play. Even this can be useful, as you can use free spins to better acquaint yourself with an online slot you want to play. At least that way, you don’t have to spend your money on learning the ropes. Always accept free spins, as there is really no downside to them.
If you are chasing that one jackpot that will change your life and let you retire on a tropical island somewhere, make sure you understand how they work. There are two types of jackpots, local and network ones. As the name would suggest, local jackpot only pays on one slot. Network ones, however, also called progressive ones, use linked slots from several casinos. A percentage of each bet is set aside, so the jackpot grows every time someone plays at one of the slots in the network. Over time, it can reach incredible sums, often in millions of dollars. So if you are after that cabin on a beach somewhere, these are the ones you want to be chasing.