HOW TO CHOSE A SLOT GAME
Amongst the most popular games at any online casino are the slots. There are hundreds of new titles being released each year and they all offer different types of gambling experiences. With each of our reviews you will see stats like Return To Player (RTP), Variance and Payout Potential. These are good indicators of the risk and reward that comes with each game. To help you understand more, here is a short guide to the key features of each slot.
RETURN TO PLAYER (RTP)
Return to player is a term used in all gambling games and it refers to the average amount that will be paid out in winnings expressed as a percentage of wagering. The average RTP of most slots is 96%. This means that if you wager £100, on average you will get back £96. This is an average. In reality, some will win and some will lose, but overall the game will deliver at 96%. Some slots have an RTP as high as 98% or 99%, and some will be lower, down to 95% or less.
You may think that it makes sense to only play games with a high RTP, but there are other factors to consider, including the variance and the payout potential of a game.
The term variance, or volatility, refers to the degree of variation from the average payout that can be expected when playing a slot. A low variance game will mostly deliver on the advertised RTP.
A high variance game however, will swing wildly from periods of very low RTP to much, much higher RTP. These games are high risk gambling – for most of the time the player will experience little or no payout, but when the wins come they will usually be big. The nature of the very best high variance slots has given them a cult following in some circles. In particular, games like the Megaways™ slots series from Big Time Gaming, as well as classics like NetEnt’s Dead or Alive and Novomatic’s Book of Ra, which have massive top payouts, are loved by those who prefer their gambling to be edgy and their wins to be spectacular. And on the low variance end of the spectrum, games like Starburst from NetEnt have a more popular appeal as they offer a slower pace and lower risk type of play.
This is a figure that refers simply to the maximum amount that can be won in a single spin on a slot. This will usually be expressed as a multiple of the stake. So, a 1,000x potential payout means that for a £1 stake in a single spin it would be possible to win £1,000.
Typically, low variance games will have lower potential payouts. High variance games can have much higher potential, some as high as 50,000x or more. In recent years as these slots have become more popular, developers have pushed up the potential in a bid to out-do each other.
Of course, the games with the highest potential of all are the big Progressive Jackpots like NetEnt’s Mega Fortunes and Micorgaming’s Mega Moolah. On these games it’s possible to win jackpots in the millions!
If you don’t want to use the technicalities of a slot’s payout rates and potential as the basis of your choice of which to play then you may simply turn to how it looks. These games come in all shapes and sizes and with a massive variety of themes which don’t just inform how the game looks but are also used in building gameplay and features.
One of the most common themes for slots games is ancient Egypt, used in classic slots like Play n Go’s Book of Dead, IGT’s Cleopatra, Novomatic’s Book of Ra, and Big Time Gaming’s Queen of Riches. You will also find games built on famous film brands, like Playtech’s Dark Knight, NetEnt’s Planet of the Apes, and the hilarious Ted from Blueprint Gaming.
Other popular themes are Wild West games like NetEnt’s Dead or Alive, and the massive range of Irish slots that includes one of the biggest brands of all time, Bacrest’s Rainbow Riches.
A lot of creativity goes into the best online slots and you’ll find some really slick graphics, animations and soundtracks to enjoy as you spin the reels. So as well as thinking about how much you could win, consider the themes and designs of each before you dive in.
TOP SLOT GAME PROVIDERS
All the slot games you see advertised as your favourite online casinos are created by a specialist game developers. Some of these are big industry names with huge teams of designers, mathematicians, programmers and marketeers behind them – businesses like NetEnt and Microgaming. Others are much smaller game studios with less prolific outputs and smaller teams. Here are a few short profiles of some stand out names whose games are worth checking out.
NetEnt is a Swedish game developer with a high profile in the online gambling industry. They have been around since 1996 and are responsible for some of the biggest slot games of all time, including classics like Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest. They also operate a series of Live Dealer casino games streamed to online casinos around the world. NetEnt size as a business means they are often more profilic than their competitors, and though some picky gamblers may argue, the quality of their products is geneally very high.
Whilst some developers like to specialise in particular styles of slot, NetEnt produce a wide range of games covering everything from huge Progressive Jackpots through to low variance slots with cute graphics like Buttefly Staxx. They can also push out a mean high variance game like The Wish Master or Dead or Alive II.
One very popular, but less high-profile game studio is another from Sweden, called Thunderkick. For players who like slot games on the quirkier end of the scale, Thunderkick’s titles like Birds on a Wire or Barber Shop Uncut are a great play.
Not only are they very well produced, with superb graphics and artwork, but they also offer some really exciting gameplay. In particular when Thunderkick have dipped their toes into the area of high variance slots with games like Pink Elephants, then they have created some killer slots. Other highlights of their catalogue include Fruit Warp a really simple, stripped back slot game, Esqueleto Explosivo, based on the Mexican Day of the Dead, and Flame Buster, a volatile slot with some crazy progressive bonus rounds which can lead to enormous payouts if you get lucky.
Thunderkick will generally release one game every 2 to 4 months. Their releases are worth looking out for as they rarely disappoint.
BIG TIME GAMING
BTG’s rise to the top of the online slots market has been swift. In the three years since the launch of their landmark game, Bonanza Megaways™ in 2016, this Australian game developer has become the most talked-about studio in the business. This is in a large part thanks to the game-changing engine that drives their Megaways™ series. These are generally high variance slots with much greater numbers of paylines than normal due to the expanding reel set that underpins the games. It’s possible to spin with 117,649 win lines and win prizes of up to 20,000x or more. Megaways™ has been so popular that BTG have been able to license the mechanics out to rivals who build their own games on the expanding reels format too.
So, if you’re looking for a good high variance game to try then BTG’s slots are a great place to start. They offer high risk gaming at its best, with thrilling features and gameplay mixed with huge win potential. Just be prepared to work hard to chase it down!
Alongside NetEnt, Microgaming are the biggest name in video slots. They have produced well over 500 real money games, and whilst in recent years their status has been somewhat surpassed by younger companies like Big Time Gaming, they are still highly regarded in the industy for the quality of their products.
In the Microgaming catalogue are timeless catalogues that will remain popular for years to come. In particular their feature-packed games like Immortal Romance and Thunderstruck II have a huge following amongst avid slots fans, whilst their progressive’s have produced some of the biggest online winners of all time. Mega Moolah and variations like Mega Moolah Isis are high wagering games at any online casino that offers them.
For anyone new to slots, loading up a Microgaming title is a great place to start. Almost every site will have MG on their books, and you can be sure the production values will be top of the range and the gameplay will be engaging and rewarding.
Slot Games: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Play Slots on Mobile?
Yes, you can play slots on mobile. Every casino site in our Top 10 listings offers all their games on mobile, desktop and tablet. The choice of games is usually a little smaller on mobile, but the experience is the same thanks to HTML technology, with the same great features, bonuses and prizes. All operators now make their sites accessible for mobile phone users too. One of the best casinos to play slots on mobile right now is Temple Slots.
Which Slot Games Have The Biggest Payouts?
If you are looking for big cash payouts then the best slots to play are the Progressive Jackpots like Mega Moolah from Microgaming and Mega Fortune from NetEnt. These games pay out record-breaking jackpots on a regular basis and can be found at sites like Casino Gods. It’s also worth looking for games with a high Return to Player (RTP), like the ones listed on this page.
Which Slots Have The Lowest Stakes?
If you are looking for slot games with low stake value then you should try games like Riders of the Storm by Thunderkick (10p per spin), or Cazino Cosmos by Yggdrasil (10p per spin). Some of the most popular games of all time can be played at 1p per spin, including Starburst by Netent and Rainbow Riches from Barcrest.
Can I Play Slots For Free?
It is possible to play slots online for free. However, since May 2019 it has not been able to spin the reels without first signing up and verifying your ID. These new regulations were brought in to prevent under 18s from experiencing gambling online. If you are over 18 you will be able to play the slots once you have registered an account.
Can I Win Real Money Playing Slots?
Yes, every online casino offers real money video slot games where you can win prizes from £1 up to £millions. In order to winrealmoney you will have to stake real money though and first register at one of the casinos in our list. Once you have registered and deposited you can play for real.