When online casinos first began to pop up in the 1990s it was poker and blackjack that attracted those early customers.

After a decade of establishing themselves, online casinos began to mirror their bricks and mortar counterparts by making the majority of their revenues from slot games.

Easy to play, exciting and offering lucrative rewards, slots have always proved to be like catnip for experienced and inexperienced gamblers alike. Online, where they are not constrained by physical restrictions of space and size, slots offer a cornucopia of thrills and spills.

Technological advancements have allowed for a greater depth of graphics and a broader exploration of themes. In addition to that, the sheer popularity of online slots has led to bigger prizes and progressive jackpots for players to aim for.

All this talk of great online slots got you in the mood to spin the online reels. Before you do, read on for our beginner’s guide to tackling online slot games.

Finding a Slot Site

The first and most important step in playing online slots is finding a site to sign up and play with. Thanks to the boom in the online gambling industry there is no shortage of options with many great online slot sites for players to choose from.

There are unscrupulous providers out there who may not take the best of care with your personal information and others who will obfuscate the process of withdrawing your winnings. This is why you need to do your research and choose a reliable and trustworthy site to play on.

Fortunately, there are a number of comparison sites out there that rate online slots sites and let you see a list of their pros and cons. In addition to that, most comparison sites show you up-to-date offers and promotions so you can pick a site that gives you the most bang for your buck.

You can search through customer reviews as well, looking out for red flags that might put you off from signing up.

Ultimately, you need to pick a site that is not only trustworthy and reliable but one that also caters to your individual needs. To some players that might mean a selection of games large enough to see them play a different one every night of the week. For other, that might mean an award-winning customer service team.

Person using a macbook pro on a table

Return to Player %

After you’ve found the site that you want to sign up with and start spinning the online reels, you might think your research has finished, but it has just begun. The next thing in your sights needs to be Return to Player (RTP) percentages.

If you’ve never played an online slot, you might be wondering exactly what RTP is. In the most basic terms, it is the percentage of money that you stand to win from every £100 wagered on a particular slot game.

For example, an RTP of 90% would see you, on average, with £90 in your pocket for every £100 wagered. That might seem like a fair deal, but in the world of slots that’s actually a pretty harsh RTP.

Most games sit somewhere in the 95% range, but you will find others with RTP’s as high as 97 and 98%.

There is a balance to be struck though as high RTP games rarely have big winnings on offer as they instead prioritise rewarding players with small, regular winnings. If you’re looking for thrills and spills, lower RTPs with higher jackpots might be more appealing.

Learning Wilds & Icons

The majority of slot games follow the same design and layout, with the area that they differ in being their icons and symbols. Before you play make sure to learn what the individual icons and wilds represent so that you don’t spin away your chances of a big win.

In addition to that, take a look at the paytables so that you know how much certain patterns of icons will net you in winnings.

Set a Budget

Unlike traditional table games like poker and blackjack, there are no tried and tested tactics or strategies that will increase your chances of winning slot games. Therefore the best and most effective tip that we can offer any slot player is to set a budget, both in terms of money and time.

Slots are a casino’s most alluring and engaging games and as such, it’s all too easy to turn a half-hour gaming session into a two-hour one. Or to end up wagering way more than you planned because you decided to have ‘one more spin’.

Fortunately, the majority of online slots sites have in-built controls that allow you to limit the time and money that you spend playing. Before signing up and spinning your first reel, take a look at your finances and work out a budget.

black and silver calculator beside a black pen and red notepad

In Summary

There are countless guides online that claim to maximise your chances of winning slot games, but ultimately, it all comes down to luck. Cliché as it may sound, the most important thing to remember when playing online slots is to have fun.