Online slots are practically infinite in their variety, with a slot for just about every theme imaginable. So what makes some slots more popular than others? It could be winningly simple game-play, a ground-breaking gaming mechanism, innovative special features, or even an appetising jackpot. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular online casino slots for you to compare.
Starburst is one of the most iconic slot games. Launched in 2012, this fan favourite by software developer NetEnt is one of the most popular online slots in the UK, not to mention the world. Brilliant gems land on a 5×3 game grid set against a galactic background, and it’s your job to collect as many as possible! Unlike the majority of online slots, Starburst doesn’t have any special features such as free spins or bonus rounds. Instead, the action centres mainly on the Wild symbol. Appearing in the form of dazzling multi-coloured stars, Wilds can hit reels 2, 3, and 4. When this happens, your screen lights up with a burst of colour as the Wilds expand across the reel. What’s more, these Wilds are sticky – they stay in place as the leftover reels re-spin.
Starburst has a theoretical RTP of 96.1%, which means, on average, players can expect to win 96 p back for every £1 bet. (To calculate RTP, divide the win and turnover figures from a game.) It’s considered to be a low variance slot, which translates into a high frequency of small-scale wins. This makes Starburst one of the best slots to play online for budget-conscious recreational players. Its simple yet compelling gameplay is also ideal for absolute beginners looking for no-deposit slots online, while the action is satisfying enough to bring more experienced players back time and again.
In short, with Starburst, what you see is what you get. No confusing win patterns or gimmicky features – just a fun, straightforward gaming experience. Sometimes less is more.
The legendary city of El Dorado has been featured in many stories and films, but it took NetEnt to turn the theme into a legendary slot. Gonzo’s Quest has consistently ranked as one of the world’s most popular online casino slots since 2010, and it’s not hard to see why. It has a loveable protagonist in the shape of Gonzo the conquistador, whose optimism never fails as he searches for the lost city of gold in the ancient Mayan jungle. But what really set Gonzo’s Quest apart when it first came out was its innovative design. Instead of the traditional reels, Mayan symbols (big carved stone blocks depicting eagles, jaguars, and so forth) crash down and stack on top of each other. When winning combinations form, the symbols explode and disappear Tetris-style, leaving space above for more symbols to replace them. These so-called avalanche reels won NetEnt loads of awards back in the day. They remain extremely popular and have been widely adopted by other software developers.
Gonzo’s quest is a low-variance slot with an RTP of up to 95.97%, which is a little bit lower than average. It has some nice special features that add spice to the game, including a multiplier metre, an all-substituting animated Wild symbol and a Free Fall scatter symbol. When three or more Free Fall symbols land on a payline, an animation plays. Gonzo walks through a gateway in the direction of a luminous pyramid and you get 10 free spins. Land three or more Free Falls on two separate paylines and 20 free spins are yours! Free spins can be re-triggered and wins are multiplied by up to 15x.
Age of the Gods
Ancient Greece is a popular sandbox for slots developers. In fact, Greek myths and legends feature in so many slots that you sometimes wonder how they manage to come up with anything new. One developer that consistently delivers fresh goods is Playtech, and its Age of the Gods slot breathes new life into the Greek mythology theme. Playing out on 5 reels, Age of the Gods is a medium- to high-variance slot with an RTP of 95%. The rewarding base game features a span of beautifully designed pay symbols depicting Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, Hercules, Zeus, and Hades plus a Wild that can award up to 10,000x your stake if you manage to land five at once.
To go beyond the base game, you need to land three or more game logo scatter symbols. Here, you’re taken to a new screen and invited to pick golden coins. The coins reveal Athena, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hercules icons. Match three of a kind to ignite a bonus round of nine free spins. Athena awards a random multiplier of 2x-5x before each free spin. Zeus awards a 1x multiplier that goes up by +1 after every third spin. Plus, a wild symbol is locked to the middle position of the middle reel. Poseidon shoots lightning from his trident to transform up to five symbols into extra wilds. As for Hercules, he steps onto the reels as a stacked Hercules symbol that acts as a Wild. But that’s not all! Age of the Gods is also one of the best jackpot slots online as it comes with a randomly-activated progressive jackpot round. At any moment, you could potentially win a Power, Super Power, Extra Power, or seven-figure Ultimate Power jackpot. No wonder Age of the Gods is among the most popular online slots in the UK right now.
Vampires have a special place in popular culture, fascinating and terrifying people in books, films, and shows like Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Being Human, Preacher, What We Do in the Shadows and a slew of Dracula series. Unsurprisingly, vampires also crop up a lot in casino slots online. Bloodsuckers, Blood Queen, Wild Blood 2, and Universal Monsters: Dracula are some of the more popular titles, but the top spot is reserved for Immortal Romance.
Microgaming’s take on the vampire theme broke new ground when it launched, with its unique formula of nested story-telling special features. Four mysterious characters – a witch, a vampire thug, an ancient vampire gent, and the heroine – are entwined in a supernatural love story which you can actually look up on the paytable. The game has a superbly detailed Gothic atmosphere, with classic vampire symbols and a suitably eerie soundtrack. Watch out for golden lion door knockers, as these scatter symbols are the key to the Chamber of Spins. Land three or more scatters to access four different levels of free spins associated with the four main characters. Each character awards a different number of free spins and multipliers as well as special symbols. You have to play each level a certain number of times before advancing to the next.
Another great special feature of Immortal Romance is Paytable Achievements, which enables you to collect extra prizes and bonuses for achieving specific game objectives. Lurking in the background at all times is the Wild Desire feature, which can trigger randomly to turn five reels wild. Immortal Romance has an above-average RTP of 96.86% and is a high-variance slot. This means that big wins are infrequent, but when they do come, they’re very big!
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