Casino games have been extremely popular for many decades, and now, because these games have gone online they’re more popular and accessible than ever before. Online slot games, particularly, are a huge hit, and according to recent reports, online slots in the UK account for almost 70% of all online casino activities! Here’s everything you need to know before placing your bet.
What are online slots?
Online slot games are digital versions of traditional one-armed bandits and fruit machines, and, boy, have they gone through radical changes since the release of those original games! Today, gamblers can enjoy access to thousands of exciting themed slots, state-of-the-art gaming software, and free spins and bonuses to keep them engaged and hanging on every spin!
The basic goal when playing slots online is to create winning combinations by matching symbols on the reels. Of course, the symbols that appear every time you hit “spin” are chosen entirely at random – every online slot in the UK has its own bonus features, volatility rating and Return to Player (RTP), which influence the overall gaming experience.
How to play online slots
When you first sign up to join a digital casino, you’ll quickly come to find that there are practically countless online slot games to choose from, so where do you start? We recommend looking through game reviews and reading up on any game that catches your eye before you play. There might also be an online video or a free slot with no deposit demo version of the game that allows you to play for fun, get a feel for the gameplay and manage your expectations.
Once you’ve decided that a specific game is a good fit for you, then follow these simple steps to start spinning and (potentially) winning:
- Step 1: Join an online casino and deposit some money into your casino wallet. If you live in a country that has a licensing framework or regulator, make sure the digital casino that you’re joining has the appropriate licence and permissions for operation. This will ensure that your rights as a player are protected and, equally importantly, so is your money.
- Step 2: Find the online casino slot that you’ve researched or give one of the most popular slots a try.
- Step 3: Read the game rules and instructions carefully, taking the time to study the paytable.
- Step 4: Before you press the “spin” button and play your first game, always check the stake value and/or the number of lines that you are playing with. Some online slots set the entry stake for you, and it’s not always on the lowest setting. This means that you might accidentally stake more than you intended to.
- Step 5: After checking everything is to your liking, press the “spin” icon/button. The reels will spin, the sound effects will play, and, eventually, the reels will come to a stop. This is when you’ll be able to see if you’ve made a match or triggered a bonus feature.
- Step 6: Based on your bankroll (always remember to play responsibly!), continue to tap the “spin” button after every cycle and follow any on-screen instructions if you trigger a bonus game or score some free spins.
A bit pressed for time or playing with distractions in the vicinity? If the game allows, you can use the auto spin button. This allows a set number of spins to happen without you having to tap the screen.
That’s it! Online slots are the easiest and simplest games to play in any online casino.
How to win when playing slots for real money
Keen to win when playing slots online? Of course you are! But it’s important to remember that slot games are games of chance. All online slots are based on a maths model or formula, as well as probability. Variance (otherwise known as “volatility”) is then applied to the model to determine the frequency and value of the win sequences. Unfortunately, this means that there’s no strategy that you can put into practice to ensure that you win.
That being said, it’s a good idea to keep both RTP and volatility in mind when choosing a slot game. All online slot developers must publish the RTP of each of their games. The higher that number, the more the slot will return when playing over an extended period of time. Note that the average RTP is currently 96%. From a volatility standpoint, you should know that highly volatile titles tend to deliver higher but less frequent wins, while games with a low volatility rating provide smaller, more frequent wins.
Which are the best online slots in the UK?
There’s no such thing as the “best” online slots. Ultimately, it all depends on what resonates most with you based on your personal preferences and the size of your bankroll (a smaller bankroll is better suited to games with low volatility). This is why there are lots of popular online slots out there and why every player has their own favourite game.
Still can’t make up your mind on which casino slot to play? We’ve put together a handful of our players’ current top picks to help get you started if the idea of choosing from our ever-growing menu has your head spinning faster than the reels themselves!
- Madame Fortune: This slot by High5Games has an RTP of 96.5%, low variance, and is played on 40 paylines. It’s a mystical-themed slot offering the chance to grab up to 50 free spins!
- Queen of Gold: Can’t get enough of the ultra-popular Egyptian-themed slots? Queen of Gold is definitely one of the most sought-after. It’s a creation by Pragmatic Play with an RTP of 96.5% and medium variance. The progressive multiplier element means it’s possible to beef up your winnings at any time.
- Sweet Bonanza: The possible wins on offer when playing Sweet Bonanza – another title by Pragmatic Play – are pretty sweet themselves! Gear up for the satisfying thrill of playing this medium to high variance game with its 96.51% RTP and free spins bonus round.
- Titan Storm: NextGen Gaming is the brain behind this Ancient Greek-inspired casino slot. It offers an RTP of 95.45%, 243 paylines and medium variance gameplay, along with plenty of unique bonus features.
What are Megaways™ slots?
Along with many different themes to explore, such as magic-themed slots and space-themed slots, there are also loads of different types of casino slots to try. For example, you could give progressive jackpot slots a go (where the jackpot on offer increases the longer you play) or turn your attention to Megaways™ slots.
Megaways™ slots are an invention by Big Time Gaming, where you never know exactly how many ways to win your next spin will provide. Each reel can have anywhere from two to eight symbols, creating loads of different combinations that can expand into hundreds of thousands of ways to win.
Megaways™ slot games often offer over 117,600 different ways to win based on the combination of symbols and the number of reels available. Therefore, these online slot games can offer massive winning combinations.
Megaways™ winning combinations pay out from left to right and are based on matching symbols across the adjacent reels, no matter the size, placement on the reel, or how many of the same symbol are on each reel.
To calculate the total number of ways to win, first, you have to multiply the number of symbols on each reel by each other. So, if we take a standard seven-symbol reel and six reels setup for this, we’ll have to multiply each reel separately against the others, for example:
- 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 = 117,649 ways to win
To break it down even further: You multiply the symbols on the first reel with the symbols on the second reel, multiply what you get from those with the next reel and so on. Using the same example as above, it would break down like this:
- 7 x 7 = 49
- 49 x 7 = 343
- 343 x 7 = 2,401
- 2,401 x 7 = 16,807
- 16,807 x 7 = 117,649 ways to win
Intrigued? We’ve got plenty of Megaways™ games for you to explore. Here are a few sure-fire favourites:
- Eye of Horus Megaways
- Bonanza Megaways
- Buffalo Rising Megaways
- Lightning Strike Megaways
- Monopoly Megaways
- 88 Fortunes Megaways
- Extra Chilli Megaways
- Rainbow Riches Megaways
- Raging Rhino Megaways
- Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways
- Wolf Legend Megaways
- Vikings Unleashed Megaways
- Primal Megaways
- Great Rhino Megaways
Are you ready to get started on your adventure into the world of online slots? Then be sure to register to play at The Phone Casino. Sign up now, and you’ll be treated to an exciting free spins no deposit slot bonus of 100 free spins every day!