Slot Machines: Ultimate Guide To Features And Gameplay

Let’s open the lobby of any famous online casino. What games dominate the list? Definitely online slot machines. An exception may be only online casinos that specialize in games with live dealers. Slots games no download are the most popular type of gambling entertainment in online casinos. Some sites feature thousands of slot machines from several dozen software providers.

What Is the Reason for the Enormous Popularity of Video Slots?

Punters prefer them for various reasons:

  • Some are attracted to the show.
  • Others like the varied gameplay.
  • Still others are attracted by huge odds.
  • The fourth value slots for elementary rules.

In addition, the mass consumer is inclined to buy what is most persistently offered to him, and online casinos promote slot machines in all available ways.

  • New releases are actively promoted.
  • The best bonuses are available on video slots.
  • Free tournaments are most often arranged on slots.
  • The loyalty program is most beneficial for fans of devices.

In essence, almost all online casino games are unprofitable, however, online slot machines lighten the players’ pockets most effectively. However, numerous users do not lose hope of learning how to make a living playing slots.

Modern slot machines work on random number generators. The RNG constantly gives out combinations of numbers on bonus slot machines, which are assigned to different symbols depicted on the virtual reels of the slot. Paid combinations can be formed from these symbols. They can also launch a variety of bonus features: free spins, bonus rounds, and so on.

To play slots as efficiently as possible, you need to understand a few key terms. When choosing models, a number of additional factors should also be taken into account.

What Is RTP?

RTP (Return To the Player), or slot hold percentage, is an indicator that shows what part of the total amount of bets the video slot allocates for payouts. The slot hold percentage is determined by the casino and is based on the type of slot machine, the number of slot machines, and the length of time the slot machines have been in operation. For example, if it is equal to 97%, in the long run, exactly 97% of bets will be paid out to customers for combinations of symbols, during bonus rounds, and so on.

The slot hold percentage can also be affected by the casino’s house edge. The house edge is the amount of money that the casino keeps for itself from each bet that is made.

Main Slot Machines Features


Special online slots bonus symbols are welcome guests for any player, if only their functions can be used. For example, scatters or bonus elements one at a time on the screen just uselessly take up space. But if they make the right combination, free spins or prize draws are activated, which all users are waiting for.

Consider the standard features of special icons:

  • Wild symbol. Replaces other symbols, but, at the same time, it can often form combinations itself which are usually paid at high rates. Though, Wild symbols cannot be used instead of Scatter symbols and other special elements on wild slots.
  • Scatter symbol. A scatter symbol is a special symbol that can appear anywhere on the reels of a slot machine. When three or more scatter symbols appear, the player is typically awarded a bonus prize or free spins. Scatter symbols are often used to trigger bonus features, making them an important part of the best slots’ gameplay. While they can appear randomly, players can often increase their chances of hitting a scatter symbol by betting on all paylines. As a result, scatter symbols can add an element of excitement to scatter slots play and provide players with the opportunity to win additional prizes.
  • Bonus round. They are typically triggered by hitting a certain combination of symbols, and they often offer players the chance to win extra prizes. Bonus rounds can take many different forms, but they all provide an opportunity for players to win additional money. In some cases, bonus rounds may even offer jackpots worth thousands of dollars. Regardless of their form, bonus rounds are always a welcome addition to any slot machine.
  • Free spins. When triggered, the online slot will spin for free, and any resulting wins will be multiplied by the bonus amount. Free spins can be awarded as part of a welcome bonus, or they can be triggered by landing a certain combination of symbols on the reels. Either way, they provide an opportunity to win big without risking any of your own money.
  • Progressive jackpots. They offer the chance to win huge prizes, and they are often linked to multiple machines in a casino. The way a progressive jackpot works is that a small portion of each bet is added to the jackpot, until it is won. At that point, the jackpot resets to a predetermined amount and starts growing again. Progressive jackpots can grow to be very large, and they can be won by any player at any time. This makes them highly exciting and very popular.
  • Multipliers. Increase payouts several times. These pictures show the coefficients x2, x3, x4 and so on. They are taken into account when calculating winnings. Often the multipliers are a variation of the joker.

Popular Slot Machines’ Types

Online slots can be classified according to various factors. Basically they are divided into two large groups:

  1. The first one is classic slots (or just slots).
  2. The second is video slots.

The name “one-armed bandit” should only be used for old classic slots. To activate them, they used the lever, which was located on the right side of the slot, and looked like a hand raised up. Previously, this type of slot was completely mechanical. It consisted of three wheels that rotated and were launched by the lever described above. The wheels had the ability to stop in turn.

With the development of technology, slots were automated: the rotation was activated by simply pressing a button. Interestingly, the levers have remained to this day. True, they do not perform any function other than aesthetic. There are online slots with real spinning reels, which are already controlled by electronics.

Classic slots usually come with 3 reels and 5 paylines. There are also so-called “wild” symbols in the game, which can multiply the player’s winnings. In addition, there are progressive jackpot slots. As a rule, there are no bonus games in three-reel slot machines.

Thanks to technological progress, slot free online are becoming more and more popular every year. Video slots can be called a new generation of slot machines. They do not consist of real drums. Instead, there is a screen, thanks to which the slots are called “video”.

On the screen you can see the simulation of real reels. Usually in such slots there are not three reels, but five. There are also four-reel and seven-reel slot machines, but extremely rare. There are three symbols on each reel that are shown at the same time (five symbols in new versions). In other words, we get a 3×5 field. There can be 9-50 paylines on this field (up to 100 lines can be found on a 5×5 field).


In classic slots, to hit the jackpot, you need to collect certain symbols along the line on three reels (that is, all). To win in a video slot, 2 or 3 symbols will be enough for you. True, they must be located in a row, starting from the 1st reel.

The more identical drawings appear in a row, the higher the amount of your winnings. In some slots, it is not at all necessary that the symbols appear on the same line: there are various variations of winning combinations.

Not surprisingly, classic slots are starting to fade into the past, giving way to newer video slots. And this is quite reasonable, because new slot machines are much brighter in terms of design, graphics and much more profitable for players. The gambling industry is developing every day. New slots with new interesting features are constantly appearing.

Other Types of Slot Machines

In addition to classic and video slots, there are also other types of slot machines, for example:

  • Amusement with Prize (“entertainment with prizes”) or simply AWP slots


This type of slot came to us from the UK. At home, AWP slot machines are overly popular in various bars. The game is based on a classic single payline slot. The player has the opportunity to get a bonus game with a lot of different prizes.

Usually, the size of the winnings is not as large as, for example, in free video slots. In addition, the slot has a random opportunity to “push” the reel a little or “hold” it in place, if necessary, to get a winning combination.

  • Penny slot machines

Penny slots are slot machines that cost one penny per spin. They are a popular choice for casino-goers who want to maximize their chances of winning, as they offer a low-risk option with the potential for high rewards. Despite their name, penny slots can actually be quite expensive to play, as the costs add up quickly.

However, many casinos offer promotions and discounts on penny slots, making them more affordable. Penny slots can also be found in online casinos, where they offer the same chances of winning as their physical counterparts. Whether you’re playing in a casino or online, penny slots are a great way to have some fun and potentially win big.

  • Another view – I-Slots


These are the so-called interactive online slot machines. To date, they exist only in the Ravel casino network. At the heart of these slots is an online video slot. The difference is that the outcome of the bonus game does not depend on a random drop and the luck of the player, but on his skill.

The game consists of several ordered games, not similar to the games on other slots. Also pleasing to the eye are various cartoon inserts that accompany the game.

  • And the last type – Special slots

This term can conditionally designate all extraordinary, complexly classified slots. For example, slot machines with unusual playing fields, which are strongly reminiscent of Tetris by the principle of the game itself: winning combinations tend to disappear, and new symbols appear in place of the symbols.

This also includes online slots that have a certain similarity with multi-line video poker: the first thing is the launch of a single-line slot, then the player can hold any of the 3 reels, the rest – “unheld” – change on paylines, which can be from 3 to ten.

In this type of slot, you can also consider the so-called “cubes” – 3 by 3 slots, in which cells are filled exclusively randomly, payments, as a rule, go along eight lines, two of which are diagonal, three horizontal and three vertical.

Many of these free online slot machines you can find here on the site with the best online casinos and casino games.



In the 21st century, there are many types of slots, both in land-based casinos and online. Each of them is very interesting to play. Not everyone can make money on this gambling game, but those who have been playing slots for years definitely win good sums from time to time. It makes no sense to single out any special slots from specific manufacturers, since everything depends on the preferences of the player.

This article was prepared and published under supervision of the SlotoGate team of professionals and experts. You may check SlotoGate’s site for more information about slot machines and gambling at online casinos. Be gamble aware and don’t gamble unless you are 18 years old. Before real money gambling, read the reviews, check the casino’s reputation first and learn the gameplay of the chosen game.