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Online Slots Rules

Online Slots Rules - How To Play And Win

Since the Liberty Bell was invented in 1897 by a San Francisco car mechanic, slot machines have gone from strength to strength. Today slots are played by gamblers all over the world, and all online slots follow the same rules. From explaining how they work to giving yourself the best chance of winning, we’ve gone into detail about the slots rules that you need to know before placing your first bet.

How Do Slot Machines Work?

Slot machines are one of the most recognisable features of any casino. Whether you’re playing online or offline, the rule of play for all slots is the same – you enter your money, make your play by pulling a lever/selecting a button, then win or lose based on a combination of spinning reels.

The combination you get once you’ve placed your bet is determined by a random number generator (RNG). RNGs mean that the results of slot machines cannot be predicted, making your odds of winning at any given machine the same at every stage of your betting – whether it’s your first bet or one thousandth.

When betting in land casinos you place a bet by entering money into a slot located on the machine – hence the name. Slot machines in land casinos work by using a currency acceptor, meaning you can pay using notes or coins.

Reels And Lines In Slot Machines

The action in slot machines comes from columns of images – classic slots are known for using pictures of fruit, which is why they are known as ‘fruities.’ Each column of images on a slot machine is called a reel and the rule to getting a winning combination is that you must make a line (known as a payline) from your reels.

The number of possible winning combinations when playing slot machines depends on how many paylines you select. For example, on a three-row slot, picking one payline will mean you need a winning combination from the centre reel, choosing two will be the top and bottom, and opting for three will mean you need all of the rows to come good: for example, the image below shows a winning line of five 7s on one row: 


Credit: YouTube

The example underneath from the king of slots, bgo, shows a reel which has all the same images (the purple As). This is not a winning combination in the standard rules of slots, because there is only a vertical line of purple As. Normally, for it to be a winning combination, you would need a horizontal line of purple As. However, there are exceptions to this rule, with video slots allowing you to make winning lines vertically, in zigzags, and in V shapes:   

Credit: YouTube

Deciding How Much To Bet On Slot Machines

Like every gambling game, slot machines work on the basis of how much money you are willing to bet. Like every casino game, before you place a bet on a slot machine, you must decide how much money you are able and comfortable to bet. Once you have this amount locked down you should stick to it to make sure you gamble responsibly.

Slot machines can be one of the easiest casino games to get carried away with betting. The opening betting amounts can be as small as £0.01, so it can seem as though you aren’t spending very much money. However, these small amounts can quickly add up, leading you to spend a lot of money over the course of a session.

Winning Combinations When Betting On Slots

You get a winning combination in slots by matching images to form a line from the reels on the machine. Many slot machines require you to match at least three consecutive images from left to right to get a winning combination, but some demand you get five or more.  

To get an idea of how you can win when gambling at a land casino or via online slots, you can see some examples below:

Examples Of The Rules Of Winning Slot Machine Combinations  

💜💜💜💔💔 – Three symbols in a line

💜💜💜💜💔 – Four symbols in a line

💜💜💜💜💜 – Five symbols in a line

Examples Of The Rules Of Losing Slot Machine Combinations  

💜💜💔💔💔 – Two symbols in a line (you will need a minimum of three)

💔💔💜💜💜 – Three symbols from right to left (you need to go from left to right)

💜💜💔💜💜 – Four symbols, but only are two consecutive

The Slot Machine Pay Table

Many slot machines work by offering a range of amounts they will pay out, as they have a range of winning combinations. You can find out how much a combination will pay out by checking the pay table (the rules that dictate how much you can win) for the online slot or land casino slot you are gambling at.

An important detail to check on the slot pay table is how much you how you win for different images – many slot machines have a number of images with each giving you a different payout for getting a winning combination.

Slot Machine Features

Slot machines come with a variety of different features – some have a selection of vibrant images, others may have multiple reels. Both online slot machines and those found in land casinos offer a range of features to keep gamblers interested, some of the most popular are:

  • Bonus slots and games: Get the right combination to play a bonus round

  • Free spins: Land on the correct combination to get another spin

  • Cascading reels: Reels cascade or fall rather than spin

  • Wild images: An extra image on the reel, increasing your chances of winning

  • Coins: Shown as physical coins, these are a way of placing bets on slots

  • Multiplier images: These images multiply your winnings from x2 up to x1,000

Many online casinos will give you free spins on slot machines just for signing up, or alongside your first deposit. Some online bonus slot tips to help you get the best value for your time and money include:

  • Reading the terms and conditions to find out which slot games the bonus applies to

  • Checking to see if the bonus slots are paid to you automatically

  • Establishing that the casino rules are for using your bonus on progressive slots

Video Slot Machines Overview

Video slots are one of the most popular forms of gambling, offering players a wide variety of games and gambling options. The creation of video slots in 1975 by Walt Fraley led to the invention of coinless machines.

While they still use reels to produce winning or losing image combinations, video slots differ to traditional alternatives by using a video screen to show reels – as opposed to physical ones. Video slots often have five reels and paylines that go in a variety of directions – they go in straight lines, in zigzags, and in V shapes (both up and down).

Alongside offering gamblers a range of betting options, video slots often include bonus rounds and scatter pays – images that give you a payout once they are triggered, without even needing to be part of your payline.

Payouts (Select The Slot Machines With Highest Payback %)

As slot machines are so popular in both land and online casinos, it’s no surprise that there a huge number of slots and that they all offer different rates of return to gamblers. To make sure you get the best results from your gambling experience, your rule should be to pick the slot machines with the highest payback % and to do this, you need to opt for the one(s) with the best return to player (RTP).

RTP is a calculation that tells you how much of the money gambled by players on a specific game goes back to them over time. For example, if a game has an RTP of 1% it means that £0.01 of every £1 gambled on it will be returned to the player.

Most online casinos publish the RTP for the slot machines they offer. To find out which UK online casinos have the highest payback %, check out our online casino reviews and you’ll find the RTP for its slot machines and the other games available for you to play.


Can You Win Any Money Playing Online Slot Machines?

Unlike some casino games (such as poker), there is no element of skill to online slot machines. Slots are based entirely on chance, with players as likely to win/lose with their first bet as they are with their final bet. However, you can win at slots and your chances of winning are greater on some machines than others. To give yourself the best chance of winning, follow the rule of checking the RTP of the slot machine before you place a bet.

How Do I Pick The Best Online Slot Machine To Bet At?

The rules of gambling at slot machines is simple – pick your machine, place a bet, and see what combination of reels you get. When gambling at an online casino, the rules for picking the best slot machine is just as simple – check the RTP and pick the slot with the highest one.

Is There A Trick To Winning At Online Slot Machines?

While slot machines are a purely chance-based way of gambling, meaning there’s no trick to winning, there is a rule to follow which gives you the best chance of winning – find the slot with the highest RTP and play that, as this will be the game that pays back the most money to gamblers in the long run.


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