Leisure/Sport, Tech/Software

How online slots work (and how to increase your chances of winning)

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This guide gives you the background on how online slots function, and how you can improve your chances to win when playing them.

Slots are the most popular game at both online casinos and land-based casinos. They provide millions of punters all over the world with countless hours of entertainment and come in all shapes and sizes. 

Whilst many people may think online slots – like the ones that can be found on sites such as slotsource.com – are just down to clicking a button and then crossing your fingers, it can be beneficial to know actually how online slot machines work. In this guide, we’ll go over everything you could ever want to know about how online slots work – including some tips and tricks that could improve your odds when you press the spin button.

How do online slots work?

When you understand the mechanics of slot machines and what’s going on behind the scenes, you can make better choices as to which slot games are worth the time and effort. 

No matter how simple the slot game may appear, they’re all a sophisticated combination of different elements brought together to create a game that is both totally random and unpredictable.

The RNG (Random Number generator)

A key component of any slot game is the random number generator – or RNG. It’s this software that basically powers the whole game from behind the scenes. This software is what helps to make sure the game always has a totally random outcome. 

RNGs aren’t exclusive to the casino world though – plenty of different industries use the same technology to ensure a degree of both randomness and fairness in their products or software. 

When used in a slot game, the random number generator allows the game to produce a totally unique set of symbols on the reels each and every spin – that spin is not affected by any previous or future result. This helps the game have some risk whilst also staying fair, as no one can accurately predict what the next combination will be.

When we take the RNG software and apply it to the standard 5 reels, 3-rows slot games, the result is billions of different combinations! The special RNG software is a way of making sure that each and every one of these combinations has exactly the same chance to appear on the reels.

Reels and Paylines

Going to the basics of slot games, the reels are the vertical lines that can comprise of different symbols. The horizontal lines of the slot are called rows. These rows and reels can be in different configurations – but the most common you’ll come across are either 3 reels, 4 reels or 5 reels with 3 or 4 rows. 

The paylines for slot machines can also be known as a bet line and is a pattern or line across the reels. There are plenty of different lines – from straight across vertically or horizontally, to lines that go all over the reels!

Coin values and pay tables

The coin value is simply a way of representing how much you want to bet for each spin. You can vary how much you want to bet every single spin and many slot games have a huge range in the amount you can bet per spin.

The paytable of any slot will be in the information panel of the game and will give a more in-depth guide on the values of different paylines as well as bonus features for that individual slot. This information is always worth a look at since each individual slot has different bonus mechanics and payouts.

All of these are the basics you’ll find in any online slot. There are also other elements that vary spending on the game you’re playing such as bonuses, symbol features and various jackpots!

How to improve your winning chances at online slots

Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at some of the things you can take into consideration that could help with your chances of winning. Before we get into them though, always keep in mind the basics when it comes to gambling of any kind – set a budget, don’t bet more than you can lose and stop when the fun stops.

Know the stats of different slots

There are numerous different statistics you can find on almost every single slot game, and these stats can make all the difference. Before you choose to play any slot game, you should take a look at all the available information you can find including:

The Return To Player (RTP) of the slot. This number is a percentage that gives a clue as to how much return players get back from that particular slot over the long term. Whilst this number isn’t a definitive guide and is no guarantee, a general tip is that you want to look for the highest possible RTP percentage.

Next up on the slot machine stats is to look at the volatility of the game. This is a term to represent how often the machine dishes out wins and how big the wins are. Low volatility games will have players winning a bit more often, but lesser amounts. High volatility games will have players win less often, but the winning amounts will generally be more.

Play for free/practice

They say the secret to getting good at anything is practice – and the same thing comes to online slots. Most of the slot games out there will have some sort of demo or free play mode, which is the exact same as the normal playing mode except you get free coins to try out the features.

This free mode will have the same volatility and RTP as the version which uses real coins, making it an invaluable tool in learning the different mechanics of the slot game.

Avoid branded slot games

Finally, there are absolutely tons of branded slot games out there – from hit bands such as Guns N’ Roses and KISS to slot games based on award-winning tv shows like Game of Thrones and Narcos. These slots are incredibly enticing to many players, as they’ll get to see their favourite characters and locations that they recognise whilst gaming. But this all comes at a cost!

To acquire the licences to use these famous characters, the software developers have to pay a hefty fee. This extra fee is often passed onto the players with lower RTP and higher volatility.