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Open up any casino and you will be overwhelmed by the amount of video slots on offer. They’re flashy, attractive, fast and rewarding. Simply put, video slots online are a perfect mix and match for any casino player. As a player, you can choose from thousands of titles, supplied by hundreds of gaming providers.
We’re here to explain what makes these games so popular, and explore their most interesting features. We’ll also talk about the top video slots, and give you a list of the best online video slots sites where you can play for real money.
It’s no secret that the online market is flooded with video slots. What’s more, new video slots make a constant appearance on the market, as game suppliers keep competing for the attention of players. Barcrest and Playtech are video slots software producers that made their name in the UK. But NetEnt, Yggdrasil, WMS, IGT, Aristocrat, Microgaming, Play N Go; these and many others are also mega-popular across casino sites.
Let’s have a look at the finest releases over the years that have made a lasting mark in the iGaming industry.
We can’t claim whether Starburst is the best online video slot, but it’s definitely the most popular! Many modern slots are rich with all sorts of features. In contrast, Starburst is the epitome of simplicity.
Released in 2012, this NetEnt release quickly grew on the hearts and minds on millions of casino players. As such, Starburst is the most common game for free spins bonuses!
This slot’s gameplay is extremely engaging. As a baseline, its graphics and sound effects are top notch, as one would expect from NetEnt. In terms of features, Starburst is a slot that pays both ways; from left to right, and vice versa. This effectively doubles your potential of forming a winning combination.
The Starburst Wild takes center stage. It can appear on reels 2, 3 or 4. Besides substituting for all other game symbols, the Wild automatically triggers a re-spin. You can chain up to 3-respins through this symbol, which can generate a handsome payout.
And that’s pretty much everything this game has to offer, but its more than enough to offer rewarding game sessions.
This slot is low to medium in volatility, and it packs an RTP of 96%. The minimum bet size is £0,10 (max paylines), and the maximum is £100. As such, it’s excellent for bonus wagering and regular gameplay alike.
Released in 2009, Dead or Alive is very much alive over a decade later. We don’t see this changing a decade into the future either. Some games are simply considered classics. And this Wild West-themed release by NetEnt has a special place in the online slot hall of fame.
Dead or Alive comes equipped with 5 reels, 3 rows and 9 paylines. It is generally regarded as one of the best high variance slots on the market. As one would expect, this slot’s base game is not very rewarding. Though, it is pretty flexible, as you can bet with as low as £0,09 per spin – up to a maximum of £38.
What makes Dead or Alive so popular among players is its free spins round boosted by Sticky Wilds. It can generate absolutely ludicrous wins, with a maximum payout of up to X12,000 times your stake.
3+ Scatter symbols will net you 12 Free Spins with an X2 multiplier. During free spins, every Wild that appears will stick to your reels until the round is over, and grant you additional 5 Free Spins. What’s more, the Free Spins round can be re-triggered through 3+ Scatters.
Once again, though, we must warn you that playing Dead or Alive is a risky affair. The bonus round can be very rewarding, but it’s rarely triggered. On average, you will need 150 spins to activate it.
High volatility, even higher payout potential – this is the gist of Immortal Romance. Microgaming is well known for crafting high-variance games, but this one stands out as one of the best. Released in 2011, Immortal Romance withstood the test of time in terms of graphics, atmosphere and payouts.
The game boasts one of the highest random trigger payouts on the online market. Namely, the Wild Desire feature can appear randomly and turn up to 5 Reels into Wilds. Needless to say, triggering the Wild Desire is extremely rare, but ridiculously rewarding.
Immortal Romance’s bonus round is a game within a game. It is called the Chamber of Spins, and it holds 4 separate free spins types. You can progressively unlock them as you keep activating the bonus round.
The game also packs a Wild and a Scatter that pays both-ways. As a highly volatile game, Immortal Romance requires patience and a larger bankroll. It’s also preferred for longer gaming sessions because of the nature of its bonus round.
Barcrest’s Rainbow Riches is one of the most popular games across UK casinos. If you haven’t played it before, you certainly won’t be impressed by its graphics. But rest assured, this game can reward you to no end through its several bonus features.
We like games that have multiple ways of rewarding players. They provide the feeling that the next big win is just around the corner. Although this is a gambler’s fallacy, Rainbow Riches can be pretty generous in its frequency of payouts.
The game packs a Wild symbol, which substitutes all symbols except those related to its bonus features. Speaking of, there are three bonus rounds in this slot: Road to Riches, Wishing Well and Pot of Gold.
Each has unique benefits and different ways of dishing out payouts. Without spoiling too much, we’ll leave the exploring to you. Try Rainbow Riches at any trusted UK casino. With some luck, you may be able to find it in Demo Mode before making a real cash deposit.
From a provider with Nordic descent, it’s no surprise we’re seeing several Viking-based slot releases. Vikings Go Wild sticks out the most. With 5 reels, 4 rows and 25 paylines, this video slot has a fairly standard layout. Players can bet from as low as £0,25 up to £100.
Besides its likable cartoony art-style and vibrant adventurous soundtrack, Vikings Go Wild offers excellent payout potential. Its bonus round can reward you with up to 24 Free Spins. What’s more, each Wild appearing during free spins has a chance to become Sticky. As such, it will remain in your screen until the end of Free Spins.
What’s interesting is that the bonus round can be activated in two ways. Through the Free Spin symbol, or the Treasure Chest symbol. If the Treasure Chest appears during free spins, then it will dish out an additional 2 to 4 bonus spins, up to 1000 coins or the Wild Reel feature.
The base game is also complemented by a Wild which substitutes all besides the bonus symbols. All in all, it’s easy to spot why this Yggdrasil release is such a hit among players. It’s also considered a medium volatility game, which makes it ideal to most budgets.
In order to up the immersion levels, many gaming providers have placed unique video introductions to their video slots. These intros are usually presented through high-fidelity graphics. They can also serve to bring you up to speed with the slot’s story. Many of these games have an entire plot with thought-out characters and even a progression path. In other cases, video intros are simply there to set the mood, which is maintained throughout gameplay via sound effects and animations.
As the latest slot machine type in the casino gaming market, video slots hold many advantages over their predecessors; the fruit machines. As you continue reading, we’ll discuss these advantages in great detail. They should give you a clear picture on why video slots machines are the most popular game type.
There used to be a time when fruit machines were the kings of casino gaming. These 3-reeled classics still have a place in the digital world. Many of them are still popular, such as Joker 6000, Break da Bank and Couch Potato. These games hold their ground in terms of payouts, but 3-reel slots pale in comparison to video slots in all other aspects of gameplay.
Of course, many players have grown accustomed to retro-style slots, and have no quarrels with reduced graphical quality or lack of special features. Yet, the vast majority of players are quick to head to the video slots library immediately after making a deposit. As you read on, we’ll explain why.
The typical video slot has 25 paylines, which is already a notable upgrade over classic slots. However, as the years went by, game developers kept thinking out of the box. Thus, slots with 243 ways-to-win and 1024 ways-to-win came to life.
These slots unlock many additional ways of forming winning combinations. In certain games, symbols don’t have to be adjacent to each other to dish out their reward. In some slots, the ways-to-win increase as you progressively unlock additional symbols on the reels. Such is the case with Quickspin’s Phoenix Sun, with a maximum potential of 7,776 ways to win in its bonus round.
Still, slots with more ways to win are not necessarily better than regular 25-payline video slots. They serve their purpose, absolutely, but ultimately the math and RNG will determine the payouts.
We often say casino gaming should be about entertainment first! As such, browsing through the endless sea of video slot themes provides a nearly limitless entertainment factor. If you’re looking for an adventure in the ancient ruins of Egypt, you’ve got it. A stormy game session accompanied by Greek gods? You’re covered as well.
Modern video slots are based on all sorts of themes, from sci-fi, to mythology to pop culture. Many titles are also based on popular TV shows, movies, rock bands and singers. We can name examples such as NetEnt’s Jimi Hendrix and Aliens and Microgaming’s Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park. At some of the best video slots sites, you can filter slots by themes, which makes the search process easier.
The sublime graphics of modern video slots are the cherry on top. They’re the final ingredient to making your game sessions as enjoyable as possible. Not all new slots are visually stunning, but those supplied by the likes of NetEnt, Yggdrasil, Play N Go and Microgaming make for some excellent eye-candy.
The introduction of video slots established several key symbols as must-haves. The Wild is the most common symbol. It is generally a “wild card” symbol, acting as a substitute for nearly all other game symbols.
As such, Wilds increase your odds of forming a winning combination. They can appear anywhere, and there are multiple Wild types that enhance your gameplay in different ways. Though, we’ll talk about the various symbol types a bit later.
The Scatter, sometimes called the Bonus Symbol, is also a video slot staple. Its purpose is to activate the game’s respective bonus round, usually comprised of free spins or a pick-to-win feature. Scatters also tend to have a high fixed payout that is independent of the bonus round.
Most video slots have bonus games that add an extra layer of rewarding gameplay. This is the main reason they are so attractive to players. In many cases, the bonus round is the source of the majority of a game’s winning potential. These bonus games are typically in the form of Free Spins or Click To Win features. Free Spins will reward you a certain amount of bonus spins at no additional cost to yourself, whereas Click To Win features are simple mini-games where you can get random coin prizes.
We go in-depth about slot bonus features a bit further in this article.
Video slots are the best online casinos have to offer. They are extremely flexible. When designing a video slot, gaming companies have nearly limitless combinations at their disposal. The number of reels, rows and paylines, the types of regular and bonus symbols, the structure of the bonus round. All of these gameplay aspects can be shaped in a variety of ways to craft a unique and well-paying video slot.
These games can also be enjoyed literally everywhere. On your desktop, laptop, mobile smartphone and tablet device. Nowadays, new video slots are designed with the mobile experience in mind. They are compatible with iOS/Android, and can be enjoyed via special casino apps.
One of the most exciting parts of online slot gameplay is the variety in bonus features. Leading gaming providers keep reinventing the wheel. New video slot games often come with exciting special mechanics that present both rewarding and entertaining gameplay.
We’ll go through some of the most common video slot bonus features, and explain their meaning. At some online casinos, you can filter games by these features, helping you easily discover new titles you might like.
In many games, the free spins round holds the greatest winning potential. Therefore, this feature by far the most popular. It is also commonly found across the best video slots.
The general formula for free spins is mostly the same in online slots. Your game comes equipped with a bonus round that can reward you a certain amount of free spins. The bonus round is usually activated through a special symbol; the Scatter. Typically, the more Scatters on your reels – the higher your free spins amount.
In many cases, free spins come with extra payout conditions, such as higher multipliers, expanding/stacked/sticky Wilds and random payout triggers, to name a few.
In Microgaming’s Thunderstruck II, you can choose between 4 Free Spins features, each equipped with a unique mechanic that can reward you in different ways. Some slots, such as Book of Dead, keep it simple. The game rewards you with 10 Free Spins activated through 3 Scatters, but they can be extremely rewarding nonetheless.
The Expanding Wild was one of the first symbol type to improve upon the basic Wild. This symbol variant is fairly self-explanatory. When it appears, it can expand to cover the entire reel from top to bottom. Meaning, instead of one, you are getting 2, 3, 4 or 5 Wild symbols. Needless to say, this significantly increases your chances of forming a winning combination.
Depending on the slot you’re playing, the expanding Wild may be present in the base game, during free spins – or both. Many slots by NetEnt have this feature, including Starburst, the super-entertaining Guns N’ Roses and Sparks. In the same vein, we advise you have a look at 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick, a marine-adventure slot with an RTP of 98.5%!
Sticky Wilds are another popular iteration of the Wild symbol. Through this feature, when a Wild appears, it remains (sticks) on your reels, whereas other symbols keep spinning.
Depending on which slot you’re playing, this symbol can be available in the bonus round or in the base game. We talked about Dead or Alive and it’s monstrously rewarding Sticky Wilds, which remain throughout the entirety of your free spins round. There are many slots with a similar feature, such as Jurassic Park and Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Stacked and Colossal Wilds are also fairly common. They represent the same thing, but bear different names. These symbols are actually a group of Wilds that span across an entire reel. As such, Stacked Wilds are similar to Expanding Wilds, the difference being they are expanded from the start. Fire Strike and Aladdin’s Treasure by Pragmatic Play are good shouts if you’re looking for a Stacked Wild slot.
The Avalanche Reels feature goes by many names: tumbling reels, cascading reels, rolling reels, but in principle they are all the same. When a winning combination is formed, the reels don’t stop spinning. Instead, winning symbols are removed and make way for new symbols to take their place.
This creates the possibility of chaining multiple wins through a single spin. Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt was one of the first Avalanche Reels video slots. Microgaming’s Rolling Reels release, Jungle Jim El Dorado, is also worth a mention. You can also have a look at Pragmatic Play’s Aztec Bonanza, as one of the most interesting Tumbling Reels slots.
We could give you countless examples, but what’s great about all these games is that they make room for a theoretically infinite chain of wins. They also open up the path for interesting gameplay combinations. In Aztec Bonanza, for instance, chaining multiple wins unlocks the free spins round.
Pick ‘N Click is a simple feature found in many video slots with bonus rounds. Its mechanics are based around you clicking various objects and getting random coin rewards.
The easiest example of a pick-to-win slot is Blood Suckers. In this slot, you are taken to the pick-n-click feature through 3 Bonus symbols appearing on consecutive reels. You click to reveal coffins for random coin payouts. In Guns ‘N Roses, The Crowd-Pleaser bonus game is a 3-tiered Pick & Click feature which can net you a sizable coin win up to 1,600.
Re-respin video slots are becoming increasingly popular as of late. This interesting mechanic rewards a free re-spin, usually followed by a specific combination of symbols on your reels. Re-spins are injected into video slots games in a variety of creative ways.
In Respin Rhino (Lightning Box), 3 re-spins are triggered when reels 1 and 5 have a complete set of matching symbols. In Starburst, the slot’s Wild symbol triggers a respin. Then we have slots which are entirely based around this feature, such as Yggdrasil’s Valley of the Gods, which activates a free re-spin on each paying combination.
Random triggers are extra bonus boosts that can randomly appear in a video slot. They are usually present in the base game, but sometimes they are specially reserved for the bonus round.
Of course, everything in a slot is essentially a “random trigger”. However, what we’re referring to here is random payouts that are not dependent on any symbols.
We can take NetEnt’s Guns ‘N Roses as an example once again. This game has two randomly-triggered payouts: The Appetite for Destruction Wild, and Legend Spins feature.
The Gamble is a rather controversial video slot feature. It lets you gamble what you’ve already won through gambling, meaning it can easily let you down. After each winning spin, you will be given a 50:50 chance of doubling your win, or losing it all.
Many Novomatic (Greentube) slots have this feature, such as Book of Ra and Sizzling Hot. In these games, guessing the correct card colour can double your win, and you have multiple chances to gamble a single win.
The jackpot is common in all video slots online, but we’re not talking about progressives here. Instead, the jackpot signifies the maximum payout a particular slot can dish out. Usually, this payout is activated through the best possible combination of symbols.
This can mean 5 Wilds/Scatters, or a particular condition in the bonus round. Even though it’s rare to attain a slot’s jackpot, as it requires a ludicrous amount of luck, it’s still nice to know the game’s highest potential payout. Our video slot review section has more details on individual game payouts.
Based on what we wrote above, it’s safe to say video slots are abundant with all sorts of features. Mind you, we only mentioned the most popular ones.
Nonetheless, slots are all about the math behind the screen. It doesn’t make a difference if you’re seeing your wins through a Sticky Wild, Re-Spin or Avalanche chain. As long as you win, that’s all that matters.
These features don’t necessarily increase your odds of winning. Instead, their purpose is to keep you entertained while you play. And that’s not a bad thing at all. However, if you are trying to determine a slot’s payout patterns, you will find that RTP (Return to Player) and volatility are much better indicators.
In general, all video slots are designed to reward you, if we exclude the ever-present house edge. What sets video slots apart from each other is how frequently they reward you, and in which quantities. This is where RTP and volatility (also called variance) come in.
As you read on, we’ll describe these terms and why they’re important to players.
Return to Player is listed on every video slot. If its not, then you best stay away from it. The RTP percentage gives you a theoretical estimate of how much money you can expect to win in the long run. If a slot has an RTP of 97%, then by those estimates you will get £97 for each £100 wagered.
However, we must put a large emphasis on the word theoretical. These calculations are made over millions of bets across weeks of gameplay. The reality is much more volatile, and RTP should only be used as a general guideline. It is useful to look at, but only if you understand its meaning.
In general, high RTP slots tend to pay out more frequently. These slots are also referred to as “low volatility” slots. Meaning, their payout patterns are more predictable. However, many slots with high RTP can be high in volatility as well. In these games, the game’s payout potential is probably locked behind the bonus round.
Video slot volatility/variance is an indicator of a video slot’s expected payout behavior.
It’s up to you; your wants and needs as a player, and your budget, to determine which slot type you want to play. Naturally, risk-takers and players seeking the biggest wins tend to pursue highly volatile slots. Whereas, casual players will prefer low variance games. Though, we must answer an important question which is how do you discover the volatility of a certain slot?
Many gaming providers list the volatility under the game information tab, or on their website. A lot of online casinos list variance as well. You can also have a look at slot reviews by industry experts to get more information on this matter.
*Blood Suckers slot volatility & RTP sample taken from NetEnt’s website.
Keep in mind though, this is not an exact science. It’s impossible to pin-point the exact payout rate of any given video slot. You should look at these payout indicators as general guidelines. A highly volatile slot can shower you in wins within a few minutes, and a low volatility slot can still drain your bankroll in no time.
At the end of the day, luck is what matters most.
Bonuses are an integral part of online casino gameplay. They are available at every casino site, and most of them have wagering requirements. What’s more, most of them can be wagered on slots alone. Therefore, it’s important to know which slots to play for with a bonus in your account.
We recommend low to medium variance slots for wagering your bonus. It is simply safer that way. The general expectation of playing these slots with a bonus goes like this:
Of course, playing “safer” slots doesn’t necessarily mean you will wager your bonus. And nobody can give you any guarantees. It just means you have a better chance of doing so. Many players like to take more risks, win big, and complete their wagering process faster. The decision is yours to make.
We’ll give you a list of a handful video slots suitable for clearing your wagering requirements. We’ve included a healthy mix of low to medium variance games with varying RTP percentages.
We can’t give you an exact list of excluded slots for wagering, as this depends on the casino you’re playing at. In general, titles with RTP on the extreme high end tend to be restricted or have a reduced wagering contribution (75%, 50%, 25%).
In general, NetEnt’s Blood Suckers is usually a prime target for wagering restrictions. The same can be said for Thunderkick’s 1429 Uncharted Seas. For the best, up-to-date information, read every bonus offer’s terms and conditions in full. Our review section will also help in keeping you informed.
We’ve noticed that some new casino sites are a bit more relaxed with these restrictions in order to draw in new players.
Casino players love slots, and it’s easy to see why. There are virtually endless quality choices to make, and the gaming action never stops. The latest video slots keep breaking the rules, so much so it’s becoming hard to define what a video slot actually is.
One thing’s for sure, they are most popular game type, and with great reasons too. If you’re looking for video slots casinos, have a look at our review section. Making a choice on which game to play is important. It’s even more important to put your money in the hands of a trusted operator.