This How To guide for playing slots is mainly directed at new slots players. Still, experienced gamers may also benefit from reading it and discovering new nuances they were not aware of. We will look at the question “How to Play Casino Slots” from two angles.
First… there is the simple physical side of playing slots.
Second… there are aspects of slots that gamers should know that go far beyond the basic physical side of playing slots.
Slots Online and Slots at a Land-based Casino.
There are some important differences between online slots and land-based casino slots. We will incorporate these differences in our How To here.
Once you’ve chosen an online casino, newbies must sign up for an account giving minimal requested information (name, password, email). Confirm your account usually through an email sent to your inbox and voilla – you’re a player! It’s very easy and simple. If you’re already a member of the casino, just Login and you’re set to go.
At a land-based casino, you pretty much need to get to the casino, and you’re “in”.
Let’s assume you’ve come to the casino – online or otherwise – to play real money slots. So now you need to deposit funds to give you playing credits.
Online – go to the casino’s banking page where they offer a large variety of banking options. Choose what’s best for you – credit card, ewallet, bitcoin, etc. – and fill in your details, including the amount you want to deposit. Instantaneously, you’ll see your casino account credited with the amount you chose to deposit.
Land-based casino – go to the cashier’s window, choose the payment method best for you – cash or credit card – and they will give you a player’s card to use at the games. The days of slot chips are almost gone – now you get a sort of casino credit card, called the player’s card, that they have charged up with your funds.
Now we’re all ready to play.
Choose the Slot you’d like to play.
Online casinos will have a large selection – hundreds – of slots. Look at the different categories: 3-reel, 5-reel, 6-reel, Progressives, Video Slots – and choose the category that looks good to you. Now, within the category, “roam” around and choose a game that appeals to you. Click on the slots’ icon – there may be a prompt to “Play Now” or a similar prompt – click. The casino will then automatically take you to the slot’s interface.
At a land-based casino, walk around and find a slot terminal that looks appealing to you. Sit down, put in your player’s card, and you are ready to play.
Orient yourself with the slot’s interface. This will be the same at online and land-based casinos.
Look for the i – information – logo and click on it to get to the PayTable – this is where you can learn the ins-and-outs of the game.
Find the button where you determine the size of your bet – very important – this is where you will set how much you’re willing to bet on each spin.
Find the SPIN button – it might say something else according to the theme of the game, but it’s generally the big button at the lower center of the screen.
It is important to orient yourself with any slot that you have not yet played before you place a bet.
Now you will start to make decisions. You must decide how much to bet on any given payline, and how many paylines you wish to play. Don’t get stressed at this point – these decisions can be changed with a click.
If you choose to not play all of the paylines, go to the PayTable mentioned above and choose the ones you want to play.
There are often numbers to click on the side of the reels to choose your number of playlines – each game differs so it could be that not all games have these payline numbers – but many do.
With your bets in place, you are ready to click on the “Spin” button – it’s usually front and center, that big button at the bottom of the screen. The reels spin and when they stop, you will have won or lost that spin. The software in the game will automatically add your winnings or deduct your losses to your account if you are online or on your player’s card if you are at a land-based casino.
This step applies when you have reached the free spins bonus round. You might have to make a decision or two regarding multipliers, the number of free spins, and other decisions that are embedded in the game.
If you are asked to make a decision in the course of playing a slot, take your time and read whatever the slot presents as an explanation of your choices.
Remember, it’s all for fun – and the bonus rounds just add to that fun! So enjoy your bonuses – big time!
Things All Slots Players Should Know
In the How To section above we slowly went step-by-step over the purely physical side of playing slots either online or at a land-based casino.
Now we would like to talk about some things that gamers should know when they sit down to play slots.
The Return to Player Rate and Volatility
Check out, if possible, the return to player rate of a game you might choose. In online slots, the RTP is usually in the 95-97% range. It is significantly lower at land-based casinos (usually in the 55 -65% range) because they have more operating costs.
The RTP is a simple statistic that doesn’t tell the entire story about that slot. The flipside to the RTP is the volatility of that slot.
A high volatility slot will produce relatively few winning spins that pay out a relatively high sum per win while a low volatility slot will produce relatively many winning spins each of which pay out a relatively lower sum.
High volatility slots produce fewer winners altogether while low volatility slots are more precise as to the RTP per player.
All slots players should know the volatility of any slot they want to play and decide if the game is suitable to them.
Know the Rules Very Well
This is especially true in progressive jackpot slots and in slots with many paylines. In order to qualify to win the progressive jackpot, a gamer has to bet the maximum on the winning payline. Since we don’t know which payline will win the jackpot or when a gamer will win the jackpot, gamers play all of the game’s paylines at the maximum bet.
This can make betting on a progressive jackpot slot expensive. A lot of gamers solve this dilemma by budgeting spins on a progressive jackpot with a huge and growing jackpot.
Some Slots Have Fixed Paylines
A similar conundrum occurs in slots with many fixed paylines. Fixed paylines means that the gamer has to bet on all of the paylines. As with the progressive jackpot slots, this can get expensive and is a factor in slots play that gamers should be aware of.
Then there is the All Ways paylines – nothing for you to choose… all the paylines are in play all the time!
Slots are a Game of Chance
There is no specific strategy for winning at slots. That is why many online casinos tell gamers to play slots to have fun! Online casinos encourage gamers to sample all of their slots which can be more than 200 distinct games.
Players at land-based casinos generally play far fewer slots since they have to give up a terminal to look for a new slot to play.
The Gambler’s Fallacy is a belief that some outcomes are “due” to happen since it has been a while since they happened. This belief is entirely false. That is why it is called the Gambler’s Fallacy. This belief does not apply to slots either at an online or at a land-based casino.
Slots have a Random Number Generator that determines every outcome in slots and the RNG has no memory. Therefore, every spin is the same to the RNG and there is no way of knowing when a big jackpot will hit!
Slots Have Wild Symbols and Scatter Symbols
Just as the Wild symbols act as wild cards in poker, in slots they replace all other symbols except the Scatters. Wild symbols can do many things in slots with new types of Wilds coming out all the time. To date, these are some of the most popular and fun Wilds: Cascading, Stacked, Sticky, Expanding, Travelling, Exploding, and Multiplying.
The purpose of the Wild symbol is to help gamers win more and to add to the entertainment value of the slot. Thus, gamers can decide that they prefer a given slot based on the way its Wild symbol works.
Scatters are called that because they “win in all positions” meaning they don’t have to be on a payline to win. In addition, scatters win even if they don’t appear on the first reel which is usually where a winning spin has to originate.
Slots Can Play Very Fast
When a gamer chooses auto-play, they are choosing to play as many as 1000 spins automatically. These spins go very quickly. As a way of enjoying the slots more and getting their full entertainment value, we recommend not using auto-play so you’re sure to enjoy – and smile – with every spin.