All About Slot Machines Online
Updated on 5th May 2020
Here at Pink Casino, we boast an impressive range of slot machines both old and new for all types of online casino players to find the slot machine that best suits their individual gameplay preferences. We know that some of our players might be new to slot machines, some may be more familiar with playing in land-based casinos, and some might know absolutely everything about fruit machines and their modern counterparts.
To bridge the gap between our brand new slot games players and those that already have a few favourites that they tend to flit between when they go to play casino games, we wanted to create a really handy guide full of all the most useful information that we could think of. So, from the most popular slot machines to the top slot machine themes, we’ve covered this and more, so just read on for all of our helpful info!
Online Slot Machines Glossary
If you’re new to playing in an online casino, or even if you’ve been playing for a while, certain words or phrases may have cropped up that you’re unsure of and they can be a little intimidating at first. While playing slot machines online can be entertaining, it’s always better when you fully understand what’s involved and how the games work.
All Ways Win / Win Both Ways: Usually, in slot machines, wins can only occur on a payline (more on that later) from left to right. In this type of game, wins can occur from left to right, right to left, and if stacks are allowed, from top to bottom and vice versa, too. Lots of Pink Players like this feature as it gives you more opportunity to bag a payout with every spin.
Autoplay / Autospin: This is a term you’ll likely see in most, if not all, games in our catalogue of slot machines. Many video slots allow this feature which plays a predetermined number of spins that you can tailor to suit your budget. This is a nice shortcut so you don’t have to press the Spin button each time you want to play.
Basic Slots: While this is quite a generic term that could be used in reference to slot machines with no fancy bonus features, it’s usually used to describe a game with only 1 payline and an unchanging jackpot. They’re often fruity-themed, so you’ll be familiar with these games if you’ve frequented one-armed bandits and land-based slot machines.
Bonus / Bonus Round / Bonus Feature: No matter how it’s described - this pertains to the extra features and mini-games that are integrated into a slot machine, and they may have slightly different rules to the regular base game. What kind of bonuses can you trigger? Often, you can win free spins, re-spins, cash prizes, and increased chances to win - it all depends on the game. Be sure to read our game descriptions before you play for all the details.
Free Spins: Speaking of free spins - what exactly are these? Are they really free? Some slot machines include free spins in a bonus feature. If triggered, you’ll be awarded a certain number of rounds - during these spins no money will be deducted from your balance, so - yes, they’re really free!
Jackpot: This refers to the big prize - the one that most players are hoping to win.
Payline: This is the row along which the winning symbols must gather to ensure a win. So, if there are 5 paylines and 5 rows of symbols, each row could offer the player a win – whereas if there is only 1, then only the (usually) middle row will be a win, no matter what symbols gather above and below it.
Progressive Jackpot: Progressive jackpots provide the opportunity to play for the biggest jackpot prizes in slot machines. They accumulate by connecting various machines or games together so that everyone who plays the game contributes to the prize money on offer.
Reel: Video slot machines run on reels that roll up and down the screen. It is possible to have three, four, or five-reel games, and there are even some that go up to ten-reels, usually divided into two five-reel games.
Re-Spins: Re-spins are similar to free spins but they work more like do-overs on your previous round, giving you the chance to go again on a disappointing result.
RTP: This stands for Return to Player and it is a representation of the odds of winning. On video slot games, the RTP runs anywhere from 94% to 99%, with the higher percentages being those with the highest odds of winning. It is a calculation of the average that is paid out to players in relation to how much they stake. Of course, you would need an RTP of 100% or more to be guaranteed of winning every single time, which would very quickly mean casinos wouldn’t be able to operate. The RTP is an advisory figure only. On an individual level, each player will experience different results.
Scatter: This term refers to high-value symbols that both contribute to winning symbol combinations (just like Wilds) and can also trigger a bonus feature. Each video slot game will have a slightly different Scatter functionality so be sure to read the rules before you begin the game.
Spin / Start: This is usually a button on the screen that you press to begin the game. This will deduct the current stake from your balance so be sure to tailor your bet before you start spinning.
Stacks: In video slot machines, usually wins can only be achieved from side to side, most often from left to right, but when stacked wins are allowed, this means that wins can happen from top to bottom too.
Stake: This refers to the money you have placed as a bet on that spin producing a bigger payout than you paid into it.
Symbols: Each video slot game has a different slot machine theme, and the symbols (or game tokens) reflect this. They can range from fruit and gemstones to popular culture characters, fantasy, sci-fi and standard playing card symbols – the latter of which tend to be used widely as the low-value symbols in a game.
Volatility: High volatility slot machines have the potential to offer big wins in quick succession, and then a long streak of low payouts or no wins at all, while low volatility games tend to hit the big jackpots less often, but can offer more regular small prizes instead. Medium volatility slots are somewhere between the two.
Wild / Wildcard: These symbols are like the jokers in a card deck. They can complete a run of high-value symbols, are occasionally used as the Scatter, and often feature in bonus games and rounds, adding value to the gameplay.
How to Play a Slot Machine
Okay, let’s take this back a step or two… what is a slot machine? How do they work? How do you play one? It’s always important to know exactly what it is you’re playing before you start playing it - that’s why we all like watching gameplay trailers of upcoming video games, it’s why we like to know the plot to a movie before watching it, and it’s why we write up a handy information page for all of the games on our site.
First things first: slot machines are a type of gambling game. The aim of the game is to get matching symbols across a payline to receive a cash prize! That’s more or less it - these games are simple and don’t take a lot of understanding different nuances or rules to start playing. Going into a slot game, that is the only thing you’re expected to know about it. Each individual slot machine game will teach you about its own unique features, payout structure, and rules.
Which Slot Machines Pay The Best?
This is a slightly more complicated area than how to play slot machines as slots are completely random. That means there is no guarantee that one slot machine is going to pay out bigger amounts than any other. Having said that, you can filter down the available slots to find one that is more likely to create winning spins by knowing what to look for in a slot machine.
So, what is it that you should be looking for?
RTP, variance, and paylines are three of the most important aspects of a slot machine’s pay structure. You can use these as rough guides for how likely it is that you’ll receive a payout and whether or not it has big win potential or smaller, more regular prizes.
RTP: The percentage of a total wager that you might expect to get back in payouts. For example, after staking £100 on a slot machine with an RTP of 90% you could win back £90. As every game is unique, however, this isn’t definitive - you could win more than this or you could win nothing. It’s entirely random - so you can use this as a guide, but it’s wise not to use this as gospel.
Variance: Variance is quite similar to RTP - but it’s more generic in the understanding it gives to players looking for a new slot machine to play, but it offers great context to the payout potential of a game. For example, higher variance slot machines may pay out less regularly but offer bigger prizes when they do pay out. In contrast, a lower variance slot machine may pay out more regularly but in smaller chunks.
Paylines: Paylines are the bones of a slot machine - these are the lines that matching symbols need to land on (usually from left to right) in order to be rewarded with a cash prize. The number of paylines on offer in a game can be a good indicator as to how likely it is that you’ll win something. There are plenty of high-payline slot machines here at Pink Casino in our Megaways catalogue of slots which offer up to 117,649 ways to win - compared to the old-fashioned fruit machines in land-based venues that traditionally boast just 1 payline.
We go a little bit more in-depth in our helpful guide to the highest RTP slots guide so head on over if you’d like to learn more.
Slot Machine Themes
Just as our players are incredibly varied, the slot machines that you all play are similarly unique, all with their own individual theme, interface, and set of reels to play on. When you’re looking for a brand-new slot machine to start playing on, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. It helps to have a preferred theme or genre that you can use as a starting point to discover the most fitting slot machine for you!
How many slot machine themes are there? What are the most popular slot machine themes? Well, luckily we know just that - and it’s clear to see which ones are the most impactful by taking a look at our slots catalogue which boasts an impressive range of themes, but is most densely populated by certain ones.
Green hues, jolly leprechauns, and (hopefully) lucky four-leaf clovers. These are instantly-identifiable images that we would all pick out from the Emerald Isle and we might even have adopted some of these charming quirks in a costume for St Patrick’s Day once or twice…
These are also symbols that you can find in our hugely popular Irish selection of slot machines and, while we don’t know for definite, we’re pretty sure that it’s the charm and familiarity of the Irish imagery that connects with our players. Or maybe it’s just because we like the bouncy jig music that plays as we spin the reels!
So which of our Irish slot machines are the most popular with Pink Casino players?
Rainbow Riches: This is arguably the most famous of all slot machines in the UK, commonly found in land-based venues and readily available at your favourite online casino (hopefully that’s us!), which has made it a popular title. Why is Rainbow Riches such a popular slot machine? Well, it’s nice and simple, offers players plenty of potential bonus features, and has a generous maximum win of 500x your stake. It’s just a great all-rounder that is brilliant for all types of slot players.
Rainbow Jackpots: Another famous title, Rainbow Jackpots is jolly and green, and it’s complete with a chirpy mascot that is present throughout the game to try his darndest to spin some wins onto the reels! Red Tiger is the development studio behind this game so you know it’s been made to the highest standard and it’s adorned head-to-toe in gorgeous graphics. There are six bonus features on offer in this game, so gameplay is always different and full of potential.
Fruity slot machines are the most traditional type of game and make for ample pun opportunities, which I’m sure you would all appreciate ‘berry’ much. This theme originates from the old-school machines with the levers which boasted singular paylines in the centre-most position of the 3x3 reels. Slot machines have been given a brilliant makeover since then and we now have newfangled video slots with animations, 3D graphics, and the ability to play on all sorts of devices!
Lots of our players like the classic feel of freshly-squeezed payouts from fruity slot machines and we’ve got plenty on offer ranging from games that feel nostalgic and old-school to ones that are incredibly modern and offer lots of extras!
Which fruit slot machines are the most commonly played at Pink Casino?
20p Slot: This slot machine is about as traditional as you might expect from its title; spin the simple reels of 20p Slot and you’ll see the bold fruit symbols land in random positions. If you’re after a game that will make you feel as though you’re standing at a fruit machine for real, 20p Slot is one that you’ll want to check out.
Berryburst: NetEnt’s bright and cheerful 3D title has enough fruit to contribute to 1 of your 5-a-day. It has a gorgeous pink-red-purple colour scheme and it’s packed full of freshly-picked fruits that are fit to burst with juicy payouts.
Egyptian slot machines are similarly old-school in terms of their origin but this genre has definitely undergone the most modernisation with lots of different takes on Ancient Egypt to diversify the Egyptian catalogue of games. There have been plenty of unique variations from different game developers - from aliens to traditional mythology, the reels have been given lots of makeovers so there are plenty of options depending on the gameplay experience you’re looking for.
Which Egyptian slot machines have become relics here at Pink Casino?
Book of Dead slot: Could we really talk about Egyptian slots without discussing Book of Dead? It’s incredibly popular and is easily one of our most played games, transporting players into the deserts with the famous explorer Rich Wilde in search of ancient prize artefacts.
Eye of Horus Megaways: This is a really good-looking feature-filled slot game that effortlessly takes such a classic theme into the 21st century - particularly thanks to its Megaways feature. This offers up to 15,625 ways to win and there are even some Free Spins to look out for. The graphics are nicely designed, made to look like ornate hieroglyphs - this is a great title to try out if you want something modern but with great reward potential.
By far one of the newest themes to take over the casino industry, Movie slot machines are inspired by famous films that have amassed a huge following over the years. These are particularly popular with players looking for a recognisable game - thankfully, they often have lots of features and excellent graphics so they’re as well-rounded as they are unique! Also on offer are various TV-inspired slots so you can spin through reels set in some of your favourite television shows alongside big names and occasionally hilarious scenarios.
Which movie slots are our players tuning into the most?
The Goonies slot: Hey, you guys! Join the gang in their newest quest to find the mysterious One-Eyed Willy’s treasure as they spin through multiplier-packed features, Free Spins, and potential cash prizes! All the available bonus features are inspired by one of the characters who may occasionally show up for a nice surprise.
Naked Gun slot: Inspired by the hilarious series of Leslie Nielsen films of the same name, the Naked Gun slot offers lots of funny callbacks to the source material in the bonus features - and it’s also worth noting that this game has the potential to be incredibly rewarding. It’s part of the Jackpot King series of progressive jackpot games, so the payouts could be enormous!
Do Slot Machines Have Bonuses?
Short answer: yes - usually! All casino bonus features are entirely unique to the game that they feature in, so it’s ultimately down to the game developers whether a bonus feature makes it into the final game. Some games offer more features than others and some may not have any at all - but that’s not always a bad thing! While we know that our players do like the feeling of triggering a bonus feature, the main game of a slot machine can often have the ability to be just as rewarding as a bonus round.
Having said that, we did want to go a little more in-depth regarding the most common type of bonus features that you may stumble across during any slot machine flutters.
Free Spins are often regarded as the ultimate casino bonus feature because they do what they say on the tin - they give players free rounds of gameplay that don’t cost a penny but can result in cash prizes. It also happens to be very common in casino games, usually triggered by landing a certain number of Scatters on the reels in a single spin.
Multipliers aren’t a bonus round, per se, but they can occur during gameplay to increase your winnings by a predetermined amount. Some slot machines offer Free Spins with an Unlimited Win Multiplier which increases with every consecutive win, giving you the ability to bag some really handsome payouts!
Q: Does it matter how much you bet on a slot machine?
A: All payouts are calculated as multiplications of your chosen per-spin stake, so while you might win more after a successful spin on a high stake, you would risk less by staking low - so it’s all down to perspective. Our advice would be to only stake as much as you’re willing to lose.
Q: How do slot machines work?
A: The outcome of a slot machine spin is randomly determined by a computer, known as a Random Number Generator (RNG), which is far more effective than a mechanical machine at making things fair for players. It’s a common misconception that slots can be ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ or due for a jackpot win. While it might feel that way, RNGs make it as random as physically possible.
Q: Why are slot machines so popular?
A: While some gambling games are quite complicated to learn and take a bit of time to understand the rules fully, playing slots is as simple as pressing Spin and waiting to see if matching symbols land on a payline. If they do, you’ll receive a prize! People like the simplicity of the gameplay and the potential rewards that could come from them are an added bonus!