How to play slots guide

Whenever you open any online casino, the most popular of all different casino games is the online slot. That is certainly true right here at Pink Casino. Online slots attract players because they come in so many different variations. There are simple 3-reel games, complex video slots with 6+ reels, slots with one payline, and slots with hundreds of thousands of ways to win. You can play slots that payout small and frequent wins - or slots that pay out big but not so often. Whether you like Ancient Greek games or space age games, there is something to suit all tastes.

In this complete guide to online slots, we look at how they all work, so you can get off to the very best start!

How to Play Slots in 3 Easy Steps

There are three main areas to master when learning how to play slot games online. There might be thousands of slots around, but their functionality is similar. Here are the key steps:

1. Understand the Paytable

Learning how to win playing slots is all about understanding how the paytable works. Every online slot game will have an information tab that contains the paytable. This is a section helping you understand how the game works and how you can trigger a win.

At the beginning of the paytable, you will see a description of the symbols. You will also see how many of them you need to land on the reels to trigger a win, together with the value of each combination.

Then, you will see how many paylines or ways to win there are. The symbols will need to land on these paylines to land a win. A win generated on a payline is called a base game win.

Some online slots also feature special symbols and bonus rounds with extra wins. You will find detailed information about any wilds and scatters (symbols helping to increase your wins) available. Most players want to find out how to trigger the bonus features and the overall winning potential. The paytable will include all of this. You will also find out whether there are special mechanics, such as cascading reels.

2. Set Your Stake

Different slots have different betting ranges. Check your game to see the minimum and maximum bet allowed. You can adjust how much you want to bet by pressing the + or - arrows located in the control menu.

Some games also allow you to adjust the number of paylines to bet on. Always check your total bet per spin before starting the slot. The bet per spin will be calculated automatically and displayed on the screen. You don't need to do the math manually.

3. Press Spin and Watch the Reels Go

Once you know the game and have set your stake per spin, the last step is to press the Spin button. Depending on the game, the button can also be marked with ‘Play’ or ‘Start’. The reels will begin to spin, and you will see the outcome. There is usually a soundtrack playing in the background. You can choose to keep the sound on or mute it. The sound effects add a lot to the experience. Take Dead or Alive 2 or Jack and the Beanstalk for example. Those sound effects take you in the middle of the action.

Slots Rules - Understanding the Game

The underlying principle for any slot game is that you place a bet and spin the reels. You want matching symbols to land on a payline to hit a win, or you want to land enough bonus symbols to hit the bonus round. But let’s take a closer look at how slot machines work:

Reels and Rows

Every slot game has a grid of reels and rows. The reels are vertical and (usually) spin independently of each other. The rows are horizontal and host the paylines.

The retro classic games would usually be played on 3-reels x 3-rows grids. However, most of the games are now played over 5-reels x 3-rows. Some games have even more…6 or 7 reels with multiple rows. Generally, the more reels and rows a game has, the more paylines or ways to win there are.

Some games have grids that expand when hitting bonus features. Megaways and Megaclusters games can change the number of symbols per reel on every spin - meaning the number of ways to win changes on each spin as well!

RTP: Return to Player

Every game developer will display the RTP percentage (Return to Player) of the slots. This is how much money a game pays out compared to how much money is paid into it. Often, the RTP% will vary between 94% to 99%.

Let’s take an example. If a slot game has an RTP of 96%, for every £100,000 spent on the game, it pays out £96,000 on average. RTP is calculated over the long term though. As such, if you only play 10 spins on a game, this is very unlikely to be accurate. However, overall, the higher the RTP, the better!


Slots can have low, medium, or high volatility. This refers to how often a game pays out and the size of the wins. Here is how volatility (also known as variance) applies:

  • Low volatility slots: pay out smaller wins more frequently
  • High volatility slots: pay out bigger wins less frequently
  • Medium volatility slots: These sit somewhere in the middle

In short, low-volatility games are a good match for low-risk players. High-volatility games suit those not bothered to wait some time to get bigger wins. Volatility can help you know what to expect from a slot machine.


As mentioned above, paylines depend on the number of reels and rows. A bigger grid means more paylines. You can find classic 3 reels slots with just one payline. Newer games can have thousands of ways to win.

You need to land matching symbols on adjacent reels to catch a win (generally from left to right). The more paylines there are, the more likely you are to win, but it can also mean that the wins will be smaller. Slots with a high number of paylines are usually low to medium-volatility games.

Other Ways to Win

Most slot games pay when matching symbols land on an active payline. The symbols often need to land from left to right, starting from the leftmost reel. However, sometimes the slot is a pays-both-ways game, which means it will also pay out if the symbols land from right to left. Apart from paylines, there a few more ways to win:

Cluster Wins

In the last few years, the popularity of 'Cluster Pays' slots has increased considerably. As the name suggests, you need clusters of symbols (horizontally and vertically) to win. For most games, you need to land clusters of 5 or more matching symbols to start winning. The more matching symbols in the cluster, the bigger the win. Cluster Pays slots are interactive and seem to have a faster gameplay. They are also great for those looking to try something different from the regular slot machines. Sweet Bonanza is a great Cluster Pays slot. Check it out on our website!

Megaways Slots

These are basically ‘All ways win’ games. You only need matching symbols on adjacent reels (from the leftmost reel). There aren’t any set paylines. However, what makes Megaways games stand out is that the number of ways to win changes from spin to spin. Every time you spin the reels, the number of rows and symbols will change. There are usually 6 set reels, but the number of rows on each reel can change at every spin. The number of rows can vary from 3 to 7 rows, and the maximum grid size is 6 x 7. This means that the maximum number of winning ways available is 117,649. You can see this way of winning in action in Bonanza Megaways.

Cascading Reels

The mechanic of cascading reels mixes paylines and clusters while adding an extra layer of interactivity. If you land a winning combination on a payline or winning cluster, the winning symbols are removed from the grid, and new ones are dropped in to fill them. This can create more winning combinations. The process keeps repeating itself until there are no new wins. A great example of such a slot is Gonzo's Quest. Give it a try to see the cascading reels in action on some Aztec background.

How to Play Online Slots: Special Features

Online slots usually pay out the most when you hit the special features. Some games got extremely popular for their elements. We could even say that this is where the big fight is for the game developers. Here are the main features you can come across:

Wild Symbols

Most slot games have wild symbols. They can substitute for all regular pay symbols to help create winning combinations. Sometimes, they even add multipliers to the wins. A win generated with the help of a wild could pay double, for example. There are many types of wilds available, with various functionalities to help. The most common types are:

  • Standard wilds: Can replace standard pay symbols to create wins
  • Stacked wilds: These can be 2, 3, 4, or 5 high and cover the entire reel, making the whole reel wild.
  • Sticky wilds: These remain in the same place for several spins (usually with respins and free spins)

Other types include expanding wilds (which grow to cover more space on the reels), multiplying wilds (which multiply your wins a certain number of times), and wandering wilds (which move across the grid).

Some slots feature a mix of wilds, increasing the chances to form wins.

Scatter Symbols

These are the symbols that will trigger the bonus rounds or the free spins rounds. Usually, you need 3 or more of them anywhere on the grid at one time to start the bonus round (they don’t need to land on a payline). Often, the more you get, the better your reward will be. For example:

  • 3, 4, or 5 scatters could award 10, 12, or 15 free spins
  • 3, 4, or 5 scatters could reward 15 free spins plus a 2x, 3x, or 5x multiplier

So, the more you get, the better. Often, if you land a scatter while playing the free spins round, this will retrigger the feature (although not always the case). When the scatter doesn't trigger a bonus round, it at least pays a good amount to compensate.

Bonus Rounds

These are the features usually triggered by landing scatter symbols or bonus symbols. The main types of bonus rounds are:

Free Spins: When you trigger the free spins, you will usually be awarded a set number of free rounds. They work the same way as standard spins, without coming out of your bankroll. Most slots make them more unique by adding multipliers, taking out the lower-paying symbols, making wilds sticky, etc. The biggest wins often come out of the free spins rounds.

Pick Me Bonus: This type of bonus will trigger different pictures on the screen, and you need to select one. Each option hides prizes (such as multipliers and instant wins) or bonus games enders.


If you land a multiplier, it will increase how much you win. Multipliers can increase your wins by 2x and all the way up to 500x, or higher. The biggest multipliers are usually found in the bonus rounds. Some players choose their slots by looking specifically at the multipliers.

Slots Guide - The Types of Slots

As we touched on above, there are various types of slot games to choose from, with these being the most popular:

Classic/Retro Slot Machines

These are the old-school slot games, reminiscent of the pub style and land-based casino games. They are popular with those who like a more traditional experience.

Most retro slot games are played on either a 3x3 grid or a 5x3 grid. They can have 1-10 adjustable paylines. The number of available paylines is usually a lot lower than on recent video slots.

You will also note that retro slot games tend to have standard symbols, including fruits, BARs, lucky 7s, etc. The Irish and Egyptian themes are also very popular among classic slots. Most of the wins in these slots will come from the base game. Retro slot games usually either have limited bonus features or no features. These are usually the simplest of all slot games.

Video Slots

These are the more up-to-date games, jam-packed with animations and features. They stand out because they usually have the best graphics and look very engaging. They also have unique bonus features aside from the base game, with all sorts of effects that accompany these features.

Video slots are where you will find different multipliers, cascading wins, free spins, pick-me bonuses, Megaways, lots of paylines, cluster pays, and more.

The themes for this type of games can be anything under the sun. It could be Ancient Greek mythology, outer-space, fairy tales, Egypt… anything you can think of. There are also branded video slots based on popular music, TV shows, or movies. Some slots have mini animated presentations when you open them or at the start of the bonus games. The latest games can get really immersive.

Video slots are the most diverse type of slot game out there.

Jackpot Slots

Jackpot slots are the ones that payout those record prizes. Some slot machines have fixed jackpots with a set amount of money. However, the most original jackpot game is the progressive one, where the wins keep growing and growing, sometimes into the millions, before the pot drops.

Progressive jackpots are often linked to a network across the globe - so anyone playing that game, no matter where they are and what casino they play at, will contribute to the jackpot. A small percentage of their wager will go into the kitty to build it up. Then, one lucky player will hit the winning combination and land a life-changing win.

Just after a jackpot is won, it will drop back down to its seed value (which could be, for example, £100,000) - and it will build back up again. Often, your bet needs to match a certain amount to qualify for the jackpot bonus game. Make sure you know the requirements to qualify for the jackpot win (look for them in the paytable of the slot).

How to Play Slots Online

If you are looking to get started playing slots online at Pink Casino, here are the steps:

Log In Or Open an Account

First, you need to have an account at Pink Casino. The registration process requires you to enter your details and verify your age. Once ready, you can access the site wherever you are, whenever you want. The games are available on mobile through the browser. We even have a downloadable app, so everything is right there at your fingertips.

Have Funds in Your Account

You will need to deposit real money into the account to start playing. Pick your preferred deposit method and make your payment. If you want to claim a bonus, make sure you choose an eligible payment option. Also, check the minimum amount necessary to benefit from the bonus. Once you have money in your account, you are ready to play.

Choose a Slot Game

It’s time to choose your slot. We have hundreds to choose from, so take your time to find the right one for you. Check out the different themes available, and look for the features and the winning potential. Pink Casino is constantly adding new slots to the catalogue, so there’s always something new to try. Explore the slots section to find the games you like the most.

How to Play Slots and Win

By now, you hopefully know more about the different types of games and their features. Many players are looking for ways to win at slots as a next step. Let’s talk about how to play slot machines UK for better chances.

Sadly, there is no slots guide that can offer you guaranteed ways to win. Slots are all about luck and 100% random. No one can predict the wins, and there are no secret strategies. Anyone that claims otherwise is misleading you. Ultimately, remember that the casinos have the edge long term.

For that reason, you should always remember that playing online slot games should be about the experience and not about running after wins. You need to make sure that you set your boundaries, stick to a budget, and never chase your losses. You shouldn’t bet any money you can’t afford to lose.

If you still want a slots guide to improve your experience, here are some tips:

  1. Always read the paytable and ensure you understand the slot. We can’t emphasise the importance of understanding how to play slots. How they actually work. Remember to always go into the game and check the paytable. Know which symbols payout the most, how to land the wins, and how to land those bonus features. Slots are random games, but this doesn’t mean you should play randomly.
  2. Always check that you set your bet correctly: It sounds silly, but make sure you bet what you mean to bet. You don’t want to accidentally pay £100 for a spin instead of £1. Before pressing spin, check the bet amount carefully. This will be always available on the screen.
  3. Set a budget and stick to it: Keep a gambling budget, and never go over it. It should be money you don’t need and can afford to lose. It is crucial to know when to stop. There are options to set betting and deposit limits in your account. If you need assistance, contact our support team.
  4. Try something new: We all have our favourite slots that we like to go back to. However, you might be surprised by the developments available both in graphics and features. New bonus rounds and mechanics can change the gameplay entirely. Give a try to a new slot at least once in a while. You might find some gems.


Our online slots guide will hopefully help you know what to expect and how to play slot machines here at Pink Casino. When choosing the slots for your next session, keep an eye on the features and the structures available.

This type of casino game is crazy popular because of its simplicity and winning potential. Even though slots rules are simpler than the ones of blackjack, it doesn't mean there aren't details that can help you benefit from a better gaming experience.

Time to explore some slots! You will find games for all tastes. Whether you like special features or something simple, low or high volatility, there’s something for you. Check out our online slot game catalogue and use the information in this guide to find the best slots that match your style and your expectations!

Take Time to Think | | 18+

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