Online slot games have been around for decades and continue to be a favourite pastime of long-distance casino fans. From classic three-reel machines to all-singing, all-dancing video slots, they have become more and more complex as developers strive to add exciting new ways to win. However, despite the increasing sophistication of modern slot games, the basic rules remain the same. The key to winning is to line up matching symbols on a payline. This can be across a reel or diagonally, depending on the game you’re playing. Some games even feature special symbols such as wilds and scatter bonuses that boost your chances of landing a winning combination.
Many players are under the misconception that slot machines have a memory and can ‘hot or cold’. This could not be more incorrect! While it is true that some slots are more likely to deliver a payout than others, this has nothing to do with the machine’s memory. It is all down to the random number generator – RNG – which determines each spin’s outcome.
When you play a slot machine online, you must remember that there is no such thing as guaranteed wins. The only way to win is to land matching symbols on a payline in the right order – this could be horizontally, vertically, diagonally or in a different configuration specified by the game developer. However, it is worth noting that the majority of modern slot games now use a cluster pay system which means that rather than having traditional pay lines, each spin presents a series of combinations that can be made with symbols landing adjacent to each other in groups. This approach is particularly popular with NetEnt titles such as Aloha! Cluster Pays and Gonzo’s Quest for Eldorado which has quickly risen to the top of many players’ lists.
There are also some games that use a Megaways pay system where reels 2 and 4 have four rows while reel 3 has five, presenting players with a huge number of ways to win. This is a popular format used by software providers including Big Time Gaming, with their title Gonzo’s Quest for Eldorado regularly making the top of players’ “most played slots” lists.
In addition to paying out wins, slot games also have a variety of bonus features that can help players keep the winnings coming in. These include re-spins, progressive jackpots, gamble/double up and quirky visual effects that will make you jump out of your chair should you hit a winning combination! You can find out all about these extras by checking out the paytable or rules overview of each game.
Most slot games also have a soundtrack that plays when a winning combination is landed. This is designed to be entertaining and entice players to play more, but you should always stop when you reach your loss limit or you are losing more than you can afford to lose. If you are playing at a reputable licensed online casino, the games will be RNG-tested to ensure fairness and have a high chance of returning your investment over time. However, shady casinos are waiting in the wings to rip you off, so do your research before parting with your hard-earned cash!