Online slots are the single most popular genre of game in the online casino world in terms of the total number of games and the total amount of play volume from players. Along these lines, there are tons of people who really end up asking the same several questions over and over. Our goal here is to group all of these frequently asked questions together in one place so that players can read through them at once and gain a bit of knowledge about the genre as a whole so that they can better understand the games themselves.
Is it Safe to Play Slots Online?
If you take the right precautions, then it’s very safe to play online slots. There are two sets of precautions that you need to take. The first set has to do with choosing where to play. If you stick with sites that are licensed in reputable jurisdictions and that have good reputations in the business for paying out when they are supposed to and being fair with players, then you’ll be in good shape on that front. Following our recommendations of where to play with our lists of casino sites that we have reviewed in depth is an easy way to take care of this part of the equation.
The other side of things is safety on your computer or mobile device and security for your account information. We recommend that players make a separate email address that is only used for casino account information and that is never shared with anyone else ever. We also suggest that players use a virus and spyware scan regularly on their computer and that they use passwords for the casinos they play with that they do not use anywhere else.
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What Does RTP Mean?
RTP stands for “return to player,” and it’s listed as a percentage. This is a measure of the payout rate of an online slot. For example, a slot with a RTP of 98 percent would pay out $98 for every $100 that players wager on it over the long run. If you subtract the RTP from 100, then you also get a figure called the house advantage. In the case of an RTP of 98 percent, the house advantage would be 2 percent.
The higher the RTP and the lower the house advantage, the better your chances of winning on any given session.
What is Variance?
Variance is a term from statistics that essentially measures how big or small the swings will be, on average, in an online slot. Volatility is another term that means the same thing. If the variance (or volatility) of a slot is high, then you can expect larger swings. You can also expect to lose in your sessions more often, but when you take down a winning session, it will be much larger, on average. With a game that has a low variance, the opposite is true. You’ll have lower swings, you’ll have losing sessions less often, and your winning sessions will be for smaller amounts. Keep in mind that all of this is referring to averages.
What Does an RNG Do?
The RNG is the random number generator portion of a computer program, and for online slots, it’s a very important part of the overall software. It’s what essentially decides where the reels fall on each spin, and it being as random as possible and not subject to human interference is one of the main things that keeps the games safe and fair. There are a number of sources of randomness that are measured that cannot be influenced in meaningful ways by human beings, like very precise measurements of temperature in various places.
For example, if a piece of equipment measures that the temperature at a given moment is 45.8375658 degrees, and the last three digits of that decimal are what is used as input to the random number generator, there’s not really any way for human interference to happen on that precise of a level.
Are Online Slots Rigged?
If you play with reputable software companies at sites that are licensed in reputable jurisdictions, then you won’t ever have to worry about rigged slots that pay out differently than what they are reported to. The games themselves aren’t actually hosted from the web servers that the online casino control. Instead, they’re hosted from secure servers operated by the software company themselves, and this puts them in a place where they cannot be tampered with. They are monitored closely by their respective gaming regulatory body, and regular audits are performed to make sure that there has been no unauthorized access to try to change anything about the games. This means that they can be verified to be secure.
What is a Casino Bonus?
A casino bonus is an incentive to play at a particular casino site, and it’s one of the ways that the sites compete against each other for players. This competition helps players tremendously by creating pressure for promotions like these that give players value.
The basic idea is that players get extra money added to their accounts when depositing. This extra money, known as a bonus, can usually be played with but not cashed out. You can, however, cash out your winnings from playing with this bonus money. It amounts to free chances to win, and if you adhere to the terms and conditions, it adds value to your experience.
What Are Wagering Requirements?
Also known as play-through requirements, wagering requirements are one of the terms and conditions of a casino bonus that must be taken care of. It’s essentially a way to prevent the abuse of bonuses from players who have no intention of playing the games normally to begin with. The way they work is that you’ll need to play through a certain amount of real money play before you can cash out after claiming a bonus offer. The amount is usually based on a multiple of your deposit and/or bonus amounts. It can also vary based on the games that you’re playing.
What Are Bonus Features?
A bonus feature in online slots will include any way to win in the game that does not involve a normal payout from lining up symbols during a paid spin. You can have free spins, instant win rounds, avalanche features and all kind of other goodies that give you extra value that you wouldn’t have otherwise received. They are a great way to mix up the gameplay a bit and give players exciting opportunities to get paid that break up the usual wins that come on the reels.
What is an Avalanche Feature?
Avalanche-style features are called different things from different software companies (eg: “Roling Reels” from Microgaming), but the basic idea is always the same. When you have a winning spin, you are paid out normally. Afterwards, the winning symbols disappear from the reels, and this allows new symbols to fall into place into the empty spots that were left behind. If you line up new winning combinations, you get paid again, and the process repeats itself. This feature is known for producing a lot of action and decreasing the variance of a game because it gives you so many opportunities to get paid on the same spin without having to pay anything extra.
Is There a System for Beating Slots?
There is no system for guaranteeing that you beat slots. However, there are a number of things you can do to maximize your RTP, which will maximize your chances of having a winning session the next time you play. You can choose games that have higher RTPs to begin with, you can make sure you always play with all of the paylines activated (playing with fewer than the maximum lowers your RTP), and you can avoid progressive jackpots that aren’t larger than their average values. Putting things like this together will boost your average RTP, which in turn will increase your chances of winning, but it’s never a guaranteed thing.
How Does the Gamble Feature in Slots Work?
The gamble feature in any slot is essentially a bet that has a house advantage of zero that gives you a chance to double or quadruple your money, just depending on the style of the feature. For example, suppose you win $5 on a spin and decide to activate the gamble feature. Instead of receiving $5, that money is put towards a double or nothing (or quadruple or nothing) wager that’s usually based on virtual playing cards or some other randomizing factor. If you win, then your prize is doubled (or quadrupled), and if you lose, then you get nothing.
Are Slots Really Random?
Online slots are as random as they can be within the limits of our technology. The random number generator programs that provide the randomness for the games are based on factors that are so random that they are beyond possible human interference, and a lot of this is based on the precision of what’s being measured to provide the randomness. For example, if temperature of some foreign location was being used to seed the randomizer, then it’s easy to see how it would be impossible to affect things if the measured temperature was something like 39.25464738 degrees with the last three digits (738) being used to determine the randomness. We simply cannot influence measurements on that small of a scale, and this helps to keep the games fair and random.
Is it Possible to Cheat on an Online Slot?
As a player, there is really only one cheating method that is relevant for online slots today, and it’s covered by the vast majority of online casino sites at this point. The basic idea is that there are games that allow you to run up a guaranteed feature bonus meter during your play. For example, you might be guaranteed a bonus feature if you go 100 spins without one. The cheating method involves using bonus money to run these meters up on different games as high as they will go without actually triggering the feature, but you do it using bonus money.
After you clear the bonus or run out of money (which kills off any remaining wagering requirements), the idea is to make a small deposit without a bonus. You then use this money to go back to all of those games and kick the meter up to trigger the features with just a couple of real money spins. You’ll win a lot of money from the triggered features, which you can then cash out without the winnings being subject to wagering requirements. It’s a form of bonus abuse, and most online casinos have automatic measures in place to prevent this sort of thing now.
What Are the Odds of Winning a Progressive Jackpot?
The odds of winning a progressive jackpot vary wildly depending on the game you’re playing and other factors. Many games will scale your chances of winning based on your actual wager size to keep things fair between low stakes and high stakes players. For example, a bet size of $0.50 would have one-half of the chance of winning as a single wager of $1. However, betting $0.50 twice would have the same chance of hitting the jackpot as wagering $1 once, along the same lines.
Generally speaking, the larger the jackpot, the less likely someone is to win it on any given spin. There are also games that have multiple jackpots of different sizes, and the smaller ones are always the better chances to win. They are hit more often than the larger jackpots as well, and this only proves that the chances of winning them are higher.
What is an “All Ways” Slot?
The “all ways” format is an alternative to the usual payline betting system for slots. It turns every symbol into a left-to-right scatter symbol. This means that you only need one of a symbol on each reel, from left-to-right, to make a winning combination instead of needing them to align along specific paylines as well. This format adds a lot of action by giving players more winning spins, and it lowers the volatility of the game along these lines. When combined with other features like stacked wilds or an avalanche feature, you can end up with some of the most action-packed games in the industry with this type of slot.
What is Bankroll Management for Slots?
Bankroll management is essentially having a betting strategy based on how much you want to be able to play from the given amount in your casino account. It’s also a part of how you budget for playing in casinos as well, and it’s something that can help people from spending more than they meant to if they are active about it. We recommend all players practice active, solid bankroll management.
A simple bankroll management system for a player might be as follows. The player decides to put $50 each week towards slots. To make this money last, the player never wagers more than $0.25 per spin, and the player always makes sure that he or she has a bonus that is being worked on at any given time. You can adjust all of the numbers for whatever works for you, but the basic idea is to start with the amount of money that you want to put into your bankroll and work backward from there to figure out your actual bet sizes.
Why Are Video Slots More Popular Than Classic Slots?
Classic slots are inherently limited because of the amount of screen real estate that they have available. Even on a 3×3 game, there simply isn’t much space to do a lot, and that leads to five-reel video slots getting more attention. There are some software companies out there like Rival Gaming that have made it their goal to try to revitalize the classic slot genre, and they’ve made a number of games with three reels that are very exciting by thinking outside of the box with the feature sets and gameplay, but there’s really only so much that can be done with them.
Another factor is that video slots get more attention from popular companies and established brands. You’ll see movies, video games, television shows, comic books and all kinds of other source material used in video slots, and you don’t really see exciting themes like this used as often in three-reel games.