Playing slots online is better than playing slots at a land-based venue. Yes, you read that correctly. We believe the slots games on the internet are better than your average machine at a casino or saloon.
There are several factors which led to us making the above statement. We looked at the payout rates and games available, we investigated the progressive slots and, of course, we factored in the ease of betting from your computer, smartphone or tablet.
While online casinos obviously lack the social element found at a land-based venue, if you only play slots to win, you will find better odds on the Web. The cheaper running costs at online casinos mean you will often find slots games paying out more than 96% of all money put in. In comparison, if you are playing a 25c game in Las Vegas there could be a house edge of as much as 10%.
Online casinos with real money slots games
You are doing well if you can find an online casino that doesn’t have a good selection of slots. After all, they are easily the biggest money-spinners for casinos, both online and on land.
Where you are based will determine the range of games and casinos at which you can play. For instance players from the USA are heavily restricted by their tough gambling laws. This doesn’t mean you can’t play at online casinos, it simply means you need to work a bit harder to find one.
Places such as the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway (this is just a small sample) have regulated the online casino industry and in turn allow casinos to operate in a transparent environment. For many countries, such as Australia, there are not laws addressing online gaming. While it is not legal to base online casinos out of Australia it is legal for Australians to gamble at casinos based out of other countries. It’s a similar story for much of the world.
Each online casino will have a software provider (there are several exceptions to this, with games or some games made in-house) or multiple places from where they draw their slots. For much of the world Microgaming is the best-known platform for online casinos, although companies such as BetSoft, NetEntertainment, Playtech and RTG hold their own.
The software used by casinos should be a decisive factor in choosing where to play slots. You want to play at casinos with respected software companies that are audited by independent third parties such as eCOGRA and similar bodies. Just like casinos, the software is generally licensed in a certain jurisdiction such as Malta (Microgaming).
The software also determines what slots games a casino will have. Unless you beat the system (think bitcoin casinos), Americans cannot play at Microgaming casinos because the software company is not allowed to operate in America under its Malta licensing agreement. Another example is Aristocrat Leisure’s online arm, which is not allowed to operate in Australia because the company is based out of Sydney.
List of respected software companies
The World Gambling List puts player safety as our highest priority when we recommend casinos for people to frequent. Here are some of the online slots providers we endorse, but remember you still need to be smart with your casino selection.
- Aristocrat Leisure
- Leander Games
- 1X2 Gaming
- Elk Studios
Online slots definitions
The types of slots games available on the internet are many and varied. There are progressives, video slots, 3D slots … and what the hell is a pokie? Here are some common types of slots.
Classic slot machine: This type has three reels and is extremely simple in comparison to modern slots. Most online casinos will have a few classic slots available to real money players.
Progressive slots: These slots have a jackpot which builds up as players put more money into it. Often the progressive jackpot will be linked to the software companies and every casino with the slot will contribute to the jackpot. The player triggers the jackpot, which can often reach into eight figures.
Bonus slot: Often a video slot will have a bonus game waiting to be triggered. An exciting thing to look out for in coming years is slots developers adding games of skill to the bonus of their games.
Pub slot: One of the original classic slots. You can find plenty of games such as Pub Fruity online.
Multiple payline slot: A single payline slot means your winning symbols must line up on the one line. Multiple paylines means the winning symbols could be on different ‘lines’, even potentially in a zig-zag.
Video slots: These are simply RNG games displayed on a computerized screen.
3D slots These are a reasonably new type of slot. They feature devastating graphics and, led by software providers such as BetSoft, have pushed slots into never-before-seen territory.
Pokies: Australians and New Zealander like to call slots by the colloquial name of pokies.
Penny slots: As the name advertises the machine accepts a minimum bet of $0.01.
Community slot: A new type of slot that is beginning to take hold. Offers players the chance to interact during bonus rounds. These are often progressive slots. Games include Wheel of Fortune and a Powerball title.
If you hear someone refer to slots as a 243-ways or 1024-ways games it simply means that is how many chances you have of winning on the game if you are playing maximum lines.
Mobile slots games & apps
The mobile aspect of online casinos has been the area of greatest expansion; it is expected to top USD $50 billion in 2015. There are millions of people around the world playing slots and other casino games on their mobile phones every month.
The convenience associated with mobile gaming has been its biggest driving force. Not every city has a casino or a place to play slots, or maybe you simply don’t want to leave the comforts of home. Mobile slots games are easy to find and improving in quality all the time. If you are playing a slots game on a newer smartphone you will find it is smooth with high-quality graphics. They generally work problem-free on a 4G connection.
Whether you use an iPhone, iPad, a Windows phone, a Blackberry, an Android device or one of many other options you won’t be restricted as to what you can play. Most online casinos have mobile websites which you visit and go through the sign-up process to begin playing.
Many online casinos will have apps available to download but this will depend on what country you are in. For instance, the UK is flooded with mobile gaming apps, while in Australia the options are limited because of restrictions placed on the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Often you will be able to download a non-market app, which means you are downloading the app directly from the casino, rather than through a third party such as Apple.
WGL slots Hall of Fame
We don’t discriminate at the World Gambling List. If it has reels and a suitable house edge we will play any slots game. But we have a few favourite titles that get played more than average. We have pooled our global knowledge and selected our favourite slot machines.
|Game of Thrones||Gladiator||Incredible Hulk|
|Mega Moolah||Incredible Hulk||Fantastic Four|
|Major Millions||X-men||After Night Falls|
|Greedy Goblins||At the Copa||Mr Vegas|
|Gonzo’s Quest||Starburst||Southpark: Reel Chaos|
|Jack and the Beanstalk||Bingo Billions||Treasure Nile|
|Batman: The Dark Knight||Mega Moolah: Isis||Green Lantern|
|Superman||Cash Splash||Jackpot Rango|
|Good Girl, Bad Girl||The True Sheriff||Mega Gems|
Five reasons online slots are better
House edge: This is such a big factor it even has its own section. We at the WGL play slots to win and the house edge is obviously a big factor in the bottom line.
Graphics: While there have been a few cool slots at land-based venues over the years, online slots are far more visually pleasing, with obvious influences from the booming video-game industry. The advent of 3D slots has also made them more entertaining.
Cheaper: It’s a broad statement that online slots are cheaper. But when was the last time you went to the pub and didn’t have a couple of pints and a meal with your slots playing time? You should get more bang for your buck by playing at home.
Variety: We know of one online casino, Slots Million, that has more than 800 slot machines on the one website. You won’t find most of these titles at land-based venues and the themed slots available on the Web are outstanding.
Aliens: Remember that mid-80s movie called Aliens? Well, NetEntertainment created an outstanding slot based on the classic cult horror film. You won’t find it at a bricks-and-mortar casino, but if you manage to find it online you are in for a good time.
House edge and online slots
We touched on how this works before. As a basic rule of thumb the more money you put into an online slot machine the less the house edge will be. For instance, playing a $1 slot and maximum lines could trim your house edge down to 3-4 per cent.
If you are playing a mid-priced game such as a 25-cent slot, the house edge is likely to be around 8 per cent at a land-based casino. Online you will be able to play 20-cent spins and still have a house edge of around 5 per cent.
Playing online you need to take into account whether the game is a progressive game, which almost certainly will increase the house edge. The reason, of course, is that a few per cent of your initial outlay goes into a jackpot that can then go off at any moment.
So when playing online slots it pays to play maximum lines if you can afford it for a length of time. If you are playing a smaller denomination game you are probably better off using the “hit and run” tactic, meaning if you have an early win you should take the money and run because the house edge will eventually destroy you.
How to deposit real money at online casinos
Deposits at online casino vary greatly depending on where you are from. Tough gambling laws in countries such as the USA and China mean the options can be limited. But if you are from a country with more liberal gambling laws such as the United Kingdom or Australia, the options are endless.
Cash deposits: This option is not for everyone because it’s not always possible. But it can work for bettors in countries such as the UK, where online casinos have betting shops associated with them (think William Hill, Paddy Power etc). You can deposit at these land-based stores and the money will appear in your online betting account.
Credit and Debit cards: This is by far the most popular deposit option for online casino players. These deposits are instant and you can generally withdraw back to your Visa, although USA players may have to cash out with a check. Visa cards are the most common type of credit card.
Web wallets: These are used worldwide and can be a way for punters in countries where gambling is restricted to deposit money at online casinos. They are also a good option for bettors who don’t want to give out their card details or deal directly with the casino.
Bank transfers: This is generally facilitated between you and your bank. Often the online casino will have a bank account in your country, which means it will be an overnight transfer. If you are transferring internationally it can take up to three or four days.
Pre-paid cards: More and more cards are becoming available that act like a common Visa or MasterCard. Common prepaid cards include Ukash and American Express, while Visa have also forayed into the prepaid card zone, although there can be restrictions on these cards and depositing at gambling sites.
Also read: Slots history, strategy & types