Slot Games in Online Casinos
Modern-day casino slots have roots that date back to 1899, when Charles Frey invented the Liberty Bell in New York, one of the first ever slot machines. Today, slots are the most popular casino game and an integral part of both brick-and-mortar and online casinos.
While low stakes with high potential winnings are the main reasons for the popularity of mobile slots in the UK, gameplay and progressive jackpots are just as attractive to casino players.
Due to its popularity, game providers have developed a huge variety of slots, for mobile and desktop, which can make it difficult to pick the best one to play on. To make this choice easier, we’ve made it our mission to test all slot games, old and new, thoroughly and rank them based on the following criteria:
- Best odds and highest payouts
- Highest (progressive) jackpots
- Popularity & gameplay
As always, we only recommend online casinos that are fully certified, offer various payment methods for pay-in/payout and use cutting-edge security mechanisms for your safety.
Slot Games – Themes and Gameplay
Slot games are easy to learn and offer players a variety of different themes. Some of the most popular slot machine games include the wild western-themed Sticky Bandits, the Jurassic World game with breathtaking HD graphics and the explosive jackpot Mega Moolah.
It doesn’t end there, however, as you can find games themed on everything you enjoy, from Game of Thrones and Family Guy to The Phantom of the Opera and Guns N Roses; there’s something for everyone.
Not only that, but slot games in general now offer more than just traditional gameplay. Online slots allow for much more diverse gameplay, from slots that imitate the traditional fruit slots to high-tech games using 3D graphics. In addition to this, mobile slots also feature a number of bonus icons and rounds that help improve the chances of a win.
How Do Slot Machines Actually Work?
Have you ever played slot machine games at your local pub or betting shop around the corner? Well, the good news is that there is almost no difference between physical and online slot machines. Just click on a real money slot in your online casino of choice and your screen, desktop or smartphone, will turn into a virtual fruit machine.
While you might be used to playing with three reels at physical machines, there are no mechanical constraints when developing a video game so online slots often display five reels. This expands the number of possibilities and increases odds to as high as 300 million to 1. High jackpots are one of the main reasons gamblers like to play slot machine games online.
To start your adventure, you will have to select the amount of “lines” you want to play. Online and mobile casinos often encourage players to use multiple lines to increase the chance of winning with each spin. It makes sense to adopt this strategy as it allows you to win by hitting symbols across several patterns such as bottom left to top right. However, the higher likelihood of winning means you’ll have to wager more in the first place. Ultimately, the number of lines you play per spin will depend on your budget.
Bonus Spin in Slot Games
Online slots are much faster games than Blackjack or Roulette, and you might feel that your money is just ebbing away when going through a phase of not hitting any winning symbol sequence. Luckily, game developers thought about this and introduced the idea of “extra spins.”
With bonus games, online casinos give you back spins rather than money to prolong your gameplay and increase the chance of hitting the jackpot further down the line or at least win back your losses. Bonus spins have been proven to be a great feature of slot games and are the #1 reason for the popularity of this casino game. If you want to learn more about slots in online casinos head over to our game guide for slots.
How to Play Online Slots
With the invention of the first fruit machine in 1899, slot players have been trying to “beat the house”. Bad news first: No strategy guarantees you to win when playing online slots or any other casino game. However, the good news is that you can look for slots where potential winnings are higher than at others. Below we discuss three strategies and whether you should follow them:
Progressive betting: A popular system where the casino player starts with the lowest bet per pay line and increases the wager every 50 spins. If no free games or big wins are awarded during the first 50 spins, raising the bet will increase potential winnings and compensate for any previous investment. We do not recommend this strategy as it’s high risk and there are no guaranteed winnings.
Slots with a high payout percentage: This is one of the most overlooked criteria when playing mobile slots. RTP (Return to Player) calculates how much the machine keeps and pays out over time. Most online slots have a 90% RTP which means that for every 100 GBP invested the machine pays out 90 GBP on average. The best machines pay out more than 95%, which is what we are looking for when reviewing and recommending slot games.
Pay slots with high jackpots: Don’t be shy, aim high! Big jackpots indicate two important things: First, it means that many casino players play and vouch for the mobile slot because otherwise, they would move on to the next better option. Second, huge jackpots signal that there hasn’t been a winner for a while and you might just come at the right time to cash out big. Therefore, don’t be afraid when seeing high potential winnings – if the minimum stake is low why not give it a try!
Mobile Slots on iOS & Andriod
We often get asked whether we recommend downloading mobile casinos and its slot games to your iPhone/iPad or Android device as a native app instead of accessing them directly in your mobile browser. We did plenty of research and benchmark testing and our conclusion is that apps from the app store have several disadvantages.
- Long installation process: As you probably know, the installation process of apps can be cumbersome. You always need to go to the app store and follow several steps to even access the casino. Playing in-browser is easy as logging in on the casino's website.
- Fewer mobile slots: Since storage on smartphones is limited, mobile casinos tend to only come with a limited selection of slots and other casino games. Each time you want to play a slot on your mobile that is not part of the pre-selection, you will have to download the game separately.
- Push notifications: While it's great to get notified about bonus offers, native apps often send notifications about rather unimportant updates. When playing in-browser, you won't receive alerts unless you specifically opt-in.
What does in-browser mean? It simply means to go straight to the online casino’s website on your smartphone. For example, instead of downloading the Betway iOS app, just head to https://www.betway.com and sign up in your browser. Upon successful registration, you are immediately getting redirected to the lobby from which you can access all mobile slots and other casino games. No downloads required!
Why Play Casino Games On Mobile?
Online mobile casinos have become increasingly popular since first arriving in 1996 and, according to some estimates, around 164 million people will be using their phones to play online casino games by the end of 2018.
Why has there been a surge in mobile slot games? Well, it’s all thanks to mobility and convenience. Mobile casino games make it easy for gamers to play anywhere and anytime. You can play on your commute to work, during your lunch breaks or anywhere else! As everyone knows, it’s easy to pull out your mobile phone and get playing, and it’s all available 24/7.
There are even more advantages to playing online slot machine games. For example, there are more ways to win, more ways to play and a greater chance of winning. Reports suggest that players are likely to win more frequently with online slot games than those in real-life casinos.
Safety & Security
Naturally, you’d be worried about the safety and security of online casino games online. However, there are numerous rules and regulations to make online slots safe to play.
First is licensing. To provide mobile slot services to UK players, companies are required to be in possession of a license issued by the UK Gambling Commission. It’s absolutely mandatory and, to gain a license, companies must follow several strict standards and regulations. At SmartphoneCasinos, we only recommend casinos that are UK regulated!
IT security is also an important part of online safety. It’s mandatory for companies to take measures to protect its customers. Companies are required to encrypt sensitive information to keep customer data protected. All online casinos we recommend use 128-bit SSL encryption, which is the same level of security banks and governments are using.
Companies also use testing agencies to ensure fairness and the integrity of games. The agencies, which include eCOGRA (E-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), TST (Technical Systems Testing), GLI (Gaming Laboratories International) and Gaming Associates, all provide regular analyses on the company’s games.
Lastly, many companies work with non-profit organisations to identify ways of protecting players and to provide support to customers experiencing any problems related to gambling habits. Several companies also offer advice to players and point them in the right direction to professional organisations that can help with gambling addictions.
Is Customer Support Available?
Another worry many beginner players face is the potential lack of customer support available to them. Whether you’ve encountered an error, are having trouble withdrawing money or you just want some questions answered it’s important that customer support is available.
And we’re here to reassure you that most major gambling companies offer plenty of support to players. The help and support offered can include phone support, email and even live chats. Some casino companies also offer Skype support! It’s important to review what kind of support companies offer and whether or not their support is available 24/7.
A company’s response time should also be considered before signing up and playing your favourite mobile slot games. Many companies promise to respond to customers within several or 24 hours. You should never have to wait a week or longer for a response, something that is common with more untrustworthy websites.