Of all the casino games you can play online there is one category which is way more popular than any other – and what we’re talking about is slots. Classic slots, video slots, 3D slots, multiplayer slots, not to mention progressive slots. Most Canadian online casinos have all of these different types, as slots of all shapes and sizes can easily account for more than 90% of the total game selection at an average casino, and some even focus entirely on these games, not offering any other casino games.
If you are a new casino player and don’t have much experience with spinning the wheels on these games we at Casino Top have you covered, as we’re giving you the complete guide of everything you need to know about online slots, and then some!
Some might think that the old classic games with spinning BAR, 7, bells and fruit is some kind of outdated slot machine which casinos keep around just for the nostalgic players, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, even though they might be very simple, without many bonus features, and over all quite slow, they are more popular than ever. Both young and old players simply love them, and they are also perfect for beginners. They’re easy to understand, and adjusting your bets and pay lines is also as simple as can be.
A “real” classic slot has 3 wheels, and all of these will display 3 symbols each. This means they will have 5 pay lines, and most often you can choose how many of them you want to bet on. There will be 3 horizontal lines, and two diagonal lines. To be able to get a win you will need to get three of the same symbols on any of the lines you chose to bet on, but in some games just one or two of a special symbol can trigger a win. The pay lines goes from left to right.
That being said, there are of course always some games who wants to be special somehow. So some might have scatter symbols (usually a joker) that trigger extra wins. A scatter is a symbol that is not bound to any pay line, and will trigger a win as soon as you have many enough of them, no matter their placement on the wheels. You might also come across classic slots that has some bonus features, and the most common ones are the Gamble Feature or the Super Meter.
If the slot you’re playing on has a gambling feature you should proceed with caution. Even though all forms of slots where you play with real money is considered gambling, the Gambling Feature adds on some extra risk, and if you use it unwisely you might end up losing more than you think. However, you might just get lucky and multiply your winnings. This is how it works:
You play the slot and get a win, and this will trigger the Gambling Feature, but it’s optional if you want to use it or not. Every win will let you choose if you want to gamble, or if you want to cash out and add the win you got to your balance in the game. If you choose to gamble you will have to choose between heads or tails on a coin, or black and red from a deck of cards, or something else that gives you a 50% chance to win. The result is chosen randomly, and if you win you double your money. If you guess correctly you just doubled your winnings. Some slots even let you choose from all suits of a deck of cards, giving you the chance to get a 4x multiplier on your original winnings for the spin of the slot wheels..
The Gambling Feature can make you a big winner, but also a big loser. Many players end up losing all of their winnings all the time, as they choose to gamble time and time again, for the chance to multiply their winnings. This is done as you can chose to gamble over and over again from the same winnings, and with a 50%, or sometimes just 25%, chance to win you will eventually lose if you keep it up for long enough, as you every time bet all of the accumulated winnings also from previous gambles in the same game round. Knowing when to stop and cash out your winnings before it’s all lost is the key to succeed with this feature.
Not many, but some, classic slots also offer the chance to bet just part of your winnings when gambling several times in a row. If you win on your first gamble you can for the next one choose if you want to gamble for the whole win again, or just for the amount you got from your last gamble. If this is an option it is recommended to take advantage of this, as you at least can insure that you’ll get the money from the original spin of the wheels that took you to the Gamble Feature in the first place. Setting that win aside is the only way to use a strategy to win more when using this extra bonus game in a slot.
In addition to the Gambling Feature there is another bonus game often found in a classic slot. The Super Meter in many ways work just as the previous feature, as it is a win from a spin on the slot that triggers the possibility to activate it. Here you also have to use your winnings to gamble, but this is done by spinning the wheels with a bigger bet. Most often you will have to play for double the bet of a “normal” spin, but some also lets you bet way more than that. But why should you use the Super Meter instead of just playing normal with a higher bet, you might ask. Well, that’s because you’ll get the chance to trigger the biggest wins available in the game.
If you double your bet in Super Meter the winnings you can get will usually be at least doubled, but there’s often also some other feature involved. A common one is where an otherwise normal symbol gets a scatter feature, triggering higher wins, or even what is called “mystery wins”. A Mystery Win is a randomly chosen win, where you can win as little as your bet, as much as 100’s of times your bet, or anything in between. You might also get offered a “nudge” or two, where you can move the wheels after they stop for an extra chance to trigger a prize.
The Super Meter is great fun, and the most exciting part of most classic slots, but be careful, with a bigger bet you might spin away your winnings faster than you think…
The slots you’ll find the biggest selection of at online casinos are the video slots. These are modern slot machines that are fast and fun, and full of bonus features. Free spins, click and pick games, multipliers, scatters, and more, all in a slot with great graphics. These are games where entertainment is key, and with some casinos offering thousenads of these games they all want to stand out, and that’s where the graphics and features come in to play.
As these are games that have never existed as mechanical machines, unlike classic slots, the imagination of the game provider is the limit of what a video slot can offer. This makes it a bit hard to generalize, as they all have something different. However, as a more or less standard they will have 5 wheels and between 10 and 40 pay lines. 3 symbols per wheel is the standard, and the pay lines goes from left to right, criss-crossing the wheels. But, more or less wheels can also be found, paylines can be as little as 5 and go into the hundreds, and some don’t even have wheels and paylines, as clusters of symbols can be enough to win, and falling blocks of symbols can replace the standard wheels. In short; you can never be sure what you’ll find when playing a new video slot.
“Normal” wins from pay lines of some sort is of course the back bone in any slot, even the modern video slots. However, what makes them stand out from a classic slot is the bonus features, which comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The most common one is what is called Free Spins. This is not to be confused by the casino bonus free spins given by the casino, as this is a bonus from the slot itself.
Free Spins is usually triggered by getting 3 scatter symbols, which sometimes is just called “Free Spins symbols”. You then get to play for free for a set amount of spins, and you’ll almost always also get either a bigger chance to win, or bigger wins. This is done by multipliers added to all wins, re-spins, more wild symbols, sticky symbols, or some other kind of bonus that will help you trigger a combination that pays out. If everything lines up perfectly you might win many, many times your bet from this bonus game.
The other common bonus game besides Free Spins is the Pick and Click game. Here you will get to choose among several different symbols, and the random prizes they hide are the winnings you’ll get. Often you can keep on picking prizes until you hit an empty symbol, or one marked with “Collect”. In some slots, like for instant Secret of the Stones from NetEnt, Free Spins are combined with Pick and Click, as you get to pick boosters with a Pick and Click game for your free spins before spinning for free.
In addition to these bonus games there can also be a wide variety of other ones, and what they all have in common is that you get the chance to hit that big win you’ve been waiting for.
The only more or less standard symbols you’ll find in video slots are the card symbols 9, 10, J, Q, K and A. If these symbols are in the slot, they are usually the ones with the lowest value, as the high value symbols are specific for each game and the theme of the slot. However, the very best symbols you can get is either a bonus symbol, often a scatter, that will trigger a bonus game, or a wild. A normal wild symbol will be able to replace all other symbols in the slot, sometimes with the exception of a scatter or a bonus symbol.
The wild is often the very best symbol, as it helps you get a winning combination of other symbols. And, it can get even better. In some slots the wild is extra special, as it can also give you respins, multipliers or other features, depending on the abilities given to the wild in the specific slot.
A “moving” wild is often the best one, and this can be a falling or walking wild. When the wild lands on the wheels you will get an extra spin (respin), and for that spin the wild will move to another position, either to the wheel on the left or to the position under it on the wheel. You will then get respins, giving you more chances to win, until the wild has moved completely out of the wheels. However, sometimes it’s better when the wild doesn’t move at all, but rather sticks. A sticky wild will stay where it is for more respins, and often it will stick for as long as you keep on adding more sticky symbols or wilds to the wheels for your extra spins. When no more symbols are added, the bonus round is completed. But that’s not all; also look out for expanding wilds, which may be found in both bonus rounds and in the standard games, where the wild stretches to cover the whole wheel.
Even though a progressive jackpot isn’t really a game type in itself, we still wanted to mention them. These jackpots can be found in both classic slots and in video slots, so you can play your favourite slot and still have a chance to win big. And make no mistake about it, these are the biggest wins you’ll ever get the chance to lay your hands on at an online casino, as the biggest jackpots can give you millions of dollars, and that from a bet of only a couple of cents. In fact, the biggest progressive jackpot paid out to date on an online slot was on the slot Mega Moolah from the game provider Microgaming, when one lucky player got €18.9 million, which is more than 27,7 million Canadian Dollars!
When you’re playing on a slot with a progressive jackpot a tiny bit of your bet gets added to the jackpot, and this is how the jackpot grows, and what makes it progressive. Some jackpots are local, which means they are only for the casino you play on, or for the country you are playing from, while others are global, and these are of course the biggest ones. With a tiny bit form every bet placed on the slot from players all over the world the jackpots grows not only fast, but also big. The bets keeps on adding into the jackpot until one lucky player hits the spin of his life, and takes it all!
When that happens the jackpot starts all over again, but never form 0. All jackpot games have a minimum jackpot, so that even if you trigger the jackpot straight after another player you are guaranteed a big win. Some even start as high as 1 million euro, but getting only that almost never happens. This is both because the chances of triggering a jackpot two times close together is highly unlikely, and because the second jackpot also have had contribution. Not only does a tiny bit of every bet get added to the current jackpot, but an even tinier bit gets added to the next jackpot. That means the really big jackpots can be in the millions (yes, plural) as soon as it starts again.
For the biggest jackpots on the market for Canada you should check out these games: