If you are new to online slots, this short guide will cover everything you need to know in order to start playing immediately and winning some cash.
Scroll down for a Free Demo Play of Starburst (one of the most popular online slots ever) so you can practice before shelling out coins.
Knowledge is Power & Your Path to Winning Big
Thanks to the Internet, you no longer have to hit a physical casino to try out your luck and win some money. You can do it in the comfort of your home, whenever you feel like it. Most first-timers tryout slot machines before anything else, and rightly so; you just have to click a button, watch as reels spin and… congratulations, you have won, or sadly, just lost.
It does sound simple. And as much as most people wish playing online slots was that straightforward, the reality is slightly different. Knowledge is power. So if you hope to maximize your chance of winning money, you should dedicate some time to read, learn and understand all aspects of the game. Not to say that it is mighty complicated, but you can increase your chances of winning if you are empowered with knowledge.
Note: In this guide, we refer to “coins” and not dollars or any other currency. One coin is equivalent to a local currency; say 1 coin equals to 1GBP if you play in UK .
Online Slots 101 – What You Need To Know
A typical land slot machine has three reels that spin, and to win, you need to get three identical symbols lined at the center. However, online slots are a bit different. Instead of three, most online slots have five reels. And you don’t have to get the three symbols lined in the middle row to win; it can be zigzag, diagonal, at the top or even the bottom, and it differs from one slot to another. The rules with online slots are very flexible, opening a world of opportunities to players.
Pay Lines Defined
Usually, there are between 9 and 30 Pay Lines in every online slot. The number of pay lines determines your winning odds with each spin. Example; if there are 20 different lines, with every spin you have 20 winning possibilities – you get any of the twenty lines, and you win! Even better news: some slots have up to 243 Pay Lines, meaning, with every spin you have 243 chances of winning.
Winning Lines Vs. Pay Lines
Note that a winning streak (three identical symbols) can fall anywhere along the Pay Line – the symbols are not required to be next to each other or in any particular position along the Pay Line. You must be wondering why they are referred to as Pay Lines as opposed to Winning Lines.
That is clearly a question for linguistic professors to ponder on. While they do, let’s just say this: whenever you hit a Pay Line, you get paid! That sounds like a pretty good reason, we think.
Also, you pay according to how many lines you bet on. You decide on the number of Pay Lines you bet on – you can bet on one line per spin, 5 or 9; like we said, totally up to you. Should keep in mind though that you pay for each line separately… do you get it now? There is a double meaning to Pay Lines: when you hit it you get paid, and you pay for the number of lines you decide to bet on.
Should I bet on More Lines to Boost Winning Chances?
Like just mentioned above: the more lines you bet on, the higher the amount of money you pay per spin. So you might be interested in betting on the highest possible number of Pay Lines to increase you chances of winning with each spin, but every spin will call for more coins.
Alternatively, because every line is autonomously measured in the lose-or-win equation, you can opt to bet on only one Pay Line per spin. It is up to you, the decision how to bet from the two options. Some people find playing with just a single pay line a bit boring. They draw their thrill from betting on many Pay Line simultaneously. On the other hand, if you are in no hurry and enjoy extending the game, then go for a single line at a time.
Wilds: Winning With Just Two Identical Symbols
Yes, with online slots you can win with just two identical symbols. This is made possible by the Wild symbol – it can substitute for just any other symbol. It is that simple: you spin and get two cherries and one Wild – you win. Wilds come in various shapes and sizes and every slot has a unique Wild design. But their function is always the same, making it more likely for you to win.
Scatter Symbol – The Free Spins & Bonus Rounds Facilitator
The utterly awesome Scatter symbol can churn out a series of goodies for you. This symbol can generously award you with Free Spins and Bonus Rounds. If you truly want scatter goodies, then you have to ensure that they have company. Meaning, to enjoy the scatters’ generosity, you need to have three or more of them; some slots may require 2 or even just 1 scatter to produce some low-value prize, but these are the exceptions.
Note:Scatter symbols derive their name from their character. You don’t need them to land on a Pay Line in order to enjoy their goodies; they just need to be visible. Scatters can “scatter” anywhere with no regard to pay lines.
That is not all about the generosity of scatters, they also act as multipliers; they can multiply your wins by 2 or 3. It gets even better. They don’t just multiply you win from a particular Pay Line, but from your entire win of the round!
Scatters cannot be substituted by Wilds. You can’t have it all… Therefore, if you need four Scatter symbols to score a winning element, don’t go searching for Wilds to substitute them, just hunt for Scatters. No worries though; Scatters have a way of showing up when you truly need them. It’s just the way they are.
Factors to Consider Before Starting to Play
Before you start playing, there are a few very important factors you need to consider.
Decide on the amount of money you feel comfortable playing with.
Each slot has a minimum and maximum bet points. Example: in a 0.5 to 100 coins bet range, you can opt to bet from 0.5 coin on every spin, up to 100. Your reward is, needless to say, proportional to the bet amount.
Number of Pay Lines
This is the second most important consideration you need to ponder over before you start betting. It is imperative to understand that the bet amount is for one Pay Line. In most cases, you are at liberty to decide the number of Pay Lines you are interested in playing, which should then be multiplied by the Bet Amount.
Example: for a 2 coin bet with 5 Pay Lines, you will need to shell out 10 coins per round. It is only logical that rewards increase with the rise in risk.
One Last Thing – Spin or AutoPlay
Other than the above two very crucial decisions you have to make prior to playing, you need to decide on how to play: either to manually click Spin every time, or opt for the Autoplay, kick back and enjoy the spinning.
All Is Set, Let the Spinning Begin!
Having understood the basics of online slots, you can now start spinning. The moment you start playing, reels will spin, you might win, Pay Lines will show up, Wilds will come to life and Scatters will generate various rewards for you.
As you play, you are fully in charge and can choose to change your bet at any time between spins, lower or raise it, reduce or increase the quantity of Pay Lines. It is highly recommended for new players to get to understand how various combinations of Lines and coins play out. It is exciting and you will surely learn more strategies along the way as you play.
Having read this far, you are without a doubt passionate about online slots and definitely ready to start playing. Never stop learning, and with practice, you will perfect your play. Good luck and may the Slot be with you!
Play Starburst Demo for free!
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