Slot machines are by far the most popular form of gambling and occupy the majority of both, brick and mortar casino floors as well as online casino websites online casino websites. There are literally thousands of different machines that you can play for real money on the Internet, and we have reviewed a fair bit of these on the site.
Throughout this article we will explain common features available in the games and also list hundreds of game reviews. Each of these comes with a free play version so you could try them risk-free. Make sure to read all information available on this page if you are a new player.
Various Game Development Companies
There are a few dozen companies that create online slots and new ones keep popping up every year. Many of the new ones actually provide great games, but it’s hard to compete with those who have been owning this market for a dozen years now.
The most popular companies in the slots niche are MicroGaming, Net Entertainment, IGT, WMS, BetSoft for their 3D slots and Novomatic, known as Gaminator, as creators of some of the most volatile slot games around.
Let’s move forward by taking a quick look at each of these, the most popular titles offered and main features that can commonly be found in their games.
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MicroGaming are considered to be pioneers of online gambling and have been one of the leading providers since 1992, when they launched Gaming Club, the first online casino to accept real money.
Much of that early fame has now been lost mainly due to competition that seems to have outgrown pace set by this company. Even with that MicroGaming still have some great games in their portfolio. We would recommend trying Immortal Romance, Mega Moolah, Thunderstruck 2, Game Of Thrones, Break Da Bank and Jurassic Park.
There, of course, are others, but these are games you can actually win a fortune at, given that you are lucky enough. They are often referred to as highly volatile meaning that decent wins are rare, but when they are hit, it’s normally for at least 100 times your bet.
Net Entertainment is a Swedish company with offices in four countries and over 400 employees.
The company is known for gorgeous looking designs and innovative features. Just recently they signed a license with Guns N’ Roses to develop a themed slot. This was the most awaited game release we have seen in the online industry.
They have had extreme growth over the past decade and are actually included in the Guinness Book Of Records after their Mega Fortune slot awarded the world’s largest progressive jackpot of more than $18 million!
Some of the featured games to try from their portfolio include Starburst, Twin Spin, Guns N’ Roses, Dead Or Alive and Sparks.
WMS Gaming is better known for occupying large spaces in brick & mortar casinos around the world, but they have also been exploring the online side of the business for years now.
Their games often stand out with awesome features when free spins have been triggered, such as expanding wilds, sticky wilds and so on.
If you have been in a land based casino before it’s likely that you have noticed games like Bruce Lee, Raging Rhino, Zeus 3 or Black Knight 2 there. All of these are premium titles developed by WMS and they can now be played online – free or for real money!
International Game Technology is equally well known as WMS, but an even bigger company with thousands of machines in land-based casinos. Their biggest hit to date has been the Cleopatra series of slots. Their latest release in the online environment was the Hexbreaker 2, which doesn’t seem to get much traction.
When it comes to the most played titles, Triple Diamond, Da Vinci Diamonds, Siberian Storm and Cats top the list. All of these are available on our site for free or at our recommended casinos for real money play.
3D Slots From BetSoft
BetSoft Gaming are experts when it comes to creating 3D games, and have been doing that for the better part of last 5 years now. While we do love the entertainment side of their games, the payouts and additional features are actually fairly basic.
The most popular 3D slot titles of theirs are The Slotfather, 2 Million B.C., A Night In Paris, Boomanji and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. There are over 50 of these in their portfolio though and most of them come with a storyline equal to an animation movie.
Gaminator, created by Novomatic, is extremely popular in Europe, but not all that well known in other regions of the world.
It’s sort of an all-in-one gambling machine availalable in land based casinos and features Novomatic’s most popular games – Book Of Ra, Flame Dancer, Indian Spirit, Sizzling Hot,Beetle Mania Deluxe and Katana.
All of these are now available for free-play directly from Casino Carlos thanks to a close partnership with this developer. Most of them are playable for real money at Energy Casino, where players from South America are more than welcome. Spanish players are not accepted at this time though.
New games and features are introduced on almost a weekly basis, but there is a handful of them that we consider to be more valuable and fun than others. Below you will find an overview of these with links to individual pages we have dedicated for them.
For your information, wild symbols are those that can substitute for all others in the game and are mostly the highest paid ones in the game.
Expanding Wild Symbols – some of the pokies will have wild symbols that expand vertically whenever appearing. This means that anytime you get a wild on the screen, at least one reel is fully wild and thus substitutes for any others in the game. We love Flame Dancer slot from Novomatic that has this feature.
Sticky Wild Symbols – these can either be sticky-only or work as expanding symbols too.
Whenever a sticky wild appears on the screen it will remain in its position for one or multiple spins.
Starburst is a game with sticky expanding wilds and is one of the most popular titles in the online slots world in the last 3-4 years
Pays Both Ways – slot machines normally award payouts for combinations that are created from the leftmost side, but there are a handful of games that count wins both ways. One of these is the aforementioned Starburst.
Free Spins – this is often the key feature for winning big and normally awarded when three scatter or bonus symbols appear on the screen.
More than half of all video slots offer it, but we love the way it’s designed in the Book Of Ra slot machine, since the wilds expand during the free rounds and can award up to 10,000x your total bet.
This is an important topic and something every slot machine player must understand. All casino games have a mathematical payout percentage that is calculated and tested before any of them are even offered.
Online slots are no different and generally have a RTP (return to player) percentage of between 95 to 98%.
That is exactly why playing online is generally a better idea than going to a brick & mortar casino. Games there have a significantly lower payback ratio and can often be as low as 70%.
Simply put, RTP’s show exactly how much money you expect to get from a slot machine after wagering a certain amount.
Since casinos are businesses, this is never over 100%. Having that said, the closer this is to 100 percent, the better your chances of actually beating the game short-term.
Jackpots are perfect for those that want a chance to win huge for very little money. Even though your odds of winning a progressive jackpot like the Mega Fortune are probably 1 in a hundred million, it’s still a chance worth taking. Especially since this particular game can be played for 10 cents a spin.
With that being said, progressive jackpot slots usually have a lower payback percentage than regular machines. This is true because a big part of your wager actually goes to contributing to the jackpot pool.
Playing On Mobile
Technology is constantly evolving and we have reached a point where people are able to play pretty much all online slot machines on their mobile phones or tablet devices.
We have no problem endorsing games from NetEnt, MicroGaming and WMS, as truly awesome mobile slots.