Online Slots in the US

It’s unanimous that riding the reels is the easiest game to play because you need little to no skill to play them.

You also don’t need to invest a lot of money for a chance at a big payout. With normal slots, a wager of a few dollars could lead to a payout of thousands of dollars.

If you’re playing progressive slots, then the return is amplified because some slots can payout $1 Million or more.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys getting loyalty points then online slots are your fastest path to do that. On average, you can expect to accumulate loyalty points 2x faster playing slots when compared to playing live games or table games.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to slot machines though. Slots notoriously have the lowest Return To Player (RTP) when you compare them to other games. Are we suggesting that you stay away from slots all together because of this?

Not at all! What we do suggest is that you know what your strategy is to approaching slots and what your style of play is.

What to consider when playing slots

Like people, slots come in a lot of different varieties and it’s not just cosmetic. It’s important to know what the different varieties are and how they work.

Before you decide to ride the virtual reels, it’s important to understand what you value in a slot game. Some obvious things people notice are the graphics and themes of the games which is important but there are other things to consider.

3-reel slots

These are the classic slots that always existed. Visualize in your head slots and their symbols like “bar,” “7,” and various fruits were originally used in these classic slots.

3-reel slots typically have 1 - 5 paylines (different ways to win). This means there are fewer ways to win on each spin but are usually cheaper than the 5-reel slot.

These slots are not as popular as the 5-reel slots because of the limitations mentioned above but for a beginner reel rider, they are perfect.

Unlike their simpler counterpart, 3-reel slots, it’s more than just watching the reels spin. They typically are more interactive with bonus games in addition to having the reels spin.

The winnings in the interactive bonus interactive rounds based on the decisions you make. Bonus rounds play could be matching symbols in mystery boxes, selecting three of the same symbols, and many more mini-games.

Since the technology is much more advanced than the 3-reel slots, these slots are often themed with stories or licensed by brands/shows you may recognize.

Some popular slots that you may recognize are Wheel of Fortune Tripple Spin, Anchorman, Simpsons, Family Guy, Jumanji, and many more. Other popular games that aren’t independent of popular shows or movies are Bingo Billions, Cleopatra, Cash Stampede, and more.

Since there are significantly more ways to win on 5-reel slot machines, they are typically more expensive to play and to take full advantage of all the ways to win. For this reason, you must understand how much you’re betting when you play because a losing streak can quickly make you go bust.

Low volatility games

These are the games that payout more consistently and have more wins than other types of games.

The tradeoff you get with these types of games is lower jackpots and usually are very limited in the bonus plays they offer if they do.

High volatility games

The games are the opposite of their low counterparts. They payout less than their counterparts but they compensate with higher payouts and bonus plays where you could potentially win big.

High volatility games

The games are the opposite of their low counterparts. They payout less than their counterparts but they compensate with higher payouts and bonus plays where you could potentially win big.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

These slots on the surface seem like your typical 5-reel slots with the potential to win a Jackpot that’s been accumulating with every spin played. The jackpot accumulates until one lucky winner takes home the whole pot.

In 2014, a 15-line bet resulted in her winning $1.3 from Harrah’s casino playing the Millionaire Genie progressive slot game.

Types of Progressive Slots

Linked progressive - gaming slots that are different but add to the same progressive jackpot. This typically makes the progressive jackpot grow much quicker.

Random Progressive Jackpots - These machines don’t require you to win a payline to win the progressive jackpot because it randomly selects a winner. The progressive jackpots on these machines tend to be smaller.

Here’s a list of Casinos with the number of progressive jackpot slot games available:

Types of Progressive Slots

Linked progressive - gaming slots that are different but add to the same progressive jackpot. This typically makes the progressive jackpot grow much quicker.

Random Progressive Jackpots - These machines don’t require you to win a payline to win the progressive jackpot because it randomly selects a winner. The progressive jackpots on these machines tend to be smaller.

Here’s a list of Casinos with the number of progressive jackpot slot games available:

CasinoNumber of Jackpot SlotsBonus Code
Borgata14
Bet Fair1
Party Casino10
Golden Nugget4
Hardrock3
Ocean Resort5
Poker Stars Casino108
888 Casino18

These slots have the potential for small bets to payout big but the chances of hitting a jackpot is lower.

Slot Game Providers

You may have not known this but the casinos themselves do not create their own slot games which is why you will see the same slot game at various casinos.

The slot games are created primarily by four different slot technology companies, each with their own specialties and accolades. There are many more companies that do this but we are going to cover the top four.

International Gaming Technology (IGT) 

IGT first appeared in 1971 with physical slots. Their claim to fame is that they are credited with creating the first slot company create a progressive jackpot slot, Megabucks, in 1980.

Other slot companies tried to follow suit but IGT has continued to stay ahead of the game by creating games that have become household names. Their most famous one is the Wheel of Fortune, based on the longtime running game show, which has paid out millions in jackpots.

Realtime Gaming (RTG)

RTG is a progressive Jackpot player’s best friend. They currently have the most progressive jackpot games available in the US and they are considered to have the highest jackpots of all the gaming providers.

One noteworthy innovation they created was Jackpot triggers. What this means is that if you’re playing of their slot “It’s Good To Be Bad” and you lose 29 times in a row, it triggers a Jackpot for the player.

Microgaming

This is a relatively new player in the slot world which launched in 1994. Don’t let their young age fool you as they are innovative and were credited for launching the first ever Casino.

Their most popular game is Mega Moolah (sounds oddly similar to Megabucks from IGT?). The reason it’s so popular is because in Europe they were responsible for paying out record-breaking jackpots of 17+ million euro in jackpots in a span of two years.

The reason their jackpots are able to get this high is because they’re slots notoriously have lower Return To Players (RTP).

Betsoft

If you’re looking for crisp 3D graphics and engaging game content, then look no further than a Betsoft slot.

Since Betsoft spends so much time on their graphics and games, what they do is create one game but for the different denominations of bets. Let’s consider the Slots of Angels game where they have a 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, and $1 version of this game.

History of slots

Ten years before cars were beginning to be mass produced the first slot machines were being mass produced, slot machines were produced in 1891.

Charles Augustus is credited with developing the first automatic payout slot machine called the liberty bell. His only mistake was not applying for a patent because he was later copied by the Operator Bell.

Until about the 1980s, the slots were traditionally 3-reels and mechanical in nature. This presented a problem for operators because with 3-reels and 22 symbols, there were 10,648 different outcomes. This made the jackpots smaller because they were riskier to operate.

In the 1980s a patent was awarded to Inge Telnaes for a gaming device which stops based on a random number generator. This patent was later bought by IGT but has expired since then.

The ability to create 256 virtual stops increased the number of outcomes to 16,777,216. This made the operators more confident so the jackpots were bumped to north of $1 million.

Fast forward to today where we have video slots which do not incorporate any mechanical parts allowing the bonus games we enjoy today in modern slots. Since it’s graphically based, they typically feature 5 reals with 50 symbols per real.

If you’re doing the math at home and calculated that means your chances of winning at 3,000,000 to 1 then you’re right. With these decreased odds comes with large jackpots.

Conclusion

Online gambling can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Slots are one of the easiest games to play because they don’t require any special skills or experience and can be entertaining.

Slots are also a great way to get loyalty points from the casino of your choice because they accumulate points faster than other games. You should also be mindful that slots have the lowest return to the player compared to other casino games.

If you decide slots are right for you, then you need to decide if you want to play a 3 or 5 reel slot. You should also understand what type of slot you’re playing. Is it low volatility, high volatility, or a progressive jackpot?

The type of slot should match your appetite for predictability and risk.

What’s your favorite slot and why? Let us know in the comments section.  

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