Real Money Slots
The sheer choice of online slots is some indication of how popular these games are with players. There is a wonderful simplicity about these reel-based machines that make real money slots the weapon of choice for many Canadian players at the best online casinos. But what if you’re new to all this? Well, read on and we’ll take a whistle-stop tour through the basics of online slots to get you in the know . . . and if you’re already well versed in the difference between video slots and progressives, feel free to get straight into the action at some of our recommended casinos below:
3-reel Online slots
These are rarer beasts at online casinos: Online slots that hark back to more traditional electro-mechanical casino slots that became, and indeed remain, hugely popular with players at real-world casinos. They are probably the closest in spirit to the very first recognizable slot game, the Liberty Bell, that debuted in 1865.
Especially for new players: The base game comprises of three reels, and often a single payline onto which players aim to spin up a winning combination. Despite this apparent simplicity, 3-reel online slots can be great fun, especially for new players. They’re very quick to learn, deliver an authentic ‘retro’ casino experience and are still capable of delivering handsome payouts.
5-reel online slots
Dominant format for real money online slots: expanding on the traditional format with (can you guess?) two additional reels! Beyond the obvious increase in rotating reels that define these games, 5-reel slots invariably add extra features to the core experience. Typically, this will be multiple paylines across the reels, increasing the ways that a winning combination can be formed plus symbol and bonus features that have special powers to turn spins into wins.
Video themed slots
The first real-world slots: replaced physical rotating slots with a virtual set spun on a screen using early video game technology. Now all real money online slots are technically video slots as – let’s face it – you won’t get far at on online casino without a screen! However, the term tends to reference slot games that use the freedoms of video game technology to include features, and animate the action in ways that wouldn’t be possible with real spinning reels. With that potential, slot developers have gone on to create themed video slots that can bring iconic TV, film and music entertainment to life at online casinos with great effect. A great example of this is Playtech’s famous Marvel slots such as Iron Man 2.
Grow to several million dollars: The Holy Grail for many real money slots players is to land a progressive jackpot from one of the famous online progressive jackpot slots. These are a special breed of online slots that build their headline jackpots from a percentage of every stake wagered through them. Since online slots can harness the power of the Internet to connect in huge networks, this give rise to the potential for a progressive game to build its jackpot from a simply enormous community of players. The result? Jackpots that can routinely grow to several million dollars before they are won! Microgaming’s Mega Moolah progressive slot is a legendary ‘millionaire maker’ and you can find a review of it elsewhere on this site.
Great way to test-drive a slot: Free slots might seem a curious topic to cover in a discussion of real money slots, but we include it for good reason. As explored in more detail on this site, free slots are essentially demo versions of online real money slots that are a player’s best friend when it comes to exploring a game for the first time. Free slots are an ideal way to test-drive a slot you want to play for real money, giving you the confidence that the game suits you and you understand its special features before you commit any hard-earned cash.
How to play slots
The basics – The underlying principle to playing any kind of slots is blissfully simple. The aim of the game with any real money slot is to spin the reels in the hope that, when they stop, a specific combination of symbols can be seen lined up in sequence across the reels. A ‘payline’ defines the path the symbols need to line up on (and several paylines may be possible on a given slot), and the slot’s ‘paytable’ advertises which symbol combinations are ‘wins’ and how much they pay out.
Placing a bet – To bet on an online real money slot, a player can freely choose from a set of options to set a linebet value (i.e. how much money is wagered per payline) and how many paylines are active if there are more than one possible. The total stake for the spin will thus be the linebet multiplied by the number of active paylines. Once the player’s happy with their bet, they spin the reels and any winning combinations at the end are clearly indicated and the appropriate winnings paid out.
Games of luck – One aspect of real money slots is that they are games of pure luck. This means not only can you happily play them without needing to learn any complex strategic skills, but also your chances of winning are just the same as someone who’s been enjoying playing slots for years! Now that’s seriously democratic casino gaming.
Odds in Slots
What is RTP – The odds in online slots are usually expressed as a percentage figure known as the Return To Player (RTP). For the real money online slots Canada players will find at our recommended casinos, this is usually in the 90s and typically around 95%. This means that, in the long term, the specified percentage of every dollar wagered through the game is paid back to players as winnings. Now, it’s worth being aware that doesn’t mean every player can expect to get that percentage back – some will win big, harvesting a bigger share of the total winnings a slot pays – but a figure in the mid 90% range is a good sign that the game is competitive with the best online slots, and the casino is not raking an unreasonable amount.
Slots vs. other casino games – By contrast, Blackjack yields the best possible RTP among online casino games. This can get as high as 99.5% but this assumes you play with an optimal strategy so an element of skill is needed here. Also the biggest single payouts in Blackjack are only 1.5 times your stake. With that considered, the lower average RTPs online slots exhibit isn’t an unreasonable trade off – slightly less favourable odds than Blackjack, but an easier game to play with much bigger individual wins possible on a single bet. Not bad eh?
Online slots for real money are deservedly popular with players around the world, and Canadian players are no exception. The general simplicity of online slots makes them quick to understand, but the unpredictability of each spin adds a real thrill (and literally a reel thrill) to each game. Slots also offer some of the biggest returns on a single wager, so the potential to pocket a serious heap of cash from a single spin is an ever-present, tantalizing prospect. So, if that all sounds like your kind of fun, what are you waiting for? Check out our recommended casinos for a fast track to get spinning some great entertainment!