Guide to Video Slots

Guide to Video slots

Slot games are the life blood of any casino, and that’s no less true for online casinos. In fact, online slots are so wildly popular that some online casinos offer nothing else and still manage to make a profit.

Slots are also the quickest, easiest and, arguably, most fun way to get in a bit of online gambling time.

A casino is a casino is a casino, right? How different can one casino be from another? All they do is exchange money for chips, offer games, and then exchange chips for money.

Well, no. No story goes, “Once upon a time, everything was simple, everything was the same, and everyone was happy. The end.”

Every casino – both brick and mortar and online – is unique. Yes, there are similarities, both legislative and game based, but there’s no way to summarise all casinos with just a few simple sentences.

Luckily for you, we have taken the time and effort to really get into the foundations of online gambling: what makes it tick, how it works, what players can expect, and so much more. Here, we offer you all the in-depth guides to online casinos and gambling you’ll need. And we take that promise seriously, which is why we are constantly working to add more guides that cover every aspect of the online casino experience.

In this series of guides, you will find information about jackpots, variance and volatility, online casinos, casino bonuses, withdrawals and deposits, and more.

Why should you use guides?

Casino guides like these can really help enhance your online casino experience. For example, jackpot guides don’t just tell you what a jackpot is; they explain the various types of jackpot, how they work, how to play to win, where to find games with different jackpots, and even who the game developers are.

Casino bonus guides are another super useful way to figure out which online casinos will work best for you. We don’t only look at the types of bonus offered, but explain how they work, the hidden pitfalls to look out for, and ways to make the most of your wagering requirements.

You’ll find enough information here to keep you busy longer than a great game of poker, so dig in, and come out the other side a little more knowledgeable. And if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about that you don’t find here on CasinoPlay, let us know. Happy reading!

The history of video slots goes way back to when the first standalone slot-type game was invented by Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York. This game was based on poker, and it quickly led to the development of the Liberty Bell game, the first recognised non-poker slot game. It was only in 1976, however, that the first video slot was introduced in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.

In the last 45 years or so, slot games and video slots have proved so massively popular that game developers have gone out of their way to create new, fun and exciting games.

Today, there are literally thousands of such games available in various online casinos, from simple single payline, three-reel games, to complex multi-reel games with numerous paylines and bonus features. You can enjoy just about any style and theme of game that takes your fancy, including some based on movies, fairy tales, myths and legends, holidays and many more.

Single spin play

Whichever game you choose, no matter how complex, your participation is pretty straightforward. First, you select how many coins you wish to place as a bet. As the games are designed for international use, the coin value will usually correspond with your local currency, but be sure to check! Next, you simply click the button that triggers the spin. You can click the spin as many times as you like after selecting your first bet value, and it will keep placing the same value bet. If you want to increase or decrease your bet amount, you can do so in between spins.

Automatic play

Automatic play follows the same procedure as single spin play for placing your bet. Next, instead of clicking the spin button, you click the automatic play button. You then select how many spins you wish the game to play, usually in increments of 10, 25, 50 and 100, although others may also appear. The game then plays these spins automatically until reaching the preset number, requiring no clicking on your part. Automatic play can usually also be set to stop on a win, or at a certain loss level, even if the preselected number of automatic spins has not yet run out.


Some of the more sophisticated games may ask you to select certain variables before starting to play. For example, you could be asked to choose between certain types of bonus, or you can set the variance and volatility. For complex games like this, we recommend reading the game guide first to ensure you understand the variables and options. Make sure to read up on variance and volatility to help you choose the right game.

Playing online

While video slots do exist in brick and mortar casinos, their true home can be found online. Thanks to the ease with which they adapt to mobile, many gamblers are preferring to remain in the comfort of their own home, or to play on the go whenever a free moment presents itself. You can find a fantastic selection of online video slots at any online casino, including PlayLive, Yebo, Springbok and many others. Check out our casino and video slots reviews to find a great casino and game.

Video slot games don’t really have rules, as such. They are very simple games to play, and there is no real room for cheating, thanks to the RNG, or random number generator. It’s pretty straightforward.

As we said before, there are thousands of online video slots to choose from. It isn’t just the visual design, theme and music that differ, either. Every game has unique features, paylines, symbols, wilds and bonuses, which makes it impossible to list every type of game. We do, however, regularly review new slot games, covering everything about them, from design to game play. You can find them here.

Progressive jackpot slots

For a detailed overview of progressive jackpot slots, you can read our article about them here. In brief, these are video slot games that are network linked. Each round of the game played, no matter who is playing or where, adds to the total jackpot, which could pay out at any time, to any player. If you are a seeker of extra thrills this might be your thing.

There is almost no real room to plan a strategy for a specific game, so the best way to strategise around your slot play is in how you choose a game and how you place your bets.

Choosing a game

Depending on your play style and bankroll, you can base your choice on the game’s variance and volatility and adjust your bets accordingly. You can also look at the complexity of the game, including: wilds, paylines, bonus features, reels and payouts.

Choosing a play style

Your style of play can range from conservative to high-risk, and each style will yield different results. Smaller bets lead to longer playtime and more spins while sacrificing the big jackpots, where larger bets can open up the potential for big wins, but also big losses.

It is worth noting that with progressive jackpot slots you can play according to these strategies with the game’s regular play, but bet size and frequency will have no impact on your chances at winning the big prize. You could play for days at max bets and never come near the jackpot, or you could log on and win on your first spin with a R1 bet. Remember not to fall for the gambler’s fallacy that your luck must be about to turn.

Basic terms that video slot games use include:

  • Reel: the vertical line on which symbols spin
  • Payline: the line across which certain symbols must fall for a win. This line can be straight or staggered across the reels.
  • Symbols: the individual images on the reels that represent different potential payouts. These usually have an assigned value, depending on the combination.
  • Wilds: symbols that can make up a payline in conjunction with other symbols that match. Sometimes these have additional bonuses attached.
  • Spin: When you trigger the game, it causes the reels to spin, until they land on a symbol
  • Re-spin: Some games offer free re-spins if you trigger certain game features, symbols or wilds

The incredible popularity and variety of video slots today is testament to the fact that people genuinely enjoy this style of gambling. If it floats your boat, we are confident you will find a great range of games that suit your play style as well as your entertainment preferences.

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