For decades in land-based casinos, players enjoyed slot games. Since the early ’90s, when Microgaming made way for online casinos, slot games have taken over the world as a tide. Now, after more than two decades later, as per the official Gambling Commission, the UK leads online gambling.

It feels exciting to sign-up for your first online slot game, but there’s more to it than just inserting coins and pressing buttons. To help you enjoy better, we have created a comprehensive guide to online slots for beginners.

It will help you understand the world of online slots better before you take a plunge in it.


Slot Machines Mechanics and Different Types of Online Slot

Slot Machines Mechanics and Different Types of Online Slot

All slot machines use random number generators (RNGs) to control the reels after stopping. It’s a computer program that ensures every outcome played is a random sequence every millisecond of the day.

In theory, hacking an RNG (random number generator) to predict the next series is only possible if you know the algorithm. But in reality, all algorithms are hidden from everyone and everything, except the regulating bodies.

So, it’s all about a little bit of strategy and more of your luck to make you win!


There Are Five Distinct Kinds of Online Slot Machines

1) Classic 3-Reel Slots – A simple slot with three reels, full of symbols, and no features. There are currently 5-Reel Slots and 6-Reel Slots, with various bonuses, free spins, and multiplier features.

2) Multi Payline Slots – Multi-pay line games give you a more prominent plausibility of winning and has features like free twists, moment wins, or a wheel of fortune.

3) Video Slots – One of the most played online slot games! 

It has state-of-the-art graphics and next-level audio and uses a combination of line counts representations for bet decisions.

4) Progressive Slots – A slot game with a progressive jackpot feature where the total jackpot multiplies with every new game.

5) 3-D Slots – Video slots with engaging storylines and characters with on-screen action appearing lifelike. You can get hooked to the storyline, and they can take advantage of these psychological needs to make you play longer. It also has features like special bonus rounds that trigger free spins.


Understanding Slot Machine Lingo

As you begin to play online slots, you will come across terminologies like pay lines, scatters, RTP, bet levels, etc.,

It can sometimes be confusing! 


Here are some of the key slot machine lingos that you must know before you start playing.


It is a disc that spins inside the slot machine window with various symbols. You win when it stops and aligns with a winning combination on one or more pay lines.



It is composed of rows going across the reels with symbols from – left to the right. There can be from one to more than 50 pay lines on a slot machine.



It’s an image that represents a specific value on the paytable.



It is a design provided by the software developer that portrays the value of the payout for winning combinations on a slot machine.



It allows you to choose from an assortment of bet sizes.


Bet Max

It refers to the maximum stake that you can wager per spin. So be careful not to click it by accident.


Free Spins

It’s a bonus round that grants you a series of free games that you can play without paying anything. You usually get it by landing three or more scatters.


Scatter Symbols

It is a symbol that initiates a bonus feature or random prize depending on the slot. It is not necessarily required to be connected via a pay line to reward you.


Wild Symbols

It is a symbol that substitutes for other icons to create a winning combination and awards valuable wins.



Several winning spins multiplies (x2, x3, x4), consequently increasing the amount of your payout.


Cascading and Tumbling Reels

It’s a unique feature in online slot games. In it, symbols used to complete a winning payline disappears, replaced with new ones that fall into its place. It makes you win, again and again, before you spin over.


Gamble Features

It is a feature that gives you a chance to double your money by playing a bonus game. But there is a catch – if you lose, you will lose it all.


RTP or Return to Player

It shows in percentage the theoretical advantage you have over the online slot machine. The higher it is, the better is your chance of winning.


What to Look, When Choosing an Online Slot Game?

What to Look, When Choosing an Online Slot Game?

Choosing an online slot game can be complicated, so browse the top recent 2020 online slot games to get an idea. Make sure to aim for the ones with more than 96% RTP.

Keep These in Mind:

  • Variety of Games on Offer: Always look at the numbers of games and their types offered by a site carefully before you begin playing.
  • Accessible Banking Methods: Not all banking methods are accepted. Therefore, choose the game that allows the one you want to use.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Go for those online slots that provide the best bonus feature with fair terms and conditions.
  • Safety and Security: Choose online slot games with a good reputation and are heavily regulated by the relevant gambling authorities. After all, you want to keep your deposit and your personal information safe.
  • Customer service: Issues can occur anytime, even if you take all the precautions. So, pick an online slot game that offers 24/7 customer service, preferably through multiple channels.


Understanding Online Slots Bonuses

Another thing that often confuses most beginners is the bonuses. It is easy to fall prey to its gimmick unless you understand how good they are in reality.

Let us look at the types of bonuses available and why you should take advantage of them when building your bankroll:

  • Sign Up Bonuses or Welcome Bonuses: It is often the most rewarding bonus given to first-time users when they sign up.
  • Deposit Bonuses: You get it using site-preferred banking methods or making a deposit over a certain number.
  • Reload Bonuses: You can get these bonuses by depositing real cash into their accounts, and in return, they give you bonus credit or free spins.
  • VIP/Loyalty Bonuses: Rewarded to the regular players, like an incentive to continue playing, and it often gets better the longer you play.

As a beginner, it all might seem straight-forward to you, but don’t get carried away!

You must consider certain elements when looking at such online bonuses.


 1 Is it worth it?

Some online slot games advertise offering bonuses worth thousands. But you must read the fine print to understand what they mean in actual. Some want you to deposit over a certain sum to get a bonus while others have certain conditions and give small bonuses on small deposits.

Look for the one that fits in your budget.


2 How does it get credited to your account?

Some online slot sites UK automatically credit bonuses to your account, while others ask you to follow a set of instructions like entering a code sent to you to claim it.

Go with the one that does not require many intricate additional steps to claim your bonuses.


3 Understand how wagering requirements can affect your bonus.

The wagering requirement is a multiplier that encompasses the number of times you need to play through a bonus before you can withdraw it.

Let’s say you got a bonus of £20 with a wagering requirement of 5x. It means you need to play £100 before you can withdraw the bonus amount. Avoid all those online slot games that offer bonuses with wagering requirements set at 35x or more.

You should steer clear of such offers!

4 Does it have an expiration date?

Some bonuses are time exclusive, so check its expiration date before you decide to go for it.


Banking Methods and Bankroll Management

Before you sign up for any online slot games, you must look at the banking methods accepted by the site for deposit. The most common options are – debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets, or direct bank deposits.

They might offer you bonuses for using a specific banking method. You must always choose the convenient one for you, has the lowest banking fees, and, most important, is safe and secure.

After all, you do not want to risk your money to fraudulent activities! 

Bankroll management means that you risk just a small part of your overall bankroll when you play. It enables you to protect yourself from losing all your money in a single session.

So, be careful with your money, and never risk everything in a single session.


How to Play Online Slots to Win?

It is easy to play online slots. All you need to do is insert the coins/credits and hit the spin button. In a few seconds, you get the result. If you won money, go to a bonus round and play; if you didn’t, then spin again using more coins.

It sounds simple enough, right?

As a beginner, you can quickly lose your way, playing mindlessly on online slots and end up spending a lot of cash quickly.


Here Are Some Useful Tips to Help You Win:

  1. When you are playing online slots for the first time, go for the one with free-play or demo mode. It enables you to understand the gameplay without the fear of losing money. It also helps you to learn about online slot features like wilds, multipliers and scatters better.
  2. Choose only those online slot games that have a minimum 95% or higher RTP. It increases your chances of winning.
  3. Check the volatility information in the settings or review section of the game, and you get a clear idea about its risk level. The online slots with low volatility mean – more frequent but smaller wins for you. Likewise, in high volatility slots, the wins will be fewer but memorable ones. Therefore, leave it till you get experienced enough to risk.
  4. Look for those online slot games with no deposit option or require a deposit only when you cash out your winnings. But make sure to check the wagering requirements, whether it fits in your budget.
  5. Check the details of the online slot game developer. A good developer makes a lot of difference in the gaming experience. It helps to avoid getting stuck with a bonus feature that does not payout often.
  6. Go for local jackpots instead of competing with a larger group in a progressive one on the online slots. Even if it’s small, as a beginner, you get a chance to taste winning.
  7. Don’t fall for max betting. Due to RNG, your chances of winning on a single or all pay line on an online slot are equal. Therefore, set a budget before you begin playing and gamble responsibly.



No online slot games give a 100% guarantee to win but picking the one with above 96% RTP is always a brilliant move. 

Remember, online slots are a form of gambling. 

To safeguard yourself from frauds, choose only games that are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. While making transactions, use secure SSL encryption, and avoid playing on public WiFi connections.

Above all, you are playing online slots for fun, so play responsibly and enjoy it. If you fall for gambling addiction, seek professional help.


amelia cassiday profile pictureAmelia Cassiday is an online bingo writer and player for the past 5 years. Her expertise and knowledge of the online bingo industry are utilised when covering the latest news and trends. Amelia particularly enjoys reviewing new bingo sites as well as writing detailed game guides. When offline, she can be found maintaining her garden and reading a good book at her home in Newcastle, UK.