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How Do Online Slots Work?

Online slots are by the most common type of game you’ll find at online casinos. The typical casino has several hundred slot games available to play, way more than any other type of game. There are even some casinos with more than a thousand online slots listed. Slot machines are hugely popular thanks to their many themes and exciting features. There are loads of slots in development, with new ones released all the time! If you’re looking to find out how slots work, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll learn the basics of online slots and how to play free online games no downloads. So, have a read to learn about slots and where to play them for free.

How Slots Work

The typical online slot is played on a grid with three rows and five columns, or reels. Each position of the grid has a symbol in it, and there are 15 of these altogether. To play slots, you need to click to spin the reels. All of the reels will spin and will come to a stop, revealing a new assortment of symbols on the grid. 


To win, you need to land a minimum number of matching symbols (usually three) on one of the paylines. A payline is simply a row going across the reels that includes one position per reel. The more symbols you have on a payline, the more you’ll win. Slots have ten to a dozen or so symbols. Some of them only pay out small amounts of money, while others can pay out quite high sums. The number of paylines can vary from just a few to several dozen. Some slots require you to bet on all paylines, whereas others let you choose how many paylines you want your bet to cover.


Symbols that just offer payouts and don’t do anything else are known as standard symbols. If a symbol has a special effect or feature, it’s known as a bonus symbol. The two most common examples of these are scatters and wilds. A scatter symbol offers payouts no matter where it is on the reels; in other words, it doesn’t need to be on a payline to pay out. Scatters often trigger a free spins round. Wild symbols, on the other hand, substitute for any standard symbol to help you form winning combinations. Slots can have additional bonus symbols that trigger special bonus rounds and features.


Slots can have additional bonus symbols that trigger special bonus rounds and features.

If you trigger free spins, you’ll get a number of free spins to use and may even be able to win some more. Some slot games have a bonus round where you can pick from several options to win cash prizes. There are also different types of symbol. An expanding symbol stretches to fill the entire reel it’s on; a sticky symbol stays where it is for a number of spins; a walking symbol moves across the reels every time you spin the reels, one reel at a time. Some slot machines don’t even have paylines. Instead, you win simply by landing matching symbols on consecutive reels; they don’t need to be in certain positions to count. A popular feature is the avalanche, or. Score a win, and all winning symbols vanish, with any empty gaps filled by symbols falling above. Thanks to this feature, you can win more than once from a single spin of the reels. 

Slot Themes

Have a look through a casino’s slots collection, and you’ll see that the slot machines come in all sorts of creative and imaginative themes. Some of the most common ones include ancient Egypt, Las Vegas, outer space, under the sea, norse mythology, all things Irish, sweets, winter wonderlands, historical characters, fairytale characters and creatures, pirates and so much more. Quite a few online slots are - this means they’re themed after a pre-existing intellectual property (or IP) such as a movie, TV show, celebrity or musical act. 

Playing Slots for Free

If you want to play free slots, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do so. Most casinos offer demo play, which lets you play free casino slot games for fun. Sometimes, though, you will need an account to have a go of slot machine games and other casino games in demo play. Even though you can’t win or lose any money in demo play, you can practise playing as much as you like without any risk. Then there are casino bonuses. Sign up to a casino and make the most of bonuses offering you free spins and bonus money - both of these bonuses can be used to play slot games for free. When using casino bonuses, you still have the chance to win real money even though the spins don’t actually cost you any extra. 


Even though slot machines are all about luck, some of them can seem quite complicated at first thanks to all the features they have. This is why it’s a good idea to play free slot games if you can before playing for real money. By playing for free, you can get a feel for how the slot and its features without necessarily having to gamble any of your own money. 


Slot games are great fun to play, and they can offer some pretty good payouts. They have lots of different features and come in a wide variety of themes. Though they’re generally quite easy to understand, some of them do have a lot going on. Even if you’re aware of how slots work, you may want to play free casino slot games before you start playing for real money. Spin the reels of slots for free and enjoy practising online slots risk-free. By the time you come to spend your own money, you should have a good idea of how they work.