Best Online Slots Guide
Slots is far and away the most popular game in US casinos, both online and land-based casinos. While slots is a game of luck, there are many choices you can make that will drastically increase your chances of winning.
Playing slots should always be enjoyable, and you should also be winning as well. It's important to consider what you want to get out of slots, and find a game that will help you achieve your goals.
Our Slots Guide will teach you about the important decisions you need to make when choosing a slots game. By the end of the article, you'll be making informed decisions about games with the best winning percentages, enjoyment factor, and awards for you.
Where are the Best Online Slots in the U.S.?
The U.S. has a number of online casinos where you can play slots. But New Jersey and Pennsylvania have the biggest variety, so we'll focus there.
Online slots is a constantly changing market in New Jersey. We'll keep you updated on the latest trends and options.
Megaways Slots at Golden Nugget: 200 Free Spins
Megaways slots give you 117,649 ways to win!
Golden Nugget has New Jersey's leading collection of Megaways designed by SG Digital.
- 88 Fortunes Megaways
- Annubis Wild Megaways
- Bonanza Megaways
- Extra Chilli Megaways
- Holy Diver Megaways
- Medusa Megaways
- Monopoly Megaways
- Raging Rhino Megaways
- White Rabbit Megaways
Golden Nugget is also giving you 200 Free Spins on 88 Fortunes Megaways if you deposit just $30.
Wonderland: only at Virgin and Tropicana
Wonderland progressive/jackpot slot has gotten a lot of slots players very excited. This Alice in Wonderland-themed slot has 4 great bonus rooms. And the jackpot is often the biggest in the state! Read our review to find out more.
Tropicana Atlantic City
After Golden Nugget, 888 has the biggest slots selection. They also have many exclusive titles and some great progressive slots!
What are Online Slots?
Online slots are created by software companies, and they're based on video slots you'd find in brick-and-mortar casinos. In fact, many of the providers of online slots also design physical video slots games.
You'll find a huge variety of reels, rows, paylines, min/max bets, and so on. That gives you a lot of choice in what kind of slots you want to play.
Programming and fairness
Online slots use a random number generator to ensure that the symbols it generates are randomized, and therefore fair.
Online slots games display their Return to Player (RTP) percentage plainly. Just check the information box on your game to see the RTP.
The RTP is on average much better in online casinos than what you'll find in land-based casinos.
Playing slots online has many, many advantages over playing slots at a land-based casino. These boil down to:
- Better RTP
- Clear information
- Easier to Pick and Switch
So you'll have a better chance of winning with online slots. The percentages are clearly labled in online slots games, whereas they can be impossible to find in land-based casino slots games. The most important role you have in winning has to do with picking a winning slots game, and again your chances are drastically better with online slots.
Below we go into each of these points one by one.
What is RTP?
RTP stands for Return to Player. This is the amount of money you can expect to win back over time in any given game. For example, if a game's RTP is 97%, you can expect to receive 97% of your bets returned as wins.
This means if you bet $100, the average would be to win $97 back. Of course, you may win a lot more than $100, and you may lose more than that.
The RTP is an average that the software designers of any slots game come up with after running a simulation of the game. They may, for example, set a program running where they see what the average winning is if someone bets $.50 one million times. If the result is that they win 97% of the time, that's the RTP they'll advertise.
Slots games programmers can design a game to have whatever RTP they want. Programmers and operators, i.e., the online casinos, have to decide what RTP percentage will encourage people to play while still giving the casino a chance to make money.
With lower overhead costs, online casinos can afford to let you win more, which is why you'll see a better, higher RTP percentage with online slots.
Better RTP with Online Slots
With that low overhead, online casinos have a higher RTP on online slots. They can afford to let you win more, and more often.
So while the RTP on most slots at land-based casinos in Las Vegas is in the 80s, the average RTP for online slots is around 96-97%. You have a much better chance of winning in online slots.
If you're starting out with online slots, it's best to find a high RTP percentage slots game. Here is an example of a slots game you can play at any of the online casinos you see recommended on our site.
Blood Suckers RTP: 98%
Don't let the name fool you...Blood Suckers won't suck you dry. With an RTP of 98%, Blood Suckers gives you plenty of hits (or wins) per game. The game has some amazing graphics and overall eerie feel: haunting soundtrack, and shivering sounds when a vampire does its work!
The bonus rounds come rather frequently, and then you'll see enhanced graphics and have a chance at increased percentages on your wins and getting some free spins.
Blood Suckers is a favorite for many slots players, and it's not only the super high RTP percentage. The programmers at NetEnt have continuously updated this classics slots game, improving the playability and look over time. Take a bite at these casinos:
How to Play Online Slots
Playing slots online is as easy as the click of a button. You just need to:
- Pick your game. Most casinos have a designated Slots tab, so you can hit that to see the games available
- Pick your bet amount.
- Press the spin button.
Then you're rolling!
There are a few different ways a player can spin.
- Click the “spin” button in the game window
- Click the “bet max” button
- Select the “auto-spin” feature which will automatically play a number in spins
There are two different systems to determine winning spins in online casinos slots games.
How to Register for Online Slots
Registering for online slots is quite easy. Just follow these steps:
- Find an online casino.
- Find a good welcome bonus. This way you can play for free, win money, and not pay anything!
- Find the slots game you want to play.
- Set your bet amount and loss limits.
Remember that the key to enjoying playing and playing smart is in managing your bankroll. This is how experts stay in the game long enough to become experts!
How to Win at Slots
The most important aspects of a slots game are not the colors, the sounds, or even the realistic graphics of the animated figures. What you should be primarily interested in is 1) your chance of winning and 2) how much you will win if you do.
Find games with :
- Lowest house edge: a low house edge means a high RTP. If you want a better chance at winning, look for a high RTP game.
- Highest hit rate: similar to RTP, more hits mean that you'll get wins back more often. Of course this doesn't indicate how big the wins are.
- Biggest payout: money is made quickly in slots if at all. Of course, all slots players know that. So if you're winning, you want to win big.
- Look for games with free spins and bonus rounds. This increases your chances while you pay nothing.
- Start off with a good bonus. A casino bonus starts you out ahead of the house. Slots have the best game weighting, so you can make the most of your bonus money by playing slots.
Types of Online Slots
Online slots come in 3 main different forms:
- Classic 3-reel slots
- 5-reel video slots
- Progressive jackpot slots
3-reel slots or classic slots look and feel like physical slot machines. They usually offer 1-5 paylines.
Video slots give you more features, more variety, more bonuses, and more ways to win. They have great graphics and sounds. Often you'll find that your favorite movie, band, or animal has a slot dedicated to it!
Extra features in video slots can include:
- free spins
- wild cards
- scatter symbols
- bonus rounds
Progressive slots, also called jackpot slots, share a huge jackpot. Winnings are often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars! You can see the value listed on the casino's page.
Here are some sites with enormous jackpots.
Starting off reading about slots can be confusing. Here are some of the key terms you need to know to be informed and join in conversations online and with fellow slots players.
Reels are the rotating wheels where your symbols will appear. The most popular online slots games have 5 reels. Many classic slots games have 3.
Paylines are the different arrangements of symbols that form winning combinations. Most of the popular online slots games have 5 reels and 20-25 paylines, or ways to win. The more paylines you have, the greater the chances of hitting, or getting a win.
Symbols are the different figures you see on the reels. Classic symbols include fruits, such as cherries and apples. Modern slots games have symbols that are relevant to the game, and these symbols with probably shimmer or "come alive" when a payline is hit.
Hit Average or Hit Rate
The hit average is the average number of wins on a game. A low hit rate does not mean that you lose money. For example, high volatility games are risky, meaning they have a low hit rate, but when you win, you win big!
Return to Player (RTP) Percentage
Return to Player is the percentage of money you can expect to win back over time. You can read more about it below.
Volatility is the riskiness of a game. It has to do with how big the wins are, and how long you have to wait, on average, to win. If a game has high volatiltiy, that means you may expect long dry periods of no hits before you win. But if you do win, payouts are bigger in high volatility games.
Online slots display your Return To Player percentage clearly on each game. In a physical casino, you never really know what the payout percentage is, which puts you at a big disadvantage.
For online slots, you can see the RTP as well as the volatility. But what is volatility?
Volatility is the amount of risk in the game. If a game has high volatility, that means it's risky: you may win a lot at once, but you'll probably have long periods of play where you don't win at all.
So decide if you want lots of action. If so, then find a game where a high RTP score is found. That means it will have low volatility. You can expect frequent, smaller wins.
If you're the kind of player who wants to go for the big win, and you can afford steady losses along the way, then find a high volatility game. There you'll see a lower RTP.
So, just because a game has a low RTP does not mean that you should stay away. High volatility games have low RTP and could score you some huge wins!
There are two more important aspects to choosing your slots game. The first has to do with the game's appearance and feel: you want to find a game you enjoy playing. Next, you want be sure you have the right options in your game.
Slots Entertainment value
Some slots players love having a lot happening on the screen. They want to see funny facial gestures, hear the ringing of coins and the reels spinning, and have lots of bells and whistles with their games.
Other slots players are more minimalist. They want their online slots experience to be as close to the classic 3-reel, 3 cherries slots game as possible.
The great thing about online casinos is you can find exactly what you want. Golden Nugget currently leads the legal online casino market, with over 600 different slots games. And 888 Casino is not far behind, with nearly 600 slots games to date.
Online Slots Options
A great thing about online slots games is that you can change your bet amount very easily. Unlike physical casinos, you don't need to switch machines to go from a very low to very high bet; you can do that all at one machine with the press of a button.
If you like to start off with some large bets, you can try your luck a few times with as large a bet as that game will allow. Or if you really just want to be entertained by the slots game for a while, you can set your bet level very low. You may score some good wins, but you'll definitely enjoy yourself!
Choice of Online Slots
Finally, there's never a lack of variety of online slots. You never have to wait for your favorite game, and no one's going to cut in line! The online casino providers you see listed on our site are prepared for thousands of guests at once, which means you get your game whenever you want.
The house has a slight edge in the casino, even if it's a slight edge in an online casino slots game. But rewards programs from the casino are you get that edge back!
Online casinos offer you a number of bonuses to get you to try their casino as well as rewards programs to keep you coming back. You can read more about this in our articles on sign-on bonuses and free-spins.
But even after you've been a member of a casino for a while, you'll continue to get special awards and bonuses. You earn rewards points by playing. So even if you don't come out ahead with your betting, you can win in the end by getting free hotel stays, food, flights, or free spins that end up winning for you.
So, remember that the winnings don't stop just because the game is over. Be sure to take advantage of the great offers you see for signing on, get those free spins, and get all you can from your casino's rewards program.
History of Slots
The slots machine was invented by Charles August Fey in 1894. He was living in San Francisco, and the invention proved so popular that he was soon able to quit his day job and devote more time to manufacturing his slots machines. His first 3-reel slot was called the Card Bell (1898), followed by the Liberty Bell (1899). The first slots machines paid out according to winning poker hands.
Slots are by far the most popular game in the casino. Online casino games are still based upon Fey's invention. While most online slots games have 5 reels and 20-25 paylines, you'll still find classic slots with only 3 reels and limited paylines.
Are Online Slots Legal in the U.S.?
You can legally play online slots in any state that has approved online casino games. Right now, that's:
- New Jersey
- Michigan (legal, but not yet available)
- West Virginia (legal, but not yet available)
Slots are 100% legal in these states. As such, that means your money is protected and you have rights as a U.S. consumer.
Are online slots rigged?
Online slots - if you play in a legal casino - are guaranteed by law not to be rigged. The state gaming authority inspects games. They would also heavily fine a casino for rigging a game.
The casino would pay much more in fines than they'd gain from a rigged game. So rigging doesn't make any financial sense.
Most land-based casinos have 10 times as many slots games as they do table games, and that's for a simple reason: people love slots! If you love playing slots in physical casinos, we think you'll find more of what you love in the online slots games offered by the casinos we recommend on our site.
With better chances of winning and clear information on what you're putting your money into, we highly recommend that slots players take advantage of some of these bonus offers and get to spinning now!