Since its inception, online gambling has rapidly grown into a billion-dollar industry. As much as this is great news for online slot lovers, it also represents a bit of a conundrum. With so many excellent online slots to choose from, it can be rather difficult to discern which is the best one.
To answer that question, we must first take care of semantics. Some people play primarily for fun, while others expect to win a decent amount of money each play session. As a result, their definitions of the “best” online slot machine may vary.
In any case, there are quite a few variables to take into consideration. We’ll cover the most important aspects of slot games to help you make an informed decision.
Unless you’re brand new to the world of online slots, you already know there are a few different types available. Veterans tend to go for the 3-reel classics, which invoke that nostalgic feeling. The traditional “fruties” often feature bars, bells, and fruit symbols and the gameplay is somewhat simpler.
However, various casino software providers have introduced 3-reel classics with a modern spin, so to speak. Apart from stunning animations, some of these games also feature Wilds and Scatters and can be quite generous at times.
Next, we have a large assortment of modern 5 and 6-reel slots. Their appeal comes both from unique themes the games are built around as well as a variety of thrilling, lucrative bonus rounds these games incorporate.
Furthermore, some video slots go even a step further. Every provider is constantly attempting to add a new layer of gameplay as an additional incentive for slots players to choose their games. Some of these exciting aspects include floating symbols, expanding wilds, win-win features, reverse paylines, and so on.
It’s not uncommon for the software to allow you to fully tailor your gaming experience. RTG’s games, for example, enable you to adjust the bets, speed, and the animation. So, you can adjust the games to your preference, and play however you like.
And that’s the first thing you should consider. Choose a slot you like and enjoy playing. The primary goal of your online casino experience should be to have fun. Treat any win as a cherry on top, and you’ll enjoy playing slots online even more.
The Return to Player
That said, there’s no reason not to maximize your chances of winning.
Admittedly, there’s no strategy that would help you win at slots. After all, the result of every spin is randomly generated. However, you can and should play with the best odds. Even a single percentage can make all the difference between winning big and burning through your entire bankroll.
So, you should always know what the Return to Player of a particular slot is. Most legitimate online casinos regularly have their games audited to ensure fairness and randomness of outcomes. Many of them publish the RTP of each individual game on their websites.
So, it shouldn’t take too much digging around to find out the RTP of a particular slot you wish to play. And although all the percentages may look intimidating at first, it’s actually quite simple to figure out what the numbers mean.
For instance, if a slot has an RTP of 98.7%, that means it pays, on average, $97.7 for every $100 it takes. Naturally, the average is taken from hundreds of thousands of spin. So, it can happen that you won’t win anything in a hundred spins. Likewise, you may hit the jackpot off of the first spin.
It’s just that, the higher the percentage, the more likely it is you’ll hit the winning combination. Keep this in mind when determining which online slot to play.
The Game’s Volatility
Both online and in land casinos, slots can be more or less volatile. The term might sound fancy, but it’s as simple as RTP. The higher the volatility, the less often you’ll get a winning combination. However, when you do, you’ll receive a considerable amount of money.
Going back to the same example we used above, say you wager a total of $100 on two slots. One is extremely volatile, while the other has considerably low volatility. The first one might feature a single win out of twenty $5 spins but give back $300. The low volatility one may pay often, but the wins can range from $1 to $10.
Now, this is just an example. The conclusion isn’t that higher volatility slots are the obvious better choice. In the end, you still need to get lucky and match the most lucrative symbols to win big. In fact, neither of the two extremes is preferable.
Instead, you should choose a medium volatility slot. These slots have decent payouts even for the common symbols. So, you won’t have to hit the jackpot to end up with a significant profit.
As with RTP, some casinos display the volatility of their slots. Still, even if they don’t, all you need to do to figure out how volatile a particular slot is is simply consult the paytable. If the lowest-paying combinations feature a hefty prize, you can be sure the volatility of that slot is off the charts.
The Most Popular Online Slots
One thing to understand is that the popularity of a particular slot doesn’t come solely due to the fact that it pays out often. Take slots with progressive jackpots, for example. The chances are less than one in a million to hit the jackpot. Still, they’re among the most popular slots to date.
Likewise, just because a casino features a “recent winners” tab, and one game shows up often, it’s no guarantee it will be generous towards you. That said, you’ll have higher chances by default when playing online.
The RTP of online slots is higher than their counterparts’ in land casinos. The reason is simple — there’s too much competition online. Therefore, casinos often opt to make their games a bit more lucrative, to give players an additional incentive to chose them over their competitors.
So, the key takeaway is that you should always go with the highest RTP slot. Volatility doesn’t play that big of a role. Still, it’s best to go for medium volatility slots, unless you have a ton of money to gamble with.
However, the main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t expect to win big every time you play for real money online. You should be playing online slots for fun. If Lady Luck happens to be on your side, you’ll win big. If not, choosing one slot over the other will make absolutely no difference.