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Slots are the most popular games at online casinos. You can, therefore, find them at all casinos, but the number of casino slots you’ll find will vary widely. An average online casino will have about 1,000 and 2,000 slots, but the big brands can have more than 3,000 picks from the best slot games to play. Video slots are the most common ones, but you can always find classic slots as well. Another popular category is, of course, slots with progressive jackpots, and these are the games where you can win millions of euros with just one lucky spin! If you haven’t tried slots before, we here at GoodLuckMate will give you all the information you’ll need in our Slots Guide. Not only will you find out how to play slots online, but you’ll also learn how you can maximize your chances of winning!




Slots at Online Casinos

The two main types of slots you’ll find are video slots and classic slots, but the best online casinos also offer other automated games within the slots category. These are typically table games, bingo, or even scratch cards. While these games are not slots in the traditional sense, they're often grouped with slots since all of them are operated using a random number generator, and this is also what determines the results of each game round in slots. Sometimes, there are even hybrids such as bingo slots and poker slots.

Classic Slots

The features that usually define a classic slot machine are that it has three reels, a retro design, and about 5 pay lines. Fruits, jokers, 7s, and BARs are the most common symbols you’ll see. In addition, the slot itself is quite simple, and it either won’t have bonus features at all or it may have only a few. But while all of these features are found on older classic slots, these days, game providers are also making updated versions of the classics. You may find slots at casino sites with more reels and ones with more modern designs and symbols, but the bonus features will normally be limited. Expect either a gamble feature, where you can double or quadruple your winnings or a supermeter that allows you to gamble your winnings for the chance to win more.

Video Slots

At any given online casino, you'll find hundreds, if not thousands, of video slots. These are slots filled with bonus features, great graphics, and plenty of pay lines. A typical online video slot has five reels, but a lot of the newer games have replaced spinning reels with falling symbols. This feature allows a game to offer players multiple chances of winning in the same game round. 

The standard setup is usually five reels or columns that show three symbols each and have from 20 to 25 pay lines. But you may also find games with expanding reels, a lot more symbols per wheel or column, and even games that have up to 7 or 8 columns or reels. Basically, these games have evolved so much over the years that the standard is now very blurry because all of the game developers are striving to come up with new features.

Progressive Slots

Memory isn’t something most slots are equipped with, but when they are, they're known as progressive games. This shouldn’t be confused with slots that have progressive jackpots, even though the concept is along the same lines. In most online slots, the game will restart from scratch in every game round, and what happened in the previous rounds won’t have any effect on what happens next. However, in progressive online slots, what happened before does have an effect on how the game proceeds. 

Most often, the progressive part of a game means that you’ll have to collect something during several game rounds. It may be something you win by getting a certain symbol, triggering a bonus feature, or doing something else. The point is that there will be some kind of meter for you to fill, and once it’s full, you’ll trigger a bonus.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

A slot with a progressive jackpot is a slot that has a pooled prize. All of the people playing one particular slot contribute to the same jackpot, and one player can win the big prize. You’ll never win a fixed prize from a progressive jackpot since the jackpot is always a different amount. A small percentage of each bet placed on the slot will be added to the jackpot, and this is how it grows. The jackpot keeps growing until one lucky player triggers it, and that player wins the whole pot. Once the jackpot is triggered, it will just start building again.


Anyone who's ever tried online gambling in Japan knows about the unique concept of Pachislot. Pachislot machines are a hybrid between the ever-popular Pachinko game and online slots as we know them. Pachinko is a game of skill in which players try to lead a small ball into a special hole. Pachislot immerges this concept to some extent to the traditional reel action. Online Pachislot machines aren't yet that popular and known among international players. But we're sure this will change as their gameplay is very exciting.

Return to Player – RTP

Players usually want to know how much they can win from a slot, but unfortunately, there's no answer to this. You can win millions upon millions, but you could also end up winning nothing. Slots are completely random games, at least in terms of individual game rounds. However, in the long run, the amount you could win is not completely random. All slots, and other games of chance, have a calculation for something called Return To Player (RTP). This is what determines how much a slot should pay out, on average. 

You can usually see what a slot’s RTP is in the game information. Between 95% and 98% is considered normal. This means that for every €100 you bet, the winnings should be about €97. This is just in theory, though. The RTP is calculated over thousands and thousands of game rounds and not per player.

Random Number Generator – RNG

Another thing a lot of players wonder about is if online slots are fair – and yes, they are. All of the slots you’ll find at licensed online casinos use a Random Number Generator – RNG. These are computer programs that are designed to create random results. With these in place, no one at the casino can influence who’s winning or when, which is what makes the games fair for all players. That means your chances of winning are the same as they are for other players. A certified random number generator is provided by a third party, and it’s not possible for the casino to tamper with it. 

How to Play Slots

There are no casino games that are easier to play than slots. So if you're wondering how to play slots, the answer is simple: just set your bet by adjusting coin value and the number of paylines you want to play on, if this is even an option in the slot, and then press 'play'. That's it! If the slots online support free play, you just start them and spin the reels. You don't even need a deposit. Some slots also have the option to play auto-spins, so that you don't even have to press that play button, and that will make it even easier. 

Play Free Online Slots

Even though playing slots for fun is easy and very straightforward you might want to play some free online slots before you choose to bet real money. Playing for free is a great way to get to know the slot and all its features, and this is something we would recommend that everyone does before choosing to risk their own hard-earned money.

Luckily, that's very simple to do, and you can even do it right here at GoodLuckMate! We offer thousands of free casino slots which means you can play demo slots without depositing. We also have tons of mobile casino games reviews right here. So, you can both learn more about the games you like and try them in demo mode.

How to Play Casino Slots for Free

Demo Mode, Fun Mode, or Practice Mode are all names for the same thing, it means you get to play without using real money. Once you open up a slot in this mode you’ll see that you have some credit in the game; anything between €100 and €5000 is normal. These are credits you can use to play, and you can see the balance shifting up or down as you win or lose while you’re spinning the slot wheels. Just keep in mind, that this is not “real” money, and you won’t be able to make a withdrawal no matter how much you win. If you’re unlucky and lose all your credits you can simply restart the game and you’ll get a credit top-up. 

The slot works exactly the same way in free mode as when you play for real money. All the same bonus features can be triggered, and the settings in the game are also the same. This means you can adjust your bet and in that way try out different approaches for progressive strategies, for example. There is only one exception to the statement that the slots are exactly the same, and that is in jackpot games. You won’t be able to trigger a progressive jackpot in a fun mode, so the only players that will ever see a Mega jackpot triggered are those who are risking their own money.

Most Popular Online Slots

Gonzo's Quest, Star Guardians, Book of Dead, Bonanza, Sweet Bonanza, Starburst, Immortal Romance... All these titles are familiar to passionate players as they are among the most popular online slots on the market. Like everything else when it comes to iGaming, though, there's a catch.

If you prefer to enjoy your real money gambling action over different international casinos, you’ll find that the slot menus and top picks will likely be different in each country. For instance, some of the top slots at US casinos are NetEnt’s Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest alongside EGT's Cleopatra. By contrast, the most popular online slots in Japan include Dead or Alive, Aloha Cluster Pays, and Thunderstruck II. New Zealand punters, however, prefer Break da Bank Again, and the Treasure Nile slot.

These differences aren't always driven by what players prefer. Sometimes, licensing issues make some products unavailable to players in some countries. For instance, NetEnt games are often banned to players from Australia, while NYX games aren't an option for Canadians.

Eve Luneborg
Eve Luneborg
Published: 06 Apr 2020
Updated: 30 Mar 2023
Eve started working at an online casino back in 2014, and she’s been involved in the iGaming industry ever since. Here at GoodLuckMate, she’s our go-to writer for in-depth guides, specialising in anything related to payments and account verification, table game guides and even casino and slot reviews. Eve is also religiously following industry news, keeping a close eye on any regulatory changes, new game releases, upcoming trends and much more.

What online slots pay real money?

A: Any online slots that players play in real money mode pay real cash prizes. This applies to all the most popular titles like Starburst, Book of Dead, and Immortal Romance. Sometimes, you can win real money playing slots with free spins. Whether and you'll be able to cash out the winnings depends on the bonus rules.

How to win on online slots?

A: Online slots have outcomes determined by Random Number Generators. This means that there's no proven strategy that will help you win. You can only control your spending and enjoy your time. Also, pick slots with high RTP rates and high payouts from standard symbols.

How to play online slots?

A: Online slots are among the simplest online casino games regarding gameplay. Just open the game from the casino's lobby, set the bet size, and hit the spin button. The machine will do everything else. Some bonus rounds may requre a bit more actions from your side, like picking random boxes or matching hidden symbols.

How do online slots work?

A: Online slots have a Random Number Generator that generates fair and unpredictable results every time a player hits the spin button. Typically, you'll see spinning symbols that stop at a certain point. If they create a winning combination, the players gets an appropriate payout. If not, the bet is lost. Some symbol combos will trigger special rounds. These can be free spins, pick-and-win games, etc. These typically require no or minimal involvement from the player, and are 100% random, too.

Where can I play slots online for real money?

A: There are over 1,700 online casinos on the market, and all of them offer real money slots. However, to stay safe, you must play at trusted operators. That's why we recommend you check our expert casino reviews and stick to gambling sites with a high GoodLuckMate rating.

Which online slots payout the most?

A: There's no definitive answer to this question as game providers constantly release new online slots. Book of 99 has an RTP of 99% and that makes it one of the best choices alongside Mega Joker, and Ooh Aah Dracula which share the same payout rate. Rainbow Riches is another option to consider with an RTP of up to 98%.

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