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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 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. 

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. 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.

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 LuneborgUpdated: 28 Nov 2022
Eve started working at an online casino back in 2014, and she’s been involved in the iGaming industry ever since. Starting off as a support agent at LeoVegas Casino, she later took...

Dispute resolution – can I get help from a third party?

A: A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.


Secure payments – can I trust a casino with my money?

A: If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.


Fair gaming – do the games give me a fair chance to win?

A: The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.


Encrypted website – how is my information kept safe?

A: An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.


Gambling license – can I play at a casino from my country?

A: The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.


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