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Gaming Guru

David Newstead

How to play slots online

23 August 2010

Playing a slot machine really couldn't be easier in real life. Walk up, enter coin, pull handle. Repeat. Their simplicity is the secret to their success but also means they're a little inflexible. Limited bet sizes means that sometimes that favourite slot, the really really cool one, is just outside you price range. Well, things are a little more refined when playing slots online...

There really isn't a slot that a player can't play online, with favourites fully customisable when it comes to bet size. The result is that you get the same great thrill and buzz but at a budget you can afford. However, many players simply don't realise this and play the default bet amount or slap it on max bet. With a little bit of time and effort it's really very easy to find the options that will shrink the bet size from $5.00 to $0.50 for example, extending your play time, your enjoyment and your chance of hitting some pretty big combinations.

The secret is to know your software. Pick a casino and become intimate with its interface. That way you can quickly gauge where the controls are, set them and start playing. Many players like particular games from certain casinos and will therefore play at a number of different sites, and that's fine, but the same advice holds true: learn the interface and don't play until you're satisfied with how much you're betting per spin.

One of my favourite slot interfaces is provided by NetEnt. Generally the interface it is almost identical for each game, though for some of their standout games they have themed the interface to fit the genre, which gives the games further depth and appeal. Even here though they keep to certain key similarities and that is a really nice touch - familiarisation allows the player to easily and confidently customise their bet size. An example NetEnt casino is Jackpot Games casino, who have cherry picked their slots and have made only the best of NetEnt games available.

Things to look out for include "Bet Level", "Coin Size" and "Paylines/Betlines" – these all have an effect on how much you will pay per spin. Paylines are the metaphysical lines that run across the reels on a slot machine. They connect matching symbols together and power players to wins or bonuses. Coin size determines how much you bet on each payline/betline. So, for example, a 20 betline slot at $0.20 will mean each spin will cost $4.00. If you then win 1,000 coins on a spin the payout will be 1000x0.20, which is $200. Look out for Bet Levels though - they will multiply your stake amount, normally by multiples of two, and have a massive impact on your stake. Slide it up or down according to your budget. Always remember that the advertised jackpot is probably only available on max bet, so keep your expectations proportional when betting small.

The only slots you will find online that have fixed bet limits are progressive jackpot slots. These are networked games that produce phenomenally large wins. To keep things fair for all operators in the network, contributions to the pot are fixed to certain a bet size. Beware that some casinos may allow you to change the bet size but you will not be eligible for the progressive jackpot. As always, read the paytable carefully!

So, don't get caught out – make sure you configure your online slot the way you want it before playing, and never spend more than you have or want to.
How to play slots online is republished from