The Truth About Online Slots

The Truth About Online Slots

Each gambler has their personal list of favorite games to make bets. Some are fond of table games like blackjack, roulette, or poker, as they can apply strategies and influence the result. Some players prefer slot machines because they allow them to relax and enjoy the gameplay as much as possible. However, many gamblers don’t know the truth about online slots in the USA and don’t grasp how they work and what determines their chances of success. It’s time to talk about this and fill this gap.

Online Slots Explained

More than 100 years have passed since the creation of the first slot machine; it was presented by the US inventor Charles Fey in 1894. The principles he laid in his brainchild, called Liberty Bell, also work in modern slots.

Liberty Bell had one row, three reels, and only five symbols with one payline.

After running any slot machine at an online casino, you will see the playing field. It consists of a certain number of rows and reels, which look like horizontal and vertical lines of symbols. Then, you need to determine the desired bet size and perform several other actions:

  • Once you press the button to start the spin, the reels with the symbols come into motion.
  • After the reels have stopped, the symbols on them are placed in random order; you can’t predict or affect the results.
  • If a line of identical symbols is formed, you get a payout. The exact prize amount depends on the line length and the images’ value.

Payouts don’t always occur for forming lines; some slot machines have other conditions and mechanics. For example, in games with cluster spins, you need to collect the same symbols together in any sector of the playing field.

The Fruit Party slot
Example of a winning combination in a slot with cluster mechanics

In some other slots, symbol positions don’t matter at all as you only need to collect a specific number of particular images on the field.

Features in Different Countries All Over the World

The truth is that online slots work the same no matter what online casino you play or what country you live in. Although specific spins results in different casinos from different countries may differ, games have the same characteristics that can’t be changed. Return-to-player percentage, volatility, maximum payout, number of lines, and so on remain the same, and the only significant difference is betting limits. Somewhere you can bet $0.01, while on another gambling site, this limit may be higher, for example, $0.05.

Gambling Market Legitimacy

To be sure your gambling is secure and your data and money are safe, it is necessary to play only on licensed gambling sites controlled by regulators. Federal legislation in the USA imposes severe restrictions on the online gambling industry, but each state can regulate or prohibit online casinos at its own discretion. The only US states where casinos are fully allowed are Nevada and Louisiana, but there are several regions where the industry is partially or only allowed online.

StateOnline GamesSports BetsLotteriesCommercial Casinos
New JerseyAllowedAllowedAllowedAllowed
New YorkAllowedAllowedAllowedAllowed
West VirginiaAllowedAllowedAllowedAllowed

Gambling regulation in other countries differs from that in the United States. For example, in the UK, only casinos licensed by the local UK Gambling Commission can operate legally. In Asia-region countries, any online gambling venue can work, even if it has an offshore license issued by Curacao, Malta, or Gibraltar.

Casino Service

Slots you can find on a gambling site don’t belong to it and are not served by its administration. Online casinos don’t own games; they only play an intermediary role and perform other functions:

  • Providing uninterrupted access to slot machines.
  • Technical and informational player support.
  • Processing all financial transactions.

Casinos can’t affect slots’ operation, change their parameters, or change spins’ results, as their main tasks are to serve customers and create a comfortable gaming environment.

Slots Randomness & RNG

As we said earlier, slots’ results are always random; this is possible thanks to a random number generator work. After you press the button to start the spin, it determines outcomes in a split second. RNG determines specific symbols that come up, their order, and quantity, so your potential payouts depend only on it.

Previous results don’t affect future ones; for example, losing 10 bets in a row doesn’t increase your chances of winning in the next round.

Independent digital laboratories, also called auditors, check the random number generator operation; the most famous labs are iTech Labs and eCOGRA. They perform various tests making millions of spins, and, if everything is all right, issue special certificates.

The Truth About Online Slot Game Fairness

If you play at a licensed online casino, you can be sure all slot machines work fairly. Such gambling venues simply have no reason to cheat you because they are profitable anyway, thanks to the house edge provided by all casino games.

Most of the money slot machines return to customers as payouts, and the rest of the money is the casino and provider profit.

Probability & House Edge

The rules of any casino game feature several subtleties; they are inconspicuous at first glance but play a great role in making online casinos profitable. All these features are usually called the house edge, and roulette is the brightest example of how it works.

Almost any roulette version features a playing wheel with red and black sectors; in addition, there are one or two green sectors called zero. If you bet on equal odds (red/black, even/odd, high/low) and a zero comes up, this is a loss, no matter which outcome you choose. The ball rarely hits the zero sector: an average of 2-3 times for every 100 roulette wheel spins, but these rare situations provide casino income in the long run.

Odds in Different Casinos:

As a random number generator is the basis of any slot machine, the chances of winning are always the same, no matter which gambling site you play on. Therefore, there is no point in looking for a more profitable casino, as you will not be able to get the advantage you want.

What Are RTP & Volatility

The truth about online slots for USA players is that you should always consider RTP and volatility. These criteria are the most important when choosing a game because they directly affect the gameplay and game results.

Volatility displays the slot riskiness: if it is high, you can count on huge but rare payouts. Get ready for losing streaks, as they can be really long in high-volatile slots; at the same time, a prize potential is noticeably high. If volatility is low, you receive frequent payouts, but their size is small in most cases.

The truth about the volatility of slot machines
You can usually check slot’s volatility immediately after running it

RTP is an even more important characteristic, which displays what part of the money from the total amount of investments a slot machine returns to all customers as prizes. The higher this percentage, the better.

Bonuses & Jackpots

Many players choose slots for bonuses and jackpots but keep in mind that this is not a gratuitous distribution of money from casinos but only the opportunity they provide to customers.

Bonuses are usually extra money and free spins that you can get for specific actions: making a deposit, spending a significant sum at a casino, verification, and so on. However, remember that the money received as part of a bonus always requires wagering; you can’t withdraw it immediately.

Sometimes, you need to redeem a promo code to activate a particular bonus; you can do this during registration, while making a deposit, or in your account settings.

A jackpot is a large prize pool, the amount of which can be fixed or cumulative. The prizes are usually impressive, but the chance of getting them is tiny; therefore, it is better to assess all slot’s features while choosing.

The Truth About Online Slots Winnings

A critical advantage of slot machines over table games is a higher payout potential. For example, in roulette, the maximum prize ratio is 35 to 1, while in some slots, you can get up to x200,000 of your initial bet.

At the same time, slots are much more dynamic, as you can make several dozen spins in only one minute. However, it is vital to remember that several unsuccessful spins in a row can quickly leave you broke. Therefore, remember to pay attention to RTP and volatility when choosing a game, as well as to compare the betting range with your bankroll.

Slots & Players Emotions

If we are talking about the truth about online slots, it is essential to mention that slot games use peculiarities of human psychology to create positive associations with gambling at the subconscious level. You want to repeat your success when you get your first big winnings; that is why it is really crucial to control yourself and your emotions, especially if you manage to win.

You should understand that no one can guarantee your winnings, and each spin is risky, so don’t increase the spin cost and don’t spend extra money, hoping to get a big payout.

The same goes for negative emotions. If you feel anger, frustration, and despair, the best solution is to stop playing or take a break.

How to Play Online Slots

Thanks to the development of the online gambling industry, almost anyone can play slots and other casino games these days. All you need to do is just choose a licensed online casino, sign up, make a deposit, and run a suitable game.

Free slot machines
In some casinos, you can play slots for free in demo mode

Then, you just have to determine the bet size and start making spins. If you receive winnings, they will be instantly credited to your balance.

Best Strategies & Tactics to Win in Slots

Because of high volatility compared to any table game and a random number generator work, applying mathematical and betting strategies in slots makes no sense. The only thing you can do to reduce risks is to stick to a few simple rules:

  • Divide your bankroll into several parts enough for at least 70-80 slot bets.
  • Choose games with the highest possible RTP.
  • Don’t play slots with high volatility if you are unwilling to take big risks.
  • Don’t increase the bet size to win back for previous losses quickly.
  • Don’t make decisions in the heat of emotion and keep a sober mind.

Be sure to choose only licensed casinos to play because gambling venues that operate illegally can change slots’ characteristics and fraud you. Moreover, if you play on such dubious websites, you will not be able to protect your interests in case of raising some issues.

Gambling and slot machines, in particular, are surrounded by a lot of myths that not only have no basis but can be harmful to you personally. Therefore, before you start playing a particular game, be sure to find out all the truth about an online slot.

The most common myth is that if you don’t win for a long time, you’ll definitely get a big payout soon. This misconception has nothing to do with the truth, as all winning combinations come up randomly, and the results of the previous spins don’t affect the next ones.

The second myth is that slot machines have payoff cycles, and your chance to win is much higher in a specific period of time.

This is also false; you may have the impression that at certain times you are lucky and at other times you are not, but in reality, this is all about luck, not slots’ operation.

According to the third popular myth, the more bets you make, the more favorable the slot machine will become to you. This is also a misconception; casinos and providers don’t care how actively you play or how much money you invest. All customers’ bets go into a shared pool, which is chaotically distributed among the players.

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The truth about an online slot is that the game has the same characteristics regardless of mode, so demo versions have the same features.

This is another common myth that says casinos can give newbies more payouts in order to entice them. However, it has nothing to do with reality.

This criterion is sometimes listed in the Help section available in the slot interface. Also, you can find all the game's characteristics in its description on the provider's website.

It depends on state law. In some parts of the country, the minimum permitted age is 21, while in others, it is 18.

Yes. Every game has an adaptive design, due to which the slot’s interface easily adjusts to any screen size. However, keep in mind that games have different optimization.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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