How To Play Slots Online

Posted by Veronica Taylor . Last updated:

The online slot machine gaming experience is not that much different than your typical slot session at a brick-and-mortar, land-based casino. However, because you’re not simply pumping pennies, quarters or bucks into a physical machine, experienced slot players may need to learn how to play slots at online casinos. Our how-to guide tutorial walks your through the process from signing up to learning the different features and terminology and how new users can take advantage of FREE plays.

2021 Sites for Learning How To Play Slots Online

How to Play Slots Online 101

The process before you start playing your first slot games is very simple. We’ll review the actions required to boot up your next slot games session below.

how to play online slots

Account Sign-Up

After you decide on an online casino, the first thing you’ll do is create a new account. This should take you no more than five minutes to complete. You’ll provide your name, email address, phone number and, in some cases, your mailing address. This information is used for withdrawals. You’ll then create a unique and secure username and password, while some sites also require you to create a four-digit passcode. After that’s completed, you’ll likely receive a link via email to verify your account. Once that’s complete, your mobile game experience may begin.

Pick A Game

Choosing which slot games to play is the best part of the process, right? There are typically three type of slot games at every online casino, which are five-reel, three-reel and progressive jackpots. Keep an eye out for games featuring unique themes that pique your interest such as Bovada’s “Day at the Derby” that embraces horse racing or “As the Reels Turn” for those who enjoy a soap opera or prime-time drama. You’ll notice that in recent years the graphics quality of each of these games and video poker have improved as the slot games aesthetics is very important to the user and casino operator.

You’ll also want to note the slots’ paytables as this information is critical in knowing how much to risk to maximize return on each spin of the reel or reels. Also, keep tabs of RTP, its return-to-player percentage. Online casinos often highlight this amount via percentage as in how often it occurs. In short, the higher the RTP, the “looser” the machine and better for the gamer.

Decide How Much to Bet

Be sure to pay attention to each slots minimum and maximum bets. If you’re a new player, try to avoid jumping into a slot game where the minimum is $5-or-more because you want to increase the number of pulls while you learn the game and an expensive minimum bet can wipe out a bankroll in short order. Some maximum bets are required to cash in on slot bonuses and promotions. For example, a MAX bet may be required if you want to earn the return featured on the top line of the paytable. This is a balance of strategy and sound judgement to know when to bet the MIN and MAX on any given pull.

Spin the Reels

Online casino games like slots are powered by random number generator (RNG) software. When you spin the reels, the outcome is truly random based on these algorithm-powered software. Before jumping into a game, be sure to verify that your online casino’s RNG software is licensed and regulated by third-party authorities. These licenses confirm that the software is legit and the outcomes are truly random. This provides you the player peace of mind in no time.

By turning on autospin, you can squeeze in more games in a short amount of time. Before selecting this feature, be sure to note how much your betting because the slot machine won’t stop.

How to Play Slots: Game Features

Autospin (Autoplay)

By turning on autospin, you can squeeze in more games in a short amount of time. Before selecting this feature, be sure to note how much your betting because the slot machine won’t stop until you tell it to and the bet amount will be the same each time.

Wild symbols

If you’ve ever played online card games where the Joker or a certain card was “Wild”, the same rule applies here, too. When this feature is activated during a slot game, a pre-qualified symbol, like a Cherry or Diamond, along a payline reel could help you match those five sevens or the like.


This feature does not have to follow paylines, but have been known to unlock free spins and free games. If scatter symbols appears on the screen, you can also win unique bonuses or be on your way to unlocking progressive jackpots.


These symbols and reel combinations multiply your winnings by two, five, or even 10 times the original amount.

Bonus rounds

Also known as bonus games, these typically pop up via a scatter symbol and can be a slot game within the slot game or be free spins, an exclusive video slots experience to help you maximize your winnings.

Can You Play Slots Online for Free?

how to play slots online

Yes, many online casinos offer FREE play or tutorial slot game options. Sometimes these free slot games are made available before creating a new account or making a first deposit. This is a great option for new slot players or those who want to learn a new game. As video slots machines become more in depth, sometimes the learning curve requires a few more reps before playing slots for real money. These tutorial slot machines are definitely worth 30 minutes of your time to learn what needs to match and how much you can bet on each spin. These free version do not pay real money in most instances.

How to Play Slots: Player Tournaments

Despite the randomness of video slot machines, tournaments have become very popular in recent years. Like most gaming tournaments, you pay an entry fee to join and then try to gain the most points, dollars or credits as you rise up the leaderboard. Some tournaments even feature different heats like a track meet where if you win one, you survive and advance to the next round. Because each tournament has a set amount of entrants who have pre-paid entry fee, the prize amounts if you win one of these tournaments can be big money or, at times, the casino games may offer the winner a unique prize like a vacation or gift package.

How To Play Slots FAQs

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