Real Money Online Slots Guide

Slot Machines are the most prevalent and popular of all casino games. Whether on land, on the high seas or on the information superhighway, real money slot machines have captured the imaginations of gambling fans in every walk of life and from all over the globe. Whether you prefer penny slots or high-limit slots, there’s an online slots game that caters to your taste, style, and bankroll.

Modern games have come a long way since their candy machine and one-armed bandit days. 21st-century players of online slots (bonus games, progressives and standard three and five reels alike) need only press a button, click a mouse or tap a keyboard to spin the magic levers; and jackpots are recorded on paper receipts and in worldwide checking accounts.

Today’s online casino slots offer all of the fun and excitement of their real-life counterparts. They also give players the option of gaming 24/7 and the convenience of “spinning to win” from the comfort of their homes, offices or laptop computers.

One of the best things about real money online slots is the large deposit bonuses and free spins that you find at online casinos. If you’re planning to spend some time at a particular gaming site, claiming its free bonus is not only your right but your obligation. It is the quickest and easiest way to build a bankroll and to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Here at CasinoBonus.org we frequently provide our readers access to exclusive offers.

Also, whether you’re playing live or online be sure to sign up for a player account; not only will you earn points toward comps and cash every time you play, but you’ll also receive offers for other goodies like raffles, double point events, and tournaments.

Just be sure to read the fine print. Most casino bonuses come with strict wagering requirements attached. More than a few of them insist that players bet as much as 40 – 50 times their initial deposit before withdrawing any funds. Among our many Casino Bonus tips, parsing the casino’s restrictions is one that we strongly advise.

How Online Slots Work

Although learning how to play online slots for real money may appear simple, each game has its own unique set of rules. Which game has the best rules for you? Which online slots bonus is biggest? Which ones have the best payouts? Should you play machines that offer a higher payback percentage or do you want to chase that huge progressive jackpot and/or online slots bonus?

To the uninitiated, it does indeed appear that real money slots can be picked up via simple trial and error.  It may also appear that outcomes are entirely random.  To this second part, there is some truth.  Game outcomes are produced by Random Number Generators (RNGs) and are digitally encrypted so no one can possibly foresee a win.

But players in the know maintain that there are strategies for increasing the gap between your wins and your losses.  These players advise a learned, even tactical approach to the game.  Below are a few Slots rules to get you started.

Making a Deposit

Regardless of which game type you decide to play first, slots remain largely the same from one machine to the next. Money is bet and won by the same procedure and the instructions manual for how to play slots varies little from game to game.

When playing in brick-and-mortar casinos, you place bets either by putting bills into a machine or by using a pre-printed currency voucher. In most modern casinos, working coin slots are a thing of the past.

When playing slots online, you must deposit funds into your player account.  These funds can then be wagered on a selected machine. The money you deposit is divided by the denomination you’re playing in order to give you your credit total. In other words, if you insert $20 into a one-dollar slot machine, you will receive 20 credits.

If you’re playing slots online for free, this process is simplified because your machine will be preloaded with credits.

Betting

Now you must decide how many credits you wish to bet per spin. Classic Slots offer only one to three pay lines, but the advanced Slots software used in today’s video and internet Slot Machine games allows players to wager on a hundred lines or more. The more paylines on which you wager, the more you stand to win or lose.

Pay Lines

Playing is easy once you’ve gotten past the betting part. All that’s needed now is to press the spin button or pull the lever.

While it helps to know the paying combinations—information you can find on any game menu—most games have Slots software that will highlight winning lines, making it easy for you to learn winning combinations while you play.

Progressive Slots, Bonus Slots & Comp Points

Here we’d like to point out that before you start playing casino games of any sort, you might consider joining the casino’s Players’ Club. This is a quick and easy way for you to earn bonuses like prizes, comps and even cash.

If you’re a live casino player, use your casino player’s card on all the slot machines you play.  This will ensure that you are always earning points.  If you’re playing slots online your points are tabulated automatically. Even some free slot machine games offer player rewards.

Of course, be sure to set a budget before you begin playing and be careful to stick to it.  Credit cards make it easy to forget you are playing with your hard-earned money, a problem compounded by the unrealness of betting from the comfort of home. You can be sure the experience is very real and you might wish you could forget when you receive your credit card bill.

When playing bonus slots, be sure to check the game’s wagering requirements.  Most bonus and progressive slots require players to bet a minimum number of credits in order to be eligible for the jackpot.

Cashing Out

Cashing out is the final step and is easy in both land and online casinos. When playing live games, all you have to do is hit the “cash out” button, and a voucher will be printed. Take that voucher to the next casino Slots game to keep playing or to the nearest change machine to get cash.

When playing online, casino Slots software allows players to either cash out or safe their winnings in their casino account.  Even if you are accidentally disconnected from your game, your credits will be automatically redirected into your player account.

CasinoBonus.org Online Slots Glossary

Bonus Slots: Slots games that have a game within the game; to trigger the bonus you must hit a special combination while playing a set amount of credits

Combination: an approved set of symbols that appears on any active payline, earning a payout

Comps: free credits, tournament entries and other casino-related items like food, merchandise or prizes that are earned by playing

Credit: a single unit of Slots currency; on a $5 machine, a $20 bill will translate as four credits

Denomination: the cost of a single credit on any specific machine; most casinos offer Slot denominations from as little as one penny per credit to as much as $100 per credit

First deposit bonus: a matching bonus given to new casino members the first time they deposit money to play Slots

Flash: a program that allows you to play at an online Slots casino without downloading software

Hopper: the part of a live Slot Machine in which money is stored; the hopper is becoming obsolete now that most casinos are using paper vouchers instead of actual coins

Jackpot: the highest possible combination on a Slots game

Loyalty points: points earned while playing; these can be converted into cash or traded for comps

Max bet: the maximum number of credits that can be played on a Slots game

Multi-line Slots: Slots that offer more than the traditional one to three horizontal paylines; they may offer anywhere from five to 100+ possible paylines

Multiplier: a symbol that acts as a wild and also multiplies the value of any winning combination in which it appears

No deposit: bonus free money offered by online Slots casinos to entice new players to try their cash games

Pay table: a menu that shows every possible winning combination and what those combinations are worth

Payline: any way or direction in which the symbols can line up to create winning combinations

Payout: any single win or the amount that a particular combination is worth

Payout percentage: a measure of each Slot machine’s generosity; for example, when playing a $1 machine with a 97% payout percentage you are losing an average of $.03 on each credit

Poker Slots: Video Poker games are also commonly referred to as poker Slots

Progressive Slot: a type of Slot Machine that is attached to a cumulative jackpot

Reels: the visible spinning parts in a Slot Machine on which the symbols are displayed; with Video Slots and Online Slots the reels are animated

Reload bonus: a matching bonus given to casino members for ongoing deposits

Slots tournament: a timed competition that pits several Slots players against each other for a predetermined prize pool; the object is to rack up as many credits as possible before time runs out

Video Slot: an animated Slot; the result of each spin is determined by randomization software

Wild: a special symbol that substitutes for any other symbol in that particular Slots game

How to Win at Online Slots

If you’ve done your homework, then you already know that the concept of Slots strategy is a controversial one. Slot machines are, after all, games of chance, whose outcomes are determined by technologically advanced Random Number Generators whose encryption and methodology cannot possibly be outmaneuvered.

How then, the skeptics ask, can you manipulate luck? In short, you can’t. Still, there are other factors that you can control. Understanding these factors and implementing a tactical approach to controlling them will help you win Slots more often.

As an example of how easy it is to establish a winning Slots strategy, consider the fact that not all machines are created equal; choosing a profitable game is, thus, your best bet and the first step towards building your bankroll.

Find Online Casino Slots with Great Payouts

The obvious question then becomes, “Which games are best?” The answer depends on how you define best. While one player might seek out games with great graphics, another will choose according to game themes (i.e. Marvel Comics Slot games or Movie-themed machines).

For the purposes of establishing a winning Slots strategy, we’re defining best as “most profitable.”  Look for online casino Slots with great payouts.

But what exactly is a great payout?  Payout percentages represent the portion of all monies bet by players that are being paid out as winnings. In other words, if you’re playing a Slot Machine with a 98% payout rate, the casino is keeping 2% of all the money bet on that machine and paying winners 98%.

This is a long-term average that is influenced by everything from the smallest to the largest payouts.
While it may sound promising, what it really means is that you’re losing your money a little bit at a time. A big part of learning how to win Slots is learning how to reduce these losses.

Fortunately, most casinos are forthright about which machines offer what payouts. You may have to do some research to find the best Slots in a live casino. Online casinos, however, often post payouts per game on any number of their web pages.

Don’t be fooled by games that only offer 90-95% payouts. This may sound good, but in actuality, online casino Slots with great payouts reach as high as 98% or more.

Choose a “Hot” Slot (Yes…they do exist)

This next bit of advice is reserved strictly for live casino play and can make a tremendous difference in whether you spend the night in the casino hotel’s VIP suite or end up washing dishes to pay your room fee.

Look for “loose” machines. Yes, they do exist!  Their purpose is to “show off” to passers-by that these supposed one-armed bandits do, in fact, pay well and often. Here’s where you will and won’t find them:

  • Play machines that are near to signs announcing the casino’s payout percentage and jackpot prize
  • Play machines in high-traffic, high-visibility areas like raised carousels and casino entrances and exits
  • Avoid machines near table games and at the end of a row
  • Avoid machines near elevators, box office booths and buffet lines.

Take Advantage of Slots Bonuses

A comprehensive Slots strategy goes beyond payout percentages. If you really want to optimize your playing session, you’ll need to think outside of the box.

Consider claiming a Slots bonus. The best Slots bonus will award you hundreds of dollars in playable cash just for signing up at a particular online casino. A few bonuses will even let you play free games for real money. Still, other Slots bonuses will reward you for time and money already spent playing. Be sure, of course, to read the fine print. Most bonuses come with stiff wagering requirements. To find the best Slots bonus for your needs, check out our Casino Bonus directory.

Playing Progressive Slots

We’ll keep this one short and say it straight: if you want to hit the big money, you’ve got to place big bets. Progressive Slots typically only pay out jackpots to players who bet max credits. Playing one or two coins at a time is smart but won’t put you on “easy street.”

Practice Playing Free Online Slots

Even though skill is irrelevant in this game, knowledge remains important. Playing free online Slots games is the best way to discover which game works best for you. They allow you to get comfortable with the buttons and gauge how fast you’ll burn through your bankroll. It’s also a good way to see first-hand how online casino Slots with great payouts will extend your bankroll.

Sadly, when you win free online games you get nothing more than the thrill of victory, but it is good preparation for playing and winning the real thing.

In summary, if you want to win Slots, a good Slots strategy is controlling what you can: machine selection, bet size and bonuses. Choose a bad machine and you might as well give your money away. Bet more or less than necessary and you could end up over-spending or missing out on big pays. Bypass bonuses and you will be forfeiting a lot of free money.

Follow the advice above, and you’ll not only cut your losses but create more opportunities to win.

Playing Online Casino Slots Risk-free

Here’s your chance to play online casino slots without spending a cent! Casinobonus.org has its very own free internet gambling slots game. Test your game know-how using the machine’s “play money” option. Later, when you want to win some real cash, you can sign up with your favorite site. Many sites offer free bonus money—see our casino reviews to learn which ones—before you make a deposit.

Online Slots Odds & Probabilities

“What are my chances?” This is a question every person who enjoys gambling asks when he plays a new game, and each game answers that question differently. Our guide to the probabilities and odds for the most popular internet gambling Slots can tell you how games pay out their winners, how often you can expect to win and which types of games pay out the biggest jackpots.

You don’t have to be a math genius to understand basic Slots odds. Simply knowing what you’re up against is a good first step towards conquering Slots odds. Armed with a working knowledge of Slots math and which number combinations and bets pay the most, you’ll be better equipped to control your gambling fate.

The real purpose behind learning Slots odds isn’t to win at Slots more but to lose less. Below are the cold, hard facts on everything from how Random Number Generators produce game outcomes, why payback percentages are so important and how often you can expect to win based on the number of credits you bet per spin.

Which Slot Machine Probabilities Matter Most

If you play Slots online, then you’ve probably already been exposed to a lot of numbers. Most online casinos are pretty forward about things like their overall payback percentage and the Slots payouts offered by each game type. You’ll also see the progressive jackpots that are currently available and can easily find the pay table for any game that strikes your fancy. You might wonder which of these numbers are relevant when it comes to winning Slots.

First of all, be careful playing Progressives. While it may seem exciting to play a game that offers a chance at winning millions, your actual Slots odds of winning those millions are less than winning your local lottery.  Even non-progressive machines that boast huge payouts frequently compensate by reducing smaller payouts.  It’s these smaller payouts that will be your bread and butter if you want to make your bankroll last.

If you really want to know how often you can expect to win at Slots, the most important things to consider are payback percentages.

Understanding Payback Percentages & House Edge

Slots payouts and payback percentages are one of the most commonly misunderstood gambling concepts.  Maybe the popular 0 to 100 grading scale is what gets us so confused.  At first glance 92% sounds good; but when it comes to Slot Machines, it isn’t. You’re not going to win at Slots very often if you’re sitting at a machine with a 92% payback percentage.

In order to understand how payback percentages relate to winning Slots, you have to define the term. Many people wrongly assume that 92% payback means they’ve got a 92% chance of getting their money back or, even more misguided, that they’ve got a 92% chance of winning.

Think about that for a minute.  If this were the case, everyone in the world would play every minute of every day.  Why go to work when a $10 bet has a 92% chance of turning you into a millionaire?  This Slots math simply doesn’t add up.

Conversely, a 92% payout percentage also doesn’t mean a 92% chance of losing.  This Slots math is also incorrect.

Payback percentage represents the amount paid out on a win based on how much was paid in.  In other words, when you play a $1 machine with a 92% payback percentage, you’re losing an average of $.08 on every dollar you win.

Because this number is calculated using long-term figures, you’re going to see a lot of fluctuation in your results from one session to the next. It’s kind of like adding up a lifetime of wins and losses on one machine and then dividing them by the number of spins played. Winning Slots—or at least those that win more often—offer payback percentages of 97% or more. You’re selling yourself short by taking anything less.

Slots charts can be very helpful in determine payouts and win ratios. The below chart displays the average Slots payout at land casinos based on various bet denominations.

Denomination Average Payout
.05 92.5%
.25 94.1%
1 95.9%
5 98.4%

Once you understand the importance of payback percentages, your next job is to seek out the loosest machines. This is easy if you play Slots online because casinos typically post percentages in Slots charts directly on their site’s game page. In land-based casinos, loose machines are typically located in high traffic areas where winners will be most visible (i.e. on raised carousels and near casino entrances and exits).

Now you’ve got the knowledge, go forth and conquer.  Good luck!

Online Slots History: From Fruit Machines to Progressive Jackpots

From “fruit machines” that dispensed chewing gum to computerized games with multi-million dollar payouts, Slot Machines have evolved and progressed by leaps and bounds in the last century. Multi-line machines, video-game-style presentations and random number generators have carried Slot Machines well past the era of the old “one-armed bandit”.

While many casino games have similar elements and chronologies, Slots Machines are unique in every way. But even as their popularity has increased exponentially in the last half-century, most fans of the game still know precious little about its development.

More than a few players have found themselves asking, “how do Slot Machines work?”, and more generally, “what are the origins of Slots play as we know it today?” It’s so simple to sit down and start playing that the origins of Slots – namely the time, effort and imagination that have made them so popular and so prolific – are often overlooked.

Slots history began in America, but these days the whirling, whistling behemoths that are the hallmarks of the casino industry can be found in every corner of the globe. To show our appreciation for this classic game, we’ve put together a timeline of Slots history.

The first slot machine

Slots history begins with bar games. The original inventors simply taped cards or pictures to drums and used a lever mechanism to start them spinning. If a player got three like symbols, he won food, booze or other small prizes.

At the end of the 19th Century, a California inventor named Charles Fey took the first step in what would prove to be a long history of Slots. Fey replaced the traditional deck of cards—which created too many winning combinations to allow for automated payouts—with a set of five symbols: diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades and the Liberty Bell that earned the game its name. In 1907, Fey partnered with the Mills Novelty Company, a move that allowed for the mass production of the machines.

The Mills Novelty Company perfected Fey’s original design. They replaced its clunky cast iron exterior with a lighter, cheaper wooden one that made it easy to ship the machines across the country. These changes paved the way for the first casino Slots.

In the 1930s, they were a regular sight in gambling halls on both U.S. coasts. When Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo in Las Vegas in 1946, he filled it with hundreds of casino Slots. It was a move that would advance Slots history in the world’s most notorious gambling town.

Computer chips revolutionize modern slots

In the last 50 years, the technology behind these games has advanced rapidly, thus pushing Slots history forward by leaps and bounds.  In 1963, Bally’s introduced the first electromechanical versions. These games were more reliable and paid even the biggest wins automatically.

In the years that followed, electromechanical machines quickly usurped the simple wooden Mills Novelty games, and before long even electromechanical Slots gave way to computer Slots. These games further simplified the paying and playing process but also allowed for fun new extras like bonus games and progressive jackpots.

The introduction of computer Slots (also called Video Slots) revolutionized the game. The first multi-line games appeared, allowing players to bet on dozens or even hundreds of possible lines and to win with combinations made vertically and diagonally.

Bonus Slots featured elaborate animations and interactive games. Progressive jackpots were tied not only to banks within a single casino, but to similar machines around the world, and the top prizes quickly grew from a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars. Now playing and winning Slots could literally be life-changing.

Internet Slots

In the late 1990s, another critical turning point in the history of Slots occurred; namely, the first internet Slots were introduced. These were an integral part of the early popularity of online gambling and remain one of the industry’s biggest draws.

As with their live casino counterparts, the first online versions were simplistic when compared to the games we play today. As more online casinos were developed, newer and better software was developed too. Before long, internet Slots players could pick and choose between hundreds of titles and game types.

The Future

Today millions of people enjoy playing Slots in live casinos and from the comfort of their homes. Every month new titles are announced as the casino’s fight to come up with bigger and better game themes and options. Many pop culture references have been incorporated into the Slots craze, and the games remain an icon within the gambling industry.