Most Popular Online Casino Slot Games
Ever since they’ve entered the world of gambling, casino slot games have been the most commonly played variety of casino games. At the dawn of online gambling, as was the case with land-based casinos, classic casino games took priority over slots. The first online casinos offered only games like Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette. However, in time, slots joined in on the fun, as at first the developers created replicas of some classic slots you could play in real life.
As time went by and technology developed, so did the slots. Now, you have a greater selection of games online. Since there are no physical constraints to a machine, software providers now offer the opportunity to slot players to enjoy video slots with five, six, and seven reels. There are also such games with floating symbols which don’t take up a regular columns-and-rows layout.
Consequently, there are thousands of slots you can play. To be different from one another, developers add special slot features to their releases. So now, for example, besides the base game, you have many bonus games which give you free spin bonus rounds. You can also play a game with a movie franchise and watch your favorite characters become a paying symbol. Before we go into which are the most popular online slots, let’s see which ones pay real money.
Playing Slots For Real Money
A lot of people often ask what’s the difference between real money slots and when you play free slot games. The thing is, there really isn’t any, except for the fact whether you play for fun or you’re chipping in with your bank account. Virtually any game can be played as both. Most online casinos allow players to play practice spins before they make a deposit. Essentially, any machine is a free machine until you make it into a real money one by depositing.
All such machines which accept money also pay back — they have to. Every game gets released with an RTP — Return to Player. This is a metric which ensures that every machine will pay out a certain amount of money in the long run. This is measured over the machine’s lifetime, so don’t expect to win every time you play, as we’re sure you’ve already experienced it isn’t so.
Progressive Slot Machines
One major distinction between slot games is in the fact whether or not they offer progressive jackpots. Every round you play (regardless of it being a losing or a winning one) counts towards the jackpot, as it cumulatively increases. Some providers (RealTime Gaming comes to mind) offer a networked system of progressive jackpots, meaning that all players who play the same game contribute to the same pot. With this in mind, slots often come with a jackpot of over $1 million.
Playing a progressive slot can land you great riches, but, be aware — it’s not really likely you’ll get it. The odds of it happening are rather small and you have the added difficulty in the competition from other players who all play for the same pot. Let’s take a look at some of the top slot games with a progressive jackpot.
In this game, NetEnt takes you on a trip to Arabia from the Middle Ages. The design of the machine is oriental, as special symbols include a fez, a scimitar, and a camel, among other things. It’s a game whose popularity relies on its simplicity. There are 10 paylines spread over five reels and the machine comes with an RTP of 95,6%. There are scatter symbols and when at least three of them show up (in no particular order) they activate a bonus round in which you get 15 free spins which come with an x3 multiplier. This way, you can use what are basically free coins to earn real money without the risk of spending any of yours.
The progressive jackpot is available only to real-money players. Every time you play you contribute to the pot. To win it, you need to place a maximum wager (which is 1 coin for each of the 10 paylines, which makes it $5) and get five jackpot symbols to show up. The game is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, as well as iOS and Android devices.
Coming from RealTime Gaming, it’s time to embark on a hunt of the riches an ancient civilization of the Aztecs left behind. You can activate up to 25 paylines which form over five reels. As always, different symbols pay out different amounts of money. The lowest-valued ones are a Nine and a Ten, which give 5x, 15x, or 100x the bet amount, depending on how many reels they show up at. On the other side, the King and the Ance give out as 10x, 25x, and 200x. The RTP is 95%.
That’s not where the fun ends. Special symbols such as jewelry and the Aztecan princess pay from 500x to 5000x the initial bet. The Aztec King is a wild which substitutes any other symbol and shows up only on the inside reels. A golden idol is a scatter which can come in threes, fours, or fives and pays out 3x, 15x, or 100x, respectively. On top of that, they also activate free spins — 5, 15, and 25 of them.
To win the progressive jackpot, you need five jackpot symbols (the game’s logo) to show up, one in each reel. Should you fail to get all five, you’ll get winnings in the amount of 5x, 25x, 250x, and 2500x the amount you’ve bet.
Another NetEnt progressive slot, Mega Fortune allows you to play a five-wheeler with up to 25 paylines. The theme of the game is luxury life—cars, yachts, diamonds—all that high-life pizzazz. With an RTP of 96,6% and a progressive jackpot, it sure makes it sound like you have the option of joining the elite.
The yacht represents a wild and can be used as a substitute for all symbols except the scatter and the bonus. You can match them on your own, and if you manage to do so, five wilds give you 10,000 coins. When you land three or more scatters, you activate a free spin bonus round which has multipliers that range from x1 to x5. There’s also a bonus symbol (Wheel of Luck) and if you get at least three of those, you activate the bonus game. It consists of a different game room where there’s a wheel with three sets of circles. Starting from the outside, wheels allow you to get coins or land a progressive jackpot, depending on how lucky you are.
With non-progressive slot machine games, you don’t have the promise of a huge jackpot which can make you a millionaire. But, as a result, you can expect to play a casino game which offers a better base game payout. You see, online casinos are not a charity. They don’t really like paying up to the players. So, if you start up a slot game which gives you the opportunity to land a lucrative jackpot, then you should know that they’ll make the game less profitable in the short term.
Consequently, a lot of players prefer non-progressives, which makes many of the most popular slot machines fall into this category. Let’s go through four of the most played non-progressive online slot games.
Book of Dead
A Play’n Go machine which has design similarities to the brick-and-mortar slot Book of Ra. But, it’s far from being just a cheap knock-off. The theme of it is based on ancient Egypt, where pharaohs ruled and had magnificent tombs in the shape of huge pyramids.
There are five reels and 10 paylines and the machine comes with a 96,53% RTP. The book symbol acts as both the scatter and the wild. As a wild, it replaces any other symbol in order to fulfill a payline. Otherwise, when three of them show up, it’s a scatter which triggers 10 free spins. It’s a fairly simple game, but people enjoy the design of it and its high volatility.
This one is also a NetEnt child. The machine comes with 36 paylines, five reels and an RTP of 96,33%. Coming out in the summer of 2018, it profited off the popularity of the 2017 movie remake, featuring The Rock, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart.
The machine is filled with excitement. There are plenty of bonus features — 10 of them, to be exact. The Sticky Vines feature makes all symbols from a winning combination (including wilds) become sticky, which means they stay in place after the reels spin again. Next is the Monsoon Wilds. During this feature, one or two reels get fully covered with wilds, while the others continue to spin. Now, we all know what monkeys are like. They cause mayhem. But, you’ll like this one. The Monkey Mayhem feature makes symbols randomly shuffle across the reels to give you a guaranteed win. Hail monkeys!
At a certain point, the rhinos will join in on the fun and create a stampede, leaving from four to nine wilds behind. Furthermore, you can trigger a board game feature, which gives you a special round. The board has one of the aforementioned features in each of the four corners and you roll two dice. What you get corresponds to which feature you’ll trigger.
Finally, there’s a Mystery bonus, where you can get from 2x to 10x your initial bet and extra dice rolls.
Coming from the renowned provider Microgaming, Thunderstruck II is the second installment of this popular slot. Despite being almost ten years old now, it still fails to show outdatedness, with its forefather from 2004 still being widely played. The machine contains five reels and 243 paylines. There are four different bonus events and you can cash out up to 2,4 million coins, with an RTP of 96,65%.
Tackling on Norse mythology, the game takes place in the city of Asgard, where Odin and his benevolent son Thor rule. They used characters from Norse mythology as symbols, including Loki, Thor, Valkyrie, and, of course, Odin. The game logo is a wild symbol which replaces any other except for Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir. The wild doubles your winnings when it takes part in a completed payline. The wild ceases to be so during the Wildstorm feature, which pops up randomly and switches up to all five reels to wilds.
There are four bonus features which get triggered by three or more Thor’s Hammers and become progressively better. The first one is the Valkyrie bonus, which you get on your first four bonus games. The Valkyrie gives you 10 free spins with an x5 multiplier. Next in line is the Loki bonus (from fifth to ninth feature), giving you 15 free spins and a Wild Magic Feature, which turns randomly selected symbols into wilds.
Finally, Odin (from 10th to 14th) and Thor (from 15th trigger onwards) are the last two rounds. Odin gives you 20 free spins and an x6 multiplier, while Thor grants 25 free spins with an x5 multiplier.
Lastly, another NetEnt game on our list. Berryburst is a fruity five-wheeler with cluster pays. Symbols next to each other form a cluster, instead of playing with regular paylines. There are two wilds — regular and expanding, the latter of which spreads over the entire reel.
The machine comes with an RTP of 96,56%.
Choose Your Fighter
As you can see, there’s a wealth of slot games you can pick from. With multiple features and a varying number of paylines, it’s up to you and your playing style to choose the right one. We’ve listed some of the most commonly played ones, which isn’t to say that some less popular ones won’t be a better suit for you.
Before marrying a machine, do a bit of research and find the one which is a perfect fit. Good luck!