Do the latest slots games seem unnecessarily complicated to you too? You’re not alone with your problem, as the modern ones played at online casinos are quite different from the old-fashioned slot games that pop up in the corner of the gas station. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this little guide that contains all the information you need to play slot games at an online casino.
Slots or video slots?
In the past, slot machines practically meant a pottery and simple three-reel mechanical slot machines. In Finland, the organization of gambling is the exclusive right of the former RAY (now Veikkaus), so in the absence of competition, slot games remained back here for a very long time. It is only in recent years that old slot machines have begun to be replaced by modern video slot machines.
Clover, Strawberry, Double Pot, Star and other old slot machines from RAY are quite interesting slot machines. Many of these devices have the ability to lock the rollers, which is an almost unique special feature. The number of reels and paylines also differs from the video slots played at online casinos. Finnish slot games have traditionally used three reels and five paylines, while the vast majority of online casino slots operate on five reels and 20 paylines. Because of this, online casino slots may seem a little difficult to follow at first.
The best casinos to play slot machines
- Atlantic Spins
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- Finlandia Casino
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- Frank & Fred
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- Ahti Games
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There are special terms in the game manuals and online game reviews that say nothing to unfamiliar players. We tried to collect some of the most commonly used special terms here.
- The reels of the game have several different winning symbols. Usually a player wins at least a small amount by getting at least three symbols on the same payline.
- Paylines are the lines that symbols must hit in order to win. The first payline in most slot games consists of the middle symbols on each reel, read from left to right. Paylines can also run laterally or diagonally from corner to corner.
- The wild symbol usually replaces any other character. In general, however, wilds do not replace scatters symbols. In addition to acting as a wild symbol, wild may give the player other additional winnings.
- The scatter symbol is usually the symbol that gives the best winnings. This special symbol does not have to hit the payline, but scatter symbols are included in winnings as long as they hit the visible playing area.
- Expanding symbols expand to the size of the roll after the roll has stopped. In many cases, this feature is reserved for the wild symbol
- Stacked symbols refer to the placement of winning symbols on the reels. In some slot games, the winning symbols are not placed evenly on the reels, but the reel has multiple winning symbols on top of each other. As a result, the player has, at least in principle, a better chance of getting winning symbol combinations.
- Sticky symbols lock in place for the next round of play. In many cases, this feature is reserved for the game’s wild symbol.
- Wandering symbols also remain in place during a round of play, but during the next round they move independently to another position in the playing area. This feature also belongs mainly to the wild symbol.
- Falling Symbols (Avalanche or Cascading Reels) refers to a type of game in which no reels are used, but winning symbols fall above the playing area. Usually, these slot games also do not have paylines, but winnings are based on symbol clusters.
- Cluster Pays Slots do not use paylines at all, and payouts are based on ”clusters” of symbols that touch each other. Typically, in cluster-style slot games, the winning symbols are removed from the playing area after a win has been made, freeing up space in the playing area and rearranging the remaining winning symbols. This allows a player to win multiple wins in the same round of play.
- 243 ways to win or 1024 ways to win refers to slot games that use all possible paylines. If there are five reels in the game with a height of three lines, the number of all possible paylines is 3 ^ 5 = 243. Correspondingly, if the height of the reels is four lines, the number of paylines becomes 4 ^ 5 = 1024.
Coins and stakes
Slot machines, of course, require coins to work. Of course, when playing at an online casino, you will not be able to enter 20 cent coins from the bottom of your pocket into the slot machine, but game reservations will be purchased by first making a deposit at the online casino and using your account balance. But what are these coins required by slot machines and what are they worth?
Online casino slots are designed to serve players from all over the world. For this reason, winnings or bets are not usually reported in euros, dollars or even Japanese yen. Instead, wagering options and winnings are reported as “coins”. Coin there is thus one input unit whose value can be selected separately. In many slot games, one coin means a bet placed on one payline. For example, in a 20 payline game, the price of one round is 20 coins. If a player sets the value of a coin to one cent, the game round will cost 20 cents. Correspondingly, if the value of the coin is set to 1 euro, the price of the entire round of play will be 20 euros.
Profit sharing works just like that. If a player has chosen one cent as the value of the coin and manages to win 500 coins, the value of the win is 500 × 0.01 euros, ie five euros. With the winnings given by the scatter symbols, it is worth noting that the winnings given by these symbols are not based on the bet on a single payline, but on the total bet for a round of play. This is because scatter tokens do not have to hit any particular payline to make a profit. In many slot games, this thing is not specifically explained and may go unnoticed by the novice player.
Depending on the situation, free spins can refer to either free spins offered by an online casino or free spins won from a slot machine. These are completely different things and should not be confused.
Many online casinos are giving away free spins to new players. These are completely normal game rounds where the online casino has paid the bet on behalf of the player. Most casinos have set redemption requirements and other restrictions on winnings from free spins.
Winning Free Spins from a Slot Machine is an in-game special feature that has nothing to do with the free spins distributed by the online casino. After winning these free spins, the game spins for free for a few rounds. In many cases, starting a free spin game gives the player other benefits, such as double wins or wild symbols that lock into place.
In addition to free spins, slots may include separate bonus games. At its simplest, bonus games can be, for example, free spins, during which the game’s payout logic changes slightly, or simple click games where the player can choose different lotteries. In most cases, the highest winnings in the game come from the bonus game.
A few slot machines include a progressively growing jackpot, which can be worth up to tens of millions of euros. Progressivity in this case means that part of the money spent on the game is transferred to a separate jackpot fund. During each round of play, a portion of the round’s stake accumulates a jackpot. The operating logic is thus similar to lottery and other similar lottery games.
Return percentage and variance
The payback percentage means how much of the money spent on slot games is distributed by the games on average as winnings. For example, a 95% return percentage means that for every euro spent on a game, the game wins an average of 95 cents. The payout percentages for physical slot machines are around 90 percent, while online casino slot games generally return 95 to 98 percent of the money entered into the game.
The return percentage is worth thinking about the price of playing. With a 90 percent return percentage during a one-euro round, the game returns an average of 90 cents, leaving 10 cents per round. With a 98 percent return percentage, the price of a game round is 2 cents, so the slot game in the latter case is five times cheaper than the previous one!
Variance or volatility refers to the dispersion of profits. High-volatility slot games rarely distribute winnings, but winnings are higher than usual. Similarly, low-volatility slot games yield a lot of winnings, but the winnings are small.