All About Slots Part II


5. How Slot Odds Work

Online slots, or should we say, winning playing slots, is based on the calculation of odds. The main difference in those calculations relates to the number of symbols that can appear on its reels. This is especially so when one considers the advanced state of today’s video slots as their outcome is produced by a random number generator.

Calculating odds manually is a difficult task, one that most simply will struggle to do. The more advanced slots of today can offer a large number of symbols, and that in itself presents a challenge. However, this is complicated with the addition of “ways to win” as the number of combinations is increased exponentially and particular winning combinations can exceed three million.

The good side to this is most slot developers will provide this information, and if you consider industry standards, most will payout 96%. However, that relates to the overall payout percentages, not individual symbol combinations. Therefore, when viewing such information, it is important to realize that most slots only provide a 3-5% house edge. Therefore, expecting to have an extended playtime is more than reasonable.

5.1 Symbol combinations

While spinning the reels is a fun aspect of playing slots, it is the symbol combinations that fall into place that ultimately determine how profitable a slot session will be. The reality is, it is how many identical symbols stop in position that will determine if any particular spin results in a winning combination.  The number of symbols will vastly impact the amount won, and generally, a minimum of three symbols are needed to generate a combination, but that is also related to the value of that symbol. That means symbols designated as premiums will pay the highest while those defined as lower valued will pay less.

This is why reviewing and understanding the paytable of a slot being played is critical as the amounts for each possible winning combination are clearly identified. This will include information pertaining to 3, 4, 5 or more of the same symbols. The highest of those will always be for five or more identical symbol combinations, however, with the assistance of a wild symbol, which is often prevalent in today’s advanced slots, it is possible to generate the highest paying combinations with few of the same symbol.

What is important to remember is, the more symbols are video slot has, the less frequent, the larger wins will appear. Additionally, it is the number of symbols that often help in identifying a slots variance and the frequency in which wins will appear. Classic slots are a prime example of this and generally, offer fewer symbols but award an increased frequency in its larger winning combinations, in part due to the number of symbols but also the number of reels.

5.2 Number of Slot Reels

Initially, slots only featured three reels but advanced in technology allowed for an increase to five. Further advances in saw that number increase to nine reels and with it, an increase in the possible winning combinations, but also an increase in the house edge as the largest majority of wins are smaller.

The premise of a slot hasn’t changed, but with the increase in reels cam the increase in winning paylines. The latest advances have allowed for “ways to win”, and ultimately a game changer, not only for a casino’s potential profitability but also the amounts they can generate. As technology improved, those behind the development of video slots are on a continual hunt to create games that are unique such as those that offer expanding reels, both horizontally and vertically.

Add into the equation for wins to appear left to right, right to left, horizontally and vertically, and suddenly you are presented with a greater challenge in understanding which are suitable for your style and preference of play. That is why the number of reels is important and why attention to this should be high on the list.


6. Slot Themes

Slot themes come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Thanks to technological advances, today they harness the imagination of those who develop the symbols, background images and animated effects that are part of today’s modern video slots.

Due to the sheer number of slots that are available for play online, themes are designed to appeal to a broad range of interests from sports to animals, nature, comical, sci-fi to name a few. Ultimately, selecting a online exclusivebet game to play often will be based on its theme, and while important, ultimately it should never be the deciding factor.  Yes, enjoying the theme is a nice aspect to playing online rizk slots, but what a slot offers should always take precedence and should be considering before making a final determination.


7. House edge

Few who play slots consider the importance of a casinos house edge. It is a mistake many make and this is not by mistake, but one that is designed into the creation of slots and how they are presented. The house edge will determine the amount that any given machine pays out over time, and that is based on the theoretical payouts that are shown as percentages.

The logic is simple, all slots, regardless if online or not are programmed to return a set amount, which is the amount that will be paid out to the player. An example would be based on $100 played with a return to the player percentage of 95%. This means that for every $100 wagered, $96 would be paid in winnings and therefore means that the house edge would be 4%.

If you are a slot player, then this is something you should always bear in mind. As no two slots are the same, it is important to factor this into your selection when playing a slot as it greatly can impact your experience.

9. Slot Features

One of the main attractions of playing a slot machine is its special bonus features. These are in place to increase the overall pleasure derived while spinning its reels, and they do a good job at doing exactly that. That in part is due to the special features often being responsible for the larger wins, and paying attention to those incorporated into a particular slot can make a difference.

While slot features have come a long way in recent years due to increased technological advances in software, they still remain basic in their overall presentation. The most common include wild symbols, scatters, random bonuses and bonus games and each has value. However, there have been vast changes in the creativity and power of bonus games and wild symbols, and this can be quite significant when it comes to compiling large amounts of coins.

Those changes have seen a a substantial increase in the number of games being released, but also the pressure placed on slot development companies as often a slots features, in conjunction with its theme can make or break a new slot having it placed high on the list of go to games or simply seeing it designed as “just another slot”.


9.1: Wild Symbols

The evolution of the wild symbol has come far in recent years. In the earlier days, a wild symbol was exactly that, a symbol that would match another to help complete a winning combination. However, today, wilds come in many shapes and sizes and can really add to the value and excitement one experiences.

While standard wilds still have an important place, they now extend to cover expanding wilds, moving wilds, random wilds, nudging wilds, spreading wilds, sticky wilds, shifting wilds and multiplier wilds. In many cases, a single video slot will incorporate several, and as one can imagine, this can lead to substantial winnings.

  • Traditional Wilds:

Traditional wild symbols are those that will appear on any reel and if able, will act to replace any other symbol that is non-bonus related. This applies to both classic and video slots and depending on the individual game, may appear on all available reels or specifically designated reels.

  • Expanding Wilds:

Expanding wilds will expand whenever they appear in any position. This can occur on a single reel or multiple reels, and when appearing in conjunction with premium symbols, can return sizeable wins. They also allow for the ability to generate a full screen of wilds and the maximum payable for that particular slot.

  • Moving Wilds:

Moving wilds will, when appearing move across the reels with each spin. These may only trigger if landing on particular reels, but generally, this is not the case. Additionally, most video slots featuring this style of wild will allow for multiple moving wilds to simultaneously appear, therefore creating an increased win potential.

  • Random Wilds:

Random wilds are wild symbols that will appear at random in any position. These can take the form of singular wilds or allow for the possibility for multiple wilds to simultaneously be placed on the reels.

  • Nudging Wilds:

Nudging wilds will nudge one position on vertically or horizontally and can appear on multiple reels simultaneously. This style of wild will continue to nudge one position until such time that it leaves the reel it has appear on.

  • Spreading Wilds:

Spreading wilds are less commonly seen and, when appearing or triggered, will spread across the reels in various combinations, thereby transferring other symbols into wilds.

  • Sticky Wilds:

Sticky Wilds are often followed by a respin or as a part of a free spin feature whereby the will remain in place until such time as no additional winning combinations are achieved or a free spin bonus has been completed. In the case of free spin sticky wilds, these often will allow for additional sticky wilds to land on the reels and therefore generate increased winning opportunities.

  • Shifting Wilds:

Shifting wilds are in some ways similar to sticky wilds as they will remain on the reels for an extended time. When appearing, shifting wilds will move one position left, right vertically or horizontally until such time as either no additional wins are formed or they exit the reels.

  • Multiplier Wilds:

Multiplier Wilds will apply a multiplier value to any wins that are formed they are part of. This can generate substantial wins and may allow for multiple wilds to appear simultaneously. Depending on the video slot, the multiplier can range from 2x to as much as 10x.

9.2: Free Spin

Free spin bonuses are one of the most popular features video slots offer, in part as many will include additional features within those free spins. However, they also come at no cost and often generate excellent winning opportunities.  When you consider the many features mentioned above, they can often have a substantial impact on the amount won. Where they also have value is the number of free spins, and depending on the slot being played can be quite generous and with the added ability to re-trigger extra free spins.

9.3: Bonus Games

The inclusion of bonus games into the fabric of video slots has seen the interactiveness of this style of game improve tenfold. These can take on many shapes and sizes and include unique games that are structured as tiered bonuses or achievement styled, or can be story-based. Often they will be based on a task such as picking a selected item that will award a cash prize or one that has multiple stages where the further advanced, the greater the reward.

9.4: Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols play an important role when it comes to acting as a special feature. First, they will award a scatter win based on the total bet staked and/or will trigger a bonus game such as free spins. Generally, two or more are required to generate a scatter pay and three or more to trigger a bonus feature. As with other slot symbols, scatters will award larger wins based on how many land on the reels, often needing only to be in any position versus on a payline.

10. Slot Controls

Slot controls are often overlooked when first playing a video slot, and it can be a costly mistake, especially online as some casinos will set the minimum bet at an amount that is higher than the minimum bet for that particular game.  Most slots controls will feature a spin button, payline and coin per line button as well as a help button. However, before starting, always ensure that before hitting the spin button that you confirm the amount being staked.


10.1 Paylines

The number of paylines will be displayed below the reels and shown as a number. If the slot allows for the increase or decrease of active paylines, it will include an arrow indicator to allow for the selection of how many paylines you wish to be active. Additionally, the number of paylines can appear beside each respective payline and in some cases, will be seen in different colours to allow for each to be easily identified.

10.2 Coins per line

In most cases, the number of coins in play per line will be displayed in a box beneath the reels. Depending on the game in question, this can range from one to as many as twenty, meaning if showing the number 5, then five coins will be wagered per active payline.

10.3 Coin Value

The button that indicated the coin value is the size of coin that will be wagered on each of the respective paylines. In most cases, when playing online, this will range from $0.01 to $100. However, in some cases that amount can be increased depending on if geared towards high rollers.

10.4 Max Bet

The max bet button will, if selected, see the maximum bet being staked. This will be based on the maximum coin value and maximum number of coins per payline.

10.5 Gamble Feature

The gamble feature is a feature that will allow for the gambling of any winnings that were resultant from a previous spin. In this case, most gamble features will offer the opportunity to select the next card that is to be drawn from a deck of cards. This can see if successful, winnings being doubled or quadrupled.

10.6 Game Information

There are several area where game information will be displayed. The first and most noticeable is the paytable as this will provide information on each of the feature symbols that can create winning combinations as well as information on any bonus features that are possible. A paytable can be a single page or multiple pages depending on the number of bonus features and how in-depth each is. The first page displayed will generally provide game information, the second and third will relate to the available symbols, and each subsequent page will provide bonus feature information. It furthermore will include the number of paylines and or special rules that may apply.

10.7 Autoplay

Autoplay is a function that the overwhelming majority of slots feature. While not for all who enjoy playing slots, it will allow for the automatic spinning of the reels while also providing the ability to set the number of spins that play simultaneously. In some instances, the autoplay function will include auto-stop options based on the amount won or if a bonus feature is triggered. These settings may be altered at any time and if stopped, will require initiating before resuming play.

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