FEATURES AND FUNCTIONING OF ONLINE SLOTS
SINCE SLOT MACHINES ARE THE MOST POPULAR GAMES FOR PLAYERS IN ONLINE CASINOS, IN THIS ARTICLE WE SEE WHAT IS THE GENERIC FUNCTIONING OF ONLINE SLOTS AND WHAT ARE THEIR CHARACTERISTICS AND THE RISKS TO WHICH THEY EXPOSE USERS.
Anyone who has visited an online casino at least once will surely have realized the huge number of slot machines available compared to all other games. Slots are by far the most popular pastime for online gamblers and in recent years the number of games of this type has increased dramatically, allowing operators to offer players hundreds of variations of different slot games.
Despite the variety of slots available, the basic operation is almost the same, regardless of the game manufacturer and the bonus features available. First of all, let’s say that, at least at the present time, slot machines do not include elements of skill: players can rely solely on luck, since there are no game schemes that can in any way change the odds of winning. The generation of the winning or losing results of each game depends on a RNG (Random Number Generator) algorithm, certified so that total randomness is guaranteed. That said, we can summarize the slots playing methodology very simply: the player chooses the number of lines to bet on (if possible), the stake amount and then simply spins the reels of the slot.
Although these actions are very simple for those who have already played any online slot, it is possible that some users are confused when they are faced for the first time with the numerous buttons that make up the game interface of modern slot machines.
For this reason, we have chosen a random slot machine ( Victorious , developed by NetEnt in this specific case) to show what the game controls and their functions are. The slot screen is shown in the image (it can be enlarged by clicking on it).
What we will say below is generally valid for all existing multiline slots, apart from some minor differences.
- Reels and symbols : The reels represent the “columns” of the slots. In most cases we find 5 reels (as in the example), in other cases their number may vary. On the reels scroll the symbols that produce the winning combinations, the wild cards and the symbols that activate bonus features.
- Win lines : represent the lines on which multiple symbols can be aligned to obtain a winning combination. They can vary in number, from 1 to 243. In some games the player is allowed to change the number of active lines, in others this number is fixed.
- Paytable : This is the slot’s “instruction book”. It contains all the information regarding the value of the winnings, the specific rules of the slot and the bonus modes. It is advisable to take the time to read the paytable every time you bet on a game for the first time so that you know all the aspects.
- Level (Number of tokens) : to set the number of tokens to be used for each game. This value obviously affects the total bet.
- Coin Value : Used to set the coin value. This, combined with the number of active lines and the number of coins, allows you to set the total bet for each spin at will.
- Coins (total tokens) : the number of tokens available to the player, based on the money with which the session started and the settings of the other parameters. For example, starting the session with € 100, if the value of the tokens is 10 cents the total number of tokens available is 1000, if instead the value of the tokens is set to € 1, the total is 100.
- Bet (Total Bet) : Shows the total value of the bet for the next spin. This value is given by the product of the number of active lines, the number of tokens and the value of the token. In our example the Victorious slot has a fixed number of paylines of 243, although only 25 paylines are considered for the total bet count. In this case, with a coin value of € 0.10 and a number of coins per spin equal to 2, the total bet is 50 coins, or € 5 (25 * 0.10 * 2).
- Autoplay (Automatic Play) and Max Bet (Maximum Bet) : these are two functions that can remain unused: the first allows you to spin the slot automatically without having to press the central button each time to start the reels. The second allows (attention!) To start a game immediately by setting the maximum number of tokens (level).
- Statistics bar : at the bottom is shown a bar with the statistics of the match, in particular we note the total available balance, the current total bet in euros and not in coins and the value of the last win made.
- Start button : different in shape in each slot, used to start a game. It is usually located in the center of the game interface, or on one side labeled “Turn”.
Although with some small variations depending on the game manufacturer, online casino and graphic design, all online slots have the interface that we have shown in this example. Once you are familiar with a slot game, all the others are therefore very similar in their operation.
JACKPOTS, FREE SPINS AND SLOTS BONUS FEATURES
ALL MODERN SLOTS HAVE SPECIAL FEATURES IN THE FORM OF PROGRESSIVE JACKPOTS, FREE SPINS OR BONUS FEATURES.
The aim of the casino game manufacturers is to ensure the highest level of entertainment possible. Since classic slots can be boring after a few minutes of play, new features have been developed over time, in order to allow the player a greater immersion (and a greater profit for casino operators, as the playing time increases).
Here are the special functions that we most often find in slots:
- Progressive Jackpots : Progressive jackpots are one of the main reasons slots are so popular. For each play made by a player, a small part of the money used goes to increase a progressive prize pool shared between all players and usually also between online casinos that offer the same game. Considering the large number of games played every day on the slots, the jackpots grow very quickly and often reach figures between € 100,000 and € 500,000, in some cases even more than a million euros. Although these huge prize pools are really coveted by players, it must be remembered that winning a jackpot has a very low probability, in the order of one in a few tens of millions (in practice it is easier to make 5 at the Superenalotto).
- Free Spin : definitely the most popular feature for players. Some particular combinations of symbols can make the player win a variable number of free spins, which cost nothing but allow you to win money. Often these free spins are “boosted” through the use of win multipliers (in the case of the Victorius slot in the example all wins in the free spin mode are tripled), special Wild symbols or other features.
- Bonus functions and games : to accompany jackpots and free spins there are often bonus functions, even very different according to the slot chosen. Often these are bonus games, in which the player receives cash prizes in addition to the winnings from the winning combinations on the reels at the end of the game. The best way to learn about these bonus features is to check out the slots paytable.
THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SLOT MACHINES
ALTHOUGH VERY SIMPLE TO USE AND FUN, ONLINE SLOT MACHINES HIDE SOME PITFALLS, FIRST OF ALL THE HIGH RISK OF DEVELOPING A PATHOLOGICAL ADDICTION.
The most attractive aspect of online slots is certainly the possibility of getting big wins by playing relatively low amounts. In fact, with bets in the order of € 2 or € 5, for example, amounts of several thousand euros can be won. However, it must be borne in mind that slots are very random games, in which each play does not depend absolutely on the previous ones, which is why during an entire game session there is the risk of not getting any noteworthy winnings. In fact, it is not that unlikely to end a game session with your balance completely depleted.
Another negative aspect of this type of online games is the speed with which the bets are followed. The positive or negative outcome of the bets is known within seconds, which is why it is all too easy to get carried away and play much more than expected.
Even getting a large win right away can worsen the risk of developing an addiction, because the player is led to think that, sooner or later, another win will have to show up. Situation that may not occur. For these reasons we advise our users to always play slots in moderation, trying to pay attention to the amounts played and the time spent in the gaming activity, always remaining lucid and without believing the legends that often surround gambling environments.