Slots continue to be the most popular game with British players in online casinos. That’s why there’s such a huge range of themes. While it’s still possible to play an old-fashioned 3-reel slot online, the most elaborate and advanced games feature storylines, characters and graphics that wouldn’t look out of place on a games console. Of course, there is the allure of a jackpot win, sometimes worth millions of pounds.
With so many games on offer, knowing which games are available and where to find them can be difficult and time consuming. But that’s where we come in.
We recommend only the best UK online casinos with the most extensive and engaging selection of games. Check out the following online UK casinos offering the very best UK slots:
Where to find 3-reel slots
The once dominant variant of the game, the classic Vegas-style 3-reel slot is still available in UK casinos online, although it has largely been superseded by more technologically advanced and visually arresting games. Nevertheless, 3 reel slots remain firm favourites with many players because of the fact that they offer straightforward gameplay with few other distractions.
The classic 3-reel slot has three rotating reels and will feature either 1, 3 or 5 paylines (these are the ‘lines’ along which the symbols have to land for a winning spin). Most versions of the game feature only one screen that contains the reels, the buttons used to make wagers and to spin the reels, and the pay table, which shows both the paylines and how much a winning spin pays.
How to play 5-reel slots
The overwhelming majority of online slots now feature five reels, on which there are three (occasionally four) rows of symbols; however, within this broad categorisation there is a staggering array of variations.
For instance, the number of paylines on a game varies hugely, from as few as fifteen to as many as 100, while some games (known as ways-to-win) do away with paylines altogether. In addition, 5 reel slots also offer players variety in the size of coin they play with, how many coins they can wager on each payline, and how many paylines they can have in play on each spin.
In terms of theme and style, this too varies hugely. Some 5 reel slots still have relatively straightforward gaming action – spin the reels and see where they finish – while others feature elaborate stories and complex characters with detailed histories, all designed to draw you deeper into the world of the game. This can also be combined with extremely elaborate and complex gameplay that includes bonus rounds and other special features that have taken slots games to a new level.
The best UK video themed slots
One of the most popular varieties of the 5-reel game is the video themed slot. These games take their characters, visual style, music and stories from other forms of media and translate them into slots game form.
Movies, TV shows, video games, comic book superheroes and popular bands have all been used as the themes for video slots, with the success and popularity of these games stemming from the fact that they capture perfectly the look and feel of the original, often incorporating video footage from the movie or TV show, or songs from the band, that the game is based on.
Therefore, whether it’s the latest blockbuster action movie, a hugely successful video game, your favourite comic hero, a much loved band or an internationally acclaimed TV show, chances are that you’ll be able to play a video slot in which these characters or their music are the stars.
How to Play Progressive Jackpot Slots
Progressive jackpot slots have been around in land-based casinos for many years, but it’s probably fair to say that their online counterparts have overtaken them in terms of their mass appeal and the size of their payouts.
These are networked slots games, which means you’re playing for a prize pool that extends far beyond you or the online casino you’re playing in. Instead, the jackpot prize is being grown every time anyone anywhere in the world plays that game, with a percentage of every losing spin going into the central jackpot pool. This is why online progressive jackpots grow so quickly and reach such astronomical sums.
Progressive jackpot slots will usually have a number of different jackpots, and each will have a minimum prize size – however, there is no upper limit and they continue to grow until they’re won, so with some jackpots starting at £1 million it’s easy to understand how they can so quickly reach enormous proportions.
All of the major casino software developers have their own progressive jackpot networks and signature games, and the majority of progressive jackpot slots can now be played in mobile casinos as well.
Where to Play Free Slots
Developments in online slots and casino technology have meant that accessibility to games has improved, and you now have more options as to how you play. Most significantly, the growing use of Flash technology in online slots has meant that at many online casinos games can be played immediately in demo mode (also known as Instant Play) even if you don’t have an account there, as it’s no longer necessary to download casino software before you can play.
If you want to sample a new slot, for instance, simply click on the game and choose the Demo or Free Play option, and you will be able to experience straight away all of the game’s features, including bonus rounds, all for free (this option is not always as readily available in mobile casinos, however).
How to Play Online Slots
As pure games of chance, there is nothing that the slots player can do to influence the outcome of a spin, and nor is the probability of a winning (or losing) spin affected by what has gone before. This does not mean, however, that playing slots is devoid of strategy; rather, the strategy lies in how you manage your wagers and your bankroll.
The golden rule in online slots is that you should only play games where you can afford to bet the maximum number of coins and paylines on every spin; therefore, you should always select a game with a coin size that enable you to do this.
To successfully manage your bankroll and maximise your enjoyment of the game, you should decide in advance how much you want to play for on each spin. As an example, let’s say you decide to play a 40 payline slot where you can play between 1-10 coins per payline, and you have determined that you want to play for £2 per spin. To achieve this, you need to choose a coin size of 5p in order to be able to bet the max coins and lines i.e., 10 coins x 5p = 50p; 50p x 40 paylines = £2.
If you have to make a choice between reducing your coin size or reducing the number of coins/paylines you play, always choose the former.
Online Slots Odds
One of the primary reasons for the popularity of online slots compared to their land-based counterparts is that they offer better odds. In the UK, it is not uncommon for land-based slots to have RTPs (return to player percentages) as low as 70%.
However, online slots generally have a RTP well in excess of 90%, with many games as high as 98% (these figures are easy verifiable at any of the casinos we recommend). The online casino therefore operates with a much reduced House Edge, meaning that your money and enjoyment will generally last longer when you are playing slots online.
The popularity of slots is clearly demonstrated by the fact that at all of the UK online casinos we recommend, they are the pre-eminent game, with a range and choice that far outstrips any other. The variety of games and their innovative approach to design and gameplay has seen slots attract a whole new generation of players too, so if you want fast-paced, imaginative gaming action, combined with a low House Edge and good RTP, then playing online slots is by far the best value and most entertaining option out there.
Check out our online casino reviews and recommended sites to find the best online slots games.