Slot games are massively popular in Canada. Their simplicity combined with the possibility of big wins have proven to be an irresistible combination. Over 70% of online casino games are slot games.
Canada counts itself as one of the top 10 countries in the world that most loves gambling. Online gaming is set to make revenues of over $500 billion by 2023.
Here at Bonus Ninja, we take pride in finding you quality casinos, offering the best slots. Here we’ll try to cover all the details you might want to know about playing slots at online casinos.
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What are online slots?
Online slots are a digital version of mechanical slots played at physical casinos. Being online gives you the opportunity to play anywhere you want.
When you play a slot, you’ll spin a set number of reels to generate a random combination of symbols. Different symbols represent different values; the more of the same symbol you hit, the more you’ll win.
Although all slot machines essentially function like this, there are thousands of slot games you can play online, each one slightly different from the next.
Sometimes known as variance, volatility refers to the risk of playing a game.
In a game with high volatility, the risk is higher but the payouts are better. If a game has high variance, wins will come less often, but offer bigger wins. Low volatility games offer more regular wins, but the wins are much smaller.
To find the volatility of any game just click on the info button when entering the slot. We’ll also highlight the variance when we review a slot game.
You might notice that we highlight the RTP of casino games we review, but perhaps you aren’t sure what it means. RTP stands for Return to Player and illustrates the likelihood of you winning on a game. Simply put if a game has an RTP of 97% it means that for every CA$100 wagered you are likely to win back $97. This stat is worked out over tens of thousands of games, so it’s not necessarily how it will play out, but it does give you a relatively accurate idea of the winning potential of a game.
There are actually a few games that are notorious for having high RTPs. Generally, these games aren’t particularly exciting and offer very little in terms of extra feat
ures. But the high RTP still makes them sought after and worth your time. Examples include, Mega Joker (99%), Jackpot 6000 (98.1%), Kings of Chicago (99%) and Blood Suckers (98%).
Real money slots
Slot machines have evolved over the years. Although you’ve always been able to play slot games for real money, games have become much more complex, offering players more excitement and more opportunities to win.
You’ll find a great variety of online slots. Each type of game comes with its own perks, so it’s a good idea to try a couple of games for free, before placing any real money bets.
The absolute original. Simple, easy fun. 3-Reel slots are uncomplicated, they are inspired by the original mechanical slot games. These were the first games offered to online casino players back in the mid-1990s. They’re occasionally and incorrectly referred to as Fruit Machines (they are subtly different, but more on that later).
These games rarely offer bonus rounds. 3-Reel slots stick to the basics, usually offering low volatility, so you can claim regular, but small wins.
In a 5-Reel slot, the reels are extended to include two more reels. 3-Reel slots offer nostalgia, but if you really want to get into slots, you’ll want to give a 5-Reel slots a go.
When you take a spin, each of the 5 reels spins to reveal different icons. The more symbols you match, the more you will win.
Sometimes punters refer to all slot machines as fruit machines. This isn’t surprising considering the prevalence of fruit symbols in a lot of slot games. But they aren’t exactly the same thing.
For one thing, Fruit Machines give players a little more control over their game. Players can hold or nudge reels. It’s not possible during every spin, but sometimes you can hold a reel in place after a spin. At other times you can also nudge a reel, giving you the chance to get a reel in the perfect layout.
Not to be confused with Video Poker, Video slots are not only the most popular online slot, they are also the most prevalent. There are literally thousands of online video slots, offered by the biggest providers.
Video slots are similar to 5-reel slots, but usually offer some sort of storyline and bonus game. Most of the time you can trigger a free spin round in a video slot if you manage to hit a set number of scatter symbols in the game.
3D slots are a special type of Video Slots. Using impressive graphics and usually coming complete with a complex story line. 3D slots try to combine casino games with video games. The action in such a game is much more palatable than video slots, allowing for a more enjoyable gaming experience.
3D Slots also offer a progression in the story. Each spin is not independent, but helps you to get to the next part of the story.
i-Slots offer plays and multi-reel, multi payline version of slot games. iSlots give player the opportunity to decide their own fate. Similar to the “choose your own adventure” of the 1990s. iSlots are an entirely interactive slot adventure.
The first developer to offer i-slots was Rival. This is the ideal slot game for players who are looking a little more excitement in their spinning journey.
One of the newest casino innovations is Megaways. Taking the traditional slot format and spinning it on its head, Megaways allows for changeable reels. The height and width of your reels can vary. Not only to become larger, but also to become more numerous.
This leads to the possibility of many more ways to win, literally thousands of possibilities. Megaways also often include special bonus games and fun features.
Progressive jackpots don’t always offer the most exciting game-play, but they do offer the biggest wins. With a progressive jackpot, every time anyone takes a spin on the slot, the jackpot increases. The jackpot is shared amongst all the casinos that offer the slot, so the jackpot can quickly increase and can reach epic amounts.
The biggest progressive jackpot in the world is Mega Moolah, it often reaches the multimillion dollar mark.
How to play slots?
Some casino games are easier to play than others. For example, if you want to hit the high RTP of Blackjack, you need to play the game with perfect strategy. Taking a spin on slots is much simpler. Usually all you need to do is decide on the amount you want to bet and click to spin.
It’s important to remember that each spin is completely random, so although you might believe that the more you play the better your chances, that isn’t necessarily true. Each spin holds exactly the same odds.
Generally, casinos don’t create their own slot games. Casinos buy slot games from game developers. There are loads of developers in the world, but a few select game studios have really become the cream of the crop. These are the developers who create their own path and find a way to set themselves apart from the pack.
NetEnt is a real giant when it comes to casino game providers. They create versions of pretty much every casino game on the market. You’ll find Video Slots, Roulette, Blackjack and speciality games.
NetEnt has been pushing boundaries for over 20 years. They specialise in premium gaming solutions. When you play NetEnt games you can rest assured that everything is fair and secure. NetEnt has an exceptional reputation throughout the industry.
NetEnt employs over 1,000 people and handles over 50 billion transactions a year.
Not every game developer was created as a game provider to meet the demand of online slots. Some were created long before online gaming was ever conceived. IGT is one such prodder. IGT (International Game Technology) had their start in 1990, half a decade before the first online casino.
They are headquartered in London but have major offices in the US and Italy. To date they employ a very impressive 12,000 employees and have a revenue of several billion dollars a year.
IGT is specifically known for producing both online and offline slot machines.
Betsoft is a game provider that started with one thing in mind… mobile. Although pretty much every gaming developer now works with mobile in mind, this wasn’t always the case. Betsoft’s development team pride themselves on their design and 3D capabilities. Design is Betsoft’s ultimate focus. That’s not to say that their games don’t offer epic rewards, they just like to ensure your experience as a player is ideal.
Yggdrasil is still a relatively new player in the field, but they have taken massive strides since they first hit the scene in 2013. Even though they are new to the market, over a short time, Yggdrasil games have become iconic. Games include Cyrus the Virus, Joker Millions and Vikings Go Wild.
There is no game studio in the world that provides games to more casinos than Playtech. They offer versions of every casino game you can think of. Although some providers focus on one type of game, Playtech have their fingers in a number of pies.
They create slots, table games, speciality games (such as bingo) and even have their own Live Casino games.
Nyx gaming is based in Las Vegas and employs over 350 people. They create slots, table games, lottery, bingo, poker and scratch cards.
Recently they were taken over by Scientific Games. Scientific Games are based in Las Vegas but also have international interests. Scientific Games were the first company to secure an instant lottery ticket back in 1974. This has become an industry standard worldwide.
Microgaming have found their base of operations in Isle of Man. They aren’t necessarily the best-known provider in the world, but they did create one of the best-known games in the world, Mega Moolah.
So, what makes Mega Moolah so special? One simple answer: $22 million! Mega Moolah is the progressive slot in the world that has paid out the most money, it regularly hits the million dollar mark. Most impressively in 2015, a lucky soldier won a record breaking CA$22,517,209.26.
Slots have come a far way since their mechanical counterparts. Playing them can be a simple affair, all you need to do is press the spin button. But as time as gone on, slots have become more complex. Some slot games include story lines, bonus games and special free spin rounds.
Although a very fun option in slot games, Cascading Reels aren’t always available. But when they are, they can be spectacular. Every time you hit a winning combination, you may be able to trigger Cascading Reels. Receive the payment from your win and the winning symbols will fall away, allowing for bigger potential future wins.
Slot games lose a little bit of magic when you exclude Wilds. Wilds substitute for any symbol and allow for customers to claim bigger wins. Think of a Joker in a classic card game – That is what a wild is in online slots.
Expanding wilds can change a static game to something much more exciting. They start by replacing just one symbol but can become something so much more. The expanding wild can then move across the rest of the reel, substituting any symbol as it expands.
While playing slot games you can benefit from free rounds. These can come in a number of different formats, but at the end of the day, playing for free at a casino isn’t quite as straightforward as you might believe.
Once you start playing, you might be able to take advantage of a few free spins. These can be rewarded to you right within the game and are the most popular type of bonus round, or bonus feature, as they’re sometimes known.
Slot games can offer a number of different bonus games. Free Spins are common but some slots also offer other mini games within the slot. For example, there might be a mini game that will help you collect special multipliers or symbols.
Most frequently asked questions
Q1. Do slots offer a higher RTP than table games?
Generally, no. Although you can occasionally find slot games with a very high RTP, most slots offer a lower RTP than their table game counterparts.
Q2. What is eCOGRA?
eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) was developed in 2003 to help protect casino players from unfair casino regulation and to ensure that all casino games are fair, unbiased and completely random.
Although not every casino is monitored by eCOGRA, doing so does ensure your safety as an online player. Before playing slots at any online casino, ensure that they have been eCOGRA-approved.
Q3. How many slot games are there?
Almost everyday, new slot games are being added to the catalogues of both online casinos and developers. It has been estimated that there are probably around 7,500 slot games available online. Games can vary. Sometimes developers will go old-school and release fruit machine games or simple 3-reel slots, other times they may go more complex and release a Megaways or i-slot. Stick with us and we’ll let you know all the new games on offer.
Q4. Can I play slot games for free?
Generally speaking, yes, you can. Most slot games allow you to take a spin for free. Usually you just need to click on the “play for fun” option. You might need to sign up to a casino to be able to enjoy this option, but it won’t cost you any money, so it’s well worth the opportunity. If you like the game, you can always choose to play it for real money.
Q5. What is a no deposit bonus?
Occasionally a casino may give you the chance to take a spin on a slot game without making a deposit and wagering your own money. This has become especially popular as a welcome offer. Usually, a no deposit bonus offers free spins on a specific game. You play your free spins and keep the winnings. There might be a catch though – you might need to wager your winnings through in the casino.
Slot games are immensely popular. This is probably down to the fact that they are simple to play and if you get lucky, you can win a truly massive award. Slot machines allow you to take a spin for as little as a few cents for one game.
There’s no need to study up on strategy or have a huge bank roll. Online slot games are available to everyone.