Gamblers who have been on the internet since the beginning know that playing online slots for real money started around the mid 1990s. However, many people still have questions regarding the details of how they work: we get asked if they’re safe, if they’re legal, and what’s going on with all of the different variations that are out there today.
Therefore, we have written this definitive online slots guide covering everything that you will ever need to know about the subject so you can enjoy them with confidence. We dive deeper into specific topics throughout the pages of this website, so go click around if you want to read more about the finer points of internet gambling and become an expert.
Whether you like titles based on movies, television, music, comics, celebrities, animals, or anything in between, you’ll be able to find it at one of our recommended casinos that are listed on every page. Most places now have hundreds and hundreds of options and sometimes it can take a lot of digging to find what you’re looking for. This is the original reason why we started The Queen of Online Slots and began to categorize machines by genre, in addition to testing and rating them for you.
As we always like to remind you, we spend our time and money so you don’t have to.
Play Online Slots
For some people in the world, where to play online slots is simply a matter of taste and preference but it’s certainly not that easy for everyone. For example, those who live in the United Kingdom have literally hundreds of different choices on where to go because it’s both completely legal and fully controlled by government agencies. Thorough testing is regularly conducted to ensure that all of the games are fair and random, with the auditing requirements being very strict.
Then you can look at a place like Canada where betting on the internet is 100% legal but there are much fewer restrictions on licensing and there are virtually no government bodies that regularly test software to ensure that it’s fair. Sometimes provincial lottery corporations like Lotto Quebec will complain that they’re the only entity who are allowed to offer gaming in their province, but you only need to look at the poker rooms in Kahnawake to know that they’re just being territorial and trying to push their lacklustre services via a fake monopoly. The simple truth is that all Canadians can place wagers on the internet with impunity because there are no laws or legislation stating otherwise.
Then we have a country like the United States of America where many people think that it’s illegal but in fact it’s exactly the opposite. The only law in the USA dealing with this industry is in regards to the processing of certain financial transactions, ones that the government have tried to restrict in order to appease lobbyists from Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They complain that virtual operators are taking business away from them and should therefore be deemed “illegal”. So it is currently against the law for banks in the U.S. to process transactions to and from online casinos – although if someone wants to process the transaction themselves with Bitcoin or another method, no one can legally stop them.
When politicians try to argue that established operations on the ground are losing business, it doesn’t carry much weight because if someone is in Atlanta and wants to gamble they’re not flying to Vegas to do it. Will they open up their computer instead and just bet virtually? Absolutely. This country was founded on freedom, personal liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: if people find their happiness on the internet that probably shouldn’t be any of the government’s business.
However, Americans will want to note that some U.S. states have passed specific legislation restricting the activity from within its borders so always make sure that you are legally able to access a website before making a deposit. As of now, Nevada, Kentucky, Washington, and New Jersey are the four main states who have gone out of their way to try to control the activity of their citizens.
Real Money Slots
When you’re wagering with real money you’re obviously going to win real money and there have been tons of life-changing stories detailing how a huge jackpot prize made an instant millionaire out of a normal Joe Blow. The process usually involves getting very lucky or successfully doubling up winnings in “Gamble Mode” numerous times, and then cashing out with a six, seven, or even an eight figure check.
We often receive emails from people asking where they can play real slots online and which websites are the most trustworthy, and these questions are not easy to answer because as we outlined above, it all depends on where you live and what type of machines you’re looking for. The main thing to remember is that on this website we only recommend places who have proven themselves to be 100% honest in their dealings with customers and of course, all of them will offer a real money version of their games.
When you’re on this website you can rest assured that we only promote operators after we have fully investigated and approved them to be listed. Therefore, in the unlikely event that you ever have an issue with any of them you can report it to us and we will be happy to look into it for you. Oh – we also make it very clear which countries they accept players from so you’ll never have to worry about going someplace where you’re not wanted.
All of the most popular currencies are accepted these days, like the United States Dollar, Canadian Dollar, British Pound Sterling and Euro, and many operators are starting to offer cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as well. This is mostly due to Americans wanting to easily move money around without the government trying to block the transactions. Also in recent years, many places have begun to accept deposits in Australian Dollars, Japanese Yen, Chinese Renminbi, and Indian Rupees, because people from these countries are beginning to come online to scratch their itch.
Finally, always remember that you need to be careful when you’re playing online for cash because the action is extremely fast and if you hit a losing streak you can blow through your budget in no time. If you’re used to the pace of the one-armed bandits in Las Vegas you’ll definitely find that virtual machines spin at a break-neck speed so you should be conscious of this going in to pace yourself.
Free Online Slots
A lot of people are interested in free online slots and trying out new games without risking their bankroll and we obviously can’t blame them for that. There’s nothing worse than wasting your funds on something and realizing that it’s terrible or boring, which is the exact reason why we put so much time and effort into our in-depth reviews covering everything you need to know.
The good news for you is that between our lengthy reviews and our recommended casinos that offer freerolling, you should have no problem finding the titles that you want to play while still protecting your bankroll. Operators have different rules for accessing their free machines so make sure that you read up and know the requirements beforehand. Most often you will only have to sign up for an account with them and provide a valid email address, which is a small price to pay for unlimited gratis fun.
We always keep a watchful eye on the welcome packages that are currently on offer because sometimes they’ll throw in some free spins for certain releases, which is obviously a nice little extra to anyone who signs up for a new account. Usually they won’t issue them until you make a real money deposit, so technically there’s a small “catch” to receive them but this is totally normal and is the industry standard.
Best Online Slot Games
If you’re looking for the best slot games to play online you’ll simply have to bite the bullet and read our ridiculously long reviews because we cover everything that you would ever want to know and we ensure that we cover every genre imaginable. Or, if you don’t want an in-depth breakdown, simply skip to the bottom of the page and read the conclusion that summarizes our findings. For those who don’t even want to do that you can just look at our featured lists of top releases, click a title that interests you, and you’ll then see its rating and where to find it based on your country of residence.
That said, we hate labelling something as the “best” because that word is very subjective so we always frame our statements in a way that makes it easy for you to understand why it is “the best in our opinion”. When reviewing something you have to break things down and compartmentalize what’s good and bad to try to give an objective opinion, but of course, personal preference might influence our final thoughts.
Regardless of the genre, we’ve got you covered with all of the biggest titles that come out every month and our reviews are never tainted by biases or pre-existing stereotypes, except for our love of 1970s television shows, of course! We are quite vocal that our preference is for releases that are based on movies or television shows, or celebrate the career of a musician or actor: these days there are simply too many Leprechauns, Cleopatras, zombies, and personified food items running around.
Online Slot Machines
There are tons of differences between online slots and the machines that you will have seen on traditional casino floors, with most of the differences obviously being physical. When you play from home you will probably not be sitting next to a loud bachelor party hooting and hollering every time they win even the smallest amount and there won’t be anyone chain smoking or singing in the chair next to you either.
However, as much as people love betting from home, the one main thing that they usually miss most about the one-armed bandits in brick and mortar establishments is…the actual arm! There’s just something about pulling down that lever, hearing the gears clunk into place, and then watching the reels physically spin in front of your face. This arm is pretty much the only reason to go to Vegas from time to time.
Another big difference with online games is that they are limited by the screen size of the devices that are being used. Anyone who’s been to a brick and mortar casino will have seen cabinets 12 feet high with multiple screens, buttons, lights, bells and whistles that can totally blow you right off of your chair. Two huge ones that have become quite popular are Star Wars and Wheel of Fortune, with their physical footprint being a few square feet.
Since companies that specialize in virtual software know that they can’t replicate the in-person experience of a massive machine with tons of lights and booming sound systems, they work with what they have to ensure that the free spins modes are fun and that the bonus rounds are engaging and entertaining. Of course, many titles miss the mark and turn out to be a waste of time, so we’ll always warn you if we think that you’ll be bored after five minutes with it.
Another way software companies differentiate their releases is by having unique features and over the past few years people have started to figure out which types of games are their favorites. For example, some have 20 paylines while others have a whopping 243 and you can even find ones with an insane 1,024 ways to win. Many people complain that those that have more than 40 lines are difficult to keep track of because there are just too many winning combinations.
Some titles even go so far as to have “levelling up” capabilities where you can unlock more special extras based on length of time spinning and the more paying combinations you hit. Good examples of this would be Playboy, Aliens, and Star Trek: Red Alert Slots even allows you to level up to an entirely new release.
As countries around the world make the transition from desktops to handheld devices, technology has rushed to keep up with that migration and the online gambling industry is leading the way. Companies realized years ago that the future was going to be mobile and began to design software that would function well on both traditional and portable computers. As a result, pretty much every new title that’s launched today can be enjoyed anywhere in the world and on most mobile devices.
However, you still should be very careful when deciding on a place to play because some operators are more “mobile friendly” than others so in our reviews we note which ones are best for iPads, iPhones, and Android. There are numerous other factors to consider like cell reception and Wifi connection, whether or not there is a mobile cashier that allows you to make deposits, and if the screen of your device is actually big enough to enjoy the whole experience.
Online Slots Bonuses
Everyone enjoys some free money now and again and many people end up choosing a casino based solely on their welcome bonus, however, all that glitters is not gold and there are usually many restrictions on how it can be used. For example, there can be a time limit on how long you have before the funds expire after depositing, with the entire amount disappearing if you don’t use it in time. Also, they will usually restrict where the cash can be used and several specific games will be off limits.
In addition, there’s the dreaded “rollover” that leaves many people scratching their heads as they’re trying to figure out if they can withdraw their winnings. Rollover is the amount of times that you have to wager the bonus funds before you can withdraw it and operators are very strict about this particular requirement because it protects them from fraud. This is nothing to be worried about though, and it’s a standard safeguard in the industry.
Most websites are starting to offer specialized bonuses for either slots or table games and allow customers to choose whichever one is most appealing to them. There will usually be special promotions throughout the year as well to reward customers for their loyalty. These will vary in size so the best ones will always be mentioned in our online gambling news section with weekly recaps to keep you up to date.
Online Slots Software
Contrary to what your parents told you when you were young, it is not the stork that delivers new slots games, but rather software companies who work hard to churn out as many as they can every year. We’ve both loved and hated releases from every company out there so we really have zero bias in regards to who is actually behind them.
That said, certain companies do seem to be separating themselves from their competition, with NetEnt launching some amazing stuff like Guns N’ Roses Slots and setting the standard for music-themed machines. New titles also have distinct graphical differences these days, with designers trying to out do one another by thinking of the “next big thing” in the gaming world. For example, 3D games are gaining in popularity and it seems like NetEnt is also leading the way in these occasionally strange creations.
There are also some great smaller companies out there, specifically Leander Games, who were the creators of one of the best releases of all time, Dolly Parton Slots , which is always a blast to play. Another company on the rise is IGT who seem to have more intricate titles than their competitors and their animations and bonus rounds are some of the best out there today. Everything is usually really well-designed and include extras like characters walking out on to the reels to throw things, unique free spins modes that really get you excited, and crystal clear graphics throughout the whole production.
Each software has it’s own look and style, especially when it comes to user controls, and you’ll start to recognize them as you go through all of the various machines. It’s good to have a little familiarity and consistency between the ones that are built by the same company and all of them seem to be in a fierce competition to design the perfect set of user controls. Sadly, it looks like we’re decades away from that happening, though.
Online Slots Tournaments
It’s good to see that the industry is finally catching up with the times and starting to offer online slots tournaments that are just as exciting but much easier to register for and play. Instead of getting in the car and fighting your way through traffic to a smoke-filled building off of the interstate, you can now kick back and enjoy group events from the comfort of your own home.
Although online tournaments are steadily gaining in popularity they’re still not being offered everywhere, which is why we make a point to mention in each casino review whether or not they are offered there. If they do have them there will usually be a tournament schedule clearly posted in their lobby.
Return to Player
Many people would probably claim that the “best online slots” are the ones that give out the most money and this line of thinking is totally understandable. Therefore, many of you will want to concern yourselves with theoretical Return to Player (RTP), which dictates the odds and how much you can expect to win from each specific title.
Simply stated, RTP is the percentage of your total wagers that you should get back in winnings on average, (total amount won / total amount wagered). Why is the word “average” in bold? Well, because many people don’t understand that in order to realize a machine’s real return you have to play it for very long stretches of time to experience the true average payout: only an hour isn’t going to cut it.
You can always verify the RTP of a release by checking its review page because it’s clearly listed in the details of each. However, as we mention throughout our website, we here at The Queen of Online Slots are much more concerned with how enjoyable a game is than with how much it pays out. Gambling shouldn’t feel like a job – it should always be lots of fun.