The Best Video Slots Online in 2021
Video slots have taken the old-school one-armed bandits into the 21st century. With the best video slots online, you can enjoy a range of stakes, game styles, and bonus features.
Try your luck with a free spins feature, watch actual footage from a hit Hollywood movie, or trigger a progressive jackpot. Best of all, at online.casino we have the best online video slots around.
Read on to discover the best video slots and bonuses:
- Learn how to play on your PC or tablet
- Find out why video slots beat classic machines every time
- Unearth the best bonuses at casinos online
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What are Video Slots?
Video slots first appeared in Las Vegas casinos in the mid-to-late 70s. Instead of using mechanics, the slot utilized a computer screen showing a graphic representation of the reels. Microchips replaced gears and cogs to determine the outcome of every spin.
Today, the majority of slots in land-based casinos are video slots. And most offline versions have been adapted to play at online casinos.
Online slots work in a similar way to land-based video slot machines. The gameplay is governed by a computerized random number generator (RNG). These RNGs determine where the reels stop. The program then pays out prizes depending on the arrangement of symbols along paylines.
Video slots also have bonuses and graphics programmed into their software. The symbols may appear animated or perform a special function. The more development that goes into a video slot, the more innovative and advanced the features are.
How Online Video Slots Work: Our Top Guide
Video slots are powered by microchips and computer programs rather than mechanics. Even if an online slot has classic themes, it will still be governed by random number generators.
Here is our simple step-by-step guide to playing a video slot.
Choose your stakes
You can select your coin and bet size before you play a video slot. You use virtual coins to make your bet. Select a coin value and number of coins with which you want to bet.
Select your paylines
The benefit of video slots is that you can program as few or as many paylines as you like. Many games have fixed paylines where you must bet a set amount across all possible lines.
Spin the reels
Once you have chosen your stakes, it’s time to spin. Press the Spin button and watch as the reels come to a random stop. You win prizes by lining up matching symbols across active paylines.
Wilds and scatters
Most video slots have special bonus symbols that can increase your chances of winning.
Wild symbols act like jokers that fill in the gaps in paylines. Wilds sometimes have cash prizes or multipliers attached.
Scatter symbols pay out regardless of where they hit the reels. The more scatters you hit, the more you win.
Triggering a bonus feature
In video slots, you can usually trigger a bonus feature by landing multiple scatters at once. Popular bonus features include free spins or bonus rounds.
In a free spins bonus, you are awarded free games with multipliers attached. You can even retrigger the feature by landing further scatters.
Bonus features vary from slot to slot. More complex and innovative video slot machines will feature more bonuses. You might also play a bonus round on a unique set of reels that is completely different from the base game.
Bonuses sometimes feature special symbols like walking wilds or transferring wilds. Wilds might appear stacked, or low-paying symbols may be removed from the reels to gift you higher wins.
Now that you know how slot machines work, also check out the guide on how to play slots online.
A Brief History of Video Slots
Early slot machines were governed by mechanical gears and parts that determined when and where the reels would stop.
During the 1960s and 1970s, however, microchips were introduced that oversaw the random outcomes of the machines. And in 1975, the world’s first video slot was introduced.
Fortune Coin was introduced at the Las Vegas Hilton and featured a video display with the reels on-screen. A computerized Random Number Generator was used to ensure a completely fair spin every game.
Fortune Coin didn’t take off until the late 1970s when Sircoma/International Gaming Technology (IGT) bought them out.
IGT tweaked the game during the 1980s and added more paylines. By that point, other US providers like Bally and WMS were introducing their own video slots.
In particular, Bally was busy revolutionizing video poker machines. Players could, for the first time, enjoy 5-card Draw against the machine via a graphic display.
By the mid-1990s, IGT was pioneering progressive video slot machines like Wheel of Fortune. But a larger revolution was coming online.
Microgaming had pioneered the first online casino software in 1994, and the same year Bally brought out its Game Maker machines in land-based casinos, which were designed to fit multiple video slots in one single cabinet.
Two years later WMS introduced one of the world’s first online video slots, with a secondary bonus. Reel ‘Em In had multiple paylines and a wide range of betting for players.
More software providers continued to appear, producing more and more complex slots. Bally, WMS and IGT adapted video slots for the new wave of online casinos.
Online specialists like Microgaming and Playtech continued to pump out new games, like Thunderstruck and Avalon, that are still popular with gamblers today.
Video Slots vs Classic Slots
You can still play classic slots at many online or land-based casinos. Online classic slots recreate old-school machines in terms of gameplay and graphics. The difference is you can play games on your desktop PC or mobile phone.
Wider choice of stakes
Video slots let you play with a huge range of stakes. Choose from $0.01 a line or hit the Max Bet button and gamble for hundreds of bucks on every spin.
More reels and more symbols
In a mechanical slot machine, each reel may only contain around 10 symbols. A video slot may have 30-50 symbols per reel. That makes it possible to have more win lines and higher payouts.
With more reels comes more paylines. Most video slots have anywhere from 9 to 4,096 paylines.
Advances in these games mean that paylines don’t have to run horizontally, either. You might win a cash prize simply by matching symbols anywhere on adjacent reels.
Computerized games are advanced enough to feature special bonuses. Bonus features are like mini-games within the slot.
Bonuses can be as simple as a free spins feature or something more complex, like an arcade-style video game. You can even save your progress during the bonus and come back to it later.
3D graphics and sounds
Early video slots featured basic graphics and sound effects. As technology has improved, so has the quality of the graphics.
Many new games feature slick animation, cutaway sequences, and music. Land-based video slot machines oftentimes feature giant touch-screens and high-definition sound.
Branded footage and video sequences
You can play branded slot machines based on popular TV shows, rock bands, or hit Hollywood movies. Some branded slots contain actual video footage which will play during the game.
Immersive storylines and characters
The best video slots lead you to escape into immersive fantasy worlds. They might feature characters you care about who have whole back stories that you can read on the paytable.
Video slot machines use computerized random number generators to govern every spin.
Once you hit the Spin button, an algorithm is created that randomly assigns numbers to every reel position. The reels will then stop at the predetermined arrangement of symbols.
Traditional slot machines in casinos used mechanical gears that stopped at random to determine the outcome. Advanced technologies dictate that online and computerized RNGs are much fairer and ensure a more random outcome.
More game variation
Most classic slot machines follow a similar pattern of having old-school symbols like fruit and bells.
Video slots are only restricted by the power of the graphics card. There are no limits on the graphics that a video slot designer can create.
Online slots tend to have higher RTPs (Return-to-Player percentages) than many land-based casino slots.
Many land-based video slots are only required to have a minimum RTP in accordance with local gaming laws. With lower costs, online casinos have more freedom to offer higher returns.
Because video slot games tend to feature more bonuses, it can affect the game’s volatility.
Volatility relates to the frequency with which a slot pays out. For example, a high-volatility video slot will pay out large prizes but they won’t be frequent. A low-volatility slot will pay out little and often.
You may notice when playing a volatile slot that it can take you many spins to trigger a feature. You might experience a long downswing between bonuses.
In general, slots with bonus features can be more volatile. Because bonuses pay well, they won’t be triggered regularly. The slot manufacturer will, therefore, ensure that the features are more difficult to trigger.
Finding the Best Video Slots Casinos
You can play thousands of online video slots at the best casinos. At online.casino, we only rate and recommend the cream of the crop.
With our recommended sites, you will find the top games with proper licenses and tested software. Here’s how we rate and review the best video slots casinos:
Audited software and payouts
Reputable casinos have licenses from respected jurisdictions who practise due diligence on operators.
Licensed casinos will ensure their slots are regularly audited for fairness. Slot machines that don’t have fair RNGs won’t be made available. Good casinos will also publish a full list of RTPs (Return-to-Player percentages) for every game.
Video slots shouldn’t just be for desktop gamblers. The best games are now available to play on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
Most slots in 2019 are produced on an HTML5 platform. That makes them perfect for playing on a variety of different devices.
Great range of games from the best developers
You should be able to access old-school classic slots with 3 reels and modern 5-reel video slot machines with bonuses.
For variety, you should also have access to big-money progressive slots with big-money jackpots. And unleash the power of your machine with a 3D slot featuring animated symbols and great music.
Good customer support
Whatever games you play, problems can still arise. A great customer service agent can help solve a range of issues, like slow cash-outs or glitchy software.
Fast payouts when you win
It’s vital you get hold of your winnings when you want them. We test all casinos to see if their payment times are fast and accurate.
We will deposit our own money when playing at the casino. We will then withdraw winnings to check cash-out times on a range of banking methods.
Superb bonuses for video slots players
You can claim a great bonus when you play video slots. Online casino promotions vary but will usually include a deposit bonus or free slots spins.
We check the terms of every welcome bonus to ensure the promotion is fair and achievable. And if the wagering requirement on free bonus spins is too high, we’ll flag it.
Play Top Video Slots and Win Real Money
Video slots aren’t just for Vegas travellers. In 2019, you can find thousands of great slots to play in your web browser or on mobile. Give our casinos a try today and find new games that are right for you.