Online Slots Guide- All You Need To Know

Playing slots is an all-time favorite for Canadian online casino players today and for good reasons. Thanks to the advancement in technology, slots are now available to play at virtually any online gaming site. Moreover, you can now enjoy various titles on any device and anywhere. Additionally, it’s not at all difficult to learn how to play. Hence, online slots are appropriate for players of all skill levels and budgets. But most importantly, it’s fun and can make you some money. 

While it’s fairly easy to play physical slots, online slots have some unique features you need to know about. In order to help you become a better player, our complete guide has all the information you may want in one place. Here, we’ll go over the different kinds of slots games, how to play them and what strategies to implement.

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What Are Online Slots?

The first slot machine was developed in the late 19th century. It had reels with card faces on it, and upon spinning by pulling a lever the reels would spin. If the right combination of symbols appeared, players won some cash. The simplicity of the mechanism made it very popular and they were installed in many bars. 

With the advent of computer processors, physical slots continued to become more sophisticated. Eventually, a version for digital devices was developed. After the move to digital, soon online slots along with other casino games became a lot more sophisticated. Technology allowed for many changes that benefit both the online platforms, as well as the players. Nowadays you can enjoy thousands of unique slot configurations, design themes, and reward schemes. But the main idea is still the same – get the right combination of symbols and you win!

Online Slots Guide

Online vs. Classic Slots

Classic slots evolved over the decades to have better aesthetics and operate smoother. Nonetheless, in terms of the core concept they haven’t changed a whole lot. On the other hand, online slots change seemingly every day and vastly differ from their predecessors. 

One of the main differences is that classic slots still use 3 reels while most online slots use 5. Because of this, developers can increase the number of paylines. That in turn produces many more different outcomes and therefore makes for payouts of varying sizes. In addition, most online slots also come with bonuses, such as free spins. Hence another reason to go online, as no physical casino will let you play for free. But the most significant advantage is the sheer variety – you can choose from hundreds of titles with all kinds of unique themes!

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Types of Slot Games

Any good online casino should have plenty of slots. The game variations differ in a number of ways, including the number of reels, paylines, reward size and frequency, etc. But all of these games can be categorized into a few general groups:

3 Reel Slots

This version is the most similar to classic slots. 3-reel slots are intentionally designed to look almost the same as their physical casino counterparts. Moreover, the rules are also the same. In order to win, you only need to match the symbols horizontally at the only payline. In other words, the middle row is all that matters. This type is particularly suitable for beginners without gaming experience.

5 Reel Slots

5-reel slots are also sometimes referred to as video slots. Because they are easily and more customizable, these variants are the most popular of all. 

Video slots have 5 vertical lines and the goal is to match as many symbols on the paytable as you can. In order to create even more excitement and ensure players win, casinos offer games with all kinds of elaborate symbols and paylines.

Progressive Slots

Progressive slots are all about the big prize. Although the gameplay is exactly the same as with video slots, the jackpot is much larger. Basically, all progressive slot games created by a certain software developer are linked. So, players of these titles contribute to the total jackpot every time they play. Hence the payout could be massive. For example, in 2018 Mega Moolah paid out 18.9 million Euros to a lucky winner. Because of the size, the prize was entered into the Guinness World Record.

3D Slots

You can think of these as video slots but with more exciting graphics. Essentially, 3D slots have the same rules. However, instead of 2D symbols there are animated ones. This way developers take full advantage of modern displays. In addition, 3D slots also have sound effects. The end result is a slot game that can have intricate themes and story lines.


i-Slots are still new on the market and only a few developers are currently making them. Hence, you won’t find them on all platforms. But when you do, you can expect a whole adventure. Because i-Slots make the game more interactive, any game instantly becomes more fun. You can create your own story lines and play different combinations of reels.

Feature Slots

As the name suggests, feature slots simply add various extras to an existing game. Most commonly, the games will have additional special symbols. These will appear randomly and act as wildcards. Alternatively, there may be features like extra spins, new or more levels and even bonus rounds.

Multi-payline Slots

Rather than spinning until you get a match on all 5 columns, multi-payline slots have many paylines. For example, the extra payline could be on a diagonal or be a zigzag line. In order to ensure you can always win a portion of your bet, there can be up to 25 different winning paylines.

Fruit Machines

It may look like a classic 3-reel slot, but fruit machines will have some special features. For example, the ability to nudge and hold. A nudge is where you move one reel a few steps after spinning. On the other hand, a hold involves holding one reel before spinning. Such advantages can mean better odds and higher winning chances. 

Vegas Slots

Vegas slots look exactly like the machines in land-based casinos. And more specifically, like the slots in casinos in Las Vegas. Additionally, payouts and gameplay also match physical slots. Hence, playing Vegas slots is the best way to get the old casino experience we all know and love. These are great especially for those experiencing some nostalgia for the good old times.

Mega Spin Slots

Do you want to double or triple the fun? Mega spin slots are the way to dial it up, once you are confident in your gameplay. Essentially, these slots will let you play several games simultaneously. You can play up to 4 different slots at the same time, usually with plenty of bonuses, too.

Slot types

How to Play Slots

Generally, playing slots is rather simple and anyone can do it. The first step is to identify a game you would like to play. Of course, your choice depends entirely on your personal preferences. But in any case, the game’s design or theme aside, you should also consider the rules as well. In addition to that, always make sure the game of your choice is working properly on whatever device you use. 

After that, get yourself familiar with the worth of each symbol from the paytable. Some games will have fixed paylines and on others, you can set multiple paylines. Set your desired number of paylines and click on ‘Spin’ to begin playing. From then on, it’s all about luck. Most platforms will allow you to play using free spins even before creating an account. However, eventually, you will have to sign up. From here, you will likely get a few more free spins before you start playing with real money.

Glossary of Common Terms

When it comes to playing slots on online platforms, there are quite a few terms that you may not know about. Before you go ahead and start enjoying the various games, you should get familiar with the terminology. So, to give you a head start, we’ve put together a shortlist of the most common terms:

  • Autoplay – a feature that automatically spins the reels without having to click on the spin button. 
  • Lines and paylines – a specific combination of symbols on a slot machine that determine a winning spin.
  • Payout Percentage and Return to Player (RTP) – a slot machine pays out a percentage of the players’ bet. This ratio is determined by the RTP.
  • Paytable – a list of available prizes and combinations that a slot machine will reward.
  • Reels – vertical columns on a slot machine display.
  • Rows – horizontal columns of a slot machine display. 
  • Scatter – a special symbol appearing randomly and guarantees a payout regardless of the other symbols. 
  • Wilds – special symbols that replace ‘normal’ symbols and produce special rewards.
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How to Choose A Slot

The first and most important step when playing slots is to choose which game is the right one for you. With so many options out there, this is what you need to look for:

  • Choose games you know how to play. Adventure can be great sometimes, but not when your money is on the line. Therefore, it’s better to play games you understand and know the rules of. 
  • Understand the variance. Low variance is better when you have a smaller bankroll because you stay in the game longer. But with a bigger bankroll, you can take more risk on a high variance game and win a lot more. 
  • Find free casino offers. Nothing’s cheaper than free. Some casino offers can be a big help and let you play for free. This is great when practicing and you can also enjoy the game longer. 

Online Slot Games Developers

One thing is certain, your gaming experience will only be as good as the software providers. Indeed, games from good developers have superior graphics, unique themes, and unbiased results. 

Knowing how important game developers are, you should always seek games by the best ones. Moreover, companies that have been industry leaders for decades, can always be trusted. This way, you can expect unique and exciting titles. However, we recommend you always try free spins first. That is so that you can test the games without risking your cash.

House Edge in Online Slots

The house edge is basically payout or RTP (return to player). It is represented as a percentage and the higher it is, the more the game pays out. For instance, a 98% payout means for every $100 bet players receive $98. 

Additionally, pay attention to the variance, too. Because it determines how frequently winning spins are generated. Of course, lower variance means infrequent and larger wins and vice versa.

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Bonus Features

Unlike classic slots which have no additional benefits apart from what you win, here is what casino bonuses you can expect online: 

  • Free spins – play for free while enjoying the complete experience. Also, you will stand some chance of winning real money at no cost. Always take advantage of free spins offers
  • Bonuses – there are numerous bonuses issued to players online. From no deposit and deposit bonuses, to welcome bonuses or VIP perks.
  • Multipliers – they simply maximize your potential wins by boosting any amount you win.
  • Wilds – think of these as wildcards or random symbols that can make you win big.
  • Scatters – special symbols that trigger bonuses.

Should You Play Online Slots for Free or With Real Money?

Although you can play plenty of free slot games online, you will notice that it isn’t as exciting. Every dollar you make is ultimately virtual and cannot be used for anything. The thrill comes in the anticipation of a big win, only experienced with playing at a real money casino. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore free bonuses. They are very useful for practice and testing out new games. Once you are confident, put some money on the line and feel your adrenaline rise.

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Online Slots on Mobile

Online slots are available on pretty much any device these days. But of course, only as long as you are connected to the internet. In some cases, the games may require installing an app on your device. However, this is rarely not optional and generally, you can play via a web browser. 

As you decide on what game to play, make sure it is fully compatible with your devices. This is a good opportunity to put those free spins into use.

Proven Strategies to Win

Generally speaking, slot games are mostly about luck because the software generates random sequences. However, there are a few things you can do to give yourself an edge:

  • Only play high RTP games, preferably 95% and above.
  • Keep an eye on your bankroll to avoid losing too much money in one go.
  • Take every bonus you receive and use it appropriately.
  • Always make sure you know and understand the rules.


Slots games have been around for quite some time and Canadian casino players love them. But with so many choices out there, it could be hard to get started. However, we hope that our guide has helped you solidify your knowledge. As always, we recommend you do your research not only about the game but the casino itself, too. In order to make that process easier, we have a whole bunch of casino reviews for you to check out, here you can read how exactly we check online casinos. Although online slots are mostly about luck, remember to implement a strategy, or grab a bonus offer to give yourself a head start. With enough practice, all these lessons will be easier to apply and you will develop a sense for the game.


Yes. Many online casinos will provide free spins or even demo mode at no cost.

Make sure the casino has games from recognized developers and that the platform has good reviews.

Yes, of course. But you will also have to bet using real money, too.

Generally yes, but it depends largely on the casino and software providers. If a casino has a negative reputation, stay away from them.

Check the slot’s information to find out its payout ratio - the higher, the better. 

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