How to Play Casino Slot Machines: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting

How to play casino slot machines: A beginner’s guide to starting

The main type of game at most online casinos is the online slot machine. Though some of these do look like the traditional machines found in traditional casinos, many of them are more like computer games with flashy themes and interactive elements. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to start playing these games, so you master them like a pro.

Understanding Online Slot Machines

Online slot machines are easy enough to master once you understand their core elements. Typically, you’ll find games with the following features: 

  1. Reels: These vertical columns represent the traditional, mechanical wheels of machines from times gone by. Traditional slot machines had three, but modern ones often have more.
  2. Symbols: These are the pictures on the reels that you need to match to win.
  3. Paylines: The paylines are the lines that the matching symbols must fall on for you to win.
  4. Wild symbols: These symbols take the place of another symbol to make a winning combination.
  5. Scatter symbols: The are in modern slots and trigger bonus rounds or free spins.
  6. Bonus features: This is anything extra that’s additional to the base game. It might be a bonus free spins round or a bonus game.  

You’ll generally find slot machines fall into one of these categories: 

Variant Description 
Classic SlotsA game with three reels, like a traditional fruit machine. The gameplay is simple.  
Video SlotsAdvanced graphics and immersive sound. There may be five or more reels and the themes are varied, including branded ones. 
Progressive JackpotsThese are slot games with a linked jackpot, which can be won by anyone across the world. 

How to Play

Playing online slot games doesn’t have to be daunting, here are the basics. 

Step 1: Learning the Rules  

Read the rules for the game you’re playing to make sure you understand it. Have a go of the game in demo mode before spending your own money.  

Step 2: Placing Your Bets  

When you’re familiar with the game, play it for real money. Start small if you’re not feeling confident. Never chase losses. 

Step 3: Understanding the game’s Odds  

Research the game’s RTP (return to player) percentage and volatility as this will give you an idea of how often or how much you’re likely to win. 

Step 4: Playing the Game  

Play the game with confidence and bet as much as you’re comfortable with.

Slot Machines Tips and Strategies

The best way to practise playing slot games is to find online casinos that offer free spins. These often feature as a signup bonus and sometimes just for registering. It’s always worth reading the terms and conditions of any deals so you know if you need to meet wagering requirements to withdraw winnings.


How do I trigger a bonus round?

This depends on the game you’re playing. Read up on the individual game’s rules. 

What is the game volatility?

This is often described as low, medium or high and it determines how often and how large the payouts are. The higher the volatility, the higher the winning amounts but the less often they land.

Can I play slot games for free?

Yes, you can often play games in demo mode first. Also, look for online casinos offering free spins.

Final Thoughts on How to Play Slot Machine Games

Slot machines are relatively easy to understand. Be sure to read up about the individual game’s rules and research any terminology you’re unsure of. Then, start small and build up your confidence first. Also, look out for free spins offers to get you started.