How To Play Slots

The best online casinos make it easy for you to play hundreds of different slots on your phone, tablet, or computer. These games are perfect for beginners, as they offer simple gameplay and do not require you to master any strategies.

This guide explains how to play slots and provides our top tips to help you increase your chances of success.

How do slots work?

Slots are simple games of chance. You just need to spin the reels and await the results. If matching symbols appear on one or more paylines, you will win.

However, there are various features that you need to understand. They include wilds, scatters, bonus rounds, and bonus buy options. Below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about online slots.

Starburst Slot

How to play slots

It is easy to play online slots once you grasp the format. Follow these steps to get started.

1. Choose an online slot

Sign up with an online casino and choose a slot that appeals to you. The most popular slots will be displayed on the homepage, but you can also venture into the dedicated slots section to browse a broader range of games.

2. Browse the pay table

Click the information icon to browse the pay table. It tells you the value of each symbol. For example, this is the paytable for Starburst, one of the most popular online slots.

Yellow gem60x25x10x
Green gem50x20x8x
Orange gem40x15x7x
Blue gem25x10x5x
Purple gem25x10x5x

As you can see, you will earn 250x your bet amount if five of the bar symbols appear on a payline. At the other end of the scale, you will receive 5x your bet amount if three of the purple gem symbols line up on a particular payline.

The pay table will also highlight which symbols are wild and which symbols serve as the scatters, if applicable. You can learn how any bonus rounds work, too. We’ll break down these features in the next section.

You will see small diagrams of the paylines as well. They can include straight lines across the reels, along with simple patterns. You need matching symbols to appear on those paylines in order to win.

3. Select your bet amount

Return to the game and select your bet amount. Some slots have fixed paylines. In that case, just choose the amount you would like to wager on your first spin, such as $0.01, $10, or $100.

Other slots allow you to choose the number of paylines you would like to play. Use the arrows to make your choice, and then select the amount you want to bet on each payline.

For example, you might decide to play five paylines at $0.50 per payline, resulting in a total bet of $2.50. Alternatively, you could play 10 paylines at $5, which would be a $50 bet per spin.

4. Spin the reels

When you have chosen your bet amount, hit the play button, and the reels will spin. They will come to a stop a second or two later.

5. Receive your winnings

If matching symbols appear on one or more of the paylines when the reels stop spinning, you will win. The winnings will be added to your account balance.

You can then spin the reels again. Most slots also have an auto-play option, which allows you to play several consecutive spins without needing to click the play button each time.

Features on online slots

The best online slots offer a range of features to ensure the gameplay remains varied and dynamic. These are the most common features.

  • Wild | This symbol can substitute for any other symbols to help you form winning combinations on a payline.
  • Scatter | These symbols allow you to trigger the bonus round. You normally need to land three or more of the scatters to activate the bonus game.
  • Bonus game | The bonus game is separate from the base game, and it is triggered by landing scatter symbols when you spin the reels. Most bonus games give you a series of free spins, and your wins can be multiplied, but other bonus rounds can include pick-and-click games or a separate bonus wheel.
  • Bonus buy | This feature gives you the chance to dive straight into the bonus round without waiting for the scatters to appear naturally during the base game. You will need to pay a fee to do so. For example, the fee may be 75x your bet.
  • Progressive jackpot | Some slots feature progressive jackpots. A percentage of each bet you place goes into the jackpot pool, which steadily rises until one player wins it. These games can potentially deliver six-figure or seven-figure payouts.

Different types of slots

The best online casinos in Michigan offer thousands of slots. Despite the variety, the games all follow a similar format: choose your bet size, spin the reels, and hope for the best. However, they can be split into various broad categories.

  • Classic slots | These games evoke the simple mechanical slot machines found at retail casinos for most of the 20th century. They are normally three-reel slots with basic graphics, no animations, few bonus features, low levels of volatility, modest jackpots, and classic symbols such as fruit, gems, and bars.
  • Video slots | Most online slots are classified as video slots. They use graphics, sounds, animations, and narratives to enhance the experience. These games have now replaced the old mechanical slots at land-based casinos, and they provide the inspiration for most online slots.
  • 3D slots | These are simply video slots with 3D graphics, as opposed to the usual 2D graphics.
  • Megaways slots | Slots that use the Megaways feature can have more than 100,000 paylines.
  • Cluster pays slots | These slots do not have traditional paylines. Instead, you win by forming clusters of symbols on the grid after spinning the reels. The larger the cluster, the higher the payout.
  • Bonus buy slots | These games have a bonus buy option.
  • Jackpot slots | Some slots have large, fixed jackpots, but games with progressive jackpots often provide the largest potential payouts.
  • Slingo | This is a hybrid of slots and bingo.

How to choose an online slot

You can consider the types of slots described above and determine which games appeal to you. However, there are some other key factors that can help you select an online slot.

Return to Player

The RTP rate of a slot tells you the theoretical payout an average player will expect to receive over an extended period.

For example, a slot with a 94.25% RTP rate is programmed to return $94.25 for every $100 wagered across a long-term average. The results are random, which means that some players win and others lose, but it can be beneficial to select games with high RTP percentages.


You can expect regular, modest wins if you play a low-volatility slot. By contrast, slots with high volatility rates deliver large, irregular wins.

Medium volatility slots fall somewhere in the middle. Choose which style appeals the most to you before playing online slots.

Bet limits

If you are on a tight budget, you can play penny slots. They allow you to risk just $0.01 per spin.

At the other end of the spectrum, high-limit slots allow you to bet more than $1,000 on a single spin. Consider your budget, as that will help you select your ideal slot.

Top tips for playing online slots

  1. Select slots with high RTP rates, as those games have the lowest house edge. Examples include Blood Suckers (98%), Codex of Fortune (98%), and Starmania (97.87%).
  2. However, make sure you are comfortable with the bet limits, volatility rate, maximum win amount, and any potential progressive jackpots.
  3. Activate the bonus buy feature if it will improve the RTP rate. For example, the RTP on White Rabbit Megaways increases from 97.24% to 97.72% when you buy the bonus. Just make sure you do not overspend.
  4. Play slots for free in demo mode to test them. You can then play the games you enjoy for real money.
  5. Claim the bonuses on offer at an online casino and participate in the rewards program, as doing so will effectively reduce the house edge.

Where to play online slots for free

The best MI online casinos allow you to play slots for free in demo mode. That will help you learn how they work, and you can play for real money if you enjoy the experience.

  • BetMGM Michigan | Explore more than 3,000 slots in Michigan, including lots of exclusives, and most can be played for free.
  • Caesars Palace MI | This online casino offers a wide variety of both penny and high-roller slots, and you can try them all in demo mode.
  • FanDuel Casino | This is the top-rated casino app in Michigan. FanDuel allows you to play more than 500 slots for real money or in demo mode.
Privacy Policy