Online Slots: How Do They Work?

If you are a newcomer, choosing online slots can be difficult. There are thousands of slot machines with unique configurations and payout percentages. While some web casinos offer not more than 50 slots by unknown developers, others can house an extensive collection of pokie games by software giants. For example, is one such casino with a wide selection of online slots, bountiful bonuses, and regular pokie tournaments.

Some players believe that casino owners are greedy. But it is far from the truth. Yes, on the one hand, the house always wins, meaning that players lose more often than they win. On the other hand, with a strategy in mind, you can beat practically any slot machine.

If you want to maximise your chances of winning, you should pick the “right” slot. It is simple. All you need is to keep in mind several slot machine components.


If you play slot machines for real money, the outcomes are determined by a built-in mechanism — RNG (aka Random Number Generator). RNG generates billions of possible outcomes in a millisecond. So there is no way to predict the final result.

Some gamblers, not only new but professional, believe some slot machines may be rigged. It is a harmful myth. Every time you spin the reels, the slot produces numbers. They, in turn, determine what combinations will land on the reels.

No matter how long you’re playing a particular pokie, the odds of winning will remain the same.


RTP stands for Return to Player — the percentage a player can get back after the gaming session. Most slot machines’ payout percentages vary from 90% to 98%. The higher RTP is, the large payouts are.

For example, an online slot has an RTP of 96%. It means that for every $100 you deposit, you can get back 96% on average. The house edge in that slot will be 4%: 96% goes to the player, and 4% stays in the casino.


Volatility is another significant component of any slot machine. It represents the frequency and the size of payouts a player can get back.

There are three types of volatility: low, high, and medium. High-volatility slots pay out large sums but are rare, while low-volatility machines pay out less but much more frequently. There is also the third possible variant — medium volatility slots in which the frequency of winnings is balanced against their size.

Bonus Features

Video slots have plenty of bonus features that may improve your chances of winning and prolong the gameplay. The basic ones include wilds, scatters, and free spins. By triggering them, a player can form a winning combination and get even more bonuses. They are multipliers, jackpots, gamble features, avalanche reels, and some others.

Not all online pokies come with enumerated bonus features. Some may have only wild and scatter, while others will include everything at once.

5 Best Online Slots

As we said, it may be challenging to find a suitable online slot, especially if you just start trying your hand at online pokies. There are a variety of offers on the market: from classic 3-reel slots to advanced 7-reel machines. Our team of experts tested over 200 pokies and selected the best in terms of RTP, theme, bonus features, and software provider. Here they are:

  1. Gonzo’s Quest

Released in 2011 by NetEnt, Gonzo’s Quest is the online slot that will tell you the story of a brave conquistador who arrives on the Peruvian coast in search of the lost city, El Dorado.

Gonzo’s Quest has five reels, 20 paylines, an RTP of 96%, and medium volatility. The slot offers several bonus features: avalanche reels and free spin rounds.

  1. Cleopatra

A fascinating online slot released one year later, in 2012, features five reels and 20 paylines. The online pokie by IGT has an RTP of 95,02% and medium volatility. An impressive Egyptian theme will take you back in time. You can trigger Eye of Horus, Anubis, and the Sphinx symbols on the reels.

  1. Wolf Gold

Set in the American desert, Wolf Gold is one of the most recognisable pokies by NetEnt. It features five reels and 25 paylines. There are several bonus features, but the most appealing is 3 jackpots: Mini, Major, and Mega. The slot fits players of all stripes, as it has medium-high volatility and solid RTP of 96%.

  1. Mega Moolah

Released by Microgaming in 2006, Mega Moolah has made a splash. The game features a 5×3 pokies’ grid and 25 paylines. The slot RTP is not very high — 88%, but the game offers a set of bonus features that may increase your chances of winning — wilds, scatters, multipliers, and free spins.

  1. Ancient Gods

An Asian-themed slot released by Realtime Gaming has five reels, 25 paylines, and an RTP of 97,20%. The symbols on the reels are impressive: balls of scale, shells, a white tiger pattern, and a phoenix feather. Ancient Gods has several bonus features — wilds, scatters, multipliers, and free spins.

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