Online slots can be considered as the most popular games in online casinos, and nowadays, players can enjoy thousands of unique slots by top-rated game developers. Their popularity stems from various factors - they’re easy and convenient to play, boast several unique features and offer dynamic entertainment to all players, who can either choose to play slots for real money or for free. Slots online are incredibly popular amongst new players as their simple gameplay can help players kickstart their casino journey from day one.
History of online slots
Online slots are quite a recent phenomenon modelled on physical ‘one-armed bandit’ slot machines. The first mechanical slot owes its dues to Sittman and Pitt, who came up with a machine composed of five drums and 50 playing cards in 1891. Instead of winning cash, players could win free cigars or drinks at the bar. The first slot with automatic payouts was invented by Charles Fey, who replaced drums and cards with reels and symbols in the Liberty Bell machine. The 1960s saw the first electronic slot machines with cash payouts and the 1990s gave rise to online slots as we know them today. Shortly before the turn of the century, sophisticated games and bonus rounds emerged, transcending the boundaries of land-based casinos and migrating to online play in the first online casinos.
Video slots can be described as online versions of the traditional one-armed bandits found in amusement arcades and land-based casinos. Any player of age can try them out as long as a desktop or mobile device with internet access is available. They feature random combinations of different themed symbols on a number of spinning reels, with each symbol having its own assigned value. Despite fruit symbols forming an integral part of the majority of classic slots, modern slots feature more unique symbols associated with the theme of that particular slot. Each online slot will also have a set of paylines on which identical symbol combinations must land for a possible win.
How do online slots work?
Today’s slots are algorithm-based machines inspired by the mechanical slot machines which characterised most amusement arcade floors. They consist of spinning reels with a set of symbols and paylines, along which the symbols must fall to count as a win. The rules of play vary from game to game, but the most common way to obtain a win is to land a number of identical symbols along a winning payline. The higher the number of symbols, the more attractive the possible wins can be.
While the underlying mechanism of each online slot remains inherently the same, more advanced casino slots are characterised by a higher number of reels, more versatile symbols, immersive visuals and more bonus features and unique mechanics than basic slots. These types of slots require casino players to familiarise themselves with the gameplay before they start betting real money, and accessing the free slot versions is an excellent place to start.
Whether you win or not is primarily based on luck. However, how much you possibly win depends on the size of your bet and the value of the symbol combination. All the different values and the associated payouts can be found in each slot’s paytable.
Types of slots online
Casino slots come in various shapes and sizes - from basic 3-reel slots to more advanced 5-reel slots by leading game developers such as BF Games, NetEnt, Microgaming, Wazdan, Play’n GO and Novomatic. The themes slots are based on are diverse, with some of the most popular being fruit, ancient Egyptian, blockbuster, Wild West, adventure, space, music, Medieval and mythology-based themes. Thus, players can easily find slots which meet their preferences.
Apart from traditional slots with a limited number of reels and a fixed set of paylines, you can also find more complex slots which provide a unique gaming experience for casino players. In Megaways™ slots, for instance, the number of symbols on each reel changes with each new spin, offering thousands of possible winning combinations.
The best online slots are defined by a number of special symbols whose role is to make gameplay more exciting and boost the players’ chances of a win. The most common symbols you’ll find in many online slot games are the Wild and Scatter symbols.
- Wild Symbol - This symbol takes on the role of the Joker and can substitute for any symbol to help create a winning combination. The way it functions may differ from game to game, and oftentimes the Wild cannot substitute for other special symbols, such as the Scatter. Additionally, the Wild can have bonus features of its own. Players may come across Sticky Wilds, which remain in place for a set number of spins, or thrilling Expanding Wilds that can spread across an entire reel, creating more Wilds on the way!
- Scatter Symbol - The Scatter symbol is often the key to unlock a game’s bonus round or feature. The most common is the Free Spins feature, which is often activated by landing a specified number of Scatters across the reels. Make sure to check the rules of play to find out if and how the Scatter can help you gain access to awesome features.
- Bonus Symbol - Bonus symbols come in many shapes and sizes, and do not always bear the name. This special symbol often functions similarly to the Scatter, in that it may activate bonus rounds or features during gameplay.
Slot Bonus features
Apart from special symbols, more advanced slots are also characterised by unique bonus features which can enhance your winning chances and add more fun to each online slot. Let’s go over the most popular ones used in many slots:
- Free Spins
- Gamble Mode
- Win Multiplier
- Progressive Jackpot
Free spins can be triggered when you land a particular symbol combination on the reels, such as Scatter symbols. Their popularity lies in the fact that you can win without using your funds and, in some games, also enjoy extra win multipliers if you land a win during a Free Spins round. Bear in mind that each spin’s value is equal to the value of the bet which triggered the Free Spins round. Moreover, apart from enjoying slot games with an in-built Free Spins feature, you can also enjoy several free spins as part of a bonus or a promotional offer.
The Gamble mode is a popular feature integrated into the mechanisms of many slots. After every winning combination you land, you can decide to participate in a bonus round, whereby you try to guess the colour of a face-down card in the most common Card Gamble. If your guess is correct, you get to double your win, but if your prediction is wrong, you lose your last win amount. Different variations of the Gamble feature exist, including a Ladder Gamble or Wheel Spin Gamble. It’s up to the player to decide whether the risk is worth it; fortunately, players can opt to take their winning and exit the Gamble at any time. In some cases, players can also half the gambled amount to reduce the amount they could lose.
Multipliers are super popular amongst players! Common to more modern and innovative slots, multipliers can come in many forms. In slots with cascading reels, players will often encounter multipliers that stack for every consecutive win. In other games, multipliers can appear in tandem with a falling Wild, possibly boosting the win should one occur.
Slots with a progressive jackpot are some of the most popular games in any online casino. Players can get their hands on a jackpot which may reach seven or eight figures, making the possible wins very attractive. In such games, a small percentage of each bet is added to a common pot, which accumulates to an attractive sum over time. Thus, the more a progressive jackpot slot is played, the bigger the jackpot can become. When it’s won, the sum is reset to a predetermined value. Bear in mind that a player needs to be very lucky to hit the jackpot, as the chances of winning are very low.
Slot RTP and Volatility
Each online slot has a fixed algorithm which determines how it pays out wins. Although wins are triggered randomly, how frequent they’re activated is regulated by a slot’s RTP (Return to Player) percentage and its volatility. It’s essential to take note of these aspects when choosing the best online slots for you.
- RTP - The RTP percentage is the percentage of bets returned to players, in the long run, calculated over millions of rounds. Most modern slot games boast an RTP higher than 95% - which means that for every $100 spent, $95 is returned to players over time. Note that RTP statistics are entirely theoretical. While the majority of players will see a relatively accurate return, some will not!
- Volatility - Low volatility slots are known to offer frequent, small wins, while playing slots with a high volatility rating may grant less frequent, but bigger wins. In specific slot games, players may also be given the possibility to set their preferred volatility setting.
How to play slots
Since there’s no strategy you can adopt when playing slots, luck is the primary factor which determines whether you get a chance to win or not. However, there are some actions you can take to increase your chances of a win at a casino. In the beginning, you can play demo casino slots for free, to understand the game rules and test out which slots meet your preferences. When starting out at a casino, online demo play is a great way to learn how to manage your bankroll and gain a better understanding of slot volatility. If you’ve had your fun with free slots demo versions already and want to try out real betting, then consider making use of advantageous promotions, like No Deposit Free Spins or a Reload Bonus!
Free online slots Canada
Nearly every leading online casino allows players to enjoy slots for free using virtual currency. It’s an easy and convenient way to try out different slot games and familiarise yourself with all their unique features without putting your finances at risk. When you gain enough experience, you may choose to switch to real money bets and enjoy possible chances of a real win.
All you need to do to access these free slots demo is hover over your selected casino game, and click on the grey ‘DEMO’ button. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be asked to register and complete the verification process to access the demo casino slots. In cases where verification is not necessary, you may be able to play casino games as a visitor.
Online slots for real money
You can decide to switch from free demo slots to real-money slot games any time you want to be in with a chance of winning real money. Casino players need to create an account, make a deposit, choose a slot, place a bet and spin the reels of their preferred slot game. When playing slots for real money, bear in mind that you’re putting an element of risk into play. Thus, make sure you set a budget and play casino slots responsibly. You can also decide to take advantage of the responsible gambling options to set limits on losses, playing time and deposits.
Bonuses are an integral part of any casino. Casino bonus provide players with extra funds and free spins to be used on any slot game of their choice, helping you increase your chances of winning and have more fun. Here are the most common bonuses you can take advantage of when playing the best online slots Canada:
- Welcome Bonus - When new players make their first deposit, the casino may match a percentage of their deposit up to a certain amount. At EnergyCasino, players can enjoy a 100% Welcome bonus of up to 200CAD after the first deposit.
- Reload Bonus - On the second deposit, players at EnergyCasino can receive a 50% Reload Bonus up to 200 CAD after claiming the Welcome Bonus.
- No Deposit Bonus - This type of casino bonus is granted without any deposit required. Although not offered frequently, it opens up more opportunities for players to test out different slot games using bonus funds. A No Deposit Bonus may also include free spins.
- Cashback Bonus - You receive back a percentage of your net losses, often applicable to Live Casino table and card games.
- Daily Drops and Wins promotions - You can trigger random wins every day when playing eligible slot machines during this promotion. At EnergyCasino, our Daily Drops and Wins from Pragmatic Play also includes a massive network tournament with equally colossal prizes!
- Online Tournaments - You can take part in several slot tournaments hosted by EnergyCasino and possibly win one of the monetary rewards, or free spins, granted to the highest-ranking casino players.
- Loyalty Program - When playing slots at EnergyCasino, you collect EnergyPoints which you can either exchange for money, free spins or merchandise at the EnergyShop. Playing the Games of the Week can also help you double the EnergyPoints you collect. Keep enjoying your time at EnergyCasino, and you may receive an invite to our exclusive VIP Club, where even more rewards and VIP-only promotions await our most loyal players.
After years of technological breakthroughs, casino players can now play slots on the go. All they need to do is open the casino site on a mobile browser and enjoy the same slots you’d find on desktop. Most casino slots are optimised for smaller screens, allowing players to experience the same features on their mobile devices.
⭐ How do you play online slots Canada?
If you want to play online slots, you need to create an account at an online casino, make a deposit, select a slot game of your choice, place a bet and start spinning the reels. Bear in mind that winning is purely based on luck.
⭐ Where can you play online slots Canada?
You can play slots at home or on the go, as long as you have a desktop or mobile device with a fast internet connection. Check out EnergyCasino, we offer an incredible portfolio of over 2,000 slot games from the world’s top-tier providers.
⭐ How do I play slot machines for real money in Canada?
If you wish to start playing for real money, you first need to create an account with an online casino which operates in Canada (like EnergyCasino!), make a deposit, select a casino game of your choice, place a bet and spin the reels.
⭐ Is it legal to play online slots?
Yes, Canadian players can legally play at any online casino, as long as it’s not based in Canada. Make sure you choose a licensed and regulated online casino, such as EnergyCasino, to guarantee a secure and high-quality gaming experience.