Ever wondered how many types of slot games were out there? Or perhaps what types of slot machines best suit your gaming style? Welcome to our handy slots guide where we’ll take a look at some of the latest and greatest slot creations along with highlighting some of the most popular options out there in order to arm you with all the information required before hitting the reels.
With so much choice out there, and literally hundreds of slots available at your fingertips, establishing what kinds of slot machines are there, and which ones are best for you might prove slightly daunting at times. The good news is that we’re here to help. Armed with years of experience in the industry, we’ve seen it all and distilled our common knowledge into one post to offer you all the information you need in one handy spot. Ready to know all there is to know about the different types of slot games out there? Join us in discovering more.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONLINE SLOTS AND LAND BASED SLOT MACHINES?
Ever since casinos were established, slot machines have been the most popular game played hands down. Nevertheless, with the rise of online casinos, online slots have also caught up along the years, taking up the lion’s share of the gross gambling yield each year.
With so many types of slot machines available, both online as well as in brick and mortar casinos, we thought of offering an overview of what to expect from these different types of slots.
Online Slot Machines
With people making the permanent switch from land-based to online casinos every day, the rise of online slots has been steady and promising. Everything about them is new and thrilling and with the industry really stepping up its game in terms of graphics, player experience and special features, along with the fact that dozens of high-quality new slots are released every month, offering players a massive variety of games to choose from.
Apart from that, online slots come with a number of benefits over land-based slots, which include:
Massive game collections with hundreds of different types of slots to choose from
Improved odds when compared to land-based slot machines
Larger max bet possibilities depending on which country you’re playing from
Huge potential payouts, including multi-million jackpot slots
The ability to play from the comfort and privacy of your own home
May also be enjoyed on mobile without needing to download or install additional software
Land-Based Slot Machines
Even though land-based slots have suffered a sharp decline with the advent of online slots, less demand generally translates to fewer new slot machines being manufactured and distributed, with existing slot machines requiring regular servicing and maintenance.
This leads to additional costs incurred by the casino which is generally reflected in the RTP, however there still a couple of benefits associated with land-based slot machines which allows them to continue to thrive in today’s massively competitive environment. These include:
- Slot machines offer a unique casino experience that can’t always be replicated online
- Land-based slots are generally considered a safer and more responsible game alternative for vulnerable players due to stricter betting limits
- Land-based slots make use of a TRNG (true random number generator) which is sometimes considered more reliable than the online RNG.
What are classic types of slot games?
Now when it comes to identifying different types of slot games, classic slots is probably a good place to start. The definition of what constitutes a classic slot seems to vary, depending on who you ask, however we believe that the easiest way to define this is that a classic slot is one that makes use of mechanical reels, or alternatively, since we’re focusing on online slots, games that have been designed to mimic mechanical reels in online form.
Fruit slots, for example, are a fantastic example of this slot genre, with straightforward paytables and limited special features if any. These types of slot machines are generally focused on the thrill of the game offering quick game rounds without any of the frills associated with more modern online slots. This spin and (potentially) win formula is popular amongst players who are looking for a couple of quick game rounds with minimal distractions.
PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT SLOTS
Another type of slot machine out there are progressive jackpot slots, which are generally associated with life-changing multi-million wins that could potentially drop at any time, in any casino, to any player.
The main difference between a progressive and a non-progressive jackpot slot, is that while a non-progressive jackpot slot offers a fixed max win that’s limited to that particular online casino, progressive jackpot slots are played across the developer network, and the progressive jackpot increases incrementally every time a real money wager is played on the game across the network rather than the individual casino.
Let’s take Mega Fortune for example by NetEnt, that to date has delivered the largest jackpot win in online slot history standing at $24 million. This means that a percentage of real money wagers played in any casino around the world across the NetEnt network, contributed to inflating the jackpot to such a massive size, eventually being won on a 25c spin by a retired poker player in Finland.
Other noteworthy progressive jackpot wins include $22.4 million on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah in 2018 and another $19.9 million also on Mega Moolah to a UK based player in 2015.
SINGLE AND MULTI-LINE SLOTS
Originally, casino slots were created with three reels and a single, central payline. This meant that in order to hit a win you’d need to land three matching symbols on a line. Along the years, these types of slot games evolved to contain additional reels as well as multiple paylines, some of which contain hundreds of paylines.
Some of these games allow you to modify the number of lines you’d rather play with on each spin, while others come with a number of fixed paylines, that generally drive the minimum bet up slightly higher. Ultimately, deciding between these types of slot games is usually a matter of personal preference, and while there are some players that prefer to keep things nice and simple, there’s no denying that multi-line slots are way more exciting, but at the end of the day it’s always about what types of slot games you’re in the mood to play.
Since online casino keeps on getting more popular by the day, extending this phenomenon across devices felt like the next natural step. For this reason, most types of slot games today are available for play across all devices, offering a parallel player experience on their desktop or laptop computer, as well as across tablets, e-readers, as well as mobile phones.
Thanks to the latest HTML5 technology, software and game developers and providers are able to offer the same popular different types of slots across multiple platforms, all accessed via a web browser on any device, allowing players to enjoy their favourite types of slot machines anytime, anywhere!
OTHER COMMON TYPES OF SLOT GAMES
In our quest to determine what kinds of slot machines are there right now, we’ve highlighted a couple of other popular slot types in this section in order to help you make a more informed decision. These include:
- Straight multiplier slots
- Bonus multiplier slots
- Combination slots
- Megaspin slots
Straight Multiplier Types of Slot Games
This type of slot machine allows players to activate all winning combinations at the cost of a single coin, with any additional coins helping to increase the potential win multiplier. In this case, two coins would pay double what you might expect from a single coin wager. While some players might insist that playing at max bet is the way to go, most experts would recommend sticking to a single coin wager after all.
Bonus Multiplier Slots
These types of slots are similar to the Straight Multiplier slots in the sense that they activated by a single coin, however additional coins are able to multiply potential wins in this case – apart from a potential bonus payout and top jackpots which can only be generally made active when placing higher bets. Since this bonus rarely comes into play, most slot experts would still recommend sticking to a single coin bet.
These types of slot machines generally bring about two or more of the slot genres together Which could include a multi-line progressive jackpot, or a multiplier classic slot for instance. Should you be interested in playing these types of slot games, most casino pros would agree that it’s always a good idea to bet high enough to activate all possible bonus options.
Just as the name suggests, Megaspin slots allow players to spin on multiple reel sets at the same time. This is usually part of a special or bonus feature, and whenever triggered can potentially open up additional reels for you to spin on.
WHAT GENRE / SLOT THEMES EXIST?
When it comes to identifying what kind of slot of slot machines are there right now, theme plays a major part, as certain players tend to be drawn to some popular themes that stand out more than others.
One of the most popular slot themes is definitely Ancient Egypt, especially when it comes to book-style slots. We’ve seen several titles follow similar patterns in this regard starting with Novomatic’s Book of Ra which is probably the most iconic slot in this genre, followed by Play’n GO’s Book of Dead, or Book of 99 by Relax Gaming amongst others.
Underwater or ocean themes also reign supreme in the world of slots, with games like 1429 Uncharted Seas by Thunderkick, Atlantis: Wrath of Poseidon by Gaming1 and Atlantis Megaways by ReelPlay amongst others.
Other popular types of slot machine themes include outer space with stand-out titles in this category including Starburst by NetEnt, Energoonz by Play’n GO, and 2050 Escape from Mars by Espresso Games, as well as animal themed games, with several different types of slots in this category including The Dog House by Pragmatic Play, 1Can 2Can by NextGen Gaming, and 12 Animals by Booongo.
DIFFERENT TYPE OF SLOT GAME MECHANICS
Apart from theme and structure, the various types of slot games available are often also categorised by game machines or mechanics, with some of the most loved games owing their popularity to their genius structure. These include but are not limited to:
- Megaways slots
- Cascading reels slots
- Cluster pays slots
Originally created by Big Time Gaming (BTG) and eventually franchised to some of the most important game developers out there, these types of slot machines have the unique ability to change symbol size in between each spin, generally accommodating anywhere between two to seven symbols per reel. The first game to ever make use of this game machine was BTG’s Bonanza slot, which kind of set a precedent for a series of thrilling games to come.
Due to the fact that symbol size changes constantly, the number of paylines follows suit, with up to 117,649 paylines available in the most classic versions. Nevertheless, Megaways has evolved since then and some games offer an even higher number of paylines than that. Notable titles from this category include Piggy Riches Megaways by Red Tiger, Divine Fortune Megaways by NetEnt, Genie Jackpots Megaways by Blueprint Gaming and Hypernova Megaways by Relax Gaming.
Cascading Reels Slots
This type of slot machine is sometimes referred to as a Rolling Reels, Tumble feature or Avalanche slots, and generally refers to the way the reels behave any time you happen to hit a potential win on the grid. In this case, all winning symbols are generally removed from the grid allowing new ones to replace them from above, potentially allowing you to land multiple wins in a single spin.
Massively popular titles in this category include the legendary Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt, Extra Chilli Megaways by Big Time Gaming, Irish Riches Megaways by Blueprint Gaming, and Temple Tumble by Relax Gaming.
Cluster Pays Slots
And finally, we’ve got the Cluster Pays types of slot machines that eliminate the concept of paylines completely and instead allow you to land wins by forming combinations of matching symbols on the grid. Each game is different, but as a general rule you’re always going to need a cluster of five matching symbols or more in order to constitute a win. Whenever in doubt, as always, it’s highly recommended to check out the game paytable to figure out the finer details before committing to play, especially if you’re planning on getting the reels spinning for real money.
Popular slot titles in this category include Reactoonz by Play’n GO, Aloha! Cluster Pays by NetEnt, Stars of Orion by ELK Studios and Chicken Drop by Pragmatic Play.