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Guide to Online Slot Machines

Guide to Online Slot Machines

One of the advantages of online slot machines is that gamblers can play literally from anywhere. That’s a little bit of an exaggeration, though, as there are some areas of the world where you can’t get to the Internet. In fact, there are still rural areas of the United States where you can’t even get high speed Internet.

But for the most part, it’s true. You can play online slots for free or for real money as long as you have a connection to the Internet. And these games are available at any time of the day or night. It doesn’t even matter what platform you’re using.

Sure, in years past, Mac users had trouble finding casinos which could accommodate them. But the cat got out of the bag really fast that there was a huge market for Mac users, and most Internet casinos make their games available to players using a wide variety of devices with a wide variety of operating systems.

This page will cover most of the major categories of online slot machines and include links to more detailed coverage of each subject. For example, we have sections on this page explaining what people are looking for when they search for “best online slots” or “new Internet slot machines”. But we go into even more detail on each of those subtopics on pages dedicated to those specific subjects.

Free Slot Machines Online versus Real Money Slot Machines

Let’s start by looking at 2 broad categories that encompass all online slot machines:

  • Free games
  • Real money games

Free slots are plentiful enough, but you generally can’t win money at these games. Companies have various motives for creating these games. Some just want to get your eyeballs on their pages so they can serve you advertising. Others are hoping you’ll get excited about their games and opt in to play their real money versions. Some of these sites even offer small prizes in a tournament format—these are the best sites at which to play the free games.

One of the best uses for a free slot machine game on the Internet is to familiarize yourself with the software interface and how it works. When you’re playing for real money and accidentally bet more money on more paylines than you meant to, you might wish you had practiced a bit just so you could avoid such a mistake.

On the other hand, real money slot machine games give you the opportunity to actually risk some funds in the hopes of winning a big jackpot. Of course, you could also win several small jackpots, but our point is that it’s usually impossible to win any money without risking some money in exchange for the privilege.

Best Online Slot Machines

When players search for “best online slot machines”, they’re usually looking for 2 things:

  • The loosest games
  • The games that are the most fun

Not surprisingly, both of these factors are intertwined. It’s obviously more fun to play a slot machine game where you’re more likely to win.

But how do you know which games are the loosest? (Loose just means that the game is likely to pay out and pay out large amounts of money.)
One of the best ways we know of is to read some of the detailed reviews of specific games on our site. We have lists of games organized into all kinds of categories, including which games are created by specific providers.

You might also try looking at some of the discussions you’ll find in various player forums on the Internet. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes shills for casinos turn up in these forums sharing bogus experiences in the hopes that you’ll get excited and sign up to play at their casino.

Use some common sense and take everything with a grain of salt.

You can read more of our insights into which online slot machines are the best in the business on our page devoted specifically to that subject.

New Online Slot Machines

We have an entire page devoted exclusively to new online slot machines, and it’s constantly being updated. The reason for that is simple enough to understand, too—online casinos are constantly adding new games to their lineups. As they do so, we update the page.

What are the advantages to playing new online slot machines?

They’re actually many. For one thing, the newer games usually feature gameplay options that are innovative and more exciting than what you might find on some of the tired old games you might be used to playing already.

For another thing, casinos which are promoting new slot machines might set their payback percentages higher in order to get people excited about and playing the new games. They’re more interested in increasing the average time a player spends on a machine than anything else. That’s because the research in the industry has indicated that the best predictor of a game’s popularity is the average time spent on the machine.

Online Casino Software Companies

We have an entire page devoted to slot machine providers in general, but it might also be useful to provide a list of companies which primarily provide games to online casinos. You should be able to click on the names of any of the software providers below to find a list of online slot machine games that they provide. You’ll also find detailed overviews for each company:

Amaya Gaming

Amaya GamingThis is not the first name you might think of when discussing online slots, because they’re so well-known for their poker products. When they acquired PokerStars, they became the largest gaming company in the world. But they do have a slot machine product, which is available to their customers worldwide. No real money players from the United States are accepted though.

Aristocrat

AristocratThis Australian company is responsible for many of the innovations in the land-based slot machine market over the last couple of decades. They also make their games available to a number of online casinos, none of whom accept players from the United States.

Betsoft

BetsoftThese games are the most innovative in the industry. In fact, we think once you’ve tried their 3D slot machine games, you’ll be reluctant to go back to some of the more old-fashioned games. They’re that good. The only drawback to Betsoft is their relative lack of licensed games.

Cryptologic

CryptologicThis company was, at one time, one of the leaders in the online casino software space, but the number of casinos using their software continues to dwindle. That’s unfortunate, because we enjoy many of their unique games. They do not serve customers in the United States.

Microgaming

MicrogamingThis is the first and still one of the largest and most popular online casino software companies in the business. Their most important product is their line of slot machine games. They’re especially well-known for their large selection of progressive jackpot games. These games offer the largest jackpots online—we’re especially fond of Major Millions.

IGT

IGTThe largest slot machine manufacturer in the world didn’t offer games online until recently, but now you can play casino classics like Wheel of Fortune online—but only if you live in the United Kingdom or some other country where online casino gambling has been legalized and regulated. The online versions of their games are available via their subsidiary company WagerWorks.

NetEnt

NetEntThis Swedish company works exclusively in the online sector of the market. They provide no download slot machine games to over 300 different casino properties. They are a public company, traded on the Stockholm stock market.

Playtech

PlaytechBesides Microgaming, Playtech is probably the oldest and largest online slot machine software maker. Like Microgaming, they offer a wide variety of progressive jackpot games. Also like Microgaming, they do not serve the United States market. Their games have a distinctly different flavor from the games you’ll find by Microgaming.

Rival Gaming

Rival GamingAlong with RTG, Rival Gaming provide many of the casinos which cater to United States players their slot machine games. Also like RTG, they don’t offer many licensed games at all. The games they do offer are uniquely designed for their platform, though. We offer reviews of most of their games that are accessible via their main page.

Realtime Gaming

Realtime GamingIf you live in the United States, this is the company providing the bulk of the real money games available in your area. Some of the other online slots software companies backed out of the real money United States market years ago, but RTG has stuck around. They don’t offer a lot of licensed games, but we consider that a feature rather than a drawback. We like unique games.

Flash Slot Machines

Flash slot machines require no download because they’re powered by a program called Flash, which is an animation protocol that’s been used on the Internet for a long time. It’s falling out of favor, though, so if you prefer to play Flash slot machines, you should get to it. Our prediction is that Flash slot machines will be a thing of the past all too soon. They’ll be replaced by games using HTML 5.0, which will almost definitely be better in the long run. But you can expect some hiccups in gameplay when companies first start making the switch to the new platform.

Mac Slot Machines

One of the perks of using a PC over a Mac is that you have a wider variety of online slot machines to choose from. Even though Macs are extremely popular, PCs are still overwhelmingly more common. If you’re the type of player who prefers to download a software client for their online casino experience, you should make sure that the casino offers Mac compatibility before depositing any money.

Many Mac users just stick with casinos which require no download at all. You can read more about Mac slot machines on this page, or you can start reading about casinos which don’t require a download in the next section.

No Download Slot Machines

No download slot machines are simply online slots that you can play without downloading the casino’s software client. At one time, these kinds of games were unusual. They’ve become more common in recent years—in fact, some (if not many) online casinos now operate in an entirely no download environment.

Most of the time these games are played from your Web browser. They normally require some kind of software to run, though—usually this is Java or Flash, but in coming months, it’s going to be more common to find these games running on HTML 5.0.

The only drawback to playing the no download slot machines is that sometimes the graphics and sound effects aren’t as impressive as they would be if you were playing the game in its software client. But like we mentioned, a lot of casinos now don’t even offer a software client to download.

You can read more about no download slot machines and what to look for when considering them on our page which covers the subject in depth.

Mobile Slot Machines

Mobile slot machines are those games which are played on a mobile device of some kind. This used to have a simple, straightforward meaning—a mobile device is a cell phone, right?
The answer to that question used to be a firm yes, but now, in the age of tablet computers, a mobile device might be a cell phone, or it might be an iPad, a Kindle, or even some other kind of tablet computer entirely.

Until a few years ago, being able to play slot machines or other casino devices on a mobile device just wasn’t something people worried about. Now it’s common. Games like Pokemon Go might have captured a lot of people’s imaginations lately, but there will always be plenty of people who will come back to casino gambling as their first love. And many of them—probably even close to 50%–are now going to be interested in playing mobile casino games.

We have entire section devoted to mobile slot machines where we cover the topic in detail.

We encourage you to read that page through if you have questions or are interested in more than the brief overview we just offered.

Windows Slot Machines

Windows is the most popular operating system for people accessing the Internet through their laptops or desktop computers. But the number of people using those technologies is starting to decrease. A large percentage of people are now accessing the Internet—including online casinos—via their mobile devices.

But for the most part, almost every casino on the Internet is compatible with a machine running on Windows. But if you are interested in learning more about Windows slot machines.

go to our page devoted to that topic for exhaustive coverage of the subject.

Android Slot Machines

What Windows is to PCs and laptops, Android is to mobile devices. This is Google’s operating system which powers most of the cell phones and a lot of the tablets that are being used to access the Internet these days. Android slot machines are becoming more common almost daily.

There’s a large gap between the number of people using a Mac and a Windows computer. That gap isn’t as large when you’re comparing Android mobile devices with Mac mobile devices.

You can read more about Android slot machines on the page we have devoted to that subject.

The next section on this page provides more details about Mac and their mobile devices.

iPhone Slot Machines

If you want to play iPhone slot machines, you’ll have fewer options to choose from. But it’s been our experience that the graphics and sound effects on an iPhone are second to none. You can have a lot of fun playing iPhone slots—you just have to find them, first.

When you’re first considering signing up at an online casino, look for the page on its website which describes the devices and versions that are compatible with their games. Mac ought to be listed there, and it’s even better if they specifically mention iPhones.

You can read more about iPhone slot machines on our page providing comprehensive coverage of the topic.

Kindle Fire Slot Machines

We’re dating ourselves by using the expression “Kindle Fire slot machines”, because Amazon has changed the branding for these tables to just “Fire”. At any rate, most online casinos are not compatible with Fire devices, but if they have games you can play from your browser window, you can probably play them on your Fire.

One of the nice things about playing online slots on a Fire is the resolution and sound effects. We’ve experimented with a number of tablet computers, including the iPad, and we were more impressed with the graphics on the Fire than on any of the others.

We also have a page providing in-depth coverage of Kindle Fire slot machines here.

Conclusion

One of the ways to examine the phenomena of online slot machines is to look at it through the lense of what kind of device you’re using to access the games. This section of our site takes that approach—most of the subsections linked to from this page provide enormous amounts of details about playing slots on various software.
We do also have information about free slots versus real money slots. And you can find lots of details about where to find the best new online slot machines by visiting the appropriate pages here, too. Our goal is to provide comprehensive coverage of every aspect of online slot machines, so if we’ve left out a sub-topic that you think we should have covered, please contact us and let us know.

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