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Guide to Real Money Slots

Guide to Real Money Slots

Our guide to real money slots online is meant to be the most comprehensive coverage of the subject on the Internet. This page alone is extensive and detailed, but throughout the text you’ll find links to other pages covering subtopics that expand on what we’ve explained here. If you’re an Internet gambling novice, this guide will get you started. If you’ve been gambling online for some time, you’ll still find useful information about real money slot machines here, in the form of recommended casinos and games.

We cover how online casinos work and how their various free money promotions function, too. We provide some observations about the legality of online slot machines in various jurisdictions throughout the world. If we’ve left anything out, be sure to contact us and let us know, and we’ll expand the content on this page accordingly.

Where to Play

Selecting a site to play your favorites slots can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know who you can trust, who has what games, and who offers the best bonuses and promotions you can take advantage of. With literally thousands of options available, it can be a challenge even to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our favorite online slot sites. We’ve done the heavy lifting and fully vetted these sites to find the best there is available. As who “the best” on the web is constantly changes, we are constantly updating this list to keep it current and of the most benefit to you.

RankBetting SiteDeposit BonusSign UpRead Review
#1Betway Casino Logo
Betway Casino
100% Up To €1000Sign Up NowRead Review
#2Magic Red Casino Logo
Magic Red Casino
100% Up To €200Sign Up NowRead Review
#3777 Casino Logo
777 Casino
100% Up To €200Sign Up NowRead Review

Selecting a slot site as your new home to play at comes down to three main criteria – trust and reliability, game selection and quality, and bonuses and promotions.

Trust and Reliability

The merging of the internet and slot games has been one of the greatest and downright coolest things to happen to the gambling industry in a long time. Unfortunately, this has brought a few bad apples to the table trying to make a quick buck. Spotting these scums is our expertise. Whether they are slow to pay, are using pirated games, have predatory terms of service, or are just outright thieves, we do our best to have our investigators find them, identify them, and let you know to avoid them at all costs. The recommended sites above all have stellar industry reputations and can be trusted when looking for somewhere to play.

Game Selection and Quality

Slots are only going to be as fun as the game allows. If you’re anything like us, you have your favorite games or at least your favorite types of games, and that’s what you want to be able to play. Too many online sites have a tendency to have one or two great games and the rest filler garbage that are no fun to play or are riddled with low-quality graphics and poor gameplay quality. We do our best to find the sites that have the best mix of selection and quality so you can find the games you want and enjoy a quality gaming experience.

This section is the single biggest reason for updating the list above. As sites grow and add more quality games to their arsenal, we want to let you know about it. We’ll also remove a site if they get rid of too many of their great games for one reason or another. Nobody wants to be playing a slot game that looks like it was designed and built in someone’s garage. We want to make sure you receive the full gaming experience that you deserve when playing slots online.

Bonuses and Promotions

Everyone likes free stuff, especially free prizes and money for doing the things we were going to do anyways. Why would you play a slot at one site when you could play the same game somewhere else and get free stuff? The answer is you wouldn’t do that unless you weren’t properly informed of the bonus and promotional offers that are out there.

Online casinos love slot players and will aggressively compete for your business. This means tons of free stuff, cashback, prizes, VIP trips…you name it, a casino probably offers it. We do our best to keep you updated on what promotions are currently active and where you can get the best bang for your buck. This section is a close second for reasons we update our favorites list.

The bottom line is we want you to have the best online slots experience, and you can only do that if you’re informed on what the best options are available to you. Trust, quality, selection, and free stuff are all things you deserve, and we aim to deliver to you through our recommendations.

How Online Casinos and Real Money Slot Machines Work

Most people who are looking for the phrase “real money slots” on the Internet are searching for a specific type of game they can play online. Let’s face it, in real world brick and mortar casinos, real money slot machines are the default. The first step in defining “real money slot machines” might well be talking about what they are not.

You can find a bewildering number of sites which offer slot machine games of various stripes. Many of these are websites which just offer free games where you play for points or credits or something like that. These games do appeal to a certain type of player, but we—like you—prefer to play for actual cash. The reality is that when you play free gambling games, you don’t have the opportunity to win any money. But if you play for real money, you have the perk of potential winnings. And with slot machines, the potential winnings are huge.

Sites which offer real money slots are called “online casinos”.

Of course, online casinos don’t limit themselves to slot machine games, but the majority of the action they see happens on their slots games. In this respect, online casinos are just like their land-based cousins. At least 70% of the revenue generated at most casinos comes from their gambling machines.

You can also find real money blackjack, craps, roulette, and video poker games if you get tired of the slots. Each of these games has its own set of pros and cons when compared to slot machines, too. Online blackjack has a lower house edge but requires you to make decisions. Online craps has a lot of good bets, but you have to know the good from the bad in order to get the house edge low enough to make craps worth playing. Online roulette has a charm and simplicity of a more elegant age. And online video poker features some of them best odds in any online casino.

The big perk that online slot machines has over any of these other games is the potentially large jackpot. On most gambling games, your payouts are limited. In blackjack, most of the time, you’ll only win even money. Sometimes you might get 3 to 2, and some casinos offer progressive versions of blackjack, but don’t even get us started on the odds of that side bet.

In fact, video poker comes closer to allowing players a chance at a jackpot that compares to slot machines. But even in that game, your best jackpot is paying off at 800 to 1. That’s a lot better than the 35 to 1 you might be able to play with roulette, which offers some of the higher payouts among the table games.

The Internet casino industry is still young, though. Many companies, especially those catering to real money players from the United States, are unprofessional and unethical. You can avoid those types of casinos by sticking with solid recommendations from a trustworthy information portal like this one.

What kinds of things do you need to worry about when dealing with an online casino?

One thing you probably don’t have to worry about is whether or not the games are rigged. Most people who worry about whether or not casino games online are rigged don’t seem to understand that mathematically speaking, ALL casino games are rigged. They all offer the casino a mathematical edge against the player. If you play long enough, it’s impossible to walk away a winner.

But what most people worry about are casinos which have designed and programmed their games to make it impossible to walk away a winner in the short term. We’re confident that this isn’t really much of a problem. Most people won’t spend a lot of time playing a casino game or a slot machine where you never get paid off at all.

Also, if a player did find an Internet casino with a slots game that never paid out any winnings, they’d waste no time telling everyone on the Internet about it. That casino’s pool of new players would dry up fast.

What’s more common are online casinos which delay or refuse cashouts from their players. In order to gamble online, you have to first buy chips—which means putting money into your casino account. Some notorious rogue-like casinos make it hard for players to get their money—especially if those players have had some good luck and want to walk away as winners.

These kinds of casinos are less common now than they were in the past, but if you’re a player in the United States, most of the properties offering action to your market are less well-regulated than some of the casinos which exclusively cater to markets where casino games for real money have been legalized and regulated.

We recommend a handful of solid properties here for real money slots games. You can click on the appropriate links below to be taken to our review of each property or directly to the casino site itself. These properties include:

Are Real Money Slot Machines Legal in Your Jurisdiction?

Much of our site’s traffic is from the United States. The legal situation regarding online casinos there is tricky. Strictly speaking, there are no federal laws which specifically forbid playing an online slot machine game for money. But it’s pretty clear that the USA government does not recognize the licensing of foreign casinos or their rights to accept real money wagers from the United States.

What this means, in short, is that it’s probably okay to play slots for real money from the United States, depending on which state you live in. Some states have specific laws related to Internet gambling. In those states, you need to be extra careful. At one time, Washington state had laws on the books which made playing poker online for money a felony.

In some states, too, online casinos have finally been legalized and regulated. In those states, you’re just fine playing at one of the licensed and regulated casinos within the state. But you need to be leery of participating with foreign casinos offshore.

In other countries, the laws vary. Australia is a popular country for online slot machines, but they call them pokies. But play real money pokies the Australians do, and how. It’s one of the biggest revenue streams in the country. But the law there seems to make it illegal to offer such games to the country’s citizens. Again, enforcement activity is almost always centered on the company offering the games rather than the player playing them.

Some countries, like the United Kingdom and most other European nations, have licensed, legalized, and regulated online casinos from which to pick and choose. They seem to have a more enlightened attitude about sin in general than citizens of the United States. We agree with that attitude. People should be able to make their own decisions about their money, even if that means playing slots for real money with it. We also think it’s hypocritical of the government to ban online casinos when they encourage citizens to play the lottery.

How Do Casino Bonuses Work for Slots Players?

One of the best advantages to being an online real money slots player is the plethora of casino bonuses available. It doesn’t matter what stakes you play for, either—you can get free money just for signing up and making your first deposit. At some casinos, you don’t even have to make a deposit to get some free money to play with—check out the no deposit bonus offers at Café Casino as an example.

Here’s how a casino signup bonus works:

You register an account with the casino. You deposit your money. The casino is usually advertising a bonus promotion on their home page, and it almost always consists of a matching amount related to your deposit bonus. For example, they might be offering a 300% bonus on your first deposit of $100. That means you’ll deposit $100 and get a $300 bonus.

So you’ll have $400 to play with.

But there are a couple of catches.

The first is that you have to wager the bonus amount plus the deposit a minimum number of times before cashing out. This is called a “playthrough requirement”, a “rollover requirement”, or a “wagering requirement”. It’s based on turnover rather than actual wins or losses.

A typical bonus offer might require you to wager 15X your deposit plus bonus before you’re allowed to cash out. In the example we gave above, where you deposited $100 and got $300 for free, you’d have to place $6000 in wagers before being allowed to cash out.

At some casinos, the house edge on slot machines might be as much as 10%, which means their payback percentage is 90%. Let’s assume that this is the case with the example casino here.

How much do you stand to lose by making $6000 in wagers?

Keep in mind that you’re going to lose on some spins and win on some others.

With a 10% house edge, you’re looking at losing $600, which is more than your bankroll. So if your action holds true to what the odds suggest are going to happen, then you’ll be left with nothing but memories of a good time playing at the casino.

But those are long term expectations. The casino can count on those numbers to help their business stay afloat and succeed because they field an enormous number of wagers every day. If 100 new depositors sign up at a casino, and 80% of them use up their entire bankroll trying to beat the odds, that’s good news for the casino. The losses on that 80% help cover for what it costs to take care of the 20% who might walk away a winner.

Another perk to online slot machines is that they’re usually the only game where you’re wagering is accepted and accepted at 100% of its full value. Games like blackjack, where the house edge is only 1% or less, are usually not counted toward fulfilling your wagering requirements. The casino doesn’t want to create a situation where a clever advantage gambler can use their bonus system to guarantee themselves a profit.

Real Money Slot Machine Software Providers

You’ll find a large number of software providers on the Internet powering the various casino games available. Some people are surprised when they learn that most online casinos don’t have their own proprietary games (although some casinos do). But most of the sites offering real money slot machines are leasing their games from one of the software providers below.

What does that mean to the average slots player?

It means that if you like the games at one RTG casino, you’ll probably like the games at any other. That’s because they’re the same games. The main difference between a lot of online casinos these days is the mix of games. At one time, most online casinos were powered by a single software, but it’s becoming more common for casinos to use a variety of software packages to provide their games.
Bovada, one of our favorite casinos, is a good example of a site that uses multiple software programs to power its games. You’ll find proprietary games there, but also slot machine games from Betsoft, Realtime Gaming, and Rival Gaming.

Here’s a list of the major slot machine companies providing software to the online casinos. Each name of each company links to a page with full details about that software company:

Amaya Gaming

Amaya GamingThey’re best known for owning PokerStars, making them the largest gaming company on the planet. Some of the well-known games from Amaya Gaming include Casinomeister, Treasure Island, and Vampire vs. Werewolf, all of which can be played for real money or for free.

Aristocrat

AristocratThey’re best known as providing pokies to Australian players—that’s what they call slots in that country, and they’re hugely popular there. A lot of the innovations and changes we’ve seen in the design of these games has happened inside this company. Some of their best known games include Queen of the Nile, Lucky 88, and Red Baron. They work primarily in designing and manufacturing games for traditional land-based casinos in Australia, but they have a partnership where their games are also offered online.

Betsoft

BetsoftThis is one of the companies which still offers its products to casinos which accept United States players. In fact, Bovada, which is probably our #1 pick for most players, uses their software as part of its mix of games. They’re best known for their games’ stunning 3D graphics. Some of the games they’re responsible for include Once Upon a Time, Safari Sam, and Under the Bed.

Cryptologic

CryptologicThey’re one of the oldest online slots providers on this list, but their hey-day has long since passed. They do offer some unique and unusual games, but a lot of their products seem dated. They also don’t offer anything to United States players or to land-based casinos. Some examples of their games include

Microgaming

MicrogamingThey’re responsible for the first real money online casino. They no longer accept players from the United States, and they’re best known for their wide variety of progressive jackpot games. Some of their more interesting titles include Cash Splash, Major Millions, and Game of Thrones.

NetEnt

NetEntThis is another of the newer names on this list. It’s a Swedish company, and their games are noted for their innovative themes and gameplay features. Some of the titles they’re responsible for include Aliens, Dracula, and Guns N Roses.

Playtech

Playtech Microgaming and Playtech were, at one time, the 2 800 pound gorillas in the online casino industry. They’re still forces to be reckoned with, although we’ve played the games from both sites. We prefer Microgaming. That being said, if you like Marvel Comics, you can find games based on characters like Ghost Rider, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man at Playtech casinos.

Realtime Gaming

Realtime GamingThese are the minds behind most of the online casinos who still accept real money players from the United States. You’ll often see the name of the company abbreviated as RTG. Some of their games seem a little bit dated, and you won’t find any licensed slots to speak of here. But you might enjoy some of their more unusual games like Shopping Spree, Mid Life Crisis, and It’s Good to Be Bad.

Rival Gaming

Rival GamingAt one time, it seemed like Rival Gaming was going to be the next RTG. As it turns out, they’ve become an even more interesting provider. Their games are more modern and exciting. We know players who stick exclusively to slot machines from Rival Gaming. We especially like their games with plotlines, which add a certain something to the experience. Some of their more interesting titles include 5 Reel Circus, As the Reels Turn, and Major Moolah.

Wagerworks

WagerworksThis is the online company that handles translating IGT games into Internet versions of the land-based casino games. If you’re a fan of games like Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania, The $100,000 Pyramid, and Wheel of Fortune, then these are the casinos which carry those games. Unfortunately, they don’t accept real money players from the United States.

Conclusion

Playing real money slots online is easier now than ever before, but it does depend on what jurisdiction you live in. Players in countries like the United States, with stricter online gaming laws, have fewer choices when deciding where to play. Playing for real money also means you can take advantage of the many bonus offers available, and if you’re a slots player, then you’re exactly the kind of player the casinos are hoping to attract.

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