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Slots is quite possibly the most popular online casino game of all time! Here is our exclusive list of the online casinos that offer the best versions, including progressive slots, video slots and film-branded slots.
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Very few casino games have achieved the popularity of slots. Since they were first introduced, real money slots kept coming up in the world of gambling, with more and more players taking them up as their game of choice. It might be fair to say that slots are the single greatest invention that the gambling world has ever seen.
Merging simplicity of play, entertaining graphics, big winning possibilities, and the ability to play them for penny stakes and huge amounts alike, real money slots offer everything a player could wish for. Whether you're a high roller or someone just depositing an occasional $20, these games can be equally exciting. It is no wonder, thus, that there is no Canadian online casino without a fairly large library of slots.
The Appeal of Real Money Slots
It wasn't by chance or accident that real money slots have achieved such success with players and continue to thrive in this day and age. Unlike other casino games, where you at least need to know the rules to play, slots are available to everyone and there is basically nothing a player needs to know to get started.
The moment you put in the money and press the spin button, you have the same chance of winning as someone who has been playing real money slots for decades. There is no strategy involved whatsoever (in most cases, at least) and whether you'll win or lose is purely down to luck.
Apart from this simplicity, real money slots are quite entertaining to play as well, especially modern-day games that often incorporate stunning graphics and visual effects as well as some highly entertaining and engaging features. Modern real money slots are more like proper video games, which makes them appealing to a wide array of players.
The last but not the least is the fact slots are probably the only type of casino game where players can put only a small amount of money on the line and hope to win big. It isn't all that unusual for players to start with $10 or $20 and run it up to nice three or even four-figure sums. This is something that you'll hardly ever do playing blackjack or roulette, for example, primarily because betting limits are usually higher and your maximum wins are limited. With real money slots, you can win hundreds or even thousands of times your stake on a single lucky spin.
Behind the Scenes: How Do Real Money Slots Work?
What a player sees when they sit down to play slots is plenty of colors and animations. All of this is often referred to as „eye candy,“ because it only exists to make the games more entertaining to play. Everything important for your winnings happens behind the scenes, deep inside the machine chip or algorithm.
Real money slots found at Canadian online casinos are governed by an RNG (Random Number Generator). This is a piece of code that runs in the background and determines the outcome of each and every spin. The moment you press or click the spin button, the RNG will come up with the result from the huge table of possible results. Everything that happens afterwards is there for our pleasure but symbols appearing on the screen are just the representation of the particular spin selected by the Random Number Generator.
This is also why there is no skill involved in playing slots. Whether you try and stop the reels yourself or let the spin finish on its own will never change the outcome of that particular spin. The return is generated at the start of the spin and it can’t be changed later, so trying to “catch” that third scatter may be fun (and satisfying, when you do “catch it”), but players can’t really influence the game.
Fairness, RTP, and Volatility
Since slots are governed by RNGs, it isn’t all that strange for players to wonder if games are truly fair and random. What is there to stop casinos from creating games where players are guaranteed to lose and where the software keeps track of your spins and makes sure you don’t win too much?
If we’re talking about reputable game providers and online casinos available to Canadian players, something like this can never happen because there are measures in place intended to prevent such manipulations. Licensing bodies, such as Malta Gambling Authority, make sure games offered by casinos licensed by them are fair and in line with what’s being advertised. Furthermore, many casinos will employ third-party auditors such as eCOGRA to regularly check their games for fairness and randomness.
The term RTP stands for Return to Player and it is closely connected to real money slots. The term serves to explain the percentage of money any particular game pays back. Like with all casino games, slots have a house advantage of few percentage points while the rest goes to RTP. For example, a slot with 96% RTP will pay back $96 for every $100 that players put in. Of course, this is a long-term figure calculated over millions of spins and it doesn’t mean that someone playing with $100 will always get back $96 back, as we all know too well.
Not all real money slots realize their RTP in the same fashion. Some will pay frequently and throw out small wins often; others can take hundreds of spins with almost no wins only to pay huge on a single spin – and anything in between. The way in which a slot realizes its RTP is termed volatility. The higher the volatility, the higher the bankroll that one needs to play; at the same time, high volatility slots are great if you’re chasing a big win. Lower volatility slots are a good choice if you want to play longer sessions on a smaller bankroll, but they are less likely to throw a really big win.
Types of Real Money Slots: Paylines, Ways to Win, and Megaways
Real money slots started off in a very simple fashion. Initially, there was just a single payline across the middle, which wasn’t all that exciting. Players still loved slots but it was hard to get excited about the games as there wasn’t much going on.
Over time, slot developers started to introduce more paylines to their games. Moving from one to three and five, and, eventually, nine and ten paylines helped make game much more exciting as players were offered more ways to win on any particular spin.
With the development of technology and introduction of video slots based on virtual reels instead of mechanical ones, game designers were finally given the freedom they needed to go crazy with paylines. That’s why these days we have many real money slots with 20, 25, 40, 50, and even 100 paylines.
Revolutionizing Slots With Win Ways and Megaways
On a standard 3x5 real money slot, there are only so many paylines one can come up with. Players, on the other hand always want more excitement and entertainment. This led to slot developers coming with somewhat revolutionary idea of “ways to win.” Instead of having traditional paylines, these game pay as long as symbols forming a winning combination are located on adjacent reels from left to right (and right to left, in some cases), regardless of their positions on respective reels.
On a standard 3x5 grid, the maximum number of win ways is 243 (3x3x3x3x3) and there are hundreds of 243-ways real money slots available to Canadian players. These were quite revolutionary when they had first appeared as they introduced a completely new gameplay and gave players something to be really excited about.
However, the gambling industry constantly changes and so do the players’ expectations. With time, slots with 243 and 1,024 ways to win became standard and it was time to take things to the next level. Some game developers came up with the idea of “megaways,” introducing games where the number of ways to win goes well beyond these numbers and into the six and even seven-figure territory. These days, you’ll find real money slots with potential millions of win ways, which can translate to some truly head-spinning wins.
Real Money Slots and Bonus Features
Apart from paylines and ways to win, real money slots are particularly exciting because of their various bonus features players can look forward to. Although most slots can also pay during the base game, it is during bonus features that the biggest wins are realized and slots just wouldn’t be nearly as thrilling if it weren’t for bonus rounds.
Generally speaking, there are several types of bonus features available on real money slots:
- Free spins
- Pick & click bonuses
- Expanding and / or sticky wilds
Of course, there are other types of bonus rounds as well and, more often than not, various features are combined to create a more exciting gameplay. Free spins are one of the oldest and most popular bonus features there are and will often come with things like:
- Win multipliers (fixed or increasing)
- Additional expanding symbols
- Extra wilds
- Mystery symbols
Usually, to trigger a free spins mode, players need to land two or more “scatters,” i.e. symbols that pay when they land in any position on the reels (regardless of paylines) and are usually designed in such a way as to stand out from other symbols and are easy to recognize.
Pick and click bonuses are exactly what they sound like. Players are presented with different choices and they need to click on one or several of them to reveal their prizes. These prizes can, once again, be credits (cash), free spins, win multipliers, etc.
Expanding and sticky wilds are another type of special feature that can be contained in a bonus round but sometimes is also available in the base game. Wild symbols are there to substitute for all other symbols when forming winning combos (except for scatters, usually) and having them expand to cover additional positions or remaining sticky (held on the reels) for future spins significantly improves winning chances.
The Colorful World of Slot Themes
Real money slots may have started their existence in a modest fashion but things have changed quite radically over the past few decades. These days, Canadian players will find real money slots covering themes from all different walks of life, from classic fairy tales, books, and movies, to pop culture references and much more.
Game developers understand that it isn’t just the gameplay that makes a slot entertaining. Many players are equally interested in the background story or the theme of the game. That’s why there are so many slots based on hit movies such as Terminator, Robocop, and Highlander or beloved fairy tales like The Wizard of Oz, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, etc.
Modern technologies have also enabled designers to really add that special touch to their games with fitting animations and original soundtracks, giving players a chance to really enjoy the slots and become fully immersed in the story. This is why modern real money slots represent much more than something you’d play just for a chance to win a quick buck and many people even enjoy playing them for free.
Are real money slots better to play than other casino games?
While it is hard to say if slots are a better choice than roulette or blackjack, for example, they are definitely more entertaining for most players and also much more accessible in terms of money needed to have some fun playing.
How much can I win playing real money slots?
The amount a player can win playing slots depends on how big they bet but, in general, many slots offer the possibility of winning 100s or even 1000s times of your stake.
What does RTP stand for?
RTP stands for Return to Player and it describes the percentage of money a slot will return to players over the long run. A slot with 97% RTP will pay back $97 for every $100 it takes in over a long haul.
What are the best real money slots to play?
With thousands of titles to choose from, it is impossible to answer this question. The best real money slots are the ones you enjoy playing the most as you should always think about slots as a form of entertainment.