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Slot Machine Basics

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Everything you ever wanted to know
about slots and slot machines.

Online Slot Machines

Playing online Slot Machines is a great way of relaxing at home. With the advent of the internet, the virtual world and increasingly sophisticated computer technology it became possible for online casinos to open over the world wide web.  These excellent online casinos operate on the same principals as their land based counterparts. 

Security Matters

It is technically possible for anyone to open an online casino which means that players may have questions about the reliability of online casinos.  However, reputable casinos purchase software from established companies who have a good reputation such as Real Time Gaming, Rival, MicroGaming, Cryptologic, Vegas Technology, Wagerworks and Playtech.  All these companies use random number generators for their slot machines and if a player sticks with reputable casinos using reputable software their money should be safe.

Reputable online casinos pride themselves in a high degree of security, many use similar technology to banks to ensure that all transactions are 100% safe and they use Secure Socket Layer encryption or SSL for all payments.  They will also have 24/7 customer support, they will be legally licensed in a lawful country. They will also submit themselves to regular independent audits by regulatory bodies.


Online casinos are often programs that you need to download and install on your PC, however they may also be entirely online and these casinos use Flash software.  It is also common for many online casinos to have a selection of downloadable and online Flash games, in this instance there will usually be a limited number of games available in the Flash version.  There are even slots that you can play on a WAP enabled mobile phone which are available from a few online casinos.

There is a very wide variety of slot machine types available online, you will find classic slots, bonus slots, video slots, 7, 9 and 12 reel slots and some very original games.  There are also a good selection of online slots that look very realistic and they look just like old fashioned classic slot machines with animated levers that you have to pull to spin the reels.

As you can see, online slots can be very different to land based slot machines as they are virtual slots that are completely computer generated, there are no moving parts and you can play them at home.  This is why online slots are extremely popular; you can sit and play slot machines on your laptop in your favourite chair.  If you want to play online slots you need to play at an online casino and create an account.

You create an account by filling in a web form, again, all your personal details will be 100% safe and secure at a reputable online casino. There are even options to play for free which is sometimes known as practise mode.  This is known as signing up, and there are usually incentives for signing up for a real money account rather than a free play account.

Games Offered at Online Casinos

Some online casinos cater more specifically for slot players; however, it is common to find a wide range of games at virtual casinos. The sort of casino games you can expect to find are various kinds of baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, bingo, online poker as well as all the online slot machines.

Because all the games are computer generated it is possible to have a wide range of innovative and exciting slots such as fantastic video slot machines, 7 reel slots, slots with amazing bonus games such as the Rival iSlots and there are also plenty of great themed slots available in online casinos such as the Cryptologic Marvel themed slot machines that feature everyone’s favourite Marvel hero’s.

Sign up Bonuses

The competition for players between online casinos is fierce. If you are considering signing up, or opening an account at a casino and playing with real money it is wise to shop around for the best sign up bonus.

Usually a player receives their sign up bonus when they make their first deposit at the virtual cashier.  The bonuses usually require a minimum wager. Let’s see a  fictional example of the sort of sign up bonus that a player can expect:

Sign up bonus to new players offering deposit matching bonus of 100% on their first deposit up to $100.

This means that if the minimum wager needed to be eligible for this bonus was $25 and the player deposited $25 on their first deposit; the player would receive a 100% bonus of $25 matching their deposit and they would then have a total of $50 to play with.

If a player deposited $100 on their first deposit then they would receive a $100 bonus matching their deposit of $100 meaning that they would have a total of $200 to play with.

This is a good example of what sort of casino sign up bonus you can expect to see if you want to play online slots.  There are larger bonuses available in some online casinos and bonuses that are spread over your first few deposits. 

Wagering Requirements

To prevent players simply signing up, getting free money and withdrawing it the casinos usually place a wagering requirement on the sign up bonus. For example, if you had deposited your $100 and received your $100 sign up bonus, you will have to wager a certain amount before you can withdraw that $100 worth of bonus money.  The casino will have a pre-set wagering requirement; let’s say for example $2000, which could end up being spread out over many bets. In that example that may also be portrayed as a 20x wager requirement as $2000 is 20 times the $100 bonus.

Some players will sign up for multiple accounts using various identities and this is called gnoming and it is a form of fraud which is frowned upon.  Any player caught practising such dishonest activities will soon find their accounts frozen!

Legal Matters

Many Online Casinos are licensed in Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. However even though online casinos operate over the world wide web, online gambling is not legal in all countries.  US players are currently restricted in their choice of online casinos and can no longer play at casinos using software provided by the companies Microgaming, Cryptologic and Playtech.  However, American players can still choose to sign up for online casinos that use software that is provided by Rival, Real Time Gaming and Vegas Technology.

In fact the legislation passed in the US restricting the activities of online casinos has led to the government of Antigua and Barbuda making formal complaints to the World Trade Organisation about the US governments restrictions on online gambling.  This is definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.