But, sometimes, there are too many options available. The thousands of games to choose from can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you are a beginner.
Slots games, in particular, have thousands of versions available, so it can be challenging to know which game to start with or which game will give you the best odds of winning.
When I first started gambling, I tried several different slot games, and I learned the advantages of different kinds reasonably quickly.
So, I want to help guide you through the questions that you should ask yourself before you decide which slots game to play.
Here are five factors you should consider to find your favorite online slot machine.
Do I Care About Licensed Slot Games?
The first thing that you need to figure out to narrow down your options of slot games is whether or not you prefer licensed games.
For those who are not familiar with the term, licensed games, in this context, are slots that are associated with copyrighted material like movies, books, actors, and characters.
Software developers have to get a license to use any references to copyrighted material. They often get around this by creating games with the same concepts, but they make minor changes to avoid violations of the copyright laws.
The legality of online gambling, or more specifically, of operating an online casino, make it complicated for developers to get these copyright licenses. There are only a couple of software developers who use licensed material, and very few casinos have access to those developers.
As a result of the limited access to licensed games, the answer to this question could significantly narrow your options, but it very much depends on your answer.
Those of you who do care about having access to licensed games will have a minimal selection to choose from, and you need to select your online casino carefully.
If you don’t care about licensed games, then you will need to move on to the next question before you narrow down your search.
What Slot Machine Features Do I Want to Play?
Gambling is first, and foremost, a form of entertainment, so it should be fun.
Slot games can be highly repetitive, which can cause you to get bored with them quickly.
Some people love the rush that comes with each individual bet and the chance to win, so they do not care about the content of the games. But for the rest of us, slots developers have created bonus features.
If you happen to get bored with the repetitive wagers, you will want to choose a game that has some type of extra features, such as a mini-game, bonus round, or chances to win free spins.
Those features give you something else to focus on, in addition to your initial wager.
Those bonus features also make me feel better about any money that I might lose during the game. Even if I do not win, I have a chance to work toward collecting gems or unlocking other bonus features.
They are like consolation prizes that make me feel better about my overall losses. It might not matter to you, but casinos make their profits off of emotional gamblers, so diverting your emotions allows you to stay in control.
Another way to stay excited about your wager is to play a progressive jackpot game.
Slots with progressive jackpots take a percentage from each bet to add to the potential prizes. You have to play the maximum bet to qualify for the grand prize, but if the symbols align, you could be eligible for a serious payout.
Watching the potential prize amount raise with each wager can keep you entertained spin after spin.
You can navigate through the slots games to find one that includes these features by using the filters on the casino site.
The specific filter categories will vary depending on your particular online casino. But you should be able to search for progressive slots.
If you are more interested in the bonus features, you can search for specific brands or categories of slots that include mini-games or other bells and whistles.
How Long Do I Want to Play Slots?
The next thing that you will want to consider when choosing your favorite slot games is how long you want to play.
Some games will operate faster than others. Generally speaking, the faster that you play, the sooner you run out of money to keep playing.
Almost all slots have the same spin time, so no matter which game you play, each reel spin will take approximately three seconds.
You probably think that I just contradicted myself here because I just said that they all operate at different speeds, and then said that the spin time is the same for all of them.
But the reason that they work at different speeds is because of things other than the spin-time of the reels.
Allow me to explain.
Despite the fact that each spin takes approximately three seconds, some games have features or graphics displays in between each spin that make the amount of time you can play last longer. For example, I know of one game that activates a mini-game opportunity each time you win.
You can choose to double your winnings by playing the mini-game, or you can opt-out and accept your winnings as they are.
If you decide to play the mini-game, it could take anywhere from ten seconds to an additional minute, depending on how well you play.
When you use the auto-spin feature, it will automatically add five seconds in between each winning spin to allow you to choose the mini-game before it continues with the rest of your spins.
So, you see how those extra features add to the length of time that you can play without requiring additional bets.
Other games have additional symbols that reveal hidden bonuses or free-spin options. Any game that includes free spins or additional mini-games is going to allow you to play for a longer time than simple games that lack those options.
If you want to play more, choose a game with those bonus features.
As I mentioned before, it should be easy to use your casino’s search features to find games that incorporate bonus features without having to search through every description.
How Important Is Winning at Slot Games?
Some people love to play slots because they like to win big, even if they do not get the opportunity to play as long.
Before I explain how you can choose casino games that give you a higher chance of winning, allow me first to provide you with some words of warning.
Gambling is meant to be a form of entertainment that you pay for, but the payment comes in the form of the wagers that you lose.
You do not have to buy a ticket to get in the casino like you would if you went to a movie or concert, but that does not mean that you are getting your entertainment for free.
The House Edge Guarantees That the Casino Will Make a Profit in the Long Run
Do not be discouraged by that fact, but instead use it to your advantage. If you understand the house edge and which games have higher payout percentages, you can choose games that give you the best chance of winning. In general, slot machines have some of the worst house edges in the casino, while blackjack has the best.
But there are also differences between the advantages for particular styles of slot games, so you can choose wisely, even while you play slots.
When it comes to slots online, simpler games have higher payout percentages than games with lots of additional features.
Progressive jackpots are an excellent example because a fraction of every spin gets taken from each wager to go toward the prize.
The casino is not taking that portion out of the amount that they would typically profit. Instead, they construct the games so that even a small percentage of your winning wagers goes towards the jackpot.
Unfortunately, all of the features that we have previously discussed work the same way.
Casinos have to pay more for licensed games, as well as games with bonus features and extended play options. Those costs get passed on to the player in the form of lower payback percentages.
So, you have to decide what is most important to you as a gambler. If you want licensed games, you will have to accept that you are most likely going to lose more money in the long run.
On the other hand, if you are willing to sacrifice the copyrighted material and bonus features, you will increase your chances of long-term success.
The games with the highest payback percentages are the most straightforward three-reel machines in the casino. What they lack in interest and excitement, they make up for in the ability to win.
How Much Am I Willing to Bet on an Slot Online Game?
The final question that you need to ask yourself when you choose a slot machine is how much you are willing to wager.
There are two things that you need to consider.
- First of all, make sure that you check the minimum wagering requirements for each game that you are interested in playing.
- Secondly, think about the number of lines that you will play.
Each online slot game will have its own minimum bet.
Most of them allow stakes as small as one or two pennies per spin, but some of them have $5 minimums.
Remember that this amount will always get multiplied by the number of lines so that a penny slot can cost 25 cents per spin, but a $5 bet will actually cost $125.
You can eliminate choices by getting rid of any games that have a higher minimum stake than you are willing to pay.
Another way to narrow down your game choices is to consider how many lines you want to play.
Three-reel slots usually only have three possible lines, so your bet would only get multiplied by three. Five-reel games offer more lines, generally up to twenty or twenty-five possibilities.
You are not obligated to play all of the available lines, but the more lines you play, the higher chances you have of winning.
Sometimes, having limited lines makes me frustrated because it means that I have more almost-wins.
If I play a three-reel game, the only way that I can win is if the symbols line up in the center of the machine, in the right order. Nothing gets me more aggravated than the times when all of the reels land on the same symbol, but one of the reels did not stop in the centered position, so it does not count as a win.
If I cannot enjoy the game when I get frustrated every few spins, so I choose to play games with more lines. However, that means that my total stake is higher, and the odds of winning are less.
If you want to gamble longer, than playing a three-line game will stretch your dollar further than a twenty-five-line game. So, consider both the minimum betting requirements and the number of lines before you choose which game is the best one for you.
Your choice in slots online will eventually come down to personal preference.
Use these questions to help you narrow down your options to a few that will work for you, but then you will just have to choose based on the themes or graphics that interest you.
All of the available games are designed to keep you entertained for as long as possible, so there is no wrong choice.
After you choose one, enjoy playing it for as long as you want, or you can go back and try another one whenever you want to.