How to play online slots

There are several different games that can be defined under the umbrella of online slots. The first is the basic 3 reel slot machine like the Liberty Bell game. These have kind of fallen out of favor for my two favourite real money slots games: video slots and fruit machines.

Video Slots

The Video slot is a 5 reel game that has icons based off of a general theme (there are 1000’s of different themed slot games). The basic way that you win is by matching icons from the left side of the screen to the right across the 5 reels on a payline. A payline is simply a route across the reels. There can be anywhere from 9 to 30+ paylines on a video slot.

how to play online slots

A lot of the new video slots will offer features such as free spins and bonus rounds. In order to explain these properly, you will need to know the following terms:

The Scatter is a special icon that will pay out a multiple of your total bet (as opposed to paying out on a single payline) when 2 or more appear anywhere on the reels.

The Substitute is the other special icon that is seen most often. It is used as a wild card for complete the paylines and can be used in place of most other icons on the reels.

In order to win one of these two features in a video slot, you will usually need to get 3 of either the scatter or the substitute on the screen at the same time. There may also be a special symbol only for the free spins/bonus round.

Basic Slots Rules

  • Read below basic terms regarding online slot machines:
  • All Paylines pay Left to Right
  • You may or may not have to bet on all available paylines
  • You must bet a coin amount (amount per payline)
  • The payline win is a multiple of the amount bet on the payline
  • Wins on different paylines are added together
  • Only the highest payout is added per payline
  • Scatter wins are multiplied by bet per line
  • Free Spins and Bonus Features are paid at the rate of your total bet

Fruit Machines

A Fruit Machine is similar but very different from a normal slot machine. The normal fruit machine has 3, 4 or 5 reels. You will still make a bet and spin the wheel; but the main difference is that you will be able to adjust one or more of the reels up or down a spot in order to try to win a better payline.

The Fruit Machine game above was provided by Betsson and is called Super Nudge 6000. In this game, you will not be able to nudge the reels in you favour until you have won on the payline as shown in the screenshot below. There are five paylines that you can bet on (3 straight across and 2 diagonals); when you press the Max Bet button, all five paylines are selected.

In Super Nudge 6000, you will earn a Supermeter, which will activate the top 3 reels and this is where the nudges come into play. Unlike some other fruit machines that I have played, the computer will automatically nudge the reels for you. If you complete a payline in the top section, your Supermeter will go up and you may acquire additional nudges. But don’t bet until you bust! If you don’t want to gamble with the reels above, press the Collect button and cash out your Supermeter into coins.

This differs from the screenshot of another Fruit machine that I have played called Inferno. This consists of only one payline and you have control of nudging the reels by pressing the Hold/Nudge button under each reel.


You can see above that you can choose to hold or nudge the reels in order to win on the payline. The only payline on this fruit machine is the middle line across the three reels. There are also features such as jackpots and multiples that can be won.

While both games will pay out at about the same rate, some people like the fruit machines more because of the ability to make a decision to try to win on their bet.