Between April 2015 and March 2016 the online gambling operators generated a Gross Gambling Yield of £4.5 billion, a figure which has tripled since 2005. Make no doubt about it, gambling on the go from your laptop or mobile is big business.

One of the things really pushing this growth is online slot machines, easily accessible games that represent a fairly good chance of winning to the player. It also requires a lot less skill to play a slot machine than it does to bluff your way to victory at poker.

So let’s talk about slots and get to grips with the game that is currently driving the online gambling world.


The first simple automatic slot machine is thought to have been developed in California towards the end of the 19th century. It wasn’t until 1963 that the first electromechanical slot machine was developed, which was capable of dispensing winnings without the need of an operator.

With the advent of computers slot machines began to change from simple pattern, lever operated games to more complex, graphically appealing machines. In 1994 a slot appeared in Australia that took the player to a separate screen within the game.

The internet brought yet more development for slot machines, bringing about a much greater variety of games which were all available to the paying customer anywhere and anytime. More traditional, clunkier mechanical slot machines don’t provide the same variety of game as the modern online slots.

House Edges

As with every single game available in a casino, the slot machine has to be engineered to favour the house, there’s no use in creating a game that pays out to the punter all the time. Slot machines traditionally have something known as a theoretical payout percentage or an RTP (return to player).

The RTP is typically anywhere between 80-90%, meaning that statistically if you were to play the slots over say 10,000 times that you would only lose 10-20% of the money that you put in.

Online there are three different types of slots, low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk all of which are fairly self-explanatory. The low-risk type offer you frequent small wins, the high-risk offers in-frequent but large wins and the medium is somewhere in, well, the middle!

Maximizing Payouts

Although slots are effectively games of chance, there are ways in which you can bet that will maximize your overall payout from the machine. The simplest way is as always to research the game you’re playing. For example, if you’re playing on a traditional three-reel mechanical slot then the best way to maximize your payout is to bet a higher amount.

The larger the denomination you wager, the higher your payback percentage becomes, which is quite simple. However this isn’t always the case on every slot you’ll play. On five-reel slots for example, there are more winning combinations, therefore betting on multiple paylines can be more beneficial than simply betting big single denominations.

Whatever slot you choose to play make sure you research it thoroughly before so that you’re aware of the best strategy to use in order to maximize your payout.

Slot Bonuses

Slot bonuses are usually one-time special offers run by companies to entice you into joining their site. The two main types are cashable and non-cashable bonuses, typically cash bonuses can be claimed after meeting a minimum deposit or wager requirement.

Non-cashable bonuses such as free-spins give you the opportunity to win money risk-free, typically with a maximum amount which is mentioned in the terms and conditions.

Cash is always enticing, but non-cashable bonuses can often be of more value than cashable ones. Imagine winning £150 from one of your free spins as oppose to £20 for depositing £10.

Mechanical Slots vs Online Slots

In the world of slots there is debate about which is the best form of slot machine available. Traditional land-based slot machines or more modern online slots. As with most things, there is no definitive answer as it is a subjective topic.

Mechanical land-based slots offer, in general better graphics and a better overall experience for the user. There is the added thrill of physically gambling and collecting cold hard cash when you win.

However, there’s also the struggle of trying to get on your favorite machine and regardless of the size of the casino there won’t be as much choice and variety as there is online.

The main benefit of online slots is obviously the ease of access. You can play pretty much anywhere in the world from your mobile device. You don’t have to get in the car and drive to the casino, you don’t need to make time for it, just pick up your phone whenever you want and start playing.

888casino, the world-famous online casino, have a huge choice of games available to the customer, the consistent high quality of gameplay they offer is impressive, it is for these reasons that so many people play slots at their casino.

However, new, exciting games will almost certainly be available in the casino first, so you may have to wait to play the latest games online.

The winning Strategy

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to turn £10 into £10 million then you’re looking in the wrong place. There isn’t a way to cheat the slots with a magical formula, but there are some valuable tips that can help you to make the most from your time playing them.

  • Maximise your profit: You don’t really want to be playing a game with a low payout, you want to maximise your chances of winning. So do your research and find the right slot for you.
  • Look out for offers: If someone is offering you 30 free spins on their latest slot then take them. You could win big on those spins without having to pay a penny.
  • Set a budget: It’s easy to get carried away when you’re playing online, so set your budget beforehand and stick to it, never start chasing a loss.

Key Findings

The online gambling industry is huge, it continues to grow year-on-year and online slot games are a key reason for this. Many people choose to play slots due to how much easier they are to understand than playing other games such as poker. Slot machines have been around since the 1960’s, since then the popularity of them has grown and they have evolved. The internet brought about a whole new selection of games. Both online casinos and land-based casinos ensure that they keep players coming back for more through a number of initiatives such as maximizing payouts and slot bonuses.

However, all casinos must implement a house edge to keep making a profit. There are some winning strategies that all budding slot players should know, there strategies can help to limit losses and even help a player to make a tidy profit!