JeffBet by Matthew Gover |
Date of Publishing: 30 May 2023

5/5 - (10 votes)

How To Play Slots – A Beginner’s Guide


Slots are often the game of choice among those who like to spend their free time playing online casino games of chance. These games require no special skills, are easy to learn and offer fast-paced play. 

In the past, brick-and-mortar casinos would host simple yet flashy slot machines with a lever to help spin the reels. As technology progressed, these well-loved games became even more available via the Internet. The credit for such an advancement undoubtedly goes to slot game developer Microgaming, responsible for introducing the world’s first-ever internet casino. The company developed the first online casino in the mid-nineties, marking the beginning of online gambling with real money. 

In 1996, WMS Industries’ “Reel ‘Em In” opened up a second screen for the bonus round, an innovation imitated far and wide and improved upon over the following decades. Microgaming’s first online jackpot slot game, “Cash Splash”, later became responsible for some of the most significant jackpot payouts ever. With so many milestones and more, it is no surprise slot machines remain as popular as ever today.

JeffBet is home to numerous slot machines with various options, from classic slots to progressive online slots. This guide will cover how to play slots, how they work, their different types, features, and more. To start playing your favourite slots, sign up with JeffBet today!

What Are Online Slots Machines?

Playing slot machines are the answer to today’s fast-paced trends whereby gaming developers create new online slot machines or reproduce and enhance older favourites. Online slot machines can be accessed from your desktop and mobile devices around the globe, provided your region allows online gambling.

When learning how to play slots, the main aim is to spin the reels and achieve matching symbols. Once they match, you trigger a win. As previously noted, these games are random, easy to learn and get the hang of, and require no specific skills. 

Online slot machines take the concept of classic slots even further. Players can now try their luck with games having more than three reels. Such casino games now also feature bonus symbols such as wild symbols, scatter symbols, multiplier symbols, stacked symbols, stacked wild symbols, sticky symbols, and other special symbols (most of which we will explore later in this guide).

You can learn how to play slots and enjoy them from the comfort of your abode, during your lunch break, or while waiting for the train to arrive; online gambling is all about convenience. Moreover, technologies such as HTML5 have opened the gambling industry to players who would otherwise never have tried this form of entertainment before.

How Do Slots Work?

As mentioned, slot machines constitute simple rules, whether on a casino floor at a land-based establishment or online. You deposit money, place a bet, spin the reels, and wait to see if you can land a winning combination. That said, the internal mechanics of slot machine games are more complex.


Random Number Generators

To guarantee that no one can cheat (not even the online casino), the software that powers online casino slots uses random number generators (RNGs) to determine which symbols land when players spin the reels.

Third-party agencies test the RNG software in slot machines on a regular basis to ensure they are entirely randomised and fair. Licencing and regulatory bodies also test the software to ascertain that it cannot be tampered with by the casinos or the users.

The software utilises an intricate algorithm to compute a certain number. The slot machine then expresses that generated number as a particular combination of symbols across the slot reels. It repeats that process, working from countless number combinations; in fact, the RNG generates thousands of numbers per second, i.e., between 0 and (approximately) four billion. 

Each of those numbers is connected to a different outcome on the slot reels for each spin. The number generated at the precise moment the player presses the ‘spin’ button will be the outcome they get. Ultimately, if one of those generated combinations is connected to one of your paylines in the correct order, you win the round.

Placing Bets

The player selects their coin size, i.e., the size of their stake, which could be as low as 1p. They then check their paylines, which might be horizontal across the reels or may go along crisscrossing shapes or diagonals. The more paylines a slot machine has, the higher the player’s chances of winning are. The way some slot machines work, they may also allow the player to use more than one coin on the same payline.

Once the player has chosen their bet, they spin the reels, and their wager gets deducted from their total balance. Note that all slot machines have paytables that outline the game rules. These paytables will typically include the number of paylines, reels, betting requirements, bonus features, regular and bonus symbols, and a list of potential payouts and prizes.


Once the reels stop spinning, the software determines the number of matching symbols on active paylines. Any bonus feature, depending on the symbols landed and their rules on the paytable, any bonus feature can also be activated. For instance, one of the most popular bonus features is the free spins feature, usually triggered by landing at least three scatter symbols.

Finally, the amount the player wins is then added to their balance. After that, they can spin again with the same bet or choose a different one.

What Are The Different Types of Slots?

Different slot providers have developed thousands of slot games, each differing in layout, symbols, paylines, and themes. Furthermore, some games feature classic gameplay, while others feature bonus rounds. All the slot types can be divided into the categories below:

Classic Fruit Machines or Three-Reel Slots

Three-reel slots are similar to the traditional slot games or fruit machines found at brick-and-mortar casino establishments. Such games typically have one payline requiring the player to land three matching symbols. As such, these are the most straightforward types of slot games and are great if you are learning how to play slots.

With these games, it is easier to keep track of which spins win since there is only one payline. However, anyone seeking fast-paced gameplay with exhilarating bonus features may be disappointed.

Video Slots

Video slots are the most popular types of slot games at online casinos today. These normally have five reels and multiple paylines, giving players more opportunities to win. Such casino games’ audiovisual effects are enhanced for a more immersive gaming experience. 

Video slot games come in various themes, such as popular movie franchises, e.g., Jurassic Park, and musical artists/groups, like Guns N’ Roses. These games also feature bonus rounds which add an extra level of excitement.

Multi-Line Slots

Slot machines with multiple reels and paylines provide slot lovers with numerous ways to win. The most commonly-found layout with these is the 5×3 grid, but some feature more rows and reels. If you bet on multiple paylines, you can win in numerous ways in just one spin. That said, this increases the slot game’s volatility level, meaning the potential wins are bigger but do not occur as often. 

3D Slots

3D slots are a new addition to the slot gaming space. These games have enhanced graphics to make the game screen appear three-dimensional and as real as possible. The best slot machines make it appear as if the symbols are right before the player.

Progressive Slots

Some slot games but not all machines have jackpot prizes that grow whenever someone does not win. They keep growing until some lucky game player finally wins. These progressive slot machines can offer players life-changing amounts of money, provided they are lucky enough. For instance, one lucky winner won an astonishing £13.2 million in 2015. Note that smaller progressive jackpot slots that run only on one network also exist.

What Are The Features of Slots Games?

Today’s slot games have numerous features, and below are the main ones:


Paylines are defined as the winning combinations of symbols awarding payouts. While classic slots usually feature one to three paylines, modern video slots can have between 10 and 1024 paylines. Paylines normally pay from left to right, beginning from the first reel. These pay for two or three symbols in a row. Nevertheless, multi-way slot machines can pay right to left as well.


Wild symbols replace other symbols on the reels to help create winning combinations. These symbols usually cannot replace scatters but can bump up the player’s bankroll if plenty of reels are included. Wild symbols often have a jackpot attached if the player lands five matching symbols on a payline.

Free Spins

One of the most popular features in slot games, free spins are activated when the player lands three or more scatter icons anywhere on the slot reels. While bonus features vary in slot games, a set number of free spins are usually awarded to the player with a multiplier with each winning spin. 


Scatters are bonus symbols that payout regardless of where they land on the reels. They do not need to be part of a payline of matching symbols to work. While landing two scatter symbols can lead to a payout, landing three activates a bonus round like a trail bonus or free spins. Please note that different slot machines have different rules.


Slot games with progressive jackpots usually have a small percentage, often as small as 1%, contributing to a pot that keeps growing until someone wins. It then resets to a seed amount funded by the online casino.

What Is The Difference Between Land-Based and Online Slots?

For starters, online slot games are easier to access than land-based slots, thus making them more convenient. All that is needed to access online slots is a smart gadget connected to the internet. Those who want to learn how to play slots can do so from the privacy of their homes.

Online slots also have higher payout percentages than their land-based counterparts, some reaching as high as 98%. 

Moreover, online casino platforms offer players many promotions, including free spins, deposit bonuses, and cashback. While land-based casinos also offer promotions, they are less frequent.

The overall social experience is also a major difference between land-based and online slot machines. Online slots are usually played in solitude, while land-based slot machines provide a more social gaming experience where players can interact with each other and the staff. 

Lastly, online and land-based slots also tend to differ regarding security. Online slots are safeguarded by modern encryption technology, and while land-based casinos also have their security protocols, they may not usually be as advanced as online casinos.

What Is Slot Machine Etiquette?

Like most activities involving human interaction, certain etiquette is also involved with playing slot machines. Those who want to learn how to play slots can whilst maintaining the correct etiquette can see the points below:

Do Not Lurk

For live casino gaming, if you are not playing, avoid idly sitting at any slot machine. You take someone else’s spot on the machine by lurking or loitering, which can be unfair to them. After all, respecting others is an essential ingredient in slot machine etiquette.

Remain Calm

Undoubtedly, playing slots can impact your emotions strongly, and losing is an inescapable part of playing slot games. Should you lose, stay calm and never show aggression around other players. Furthermore, never let losses get in the way of a good time.

Avoid Reserving Machines

Saving machines is quite common in live casinos but is also frowned upon. If you want to take a break from playing, do it in under 15 minutes. Most casinos’ policies discourage saving machines. Therefore, if you decide to go, finish your credits and take your belongings.

Slots Strategies & Tips

The following are a few golden rules of playing slot games to make the most out of your experience:

  • Always check the slot’s paytable and rules before playing to avoid possible disappointment, as winning certain jackpots and bonuses requires a certain minimum bet amount
  • Bet on as many paylines as possible. If you are playing on a budget, reduce your bet amount instead of the number of paylines you wish to play
  • If you are learning how to play slots, know that many slots come with demo versions. That way, you can learn the rules on how to play slots without putting real money on the line or signing up. Playing demo slots also lets your test out strategies
  • Many of today’s slots have special features like Fast Play to help speed up your game. This way you can get through many spins very quickly

What Are Slot Machine Payouts and RTP?

The term RTP, or Return to Player in a slot game, indicates the average returns a player can expect while playing. This value is expressed as a percentage. For instance, if you play a game with an RTP percentage of 96%, you will, theoretically, receive £96 for every £100 you bet. 

This also explains how much a player can expect to lose when playing a slot game. Please note that over a session of a few hundred or thousand spins, anything can happen, and the RTP is only likely to be representative of hundreds of thousands of spins. 

What Are Bonus Rounds in Slots?

Bonus rounds in slots come in numerous forms, such as bonus cash, free spins, multipliers, pick-and-wins, spin-the-wheel games, and others. Activating bonus rounds can either happen during the base game when the player hits certain symbols or combinations of them or via the bonus buy feature (if available).

Bonus rounds usually significantly enhance the excitement of playing slots as they offer higher winning potential than regular gameplay and help boost players’ potential winnings. 

At JeffBet, you will encounter numerous slot games featuring exciting bonus rounds.

How To Play Slots FAQs

Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding how to play slots.

Online slots are computerised versions of fruit machines at land-based casinos. These come with more features like scatter symbols, wild symbols, interactive bonus rounds, and more.
Yes. All regulated slot machines are powered by RNGs, thus ensuring random results. All of JeffBet’s slot games are powered by RNGs and regularly audited by third-party companies, guaranteeing fair play.
Slot games are essentially games of chance; therefore, improving your chances of winning is impossible. You can enhance your potential winning power by choosing the best slot machines, thoroughly checking their rules and paytables, and sticking to a budget.
Slot machines come in many types, including three-reel slots, multi-line slots, video slots, progressive machines, 3D slots, etc.
When choosing slot machines, it helps to consider factors such as the casino game’s legitimacy, RTP value, theme, bonus rounds, jackpot potential, and the developer responsible for creating it.

About the Author

Author: Matthew Gover.

After graduating, Matthew began working as an English teacher abroad, initially in Spain and then Vietnam before finally coming back to the UK to settle. Matthew has always had a love for writing and an even bigger love for the igaming industry... Read More

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