What Are Slots? BitStarz Explains All!

If you are reading this, you are unmistakably asking the question, what are slots? At the end of the 19th century, a one-armed bandit named Liberty Bell made its first appearance and although it took many years for this machine to make its debut online, when it eventually did, it was a game-changer… literally!

We’re pretty sure glossy cherries, shiny diamonds and emblematic red sevens come to mind when most are envisioning slot machines, but you can take our word for it, times have changed.

Yes, you can still find the conventional fruit machines around, but nowadays game developers are creative geniuses with money to burn. This ensures that full-blown entertainment and unthinkable jackpots that spit out millions are never any more than a click away.

Why the big hype?

Gone are the days when slot players were seen as second class citizens. Instead, casinos treat them as noblemen and bestow them with endless opportunities to make the most bang for their buck.

Slots are bigger and better than ever in the internet age, with millions spinning the reels every day. No casino game is able to become that popular just by chance, but how did slots become such a crowd-pleaser?

What are slot machines?

Trying to understand the mechanics behind slots might seem intimidating, but this can’t be any further from the truth. The reason why these one-armed bandits prove to be so popular is because of their simplicity. Choose your stake, spin the virtual lever, and wish yourself luck. It is not rocket science and players don’t need experience, skill, or even talent to revel in these flashy marvels.

Sadly, the number of players who genuinely understand slots and how they work is awfully small. It is always a good thing to ask the what-are-slots question before you attempt to play simply because there are many different features that will enhance your player experience.

To be frank, it is better to be an educated rookie than an expert bumpkin when deciding whether or not to open your wallet.

Traditionally slot machines have spinning reels with symbols on them. The horizontal lines represent the paylines and a player is required to place a bet before spinning the reels. If the desired symbols line up after you’ve spun the reels, you win a specific prize.

Nowadays, they use the same kind of gameplay and math, but odds are decided by computerized programs instead of complicated systems of stops and gears. This has its perks for sure, but the world of Random Number Generators (RNGs) also has its drawbacks.

Simply put, game designers can use any kind of supremacy they want to. While one symbol might be programmed to show up 1/5 of the time, a different one might be programmed to show up 1/30 of the time.

This means that you, my dear friend, have no way of estimating what the probability of a winning combination is. It simply boils down to luck, or does it? Stick with us here.

What are paylines?

Paylines are undoubtedly the most important feature of any slot machine. Why is that? In layman’s terms, a payline is the line on which a payout is awarded based on the required combination of symbols.

When you place your bet, it is important to know that you will only be awarded winnings on paylines you bet on.

Say for instance the slot you are playing has 25 paylines but you only bet on 10, and the winning combination lands on one of the lines you did not bet on, you won’t win.

Let’s not beat around the bush any further here. The general rule of thumb would then obviously be to activate all paylines to avoid the possibility of losing out on a progressive jackpot or any other massive win. Watch below as the paylines come alive and lead to a big win in Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead.

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What are paytables?

It really amazes us when players jump right into spinning the reels before asking ‘what are slots?’ or checking the paytable of the game they are about to play. It’s the same as trying to build lego without the instructions, impossible!

The paytable is usually found somewhere at the bottom of the game screen and once clicked, a pop-up window will appear that will list all symbols you are looking to land. Every potential winning combination and the amount that is paid when you land on these desired combos is revealed.

You will also be able to see what symbols represent the wilds and scatters as well as their functionality in the game too.

If you are still asking yourself the question, what are slots? Do yourself a favor and head over to a paytable of any game, we’ve included a look at Wolf Gold’s paytable below as an example, as this is by far the most helpful bit of information you will come across when spinning the reels.

When you ask what are slots, don't forget to look at the paytable, here is one from Wolf Gold.

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How to play online slots

Now that you have a clearer picture of what slots are, you might be wondering if there are any strategies that can be used to your advantage.

Although lady luck plays a big role, there are a few casino slot machine secrets that will help fatten up your bankroll.

First, you need to decide what type of game you want to play. There are thousands of slot games available to play at BitStarz, so the power is in your hands to choose something that will knock your socks off. The advantage of playing slots online is that it can make your experience as simple or as challenging as you wish.

Leading online casinos like BitStarz also gives you the option to wager for free through a demo mode, although you won’t be able to win the real big bucks. That being said, it will give you the opportunity to try out new games and understand what slots are all about before deciding which games to splash your cash on.

As with every other hobby, it is also important to set a budget and to stick to it. Gaming should be fun, so don’t ruin it for yourself. Understanding what are slots is pretty clear now, but you should always remember that it is a pastime that should be enjoyed and something that makes you relax. It is just a game, so don’t spend any more than you can afford to lose.

It should go without saying, but check all the features of a slot and understand them before you start spinning. There are several of them to make use of in any given slot (classic 3-reel slots aside) and things can get quite complex, so it might be a good idea to start with a slot with simpler features and to then work your way up from there.

What are Multipliers, Wilds and Scatters?

Three questions will be on the mind of any new online slots player – What are slots? How do slots work? How can I win playing slots?

Understanding the different symbols found in a slot is a vital step towards standing a better chance of landing winning combinations. We can keep chatting about the finer details for hours, explaining every bit of the reels, but let’s keep it simple and look at the three most important and exciting symbols you will come across.

The Wild symbol usually acts as a replacement for other symbols in the game. Think of it as the joker in a deck of cards or as the blank square in Scrabble. In short, it helps you to get a winning combination by acting as the desired symbol. There are many different types of Wilds around, including Sticky, Stacked, Walking, Expanding and Shifting Wilds, all bumping up your chances of landing a huge win.

Here’s an example of Wild Respins helping a player land a big win in top-slot Gems Gone Wild:

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The Scatter is most probably the most exciting symbol in any slot game, simply because it unlocks bonus games. Whether it is free spins, mini-games or bonus rounds, this symbol pops up randomly on the reels and rewards you with the spirit of giving. It does not need to be lined up and usually, you will need to land a certain number on a single spin so remember to get the info from the paytable, it will definitely help you when picking a winning slot machine.

Another exciting symbol to look out for is the Multiplier, which is usually randomly activated. The most attractive thing about the Multiplier is that it multiplies your wins by a certain amount. It can double, triple or maybe even multiply your wins by 10x or more!

There is still one bonus feature we need to talk about…

What is the gamble round?

When you look at the layout of a typical online slot, you will see the usual Collect, Max Bet and Spin buttons. But, if you look closely, you will find the gamble option lurking somewhere at the bottom of the reels ready to be clicked by the hedonist gamer, looking for a quick win.

What are slots? Slots are all about winning, or at least trying to, something that a Gamble Round can have a big hand in.

As you are learning more about what slots are, you will realize that the possibilities of boosting your balance might seem endless. While this feature can double or even sometimes quadruple your balance, it can also deplete it in an instant.

Let us explain.

Most Gamble Rounds trigger when you land a winning payline. The tempting gamble button will glow in all its glory and if you decide to surrender to the excitement, you will be presented with – usually – a playing card. You simply need to decide whether the next drawn card will be black or red. If you are right you win, if you are wrong you lose. It’s pretty simple and it really is a case of all or nothing.

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Types of jackpots in online slots

You need to admit that when you are playing slots, you are playing to win, which obviously depends on payouts. Although it is impossible to know which slot machines have the best odds, you are able to better your odds by finding slots that offer decent jackpots.

Again I pose the question, what are slots? And again I need to remind you that slots are basically a video game that gives you the opportunity to bring home the bacon.

The most common jackpot found in classic slots is the fixed jackpot. It is built into the game and once it is triggered, you win a set amount that could be 50x, 100x, 200x, or potentially even more than your initial stake. The total of the win doesn’t necessarily depend on the amount you pay in either, so it is possible to trigger a fixed jackpot twice in a row. If, and only if, you are insanely lucky.

Progressive jackpots are a different beast entirely to the standard jackpot slot games out there. If you are familiar with a lottery ticket, you will understand the basic idea of this pot that accumulates until someone, somewhere wins up to sometimes six or seven figures. Slots truly do have the power to make some lucky players stinking rich, with wins in the millions certainly not being uncommon.

As you must have gathered by now, BitStarz is constantly creating new and exciting ways to keep players on the edge of their seats. This means that you will regularly have the chance to play for bank-busting progressive jackpots on slots like Mega Moolah, King Cashalot and Bank Robbers.

Want to see a BitStarz player land a big jackpot win? Check out this player, that scored a jackpot prize on sporting slot 11 Champions.

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What is RTP?

I think by now you have a pretty decent understanding of what are slots, but is it really possible to win millions? Do online casinos like BitStarz really payout this kind of cash?

Yes, they do, because they have to. Just take a look at this record-breaking $2.4 million win that happened at BitStarz last year, which was paid in full.

You have most likely seen the term RTP (Return to Player) when playing online slots. We can delve really deep into this topic, but we’re not here to bore you. Check out our guide to what is RTP and how you can use it to your advantage if you after a more in-depth look.

Simply put, the term RTP refers to the percentage of money wagered on a slot game that is paid back to players over a period of time. Generally speaking, online slots have an RTP of between 93% and 99%. This means that an average slot game returns 93% and 99 % of every dollar spent by its players, to its players.

What is hit frequency?

As you might have realized thus far, slot machines don’t really involve much strategy, with luck holding the true power, but there are small measures of strategy that you can use to your advantage.

One of the most important being hit frequency, also referred to as win frequency, but what are slots with high frequency and what are slots with low frequency? It is actually simple math that determines the frequency of a win.

If the hit frequency of a game is 33.33%, a player will land a win once every three games. We just need to make it clear that you will not win a 33.33% return on the amount wagered but instead, you will win something one in every three games.

Which is better, high or low hit frequency? This depends entirely on the type of game a player is invested in. Slots with a higher hit frequency might win less money, but it will make you feel safer. On the flip side of the coin, games with a lower hit frequency might give you higher chances of winning a jackpot, but can leave you frustrated in the long run.

If you are looking to hit a jackpot or substantial wins, games with a low hit frequency will be right up your alley. And, if you prefer low risks and are in it for enjoyment, your best bet would be high-frequency games such as slots.

Are you ready to spin the reels?

If you want to know what are slots, you certainly came to the right place. BitStarz has your back with not only this gold-grade knowledge, but more importantly, we’re serving up thousands of the hottest online slots in the world.

Not a BitStarz member yet? Get moving, as you can get a HUGE welcome bonus today worth up to 5 BTC and 180 free spins!