What is an online slot game? At the simplest level, the game consists of a number of reels containing symbols. When the reels stop, if you get matching combinations on defined paylines, then you win according to a given table. If you look at slot machines from this limited perspective, then it will not make any difference which slot game you play.

Fortunately, slot machines are much more varied than this. If you do not understand the different types, then you are likely to end up playing games that do not fit with your gambling objectives. Then the slot games will not be fun. This article will take you through the different types of online slot games and will explain how they fit in with player values.

Online Slots Volatility

Volatility, also referred to as variance, is one of the most important ways of differentiating slot machines.

  • Low Volatility Slots: Winning spins will occur more frequently, but the payouts will be smaller.
  • High Volatility Slots: Winning spins will be few and far between, but when they occur, the payouts will usually be large.

In the long run, both types of slot machines would be expected to pay back the same percent of the bet amount, but the modality would be different. Low volatility slots would pay in many small increments. High volatility slots would do so in few big hits. Each type of slot machine suits a different type of gambler.

  • Risk-Averse Gambler: Such gamblers are more interested in preserving and stretching their bankrolls. They are happy with frequent small wins. They should seek out low volatility slots.
  • Risk-Taking Gambler: Such gamblers are not satisfied with winning to say 10% of their bankroll at the end of a session. They want to multiply it manifold. The gamblers are aware of the risk and aware that they could lose their bankrolls in the process. They should seek out high volatility slots.

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We now face the crucial decision of assessing the volatility of an online slot game. Fortunately, many slots developers recognize the importance of volatility for players. To be transparent, they have begun to indicate the volatility of the slot game. One of them is the Pragmatic Play. Each slot game displays a 5-level volatility meter.

Even if there is no visible indicator, there are ways of assessing the volatility of slot games. These are linked to the different types of online slots. If you want to play top real money online pokies, then you should understand the pointers.

Online Slots By Paylines

One way slot machines are classified is by the number of paylines. In the standard 5 reels and 3 rows structure, the common numbers of paylines are 9, 15, 20, 25, 40, 50, 100, and 243. Mathematically, the maximum possible number of paylines is 243, so this structure is also known as all ways.

It is easy to understand that in slots with fewer paylines, the winning combinations will occur less often. Usually, the payouts, especially the top payout, tend to be bigger. When the wins occur, they can be big if made through the top paying symbol. These slots will have higher volatility. In all ways, slots the payouts are lower, and wins are more frequent. These slots have lower volatility.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

In most slot games, the payout ratios are fixed. Progressive jackpot slots are different. A part of every bet adds to the jackpot, so the top payout keeps on increasing. The player that hits the jackpot wins the entire amount. The jackpot is then reset to a base level. The thrill of winning an ever-increasing payout draws many players to progressive slots. It is important to understand that progressive slots are more volatile in general, and so the risks are more.

Even within the progressive slot category, there is a range of volatility. Mega Moolah from Microgaming hits only a few times a year but pays several million at each hit. Many progressive slot games hit almost daily but pay in a few thousand. Some examples are Realtime Gaming slots with randomly triggered progressive jackpots.

Slots developers are now hedging the risk through multi-level progressive jackpots. Three or four progressive tiers run independently. The top one hits the least often but pays the most. The lower ones successively hit more frequently with lower payouts. Players can chase life-changing jackpots but can fall back on the smaller ones.

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Classic Slots Versus Video Slots

This is one of the oldest classifications of online slots. Many online casinos still use this to display their slots portfolio.

  • Classic Slots: These are three reels slot games modeled after the old electromechanical land slot machines. They mostly use retro fruit, bar, and similar symbols. Classic slots are slowly fading away. Because they usually do not have any bonus features, the pace of the action is faster and therefore they do have a niche following.
  • Video Slots: These slot games have five reels, and sometimes more. It is now a trend to design the symbols around a popular theme. You will find many different features like free spins and bonus games. Video slots are the most popular casino games and all the innovations are focused on these.

Online Slot Games Going Forward

There are been a lot of experimentation with online slots in the last few years, and one type of slot game has come to stay. Branded slots are developed under license from organizations that hold rights to movies, TV shows, video games, music, and more. The linking of the brand to the slot game adds tremendous value. If you are a fan of a particular singer, then you will have an affinity for a slot game based on the music and lifestyle of that singer. One of the most popular series of branded slots is the NetEnt Rocks trilogy featuring Guns N Roses, Jimi Hendrix, and Motorhead.