Gorgeous graphics, inventive concepts, and big payouts; Video Slots have it all. Our guide shows you where to start.
Blending stunning visuals with the innate thrill that Slots games are well-known for, Video Slots are now the most popular type of casino game with UK players. Read on to find out more about this unique and thrilling casino game type.
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The 8 most popular online Video Slots games
These are all games which keep players coming back for more, time and time again. Handpicked by our resident online Video Slots expert here at CasinoGuide, these are 9 of the most popular games with enthusiasts who play regularly.
For this reason, you may find that our list differs from many others – but rest assured, these people know what they’re talking about and the games they recommend offer only the best in terms of fun gameplay and potential winnings.
What Are Video Slots?
The main thing that makes Video Slots unique, particularly when compared with the other kinds of online Slots available such as the more traditional so-called ‘Reel Slots’, is the graphics.
Traditional online Slots are very much intended to emulate the look, feel and experience of real-life slot machines such as those found in land-based casinos. Video Slots on the other hand go much further, taking advantage of the more versatile platform that online casinos offer in order to provide a more visually arresting and engaging game.
If you are playing Slots and you find yourself wondering ‘is this a Video Slots game?’ – just ask yourself; ‘could this game realistically be played on a real-life slot machine?’. For example, do the reels remain the same all the time? Are the symbols heavily animated? If the answer is yes – it’s a Video Slot.
‘Video Slots’ Etymology
So why are they called ‘Video Slots’? Well, the clue is really in the name. Essentially, the experience of playing the game is improved with the addition of certain video elements which are relevant to the theme of the game. This can range from animated symbols, all the way up to full-blown cinematic visuals.
For example, in the popular Marvel-themed Slots previously provided by Playtech (until they were required to remove them from the market), certain wins and bonuses unlocked scenes from the Marvel movies such as The Avengers or Thor. On Elements: The Awakening, you are regularly treated to fantastic animations involving the gems which make up the game’s symbols. And a very special visual reward awaits those who achieve the top prize on the Playboy Slots game.
The rising popularity of online Video Slots over time
It’s clear from the data available that Slots games have become the preferred form of online gambling for the vast majority of UK players. And when you consider that over 90% of Slots games are in fact Video Slots, it is a reasonable assumption that the new features and jazzy visuals of online Video Slots has a large part to play in its ever increasing popularity.
The graph below shows the number of people in the UK who played either Slots, table games, or card games – between the years 2010 and 2016. As you can see, whereas table games such as Roulette and Craps once reigned supreme, these have now been superseded by online Video Slots.
Video Slots Mobile Casino Games
Another strong reason for the continuing rise in popularity of Video Slots and online casino gambling in general is their constant availability. Anybody with a mobile phone (and let’s face it, that’s pretty much everybody) essentially has a fully operational online casino in their pocket or handbag 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Although not every Video Slots game can be played on mobile devices, this will more than likely be the case sooner rather than later. Online casinos and casino software providers are well aware that people are using their phones more and their laptops less, and anyone that fails to cater for this ever-growing portion of the market does so at their own peril.
Therefore, you will find that the mobile Video Slots libraries at our recommended Video Slots casinos to be fully equipped with the latest and greatest games out there!
What makes Video Slots so appealing?
We have established that Video Slots are massively popular and becoming more prevalent. But what exactly is it about these games that casino enthusiasts find so appealing? We asked our resident Slots aficionado and he gave us the following reasons:
- Visually arresting graphics
- Extra features and free spins make for very fun and engaging gameplay
- Games are highly varied in theme and design
- Integration of popular culture references such as movies
- Easy to pick up and play, compared with table games
Spectra is a great example of a popular online Video Slot with all of these popular properties, as you can see from the demonstration video below:
Video Slots Bonus Offers
Of course, the other big reason that Video Slots are so popular is the wide range of Video Slots bonus offers that you can cash in on. Almost every online casino bonus can be used to play Video Slots (some eve insist upon it), and paired with a sizeable enough deposit this can give you a huge amount to play with.
Free spins are another type of Video Slot bonus offer that casino providers like to use in order to tempt in new players. The number of free spins you can get from each casino can be seen in our list of recommended Video Slot casinos above, along with the various bonuses they offer.
Just be sure to check out the wagering requirements of any bonus you claim. If your main intention is to get as much gameplay as you possibly can for your money, then it’s less of an issue. But if you are planning to withdraw your money sooner rather than later, you would be wise to check out when you will be able to.
Picking your Video Slots: Categories
When it comes to themes, Video Slots typically fall into one of several categories. Most of these categories have at least a hint of supernatural wonder, although some are very stripped down.
The sheer number of different Video Slots available is now so big, the selection so vast, that there is almost certainly something that you will enjoy. There are literally thousands of Video Slots games out there.
There are those based on movies, superheroes, or video games. Some are set in fantasy lands occupied by fairies, elves, mermaids, and other mystical creatures. Some focus on the theme of wealth, using gems and status symbols in their graphics. Some hark back to points in history, with buccaneering pirates and rowdy cowboys. And some stick to the classic look: cherries, plums, bars and big red number 7s.
Video Slots Pay Lines Explained
A big difference between online Video Slots and their forerunners is how you win. The number of paylines can vary greatly, and with the introduction of ‘ways’ there can be thousands of winning combinations on a single spin.
While the most common number of paylines for a Video Slot is between 10 and 20, you will also come across games with anywhere from 243 to over 100,000 ways. In a game with 243 ways, a winning combination occurs any time a symbol appears at least 3 times in a row, regardless of its position on the reel.
The most common amount of ways is 243, which would be on a 5-reel slot, and can be shown by the calculation 35 (or if you prefer, 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3). Next in line is 720, often identifiable by having 3 x 4 x 5 x 4 x 3 reels available. Raging Rhino, the game mentioned earlier, has 46 (4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4) reels. Fortunately, you can almost always see displayed on the game itself how many ‘ways’ to win there are.
Playing Video Slots: Learning The Ropes
When you start playing a new Video Slots game, the first thing you’ll usually want to do is find out how to win. There should be a button with the word ‘Instructions’ or similar on it – click this and the screen will display all of the winning combinations that you can possibly get.
The information screen is also useful for finding out which symbol in the game functions as the Wild, and which functions as the Scatter. This may affect your decisions later on.
Video Slots UK Glossary
Particularly when getting started with Video Slots, it can be a little daunting and confusing trying to get your head around all of the jargon. Here is a brief list of some of the more commonly misunderstood words, along with their meanings.
- Reels – the vertical lines upon which the symbols appear
- Rows – the horizontal lines running across the screen from left to right
- Win Lines / Ways – the different lines or routes upon which a winning combination can be made
- Progressive Jackpots – a small portion of each bet made on a certain game goes into this, and is periodically won by a single player
- Wilds – symbols which can replace any other symbol in order to form winning combinations
- Bonus symbols - typically activates a bonus game
- Scatters – symbols which typically activate the free spins feature
- Free Spins – spins which don’t cost you any credit. Can lead to more features such as multipliers
- Multipliers – can be used to increase your win amount significantly
- Variance – how regularly the machine pays out. High variance = occasional big wins and low variance = regular small wins
- RTP – ‘return to player’ - a percentage which indicates how much of what is put into the game is then paid out, on average
Play At A Video Slots Casino Today!
Now you know a little more about Video Slots, why not give them a try for yourself?
Head on up to the top of this page and choose from our recommended list of online Video Slot casinos – each has been thoroughly reviewed, is fully licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, and offers a fantastic signup bonus. Join in the fun and play today!