The Complete Slots Guide: Introduction


  1. The History Of Slot Machines
  2. The Evolution Of Modern Slots – What Can You Play Today?
  3. Video Slots vs Jackpot Slots
  4. How To Play Online Slots
  5. Reasons To Spin Our Online Slots
  6. How To Use This UK Online Slots Guide

Slots have become an integral part of online gaming over the last two decades. Today, every online casino offers slots of some type or another. This guide is designed to explain where online slots came from, how they work and what makes them tick.

If you’ve ever wanted to spin some reels and play for jackpots that could be worth thousands, this is the video slots guide for you.    

The History Of Slot Machines

Slots are by far the most popular type of casino game in the world. Coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and formats, these games offer something for everyone. Like all things in life, today’s video slots have evolved from one original concept. That concept was formulated by American Charles Fey. The godfather of modern casino slots, Fey built a mechanism that made spinning reels and random symbols possible.

Fey started working on his early prototypes in 1887. At the time, he built machines with three reels and relatively few symbols. However, it was the core technology that mattered the most. Because the machines were able to produce random combinations of symbols, Fey realised that it was possible to create a new game of chance. By 1895, he’d perfected the technology and launched what’s now recognised as the world’s first automated slot machine: the Liberty Bell.

The Liberty Bell slot featured five symbols: spades, diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, and, of course, bells. It had three reels and payouts started at 5c for two horseshoes. To hit the 50c jackpot, players needed to roll in three bells. The game was an instant hit and started a craze that led to the modern video slots we now see online. Interestingly, however, it wasn’t casinos that helped make slots popular. Instead, they popped up in bars, bowling alleys, and cigar shops across North America.

By 1963, casinos started supplying slot machines – and that’s when these games took on a new lease of life. Bally Technologies took the old mechanical devices and added in some digital technology. This meant the reels were now controlled by electronic programs, rather than anything mechanical (wheels and cogs).

Bally’s Money Honey was one of the first “electro-mechanic” slots to hit the market. With digital technology now an integral part of the way slots worked, it was only a matter of time before new features were introduced. Over time, electronic bonus boards supplemented what happened on the reels. From there, online slot creators took the baton and ran with it, leading to the video slots you can now play at LiveRoulette.

The Evolution Of Modern Slots – What Can You Play Today?

With Bally’s digital technology giving creators the chance to introduce new themes and features, slots began to gain more traction in the 1970s. From the US and Canada to Europe and the UK, casinos and leisure venues started to host gaming machines. However, for all the popularity of fruit machines, it wasn’t until the late 90s that online slots became a reality. 

As software companies like Playtech turned to random number generator (RNG) technology and developed their first batch of games, platforms such as InterCasino went live in 1996. By the turn of the millennium, the number of slots available increased dramatically. Not only did the amount of games increase, the types of slots available to play expended too.

The freedom of the internet allowed creators such as NetEnt, Playtech, IGT and Microgaming to innovate. With no space restrictions and ideas only limited by the imagination, online slots became extremely diverse. Three-reel spinners, five-reel video slots, progressive jackpot games and all manner of bonus features popped up in the noughties.

This surge of activity established slots and, now, the market is literally flooded with options. In fact, their popularity has given creators the opportunity to work on new ideas and concepts. From MegawaysTM to virtual reality slots, the market is expanding and that means you have plenty of choice when you play online. 

Video Slots vs Jackpot Slots

There are thousands of slots online. However, for all the options out there, games typically fall into two main categories: fixed payout slots and progressive jackpot slots. The former are otherwise known as fixed-payout games. Although you can subdivide this category into classics and video slots, the main idea that runs through all of these games is that the maximum payouts don’t change.

For example, if you play Starburst, the maximum amount you can win will be based on a multiple of your line bet. If you match three purple diamonds, you’ll win 5x your line bet. Hit five top-value symbols, the golden bar, you’ll win 250x your line bet. The same or similar structure is used across all video slots. Even though the multipliers might vary, payouts will be set amounts based on the size of your bet.

Jackpot slots could also have fixed payouts, but they may also have a rolling jackpot. The prize is an accumulation of bet contributions from everyone who plays the game. This system means jackpots can reach five, six and even seven-figure sums. Each time you place a bet, a small percentage will be added to the prize pool. This happens until someone scoops the top prize. Then, the jackpot is reset to a fixed amount or ‘seed’ and the process restarts. 

How To Play Online Slots

The reason slots are popular is their simplicity. Regardless of whether they’re mechanical games inside a casino, games available on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), or online slots, every game requires two basic actions: betting and spinning. Roulette isn’t a complex casino game, but it does have some subtle nuances that slots don’t. The same is true of blackjack. When the cards are dealt, you must decide whether to hit, stand, split, double down, or take insurance. Add to this the impact of card removal (cards that have already been dealt) and blackjack can be a tricky game to master.
Slots aren’t like that. The structure of a game can look complex in terms of paylines, bonus features, mini games and more. However, as a player, you don’t have to worry about any of that because the software takes care of everything for you. The main decision you have to make is how much you’re going to stake.

Depending on the slot, you can adjust the number of active paylines and the amount you’re betting per line, or you can change your total stake. Once you’ve done that, you hit the Spin button and wait. It’s that simple! 

Reasons To Spin Our Online Slots

There are many reasons to play slots online. Everyone will have their own preferences, but here are some of the things that have made slots the go-to option for players:

They’re Affordable

Slots can be less expensive to play than other online casino games. At LiveRoulette, our table games like roulette can be played for as little as 20p a round. But sots can cost even less per spin, as little as a penny!

You do have to multiply your line bet by the number of active paylines. If there are five paylines and you bet a penny per line, the cost per spin will be 5p. However, the average cost is still lower. You also have a bit more control over the amount you’re betting when you can adjust the number of active paylines and bet per line.

Video slots are ideal for low-stakes players because you can adjust the betting conditions to suit. This means you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) spend more than you can afford. 

They’re Fast

The average spin time for slots online is around three seconds. When you compare this to the time it takes to play a round of roulette or blackjack, it’s obvious that slots are faster.

You’ll have to manage the size of your stake and, in turn, the amount you’re spending per session because the costs could add up quickly when you’re racing through a high number of spins. However, if speed is your preference, online slots trump all other casino games.

You Can Play Them Anywhere

Tied in with speed is the idea of accessibility. Because slots are easy to play and tick over at a rapid pace, you can play them almost anywhere and on any device. Desktop online slots got the ball rolling but, in recent years, mobile slots have become the most popular option for players. Because smartphones use touch screens and internal sensors, it’s possible to spin the reels of certain slots by swiping and shaking. These features have diversified the industry and made games more accessible and entertaining. 

Endless Variety

Look through the slots lobby at LiveRoulette and you’ll see hundreds of games, each with their own unique theme and style. Space, Irish, Ancient Egypt, movies, music and fantasy worlds are just some of the hundreds themes you’ll see online. Themes are integral to online slots because they add a second layer of entertainment (alongside the potential of winning money). Themes also open the possibility of creating tailored symbols and features.

Diverse Payouts

Perhaps the biggest reason people enjoy slots is their payout potential. Regardless of whether you’re playing fixed payout slots or their progressive jackpot counterparts. Although live casino games such as Lightning Roulette offer payouts topping 500x your bet, that’s still less than you could win from a progressive jackpot slot such as Mega Moolah. This popular online slot regularly tops seven-figure prizes. In fact, Mega Moolah is responsible for the largest payout in online gaming history at more than £18 million.

How To Use This UK Online Slots Guide

This online slots UK guide is designed to show you what’s available, what you can win, and how to get the most from your experience. In the next chapters, we’ll walk you through a variety of concepts so that you can better understand how slots work. We’ll also give you some tips on how to play as well as advice on what to play. 

The important point to remember as you read through our UK online slots guide is that entertainment always comes first. If you’re not having fun, you shouldn’t play. Just because slots are popular, that doesn’t mean they’ll suit your playing preferences. You may prefer one type of slot over another. Whatever choices you make, you must ensure that they’re based on logic and not impulse.

Don’t play slots just because there are hundreds of options and the jackpots can be worth large sums of money. You should play because something piques your interest. Once you’re comfortable with that concept, it’s important to manage your money properly. Betting more than you can afford will quickly turn a positive experience into a negative one. We’ll delve more into the ideas of RTP (return to player) rates and jackpots later. 

Being blinded by potential payouts can cause you to overspend and that’s something we want you to avoid. So, as you’re reading this online slots guide, keep in mind that entertainment is key. As long as you’re having fun and playing responsibly, nothing else really matters. When you can manage this, you’ll be able to get the most out of every spin.

18+ | | Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. Terms & Conditions apply.