Real Money Slots – Play Slots for Real Money at Online Casinos
The very first slot machine with the automatic payout system was called Liberty Bell and was invented by Charles August Fey in 1891. Who would have thought that “only” a century later we would be able to play virtual slot machines from the comfort of our home using the power of the Internet? In this article, we will focus on modern online slot machines and their land-based versions, but let’s quickly go over the evolution of slot machines since 1891:
- 16 years after Charles August Fey came up with Liberty Bell, Herbert Mill made the first slot machine with the legendary BAR symbol and the game that was called “Operator Bell”;
- Bally developed the first electromechanical slot titled “Money Honey” in 1964;
- The very first video slot appeared in 1976 thanks to the Fortune Coin Co.;
- One of the most important years from WMS’s recent history is 1996 when they introduced Reel ‘Em, the first machine ever to include a second screen for the bonus round.
Nothing stops you from playing without any prior knowledge about the history of slot machines, but it is a nice touch to learn a thing or two. You can tell that it takes less time for companies to come up with something revolutionary that’s going to change the industry forever. Although online slot machines appeared after roulette and blackjack, they spread throughout the Internet with ease. People were thrilled to play their favorite slot machines from the comfort of their home.
Slots in land-based casinos rarely changed for several reasons:
- It took a long time to produce large numbers of them
- They were extremely expensive
- In most cases, their mass production wasn’t worth for the development companies
The power of the Internet allows that development and publishment firms deal with all these issues a lot easier. It still costs some money to publish new slots, but it’s nowhere near the figures for the machines in land-based casinos. Most money goes on marketing, as it was proven throughout history that machines that were advertised heavily before and after the release had incredibly high odds of appearing on the top 10 lists in a short period of time. Whether they stayed there or not was determined by the actual quality of the games.
How to Play
First and foremost, you need to find an online casino where you are going to start your gambling “career”. There are a couple of key things to look at when browsing through hundreds of available websites out there:
- Payment options
Let’s dive deeper into each category on our list.
There is a good reason why this category is at the top of our list. The very first thing you should look is the licenses obtained by the casino. If the casino isn’t licensed, just keep searching as it is not worth your time. By registering and depositing at such casino, you risk all the money you invested, but even worse, you are at risk of not having fair odds when it comes to playing slots or any other game at that website.
Licenses cost a lot, but they, in turn, bring a lot of value to the host. Some of the most popular licensing agencies are:
- The UK Gambling Commission
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- Curacao Gaming Control Board
- Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
Different agencies operate across different parts of the world. The place where the casino is officially registered plays a huge role in determining which regulatory body should take care of it. These companies control whether people leading certain casino have a criminal record and check if they have confirmed identity, sufficient funds to pay the potential winners, as well as ask for evidence that the casino or the person leading it is trustworthy and honest.
On the other hand, they also prevent minors from gambling, make sure that all games are transparent and fair and prevent any connection between criminal activities and gambling. Money laundering was a huge problem for online casinos, and players back in the day could end up with their funds frozen in the casino simply because someone else was using the platform for illegal activities.
Here’s probably the most interesting topic when it comes to real money online gambling — Bonuses and Promotions. If you used to gamble at a local land-based casino, you might have encountered special deals and coupons, but if you are a complete beginner, this is the stuff that might encourage you to get involved in gambling with real cash.
Bonuses are divided into several categories:
- No deposit
- Payment Method Bonuses
You might see a variation of this list somewhere else, but the way these offers work is identical across the entire web.
Let’s start with no deposit bonuses as they are a perfect fit for brand new players, but also something veterans use to try out a new casino. You might think that there is a catch to it, judging by the title of this bonus, but it is indeed the bonus that requires no deposits to be made at all.
The casino usually offers a bonus in the amount that goes anywhere between $/€/£5 and $/€/£20. All you need to do in order to become eligible for the bonus is to create an account (in most cases). Confirming your email might be an additional step, but it isn’t something that’s going to stop you from fulfilling all the requirements and receiving, quite literally, free cash.
Welcome bonuses are something to look into once you’re comfortable with investing money right off the bat. Most welcome bonuses double up your first deposit, but you can sometimes run into offers that increase it by 200%. Tripling the deposit is something you can only dream of in land-based casinos. Keep in mind that once you claim the welcome bonus, it won’t be available to you anymore, so make sure to make the most out of it. On the other hand, pay attention to the upper limit of the bonus, as you don’t want to deposit the amount that’s not supported by the bonus mechanism.
Unfortunately, bad sessions happen from time to time. That’s why casinos came up with a separate collection of bonuses which are out there to make you feel better whenever you have a bad day. Reload bonuses can be triggered daily, weekly, monthly or even annually, depending on the format. The bonus is triggered whenever the threshold for any time period losses is hit, giving back a certain percentage (usually around 10%) back to you. You can either save that money for another day or continue to gamble and hopefully succeed to make up for the previous losses.
Payment method bonuses are tied to specific payment methods. They are mainly used to attract new players to adopt new payment services that just recently partnered with the casino. Nowadays, mobile wallets and mobile software are quite popular, which is why you are likely to stumble into payment method bonuses related to mobile devices.
VIP, High Roller, and Loyalty bonuses are quite similar to one another. You can become a VIP in two different ways, depending on the casino you choose:
- By depositing larger amounts of money
- By playing at the casino for a long time
High rollers benefit from the first version of this bonus a lot, as the casino provides higher depositing limitations, increasing the total bonus amount they receive. A $/€/£200 bonus just won’t cut it for those gambling with extremely high amounts, sometimes even measuring in hundreds of dollars per spin.
Last but not least, we have a referral bonus. You probably know how this one works as it is a system present in almost every industry out there. Getting anyone to register to the casino using your code or your referral link and make a deposit will bring either money or free spins to your account. This is especially valuable if you are an influencer or have a fanbase of any sort, which could make dozens, hundreds or maybe even thousands of people to join the casino you refer them to.
Once you’re sure that the bonuses at the casino suit your needs, it’s important to see whether your favorite games are included in their libraries. This won’t matter too much if you are a complete beginner, but generally, look for casinos that have hundreds of slot machines to offer. On the other hand, there are a couple of websites with less than a hundred slots, but the ones they have are currently the most popular and trending machines.
Although you’re aiming for slot machines, it isn’t a bad thing if your casino offers different types of games, such as roulette, baccarat, blackjack and other table games. Promotional offers tied to games of another type might pop up on your profile from time to time and it won’t hurt you to give them a shot.
If you have never played a slot machine before, there are a couple of things we can point out that might help you decide which one should be your first. Use the casino’s filtering tool to get exactly what you’re looking for:
- Paylines — can be fixed and optional
- Ways to Win systems — Ranging anywhere from 243 to 4096
- Number of reels
- RTP (the higher, the better)
- Jackpots — Can be progressive and fixed
- Software providers
If these terms are completely unknown to you, then simply load the Most Popular list from the casino you chose and start trying out slots one by one. Almost every machine should be available in free mode, where you can spend demo credits and experience all the features the game has to offer for free. This is one of the main advantages online casinos have over land-based ones.
Once you’re sure that the casino has suitable bonuses, valid licenses and a variety of games, it is time to either make your first deposit or withdraw the money won with the free cash received through the no deposit bonus. There are a few methods you can opt for:
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Bank Wire Transfer
Cheques and bank wire transfer options are the least used methods nowadays, but if, for some reason, you find them the most suitable, feel free to use them. Of course, you should keep in mind that these two payment methods require a significant amount of time before the money reaches your account.
Although payment systems such as PayPal and Skrill aren’t E-Wallets, a lot of casinos and online reviews treat them as one. If you are the same as the majority of the population, you will use either a debit or a credit card to make deposits and withdrawals. You might use services such as PayPal and Skrill, but you would most likely add funds to your account by using your credit cards. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero are supported by a lot of online casinos nowadays, especially now when cryptocurrency wallets are user-friendly. However, you should only use cryptocurrencies if you know the market, the technology, and the way coins travel from a wallet to wallet well.
You might have thought we would forget about this one. It takes many years of hard work and dedication to build a good reputation. The first four things we talked about on our list all come together and result in either a poor, mediocre or a world-class reputation. There are thousands of reviews of some of the most reputable casinos in the industry, which should be enough to make a shortlist and narrow down your list of casinos to only a few. From that point on, it is up to you to decide which one suits you the best.
Playing real money slots requires a lot of preparation in order to be an enjoyable process without any issues. To recapitulate: only look for licensed casinos, check their bonuses and game libraries, make sure payment options are convenient, and check the overall reputation the company has built over the years.
If you see too many complaints from other users in the past, you should skip that casino and find the one that caused fewer issues, especially if the problems were related to withdrawals. Do your own research, gamble responsibly, and most importantly, have fun!