The online slots world is full of different terms and words that, to the untrained eye, are difficult to understand. The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously discussed that if a lion could speak, we would not be able to understand him as his frames of reference would be completely different from ours.
We can compare it to listening in on two brain surgeons discussing gray matter, anti-matter and the cerebrum, many of us would be able to recognise the language but nothing more. How is this relevant to online slots you may ask? Well, there are dozens of terms which you will only understand the meaning of if you have read about or played slot games before.
Take Poker as an example: terms such as big blind, small blind, on the button, check raising with pocket deuces – to someone with zero knowledge of poker, this would be akin to a different language for them.
Online Slots in 2022 are Fairly Complicated
If your idea of a slot machine remains the old one-armed bandits that litter dusty old Las Vegas casinos, then prepare to have your mind blown by the 21st century. Online slot machines are created using state of the art digital technology. The slot games of the 21st century offer players detail, excitement, excellent graphics and even story telling abilities.
Some online slots, such as Dr Jekyll Goes Wild, take the player on a story filled journey which the player must progress through. In fact, online gambling companies are now recruiting developers from famous video game companies such as Rockstar.
Other games are elaborately themed, and some are themed around famous movies and TV series such as Gladiator and Peaky Blinders. Where complications can occur though are in the modern features.
A slots features are the main reason why gamblers play slot games. Features ensure the games are exciting, unpredictable and are often the keys to unlocking a slots jackpot or maximum payout potential. Let’s now take a look at some of the slot’s terms which players need to learn in order to get the most out of their online slots adventure.
The Most Important Slots Terms and Definitions You Need to Know
We will now go through the definitions of all of the most modern slots features as well as some of the other terms that you need to know.
- Reels – The reel is simply the grid in which the slot machine is played on.
- Multiplier symbols – Multipliers symbols are a feature of all modern slots and will ensure that the winnings are increased. Some multiplier symbols can increase the players bet 1,000x or more.
- Wild symbols – These symbols play like the joker in the pack and can replace any symbols on the reels.
- Scatter Symbols – Each games scatter symbol will look different, but they all work the same. Scatter symbols unlock the games free spins/bonus game.
- Free Spins/Bonus Game – Hit three or more scatter symbols on the same reel and you will enter a slots bonus game/free spins round. This is usually where the biggest money can be won.
- Sticky symbols – Sticky simply means that it will stay on the reels for several spins. This increases the likelihood of triggering a bonus round, for example.’
- Cascading reels – These are triggered when a winning combination is landed. The winning symbols will disappear and will be replaced by new ones, ensuring further opportunities for wins without having to make another spin. Every time a winning combinations lands, those symbols will be replaced by more symbols.
- Volatility/Variance – Every online slot has a volatility level which ranges from low to medium to high. Low volatility ensures frequent but small wins whilst high volatility ensures infrequent but large wins.
- Return to Player (RTP) – All online slot machines have an RTP level. Return to Player is the theoretical amount which will be returned to the player over time. For example, Rainbow Riches Pick N Mix has an RTP of 98%. This means that over millions of spins, the slot will return £98 for every £100 put into the machine.
Volatility and RTP in Games Explained in Detail
Two of the most important components of all online slots are the volatility levels and the RTP percentage. We have briefly explained what these mean, but we thought we would take a look into them in more detail.
A slots volatility will simply determine how often the players wins will be and how big the wins will likely be. For example, Big Bass Bonanza is a popular high volatility slot which offers high potential wins. However, the high volatility aspect means that wins can be difficult to come by.
On the other hand, 1429 Uncharted Seas is a popular low volatility slot. This game will allow for frequent small wins as opposed to infrequent big wins.
Put simply, avid gamblers usually prefer to play high volatility slots, whilst those playing for fun tend to pick the low volatility versions.
Return to Player (RTP) is a feature of all online slot machines and gives the player an idea on the actual return of money over a long period of time. For example, Secrets of the Phoenix Megaways has an RTP of 95%. This means that over millions of spins, the slot will return £95 for every £100 put into the machine.
Of course, this means that the slot/casino will always have the edge as there are zero slots which offer an RTP of above 100%. However, over hundreds and even thousands of spins, anything can happen. Players can win and lose which is what makes playing online slots for real money so exciting. If a game always returned the same amount, nobody would play.
The Tip of the Online Slots Iceberg
Of course, there are plenty of other slots features and terms which it pays to understand, literally. This guide has been penned to help you to recognise and understand the need-to-know slots terms and definitions: a torch to help guide you through the dark, if you will.