Slots Guide

The History of Slots

Online Casino Slot Machines work exactly the same way as the slot machines in real world brick-and-mortar casinos do. You see, while the early slot machines manufactured in 1892 and the early part of the 20th century were mechanical in nature, the invention of the microchip changed all that.These days the one armed bandit is entirely computerised, and so there is no difference between the online casino slot machine and real world equivalent.

The aim of the game

A slot machine usually has between 3 and 5 reels, each covered with images and symbols. You win a slot machine game if at the end of it, a group of matching symbols line up.

How to play Online Casino Slot Machines

The primary difference between a real slot machine and an online casino slot machine is that you don’t have to feed an online casino slot machine coins. You just transfer some credit into it.

A game begins when you decide how many “coins” you would like to wager on a spin. Most slot machines accept virtual coin sizes of between 1c and R10.

Next you must decide how many lines you want to play. Early slot machines only let you bet on the centre line, but these days you can bet above the line, below the line, on diagonals, and on weird shapes too. Each slot machine is different, and it’s not uncommon to come across games that let you bet on up to 20 lines and more. The simple idea is that the more lines you bet on, the greater the chance is that you will win something on each spin. Having chosen how many pay lines you wish to activate (bet on), you press the Spin button, and wait to see the outcome. If the symbols line up, you win coins.

Scatters and Wilds

Ever since slot machines increased their average reel numbers to 5, they have added additional symbols to even things out. These extra symbols make the game easier to win. Not all slot machines have them, but most do.

The Wild symbol works rather like the blank tile in a game of Scrabble. It can be whatever you want it to be. When a Wild symbol shows up in a row of symbols that is lacking just one to make it a winner, the Wild becomes the missing symbol. In many slot machines, when the Wild symbol completes a winning line, it often adds a bonus multiplier to the winnings, so it’s always a welcome sight.

The Scatter symbol – in games that support it – works like any other, but you don’t require it to line up in order to win. As long as there are at least three Scatter symbols visible, regardless of where they appear on the reels, you will win some coins.


Many online casino slot machines contain a bonus game that can be triggered by a special collection of symbols. You will always win coins in the bonus game, and the amount you win governs how many.

Lawrence Muller

Content Editor

386Written articles

Lawrence is all in on the casino industry. His core market of focus is South Africa, but he has had significant exposure to international gambling markets. Areas ...continue reading

Fact-checked by: Thobani Mkhize