Introduction to online slots & mobile slots
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Slot games have a longer history than most people imagine. In 1895, Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell, the world’s first-ever slot machine. The model had just three reels and six symbols: diamond, heart, spade, horseshoe, star and Liberty Bell.
This was the birth of the original fruit machine. The prizes included cigarettes, candy and beer. The ultimate grand prize was a whopping $0.50!
We’ve come a long way since the old slot machines. Still, Liberty Bell was so good, that modern online slots games have all the essential elements of the original design, even after moving online and onto mobile devices.
Mobile slots games are the same as any online casino game, only optimised to give you the best online gambling experience on your tablet or mobile phone.
The best online casinos provide mobile gaming apps that are safe and easy to use with any Android or iOS device.
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With little more than the tap of a finger, you’re plunged into a word of excitement and exhilaration – not to forget the fact that there’s life-changing sums of money up for grabs! Ultimately, mobile slots remain the easiest casino game to play online. And more and more people flock to play popular titles such as Book of Dead, Starburst, Wolf Gold and Bonanza.
Whatever your preference, there’s something for everyone! With so many games to choose from, and with so much variety in terms of setting, design and game mechanics, it can be hard to decide where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help!
Check out our game reviews to get all the information on the best online slots games, and click the Play Demo button to play the mobile slots for free on your smartphone or tablet before playing for real money.
You can find everything to suit your taste, whether you like historical settings like the Book of Dead series by Play’N Go or the famous NetEnt adventure Gonzo’s Quest —even Big Time Gaming’s revolutionary Megaways titles.
Last update: 10/05/2023
Play online slots for free
Recent regulations by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) forbid online casinos from providing demo versions of their games.
But don’t worry: UK players can try online slot games for free on LadyLucks! Simply click the button below to browse our games, choose one and click the Play Demo button.
Playing slots for free is a good way to decide if you want to play for real money. And it’s not just about testing features until you find the right game or developer. You’ll want to become familiar with your own tastes and see what types of games you enjoy the most.
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5 things to remember when you play online mobile slots
- only play mobile slots games using a secure Wi-Fi connection
- slot games can quickly drain your mobile data plan
- you can find free slots if you want to try them first
- you can benefit from special bonuses when you download mobile casino apps
- mobile casinos can be just as safe as online casinos
Play safely on your mobile device
When you decide to bet on sports, invest in crypto-currencies or play at an online casino, it is in your best interest to do so responsibly and safely, both on mobile and from a computer. This is especially true when doing it from a smartphone or tablet as there are additional parameters you need to be aware of before you start. Here are some tips.
Always use a secure WiFi connection
The best way to keep your personal data safe is to only access secure connections. Avoid public WiFi that allows everyone to access the Internet for free. If you’re not sure you can trust the connection you want to access, it’s best to avoid it and use your phone’s 4G/5G connection instead.
Only visit trusted sites
Be careful when playing at a UK mobile casino you’ve never heard of before, and even more so if we don’t mention it here or have a negative review of it. Find out about the authenticity of the casino and read reviews from previous users before betting money there.
Of course, not all reviews are equal: for example, just because several people complain that they have not been able to withdraw their winnings does not mean that the casino in question is a scam. In fact, the mistake is often made by the players themselves, so read the terms and conditions carefully.
Track your data usage
Unless you have a plan with lots of data or even unlimited data, be aware of how much data your mobile slots are using to avoid a big bill at the end of the month. The safest way around this is to find a secure WiFi connection instead.
Charge your device
Before you start a mobile gaming session, make sure you have sufficient battery power. It would be a shame to risk your winnings by running out of battery at a crucial moment in the game wouldn’t it!
The basics: how to play online slots
Playing slot games might seem complicated, with paylines scrambling along the screen and confusing bonus games – but the basic games rules of slots are actually pretty simple to understand.
As with any game or hobby, the more you understand how it works, the more you enjoy it. Taking the time to understand the different elements of the game will help you understand your own preferences as a player.
Paylines are the winning combinations available on a slot game. You’re probably familiar with the single straight payline format from mechanical slot machines. But modern slot games work differently. Some slots can have up to 20 paylines with different shapes, allowing for greater winning combinations.
Most payline combinations go from left to right.
Some slot games have fixed paylines, where you make all-or-nothing bets on preset lines. Other games have adjustable paylines, which let you increase your bet amount to increase the number of paylines for a spin.
The paytable provides all the basic information you need to play the game. This includes the paylines, the prizes for different symbols and the available bonuses. The progressive jackpot is also explained here.
Paytables also explain what symbols trigger special features. There are three main special symbols in most online slot games:
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The controls let you select how much to bet for each spin. You can subdivide bets per line, so if you have 20 active paylines at £1 per line, the cost per spin will be £20:
20 paylines x £1 = £20
Wild symbols work differently on some slot games. For example, some will stick to the reels and retain their position while the reels continue to spin, while others are stacked, which means they come in packs of two or more.
Wild symbols replace all other symbols in a spin, except for the scatter and bonus symbols. They make winning combinations a lot easier. Wild wins generally are the highest paying symbols on any winning line.
Scatters add excitement to slots games. They are generally responsible for awarding a free spins bonus and activating special features. Typically, landing three or more scatter symbols anywhere on the reels triggers these bonuses.
Gambles and bonus games
Bonus games let you play a game-within-the-game. A game feature like a double-or-nothing coin-toss is an opportunity to turn a regular win into bonus winnings. They’re usually one of the features triggered by scatter symbols.
Beyond paylines: all-ways slots and Megaways™
It’s hard to come up with innovative mechanics in the world of online slot games. However, some developers continue to provide refreshing twists to the classic game.
All-ways slot games have special designs that go beyond paylines. This means that winning is about getting different combinations of matching symbols on consecutive slots rather than straight lines, increasing the number of ways to win. A good example is the diamond grid in Ankh of Anubis, which has a 3-4-4-4-3 setup.
Big Time Gaming’s Megaways™ series features an exciting random reel modifier. This means that for each new spin, there will be a different number of symbols per reel. That means that each new spin features a new way to win with the Megaways™ slots.
Themes, settings and design of online slots
Every good online mobile slot game has a specific look and feel. A game like Starburst has a simple yet distinctive design that every experienced player will recognise. Other popular games have historical settings, with ancient Egypt being one of the most prevalent, featured in huge hits like Book of Dead. Others are based on tried-and-tested franchises, like Lara Croft Temples and Tombs.
Music and sound effects are a very important part of online slot games. They’re an essential part of any good immersive experience. And there’s a feeling of enchantment in playing with enjoyable background sounds that is completely broken when you play a game on mute. So make sure not to overlook it when you’re trying our games for free before playing for real money on online casinos!
At the end of the year, Christmas slots are being celebrated! Discover the best games of 2023 on the theme of the most beautiful holiday of the year.
Online slots game jackpots
Jackpots are the ultimate grand prizes or payouts for any game. They can be won in several ways. We’ll take a quick look at them now, but make sure to read our in-depth article on jackpots to get even more information.
The most straightforward and well-known way to win a jackpot in online slots is to land a series of winning paylines that partially or completely cover the reels with a given symbol.
It’s also possible to win online slots jackpots by triggering bonus features. For example, in Book of Ra, you can trigger a bonus wheel that rewards one of four progressive jackpots.
In some cases, jackpots are only available when you place the maximum bet on a spin. Others may randomly reward a jackpot cash prize.
Progressive jackpots on online slots
Progressive jackpots in online slots increase every time a player spins the reels but does not win the jackpot. This means that the prize carries over until someone wins the full sum. So competing against other players too!
Progressive jackpots can be pooled locally or across an entire network. Local pools usually have lower jackpot prize amounts, while network pools yield higher prizes. Divine Fortune is an example of a locally pooled game, while Mega Moolah is an example of a jackpot with a network pool.
Games like Gonzo’s Quest only let you qualify for the progressive jackpot if you place the maximum bet.
Probability, volatility and RTP
This is important: never trust a site that claims to tell you how to win at online slot games, especially if you don’t understand how slots odds work. Game providers and casinos licensed and regulated in the UK are subject to strict rules requiring them to guarantee the randomness of their slots. The technology behind their random number generators (RNG) is tested and audited to make sure that they meet basic standards.
The two key terms to understand the probability of winning a slot game are volatility and return-to-player (RTP)
Volatility refers to the risk and reward of a slot. It is classified as low, medium or high. Variance is another term for slot volatility.
Always check the volatility of a game to determine how often it is likely to pay out. Online slots work in different ways, depending on the size of the payouts or the frequency of wins.
The higher the volatility, the higher the potential payout, but it also comes with the lowest odds of winning.
High volatility slots pay out less often, but in higher amounts. So when you win, it can be a huge win. You’ll also need a bigger payroll. Big jackpots —and progressive jackpots in particular— are always high variance slots.
Low volatility games pay often, but the wins are smaller. These games are great for players who don’t like higher risks. Low volatility usually lets you can play for longer amounts of time.
Medium volatility slots fall between the two extremes. There are also games that fit within a range of categories, such as medium-high volatility.
If you’re unsure of the online mobile slots game volatility, check the paytable. High prizes are a sure sign of high volatility.
Return-to-player (RTP) describes the theoretical percentage amount that a player would win back if they were to play a very large number of times. We’re talking about statistical probability, so anything can happen.
The RTP does not tell you what your chances are of winning big. But it’s important to understand what it means.
An RTP of 96% means that if a player were to wager €100 a very large number of times, they would theoretically win back €96.
The RTP is always a theoretical amount.
The RTP is not an indicator of how likely you are to win. It is based on a theoretical number of spins that can reach millions —or even a billion! The RTP is programmed into the machine by the developer to ensure that the casino makes a profit.
Slot game RTP varies from game to game. It is typically between 94% to 96%, but this is not always the case. A high RTP would be probably anything above 97%.
The house edge is the difference between 100% and the RTP. On a game with 96% RTP, the house edge is 4%. Remember that the house edge always favours the casino.
Top 5 online slots tips
- always check a slot’s paytable for the paylines, payouts and bet amounts
- understand features such as wilds, free spins and bonuses
- consider the game’s theme, graphics and audio
- choose a volatility that you’re comfortable with
- remember that slot RTP is based on a high number of spins
Casino bonuses on online slots
We have seen above the bonus features of slot machines. Here we will discuss the promotions offered by online casinos when you register or make your first deposit.
First deposit bonus
I’m certainly not telling you anything new, but a casino bonus for your first deposit allows you to receive money offered by the online casino. It is not uncommon for this to be combined with free spins on a slot machine.
Keep in mind, however, that while you can win with these free spins, you should be aware that the wagering requirements do not always entitle you to an immediate withdrawal of these winnings.
No deposit bonus
The no deposit bonus is not a bonus that is going to pay you a lot of money, just a few pounds, or free spins, which are also very popular; but sometimes that is enough for the lucky or the gifted to hit the jackpot. But like all good things, no deposit bonus casinos are rare…
Fortunately, it’s our job to find them for you, who are sometimes reluctant to play for real money, and to hand them to you on a platter – all you have to do is click and enjoy them. Everything is good about the no deposit bonus – but if you’re new to the game, or just curious, take the time to find out what all the benefits, wagering requirements, practices and pitfalls of the famous no deposit bonus are.
Online slots tournaments
Slots tournaments are competitions which often involve prize pools. The prizes are usually cash amounts, but they can include great bonuses like trips or cars. Developers tend to create these tournaments as a way of promoting their slots at select casinos.
Typically, players must play specific slot games in order to qualify during the promotional period. Another usual requirement is making a deposit and playing with real money involving minimum wager amounts.
Always check the tournament term and conditions (T&Cs)
Slots tournaments often involve leaderboards, and you must accumulate points in order to position yourself in the best possible place to win.
With some online slots tournaments, you accumulate points when you make wagers at a specific rate. For example, each €1 wager might credit you with 10 points. Other tournaments award you with points when you complete certain missions.