Online Slots Guide

online slots guide

Casino slots are incredibly popular because they’re easy and intuitive. You don’t need to learn extensive rules, or make complicated decisions when spinning the reels of these care-free games. Despite the simplicity of slots, a lot can be learned about how they work. As you’ll see from this online casino playing guide, key gambling differences separate online slots from the physical slot machines you’d find in a brick-and-mortar casino.

Benefits of Playing Online Slots

Unlike the table games, the slots are designed with the solo player in mind. There are no dealers, opponents, or fellow gamblers sharing the gambling experience, making it the ideal casino game to play for real money. 

When you transition to online gaming play, the play experience becomes far more convenient than gambling in a local casino. Instead of adhering to the schedule of a brick-and-mortar establishment, you get to play for real money on your own terms. That means playing any time of the day, and accessing any casino game without delay. You get to do this from the comfort of home. Some slot features are also exclusive to online gaming, such as the Auto Spin function and Practice Play, making online slots appealing to both seasoned players and newcomers alike. 

Different Types of Slot Games Available

No casino game is as diverse as slots machines. These come in different play formats, themes and styles, and are produced by a variety of game developers. That’s how we’re able to offer such a high volume of real money slots without duplicating the experience. 

Getting to know the different gambling classifications of online slots machines helps guide people in the direction of the games that best-suit their needs. For example, some people like slots that feel like video games, while others prefer the classic slot machine experience that the more traditional games provide. We’ll cover our major slot categories you can play online, so you know where to go depending on the experience you want.


For an online casino slot that has the look and feel of the old fruit machines, stick to the 3-reel variants. These games are easy to follow, as they have limited paylines and a paytable that’s embedded on the game screen. Despite their simplicity, many 3-reel slots machines still offer bonus features, such as wilds and progressive jackpots.


For a more complex online gambling experience than what’s possible with three reels, try spinning 5-reel slots. The additional reels mean more real money paylines and more interesting features to play online. For example, wilds have the ability to become supercharged and expand up and down the reels—something that’s possible with only 5-reel online slot games.


i-Slots were designed to meet the growing demand for slots machines that feel like video games when playing for real money online. This section contains casino games equipped with skill-testing bonus rounds, so brush up on your hand-eye coordination before playing to win real money.


Hunting down a surging progressive jackpot is one way to increase your odds of hitting a big real money win at the online casino reels. We grouped together the casino slot games that feature these always-increasing real money payouts, so you can quickly find and compare them.

3D Slots

The slots with the best graphics get hand-picked for our online casino 3D machines section. Enjoy cinema-quality introductory video clips that set the tone for the game.

In addition to these gambling for real money categories, you can filter through our slot roster based on brand (Rival and Real Series). Real Series specializes in old school 2D slots with progressive jackpots, whereas Rival offers a wide range of formats, including 3-reel, 5-reel and i-Slots.

How to Bet and Maximize Payouts Based on Slot Game

In general, there are two types of progressive real money jackpots: those that require a maximum bet and those that don’t. Learning how to differentiate between the two is a critical part of any online slot gambling strategy, so if you’re ever unsure, it’s better to find a game where the type of real money jackpot is clearly indicated in the game play rules.

For the most part, progressive real money jackpots that are awarded randomly don’t require a max bet. To see an example of a random jackpot, you could play A Night With Cleo slot game. As stated in the real money paytable, this jackpot is awarded at random, so even a losing spin could trigger it. If you’re on a gambling budget, these are the slots to seek out; bet selection ranges from $0.20 to $200 for A Night With Cleo. 

On the other hand, progressive money jackpots that are triggered by landing the best winning combination in the game often require a maximum bet to be eligible. For an example of this, see the slot Food Fight, which uses whatever money is in the pot to award players for landing five Pudding icons on one of the game’s nine paylines. The money paytable shows that five coins must be bet to be eligible for the jackpot.

Slots Symbols and Bonuses Explained

While money payouts mostly come from lining up matching icons on paylines, one can win even more cash from bonus features. Get to know how these features and symbols work so that one can pick out the best real money slots in a casino. 

Wilds: The wild symbol has the power to transform into any other game icon in order to complete a winning line. If one had Ace, Wild, Ace lined up on a payline, the wild would become an Ace in order to complete the win. These icons are even more powerful when they expand, stick, re-spin, and cluster.

Scatters: A scatter is a standard icon that doesn’t need to line up on a payline in order to trigger its bonus, which is often a cash payout, free spins session or bonus round.

Bonus Rounds: Often triggered by landing three or more scatters, bonus rounds take one to a second screen where one is tasked with a challenge in exchange for a cash reward.

Free Spins: A free spins session gives you a number of free rounds where one gets to keep whatever you win. 

Multipliers: If you see a number with an “X” beside it, 4X for example, that’s a multiplier. These add-on bonuses multiply your payout by the number displayed.

How to Maximize Slot Payouts

On any given pay table, you’ll see a list of all the payouts awarded for the different icons used in the game. For the most part, these amounts are based on betting 1 coin per payline. In order to maximize the payout, you increase the number of coins bet. For example, a 2,000-coin payout would become a 10,000-coin payout if you bet 5 coins. 

In addition to the increased payouts on the reels, betting the max number of coins is required to be eligible for many progressive jackpots. For most of these jackpots, it’s not the coin denomination that’s specified—it’s the number of coins bet. So if you’re looking to stay within a budget, you can always decrease the coin denominations and increase the number of coins bet. There are plenty of ways to get a bonus when gambling at Bovada. Try the slots today and play for a big win or play for free with practice play. 

Which Games to Play

With hundreds of online slots to choose from at Bovada, game selection is no joke. There are two approaches to finding the best game for you: follow the Featured Games suggestions, which has a mixture of new games and popular classics, or find something that compliments your gambling style.

The Featured Games page isn’t exclusively slot games; there’s also a mixture of popular table games. To access this page, simply click the Casino icon at the top of the homepage, and you’ll be directed to our Featured Games. 

Alternatively, you can base your search on the experience you hope to achieve. Some people play online slots for entertainment, while others play for relaxation. Potential payouts are another motivating factor, but not always the primary one. We’ve mapped out a few suggestions based on the most-commonly cited reasons that people play slots online.

Relaxation: Tranquility reigns supreme in most of our Japanese-themed slot games. Koi Gardens and Secrets of a Geisha, for example, set stimulation aside for a peaceful slot experience that’s ideal for winding down after a hectic day.

Entertainment: Any of our heist-themed slots is packed with enough action to stimulate even the most adventurous slot players. Try CodeName: Jackpot and The Mob Heist for a healthy dose of adrenaline.

Payouts: While any slot with a progressive jackpot is on the radar of people looking for payouts, a lot of people also have success with games that include a Double or Nothing Round, such as what you’d find in Caesar’s Triumph. These features provide an opportunity to double any payout received on the reels and are sought-out by players who enjoy volatile slots. 

While there’s no way to influence the outcome of a single spin, there are ways to increase win probability through game selection—especially when playing online. That’s because all of our games are designed by reputable developers and have online reviews to back them up. But you don’t need to go far for information on our slots; our database of online slot articles and guides provide invaluable insight into our most popular games, giving you everything you need to become an expert at the reels. 

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