Slot Machine

How to Play Online Slots

With a variety of themes to choose from, and stacks of exciting features and bonus games to enjoy, online Slots can be tons of fun to play. Even though they may look intimidating at first glance, online slots are easy to play, especially after you’ve read our online slots guide.

Whether you’re new to playing slots or a veteran looking to brush up on your slots skills, take a look at our simple but comprehensive guide. We’ll explain everything you need to know to play slots online, from paylines to scatter symbols and from wilds to how slots odds work. Learn how to play any slot game online, read our helpful casino slot machine tips, and find out how to make the most of your online gaming.

How to Play Slots Online?


It’s all super simple.

  1. First, choose which slot game you want to play.
  2. Then, decide how much money you want to bet on each spin of the reels.
  3. Hit the spin button to get the reels spinning.
  4. Depending on how the reels land, you either win nothing, win some money back, or trigger an in-game feature or bonus.

That’s the core idea of playing online slots, but we’ll break it down in a little more detail for you.

Set Your Bet Per Spin

The first step to take when playing slots online is to set how much you want to bet on each spin of the reels. The more you bet on a spin, the more you stand to win, or lose. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Most slots have an area in their on-screen menu called BET or COIN VALUE or BET/SPIN with buttons to raise or lower your bet per spin to the value you want to play with.



Slot machine gameplay is based on spinning reels that contain symbols. All slot machines will have reels, although they can take a variety of different forms. And all slots will have an odd number of reels, usually either three, five, seven or nine.

Hit the spin button to get the reels spinning. Each reel will contain a number of symbols. You win, or trigger a feature or bonus, if the symbols on the reels align in a particular pattern when the reels stop, usually in a line of matching symbols across the reels (read more on this below in Paylines).



A payline is a line of matching symbols that align across the reels – this usually means that you’ll win, or that you’ll trigger a feature or bonus, or both.

Most online slots have multiple paylines, meaning they have multiple ways to win. You can often see how many paylines are active in the on-screen menu, or you can check the game’s information menu.

The paylines of different online slots will vary, but most often they run across the reels, from left to right. Usually, the first symbol must appear on the first reel on the left (reel 1), then matching symbols should land on consecutive reels (reel 2, reel 3, and so on). Depending on the game, those matching symbols may have to touch (either horizontally or diagonally), or they may not.

With most online slots, the more symbols you have in a payline, and the higher the value of the symbol, the more you win.

Some slots have fixed paylines, but with some slots you can choose how many paylines you want active. With more paylines in play, and a higher TOTAL BET, the higher your chances of winning.



The reels of every online slot are decorated with symbols. Most slots have five symbols per reel, but that can vary from as few as two symbols, up to as many as seven (or even more, particularly on Megaways slots).

While symbols look enticing and add to the visual appeal and theme of a game, different symbols in slots have different values. There are lower to higher value symbols (check a game’s information menu to find out more). The higher the value of the symbols you land in a payline, the more you win on a spin.



As well as symbols of different values, lots of online slots feature a specific kind of symbol called a Wild Symbol, or just a Wild for short.

Wilds can take the place of any other symbol in a game, helping you to land matching paylines of symbols. You might land matching symbols across three reels, but with a gap on the second reel. However, if that second reel contains a Wild on the payline, it’ll stand in for the other symbol, which means you’ll win.

Lots of games contain variations on the Wild Symbol, like Expanding Wilds that take up every row on a reel, or Sticky Wilds that stay in place as reels spin.


Scatter Symbols

Scatters are another special type of symbol you’ll see in most online slots. Scatter Symbols award a win if enough of them land anywhere on your reels, usually three or more, without the need to align with paylines.

Scatter Symbols can also trigger bonus features in games, like free spins rounds or bonus games – and they can often act as multipliers or Wilds too.



Most online slots include bonus features and games. These are often the most exciting part of online gameplay, and usually the most rewarding.

The most common bonuses are free spins rounds, where players are given a set number of free spins. But online slots can feature a variety of bonus features, from picking games and virtual board games to tombola spins, and spins with added reels. Check the information menu in your chosen slot game to see the bonuses on offer.


How Do Slot Odds Work?

As it is with any form of gambling, when you play online slots, you make a bet on each spin, and you bet against odds.

Online slots are based on a random number generator (RNG) program. Each time you spin the reels of an online slot, the symbols that land on them are determined randomly. Each slot has a return to player percentage (RTP), which is calculated as an average outcome across thousands of spins.

The RTP is one of the most important aspects of any slot you plan to play. It tells you what percentage of the money you wager will be paid back, over time. For example, a slot with an RTP of 96% will pay back an average £96 for every £100 spent.


However, this is an average number. If you wager £100 on one specific play, you won’t necessarily earn £96 back. You may win more, or lose less, on any given play.

While it is a theoretical average, the RTP of a slot gives you a way to understand the odds you’re playing against and allows you to compare the slots you’re interested in playing.


How Do You Win at Slots?

To win on an online slot, you’ll need to land matching symbols on a winning payline across the reels.

Paylines will vary by game, but most often, you’ll need to have the first symbol of your payline on the first reel on the left (reel 1), with matching symbols on adjacent reels moving from left to right (a matching symbol on reel 2, reel 3, and so on).

Matching symbols usually need to touch across the reels, either by being side-by-side or meeting at the corners diagonally. Most slots require you to have three or more matching symbols in a payline, but sometimes you only need two. Sometimes you’ll need more.

When it comes to online slots, there’s plenty of variation. Some have paylines that run right to left, as well as left to right. Some slots have paylines where the symbols don’t need to touch, and they only need to land on adjacent reels.

With the majority of online slots, you’ll win more according to:

  • The more symbols you have in a payline
  • The higher the value of the symbols
  • The more you bet


Tips for Playing Slots

Slots are a game of chance with the outcome of a spin based on a random number generator, so whether you win on a spin or not will be down to luck rather than any strategy. However, there are still plenty of casino slot machine tips you can follow to make the most of your online slot gaming.

  • Keep track of how much you’re spending: Always keep an eye on how much you’ve spent as you play, to make sure you don’t game with more money than you can afford to spend.
  • Stop playing when you’ve reached your limit: Set a certain amount of money you’re willing to spend and stop playing when you reach that amount.
  • Stop playing if you win a considerable amount: If you win big on a spin, it’s better to take that money and cash out, rather than to keep playing and risk losing it.
  • Pick lower volatility games: Pick slot games with a lower volatility and higher payout rates, called the return to player percentage (RTP), to minimise the possibility of losses.
  • Know the game you’re playing: Make sure you understand the rules of an online slot before you play, including how to win and what bonuses are on offer. Most slots have an information or help menu you can access that explains all the rules of that particular game.


Play Online Slots with Grosvenor Casinos

You’ll find a huge selection of the world’s best online slots at Grosvenor Casinos. Now that you’ve read our online slots guide, you can delve into online action and discover immersive gameplay, great graphics, and play with the chance to win real money. Create an account with us, make a deposit, and you’ll be ready to play slots online right away.





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5 responses to “How to Play Online Slots”

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  2. Thank you for your post regarding online slots, this will help me a lot in the future!

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  3. This is a fantastic idea, especially for new readers. Thank you for sharing this information, which is brief but quite precise. A must-read article!

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