Online slots are the latest evolution in the storied, decades-long history of the slot machine, which began all the way back in the 1900s. Since then, technology has made major leaps in complexity and capability with the introduction of electricity and later electronics—and slot game design followed along. As such, it was practically inevitable for slot games to make the jump from physical machines to online casinos as soon as the Internet became accessible enough to most consumers.
That being said, some casino connoisseurs still swear by physical machines as the "best way" to play slots. And while slot machines have their advantages, we at Inside Casino argue that online slots are the better way to play—especially for those who want to play for real money. Here are a few reasons why:
The main feature of online slots is that, as the name suggests, the game is contained entirely in software that's hosted by its developer. What this means is you can play your favourite online slots game at any time, from anywhere—all you need is an Internet connection and a gadget with a web browser.
And yes, this includes mobile devices. Thanks to HTML5 and other innovations in web development, playing slots on mobile is now more accessible than ever. Just log on to the online casino, choose the slot game you like, and start playing on the go.
Another benefit of having a completely digital slot game is that the costs of actually making and releasing the game are made exponentially lower as developers don't have to invest in the manufacturing of physical slot machines, which comes with its own set of problems. As a result, developers can push out games at a much faster pace, and players get to benefit by having a nearly infinite variety of games to choose from.
One of the biggest advantages of online slot games is that developers could easily innovate on the basic game's formula in terms of both visuals and gameplay. With the right combination of art direction and sound design, slots could transform from a simple game of reels and fruit symbols to in-depth experiences that have you uncovering secrets of an ancient civilization, fighting Roman gladiators, or finding treasure in the vastness of space.
Online casinos also one-up their land-based counterparts thanks to their incredibly enticing welcome bonus packages. From free spins bonus offers to extra playable credits, anyone looking to play slots for real money will get a huge head start with these welcome bonuses that you can't get in a physical venue—not to mention the additional perks that online casinos offer long-time players just like the loyalty programs offered by land-based casinos.
With literally hundreds of online slots games to choose from, finding the best slot games can get pretty overwhelming for new players. Not to worry, though, because that's where we come in.
We at Inside Casino are a close-knit team of casino game enthusiasts and industry experts that stay up to date on all of the latest casino games and industry news on Canada so that you don't have to. With the online gaming industry moving at a breakneck pace, we keep our fellow Canadian players informed of all of the latest trends in the industry with our professionally curated database of Canada's best casinos and online slot games that the Internet has to offer.
To actually make such a database, our reviewers run every online slot game through a gauntlet of tests that separate the best from the rest. Drawing upon years of industry knowledge and expertise, these tests assess slot games from every possible angle that players care about. To give you an idea of how we perform our reviews, here are a few of the key components and characteristics that we look at in each of our reviews:
Online slots stand out from other online casino games as software developers have much more freedom to get creative with their own takes on the core game of slots. While games like online blackjack are all generally focused on being as accurate to their real-life counterparts as possible, online slots developers take a page out of video game development to create brand new gameplay features and mechanics to keep players on their toes.
Some of these features include *payout multipliers*, *wild symbols*, and hidden *bonus rounds* that give players the chance to walk away with serious payouts with enough luck and a little bit of strategy. Our review process for these online slots, seek out these gameplay features through many hours of playtesting to let players know what to expect from each game.
The payouts offered by online slot games are probably the number one priority for anyone playing casino games. And although the spinning reels are programmed to land to random icons on every spin - which in turn makes your chances of payout random - how the slot pays out its winnings is predetermined by the developer of the game.
These characteristics are collectively known as the slot game's payout behaviour and is one of the major considerations for players who want to consistently win at real money slots.
Now, the actual code that determines the online slot machines' payout behaviours is known only to the people who made the game. However, our thorough testing and review process for online slot games here at Inside Casino allows us to determine two key indicators of payout behaviour: RTP and volatility.
The RTP or Return to Player rate is a measurement (usually written as a percentage) of how much of the wagers that go into the online slots game is paid back out to players. Meanwhile, volatility is more of a descriptive characteristic that indicates the size and frequency of the winnings given out by the game. Players who want to get the best odds of winning consistently in real money online slots will want to look for games with a high RTP (which pays out more) and low volatility (which lands frequent but relatively smaller wins).
Aside from the gameplay, another aspect of making slot games upon which developers can innovate is in their visual and sound design. Since online slots are all housed in software, slot game makers can bring to life whatever designs and themes they can think of. From ancient civilizations to sci-fi futurism, from the classic fruits and sevens to even ones based on popular movies and TV shows, imagination really is the only limit here.
Of course, art tends to be subjective, and our reviews do generally avoid making any value judgements when it comes to subjective qualities like this one. That being said, we do try to make sure that whatever visual and art elements are used in the slot game are done so to improve the overall experience; it is quite easy for some slot game developers to go a bit overboard with their designs and end up making the game difficult to control or play.
The game of slots has come a long way from its simple beginnings as a clockwork machine with reels and fruit symbols that gave out candy when you won. Nowadays, players are spoiled for choice with the sheer number of available games to play. From the laid-back feel of free online slots to the more serious stakes of real money slots, now has never been a better time to be an online casino enthusiast.
We hope that this page on online slots has given you an inside look into the latest evolution of one of the most beloved games in the casino. If you want to get started, you can take a look at our list of reviews here at Inside to help you find the best online slots and casinos in Canada.
While you might assume that online slots are just casino-themed video games, that couldn't be further from the truth. All of the best online slots in Canada can be played for real money, and all of them offer some serious payouts for those favoured by Lady Luck.
In fact, slot games boast some of the largest jackpot payouts of any game offered in an online casino. The grand prizes on fixed jackpot slots can range well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the most lucrative progressive jackpot slots letting winners walk away with life-changing 7- or even 8-digit sums.
Most online casinos are generally trustworthy in terms of providing a safe and secure online gambling experience. Of course, you can never be too sceptical when it comes to the security of your personal information—and more importantly, your money.
Here at Inside Casino, we make sure that all of the online casino platforms we review and recommend have complete and up-to-date licenses to offer their games to Canadian players. We do this through independent validation of these licenses with the casino's respective jurisdictions, allowing us to gain first-hand confirmation of the legal compliance of the casinos that receive our endorsement.
From the perspective of its gameplay, online slot machines are designed to be perfectly fair in the way they produce the icons that land when the reels stop spinning. This action is handled by a random number generator in the game's code that ensures that each spin will always produce a random outcome.
That being said, we touched on earlier that slot game developers can (and do) program their games to behave a certain way when it comes to when and how much to payout. We explain this in more detail in our section on Payout Behaviour, but the gist of it is that the odds of actually winning are predetermined by the developer and are tipped in favour of the casino to generate revenue. In this sense, one can argue that *all casino games* are rigged one way or the other.
If you are a Canadian who wants to play a few online slots, you can breathe easy—there is no law that says playing online casinos is illegal. That being said, operating an online casino in Canada is illegal without a license from the relevant authority in the country.
Of course, that doesn't mean that there aren't any illegally-operated casinos online; you'll find there are quite a lot of them if you try to seek them out. But if you err on the side of caution and follow legitimate reviews, finding the best and safest online casinos won't be an issue.