Types of Online Pokies: 12 Most-Popular Slot Machine Reel & Win Formats
There is a lot of discussion around online slots in 2023 and for a good reason. These games continually evolve, catering to all tastes and expectations. Players can try pretty much any theme, enjoy a range of game styles, wager for a diverse range of rewards, while also being aware of the risk level involved beforehand – by only selecting their video slot carefully before playing.
With some online casinos providing access to more than 5,000 slot machines, and with over 100 software providers competing against each other for the next big innovation – the online slots niche is one to be taken seriously; and this is exactly what I am doing on this page, by offering you a complete overview of all slot machines types, with some exemplar titles for every slot type, alongside insights for them. Before diving into every category and the niche that is best for you, I will briefly introduce you to the online slot machine world and the features that underpin these games!
Class I, II and III Types of Slot Machines
The concept of slot machines separated into classes emerged from the jurisdictions that are regulated by The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; under which, there are three different pokies types: Class I, Class II and Class III slot machines.
The first, refers to pokies machines that payout very small prizes, which are often played within small circles at tribal ceremonies and celebrations.
Class II captures all the games that can be categorized under bingo and played in land-based venues, although in many cases, Class 2 casino games have zero differences from the third category.
Under Class III pokies, we can categorize anything outside the above two types – which include pretty much all slot machines that we see today. From casino machines that you can play at Las Vegas Casinos to online slots that are all over the globe, all such games are categorized under Class 3. Likewise, roulette, blackjack and other table games are also falling under this category.
What differentiates class III games from the two other categories is the RNG technology, which is central to online casino games today. Despite the RTP that is ingrained into RNG games, which pays back to players a certain amount in the long run, they can payout jackpot multiple times in the row or not pay at all – as it all pins down to luck, or random probabilities fueled by modern technology.
How Are Modern Slot Machines Programmed?
Besides the RNG technology that underpins all slot machines, as long as you play on licensed casinos, there are a few other important factors that affect pokies performance and gameplay:
- Return to Player Rate – the RTP is the most referenced value when we are analyzing online slots and for a good reason. The software providers program every slot machine with a pay out rate, which will unfold over millions of spins. The pay out rate is always below 100%, as the casino that hosts the game is destined to profit from it on your behalf. Nonetheless, with some pokies carrying an RTP close to 99%, you can pick a slot game that carries better odds than another. For instance, the RTP can range from 80% – 99.99%, with some games being obviously better to play.
- Volatility – this value is a bit more important than the RTP, although most are unaware. The RTP is calculated over millions and millions of spins, which makes it very unlikely to confirm its rate in a single gaming session, indifferently to how long that is. Volatility, on the other hand, indicates how frequent the wins will be, as their size; with high volatility games paying less often but higher amounts. Based on this element, players can select a game that is more appropriate for them.
- Hit Rate – the hit rate is not a very solid metric, as some pokies pay cents for wins, while others pay dollars for similar symbol combinations. However, the rate that a slot game hits a winning combination is something you can also consider. But more importantly, you should search for hit rate of the jackpots and bonus features, as these will most likely payout solid amounts.
- Maximum Win – although the hit rate is not always available, the maximum win that a game offers is. Before you start betting, it is useful to know what is the highest prize you can land in a slot machine, to weight whether the risk is actually worth. Indifferently to whether you are a high roller or not, there is no reason for betting on slots with a max win of less than 2,000x your bet. Likewise, if you are playing pokies with 10,000x wins or over, you could bag $1,000 for a $0.10 betting amount. Some have even won millions with stakes of $2 or less.
- Reels – up to this point, we have been discussing elements that determine the payouts and how much you could win from a slot machine. Although the reels of a slot don’t necessarily affect the outcome of your gaming, they are central to it. Indifferently to the quality of a slot machine, 3 reelers are very different from 5 reel slot machines or other types pokies; both in terms of payouts per combination and special features. More on that below.
- Game format – likewise, games with paylines, ways to win systems, tumble reels or megaways can pay equally big sums of money. Still, the overall gaming experience and how the action unfolds is totally different.
- Special Features – there is hardly any recent slot machine release that does not implement one bonus or another. Wild symbols, scatters and free spins are some of the most common bonus features in pokies today, with hundreds more being within your reach if you know what to look out for. Ante bets, bonus buy, progressive bonuses, mini games, hold and spin and wheels are just a few of my personal favourite special features.
- Bet Levels – last but not least, the amount you will need to stake to take part in a game is not to be taken lightly. There are cent slot games that you can play with other pokies taking up to $1,000 per spin. Depending on your expectations, financial condition and mood, your game selection should be spot on when it comes to bet levels.
With all the above in mind, take a look into the different categories of pokies available to play today.
1. Classic Slots
This category is quite broad, covering all games that follow classic Vegas style slot machines and fruit machines, indifferently to whether they have 3 or infinite amount of reels.
First off, classic pokies with 7s, Bars, Bells and Diamonds are often considered classic pokies for a good reason; they offer a retro feel, with high payouts during the base game and usually just wilds and scatter symbols in terms of special features. Signature classic pokies of that style are Joker’s Jewels by Pragmatic Play, Twin Spin from NetEnt and Double Diamond from IGT.
Similarly, fruit machines follow the gamestyle of the Liberty Bell, the first ever slot machine. Common symbols include oranges, plums, cherries, grapes, watermelons and other fruits; wins here are also mostly apparent during the base game, with bonus features being rare. A few popular fruit machines today are Super Hot Fruits, Fruit Shop and Fruit Party.
It is not uncommon to find a mix of the two classic styles in one, as is the case with Diamond Strike slot, which has both retro and fruit symbols.
2. Video Slots
Similarly to classic pokies, video slots is also a broad category, which is an umbrella term often used to describe all slot machines that have advanced symbols, bonus features and various ways to win per spin. Unlike classic slots, video slots represent a range of themes, with some common ones being: Egypt, Chinese, Music, Animals, Celebrities, Movies, Superheroes and so on. In most cases, video slots will offer multipliers, free spins, at least one bonus game type and wild symbols. Another major difference between classic pokies and video slots lies within the graphics. Forget din and dan sounds and pixeled symbols, as video slot machines offer 3D and animated action. Some of the most popular video slots of all times include:
- Starburst – free respins, wilds and an outer space theme.
- Book of Dead – expanding symbols, free games, gamble feature and an Egyptian theme.
- Asgard – one of the best depictions of Valhalla, coloured by multipliers, free games and rolling reels.
- Reel Rush – offers a progressive gameplay, with symbols appearing in more reels as wins come and a fruity theme.
- Gladiator – is a jackpot slot game that depicts all characters from the infamous movie, who respond to all winning combinations or trigger cinematic trailers.
3. Live Slots
By far the most up to date types of pokies, live games employ a mixture of slot machine action and live casino games. Also operating with an RNG, live slots play as normal slot machines, with a host directing the action.
Playtech and Evolution are the two software developers that run the show so far, with games like Live Buffalo Blitz and Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt being the best live slots ever.
4. 3-Reel Slots
Now into more specific categories of slots, 3 reelers were the initial games that players used to engage with at land-based casinos. Although such slot machines might seem outdated, software providers often create very advanced pokies with three reels, which do not lack in terms of bonus features, jackpots or any regard.
In most cases, 3 reel slot machines will pay bigger prizes for matching symbols, as it is much harder to do compared to pokies with more reels. Payouts for 3x identical symbols can lead to payouts starting at 5x your bet or even more, always depending on the respective symbol values. 3×3 reels slots carry 1 – 9 paylines, so wins are harder to form but the excitement remains at high levels, due to the high wins that can be achieved during the base game. Some top 3 reel pokies include:
- Charlie Chance in Hell to Pay is a fascinated slot machine with 3 reels and a 96.23% RTP. The dark theme is executed beautifully, while the game is very exciting thanks to its free spins, random multipliers, and high jackpot at 6,666x the bet level.
- Mega Joker by NetEnt is one of the best slot machines with 3 reels ever made. The RTP of the slot ranges, reaching up to 99% during the supermeter mode, while the progressive jackpot apparent often reaches millions.
- Hot Chilli is another great slot machine with just 3 reels, positioned in a circular game grid with dark red background. The symbols are in 4D design, while multipliers and wilds also spice things up.
- Break Da Bank is a signature Microgaming slot machine, that offers up to 5 paylines and a multiplier wild symbol. The theme is gold and the gameplay as classic as it gets.
- 5x Magic is a Play’n Go 3 reel slot, with a win that can reach 5,000x your bet. Get three magician symbols on the reels for 50x your stake, while the multiplier wild can get you the jackpot.
5. 5-Reel Slot Machines
Slot games with 5 reels are the predominant category since 2015. Such slot machines allow for bigger variety in terms of symbols, paylines and winning combinations. Developers take different approaches to 5×5 video slots, with wins paying both ways, scatters that trigger bonus rounds, different types of wilds, random bonuses that can appear in the base game and various more intricacies.
Such variety of symbols and game features is not feasible in 3 reelers, as there is not enough space due to the limit in slots spaces. Video slots pay much less during the base game, as these are programmed to return large sums during the bonus rounds. Thus, when selecting a video slot, it is important to choose the game with the best bonus features. Some of our top picks include:
- Blood Sucker video slot is a product of NetEnt, which programmed with a 98% RTP. Multipliers and free spins are the special features that are likely to pay the highest amounts here, while participation requires a $0.25 per spin.
- Immortal Romance is a similarly themed pokie, which carries a wealth of bonus features. Microgaming has built the free games to incorporate multipliers and special functions, with a minimum entry requirement for each.
- Thunderstruck 2 is also a Microgaming product, which operates in a very similar fashion to Immortal Romance. With 4 different bonus features, multipliers and stack wilds, the Mjolnir is likely to become your new best friend.
- Pirate Gold is a 5 reeler with 6 rows, allowing for various winning combinations. Pragmaitc Play has set its RTP above 96.50%, while the heftier payouts can land in a free spins bonus with additional wilds or during the Hold and Spin bonus feature.
- The Goonies slot game by Blueprint, is powered with over 7 bonus features and a 96% RTP. Players can relive the childhood membership as they sail away, while the jackpot king version of the same slot has also become very popular!
243, 720, 1024 and 3125 ways to win slots
Due to video slots being such a massive category, it is not uncommon to see different ways to win systems within such games. 243 ways to win, 720, 1,024 and 3,125 are the most usual alternative systems to the paylines format, excluding some categories that we will explore later on. Below, we offer the best such games while also illustrating how the ways to win are coming about:
- 243 ways to win slots become reality by allowing wins on adjacent reels on 5 reels and 3 rows games. One of the best such slots is the Game of Thrones 243 ways that comes with free spins and four bonus features that captivates audiences similarly to the TV show.
- 720 ways to win are only available in slot machines 5 reels and 3, 4, 5, 3, and 3 rows on each respective reel. Such games also pay for identical symbols on adjacent reels. A signature 720 ways to win slot game is Day of the Dead by IGT, which offers up to 240 free spins to lucky players.
- 1024 ways to win slots carry a format of 5×4 reels and rows. Not many games fall under this category, with Hot Ink being one of the very few that also come with medium volatility and 96.49% RTP!
- While the 5×5 video slots format that pays on adjacent reels allows for up to 3,125 ways to win. A top release that follows this format is Reel Rush, whereby players unlock more rows as they form winning combinations.
6. 6-Reel Online Slots
Naturally, players would eventually lose their excitement over 5 reels slot games, which has led to the emergence of 6 reelers. Although 5×5 video slots remain the norm, a wealth of six reel slot games have also appeared. Such games create extra possibilities for the developers, with various more paylines being apparent, additional symbols, more advanced special features, alternative winning formats, and potential for larger wins during the base game by matching six or more identical symbols.
- Starlight Princess is my personal favourite six reeler, which can award 500x multipliers even during the base game. It has an above average RTP at 96.50%, while it uses a Pay Anywhere system, with winning symbols tumbling away, offering space for new combinations to take place.
- Gates of Olympus was the first slot machine to employ the pay anywhere system, while also incorporating very high multipliers. Another Pragmatic Play slot with an above average RTP and free games that deserves a top place amongst 6 reel slot machines.
- Zeus III is a WMS slot machine with 6 reels and 192 paylines. Players will encounter stacked wilds and symbols on the reels, as well as free games that can massively boost their payouts.
- Germinator is a fun to play slot machince from Microgaming, that comes with 6 reels and 12 paylines. The game operates with an average RTP and variance, featuring an extra game, wilds, scatters and cascading wins.
- Piggy Bank Bills is 6 reel and 9 payline slot machine that was the first game of the now popular series. Bets range from $0.20 – $100 per spin with base game symbols paying up to 1,000x your bet. The bonus feature of this game is by far the most exciting I have seen, with piggy multiplier notes paying up to 5,000x your bet.
Although six reelers are not that common today, we expect a range of such games to appear following the success of the above five titles.
4096 ways to win slots
Most 6 reel slot machines come with a different set up in terms of paylines, as we illustrated above, but the 4,096 ways to win system is very prevalent. As such, the games do not pay on the traditional paylines, in the same way to 243 ways to win slot games. Our personal favourite from this sub-category of six reelers include:
- Buffalo Blitz 2 by Playtech is another fascinating slot game with 6 reels. The RTP here is below average, at 95.56%, while it offers 4,096 ways to win per spin. Wild multipliers, free games and random multipliers have all contributed to its huge success.
- Raging Rhino is a WMS slot machine with 4,096 ways to win. Players can enjoy the action from $0.20 per spin, with a calculated RTP at 96.20%. The reels expand, uncovering more action and up to 46,656 ways to win. There are three jackpots up for grabs, so hop into this safari as soon as you can!
- Danger High Voltage 2 was a much-anticipated slot machine from Big Time Gaming. Playing with 6×4 reels and rows, the game offers up to 4,096 ways to win through additional reels, expanding wilds, free spins and more.
I am personally looking forward to more 4,096 ways to win slots to emerge, as this niche allows for much more variety in terms of symbols and bonus features.
7. Megaways Slots
After the video slots, the one category that has equally captivated audiences is the Megaways one. Yes, 243 ways to win pokies are popular too, but from all other niches – only the mega ways has been equally popular with the first 5×5 reels and paylines games.
The first game that popularized this mechanic was Bonanza Megaways, a Big Time Gaming slot that had 6 reels and up to 7 rows. The number of symbols that can land on each row varies from 2 – 7, which solely depends on the size of each symbol; if the game format is 6×7, then up to 117,649 ways to win are up that can lead to huge wins. Still, the number of Megaways per round is variant, so you must be lucky to get the maximum win ways – with some Megaways slots offering even more than 200,000 ways to win. My personal 5 best Megaways slots are:
- White Rabbit Megaways is a fairy themed slot with up to 97.72% RTP and up to 248,382 ways to win. Additional reels, free games, feature drops and more special features are up in this Megaways slot!
- NFT Megaways is a 2022 slot game release, based on the digital tokens that people have been loving. Developed by Red Tiger Gaming, this slot has up to 200,704 ways to win, with 6 reels and a variant number of rows. Bets start from $0.10 with a maximum win of over 10,000x your bet.
- Gonzos Quest Megaways is also powered by Red Tiger, based on the original Gonzos Quest title of NetEnt. With unbreaking wilds, unlimited multipliers, avalanche reels and up to 25 free games – it is a great game to try out.
- Fluffy Favourites Megaways is not as popular as the original Eyecon’s Fluffy Favourites video slot, but I personally love it. With 3 bonus mini games and inclusive bets from $0.10, I think you will like it.
- Divine Fortune Megaways is the remake of the top-notch NetEnt slot game, Divine Fortune. With expanding wilds, walking wilds, free respins and three jackpots, there is no downside to visiting Greek mythology with this game.
Keep in mind that most Megaways slots are based on previously created video slots, just revamped with this payline format. Such games tend to have low betting levels, ranging from $0.20 – $20 per spin, as they often provide maximum wins of 10,000 – 20,000x the players’ stake. Free games, progressive multipliers, avalanche wins and an RTP of about 95 – 96% are their common elements. For more variety in volatility and higher RTPs, you should look in the other categories that we touched upon here.
8. Cluster Slots
The avalanche feature that is apparent in many Megaways and normal video slots, offering consecutive wins with a single bet, is also very common in Cluster slot machines. With such games, players do not form wins on paylines or adjacent reels, rather on grouped symbols. This format was introduced with NetEnt’s Aloha Cluster Pays slot game, a very popular video slot to this date.
In these games, players can form multiple winning combinations at a single spin, as long as more than one cluster of 4/5 symbols land on two reels. Cluster pay slot games usually come with high volatility and over five reels and 4 rows, so that clusters are more likely to come by. My favourite such slot machines are:
- Gemix is a beautiful Play’n Go slot game, played on an 8×8 reel set. Wins form in clusters of 5, with up to 1,000x the players’ bet for a cluster of 15 high paying symbols. More bonus features are apparent in the form of exploding symbols, expanding ones and connected gems!
- Gems Bonanza is very popular cluster slot, powered by Pragmaitc Play. With 8×8 reels, players can form wins in clusters of five symbols, while expanding symbols, wilds, multipliers and a progressive feature spike the action.
- The Legend of Shangri La is also a product of NetEnt, which operates in 6×5 reel set, with low to medium variance and a 96.59% RTP. Here, you can win up to $2 million, with expanding symbols, random wilds and more bonuses!
- Astro Legend by Foxium is a 96.13% RTP slot with medium volatility. Place bets from $0.10 per spin and try to form a 5 symbol cluster or trigger the free spins for unparalleled returns.
- Golden Glyph is one of the Quickspin slots, that can pay up to 13,185x the player’s bet. With the action unpacking on 7×7 reels, players can win by matching 5 or more identical symbols in clusters, which lead to consecutive tumble wins.
The next trend after Megaways slots, could as well be the Megaquads game mechanic. Also inspired by Big Time Gaming, this feature results in a slot machine that plays in 4 different reel sets, each with a 4×4 format and up to 256 ways to win; when added together, we got 1,024 ways to win. Nonetheless, one could argue that such pokies have been around for a long time, but this mechanic allows for new bonus features to be introduced.
For instance, a bonus feature in Vegas Megaquads slot game connects the reel sets; with two added leading to 65,536 ways to win. When the free spins bonus is also active, players can end up with 16,777,216 ways to win in the same game. Still, besides the aforementioned game, there hasn’t been any other Megaquad slot machine.
10. Megaspin Pokies & Quad Slots
In contrast, Quad slots or Megaspin pokies are a bit more common. The main difference from the Megaquads, is that players will bet on different set of reels of the same slot machine game at once, without the possibility of merging reels – which can lead to further winning ways.
When it comes to the differences between Quad and Megaspin pokies, it is simple; quad slots include games that can only be played on 4x different sets, with the bets being identical for all four sets:
- Eye of Horus Power 4 is one of the most popular Quad slots, with bets ranging from $0.10 – $25 per spin, per reel set. If you set your bets are $1 and hit spin, you will pay $4 and the action will take place on 4x sets of 5×3 reels. The outcomes can be different on each set, all according to the RNG of the slot. 20,000x can be won here, while the RTP is 96.35% and the variance high!
The idea behind the Quad slots is identical with Megaspin pokies; however, the latter can come with more sets of reels, usually up to 9. Further, the bets can be set differently on each reel set, which is wicked! Some games that feature the Megaspin mechanic include:
- MegaSpin Major Millions slot by Microgaming takes the progressive jackpot and offers 6 opportunities to win it, with six different set of reels that you can play at once. Multipliers, wilds and a stunning progressive pot set this game apart from the rest.
- MegaSpin Double Magic is where you should look for a classic slot machine that has been modernized. With up to 9 reel sets of three rows and three reels, you can enjoy a wealth of multiplier wilds and huge payouts from matching symbols.
- Fantastic 7s is another pokie from the Microgaming MegaSpin series, which allows for 4, 6 or 9 sets of reels for bets. The design is simplistic, but the action is unppareled when betting on all 9 machines, with up to $135 per spin.
It should be noted that most Megaspin pokies to date come from Microgaming, which set to modernize its classic pokies by adding this unique feature.
11. Progressive Jackpot Slots
What has literally shaken the casino world equally to the video slot was the progressive jackpot system. It allowed casinos to link their slot machines to have the possibility to payout a huge pot that is increased by a percentage of all bets placed at the linked games. A lucky player would win the progressive jackpot, which would then reset and start increasing again, according to the bets placed on the linked games.
This feature allowed casinos to attract people from all over the world, as the progressive jackpots would reach over $50 million. Traditionally, there were three progressive jackpot types:
- Stand Alone – this type refers to individual slot machines offering a progressive jackpot that increases by the bets placed on this particular gaming machine over time.
- In-house – in contrast, such progressive jackpots included many games, usually from the same developer. This jackpot type was more popular, as it increased at a much faster rate.
- Wide Area/Network – the last type of brick and mortar casino jackpots is also the most lucrative. As the name suggests, these progressive jackpots incorporated hundreds of slot machines, which were connected to a single progressive jackpot that would end up to a single winner.
Today, online casinos have also incorporated progressive jackpots that operate in the exact same fashion as the above; nonetheless, new types have also been introduced, such as daily, weekly and monthly jackpots – which must be paid out within a given time frame.
There is no single way to win the progressive jackpot, as each slot machine or linked network offers its own progressive bonus feature, with some paying at random during the base game. The most popular progressive networks today are:
- Mega Moolah from Microgaming: 5 Reel Drive Mega Moolah, Mega Moolah ISIS, Mega Moolah Absolutely Mad and 8 more.
- Jackpot King by Blueprint: Fishing Frenzy Jackpot King, Ted Jackpot King, Rick and Morty Jackpot King and 10 more.
- Age of the Gods from Playtech: Age of the Gods Roulette, Age of the Gods Athena vs Ares, Age of the Gods King of the Underworld and 15 more.
More developers have released their own pokies with progressive jackpots, such as Beach Life, Superman, Batman vs Joker and thousand more.
12. Fixed Jackpot Slots
The popularity of progressive jackpots has also resulted in fixed jackpot pokies. These are not very different from normal video slots, as their jackpots are dependent on the bet level and do not increase over time/bet. Nonetheless, they offer an extra reason to play a slot machine, as these pokies usually offer additional bonus features that can result in a good winning sum.
Still, the negative aspect of fixed jackpot games is that their pot can sometimes be lower than the maximum win offered by the same games or by non-jackpot video slots, which, in essence, diminishes the notion of the word jackpot in itself; more so when you consider that there are often 4 types of fixed jackpots, with the mini paying 20x the bet, the major paying 100x the bet, the maxi rewarding 500x the bet and the grand paying 2,000x the bet. The above are very low compared to pokies that have no jackpot but can pay 10,000 – 35,000x the players’ stake.
Nevertheless, fixed jackpot pokies are very common at online casinos, and some pay more than 2,000x the player’s bet; some worthwhile being:
- Fluffy Favourites Jackpot by Eyecon builds upon the original slot machine, adding three jackpots, which can pay up to $50,000.
- Chilli Heat is a Mexican themed slot by Pragmatic Play, which offers free spins and a Hold and Spin feature that can result in 3x jackpots, which pays up to 1,000x the player’s stake.
- Red Wizard Fire Blaze is Playtech product, which was the second slot game of the very popular Fire Blaze Classics series. The game offers wilds, scatters, free spins, stacked symbols and 4x jackpots – with up to 2,000x payouts for the grand.
- Rainbow Riches Pots of Gold was powered by Barcrest after the success of the original Rainbow Riches slot machine. Here, Bacrcrest introduced its Mega Drop jackpot, which pays up to 5,000x the player’s stake before it resets. Two more jackpots are also apparent, paying 500x and 2,000x.
- White Panda Full Moon is the first of the White Panda jackpot series from Playtech, which incorporates four jackpots, that pay 20x, 50x, 500x and 2,000x. Free spins, scatters and wilds are also apparent in this slot machine.
Not sure if you have played the above, but a common element in most fixed jackpot slots is the Hold and Spin feature. This bonus round leads to a bonus screen, whereby prizes land for three times in the row, unless a prize lands on the reels which resets the free respins to their initial count. Filling all positions pays out the Grand jackpot, while more jackpots can be paid during the process.
Other bonus features can also lead to fixed jackpots, which you might also encounter as flat jackpots or cashpot. My favourite jackpot bonus features include ladders, wheels and pick and win mini games. Nevertheless, some boring jackpot slots payout their flat jackpot randomly, during any given spin.
Other Types of Slot Games
We have covered all types of slots available today, although many of the above categories coincide. For instance, the last game we discussed, White Panda Full Moon, is a video slot that plays with 5×3 reels, 25 paylines and carries fixed jackpots. This means that you can find games that fall under more than a single category, like many classic pokies that also carry progressive jackpots. So, if you are fond of more than one of the above groups of slot games, you can search for the one that ticks all your boxes. Some other types of slots that should be highlighted include:
- Slingo slot machines is a gaming category in its own right, operating similarly to bingo. There are over 30 Slingo Slots, which play on a 5×5 grid with a single reel on the bottom, whereby balls land to try and complete matching combinations on the game grid. These games have their own bonus features, while also often reflect the theme of classic pokies. My personal favourites are Slingo Reel King, Slingo Rainbow Riches and Starburst Slingo.
- All ways pokies are the slots that payout for winning combinations anywhere on the reels, as long as enough symbols are apparent; best all ways slot machines are Gates of Olympus, Starlight Princess and Sweet Bonanza.
- Fixed lines refer to the games that come without adjustable paylines. These games include about half of the available online slots today, with one major disadvantage to their flexible counterpart: Bets start at a minimum of $0.20 in most cases, as players bet $0.01 per line minimum.
- Optional lines is the oppositive to the above, offering bets from as low as $0.01 per spin.
- Single line slots are exactly what the name says, slot machines that pay out on a single reel, indifferently to whether more reels are visible. Microgaming has produced quite a few such slots, which surprisingly even feature bonuses, like wilds and multipliers. If you fancy fruity slots, you should try single reel slots, like 7 Fortune Frenzy. Seven 7s and Wow Pot slots.
- Pay both ways is a feature that is common in many slots, with Starburst being the most popular. Although most video slots pay from left to right, with clusters and other types breaking away from this norm, both ways wins games will award winning combinations that start from both the left and the right. Such games carry lower volatility, with the best titles to play being Cyrus the Virus, Siberian Storm and Turning Totems.
- Bonus Buy is again a category of games that can be found on all types of slots. Players pay 100 – 200x their bet to trigger the bonus round, without waiting for it to launch during the base game. It is often used by slots streamers, as a way to keep their viewers interested, although I find it rather vulgar – removing all the fun from the slot machine.
- Crypto Slots are the games that one can play at selected crypto casinos. Not all developers allow casino sites to offer their software to players that deposit through Bitcoin, so some providers have acquired the title ‘crypto’ for their slot machines. Such developers are Playson, BGaming and MrSlotty, amongst others.
Which is the Best Slot Machine Type?
For starters, there is no definitive answer to the above. Each player likes what they like, for their own personal reasons. For instance, I hate progressive jackpot slots, as the odds of winning are very low, while others enjoy them due to the thrill that the concept adds to the overall gambling experience. To help every single reader, I will list the best type of slots for each player type:
|Classic Slots||Ideal for traditional players, that are after high payouts during any single spin.|
|Video Slots||Perfect for those looking for variety in theme, bet levels, volatility, RTP and software.|
|Live Slots||Best for players who are less focused on winning and more about having fun.|
|Ways to Win Slots||Players looking for progressive bonuses with huge winning potential, indifferently of the risk/volatility of the game.|
|Megaways Slots||Punters who are tired of playing the same old video slots could turn to the revamped Megaways versions of their favourite slots.|
|Megaspin Slots||Ideal for all players who want to bet big, while don’t want to wait for the 3 seconds required for spin to be completed.|
|Progressive Jackpot Slots||Players with deep pockets and long-term winning strategy are better to focus on this category in particular.|
|Fixed Jackpot Slots||Top for punters who enjoy multiple bonus features, indifferently of the potential winning size.|
Best Casinos with a Variety of Online Slots
Now, not all online casinos are equal, as not every slot machine type is. Players looking to try more than a single slot machine type should gravitate towards sites that are collaborating with more than a single developer.
It is true that many platforms in Australia, US and Latin America are powered by a single provider, which tend to be one of the following:
While many European casinos are licensed by either Microgaming or Playtech software. Indifferently to how strong or multi-faceted a provider and their games are, each one tends to follow a singular style in terms of graphics, gameplay and bonus features. Thus, for the biggest variety in terms of slot machines, we would recommend casinos that host games from over 10 providers. What some popular providers tend to offer within their include:
- NetEnt games usually come with high RTPs and very high bet levels.
- Red Tiger Gaming has some of the best Megaways slots under its name.
- Pragmatic Play focuses on new game formats, with pay anywhere, tumble slots and fixed jackpot bonuses being very common amongst their games.
- Blueprint has taken many popular cultural icons and turned them into slot machines, which something you might enjoy.
- Quickspin is a gaming software provider that plays around with fantasy themes, introducing multiple bonus features within their games.
As you can understand, there is a lot to gain from accessing more than a single provider of slots at your chosen casino site. Thus, we suggest that you join one of the below sites, which offer pokies from over 30 developers, all in one place:
Besides a huge range of pokies, with some offering over 3,000 in their libraries, all the above are licensed, compatible with both mobile and desktop, safe to play, provide demo pokies, accept multiple payment methods and offer splendid customer support.
- About the Author
- Affiliate Disclosure
Michael has reviewed and verified all information on this page. Having worked in the iGaming industry for over 8 years, he is the most capable person to help you navigate online casinos, pokies, and the Australian gambling landscape.