How to Play Slot Machines for Beginners (2024 Guide)

Are you wondering how to play slot machines for beginners? Follow our step-by-step guide as you make your first deposit and head for some entertainment on the virtual casino floor.

We also introduce some key terms you need to understand to play online slots, as well as how to unlock bonus rounds and get familiar with RTP and payouts. So, without further ado, read on to find out how to play slot machines for beginners in this comprehensive guide.

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Different Types of Online Slots for Beginners 

When you’re working out how to play slot machines for beginners, one of the most important things to realise is that there are actually several different types of slots you can play. Most online casinos boast huge slot libraries, with the following options available for you to try: 

Classic Slots 

Classic slots are perhaps the best option for beginners as they’re easy to get the hang of and feature uncluttered gameplay.

Most classic slot games take place on just three reels and have simple themes and straightforward designs, helping you to work through the motions and the mechanics of the gameplay.

Landing three matching symbols offer a payout in a classic slot game, and there’s not much else to it! Some classic slots still have impressive bonus features, increasing your chances of winning. 

Classic slots

Video Slots 

Video slots come with added complexity compared to classic slots, and they boast many impressive design features that add something to the gameplay.

Many video slots are played on five reels or more and are based on different themes while boasting entertaining gameplay and soundtracks. Due to the increased number of reels and paylines in video slots, there are more chances of winning.

They also usually come with several different bonus features that you can unlock, increasing the game’s scope even further. 

Video slots 

Megaways Slots 

As the name suggests, Megaways slots offer many winning ways in the base game, often over 100,000! Megaways slots aren’t usually any more complex than video slots, and many of the most popular slots have a Megaways option attached.

While beginners can enjoy Megaways slots, they typically offer less frequent payouts. They aren’t necessarily as enjoyable as some of the simpler classic slots you can enjoy when you’re just starting. 

Megaways slots

Progressive jackpot slots 

Progressive jackpot slots offer genuinely life-changing sums of money to players. Mega Moolah is one of the most popular progressive jackpot slot titles, but there are many to choose from today. In a progressive slot, a proportion of your bet is taken and contributes towards a progressive jackpot, which you can win by playing the game. The jackpot continues to roll over until it is won, and many progressive jackpots offer payouts in the millions of pounds! 

When you’re just starting, it makes sense to start with some classic slot titles before increasing the depth and complexity of the games when you become more experienced. 

Progressive jackpot slots

How to Play Slot Machines for Beginners: Step-by-Step 

Now that you’ve decided that you want to start playing online slot games, this section walks you through the five steps that you need to take to spin the reels on your chosen games:

Step 1: Choose a casino & deposit 

Your first job is to choose an online casino at which you plan to play slots. There are so many casinos to choose from, but you need to ensure that you select a licensed, trusted, and safe platform. Once you have chosen a reputable site, create an account and deposit funds to start playing. 

Step 2: Select a game 

It won’t have escaped your attention that hundreds of slot titles exist at every online casino, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. We recommend choosing a simple slot game to start with while you get used to the format. Look at games with three reels and three rows and find games with a low minimum bet. Fire Joker is a great game for beginners to start with. 

Step 3: View the pay table 

The game’s pay table explains how to form winning combinations and what to look out for in the slot. It also mentions any special features and bonus rounds you can trigger and how to unlock them. You should always review the pay table before playing a new slot game so you know what you’re looking for during the game. 

Step 4: Place your bet 

You’re now ready to place your bets. Some slots allow you to select how many paylines you would like to play for, which increases the bet size. You will also need to decide how much to bet per spin. When you’re just starting, we recommend betting as little as possible while you get used to the mechanics and gameplay. 

Step 5: Spin the reels! 

All that’s left is to spin the reels and watch the action unfold. Some slots have an auto-spin feature that you can activate if you don’t want to spin the reels between bets manually, but it’s entirely up to you. If you land a winning combination, the funds will be added to your account automatically, and you can leave the game anytime. 

How to Play Slot Machines for Beginners: Key Terms to Know 

When familiarising yourself with online casino games, you will be aware that there are lots of terms you might not understand. Worry not – here are some of the key words you need to understand to play slot games at online casinos:

  • Reels: Reels appear horizontally or column-like across the gaming grid in slot games. Slots typically consist of between 3-9 reels; the more reels in play, the more chances you have of winning. 
  • Paylines: A payline is a pattern you can follow to make a winning combination on the game grid, with many moving from left to right. Some slots offer just one payline, while others offer up to fifty. You can increase your bet to include more paylines on the grid in some slots. 
  • Symbols: Every slot game has unique symbols that can appear on the grid and are usually tied to the game’s theme. You can find the value of the symbols in the associated pay table, which indicates how much you stand to win when you form winning combinations on the grid. 
  • Wilds: If a game has a wild symbol, it can usually appear at random and typically replaces all other symbols. As a result, it can help to complete winning combinations and increases your chances of winning. 
  • Scatters: Many slot games also have scatter symbols, which trigger the game’s free spins or bonus round. Usually, you have to land three or more scatters in view to start the game’s bonus features, but every slot title is different. 
  • Multipliers: Another key feature of many slot games is multipliers. When you land a multiplier, it increases the value of your win by x2 or x2,000, depending on the rules stipulated in the game. Multipliers can be highly lucrative and are much sought after in slot games. 
  • Sticky and stacked symbols: Sticky symbols land on the reels and remain there for several spins, while stacked symbols allow standard icons to occupy more than one slot on a reel, increasing your chances of winning. 

Understanding these key terms will help you navigate the gameplay of online slots and ensure that you have all bases covered as you place your bets and spin the reels.

Slots for Beginners: Unlocking Bonus Rounds 

Naturally, the bonus round is one of the most attractive elements of any slot game. Most slot titles have some form of bonus round, as it’s a way of keeping players engaged, but there are so many different types of bonus features and games that you might come across, including: 

  • Free spins: Perhaps the most popular type of bonus round in slot games, a free spins round offers you a specific number of spins to play without betting your own money. Sometimes free spins come with a multiplier to increase your chances of winning further. 
  • Respins: Some slot games offer a respins feature, which sees the reels respin after winning combinations or for other reasons during the base game. 
  • Bonus wheels or reels: Other slot titles present players with a bonus reel or wheel that reveals cash prizes, respins, or multipliers, which you can then use to try and increase your winning chances. 
Slots for Beginners
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

In most slot games, you can unlock bonus rounds and features by landing a specific number of scatter symbols in the base game (you can find this information on the paytable). In other games, the bonus round is tied to how many winning combinations you land. 

Sometimes, it’s even possible to buy the game’s bonus features, which you can do for a specific amount of money at any time during the base game. Only a select number of games allow you to do this, but it can be worth it if you want to experience a game’s bonus round and haven’t been able to trigger it naturally.

Understanding Odds and Payouts 

One of the most important metrics before playing a slot game is its RTP (return to player) percentage. For instance, if a game has an RTP percentage of 97%, it means that 0.97 of every 1.00 spent on the game is returned to the players. The higher the RTP, the more the game pays out. 

However, you should also consider a game’s variance or volatility. Slot games with high volatility pay out higher amounts less often, while games with low volatility pay out lower amounts more often. As such, lower volatility games are better suited to beginners, as they’re more enjoyable and get you into the habit of winning. 

As you progress and become more familiar with the gameplay of online slots, you can mix things up and try games with higher volatility, as they present you with the opportunity to win more significant amounts of money. 

Recap: How to Play Slot Machines for Beginners 

Perhaps the key thing to remember when learning how to play slot machines for beginners is that you should start slowly and keep things simple when you’re just starting.

Classic slots provide the perfect foundation to build from, as you can experience the gameplay and get a feel for how slots actually work before diving into more complex games. Some players find classic slots offer all the entertainment they need, while others decide the more complex games are their preference.

With so many slots to choose from, it’s best to dive in and try different styles and themes of slot games to see what works for you.

We hope you can use this guide to your benefit as you start playing online slot games this year, and we wish you the best of luck as you spin the reels and look for big wins.

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