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How Do Online Slots Differ from Each Other?

To some people, online slot machines may all look the same, but, in fact, all online slots differ in a number of ways, from the more obvious to the less obvious. Here, you can find out how today's online slot machines differ from one another, and some of the main things we will be taking a closer look at here are the main types of slots, the software providers that make the games, the payline/win way structure/format, how many reels each slot has, and the different types of symbols and in-play bonus features you are likely to come across.

What are the different types of online slots?

Different Types of Online SlotsThere are literally thousands of online slot machines out there today,
and the main types include:

You can also find several other categories, and the thing that you need to remember is that one online slot machine can fall into one or more of the categories mentioned above. One of the best ways to tell the different slots apart is to categorise them by which online casino software provider has developed them. There are more than 50 leading independent studios and software providers out there today, and each company has produced its own take on the traditional slot machine with its own unique style.

For example, a seasoned pro who may have been playing slots for several years will easily be able to tell the difference between IGT slots and Microgaming slots, and they would also be able to tell the difference between Playtech slots, NetEnt slots, Red Tiger Gaming slots, and Blueprint Gaming slots. Some of the other top software providers out there today that have developed industry-award-winning slots are Play'n GO, Pragmatic Play, Yggdrasil Gaming, Thunderkick, ELK Studios, and Relax Gaming.

After playing several slots from one of these providers, you will notice a certain style of their games, and then when you switch to playing games from another provider, you will notice the subtle differences between both providers' slots.

Online slot themes

You will also notice that there are many different online slot machine 'themes' out there today, and some of the most popular slot themes are Irish, Luck O' the Irish, or Leprechaun-themed slots, Greek Mythology-themed slots, Viking & Norse Mythology-themed slots, and Ancient Egypt-themed slots. Other popular genres include branded Television Show & Movie-themed slots, Horror-themed slots, Sports-themed slots, Asian-themed slots, Fishing-themed slots, and Ocean/Underwater-themed slots, to name just a few top themes.

Bonus features, Megaways, wild symbols, and payline structure

Some slots come with bonus features that can trigger on any lucky spin, such as a Free Spins Bonus, a simple Picking Bonus, or a Wild Symbol feature. You will also find that some slots have 3 reels, and others have 5, and that the payline structure will also vary from one online slot to the next. For example, the more basic slots will have anywhere from 1 to 5 paylines, and the more complex slots can have anywhere from 10 paylines up to 100 paylines.

You also have slots with 'win ways,' which is similar to the standard payline structure. These games can have anywhere from 243 different ways to win per spin up to 5,000 or more ways to win per spin. Finally, you have the 'Megaways' slots. Megaways slots can have anywhere from 324 up to more than 1,000,000 Megaways (different possible ways to win per spin). This innovative online slot machine technology was pioneered by Big Time Gaming, and it can now be found in more than 100 online slots.

With the Megaways game engine, you never know exactly how many ways to win the next spin will have. Each time you hit the spin button, individual reels can have anywhere from 2 to 5 symbols, and it's always random. The more Megaways, the more chances you have of winning.

Fixed coin jackpots and progressive jackpots

Today, you can find fixed coin jackpot slots and progressive jackpot slots. A fixed coin jackpot, for example, can be worth anywhere from 500x up to 50,000x times your total stake, and it will never exceed this amount. A progressive jackpot is different. It can climb to no fixed amount before being won, and it can be won by any player, playing with any stake, at any time of the day.

Each time a player hits the spin button, a small percentage of that stake will be added to the pot, which is why progressive jackpots can often climb to being worth anywhere from $/€/£1 million to $/€/£10 million or more (or equivalent currency value).


As you can see, online slots are different in several ways. The more slots you play, the more of these differences you will notice. The software providers are constantly trying to find new ways to create unique slots that really stand out from the crowd, which means there's always something new and exciting for slot lovers to look forward to. Slots are often available in the real money mode and free play demo mode, and if you do play them in the real money mode, remember to gamble sensibly and never spend more than you can afford.



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