Regardless of whether you are a recreational player or a proficient casino expert, real-money online slots are certainly something you should try at least once in your lifetime. There are plenty of reasons why. The slots available at Canada-friendly online casinos appeal to players with their fast-paced gameplay, impress with their innovative visual design, and offer plenty of action and winning opportunities.
Online gambling operators that accept betting action from Canadians can certainly brag about the versatility of their slot collections as they contain hundreds upon hundreds of top-shelf games created by leading casino software suppliers like Microgaming, Playtech, Play’n GO, and Pragmatic Play. There are no boundaries to the developers’ imagination and creativity, something which is blatantly obvious once you take a look at the unprecedented diversity of themes, designs, and features.
Best of all, you no longer need to leave your home to give your favourite slot a spin or two. You can conveniently do so online. All you have to do is pull out your smartphone or turn on your desktop computer, click a few buttons and wait for the software to decide the outcome of your bet. Growing bored is never a possibility when one is playing online slots, even more so when real money is involved. What further adds to the excitement are the fantastic extra features – free spins and bonus games pop up on the screen when players least expect them, awarding them even more amazing payouts.
Is it really surprising more and more Canadian players are opting to play their favourite slots online instead of at landbased casinos? We think not. So if you are inexperienced with how online slots work or are merely looking for the hottest slots Canadian currently prefer to play for real money online, sit back and take a look at this article.
How Real-Money Online Slots Work
Online slots are preferred by millions of recreational players for the simple reason they have a rather straightforward gameplay and are ludicrously easy to play. Even novices are basically just a few clicks away from bagging a monetary prize but some slot fans who are accustomed to playing offline are somewhat sceptical of the fairness of online slots, so let us first explain how these work.
Online slots are modelled to closely emulate the gameplay and the design of their landbased cousins and much like them, they run on software called Random Number Generator (RNG). This is an inseparable component of any slot since it produces the outcomes of all spins made on a given game, favourable or not. The purpose of the RNG is to produce random numbers and determine the results through the use of a special formula that is known only to the software developers of the slot.
In other words, whether you lose or win on a given round is decided the very fraction of the second you click or tap the spin button. The reels start rotating on the screen but, in fact, the result has already been produced – the rotation simply adds greater authenticity to the whole experience. It is impossible to deduce what the result of the next spin will be since the RNG generates very long numbers every millisecond and is always working, even when there is no one there to operate the slot. This is exactly what ensures the randomness, and therefore the fairness of all slots, both offline and online.
Some players unreasonably assume online slots can be preprogrammed to return a prize at a specific time – they cannot. Besides, why would an online casino violate the terms of their license and have it revoked? However, the RNG is programmed in such a way so as to pay out a certain percentage of the money wagered on the slot to players and return the rest to the house. The percentage returned to the casino is called a house edge and can extend anywhere between 83% to 98% for landbased slots.
This is yet another reason why you should play online slots – they have significantly higher payout ratios which usually range from 94% to 99.90%. This means that the casino will collect $4 out of every $100 wagered on a slot with an average payout of 96%. One important thing to take into consideration is that it takes millions of spins for the slot to return its average payout ratio to players.
Now that we have thrown some light on how results are determined with online slots, let’s proceed by explaining how they are played. There is not much to explain, though, since slots are the simplest game you can play in an online casino. When the slot loads, the first thing you need to do is check its paytable to see how much the winning combinations pay out. By checking the paytable, you can basically learn all you need to know about the slot, including how its special symbols and bonus features work.
Once you have evaluated the paytable, you must select the number of paylines you want to activate, but bear in mind that these are fixed on some online slots. Then, you adjust the coin value and your bet level, i.e. the number of credits you stake per active payline. All that is left for you to do at this stage is click or tap the spin button so that the reels start rotating. When they come to a halt, the slot will pay out depending on the matching symbols that have aligned on the paylines (if any) and their number. It truly is as simple as that. With the majority of multi-line online slots, the player needs to align a minimum of three identical symbols across a payline and on adjacent reels in order to receive a payout.
Categories of Real-Money Slots You Can Play Online
One of the biggest positives of playing slots on your desktop computer or smartphone is the immense variety of games you are faced with. Online casinos pretty much offer slot games for all tastes and inclinations. These can be categorized into several groups on the basis of payline number, features, and visual design. Below, we examine the most common categories of slots you can play online for real money.
Slots have been around for more than a century and naturally have undergone dramatic changes ever since Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell, the prototype of all slots that have later come into existence. Classic slots are the closest to what Fey originally had in mind when he crafted his slot machine. They are the best introduction to online slots for novices since they are quite simple to understand and do not involve lots of confusing features like their more advanced multi-line cousins.
Classic slots have a simplified design and often would feature only 1 payline and 3 reels, i.e. the sections containing the symbols that rotate vertically on the screen. The single payline is positioned right in the center of the reels but some classic slots may also offer three paylines, two of which would run diagonally on the screen. The gaming controls are simple, allowing you to adjust only your coin value and bet level while the paytable with the prizes is placed right next to the reels.
The classic slots may be visually and even aurally unappealing to some players due to the cartoonish graphics and the monotonous whirring of the reels they subject you to. However, this lack of outward appeal is compensated for with satisfactory payouts. Since there are fewer symbols on the reels to form winning combos, classic slots tend to render somewhat bigger payouts. The prizes you can hit may be further boosted by the multipliers and wilds that are sometimes incorporated into these simplistic games.
This is a broader category of slots which covers the games with 5 reels, multiple paylines, more sophisticated graphics and animations, and additional features. The number of paylines on video slots normally starts at 9 but can reach a hundred. Some of the most advanced video slots that have been released in recent years even do not feature paylines but deploy the so-called All-Ways-Win format where the symbols have to hit neighbouring reels to award their corresponding prizes.
Some video slots would let you choose the paylines you want activated whereas others have fixed lines and require you to play all of them on every spin. The graphics and animations of video slots are far more elaborate and realistic and the same goes for the sound effects – they enable you to completely immerse yourself into your experience.
Apart from the enhanced visual appeal, video slots would offer you the extra benefit of additional features and symbols like wilds, scatters, free spins, and bonus games, but we will touch upon these in more detail in the next section of the article. Naturally, these games have far more complex paytables precisely because of the inclusion of more symbols. The increased number of paylines results in more winning opportunities but at a greater cost. Remember matching symbols return a prize only when they fall onto an active payline and each of those requires a bet.
3D slots can be viewed as a sub-category of video slots since they, too, play over 5 reels and have multiple paylines. As their name pretty much shows, the main difference here is in terms of graphical presentation and animations. Just to warn you, though – if this is your first time playing a 3D slot, you might end up mistaking it for an animated movie.
The slots in this category stand out with more elaborate storylines, which is why they would commonly start with a brief animated clip that familiarizes players with the theme and the characters. The symbols themselves are beautifully animated each time they become part of a winning combination. On many occasions, 3D slots offer an increased level of interactivity as players can advance through different levels of play by completing various paytable achievements.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
Some reel spinners play online slots for real money only recreationally, placing bets once in a while. Others are more committed and dream of scoring an enormous payout each time they hit the spin button. Locking a humongous jackpot is no longer an elusive dream, though, even more so if you decide to give the reels of the online progressives a whirl.
The majority of online slots have a fixed jackpot amount that is awarded by a special combination of symbols. Yet, there is another category of online slots where the jackpot amount is not set but continually increases the more the slot is played. These are known as progressive jackpot slots and are all clamped together in a jackpot network. Whenever somebody bets on one such slot, a percentage of their bet would be subtracted and added to the jackpot pools.
Of course, progressive games are in demand, which is why the jackpots they offer are quite imposing in terms of size, reaching millions of dollars over a short period of time. The jackpots are awarded either at random or are triggered by specific symbol combinations appearing on a payline. Some require you to bet the maximum supported by the slot to qualify for the pot, while at others, the huge prize can hit regardless of the stake size.
Distinctive Features of Real-Money Online Slots
While we were discussing video slots, we mentioned several terms you might want to acquaint yourself with if you intend to invest real money in this type of casino game. More advanced online slots always include additional symbols like the scatters, for example. As any slot player knows, the identical symbols on winning spins usually must align from left to right on a payline as well as on neighbouring reels.
Well, this is not the case when we talk about scatters, which are special in that they can fall into any position on neighbouring reels and still do their job. Scatters can return payouts for matching symbols but more importantly, they can potentially unlock special bonus features and free spins. The details on how the scatters (along with the rest of the symbols) work are listed in the slots’ paytables.
Another lucrative symbol that is present in the paytables of many advanced video slots is the wild. If you have ever played video poker varieties like Deuces Wild, you will have no difficulties in figuring out what the wild symbols in slots are all about. Similarly to the wild cards in some poker varieties, the wilds in slots can be used in place of any other standard symbol on the reels.
Therefore, the wilds enable you to make more winning combinations by substituting normal icons on paylines. Sometimes they would have a multiplier attached to them, further boosting your wins on successful combinations. There are all kinds of wilds you might come across when playing the slots online – expanding, walking, stacked, sticky, shifting – you name it.
Most real-money slots you can find online would frequently reward you with free spins upon landing the needed number of scatters at the same time. The free spins are awarded at the same bet size you have used when triggering the feature. With some slots, there are multipliers on the winnings accrued during free spins and some of those are even dynamic, meaning that they increase with each consecutive win. There are slots where certain symbol combinations reward you with re-spins while in others, it is possible to re-trigger more free spins during the feature.
Another profitable feature of online slots is the bonus game which is also unlocked with the help of the scatters or sometimes, the wild symbols. The bonus games differ depending on which online slot you play, but in most cases, they are of the pick-and-win type. The player is given a choice from several items and some of them contain coin prizes while other might contain extra picks or multipliers. The bottom line is you certainly will collect something extra once you activate the bonus game.
Some software developers equip their slots with a feature you might again recognize from video poker. It is called the Gamble feature and gets activated only after winning spins. The player is then given the option to play a mini game where they can increase their profits by predicting the colour or the suit of a card. However, some players prefer to refrain from using it as it might cost them their winnings on the last spin if their guess is incorrect.
We already spoke in brief about the All-Way-Win slots which is yet another fascinating feature some online slots can offer. The games that utilize this format are lacking paylines which makes winning on them much easier. All symbols on the rotating reels are basically scatters and as such, there is no need for them to align on the paylines. Payouts are awarded as long you land alike symbols on reels that are next to one another. This allows for a much higher number of winning combinations. When slots of this type were first launched, they offered only 243 ways to win, but lately software developers like Playtech have increased the number of winning opportunities to as many as 4096 thanks to the addition of more symbols, rows and reels.
The Best Real-Money Slots to Play Online
With so many online slots you can play for real money being available on the web, it sometimes may be next to impossible to make a choice. If you proceed reading, you will find a selection of some of the most entertaining and lucrative slots that are currently offered by online casinos. Check the short overviews below to choose the ones that most correspond to your own preferences.
Wolf Gold is an advanced online slot that is offered at online casinos that deploy the software platform of supplier Pragmatic Play. The slot was released in the spring of 2017 and plays over 5 reels, 3 rows, and 25 fixed paylines. This innovative slot takes players to the American West and utilizes animal symbols for the top-value combinations, including wolves, mustangs, bald eagles, and cougars. It accepts 10 coins per line and enables you to bet between $0.25 and $125.00 on a single spin.
But there is more to this game than vibrant graphics and broad betting limits. The game is filled with extra features, including stacked wilds, scatters, money re-spins, and blazing reels. Another reason why the game is in such a high demand is that it features three progressive jackpots, mini, major and mega. There is a special money symbol containing a moon. The biggest jackpot goes to the player who fills all 15 grids on the reels with money symbols.
It is impossible to discuss slots without briefly mentioning Microgaming’s Mega Moolah. Also known as the “millionaire maker”, this slot has achieved a legendary status among spinners and was inspired by an African safari, with all symbols corresponding to this theme. The game incorporates 5 reels and 25 paylines, allowing you to bet up to 5 coins per spin. A wild symbol, a scatter, free spins, and a bonus game are also incorporated into the gameplay.
One of the most important features of Mega Moolah is that it is connected to a huge progressive network and offers a jackpot that accumulates across all casinos using the Microgaming software. The software developer itself contributes the seed amount which stands at one million. Therefore, whenever the jackpot is reset, the smallest amount you can win is a million. In fact, Mega Moolah has four different progressive prizes – mini, minor, major and mega. These are triggered randomly but betting the maximum amount allowed increases the odds of unlocking the jackpot bonus game.
Epic Ape is one of the latest releases by Playtech and was launched in 2018. It became an instant success at online casinos powered by Playtech and there is a good reason why – this innovative slot offers you a total of 4096 ways to win across its 6 reels and 4 rows.
Other than its immense potential for returning payouts, Epic Ape compels the attention with its beautiful design and expertly rendered graphics. The 6 reels are placed on top of an elaborate background that features an impenetrable jungle with vines climbing on the trees. There is a wild symbol which randomly multiplies wins up to 5x. Another lucrative icon is the one containing the gorilla which can stack to cover entire reels. There is also a free-games symbol – land six of those on a single spin and you get 100 free spins for your efforts.
Immortal Romance is yet another classic released by Microgaming that was inspired by the vampire flicks that still remain on trend. The slot hit Microgaming-powered casinos in 2013 but continues to enjoy immense success to this day, attracting reel spinners with its dark theme, elaborate gameplay, and cool features. You can win across 5 reels and 3 rows. There are no standard paylines since Immortal Romance is based on the 243 ways-to-win format.
Immortal Romance is no ordinary slot and enables you to get to know all four characters in its complex storyline. In addition to this, it also has free spins, a regular wild symbol with a 2x multiplier, and a Wild Desire feature that appears randomly to turn entire reels wild. Players can also earn different paytable achievements by completing all the winning combinations possible with each symbol.
The African safari theme is another recurrent trend you might notice ones you start playing online slots for real money. Such is the case with the Hot Safari slot created by developer Pragmatic Play and introduced to reel spinners back in the spring of 2016. It would be an understatement to say the design of this slot is interesting – it is much more than this. Once the game loads, you will notice there are 5 standard reels with 25 fixed paylines but there is a sixth reel to the left side of the screen.
The sixth reel does not contain any symbols but includes multipliers on the wins created on the five regular reels. These multipliers can give your winnings a considerable boost, up to 10x. More cool features players can take advantage of are the expanding wilds on the middle row, the scatters that award free spins, and the super wild symbol with the lion that unlocks raining wilds on all five reels.
If you are into stories of nautical adventure, this creation of Elk Studios is just the type of game for you. Wild Seas is a thrilling pirate-themed slot that grabs the attention with its sophisticated gameplay and design. There are 5 transparent reels that are positioned on top of a colourful backdrop showing you the sea with several small islands. The developers have approached the game in a unique way and have therefore ditched the regular paylines in favour of the 178 ways-to-win format.
Not only are the symbols and animations incredibly life-like but you will also benefit from a number of other cool features few online slots can offer. An example would be the two-level bonus game where spinners are sent on the tracks of a merchant ship for the purpose of reclaiming riches that rightfully belong to them. But the most unique aspect of Wild Seas is undoubtedly its complex storyline. The more you spin the reels, the more you get to learn about main protagonist Anne Bonny, the daughter of a betrayed captain who is determined to avenge her father.
Book of Dead
Software supplier Play’n GO has decided to follow in the footsteps of other casino game developers and have chosen Ancient Egypt as the setting for one of its most played slots. Book of Dead takes spinners on an exciting but hazardous adventure where they can join treasure hunter Rich Wilde down the hidden corridors of King Tut’s burial chamber. The game plays on 5 reels and 10 paylines, offering you a top prize of up to 250,000 coins.
The slot may not impress with originality theme-wise but still has plenty of perks to offer in the special features department. There are scattered symbols that can reward you with up to 10 free spins and the symbol of Rich Wilde himself is expanding during the bonus feature, enabling you to amass even more impressive winnings.
Released by Quickspin in the summer of 2017, Sticky Bandits is a fun-themed video slot with 5 reels, 5 rows, 30 paylines, and a bevy of cool features to keep you entertained for hours. The action in Sticky Bandits takes place in the Wild West where spinners join a gang of outlaws that also award the highest-value prizes in the game. The slot is visually appealing and boasts a soundtrack that sounds like a crossover between bluegrass and hillbilly music.
The developers have done a great job at incorporating extra features into the gameplay of Sticky Bandits. There is a special icon that plays the role of both a wild and a bonus symbol. It is massive in size, so once you land it on the reels, it can create even more winning combinations. The game also has a round of 7 free spins and all wilds that have appeared on the reels when the bonus feature was triggered remain in position for its duration. With a decent return percentage of 96.58% and a wealth of innovative features, Sticky Bandits has already become a must-play for any enthusiastic spinner out there.
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