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Online Slots Rules and Terms

How to Play Online Slot Machines

Playing slots was once a very simple enterprise. You just put your coin into the slot, pulled the "arm" of the "one-armed bandit," and watched the wheels spin around as you hoped that a winning combination, such as three bunches of cherries in a row, would appear. Today's online slot machines are a lot more complex. Along with the added complexity, of course, comes more choices, more excitement, and more opportunities to win.

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Reels and Paylines

In the original mechanical slot machines, a reel was simply a wheel with symbols painted on it. When you pulled the lever, the reels spun around. The reels on an online slot machine are the same except that they are virtual and not mechanical.

A payline is a line that runs across all the reels and touches one symbol on each reel. The old-fashioned slot machines had one payline that was a simple horizontal line across the reels. A modern online slot machine can have many payline: horizontal, diagonal, and zigzagged. But the idea is the same. To win at slots, you must have winning symbols appear on a payline that you have enabled.

Reel Slots, Video Slots, AWP and Progressives

The two main types of online slot machines are reel slots and video slots. There are also AWP slots, which can be thought of as a variety of reel slots, and progressive slots with giant jackpots. These are the characteristics of each.

Reel slots are the most like the original mechanical slot machines. They have three reels, and one, three, or five paylines.

As in a mechanical slot machine, the reels in reel slots can stop anywhere. As a result, the symbols appear in a random pattern, and a symbol on one of the reels can appear slightly above or slightly below, but not exactly on, a payline. Of course, the symbols must be on a payline in order to win.

Video slots look more like a flat-screen TV. They have five reels. They have at least 5 paylines, often 15 or 20 or even more. The Cashapillar and Lion's Pride online slots games have 100 paylines. Some of the modern video slots games have eliminated paylines and instead offer hundreds of "Ways To Win".

The reels in a video slot machine always stop perfectly lined up. What you see on your screen, then, is a neat 3x5 array, with three symbols showing on each of the five reels.

AWP (Amusement With Prizes) slots are based on UK-style fruit machines. They are distinguished by their special Hold and Nudge features. Online fruit machines often feature games within the games, such as the darts game in Pub Fruity. These games add an element of skill to the luck-based slots game.

Progressive slots can come in both a 3-reel and a 5-reel format. What makes online progressive slots special is that they have a top jackpot that increases every time someone plays the game and can be worth many thousands — even millions — of dollars, pounds, Euros, or kronor when some lucky player hits the jackpot.

Scatter Symbols, Wild Symbols, and Multipliers

Scatter symbols appear in video slots games only. The special feature of scatter symbols is that they do not have to appear on an enabled payline to win; they can be "scattered" anywhere on the five reels. In Bush Telegraph, for example, the Seedpod is a scatter symbol. If two Seedpod symbols appear anywhere on the five reels, you win 2 times the total amount of your bet. If three, four, or five Seedpod symbols appear, you win even more, up to 400 times the amount of your total bet. To make it even better, your scatter-symbol wins are in addition to anything you might have won on your enabled paylines.  
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Wild symbols appear in both reel slots and video slots games. Like a wild card in poker, a wild symbol can substitute for any symbol to complete a winning combination. Moreover, in many online slots games, the wild symbol is also a multiplier. This means that if a wild symbol is used to complete a winning combination, the payout for that winning combination is doubled, tripled, or even quintupled.

In the Jellyfish Jaunt slots game, the Diver is a wild symbol and also a 3X multiplier. The normal payout for three Snorkel symbols is 15 times the number of coins bet on the winning payline. But if two Snorkel symbols and a Diver symbol appear on an enabled payline, the Diver acts as a wild symbol to complete the winning combination, and also acts as a multiplier to triple the payout to 45 times the number of coins bet.

Some slot machines have even higher multipliers. In Couch Potato reel slots, for example, the Couch Potato symbol is a 5X, 25X multiplier. One Couch Potato that completes a winning payline will multiply your normal winnings by 5; two Couch Potatoes will multiply your winnings by 25.

Free Spins and Other Bonus Features

Many online slot machines have a free spins feature. In Thunderstruck, for example, three Ram symbols award you 15 free spins. Free spins are really every gambler's dream: 15 chances to win real money, but without risking anything. And it gets even better than that: all wins during your free spins are tripled. And if you get three Ram symbols on a free spin, you get 15 more free spins on top of your free spins.

Thunderstruck also has another bonus feature called Gamble. After every winning spin, you have an option to go for double-or-nothing by guessing the colour of a playing card, or quadruple-or-nothing by guessing the suit of the playing card. Of course, you also have the option of declining the gamble and simply collecting your winnings.

Some slots games have their own special bonus features. In Tomb Raider, for example, three or more Idol symbols on an enabled payline will activate the Tomb bonus game, which enables you to multiply your winnings by anything from 36 to 2,500 times.

Other online slots games have other bonus features. Be sure to check them out.

Picking an Online Slot Machine

The first step to playing slots online is choosing your slot machine. Wild Jack Casino offers more than 200 online slot machines. It is not hard to find the one that is right for you.

In the casino Games Lobby, click Slots. A menu of all the slots games appears. If you place your cursor over a game on the menu, a game information pane opens. This will tell you everything you need to know about the game: how many reels, how many paylines, the highest and second-highest jackpots, whether there are scatters, wild symbols, or multipliers, and any special features or bonuses. You can run your cursor down the menu and easily check out the information for all the available online slots games.  
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Once you have found the online slot machine that you want to play, double-click on the name and that online slots game will open.

How to Play Slots Online

Before you start to play online slots, you must make three decisions: coin size, number of paylines enabled, and number of coins per line. Coin sizes run from one penny ($0.01) up to five dollars ($5.00). You select your coin size with the Plus (+) or Minus (-) button. Use the Select Lines button to choose how many paylines you want to enable, that is, to bet on. Use the Select Coins button to determine how many coins you want to gamble on each payline.

In a nutshell: If you select a coin size of $0.10 and you select 5 coins per payline, you are betting $0.50 on each enabled payline. If you select 15 paylines, your total bet will be $7.50 on each spin.

Once you have made your three selections, you are ready to play online slots. This is the easy part and the fun part. Just click the Spin button, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

How to Win at Online Slots

You win at online slots when a winning combination of symbols appears on a payline that you have enabled. If you have enabled multiple paylines, it is possible to win on one or more paylines and to lose on other paylines.

Every slot machine has a payout schedule that tells you which symbols, in which combinations, pay out how many coins. The payout schedule is easily accessible, and you may consult it whenever you want. However, it is not necessary to memorize the payout schedule, or to do anything to claim your winnings. If you are playing online slots for real money, the machine will do the figuring for you and will automatically add your winnings to your casino account.

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