The pinnacle of a phenomenon that began with the American “one-armed bandit” slot machine at the dawn of the 20th Century, online slot games are now enjoyed by players all around the world, with billions of spins taking place every day and jackpots frequently reaching well into the millions.
At The Hippodrome Online Casino, we’re proud to offer a wide selection of the very best online slots, with themes and features to appeal to every taste and new slots added all the time.
The sheer variety on offer can make deciding which are the best slots to play a daunting prospect, but ultimately, it’s just a question of personal preference. Among online slots with “classic” casino stylings – usually based around fruit, bells, playing card symbols, horseshoes and lucky 7s – you can now find slot games with themes based on film, TV, sports and more. These add immersion to the experience of online games, by having players match symbols representing familiar characters and items.
An archetypal example of classic online slots, Rainbow Riches is a perennial favourite, and consistently reviewed as one of the best UK slots. Colourful and enticing, Rainbow Riches encourages players to journey to the fabled end of the rainbow, in search of not only a pot of gold, but a real money prize. Matching symbols including leprechauns and coins across Rainbow Riches’ five reels is the perfect introduction to the world of online slot machines.
While Rainbow Riches is an online slot classic, the Game of Thrones slot embodies the very best in immersive theming. Taking the worldwide smash HBO show as its cue, the Game of Thrones slot features five reels chock full of characters and scenic elements – including four separate bonus features based around the four warring “houses” of Westeros.
How to play online casino slots
While themes and additional features mean that modern online slots can often look very different from the real-world machines that spawned the genre, at their heart, the core mechanics remain as simple and easy to pick up as ever.
Slot machines comprise symbols arranged into a number of vertical columns – the game’s “reels”. As with dropping a coin into the slot from which the term “slot game” is derived, players bet a pre-determined amount (the “coin value”) for each “spin” of the reels, during which the arrangement of symbols across the screen is randomised. Traditionally, the reels will spin separately to new individual resting positions, though some games feature “rolling” or “cascading” reels in which symbols drop onto the screen from above.
The aim of an online slots game is to leave sets of identical symbols in interconnecting “paylines” across the reels at the end of the spin. Paylines can be formed of straight or diagonal lines across adjacent reels. Usually paylines must be formed from left-to-right, starting from the left reel, though some slots offer the opportunity to “win both ways”, meaning paylines can also be formed from right-to-left, starting on the right reel.
Usually, three or more symbols must be matched on a payline to trigger a win, with the value of the prize determined by the value of the symbol matched and how many of them there are. A “paytable” outlining the value of the different possible combinations of symbols will appear in the “info tab” for each slot machine online. The paytable may be always visible, or may require that you click to expand it.
Online slot special features
Thought they all share those same principal mechanics, most online slots will also offer a unique range of “special features”, which, combined with unique paytables, allow for enormous variety in the experience of playing one game compared with another.
The varying special features across different online slots are usually triggered by their own specific symbols, meaning that when that symbol is matched in the required number on a payline, the special feature is activated instead of (or in addition to) a cash prize.
There are wide range of special features to be found in slot games, with some unlocking totally unique interactive “mini games”, separate to the main screen. These might see the player vying for a prize by picking from a choice of mystery boxes, or by guessing whether each of a sequence of playing cards will be higher or lower than the last, for example.
There are also a couple of traditional special features, which most online games will include in some form and combination – namely “wilds” and “scatters”.
Wild symbols are special symbols which usually carry no value of their own, but which can be counted as ANY other symbol for the purposes of forming a combination on a slot game’s payline. In some games, wilds will also behave differently to other symbols. For example, once landed, “expanding” wilds spread across multiple reels and rows to form part of multiple paylines, while “sticky” wilds remain on the screen over consecutive spins.
Scatter symbols are often the most lucrative in an online slot’s armoury. As well as often carrying the highest value of any individual symbol, combinations of scatter symbols usually apply regardless of where on the reels they appear, without being bound to paylines. In addition to any value of their own, scatter symbols are often the key to unlocking additional special features, such as mini-games, “win multipliers”, or “free spins”.
As the name suggests, free spins allow players to spin the reels without having to stake any coin value. A free spin works in exactly the same way as a paid one, with prizes and special features just as likely to result, despite them coming at no cost to the player.
Free spins may be awarded in game, as the result of landing a particular combo of symbols (often the scatter symbol), or as the prize in a mini-game.
Free spins may also be awarded to a player as part of a bonus or promotion. In this case, the free spins might work on any slot game of the players choosing, or they may be for a designated game or group of games.
Online slots bonus
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Check out the other online casino promotions available.
What are the best online slot games to play?
With the rich variety of slots on offer at the Hippodrome Online Casino, we’re confident that there’s something for everyone, but which are the most popular games with our existing players?
The opulence of ancient Egyptian royalty matches perfectly with the class and glamour of the Hippodrome Online Casino, meaning Cleopatra slots are always popular. You’ll find a number of different slots featuring the legendary Queen of the Nile in our slots room, including Cleopatra Diamond Spins and Cleopatra Plus.
Elsewhere, Mega Moolah is a prime example of a progressive jackpot slot – one on which the value of the maximum prize keeps rising until it’s won. Mega Moolah players have won some of the biggest-ever online jackpots, with individual payouts reaching in excess of £10 million on multiple occasions.
How to win when playing online slots?
While which online slot games you choose to play is largely down to your own preference, each will vary in terms of the prizes on offer and the “volatility”, or likelihood of a prize arising from any one spin. A good strategy will take into account the potential for bonuses and free spins, which can keep you in the hunt for a jackpot without any cost, as well as a simple comparison of prizes in the paytables of differing online games.
Which other online casino games can you play at The Hippodrome Online Casino?
As well as the best online slot games we also have a wide selection of the best online roulette and online blackjack games, plus a state of the art live casino where you can play remotely at the famous Hippodrome Casino in London.