What You Should Check Before Playing A New Online Slot?

Want to play a shiny video slot that just came out?

You might want to think twice even if everyone seems to like it.

Although beautiful by design, not all new online slots are created equally.

A glossy, fruity slot from NetEnt could be significantly different compared to a similar game from Microgaming.

Similarly, two slots with the same RTP could have contrasting gameplay, variance and in-game bonuses.

Against that backdrop, we’ve created a checklist of seven things you need to check before you press play on a new online slot.

Let’s begin.

Payout Rates

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A payout rate is like a guideline on how generous a slot is designed to be in the long haul.

Generally speaking, you want to play games with payout rates of 95% to 99%.

Anything less than that will come with some pretty dry spells.

The only exception is progressive jackpots such as Mega Moolah and Age of Gods.

They have an RTP rate of 94% and 95% respectively.

But that’s because they are designed to payout scarcely, albeit enormous amounts.

That said, a high RTP isn’t the only thing you need to check in a slot.

As mentioned, two games with the same payout rate could have different results, which leads us to the next point.


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A game’s variance refers to its frequency in producing winners.

To illustrate, let’s use Mega Moolah and NetEnt’s Mega Joker slot.

The jackpot game is a high variance slot.

That means it has extended periods of dry spins blended with short periods of paying out significantly huge amounts.

In contrast, Mega Joker is a low variance game designed to payout small wins consistently.

For that reason, it can’t turn you into a millionaire like Mega Moolah, but it gives you a fair chance to even out your losses and win consistently.

As such, your decision regarding what slots to pick should be guided by what matters more to you.

Would you rather bet for weeks with the hope of winning £1 million?

Or would you rather make small profits consistently?

In-game Features

Robert De Niro in Casino

Robert De Niro in Casino – Credit: Universal Pictures

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In-game features do more than add flavour to a slot.

They increase your gaming time and your chances of winning.

By default, the best video slots have scatters to aid with free spins and wilds to replace winning symbols.

But if you read online slots reviews regularly, you’ll also discover slots with some pretty rewarding features.

These include cascading reels, reel modifiers, jackpots, multipliers and skill-based gameplay.

When you think about, you can’t afford to play slots without in-game features these days.

Free spins buy you time.

Multipliers magnify your profits whereas jackpots ensure you walk away with more money than you could have imagined.

Betting Features


Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale – Credit: Sony Pictures

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Betting features determine how much you can bet, whether you can adjust your wagers and even the maximum you can win.

That’s why they are important to check these features right off the bat.

If a game has a high minimum betting limit, you don’t need to waste more time checking it out.

Luckily, most slots accept bets as little as 10p or 20p.

You also can adjust your wagers to the tune of maximizing all paylines.

In other words, you can bet in such a way that you get paid regardless of which payline appears.

According to many experts, it is actually advantageous to maximize your bets.

That’s because you increase your maximum payout.

However, keep in mind that upping your ante also means increasing your wagers.

And because slots are games of pure chance, it could mean losing more money.

Visuals and Sound

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There was a time when slots from different software providers featured a wide range of graphics and sound quality.

These days, nearly all new slots are visually compelling.

They have 3D graphics, HD video slots and high dynamic music.

So, how do you judge slots based on their visuals and sounds?

Play their demo modes.

Many slots look attractive until they are not.

That means they might look beautiful on the outside but are full of glitches once you play them.

Another way to assess these features is to read reviews.

People who’ve played a game will tend to be honest about their experience.

They can tell you how annoying or soothing a slot’s soundtracks are and whether you should play it.



George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven – Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

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Another trend in the slot arena is to produce games based on a famous lifestyle, mythology, sport, rock band or TV show.

It is so popular than not many slots use the tired fruit-based theme anymore.

Does it matter what narrative a game follow?

Yes, it does and here’s why.

First, a storyline can influence how much you like a game.

Imagine a slot that takes to your favourite beach: the breeze, palm trees, drinks and everything.

Wouldn’t it attract you more than a game about something you hate?

On the flip side, there’s the issue of payouts and variances.

Many games based on popular TV shows, movies and video games have to acquire licenses.

In other words, they pay fees to earn the rights to produce these slots.

Due to that, branded slots to have lower payout rates and can be more volatile.

That translates to fewer wins for you and more money to the casinos.

Of course, not all games are similar.

So, read reviews to find out other people’s experiences.

Check Slot Type

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Casinos are used a lot to film movies – Credit: Pexels

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This might come as a surprise to some, but they are at least five types of slots.

Each type targets a specific group of players.

So, assuming you just want to have fun, you don’t want to select a game designed for risk-averse gamblers.

  • Classic slots
  • Video slots
  • Progressive jackpots
  • Megaways
  • 3D slots

Video slots are the most common types of slots.

Classic slots feature dated graphics and have low payout rates.

Jackpots can make you rich but don’t come with enticing payout rates.

On the flip side, 3D slots are regular games but with fancier graphics.

The last type, Megaways, have a reel modifier that amplifies potential payouts.

However, they are extremely high variance.

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