One of the simplest forms of betting in the UK is provided through online slots. They are a simple alternative to sports betting. In video slots there is no strategy that can turn the odds in your favour but these fixed-odds games are still great fun with numerous themes, game formats and pay out structures to experience.
If you are considering playing slots for the first time, or you are looking for somewhere new to play them, then this guide is for you. We have published it to help you find the best sites to play slots online.
1. Play At Sites With A UK License
Just as with sports betting, our advice when playing slots is always to choose licensed sites to play at. Licenses are issued by the UK Gambling Commission whose job it is to ensure that casinos with slots adhere to the rules set out in their code of practice around safety and fairness. Operators and their products are regularly audited and slot games are tested by 3rd party testing houses to maintain integrity around pay out rates. If you play at unlicensed sites then you risk losing your money to unscrupulous operators whose software is untested and runs at unfair RTP rates.
Licensed casinos are also required to provide responsible gambling tools so that you can set your own limits on deposits, wagering and losses within your account. This is important for anyone regularly playing slots as it helps to maintain a sensible budget. If you are playing slots for the first time, keep in mind that you can wager money much faster than you can on sports. Every bet takes just seconds on the spin of a reel. So setting a daily or weekly limit makes sense.
2. Pick A Casino With A Good Slots Bonus
The trick to finding a good slots bonus is to understand the configuration of the key terms. They are the minimum deposit to trigger the bonus, maximum bonus amount you can recieve, the wagering requirements and any withdrawal limits. In particular, we advise you to check the wagering requirements of any offer because they can be set particularly high in the world of online casinos.
The average wagering requirements are around 35x the value of the bonus and deposit. So, if you deposit £20 and receive £20 free, then you will need to wager £1,400 before your bonus funds and any winnings become withdrawable. Sounds a lot? The reason that figure of 35x is so high is because slots have a high return to player. On average around 96% of any money you bet will come back to you in wins. With such high returns casino operators have to set strict wagering terms to limit their liability.
We also recommend that you check to see which games your bonus will be eligible for. You can do that by reading the terms and conditions of the offer.
3. Find Casinos Offering A Good Game Selection
It’s important to find a casino with a good selection of games. There are literally 10,000s available to choose from but not all sites feature all slots. Instead, operators will pick and choose the game developers whose slots they wish to feature on their site. Bigger casinos generally offer more choice with a wider range of games and providers. The best might have 5,000 or more. But if you head to a smaller casino, there might be as few as 300 or 400. That is not to say you will play all 5,000 games, but having that choice gives you more room to explore new and interesting titles.
When you are figuring out whether you want to sign up with a slot site, browse the game menu and look for slots that are your favourites, as well as providers who you like. There should usually be an option to filter by game provider as well as game type like Jackpots or Megaways.
4. Check The RTP of Slot Games
Return to Player (RTP) is a much talked about element of slots play in online forums right now. This is because some casinos are running slots at low RTP settings to improve their house edge. For example, games like Play n Go’s popular Reactoonz slot has 5 possible RTP settings – 96.51%, 94.51%, 91.49%, 87.5% and 84.51%. Previously, most UK casinos would run the game at 96.51%, but increasingly you see sites that pick a setting as low as 91.49% or even 87.5%.
That can seriously impact the return on your wagering. Betting £100 on a slot at 96.51% sees a likely return of £96.51. At 87.5% you only get back £87.5. Over time, that will make a big difference.
The reason for this change is likely down to operators seeking to claw back revenue lost to the latest rounds of regulatory changes that include enforced affordability checks on customers and bans on credit card deposits.
The lesson here is, check the game RTP before you play at any site. You can do this by viewing the game info screen once you have loaded up the slot, or use slot site reviews like this one which shows the RTP of popular games at MrQ.
5. Look For Sites With A Good Online Reputation
Finally, a great way to find a good place to play online slots is to check consumer sites online. You can find useful information on sites like Trust Pilot where honest feedback from genuine customers is published. These will be no-holds barred reviews so expect the good and the bad before making up your own mind about whether you wish to sign up.
To Sum Up
Just like finding a betting site, it pays to take time when searching out a good site to play slots on. Following the 5 points in this guide will help you to play in a safe environment where the gameplay is both exciting and great value.