Quite a lot of people place a few bets for fun. Have a favourite football team? Then you've probably stuck a few quid on your club to win at some point. You may even have tried to predict first goalscorer or exact score of a game.

And while these do create an added interest in the game, the odds are always low. Basically there's no real money to be made. That is unless you're the guy who put £100 on Leicester to win the league at odds of 2,000/1. But let's be real here. That is the exception and not the rule of sports betting!

There are some high rollers who wager a lot of cash. Just watch the Cheltenham Festival coverage when the presenters share stories of a person who lobbed £10K on the favorite to win a race. Few of us have that kind of money and if we didn't we wouldn't be putting it on a horse. So unless you are willing to take a massive risk (and it comes off) your winnings are going to be quite slim.

That's where online slot machines enter the picture. Their rise in popularity has also meant that jackpots are higher and payouts are higher. Plus, they are designed to suit all budgets. So if you only want to play for 10p or 20p per spin, you can. And all with the potential to win significantly larger amounts of money than traditional betting.

What Are Online Slot Machines?

Real-world fruit machines started off as relatively boring three-reel games that were often found in pubs and high street bookmakers. Payouts were good but infrequent and the gameplay was just okay. They evolved to become more engaging and exciting but unless you were in a casino or a bar, you couldn't play them.

Then the internet happened. Online bookmakers started to introduce casino sections on their websites. Suddenly you could play poker or blackjack from the comfort of your sofa. And still online slot machines were just an afterthought. But once customers started playing them more and more, their popularity went through the roof.

Companies started to see the potential and developed flashier games with huge jackpots. Bonus rounds, wilds, scatters and expanding reels made the gaming experience far more exciting. As did the potential to win huge amounts of cash!

Why Play Online Slot Machines?

First and foremost, we play online slot machines for fun. It is instant gratification. You either win or you don't. And you can play for really low amounts of money so your cash goes much further. Slots also tend to blur the line between gambling and playing a game. But make no mistake, you are most definitely gambling.

There is a thrill every time that you spin the reels. Will you hit a bonus round? Can you win a jackpot? There is an anticipation and excitement that you simply can't get from a £5 bet on Manchester City to win the Premier League.

And of course, the potential returns from playing online slots are much greater than traditional betting odds. For example; let’s say you bet on Manchester United to win. For simplicity’s sake, they are priced at 3/1. You lump £1 on them because you think it's an easy win.

Manchester United win, you get your £3.00. So a £2.00 profit. You could withdraw this if you wanted. But really, who actually does that? You could spend it all on a different bet. What should you do? Well, let’s assume you are about to play a slot.

The slot machine is priced at 20p per spin. With your £3.00, you now have 15 spins on that slot machine. If the stars align you can suddenly turn your £3.00 into maybe £10-£20. NOw that's an amount worth withdrawing from your account.

Go beyond this, and you could bet your money on a progressive slot machine. This could, in rare cases, give you millions of pounds on your £3.00 bet. Sure, you are not guaranteed to win on a slot machine. If you were, online casinos would go out of business incredibly quickly, but the chances are far higher than you may think.

To check out your chances of getting a return on your slot machine, check out the RTP for that game. That is the ‘return to player’ percentage and most start at 95%. That doesn't mean that you will get back 95% of what you bet on the spins. It simply means that the game returns 95% of all money spent on it. That includes higher wins and jackpots. So if another player wins £10,000 that comes out of the overall 95% returned to players.

How To Choose A Slot Machine?

There are plenty of ways to review the various casinos, online bookmakers and slot machine sites. Firstly think of your budget. How much can you afford to spend without it financially imapcting your life.

Next, think of the kind of games you enjoy playing. Will a Marvel-themed slot get the juices flowing? Or maybe you don't care about the theme and just want to play a progressive jackpot slot? When choosing a slot machine to play, consider the following:

  • Return to Player i.e. what the house edge is. The higher the RTP, the better
  • Volatility of the machine e.g. how often the machine pays out and the size of the wins
  • Theme of the game. You need to have fun while you are playing

Always choose to play at trustworthy and reputable websites. Long-established companies such as Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Betfred and Jackpotjoy are a good place to start. They offer a huge range of games, many of which are available in demo mode to try out and they have a sterling reputation for being fair.



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