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Daniel King

The Ultimate Guide to Real Money Slots

Author: Daniel King | Posted on: 2021-05-31 | Last updated on: 2022-01-24

65-80% of casino revenues come from slot machines. It’s safe to say slots are popular at real money casinos. Real money slots are frequently played because of their straightforwardness, generous bonus offers, and relatively low cash-in. It’s just so easy to press that “SPIN” button and excitedly wait for a winning combination.

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If you’re new to the online casino world, or you’re just in need of a quick refresher about online slot machines, you’ll learn the ins and outs of real money slot games, best practices, rules, and learn about bonus offers in this 8-minute read. Ready? Let’s go.

How Real Money Slots Work in 4 Steps

Physical slot machines were already popular in land-based casinos, and now, online versions are perfect for gambling on casino sites as they’re suspensefully exciting and straightforward. In addition, the online user interface of an online slot is very similar to slot machines at real-life casinos, minus the hunky slot box.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new player to online slot machines; after reading these four steps, you’ll know how to play a real money slot machine, and the system works:
  1. Choose your slot game – the best online casinos have a variety of slot games in the hundreds. Some slots may offer free spins or cash bonuses, so you can pick those or find your favourite one. Say you like Konami’s (Japanese entertainment company) slots. Click on the slot game and open it on your device. A new screen will fill your display with the reels of your slot machine and present operating buttons like “SPIN” and “MAX BET.” Your bankroll will remain displayed in the corner of your screen.
  2. Take a look at the game’s paytable– educate yourself on how much each symbol is worth so you know which winning combinations to look out for.
  3. Configure your bet – choose your betting amount and decided how many paylines you’d like to play. The ‘max bet’ button is available if you’d like to select all paylines at once. Bets that are a high limit mean that minimum bets are of a very high value. You can choose slots with that option if it’s right for you.
  4. Start spinning the reels – if you landed a winning combination, the game screen will display your winnings and present the chance to gamble. From there, it’s up to you to take the odds to win bigger prizes through a bonus game. You can continue spinning reels for as long as you like, but just keep an eye on your bankroll.

Real Money Slot Features

To successfully play real money slots there is a set of slot features, players need to know about. We took a look and selected the vital points.

Understanding Return-to-Player Rates (RTPs)

Casinos use the term ‘Return to Player’ (RTP) as the percentage of all the wagered bets from casino players that a slot machine will pay back to players over time. For example, if you make fifty $2 bets on a slot machine with an RTP of 90%, you could expect to get back around $90 in winnings.

These RTPs are calculated based on averages dating back months and are verified by certified game testers and authorities–at least for licensed land-based and online casinos. RTPs are also usually higher in online casinos because they can afford to since maintenance is significantly lower than a land-based casino.

Pay Attention to Pay Tables

A paytable is a list of payouts on a slot machine or video poker machine. Make sure to pay attention to them so you know how much you could win. In general, you can find the paytable of a real money slot machine in one of three places: above the screen at the top-front (in a land-based casino), below the screen in the lower panel (land-based), or on the screen itself accessible by clicking the view payouts or help button in an online casino.

Take a minute or two to learn about the game’s payouts, the bonus features, and betting requirements listed on the payout table. If a maximum bet is needed to win a jackpot, the paytable will have that listed, so you know.

Slot Volatility

The slot volatility is the amount of risk in a specific game. In other words, how often and how much you can expect to win during your playing sessions. There are primarily two types of slots: high and low volatility slots. Each has its trade-off.

High Volatility Slots

A higher volatility means higher risk–and higher risk means more reward. These kinds of slots have large payouts but, they’re less likely to occur. You may find yourself clicking the “SPIN” button repeatedly until your daily balance completely depletes, but later in the week or month, you could make all of it back and some.

Only play high volatility slots if you have a reasonable amount of time and cash on your hands. You must be patient and okay with going home without a win. If your budget has a cushion, many people enjoy the thrill of chasing a huge success. That’s part of the high-volatile slots culture.

Low Volatility Slots

On the opposite side, lower volatility means more stable, consistent wins–just in smaller sums instead of a life-changing jackpot. You could expect little victories to pop up every couple of spins, and you lose track of time with bonus features and wins. It has its perks.

If you’re on a lower budget with less time, you should stick to low-volatility slots to avoid burning through your daily balances more than you can afford.

Mobile Compatibility

The best real money online casinos provide mobile compatibility. That means that alongside a browser, you can play slot games from your smartphone anywhere you want, on the go. This feature is incredibly convenient because it doesn’t keep us stationed in our chairs. We can experience the thrill anytime, like during the commute to work.

Playing on a smartphone is generally more secure, too. Unlike a computer that can catch malware, mobile operating software like iOS and Android are virtually impenetrable.

Types of Real Money Online Slots

real money slots

Being the most played casino games, online slots come in different types and variations possible.

Class II vs Class III (Vegas-style) Slot Machines

Slot machines come into two classes—class II games and class III games in various jurisdictions in Canada. The latter (class III) are your traditional real money slots that you’ll find in Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, and other large gambling sites. Class II, though, is commonly found in smaller gambling destinations.

We highlight the differences between class II and III in the sub-sections:

Class II Real Money Slots

Class II online slot machines are like bingo or lottery games. Unlike a Vegas-style game where you’re playing against the house, a class II slots system requires the players to play against each other. The game results are dependent on other outcomes—there are a certain number of wins and losses in each given set of numbers. Class II slots look, sound, and feel like an ordinary slot machine, but the mathematical system behind the machine is all bingo-based.

Class III Real Money Vegas Slots

Also known as a “Vegas-style” slot machine. The spinning reels determine the outcome of the slot machine. Each spin and winning combination is an independent event.

Real Money Video Slots

Video slots are a computerized version of a traditional slot machine. Despite a plethora of video slot variations, they’re all played in similar ways and hold the same rules. You just need to learn the functionalities of the different buttons and know how to read the payout tables. In no time, you’ll be able to play any game without any trouble.

However, do remember that your playstyle has no impact on the reels or payout percentage. A random number generator is what you’re placing your fate on. Not “skill.”

New Real Money Slots

Online casinos release new real money slots ever so often. To entice casino players to try them out, they couple the latest slot games with many bonus offers.

Real Money Mobile Slots

Some games are strictly available on browsers; others can be played on just mobile. Some can be done on both. The best online casinos usually have a native iOS and Android app version ready for their interface. If not an app, there are mobile-friendly browser versions.

Since real money mobile slots are newer than a browser and land-based casino games, they’re often filled with extra welcome bonus offers and promotions to onboard more mobile casino players.

As mentioned earlier, the security on iOS and Android is impeccable. Especially with modern integrations, making payments are seamless—no inputting card numbers or logging into PayPal when Apple or Google Pay automatically completes transactions with a tap.

Real Money Classic Slots

Ever feel like going old-school? If you’re in the mood to feel the vibes of a brick-and-mortar casino, classic slots will give you that feel through the sound of the whirring reels, ka-ching sound effects, the 80s-90s music, and more. These slots were designed for the old-school conservative players who prefer smaller, more frequent wins.

Real Money 3D Slots

As you’ve probably guessed from the name, 3D slots are a type of video slot with three-dimensional graphics to deliver a more realistic playing experience. They’re systematically the same as for Class II or III slot machines. Everything is the same, except the extensive graphics.

Real Money Progressive Jackpot Slots

A progressive slot machine is just another slot game, except for a small percentage of each bet you place goes into the jackpot to get bigger over time, thus the prefix “progressive.”

There are three types of progressive slot machines:

  1. Standalone progressive slot: every bet fuels the jackpot exclusive to that slot machine. The ticker doesn’t move until someone is playing on that machine.
  2. Local network progressive slot: multiple slot machines in the same casino share the same jackpot. So, anyone playing in that network of games is contributing to the growing jackpot.
  3. Wide network progressive jackpot: similar principle as before, except instead of being in the same casino, multiple slot machines in various locations can contribute to an even larger bank since so many people are playing them.

As soon as one of these progressive jackpots has a winner, they reset their starting value and start growing again.

Real Money MegaWays Slots

Megaways slots were developed by an Australian company, Big Time Gaming. They were engineered with a trademarked random reel modifier system. Put simply, for every spin, it changes the number of possible symbols that appear on reels–mixing things up and offering more ways to win than traditional online slots.

Real Money Slots Bonuses

real money slots bonus

Many Canadian online casinos will have different kinds of bonuses and promotional offers–all of which we’ll cover in this sub-section. Lucky for you, slot games have some of the best bonus offers compared to other games.

Welcome bonuses

These bonuses are designed to welcome new users to the casino site. This usually comes in the form of cash rewards upon sign-up or free spins. Most often, you can have your deposit amount matched by anything up to 200% and start your gaming session with a healthy bankroll.

Free spins

Free spin bonus offers are a slot machine’s bread and better. As in the name, those bonuses come in the shape of free spins. So, you don’t have to pay to take another spin on your slot game; you can take a chance to win real money for free. They’re often offered to casino players to try a new slot game, or they’re used to onboard new players with a popular slot game.

Wild Symbols

Wild symbols are colourful symbols that are like the joker in a deck of cards. In the case of spinning reels, if you have two identical symbols on reels 1 and 3 and wild on reel 2, that wild reel is changed to match the other two, so you have a winning combination. Additionally, some wild symbols result in prizes of their own. However, the catch is that they come about randomly; you can’t actively use a wild symbol at your leisure. The opportunity will present itself to you.

How to win real money slots?

win real money slots

Never forget that you are here to win. Playing real money slots implies you expect to get real money. To play your way to the hefty sums, consider the tips we point out.

Tip#1: Bet the Maximum Amount of Coins

Ten dimes are the same as one dollar. Four $0.50 coins are the same as one $2.00 coin. In the outside world, it doesn’t matter the number of coins you use to pay. Although, we wouldn’t recommend paying in pennies unless you want to be hexed by the cash receiver.

But, there is a huge difference between making eight separate $0.25 coin bets versus one single $2.0 bet in the casino and Slots world. Though both wager options have the same overall monetary value, each produces two very different jackpot potentials.

Why? Although the pay from slots is the same whether you bet 1 or 10 coins, the multiplier will increase with the number of coins, not their value. So, wager one coin, and the multiplier will be 1x. Bet two coins, and the multiplier will be 2x. So on and so forth.

Tip#2: Pay Attention to Paylines

Because playing slot is so straightforward, most players believe that there isn’t much to learn. Well, you’d be wrong to think that. If you want to know how to win slots, you need to understand pay lines and h0w they provide an insight into the play style.

Paylines, by the way, are just the particular winning combination of symbols on a slot machine. Be it online or in brick-and-mortar casinos, paylines are the same.

The common impression is that they build spins and increase the amount to win. More the paylines, more the possible combinations. Though true, you should examine the cost. Ask y0urself how much those paylines are costing you and, can you afford it during your time playing?

Tip#3: Play slots with High Paylines

There is no shortage of slots. If you want to know how to win big on the slots, you must choose one that pays more than the others. A way to quantify the payback is through the publicly displayed Return to Player rate (RTP%). RTP is a percent value of all your wagered money that a slot pays back; the rest the online casino takes as profit.

On average, the RTP is between 92% and 97%. So, for a slot featuring 94% RTP, 94% of wagered cash is returned to the players, while the casino takes the remaining 6% as profit. These RTP rates are calculated from averages from months of play that the slot records on its system. Your goal is to be part of that winning 94% that retrieved some money.

Third-party regulators and reputed game-testers ensure the information is honest and accurate. That’s why you should always ensure that the online casino you’re visiting is verified and licensed by a known gaming authority, like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

Tip#4: Identify Your Risk Tolerance

Slot volatility, also known as variance or risk-level, is something you need to consider. It’s a measure of the involved risk with playing a particular slot for real money. It determines how you win at slots. The less volatile options mean more frequent wins but smaller payouts. Whereas higher volatility slots mean wins are rarer, but payouts are more considerable.

What’s your play style? Slow and steady? Or go-big-or-go-home? As a player, if you’re not that patient and would rather see wins often, then do yourself a favour and select a low volatility slot. But, if you’re willing to roll the dice on big, rare wins and have the patience, then, by all means, go with the high volatility pokies.

Just make sure you know what’s right for you. Otherwise, you won’t have the best experience with winning payouts because you won’t know when to stop or give up too soon. Generally speaking on how to win slots every time, it’s more financially advantageous to go slow and steady with lower volatility slots and accumulate your winnings.

Tip#5: Take Advantage of Bonuses

If there’s anything better than winning the jackpot with your own deposits, it’s winning big with someone else’s money. Slots offer the most bonus deals than any other casino game. The best online casinos offer welcome or no-deposit bonuses, which mean free spins and extra cash bonuses added to your winnings while playing your favourite game.

More free spins mean more free chances to hit big winnings. Additionally, you can use the bonus money credits to try new slot games for free.

best real money slots

Best slots for real money

Okay, so you’ve learned all you needed to about real money slots. Now, you’re probably wondering where to start. What are the best slots for real money? Good question. In this section, we’ll give you three great examples.

Immortal Romance (RTP: 96.86%)

Microgaming developed Immortal Romance. It has five reels, three rows and a 243-ways-to-win mechanic. Your maximum jackpot is 12,000X your stake and bonuses, as we discussed in previous sections, including the Wild Desire bonus and four unlockable free-spins bonuses. In-game achievements are also available.

The RTP of 96.86% means that, over time, you can expect 96.86% of all the wagered money on a slot machine to pay back to you, the players, over time.

Double Diamond Slots (RTP: 95.44%)

IGT’s Double Diamond is a classic slot game with a dazzling diamond theme. If you prefer slots that focus on just spinning the reels–this is for you. See, since it’s a classic slot, it doesn’t offer any bonus offers or promotions; that’s your trade-off. The Double Diamond slot’s highest payout is 1,000x your total bet. To win the jackpot, you need three logo wilds to land on the slot’s pay line.

The slot’s RTP is 95.44%, which indicates a decent return in your bet over time.

Cleopatra Slots (RTP: 95.13%)

Cleopatra is an extremely popular classic by IGT from 2002, structured as a 5×4, 15 pay-line slot machine. It’s famous for its beautiful ancient Egyptian graphics, stunning sound effects, and free spin bonus round, where all wins get tripled.


By now, you should be an expert on real money online slots. You should know how they work, be familiar with their features, understand the different types of slots and bonuses, how to actually win online slots, and finally, you know of three slot games you can play right now.

Online casino slots can be fun, but you want to make sure you’re gambling real money on a secure casino site. Always check to see if the site is certified by a credible gaming authority, as the Malta Gaming Authority, and game testers like eCOGRA to ensure you’re not being scammed while playing slots.

Often, shady casinos will rig their slot machines or delay payouts to hold your money. Trusted casino sites will also put limits on your gambling budget, so you don’t flush everything. Going with certified sites is always a safe bet.


Can you play slots online for real money?

For sure, real money slots bring not just fun but massive wins. Check out our real money casino picks to make you way to the jackpots.

What are the best real online slots?

Best real money slot titles according to our experts are: Cleopatra Slots, Immortal Romance Slot and Double Diamond Slot.

Do online casinos really pay out?

All the legit real money casinos pay out the winnings. If there are any concerns regarding payments reported, we consider to put it on our Blacklist.

Are online slots rigged?

No. Choose to play only licensed slots, this is the guaranty the fairness.

Can I play real money slots for free?

In general real money mode means you bet cash. But there is a loophole: you can use Welcome bonus money or free spins to play chosen real money slots for free.