Guide to Becoming a Casino Guru
Would you love to get involved in the world of online casino slot play? It can be a thrilling ride with thousands of themed games to choose from and the chance to aim for some serious jackpots along the way.
Getting involved is easy: Unibet has demo play options for all of our slot titles and, when the time comes to play for real money, it’s perfectly possible to start with small stakes. Having fun on the slots is a great approach but if you want to take things more seriously, you’ll want to aim for casino guru status.
Channel Your Inner Guru
What does it take to become a Casino Guru? In terms of slot machines, it requires the wisdom to tell the difference between your wilds and your scatters and to understand what a progressive jackpot is all about. Each sector of the casino industry has its special terminology and to reach that expert level requires an understanding of the language involved.
When we’ve worked through this, you’ll know all about stacked wilds, gamble features and expanding reels too but for now, it’s back to basics.
How to Play Online Casino Slots
In this guide we will walk you through all of the processes needed to become an expert on the reels and that journey starts with your choice of game. Slot reviews will often talk about reel formats and this relates to the numbers of rows and columns that are implemented in the particular game.
Some can get very complicated with 3-4-5-4-3 formats dropping in at times. Others might expand when bonus games come along but, as a starting point, we recommend a 5x3 reel grid. This is often referred to as a classic grid and it’s a perfect entry stage for newbies.
Obviously we want to have some fun at the slots so be sure to start with a game that keeps you interested. There are hundreds of themes to choose from including Ancient Egyptians, Marauding Vikings, Enchanted Forests, Spooky Horror and Cuddly Cats. Keep it entertaining and pick a theme that you enjoy.
That’s the basics sorted and, when you’ve found a title that suits, you should be able to customise it to fit your gameplay.
Online Casino Settings
Before each spin, players have the chance to customise a game in order to suit their own preferences. Options include:
- Audio Settings: Each video slot game comes with a soundtrack which is intended to enhance the entertainment during your time on the reels. The music fits the theme and it can be fun but some slot players might find it intrusive. If you prefer to play in peace and quiet, simply hit the mute button and keep spinning.
- Betting Preferences: Slot games come with a range of stakes from just a few pence up to £100 or more. The number of paylines available is usually fixed but some games allow players to increase their stake to bring in more betways or more features.
Before you click to spin, be sure to pick a stake that you are comfortable with.
- Auto Play: Hitting the spin button isn’t meant to be hard work but if you want to sit back and focus on the reels, check out the Auto Play feature. This allows players to set a bet amount for a certain number of spins before accepting and allowing the machine to carry out that intensive labour.
You’re All Set
Now we’ve picked our slot game and adapted it to suit our settings, so it’s time to delve a little deeper and move forwards on the path towards becoming a Casino Guru. Unibet has general casino guides plus full reviews of individual slots but there are some generic terms that will keep cropping up.
We mentioned terminology at the beginning of this review so let’s crack on and look at the slot machine jargon in full detail.
Wild Symbols in Online Casino slot games
Wild Symbols are found in virtually all slot machines and they have a specific role. The aim for a wild is to match with other symbols on the reels to find a winning combination that wouldn’t exist otherwise. As a general rule, a wild will not replace other special symbols including scatters and bonus icons but they should substitute for all generic images.
Before playing a slot, it’s important to identify which symbol is acting as the Wild. Often, you can’t miss it as it will be a square carrying the word ‘Wild’ in big lettering but, on other occasions, it’s a unique icon that relates to the theme of the slot game.
In general, a scatter cannot be replaced by a wild as this is a special symbol in its own right. A scatter will lead to a bonus feature and this usually involves a set of free spins. A certain amount of scatters (usually three) will need to land on a spin and the bonus round will then be activated.
As with the wild feature, remember to check which image represents the scatter in the specific game that you are playing.
Other Bonus Symbols
Most slot games have a wild and a scatter but, on rare occasions, there may be other bonus symbols too. Perhaps they will lead to a pick game where players select a cash prize or another bonus which is hidden behind a secret door.
Other options might include a Wheel of Fortune game where you spin to win more rewards or they may be a respin which offers another chance to claim cash. We can’t be specific here as there’s no way to generalise when describing other, possible bonus symbols. Players will have to identify the mechanics before getting involved with the game in question.
Slot reviews will occasionally talk about symbols that become stacked. This simply means that they will expand and cover all positions on a certain reel. For example, that review might state that the ‘wild can become stacked on reel 3.’
When this type of feature occurs, the wild extends to fill all available positions on the nominated reels and the intention in this instance is to increase the chances of matching other symbols to provide a win.
Earlier in this guide we mentioned that a slot machine has a certain number of paylines but what, exactly, does that mean? A payline is an invisible line, set on those reels where symbols need to match in order to win a prize.
It could be central and completely horizontal so, if we look at that classic 5x3 grid layout, the most prominent and, usually the highest paying payline, is right in the middle, across the five rows.
Paylines can also be diagonal and at times, they can be irregularly shaped too. Very occasionally, slot machines can pay out on winning combinations formed from right to left as well as the more traditional left to right. Once again, it’s a case of identifying those paylines before committing to real money stakes.
In some slot games, when a win drops in, the matching symbols will disappear and others will take their place.
This feature is known as Tumbling Reels and effectively, it’s giving the player an extra spin with a view to landing more winning combinations.
There are two types of jackpot in a slot machine - fixed and progressive. With a fixed jackpot, the amount you can win is clearly shown in the paytable and this doesn’t change.
A progressive jackpot can be much higher and it’s made up by a percentage of stakes from around the online casinos that host the game in question. It’s progressive because it increases until it’s won.
Some slot developers like to add a gamble feature to their games. This will appear at the end of every winning spin and will offer the player to double, or possibly quadruple their prize.
This will generally involve the turn of a card so, you may be asked to guess whether hearts or clubs will be produced. Remember, this is an optional feature and, if you call incorrectly, the original win will be lost.
Over to You
You’re well on your way to becoming a casino guru and, armed with the information provided in this guide, you should now be familiar with the jargon used at the online slot machines.
Remember, each slot is different and while we’ve given you the general rules that typically apply, it’s important to just check every game before you commit to play. Exceptions to the above rule might include a slot game where the wild symbol also plays the part of a scatter or, perhaps there may be additional wilds that appear in the bonus rounds.
All games have their subtle differences so, as any casino guru will tell you, it’s important to check them out fully. Read through our slot guides and reviews or, click on demo play at Unibet’s casino to enjoy as many free, trial spins as you want. It’s a great way to get used to the gameplay as you work your way up to expert level.
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