Players at online casinos spend the most time on slot games, which proves that they’re better than other casino games. Not only are they flashy and exciting, they’re also very diverse. Unlike casino table games, which barely change at all, slots are constantly evolving and exploring new themes. To be able to navigate them with ease, you need to know the main types of online slots. That’s what we’ll explore today, so stick with us if you want to become a slots expert.
We will cover four main criteria according to which all casino games can be divided. Since these types cover different aspects of a game, like graphics, payout rate and rules, a single slot may belong to all these categories. Don’t worry if it sounds complicated – we’ll give examples in every case. All of them are available at Fable Casino, too, so you can go check them out at any time. Ready to learn more about online slots? Let’s get to it then.
Low Versus High Variance Slots
Also known as ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ slots, these games pay out at different rates and sizes. Low variance slots are the ones that pay small sums relatively often. They’re less risky but also less rewarding because they usually lack big jackpots, so you can’t win that much. On the bright side, they will keep you spinning for longer, paying back most of your bets even when unlucky. Examples include Foxin’ Wins by NextGen and Esqueleto Explosivo by Thunderkick.
High variance slots are the opposite. They’re also called ‘tight’ because they don’t pay as easily, but when they do, they usually pay very well. It’s a higher risk to play them and they’ll burn through your bankroll in no time if you’re not careful. Examples include Hong Kong Tower by Elk Studios and Immortal Romance by Microgaming.
The majority of slots are somewhere in between, however. They’re called medium variance slots and are neither too tight nor very low paying. One such low to middle variance game is Moon Temple by Lightning Box. An example of a game with middle to high variance is Gorilla Go Wild by NextGen.
2D Versus 3D Slots
Casino software developers are among the first to explore new technological possibilities. As a result, their products have changed the software engines and graphics considerably throughout the years. One popular distinction in this field is 2D slots and 3D slots.
While 3D products require better devices to run smoothly, they’re much prettier and more engaging. Otherwise, 3D is pretty self-explanatory. Such games usually have characters, other in-game elements or effects that are made in 3D. In fact, a lot of new slots use this technology as 2D cannot really compete here. Turning Totems by Thunderkick is a 3D slot, while Slots O’ Gold by Blueprint Gaming is 2D.
Payline Versus Cluster Slots
The way that a slot pays out is one of the most obvious characteristics that set these games apart. Aside from the classic paylines, new original mechanics have been developed in the recent years. These include cluster slots or, for example, grid slots which pay both horizontally and vertically.
The standard payline slots are the ones featuring reels (usually three to five). A varying number of horizontal, diagonal and curvy paylines are drawn on these reels. There may be only five paylines or thousands of them in ‘all ways win’ mechanics. An example of such a standard slot is Ted by Blueprint Gaming. An all ways win slot example is Phoenix Sun by Quickspin with 7,776 paylines.
Cluster slots are yet another type, which drops paylines altogether. Instead of various lines, players win by clustering the same symbols in any way they can. Whether it’s a 9-symbol-long line or a 3×3 square of the same symbols, the outcome is the same. And yes, cluster games tend to have larger grids, so 9-symbol lines are sometimes actually possible. Fable casino players should check out Aloha! Cluster Pays by NetEnt to see what we’re talking about.
Fixed Versus Progressive Jackpot Slots
Finally, some games have progressive jackpots, allowing players to win millions. Progressive jackpot slots have a lower return to player rate because a portion of each bet goes into the progressive jackpot. This means that the more players bet on the game, the bigger the jackpot gets. When someone wins it, a large portion of it goes to the lucky winner and it starts growing all over again. For example, Divine Fortune by NetEnt and Fruit Fiesta by Microgaming have progressive jackpots.
These games are completely different from the regular slots which have fixed wins. No matter how many players play the game and how successful they are, the maximum win is always the same. It’s simply written in the software, so you’ll win the same amounts for the same scores no matter when you play. Basically, all the games that don’t have progressive jackpots have fixed payouts instead. If you want an example, check out Gods of Giza by Genesis Gaming (or any other game mentioned above).