Online slots are easily the most popular online casino games in the world. Every serious slots fan has a favorite type of slot machine, whether it be bonus video slots, classic reel slots, progressive slots, or the biggest multiplier slots.

The fact is, there are many types of online slots available. Knowing which ones have the best payouts and odds of winning can be the difference between a short thrill ride and a long, lucrative run at the virtual one-armed bandits.

We’ll start by defining the two basic types of online slot machines; classic reel slots and video slots.

Online Slot Machines – Classic Reels

Classic Reel Slots are derived from the original, mechanical slot machines of old. A good example would be the very first slot machine ever built, the Liberty Bell, engineered by auto mechanic Charles Fey in the 1890s. This slot’s top prize was only $0.50, but that was an inspiring prize in those days!

Of course, online casinos still offer virtual representations of the classic one-armed bandits, but they are generally characterized by 3 or 5 individually spinning reels, with a moderate number of symbols appearing on each. If a player lines up three matching symbols, or enough wild symbols with a regular symbol, the player wins.

Classic reels can offer 1, 3, or 5 pay lines. The first would be the single, straight line across the center of the reels. The second and third are the two straight lines running across, above, and below the centerline of the reels. A classic reel slot with 5 reels would also include two diagonal lines, in the form of an X, from top left to bottom right, and top right to bottom left. Each line requires an additional credit inserted to be played.

The player has the choice of playing a single line with one credit, but if a combination hits on another pay line, they will not be paid. To play all pay lines (recommended), simply press the “Bet Max” button.

Online Slot Machines – Video Slots

Video Slots are a lot more common, mostly because they are the dominant favorite of avid online slots fans. Video slots have 5 or 7 reels, with anywhere from 9 to 50 pay lines on a single spin. What seems to make video slots so appealing, aside from the multiplicity of ways to win, is their themed nature.

There is no limit to the fantastic themes developers can come up with when devising video slots. Musical instruments, beach paraphernalia, Egyptian relics, TV series, blockbuster movies, you name it, there’s likely a video slot themed around it.

Video Slots come in all different types, in regards to their winning capabilities. We’ll describe the different types of video slots now.

Multiplier Slots

Multiplier slots are the most basic slot machines and are not recommended for one reason. The payouts multiply evenly for each credit inserted. There is no advantage for inserting 3 or 5 coins, instead of a single coin. If you insert 1 coin, paying 3:1, inserting 3 coins is worth 9:1, and 5 coins 15:1. The best video slots pay higher for inserting max coins, such as 20:1.

Bonus Multiplier Slots

These are the better version of Multiplier slots, paying a higher ratio for a win when the player inserts max coins. For example, a win with 1 coin could be worth 3:1, 3 coins 9:1 but the max 5 coins might pay as much as 20:1 (rather than an even jump of 15:1).

Multi-Line Slots

These are the most common online slots, offering a multitude of pay-lines. You could find as many as 50 pay lines on a single slot machine. These lines will zig-zag in all directions across the reels, connecting symbols in different ways to create a winning combination. While these machines have a much higher rate of hitting a winning combination, they can be quite costly. A $1 bonus multiplier with 50 pay lines will cost you $50 per play!

Jackpot Slots

A Jackpot Slot can come in any variety of online slot machines, from classic reels to video slots, multipliers to bonus multipliers. The difference is that there will be one, a special combination of the reels that releases a large, predefined jackpot amount. The jackpot could be anywhere from $5,000 to hundreds of thousands. Note that you will have to “Bet Max” coins in order to win the full jackpot.

Progressive Slots

Progressive slots are the same as Jackpot Slots, except that the jackpot will continue to get larger, progressively growing until someone hits it. Every spin of the reels results in a higher progressive jackpot. Again, you must hit that special combination of reels, and “Bet Max” in order to release the full progressive jackpot.

Online Slots by Software Brand

there are plenty of software brands out there, licensing their casino platform to different online casinos. All of these offer an array of unique online slots. However, some are certainly more intriguing than others.

Microgaming Online Slots: Microgaming is the number one online slots developer, with around 200 online slots in their casino suite – not to mention all of the other game types, totaling more than 350 altogether. Microgaming is especially famous for offering the highest progressive jackpot slots, including Mega Moolah, Major Millions, King Cashalot, Interwin88, and many more.

Playtech Online Slots: Another top supplier of online casino software, Playtech has a very large selection of online slots, including 90+ standard slots, 11 progressive slots, and well over 100 multi-line video slots.

Rival Online Slots: Rival is famous for its I-Slots, interactive slot machines that play out much like a soap opera. They have in-depth plots that develop as a player progresses through the game, with versatile storylines depending on the player’s winning combinations and actions.