The Most Exciting Online Slots

The Most Exciting Online Slots

5 min read

There are thousands of different slots at players’ disposal in various online and land-based gambling venues. Every day a new slot machine appears to attract more players. Developers from around the world are constantly working on new themes for online slots. They produce games of chance with impeccable design and top-notch graphics. Still, only several slot machines are here to stay, while others are here today and gone tomorrow. What makes those slots that special?

The Origins of Slot Machines

While it may seem that slots existed for ages, they are just over one hundred years old. The exact year of the first slot machine release is disputable, but modern fruities take their origins in the 1890s. What makes the exact year of the release dubious is that it depends on what you want to consider to be the first slot machine. There were three different machines, released in three different states on three separate occasions in the 1890s. Each one is a strong contender to be considered the prototype of the modern slots. 

In 1890, Illinois saw the release of the automated poker game machine. It was created by Frank Smith of the Ideal Toy Company. Smith designed the machine to automate poker games. Frank Smith’s inventions had five reels that displayed a series of cards. The reels would spin upon insertion of the coin in the machine, presenting the player with a winning or losing combination. Upon getting the winning combination, the player could collect the money from the venue that placed the machine. 

Merely a year later, Brooklyn-based company Sittman&Pitt presented a similar machine. But their machine had a lever, players had to push, after inserting the coin, for the five reels to spin. Sittman&Pitt's invention became quickly popular among the bars of New York, where people would play it for different goods, not money. Depending on the bar, a player could win a free beer or a cigar. It seems like it is one of the first famous slot machines. Actually, the popularity of Brooklyn’s machine overshadowed the Smith’s one so much that it’s barely mentioned anywhere nowadays. 

There were several other machines like that, but in 1895, Charles Fey released his “Liberty Bell” machine. It was a one-armed bandit with three reels and symbols instead of cards. Another addition was the fact that Fey’s “Liberty Bell,” unlike previously mentioned inventions, could grant the player an instant reward. So began the story of slot machines. By the mid-20th century, slots comprised 70% of the gambling industry’s revenue. The same picture you see nowadays, even though slots, together with other games of chance, transitioned online. 

Transition Online

With the arrival of the Internet boom in the 1990s, the gambling industry started its slow transition online. Surprisingly, slots weren’t the first games to be added to gambling venues' online counterparts. At first, online gamblers were offered to play Roulette and Blackjack. But it wasn’t long till slots were added to online casinos. The first ones being the exact replicas of popular slot machines in land-based casinos. But slots started gaining popularity rapidly, soon comprising 80% of what online gambling venues were offering, and developers started experimenting with themes and layouts of slots. 

Nowadays, you can find slots that are based on popular movies and TV shows. There are two standard layouts for video slots: 5 reels and 3 rows, or 3 reels and 3 rows. But there are games with unorthodox layouts of 5x4 or 6x6. There are also grids where each reel contains a different number of rows. In some games, players have to pop clusters of bubbles. There are straightforward games, and there are slots that have mini-games, jackpot wheels, and free spins. 

  • Mini-game – generally a pathway game, which is triggered during the gameplay, which can reward players with instant cash prizes.
  • Jackpot wheel – generally, a wheel with a certain set of prizes. Depending on which segment the arrow stops, the player gets an instant cash prize.
  • Free Spins – a feature generally triggered by Scatter symbols, which gives players several extra spins without wagers.

As of today, there are more than one hundred gaming providers, each one having several hundreds of slot games for players. It means that players won’t get bored and always have a different game to try. But, at the same time, it’s extremely difficult to choose the slot machine to start from. Shall you start with the most famous game? But what is the most popular slot machine online? It seems that you need to dig up the material a bit. 

Top 10 Popular Online Slots

To make things easier, we’ve conducted a list of the great games that online casinos have at your disposal. You’re going to discover the ten most popular slot machine names and learn important details about them, such as basic rules, the amount you can win, and the special features that they have. So, let’s start without any further ado. 

Mega Moolah

Mega Moolah is one of the most popular games out there. Created by one of the oldest and most famous developers Microgaming, Mega Moolah is gambling aficionados’ favorite, thanks to its jackpots. The biggest payout ever was over $20 million, but players have a chance to win a million on average. The game has quite a high return to players ratio of 95%. Thus, if you’re not aiming at millions, you can still win several thousand per round. 

The minimum wager for Mega Moolah is just $0.25, while the maximum is $6.25. The slot has five reels and three rows, and twenty-five active pay lines. In other words, you have twenty-five ways to win. The game has a cartoonish theme with different wild animals acting as symbols, which can bring you from 10 to 600 times your initial bet. And players have a chance to multiply their winnings during the bonus rounds. 

First of all, the Wild icon replaces other symbols, creating more winning combinations. Aside from that, the game offers a free spins feature, which allows players to double, triple, and quadruple their wins without making new stakes. And Mega Moolah has four progressive jackpots: 

  • Mini Jackpot – can bring player $10
  • Minor Jackpot – brings $100
  • Major Jackpot – brings up to $10,000
  • Mega Jackpot – bring more than $1,000,000

You can find the Mega Moolah slot in every online casino that offers games from Microgaming. Almost every player has a chance to become a millionaire with the Mega Moolah slot machine. As a $3 million payout is won on average every 65 days. The lucky ones can beat the previous maximum jackpot of $20 million, which was won in 2018. But even without winning multi-million prizes, playing Mega Moolah is a sheer gambling joy. 

Book of Ra

One of the most popular themes for the online slots is ancient mythology. The Book of Ra by the Greentube serves as a good example of this trend. The game is based on Ancient Egyptian mythology. This slot machine has five reels, three rows, and only nine betways. You can enjoy all the attributes of a traditional adventure of tomb raiding. While Book of Ra doesn’t offer payouts as impressive as Mega Moolah, players have a chance to win $180,000. But here, you need to be careful. 

The return to player ratio of the game is lower than in the majority of slots standing at 92.13%. The best thing to do in this case is to play the game for free before making real stakes. After sharpening your skills and figuring out the functionality of the Book of Ra slot, you can start betting. The betting limits range from $0.2 to $18, which makes the game perfect for those who are not ready to wager a fortune. 

The game won’t treat its players with special features. It’s a non-progressive slot, and it doesn’t contain a jackpot wheel. While some can consider it to be a disappointment, others prefer the special features that are limited to the free spins. The more Scatter symbols the player lands, the more free spins they’re going to get. And each free round provides players with more chances to boost their wins. 

Gonzo’s Quest

Gonzo’s Quest is one of the most popular slot machines from NetEnt. The gambling giant knows how to treat its players. The game starts with the 3-D introduction about Gonzo Pizzaro, a Spanish conquistador who led the quest to find El Dorado – the city of gold. And that’s the main theme of the 3D slot machine by the biggest Swedish developer in the gambling industry. 

The game has a typical for the majority of online slots layout of five reels and three rows. Players can bet a minimum of $0.2, while the maximum bet is $50. Gonzo’s Quest can easily turn the player into a millionaire. The maximum payout is 37,500 times your initial bet. And if you do the math, you can figure out that with the maximum bet, you can get $1,875,000. Again, not close to the immense jackpot of Mega Moolah, but still quite impressive. 

The return to player ratio is almost 96%, which makes your chances to turn into a millionaire quite high. But even if you don’t, you can still get decent amounts. And special features will help you boost your wins. They include:

  • The Wild symbol – replaces other symbols, which makes getting winning combinations easier. 
  • Free Spins feature – you will get ten free spins, which you can use to generate more winning combinations without wagering money. 
  • Avalanche – it’s a cascading feature. The symbols forms winning combinations disappear from the reels, with new symbols falling in their places. 

Speaking about the Avalanche feature, there are four avalanches in Gonzo’s Quest. Each comes with a new multiplier. The first one brings you one time your initial bet, while the fourth one quadruples your win. 

Cleopatra

The IGT slot is the only game that can come close to the immense jackpot of Mega Moolah. Another slot machine based on Ancient Egypt, more or less inspired by the story of the eponymous historical figure. The game has five reels, three reels, and twenty active pay lines. Players can bet from $1 to $1000, making this game equally perfect for those who prefer low stakes and high rollers. Cleopatra offers the maximum win of 10,000 your initial stake, which means that betting maximum can bring you $10 million. 

Players should test the game for free, as the game has a 95.7% return to player ratio. Not low by any means, but without sharpening your skills by playing the demo version, you may end up losing more than you can win back. The game doesn’t have a jackpot wheel, but the free spins feature easily makes up for that. The feature, paired with the Wild icon that replaces other symbols, easily boosts the wins, getting players closer and closer to the multi-million jackpot. 

Immortal Romance

Immortal Romance is another game from Microgaming. While this vampire-themed game doesn’t offer multi-million winnings, players can still earn more than $300,000, which can be considered to be a life-changing amount. With a return to player ratio of 96.86%, players have quite a high chance to win decent sums. Immortal Romance offers players to bet between $0.30 and $30, which makes this game ideal for penny punters. But the maximum payout can easily raise the interest of high-rollers. 

The game has a standard layout of 5 reels, 3 rows, and 243 active pay lines. Placing winning combinations of several-centuries old vampires on the reels can bring you from eleven to sixteen times your initial bet. And there is also a Wild symbol that can envelope two reels, which will boost your wins. And a Scatter icon will activate the free spins feature, which can be re-triggered over and over again. Most likely the special features propelled this game to become one of the most popular slot machine games, rather than its release that coincided with the Twilight saga hitting the theaters. 

Thunderstruck II

Thunderstruck II made people forget about the original game fairly easily. The Microgaming game is one of the favorite slot machines of players around the world. What attracts players in the exciting gameplay and generous payouts. Well, again, it won’t give you the same amount as Mega Moolah, but chances to win several million are quite high. With the 96.65% return to players ratio, the lucky ones can become owners of the $2.4 million fortune. 

The game has 5 reels, 3 rows, and 243 betways. With betting limits ranging from $0.30 to $15, the game is ideal for penny punters, although the game often attracts high-rollers due to the impressive jackpot. Thunderstruck II is not a progressive slot machine, and it doesn't have lots of special features. But the player doesn’t need a jackpot wheel when the free spins option easily boosts the wins. While the game seems simple at first glance, it is better to try the game out in the demo version, just to figure out its functionality. 

Starburst

Starburst is one of the most popular games from NetEnt. The game takes you out into outer space, where players have to collect different crystals. The game has a standard layout of five reels, three rows, and just ten active pay lines. Players can bet between $0.10 and $100. And the 96.1% return to player ratio brings them quite close to winning the maximum payout of $50,000. While the amount is not a multi-million jackpot, it’s still a big sum. 

But it’s not the winnings that attract players. Mostly it’s the gameplay, which is quite simplistic. The game doesn’t have a vast array of bonus features like a jackpot wheel or mini-games. The most exciting thing about the game is the free spins feature, which easily boosts your wins. But even with a simple game like that, it is better to play the game for free before making real stakes. 

Money Honey

Money Honey is provided by Spin Games. While not the most famous name in the gambling industry, they still produce interesting slots that attract gambling aficionados from around the world. The game doesn’t offer winnings of several million, but still, you can win more than $250,000. The game is not designed for penny punters, as the betting limits range from $44 to $880. The return to player ratio of the game is unknown. Thus, it is better to play it for free before making actual wagers. 

The honey-themed game has five reels, three rows, and more than two hundred active betways. Money Honey has a traditional set of bonus features that include free spins and multipliers. Aside from that, the game offers a special bonus wheel, which can give you either more spins or an instant cash prize. The unusual set of features and the $250,000+ easily made this game one of the most popular casino slot machines online. 

9 Pots of Gold

In case if Irish mythology is your thing, then 9 Pots of Gold is a perfect choice for you. This Microgaming slot is full of Leprechauns and, well, pots of gold. The game has a standard layout of five reels and three rows, and twenty active pay lines. The return to player ratio of 96.24% gives you quite a big chance to win the maximum of $120,000.

The minimum bet is just $0.20, but players can place a maximum bet of $60. Mind that in this game, your payout depends on your wagers. You can get x2000 of your initial bet, which means that the minimum stake will bring you just $400, while the maximum one can bring you the desired $120,000. 

The game is a non-progressive slot, but you still have free spins and multipliers. The bonus wheel will be opened depending on the number of Scatter symbols that the player lands on. It’s not a classic jackpot wheel, as it doesn’t award you with the cash prizes. Instead, it provides you with many bonus spins, which is common for many famous slots. 

Goblin’s Cave

There’s another famous name among gambling developers, and it’s Playtech. While nowadays, they are mostly famous for adapting franchises like Justice League and Iron Man into slots, in 2012, they released the Goblin’s Cave game. It is a slot machine that players love. However, most of the players would’ve loved it if the game’s maximum payout was closer to any other slot on this list. The main attraction of Goblin’s Cave is the return to player ratio of 99.32%. 

The Goblin’s Cave has three reels, three rows, and three active pay lines. The betting limits of the game range from $0.15 to $75, which makes the game perfect for both penny punters and high-rollers. The maximum payout of the game is 450 times the initial bet. And if you do the math, you can see that you can win $33,750, given that you’ve bet with the maximum stake. But one of the highest, if not the highest, RTP ratio provides players with decent wins throughout the gameplay. 

Goblin’s Cave is a non-progressive slot, and you won’t find a jackpot wheel here. The fact that the game doesn’t have the free spins feature may greatly disappoint certain players. So, what are the bonus features? You have a Wild symbol that replaces other icons, and there’s a Scatter that activates the bonus game. When the bonus game is triggered, you are taken to a separate screen, when you need to open one of the eleven chests with an instant prize. 

Sunrise Reels

The Sunrise Reels slot was released by Realistic Games in 2017, and that’s one of the ‘back to basics’ games. The Sunrise Reels games is an exact replica of the top slot machines that you can find in brick-and-mortar casinos. So, it’s a perfect game for those who either feel nostalgic for the days before the internet took over or for those who enjoy everything retro. The game has three reels, three rows, and five active betways. 

The symbols are those of the traditional slot machine. There are plums, watermelons, 77, BAR, bells, and so on. The game works perfectly for players who like low and high stakes. The betting minimum is $0.25, while the maximum is $200. And the Sunrise Reels slot allows you the chance to win $12,000. But, as the return to player ratio of 95.27% is a bit low, it is better to play the game for free without making actual wagers. The game’s demo version is available in the majority of the casinos that offer it for real money. 

If you expect to see Wilds, Scatters, or special features in this game, you can forget about it. This is a classic slot machine presented online. The gameplay is as straightforward as possible. And the game is available in the mobile version, which means that you can play it not only from the comfort of your home but on the go as well.

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