The Best Guide to Play Online Slots

Slots have always been an integral part of the land-based casino and the same is true for online. From the first mechanical slot machine in 1895, to “Money Honey”, the first online slot, slots have kept growing.

In less than thirty years, slots have become one of the most popular forms of entertainment. They are increasingly sophisticated with impressive graphics and excellent soundtracks, a far cry from the early version of games like:

  • Triple Diamond, released in 1996
  • Jackpot 2000, released in 1998.

As more and more people discover slots, we thought it would be good to put together a handy guide.

The basics of online slots

When choosing an online slots platform, such as Virgin Games, new players will be surprised at the selection on offer. There truly is an online slot for everyone, whether you’re interested in:

  • Comic books
  • Ancient Greece
  • Treasure hunts
  • Movies
  • Fantasy
  • Animals

And much more. 

However, the majority of slot games consist of the following:

  • Reels
  • Symbols
  • Win lines 
  • Jackpots

These features are combined with a random number generator (RNG) and when you spin, you get losing or winning sequences.

Let’s look at each of these:

Reels: Classic online slots usually have between three and five reels that sit side by side. These reels have different symbols and they spin independently so different combinations are made every turn.

Symbols: Symbols used to be simply fruits or card suits but now they can be anything at all. You might find:

  • Golden hammer
  • Magic shoe
  • Tiger or wolf
  • Grocery items

Symbols can be anything but when they match, you win! Online slots now contain wild symbols, scatter symbols, bonus symbols and multipliers.

Win line: This is the central row of symbols on an online slot, if the symbols match here, the player wins. However, win lines can be more complex in different games, but the premise is the same.

Jackpots: This is where the chance to win big on online slots comes in. These pay out less often and the criteria to win can be particular, usually occurring after multiple spins.

On many sites, you will see progressive and daily jackpots. It’s worth reading more on each to see how you qualify as they do pay out at random.

Getting the best experience as a slots beginner

Once you’ve understood the basic elements of the game, you can start playing. Slots rely solely on luck so no skill is involved.

However, you can use the following pointers to make your slots experience as enjoyable as possible.

Choose a game that suits you

Your options are vast when it comes to online slots so narrowing your choices down is key. Choose a trusted platform, whether a big company you’ve heard of or one your friends play on. 

You can read reviews on independent sites to make up your mind.

Then decide what type of player you are. 

  • Do you want to play for a long time at a low cost? 
  • Do you prefer a high risk over a short time with a better chance of reward?

Playing low stake simple games is a good place to start, then think about what you like.

Incentives and bonuses

Every gaming site offers different incentives for players. Some reward loyalty while others offer fantastic bonuses to new players.

It’s worth looking for free spins and deposit bonuses before deciding which you choose. Some sites offer double or triple your deposit amount as a bonus.

Manage your bankroll

You can stake anything from pennies to hundreds of pounds and it’s important to know your limits. Different games have different reward systems, so it’s worth looking at their pay tables beforehand.

You may have to stake a certain amount to be eligible for jackpots, so be aware of this. You can use bonus cash to play, but you may not be able to cash this out, so check this too.

Setting yourself a daily limit is a healthy way to enjoy play.

Stay safe online

Playing slots is entertaining, thrilling and fun. However, you need to ensure that you are playing with a trusted provider and check for the padlock symbol (in the address bar).

Don’t play when you’re too tired or under the influence of alcohol or other substances. It’s also helpful to set a budget for yourself, otherwise those small stakes can add up.


All the questions you have about online slots are addressed on casino sites. Trusted sites like Virgin have round the clock customer support with online chat available.

Details of all the games, including their RTP (Return-to-Player) percentages are available. Note that these are averages, this doesn’t mean that you’ll win 96% of the time!

Pause from play and ask if a question comes up. If it’s about the game you’re playing, you can usually find a tutorial online about that specific game!

Find your favourite slot today

Now you have a basic guide, the fun is waiting. With thousands of games to choose from, you have hours of entertainment ahead.