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Information about slot machine games

Online slots are a big business.

According to the Gambling Commission, slot games made up 73% of all activity in the UK online gambling industry in 2022, showcasing its continuous growth.

This makes them by far the most popular type of game, surpassing classic casino games like roulette and blackjack.

The reasons for this might seem obvious: advances in gaming technology have led to elaborate video slots with entertaining storylines and cinematic graphics.

Additionally, slots provide a fast-paced and fun gaming experience. Certain slot machines even have progressive jackpots, which offer larger prizes compared to other casino games. Indeed, a slots game holds the record for the biggest online gaming jackpot ever.

Yet, online slots also come with drawbacks. Their speedy, entertaining nature makes it very easy for players to lose large sums of money if they're not being careful.

It's sometimes difficult to understand the rules of some of them, which can also lead to an unnecessary loss of money.

These downfalls are why we recommend playing online slots for free, or demo slots, particularly if you're a beginner. This way you get to enjoy the graphics and gameplay of a slots game without risking money.

You'll also give yourself a chance to learn the rules: a big advantage if you do decide to play for money.

This page will show you how to find the best slots games and what you should know before playing them.

How to play free slots

Slots games, both real-world and virtual, come in all different styles, but they do tend to follow one general principle: you stake a certain amount of money to try and get the best sequence from a random spin of reels.

Every slots game should give you a choice of how much to stake, normally with a 'bet per line' and 'total bet' amount. Make sure you're always aware of these amounts.

Your 'win' depends on which sequence appears, normally it's a multiple of the same icon on the same payline.

This, of course, makes them games of chance, which means that virtually any strategy is a waste of time.

To play any slots game on Casino Meter for free, just click on the 'play' icon on the game of your choice from this page. The game will load once you've done that and many present you with on-screen instructions before playing.

If you don't see those, then there should be a '?' icon or a similar symbol, that will take you to an explainer page.

Types of online slots

There are so many different types of slots these days that it's difficult to cover every single one, or, at least, it would take an extremely long article to do so: something which you may not have time for.

To that end, we're going to summarise some of the most popular slots types around today, all of which you can find when you click on 'Game Theme' in our list of popular filters on this page.

3-reel slot machines

If you look at the classic slot machines that you could have found in a pub in the 1950s, many of them have three reels.

This is the simplest form of the game, with smaller combos and fewer special symbols like the wild and scatter.

3-reelers tend to be less volatile, offering smaller, more frequent wins and appeal to players who prefer the traditional type of slots game.

5-reel slot machines

Nowadays, 5-reels are much more common than their 3-reel cousins. This is due to the high demand for more elaborate games, which often include bonus rounds, branded symbols and video sequences.

5-reelers revolve around bigger but rarer prizes. They tend to be more exciting, but also carry an added risk with their volatile nature.

If playing for money, you may be able to win more, but you're more likely to lose the longer you play.

Megaways slots

The brainchild of Big Time Gaming, many other developers use the technology to create these pumped-up slots, which offer progressive jackpots, elaborate storylines, and literally thousands of ways to win.

While it all sounds exciting, again, we must urge that you stay cautious. Megaways still present a risk if we're not careful, so it's always sensible to follow safe gambling rules when playing them. You can read more about these in our responsible gambling guide.

Adventure/fantasy slots

Many online slots games are based around an adventure or fantasy theme, including fantastical characters like witches, knights, and dragons.

These often include bonus features and symbols based on the characters and add an extra dimension of fun for players who are into that type of thing.

Branded slots

Like the above category, these slots are aimed at fans of certain movies or TV shows, like The Simpsons or Game of Thrones.

Many big franchises have their own slots games these days, so search our database to see if we have one based on your favourite show.

The most popular online slots games and how to find them

At Casino Meter, we want to make it as easy as possible to find the best free slots for you.

If you have a particular provider in mind, you can simply enter their name in the search bar at the top of the page to get a list of their games.

As well as that, you can also switch between different game types below, including roulette, bingo and blackjack.

Back to demo slots, though, our list of advanced filters will help you track down the exact type of game you're looking for. Aside from 'Game Type', 'Game Theme', and 'Game Provider' filters, which we've already mentioned, there's also an 'Other' filter that lets you see games with a double-up option, configurable win lines and jackpot games.

You can also see which games have impressed Casino Meter players the most with the number of 'likes' it has, represented by the 'thumbs-up' on its display screen. The higher this is, the more popular it is.

Once you click on a game's thumbnail, you'll go to the main game screen where you'll see important information about the game below, including its Return-to-Player (RTP), whether it's desktop or mobile-friendly (or both), and a list of the best UK casinos to play it at for real money.

There's also a brief description of the game which will give you the basics of what you need to know. Then, it's a case of clicking 'Play' to try it out for free!

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do I have to download anything to play free slots?

No. Every game you see will play in your browser when you click on it, so you should never have to download anything.

Which provider makes the best online slots?

This is nearly impossible to answer, seeing as there are many game providers, and everyone's taste is a bit different.

There are however several developers who specialise in providing quality slots for the UK market, including Netent, Red Tiger and Microgaming.

You can find all their games by going to the 'Game Provider' filter and selecting their names on the list.

Are online slots always safe to play?

This depends on the casino you play it at.

Finding a reliable site is imperative if you want to stay safe while playing online. Thankfully, you can do that by checking out the recommended casinos listed underneath each game when you click on it.

These are all highly rated by Casino Meter, hold a UK GC (Gambling Commission) license, and should help you have a positive experience.

If you go to an unlicensed casino, however, you're taking a risk of being the victim of unscrupulous behaviour.

Do free slots come with bonuses?

No. Finding a demo slot with a bonus of prepaid credit and free spins is impossible.

To claim a bonus, you need to sign up to the casino offering it and deposit money (in the case of deposit bonuses).

You can see all relevant bonuses for slots games by going to our list of casino bonuses and choosing 'slots' on the Casino Games filter.

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