Online Slots Guide

The classic slot machine stand was the flare of land-based casinos. Punters would slot in coins that bring the video slots to life with upbeat, retro pieces of music. It was a fun experience if you experienced the gameplay, but online slot machines have taken the experience up a notch.Video slots are now part of online casino games for South African players, easily accessible from internet-enabled devices. You’ll have even more variety on SA casino sites than in land-based South African casinos. Spin the reels, land winning combinations, and score an online slots payout.

The gameplay of online slot machines is simple, from your bets to the wins. This page will show you how to play slots online, including strategies to win real money. With that in mind, here is our ultimate guide to online casino slot games.

By Adiela de Bruyn - Updated 2024/04/23 - Estimated reading time: 13 minutes.

Table of contents

Online Slots Guide

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Best Online Casinos with a lot of slots

  1. 1
    10Bet Casino
    10Bet Casino Since 2003
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    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  2. 2
    Zar Casino
    Zar Casino Since 2006
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    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  3. 3
    SpringBok casino
    SpringBok casino Since 2012
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    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  4. 4
    Yeti casino
    Yeti casino Since 2017
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    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
  5. 5
    Yebo Casino
    Yebo Casino Since 2014
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    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
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Getting Started with Online Slots

Slot games have the most variety among online casino games in South African online casinos and beyond. You can start from the classic slots to the 6-reel slots and megaways. Most importantly, you can play slots for real money or have risk-free fun with free slots games.

Most South African online casino providers have video slots games as the primary option in their catalog. They might have other casino games like roulette or baccarat. However, a greater percentage of their lobby will be dedicated to video slots games.

Most online slots are available on mobile casinos and desktop sites, although some still work only on desktop sites. These launched long before smartphones came onto the scene. Microgaming (now Games Global) produced the first online slot machine in the mid-90s.

Online slot games leaped from video slots. Today, you can play slot games anywhere in South Africa, provided you have a smartphone.

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What are Online Slots?

A typical online slots game has three or more reels that spin, resulting in several symbols when they stop. While classic slots in land casinos had levers to initiate reel spins, an online slot game has a button to initiate the spins.

Several symbols will join the spin until the reels stop. To spice things up, providers can add the following:

  • Backstories to the online slot casino game
  • Themes and graphics
  • Soundtrack
  • Animations

These add-ons do not influence the results, as each result is random. However, they increase the immersive feel, making some online slot games better than others.

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How do Online Slot Machines Work?

Like all real-money casino games, the online slot machine requires real-money bets to spin the reels. You can play free slots games online, but your winnings cannot be converted to actual cash.

Once the reel spins begin, different symbols will appear quickly on each reel. This motion will continue until you stop it or the reels come to a natural stop. Then, the remaining symbols will stop spinning.

These symbols can form matching combinations on the slot machine reels, resulting in a win. If that doesn’t happen, the bet on that spin is lost, and the next spin occurs.

Desktop and mobile slots work the same way, except for a few design changes for the screen size differences. Most slots start their matching combinations on the leftmost reel. Hence, you can have the following ways to win:

  • Have a minimum of three matching symbols on a payline on the reels.
  • Have a minimum number of symbols anywhere on the reels.
  • Have a minimum number of symbols in a cluster.

Besides the base gameplay, online slots offer bonus features, including free spins, multipliers, expanding wilds, etc. These bring winning opportunities and the potential to walk away with many times the regular win. For example, multipliers can increase a win up to 100 times.

Some slot machines may have mini-games in their bonus rounds. They could be pick-me bonus rounds or a massive wheel. Playing online slots with rewarding bonus rounds can result in multi-million-dollar wins.

Other Features in a Typical Slots Game

You’ll find sections to learn about the paytable and rules of real-money slots. Other features of the play area include:

  • Spin button
  • The bet button(s): This lets you pick bets from the acceptable range.
  • The autoplay button: This option spins the reels of real-money online slots automatically. Some online slots games allow up to 1,000 auto-spins.
  • Bet max button: This feature allows you to place the maximum bet for the next spin quickly.
  • Turbo mode: You can speed up the reel spins of online slots with this button.
  • Paylines: Some online slots have adjustable paylines.

Some online casino slots include ante-bet and bonus-buy features. The ante-bet feature lets you increase your chances of triggering the bonus features. Conversely, the bonus buy option allows you to buy the bonus features.

Popular Bonus Features in Online Casino Slots

South African players can activate the following bonus games in a typical online casino slot:

  • Free spins: This is the most popular feature in online slots. It lets you spin the reels without using your funds. Still, the wins are real money that can be transferred into your account.
  • Bonus symbols often activate in-game free spins when they appear on the reels. Notwithstanding, some online slots can activate them randomly.
  • Bonus wheels: Some online slots offer bonus wheels in their bonus games. The wheels often consist of several segments with different prizes, including those with no prizes. You’ll spin it to win whatever the wheel stops at.
Book fo dead slot

Book of Dead slot, one of the more popular slots around. This slot can be played at Yeti Casino.

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Typical terms in online slots gaming

Here are a few typical terms to know about online slot games:

  • Reels: These are the columns in the playing area. Symbols spin vertically on each reel until the spinning stops. You can get three up to six-reel slots and even more.
  • Rows: These are the horizontal sections. They often carry the paylines from the leftmost reels to the right.
  • Paylines: These are preset lines that matching symbols must occupy to produce a win.
  • Volatility: This refers to how often you win in a slot game. It also includes the average amount won.
  • Return-to-player rate (RTP): Casinos pay a percentage of player winnings back. This percentage is known as the return-to-player rate. Also, the RTP occurs over time.
  • Winning frequency: This parameter is the ratio of winning spins to all the spins made in the game. It can be helpful when gauging your winning chances.

These are the basic terms you’ll find on most reel slots. You can practice with free slots at SA online casinos before playing for real money.

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How to play slots online

Playing online slots begins with creating an online casino account. Some South African online casinos allow unregistered players to play free online slots. However, playing slots for real money requires a funded account.

Here are some general steps to playing online for real money:

  1. Find recommended online casinos in South Africa.
  2. Register with your preferred choice.
  3. Deposit real money into your account.
  4. Pick an online slot game from the catalog.
  5. Load the slot game.
  6. Place a real-money bet. You can play max bet or adjust to your preferred bet size.
  7. Hit the spin button to start the game.

Slot machines often have minimum and maximum bets. Hence, you must bet within this range to spin the wheels.

Online slots work with average bet sizes. Hardly will you find online slots for real money that accept up to R15,000, which is prevalent in roulette.

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Famous Slot Machines in Online Casinos

The following are the best online slots you can play for money:

Gonzo’s Quest Megaways

This sequel brings back the avalanche feature of its predecessor. It has 116,649 winning ways with high volatility. The jungle theme and maximum payout of 20,000 times place it among the best online slot games.

Gonzo will give you up to 15 free spins in your quest. However, you must land the free-fall symbols.

While you won’t get a progressive jackpot in this game, you’ll find exciting bonus features with the Megaways engine. These include the unbreakable wilds and the earthquake feature. Also, you might be lucky enough to catch a welcome bonus for the game at the best online casinos in South Africa.

Gates of Olympus

Many online slots feature Greek mythology. However, Gates of Olympus takes a memorable approach. The game uses a pay-anywhere system where you win by landing at least eight matching symbols on the reels.

Gates of Olympus has six reels and five rows with an RTP of 96.5%. Free spins are the most prominent feature. However, the potential for a 500x multiplier makes Gate of Olympus one of the best slot games you can play for real money.

Wheel of Wishes

The 500x maximum win might turn attention away to other online slots, but this game is a hidden gem. Alchemy Gaming has four progressive jackpots in the game. However, the progressive jackpots don’t have random triggers like other games in this category.

This progressive slot game has two ways to trigger the progressive jackpot:

  • You can activate it by having two or more scatter symbols on the reels
  • Activating the Power Mode

The power mode costs real money but doesn’t guarantee the bonus wheel will appear. Instead, it increases your chances of triggering the bonus wheel. Think of it like a bonus buy feature in other progressive jackpots.

Progressive Jackpot Slots

Most online slot machines have a cap on how much players can win in a single round. Progressive jackpot slots are for you if you find that limiting. These online slots have increasing payouts as more players join.

The Mega Moolah is one of the best progressive jackpots. While the gameplay and free spins bonus do not differ from other online slots, the progressive jackpot game makes all the difference. The progressive jackpot occurs randomly.

Most progressive jackpots offer random triggers for their jackpot prizes. With Mega Moolah, the higher your bet, the better your chances of winning the progressive jackpot.

Online casinos can offer progressive slots as part of an international network or exclusively to players on their platforms.

Fixed Jackpot Slot Games

Opt for fixed jackpot slots if progressive slots are overreaching. Fixed jackpot slots are similar to the typical flat-top slot machine. Both have caps on their maximum wins.

These games can have randomly triggered fixed jackpots. Alternatively, you might need specific combinations to trigger the jackpot. You can play the following fixed jackpot online slots for real money:

  • Rainbow Riches
  • Fire Forges
  • Miami Jackpots
  • 9 Masks of Fire
  • Sweet Bonanza
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Winning Strategies When Playing Online Slots

Games of chance don’t have winning strategies. The best you can do is to manage your bankroll for prolonged gameplay. Real-money slots are in this category with their random number generators.

Here are some tips to maximize your winning chances in real-money slots:

  • Avoid high-volatility slots if you don’t have enough bankroll.
  • Play at the best online slot sites in South Africa. Earn new online slots before betting real money.
  • Play free online slots to understand the gameplay before betting real money.
  • Utilize casino bonuses, like the welcome bonus deal, to reserve your bankroll. Ensure you check the wagering requirement of any casino bonus before activating it.
  • Split your bets to increase your playing time.
  • Play at a reputable online casino.
  • Focus on mobile slots.

Most casinos in South Africa offer casino bonuses on slot machines. These are often free spins on selected online slots. Also, they are present welcome bonus deals and ongoing promotions.

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Can You Trust Online Real-Money Slots?

It is risky to play online slots for real money at questionable casinos. The thought of a rigged game can grow stronger as you play for extended periods without winning. However, these games are legit, provided you consider a few things.

Are online slots rigged? Run your checks through the following:

Slot Game Providers

Don’t play online slots from unlicensed game providers. Think of the top providers like NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Games Global, Play’n Go, Playtech, BGaming, etc. These companies are licensed by several gaming authorities, including the following:

  • The Malta Gaming Authority
  • The UK Gambling Commission
  • The Curacao eGaming

Play online slots that come from registered and licensed game providers. You can run their license numbers for confirmation.

Random Number Generators

Besides the stunning graphics and rewarding features the best online slots have, the crucial thing is the random number generators. These ensure fair results when you play online slots at casino sites. Any tweaks to them will produce biased results that’ll work against you as a player.

Random number generators control online slots real money gameplay, and the free versions. Casinos with endorsements from eCOGRA, iTest Labs, and other independent agencies have fair random number generators. Hence, you can enjoy the best online slots on this platform without fear of rigged outcomes.


The last major check for fair online slots real money gameplay is the casino license. Unlicensed casinos are accountable to no authority. They can rig games in their favor and deny payouts.

Most casinos will have their license information at the footer of the home page. Alternatively, you can check their “About Us” section or the license page.

Verify their license numbers with the licensing body to be sure. Then, you can deposit and play slots without fear.

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Online Casinos with the most online slots

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Online slots are among the simplest casino games. They barely require any learning curve, with enough excitement for new players. Moreover, you can always play the free version to lay out any complexities.

Casinos offer regular slots and jackpots. The latter brings mega-winning opportunities because of their increasing payouts. Even so, some slots can be high-paying, like Gates of Olympus, with a 20,000x max payout.

Find the best licensed online casinos. Start with the free versions before depositing money for the real-money gameplay.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Online Slots

Are online slot casinos trustworthy?

Only play games at licensed online casinos. Verify their licenses to avoid fraud and other scams.

How do I get winning combinations on slot machines?

You must land matching symbols to win in slot machines. Some games require at least three matching symbols, while others require at least five or eight. Also, some use paylines, while others use a pay-anywhere system.

Are online slot machines rigged?

Online slots can be rigged. However, licensed game providers and casinos use fair random number generators. Games with these RNGs cannot be rigged by any party.

Do online slots remember the last played session?

Some casinos save gaming sessions. Hence, you can continue from where you stopped in the previous session. Don’t expect this feature in all casinos.

Author: Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn, our founder, launched this site in 2016. Since then, she's written over 100 pages filled with crucial info to enhance your gaming experience. Her goal? To provide you with the best, most reliable online casino knowledge.

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Article published 2019/12/31