There’s no doubt about it. When it comes to the top of the pops in online casinos it’s always the slots that win out.
That’s why you’ll find that so many of them make great free spins offers to their players. So, in this article we’re going to take a look at the different forms that free spins can take, as well as the overall appeal of slots games.
A brief history of slots
The very first slots game was invented well over a century ago. It was the brainchild of a young electrical engineer in California called Charles Fey. The machine was called the Liberty Bell and, fun fact, that’s why so many slots’ games still feature a bell as one of their symbols today.
The mechanisms on the first models were purely mechanical. But as technology progressed electricity started to feature as well.
It was the arrival of the video slot that heralded the modern era, something that has also enabled the game to make the transition to online slots. With a video display, no moving parts, and a piece of software called a random number generator recreating physical spinning reels, it also opened up a whole new world of possibilities, including the arrival of free spins and a whole host of other changes.
It’s bonus time!
One of the ways that this has manifested itself is in the use of bonuses to encourage new players to take part.
For online casinos, these generally come in two forms. The first is in matching the stake money put forward by a new recruit to a site. So, they effectively double the money that they have to play with at a stroke.
The other is the one we’re concerned about here – the free spins bonus. In this, a certain number of free spins are awarded on a specified game or group of games. There is no financial commitment involved and the free spins are there to be claimed.
This is obviously a very successful technique – it must be as so many different online casinos continue to use it. There is also great competition between them to out do each other both in terms of the number of spins available and the range of slots games on which they can be used.
While they undoubtedly offer a good deal to the player, there are also a number of restrictions and considerations that offer apply.
For instance, there is generally a time limit with which the free spins must be taken. Sometimes this is accompanied by a wagering requirement before winnings can be claimed. This is a minimum amount of stake money that needs to be used on paid-for games that needs to be reached.
So it always pays to read all the terms and conditions on an online site to make sure you can take full advantage of the offer.
Try out games for free
Online bingo gives you more options and accessibility.
Another form of free spins that is always very popular involves playing on games which both need no stake money and pay out no prize money either.
Often when new titles are released these forms an important part of the marketing push. By providing free versions on the game on review sites and the like it introduces the new game to players.
This means that they can get used to how to play without risking any of their own money in the process. It also gives a great flavour of what the actual game is like to play.
In addition, slots are becoming increasingly complex these days with many different features and bonus games. So playing on a free trial slot gives someone a chance to get used to how these are going to work when they play the actual game for real money.
Plus, because free games tend to have the same Return To Player settings as the real ones it can help to give a good idea of the actual size and frequency that any actual wins when it comes to playing for real.
In-play free spins
The third category of spins to be taken into consideration are the ones that occur in the course of a standard paid-for game.
For many players this is one of the most important features and that is why many online casino sites make a big thing of them in their game descriptions.
They are generally triggered as special bonus rounds by a particular combination of symbols and can range from around three free spins up to a total of 20 or more. When they are triggered, there is also generally a kind of countdown or meter to show how many are remaining.
Often the free spins rounds in slots are also accompanied by multipliers. As the word suggests, this multiplies the winnings made in that round by a certain factor which can sometimes be as high as times ten.
The very best games even allow you to win more free spins within the round, sometimes extending this almost indefinitely.
In terms of the benefits, the most obvious one is that you are getting to play a slot for free for a set number of spins. And if you’ve chosen a high stake per spin to play for this can equate to a considerable amount of money.
So next time you’re playing the slots, make sure that you’re on the look out for any free spins available – and look forward to playing for nothing!