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The way we assess online slots
Selecting an online slots game can seem a little daunting. There are literally thousands of different slots games available. So how do you find the best slots sites? And which games should you play?
Our expert team of reviewers know exactly what to look for in UK slots sites. And they go through every game with a fine-toothed comb, before bringing you lists of the top sites in the country. As well as new slots online as they come to market.
Here’s what we look for when assessing and reviewing slots online:
- Design: the best slot games will have beautiful graphics and a great user-friendly interface. We look carefully at how the game has been designed and presented to the customer
- Theme: with so many games out there, software developers are creating new themes all the time, to keep consumers entertained. We look at these themes, to see if they’re fun and unique
- Gameplay: how does the game work? We look at whether it’s simple to play, as well as how the game functions overall. How many reels does it have? How many bonus features and rounds etc.
- Game features: we look at what makes the game unique, and what features it offers. Can you access extra bonuses? What do wilds do etc.
- Paylines: you want to know how to win! So we look at how many paylines can be created on each game, as well as any other winning combo offered
- RTP: we examine each game’s RTP. See below for more details about RTP
How does a slot machine work?
Modern-day slot machines look very different from their ancestors. But we still have the old slot machines to thank for the games we know and love today.
The word ‘slot’ refers to the place where you would traditionally put your coins directly into the machine before you played. Obviously, with the invention of online slot games, this is no longer necessary. But you will still find traditional slots at land-based casinos.
Over the years, slots machines have had many different names. In the UK, you’ll probably be familiar with fruit machines, or ‘fruities’, which are a type of slot machine. In the States, you can hear the name ‘one-armed bandit’, to describe the machines which traditionally came with a long lever at the side of the machine. And in Australia, you can hear the term ‘pokies’.
Most people will cite the Liberty Bell, invented in 1894, as the very first slots game. But actually, you have to go back a little further, to 1891, to find the true original. Created in Brooklyn, New York, a company called Sittman and Pitt brought out what was then known simply as a ‘gambling machine’. This device had 5 drums which contained regular playing cards. And the game was based on traditional poker, rather than matching symbols.
However, when the Liberty Bell came along just 3 years later, she changed the game (literally!) Replacing playing cards with symbols, including the classic bells we can still see on slots reels today, people were instantly hooked on this easy-to-play game. And these symbols and reels are still what make up a great slots game today. Spin the reels and try to match symbols to create a payline. Easy!
What is slots RTP (Return to player)
When playing any slots games, it’s important to look at something called Return to Player (RTP). Slots RTP refers to the amount of money that a casino expects you to get back from playing one game over a certain period of time. In other words, it’s how much of your own money a casino thinks you will get back if you play the same game over time..
Let’s look at an example: if you see that a game has an RTP of 75%, then this means that you should get back 75 pence from every pound that you spend. Not happy? Well, in actual fact, slots games have a much higher RTP than that! In fact, most slots have an RTP above 90%, meaning you’ll get back close to your original stake over time..
The highest RTP slots will reach over 99%. And looking for high RTP slot games is a good idea when searching for your next game. Having a high slots RTP means that you should see most of your money again over a certain period of time, so this makes the games even more fun to play. Plus, you have even more chances to win!
Best 10 online slots by RTP in 2021
So now you know all about how we assess slots online, how slot machines work and what RTP means. And why it’s so important.
With all that info, you’re now ready to find and play the best slot games online. And our experts are more than happy to help you get started. So, here’s our top 10 list of the best slots available in the UK in 2021, ranked by RTP:
Ugga Bugga (Playtech) – RTP 99.07%
Our first offering is from software giant Playtech. Released in 2013, Ugga Bugga is a fun cartoon style slot game with 10 rows and multiple paylines. A unique feature of the game is being able to choose your own symbols. So that you can increase your chances of winning.
Low volatility means this game pays out frequently, but in smaller amounts. And with a massive RTP, this makes winning on Ugga Bugga even more likely. Start your jungle adventure today!
- Fun cartoon-style graphics
- Bonus rounds
- Optimised for mobile
Mega Joker (Netent) – RTP 99%
A classic slots game now, from another of the industry’s top game providers. Mega Joker makes you feel like you’re on the floors of a Vegas casino, with its classic layout and design. Using the traditional slots symbols and 3 reel design, this game is great for if you like a bit of retro. But, just because it’s simple and classic, doesn’t mean it’s any less fun to play.
The best thing about Mega Joker is that it has a progressive jackpot. Which means you can win a much bigger cash prize than on many other slot games. In fact, the jackpot can reach up to £30,000 every week. And this makes Mega Joker one of the most exciting games around.
- Classic design and simple gameplay
- Progressive jackpot and supermeter mode
- Two game modes
Jackpot 6000 (Netent) – RTP 98.8%
NetEnt brings you a classic fruit machine game with a modern twist. Jackpot 6000 has a great vintage feel, with traditional fruit symbols and 3 reel format, making it a great game for new players, as well as seasoned slots players. With a massive RTP and 5 paylines, your chances of winning are high with this fun and easy-to-play fruity.
One of the greatest things about this game is the Heads or Tails coin toss feature, where you have a 50/50 chance to win. This game is exciting and so simple to play, anyone can play!
- Supermeter mode
- Double-up feature
- Big jackpot
- Optimised for mobile play
Blood Suckers (Netent) – RTP 98%
Moving away from classic casino games into the mysterious world of Blood Suckers now. If you loved the werewolf and vampire trend of movies and series in recent years, then this game is for you! With its cool visuals, that are an interesting mix of old Victorian paintings and modern-day animation, this game is a unique experience.
Released in 2013, this film-like caper has a massive 25 paylines, huge RTP and tons of chances to win. And all set on amazing graphics with a creepy soundtrack to boot.
- Bonus rounds
- Chances to win free spins
- Scatter wins and Blood Suckers Jackpot
Kings of Chicago (Netent) – RTP 97.8%
Dust off your pinstriped suit, it’s time to become a stylish mobster now! Kings of Chicago is a richly animated, black and white saga that looks like it made its way straight from the 1920’s silver screen to your computer.
This unique game combines a slot game with poker. And playing cards replace the traditional symbols. If you love slots, but want to try something a little different, give it a go. Or, if you’re looking to spice up your poker game, this is a fun variation to play.
- Bonus rounds and multipliers
- Massive jackpot
- Fun and unique gameplay
Devil’s Delight (Netent) – RTP 97.6%
Taking a trip to Hell might not usually be on your list of places to go, but in this case, it should be! This fun cartoon style slots game takes you straight to Hades with your best pal, The Devil. With its funny graphics and symbols of flames and the classic 666 sign, this version of Hell is most definitely a fun one.
With 20 paylines and a generous jackpot, Lucifer is more generous than you might have thought. If you like some tongue-in-cheek humour and great attention to detail, give Devil’s Delight a try.
- Expanding wilds and Sin Spins
- Soul Reaper bonus
- Free spins
Book of Dead (Play’n Go) – RTP 96.21%
Sift through the ruins of Ancient Egypt now, with your guide Rich Wild. Book of Dead is one of the most popular slot games of recent times. And with loads of bonus features and cool graphics, it’s clear why it’s a firm favourite among slots players.
You’ll feel like Indiana Jones as you enjoy stunning visuals of hieroglyphs and other ancient markings. With a big RTP and 10 paylines, Book of Dead is easy to play and gives you lots of chances to win.
- Expanding symbols and scatter wins
- Free spins
- Gamble feature
Gold Fish (SG Interactive) – RTP 96%
A super cute and fun game now. Gold Fish has been available on Facebook, as well as many other platforms, since its release in 2014. It’s enjoyed such popularity that the game has more than 500,000 likes on the social media platform. Explore the magical world of an exotic aquarium, as you enjoy the cute graphics and chances to win.
- Tons of different bonus rounds
- Scatter wins
- Free spins
Gonzo’s Quest (Netent) – RTP 95.97%
Probably one of the most successful slots games of all time. Go on a quest to the Ancient Mayan world with Gonzo, as he searches for El Dorado (The City of Gold).
Gonzo’s Quest was way ahead of its time when it first came out in 2011. Since then, it has become the flagship of great slots games, with incredible bonuses and loads of great features. And, with a new virtual reality version out now, you can enjoy a hyper-realistic quest with the most cutting edge tech out there!
- Avalanche multipliers
- 3 different bonus features
- New Gonzo’s Quest Megaways version to play
Carnival Cash (Habanero) – RTP 95.96%
If you like things a little freaky, you’ll love Carnival Cash! Set back in the days of old travelling circuses, with oddities and strange attractions, this game is a visual feast. With 5 reels, it’s simple to play. And it generates a massive 25 paylines, so you have plenty of ways to win big.
Let the bearded lady take you on an adventure through an olde-world fascination of all things strange and unusual. This game is a tour-de-force of imagery and amazing cash prizes.
- Mini and grand progressive jackpot
- Super Spin feature
- Risk (double) game
Things to examine when choosing an online slots casino
The world of online gambling has expanded beyond recognition over the last few years. What was once a quiet corner of the internet has now become one of the biggest global growth areas.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of casino operators across the world determined to get their slice of the pie. Some are better than others, hence why you should begin your search with a decent rating site like ours.
Now that you have a list of the top slot sites to work with, there are a few things you want to check. The following criteria can make or break your experience when playing slots online:
- Licences: it’s always important to check that the site you are playing on has valid legal credentials. Slot sites UK need a gambling licence from the UKGC if they’re offering their games to anyone in the UK. Other countries have their own laws, so wherever you are, make sure you stay legal.
- Game selection: online casino slots come in many different shapes and sizes. Gone are the days of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to gambling. The industry, like any other, is now focusing heavily on the customer’s needs. This means creating a wide choice of products. A great game selection is an essential part of your gaming experience.
- Payment methods: another key area is the payment processing side of the business. It’s essential that you can make deposits and withdrawals in the way best suited to your needs. Casinos that have a decent amount of ways to pay can also be a good indicator of how reputable they are
A selection of slots software vendors
When online casinos first started to appear on the scene, there wasn’t the huge demand that there is today.
A handful of software providers serviced the entire industry and it was hard for any newcomer to join the party. It’s still a tough niche to break into, but the recent explosion in demand has changed the landscape.
New and exciting independent studios, as well as industry giants, all compete for a piece of the action. As a result, the consumer now has the most enormous selection of games at their disposal. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the software producers who create all the entertainment.
For the last 20 years, NetEnt has been bringing their fans some of the biggest releases on the market. They have a knack for creating classic slots that stand the test of time and one look at their back catalogue will prove it. They have always maintained their position at the cutting edge and only seem to grow stronger all the time. Check out some of their amazing slots such as Mega Joker and Arabian NIghts, for example.
Another one of the big boys out there right now is Playtech. You name it, they’ve done it! Not only have their team created some of the best-known slots such as Ugga Bugga, but they’ve also had a hand in completely shaping the online gambling industry at the same time. Their products include casinos, lotteries, forex trading, sports betting and more.
Playtech are also well known for their range of slot machines based on the DC Comics superheroes. Here you’ll find games themed around famous characters like Batman, Wonderwoman and Superman.
Since the dawn of internet casinos, Microgaming has been right there paving the way. Innovators in their field and responsible for some of the most successful slots ever released, the Microgaming team never stops in its quest to bring players a constant stream of new and exciting titles. Their Mega Moolah progressive jackpot machines have been a huge success along with many other titles. Jurassic Park, Immortal Romance and Pharaoh’s Fortune are all Microgaming productions.
For over 40 years, Novomatic has had a hand in creating products for the gambling industry. Originally, they made a name for themselves by manufacturing land-based casino equipment and slot machines. They moved into the online area 10 years ago and have steadily carved out a respectable presence.
More than just a slot provider. Play’n Go creates software solutions for all aspects of online and land-based gaming. They produce immersive solutions that allow casinos to stay connected seamlessly with their customers wherever they like to play. The importance of an all-in-one experience hasn’t been overlooked by these tech innovators.
One of the biggest names in the industry, and revered throughout. SG has, over the years, increased its market presence with some big-name buyouts, like Barcrest for example. They spend a lot of time and money bringing brands on board to produce the goods and it’s a gamble that’s paid off. Additions to their portfolio often continue to produce awesome casino products under their own name, and when the time’s right they sell them off and bring in the fresh meat. A fairly ruthless approach to market dominance that seems to be paying dividends.
Perhaps one of the lesser-known studios is Habanero. They may not be as well known as some of their counterparts, but that doesn’t stop them creating great games. You may have seen some of their titles such as Buggy Bonus and Bikini Island. If 3D graphics and captivating gameplay are your thing, then you should definitely check them out. It’s always great to discover a slightly more niche slots provider.
If you still have questions for us, then check out the FAQs below. You may find that the answer is waiting for you right there!