For centuries, casinos from Japan to America have been characterized by the sounds of falling coins and spinning wheels in slot machines. The ching-ching of the rows lining up and the excitement of the jackpot bell when someone hits a triple-7 are quintessential to the casino experience. It just wouldn’t be the same without them!
Real money slots are now one of the most common casino games found online these days. Players from all over the world play slot machines for real money daily at one of the thousands of online and mobile casinos. Many online casinos are specifically tailored towards an American audience, offering a variety of fun, themed slots for U.S. players.
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What devices support real money slots?
No matter what device you are using, you’ll find real money slots available for desktops, laptops, Macbooks, tablets, and mobile phones. Most games are designed to operate on a range of operating systems, from Windows and Mac to Android and iOS. Many online casino games can also be accessed directly through your browser without the need to install any software or apps.
To get the best experience while playing an online slots game, try to use a device with a large screen and good resolution. Many slot casinos feature themed games with excellent 3D graphics and high-quality audio to provide a completely immersive experience. However, even if you choose to play on a standard smartphone, you should have no trouble running the vast majority of online slots games.
How to start playing slots that pay real money
If you’re already a member of an online casino in the U.S. then you can quickly and easily log in and head over to the slot games section. Real money online slots work just as they would in a brick and mortar casino: simply select your betting level and start spinning.
If you’re not a member of an online casino then select a casino of your choice from our list and follow these steps to sign up and get playing. Wagers from real money slots make up approximately 70% of all online betting in the U.S, so you’re in good company!
1. Install the app if necessary
If you’ve selected a real money online casino that requires an app to be installed, download and install the app first. Some casinos work better through an app, especially on mobile phones, but many can be played directly in the browser without needing to install anything.
2. Sign up to an online casino
Once you’ve chosen one of the casinos we have listed, sign up for a new account and register your details. The process is simple and should only take a few minutes. You’ll also have the opportunity to select a welcome bonus during sign up. Once registered, check your email to verify your account and complete the registration.
3. Deposit money
To play slots for real money you’ll need to deposit some cash to the casino you’ve selected. Once everything is installed and you’ve signed up, you can log in and deposit cash to your account by selecting a deposit method. Almost every casino supports credit cards, bank transfers, or online payment methods like Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller.
You should also check what withdrawal methods the casino offers as these are not always the same as the deposit methods. Make sure you are able to cash out your winnings if needs be!
4. Select a slot to play online.
With some money online in your account, you can now select which real money casino games you want to play. Some of the best online casinos in the U.S have themed slots games featuring your favorite musicians, movies, or celebrities. Many real online slots also benefit from a range of bonus options, free spins, or feature buys.
Once you’ve chosen, set your betting level and start spinning! Depending on the slot you choose there will be different settings for betting and automating spins, so be sure to check these out.
5. Other considerations
Depending on the casino you’ve chosen you may get different bonus options included with your first deposit. Most casinos will match your initial deposit 100% (up to a certain limit). Others offer even bigger bonuses like a 200% or even 300% match. However, many welcome bonuses come with conditions that require you to wager a certain amount of money before you can make a withdrawal from your account.
Always be sure to read the small print and decide whether you want the bonus or not. Some wager requirements involve multiples up to 40 or 50 times your initial deposit, meaning it could take a long time before you can withdraw your winnings.
How to choose the best casino for you
There are online casinos all over the world that host thousands of slot games for real money and serve hundreds of countries. No matter where you live you’ll find a casino to suit your needs.
For players in the U.S, there are many real money slots casinos that serve all 50 states. However, not all are the same so if you want to get one of the best and highest paying casinos, read our guide carefully.
1. Is it legal and available where you are?
First and foremost, make sure the casino is available in your country, state, or jurisdiction. Most casino websites will tell you on their main page if the casino is not available in your country. However, it’s your responsibility to ensure you are using a legal site.
2. Does it host the games you want?
There’s no point going through the registration process only to find the casino you chose doesn’t have the games you want to play.
All real money online casinos should provide a full list of the real money slots games that they offer. If you are looking for a specific game, a simple online search should reveal which casinos offer it.
3. How’s the customer service?
Even at the best online casino, sometimes things go wrong and customer service is needed. Remember, most casinos are located overseas and could be difficult to contact via phone. Make sure the casino you choose has a range of contact options for customer service, including email and online chat.
It’s also good practice to read as many online reviews as you can about a particular online casino. This will give you a good idea about the quality of their customer service, amongst other things.
4. Deposit and Withdrawal methods
Online casinos usually offer a big selection of deposit methods to make sure you can get your money to them as easily as possible. However, this is not always the case with withdrawal methods. Some casinos have very limited withdrawal methods with long waiting times or other restrictions on your account.
First and foremost, check to make sure that you can use at least one of the withdrawal methods offered. Otherwise, you may never be able to get your winnings out! The best and fastest method for withdrawing cash at almost every online casino is Bitcoin as it is usually free and instant. Other good methods include Skrill, Neteller, or EcoPayz. Withdrawals to a bank account usually take the longest.
5. License and certification
Most casinos for U.S. players are licensed in overseas jurisdictions with good gambling laws, like Malta, Gibraltar, or the UK. Other popular jurisdictions include Curacao, Panama, and the Isle of Man.
It’s important to check whether an online casino has an up-to-date and valid license or you may lose your money. A certification to confirm the fairness of random number generation is also a plus.
What is an RTP in real money slots?
RTP stands for ‘return to player’ and you will often see it mentioned in articles about online casinos and slots. RTP is a calculation of how much money on average is paid out to players on a certain game or casino. The RTP is represented by a percentage of how much money going into the game or casino comes back to players, ie: 96.8%.
The RTP will always be slightly less than 100% since the casino needs to make a profit in order to operate. If the RTP were higher than 100%, the casino or game would be losing money.
Naturally, it is best to try and find a slot with the highest RTP so that you have the best chance of winning. However, RTP is not the only thing to take into consideration. Some slots might have a lower RTP than others but offer better bonuses, a bigger jackpot, or simply a more fun game to play.
Almost every online casino has an RTP of around 95% so make sure not to choose anything too far below this level. Specific online slots real money games can have an even higher RTP of around 97% to 98%. Don’t rely entirely on an RTP though, especially if it seems suspiciously high. It’s always a good idea to read several independent reviews from different websites to get a realistic assessment of a specific casino or game.
A word on welcome bonuses
Online casinos are quick to advertise their huge welcome bonuses, with many offering up to 300% match bonuses for every new member. You should be wary of casinos that offer too high a welcome bonus as they clearly wouldn’t be doing it if they had to pay it out often.
A standard welcome bonus is usually a 100% match on your first deposit up to $500 to $1,000. Also take into note that almost all welcome bonuses come with wagering requirements represented as a multiple of your deposit: ie: 35x. This means that no matter how much you win, you need to wager 35 times your initial deposit before you can make any withdrawal.
Some casinos now offer non-sticky bonuses, meaning you are not restricted by wagering requirements and can withdraw your winnings at any time. However, you will need to read the terms and conditions carefully to discover which type of bonus you are getting, as they don’t normally advertise them.
Don’t get sucked into the trap of signing up to a casino purely because of the welcome bonus. There are many factors that make a good online casino and the welcome bonus is not high on the list.
The welcome bonus is not the only type of bonus that players will find at an online casino. Lots of slot machines and casino games offer a range of other bonus types including freeplay and free spins.
Freeplay a common type of bonus that casino games offer to players who have a long-standing account with them. The freeplay bonus is often seen as a loyalty bonus for players that spend a lot of time playing games at a specific casino.
With freeplay, loyal players get a bunch of free chips to use as they like after spending a certain amount of time or money at a specific casino. It is similar to a freespins bonus but more flexible and reserved for loyal players. Freespins are a far more common bonus type offered to all types of players, often even if you just play for a short while. The number of freespins is usually quite low and used as a way to keep you at the casino a bit longer.
Different types of real money slots online
No longer are casino slots limited to fruit machines with three reels and a triple-7 jackpot. Nowadays there is a wide range of different video slots with up to 9 reels and thousands of ways to win.
Classic 3-reel Slots
Despite the old school design, classic 3-reel slots still maintain some popularity amongst people who now play online. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, maybe it’s the simplicity, but you’ll find a decent selection of 3-reel slots at most online casinos.
Often, slots with very low betting lines are referred to as penny slots because you can bet 1 penny per line. Usually, the minimum bet is a bit higher than a penny though at around $0.25, so you have to bet on 25 lines at a time.
Video slots are one of the most common types of online slots and can have anything from 5 to 9 reels. They come in a range of different designs and themes, often with exciting graphics and audio based on TV shows, movies or musicians. Video slots usually have a wide variety of surprise bonuses and special features.
Progressive slots are a type of video slot with an added twist: you can max out your bet for a chance of winning the jackpot. Similar to a lottery, the money from each chance taken gets added to the progressive jackpot so sometimes it can run into the millions of dollars.
Some video slots take it to the next level with immersive 3D graphics, giving the slot an exciting computer game feel. Like other video slots, these often have several add-ons and bonus features.
Features of real money slots
When you play online slot games you’ll get a range of special features that are activated when you get a specific pattern or number of spins. Here are a few of the most common features you’ll find playing online slots:
Most online slots these days have an autoplay feature so you can leave the game to spin without having to constantly click. Just set your betting level and leave the game to do the work.
This is a feature carried over from traditional fruit machines when you could ‘nudge’ one reel up or down. Use this if you think you are one symbol away from winning a bonus.
With this feature, you can keep certain reels from spinning while allowing others to continue. If you land a good symbol like a wild, the hold feature could help you achieve a winning row. Most traditional slot machines featured a hold function.
Wild symbols on a slot machine are just like wild cards in a card game: they can equal anything and work in conjunction with the surrounding symbols. Wild symbols give you the best chance to activate special features or bonus and win real money.
A cascading wild is a special wild symbol that creates a cascade of other random symbols when activated, giving you even more chances to win real money.
When you hit an expanding wild it will extend itself over several positions on the reels, giving you even more chances of winning a bonus. Expanding wilds are also sometimes called Stacked Wilds and are a common feature in real money slot machines.
Sticky wilds are another special kind of wild that stays in place once you get it. You can continue through a series of free spins and the sticky wild will apply to each spin, giving you a much higher chance of hitting a bonus on slot games.
Paylines (Ways to Win)
Paylines are the number of possible winning combinations you can get on casino slot games. With multi-reel video slots, the number of ways to win can be in the thousands! Many of the best online slots also feature ‘win both ways’, meaning you can achieve a winning combination in any direction.
Multipliers are a great way of upping your odds. Many video slots will contain multiplier bonuses that multiply whatever your next big win is. For example, if you’re holding a 5x multiplier and hit a $100 jackpot, you’ll get $500!
Free spins are a huge part of online real money slot machines and get offered to players in many different ways. Almost every online casino offers a certain number of free spins when you sign up, and many slots reward free spins when certain bonuses are triggered.
Scatter symbols are often found in the more complex real money slot games and act as an additional bonus feature. No matter where they land if you get 2 or 3 you’ll win real money with some kind of bonus.
Real Money Slots FAQ
📌 Is playing real money slots online legal?
In the USA there is no federal law against online gambling but you should still check to confirm the legality of gambling in your state. The operation of online casinos is only legal in Delaware and New Jersey, with online poker legal in Nevada. However, it is not illegal for players to use an online casino based outside of the U.S.
In other countries, there may be specific rules regarding the legality of online gambling. Different online casinos have different licenses depending on where they are based so not all will be available in your country even if online gambling is legal.
📌 Is it safe to play games for real money online?
So long as you play real money slots at a properly licensed online casino, you shouldn’t have any trouble. The best online casinos should always display their license and any other certifications prominently on their website.
Online slots can be addictive in the same way any other form of real money gambling is. If you feel you are having trouble as a result of your gambling, speak to your local gambling helpline.
📌 Will my mobile device support real money slots online?
Almost every real money gambling casino we’ve reviewed has very good mobile-optimized versions of their websites for iOS, Android, and other OS platforms. All modern phones and tablets should be able to access the majority of online casinos and real money slots.
📌 Where can I play slots online for real money?
There are several websites and online casinos around the world that offer real money slot games. There are also lots of websites that offer free reviews of online slots so you can find the perfect slot games for you.
Online slot games are available for desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you can play on whatever device you like at any time.
📌 How can I win money playing online slots?
Online slot machines are just like any other online casino games – you can win money but you can also lose money. Like any real casino, you have to take the chance. However, with a lot of research and a bit of luck, you can certainly win money by playing online slots.
Always check that the casino you choose is properly licensed and has fair withdrawal methods so that you can access your money when you win!
David is the editor-in-chief at casinosx.com and has been involved with the casino industry for 15+ years. Working on a number of sites he enjoys helping out other casino players with his guides and tips and tricks to help everyone get the best value for money when playing online.