When picking out which of the hundreds of online slot machines to play that are found across countless online casinos (and this is just counting the legit ones), players tend to look for the following things when making their decisions.
- Bonuses and free spins
- Payout rates
- Themes, graphics and sounds
To go into each, briefly…
If players aren’t looking at this first, they should be. It’s absolutely fundamental that whichever site you play on and whichever game you choose is trustworthy, won’t defraud you and won’t protect your personal information. It’s easy enough find out what is what by looking for reviews online, but the key things to look for are:
- Multiple payment options
- Well-known encryption services
- 24/7 help lines
- Regulation by a well known casino gaming regulatory authority
- Real physical addresses and phone numbers
This one is pretty similar to security, but basically, players like to know that the site is well maintained and that the games themselves will deliver on their promises. The 24/7 helpline is especially crucial here as it’s important to know that the company can be easily reached if you experience a technical issue.
Bonuses and Free Spins
There are so many different online slot games out there that the most effective way for developers and online casinos to draw in players to their specific games and their sites is to entice them with the chance to get some free spins of the slot machine just for signing up and any extra bonuses that they might receive as long term, VIP players.
You might not think that extra bonuses, prizes and free games would be the first thing that new players look for after making sure the game basically works and the company can be trusted as these are usually short-term, often once-off extras, but that’s how crowded the market is right now. Companies need to do whatever they can to stand out.
One of the best things about online vs real-world slots is that the developers of these games are very transparent about how likely players are likely to win on their machine. There are actually a few different factors here like volatility, pay-out rates both long and short term, and the size of the jackpots. You may need to do a bit of homework to understand how the various factors work against each other, but the fact that they are available and easy enough to research, helps give players the best chance to find the virtual machine that best suits them.
Themes, Graphics and Sounds
Speaking of the importance of games being able to set themselves apart from extremely stiff competition, the final thing that players look for in online slots has nothing to do with chances of winning, bonuses, or the gameplay of the machine, but simply about how the game is presented to them.
It’s why despite slot games being very basic in terms of gameplay and they haven’t really evolved much since those very old pokie machines with their mechanical wheels, developers spend so much time on making their online slots look like a million dollars – sometimes literally. Eye catching graphics, lively sound effects, recognizable music and often basing games on existing properties like video games, movies and TV shows, don’t make much difference in the mechanics of a machine, but they make all the difference in getting players to return to them over and over again. Or, for that matter, to try them out in the first place.
And, again, in such a crowded field, there are few things more important than really standing out from the crowd.