Slots Rules - How to Play and Win at Online Casino Sites

Quintin van Wyk by Quintin van Wyk Reading time: 12min

Slots are one of the most popular online casino games and mastering slots rules can increase your chances of winning when playing at Canadian casinos online in 2024. In this guide, you'll discover the rules for different variants as well as what different features do. We also explain how to choose the best slots and what you should look out for.

play and win at slots machines

Basic Rules for Playing Slots

Slots are easy to play online and they offer some great chances to win big. There also aren't that many slots online casino rules to learn. To begin with, all you have to do is select the game you want to play, set the number of paylines you want to use, choose the number of coins, and select your bet value. Press spin and the reels will start. When they come to a stop you'll be hoping for matching symbols so you get a payout. Each game has specific slots game rules on paylines, winning combinations, and bonus features, all of which will be explored in detail in the following sections of our Online Casinos Canada guide on how to play slots and win in 2024.

  • Choose Game

    Whether you prefer classic fruit machines or modern video slots with vivid graphics and animations, take your time to explore the options available and learn the casino slot rules online. Look for games with exciting bonus rounds, free spins, progressive jackpots and high RTPs if you want to give yourself the best chance to win big while playing at top real money slot casinos.

  • Set Coin Value/Bet Size

    Once you've chosen your preferred game, it's time to set your coin value or bet size. Most games allow players to adjust the value of each coin and the number of coins per line. The total bet is calculated by multiplying the coin value by the number of coins and paylines.

  • Select Number of Paylines

    Next, decide on the number of paylines you wish to activate. Paylines are the lines across the reels where winning combinations can occur. Some titles have fixed paylines, while others offer adjustable ones. Keep in mind that activating more paylines increases your chances of winning, but it also increases the total bet.

  • Spin Reels

    With your bet size and paylines set, you're all set to spin the reels! Click on the spin button to set the game in motion. The reels will then spin and come to a stop, revealing the symbols on the screen. If the symbols align according to the game's paytable, you win! On some slots, you can set the autoplay feature, allowing you to preprogram a specific number of spins, so you can keep your hands free and not keep pressing the spin button. You can also increase your bankroll before playing online when you claim generous slot bonuses on both desktop and mobile devices.

  • Assess Outcome

    After the reels stop spinning, assess the outcome of your spin. If you've landed winning combinations on active paylines, the game will display your winnings. Some games have special symbols like wilds and scatters that trigger bonus features or free spins.

  • Collect Winnings/Continue Playing

    After you follow the slots rules, winnings will be available for collecting and they'll be added to your balance. It is now your choice whether to cash out your winnings or whether you want to continue playing in the hopes of getting more wins. If you prefer to carry on playing, you could also consider increasing or decreasing the size of your bet. Alternatively, you can play new slots for free to learn everything about the game before placing another real money wager.

mechanics of slots machines

Paylines, Coin Value, and Betting Explained

In this section, we will tell you more about the components that make up a slot machine. This involves the paylines, coin value and bet levels.

What are Paylines and Why are They Important?

Paylines are the lines on which winning combinations are formed. They can be straight, zigzag, or even diagonal lines across the reels. Activating more paylines increases your chances of winning, but it also requires a higher bet. Understanding paylines and how to play slots and choose the right number is important to increase your chances of winning.

Coin Value and your Bet Level

The coin value represents the worth of each coin you bet on a payline. Betting more coins per line can increase your potential winnings, but it also affects your total bet.

Understanding the Payout Table

The payout table, also known as the paytable, is a crucial component of any game. By consulting the payout table, players can understand the value of each symbol, the rules for triggering bonus features, and the jackpot conditions. Familiarizing yourself with the payout table and other parts sections helps you learn how to play online slots and win.

How to Take Advantage of Bonus Features

To improve your experience, capitalize on the various bonus features offered. These bonuses can be quite enjoyable and can also boost your bankroll and allow you to play for a bit longer than you would if playing on a normal classic slot. Below are some of the popular bonus features you will come across when playing online slots. You can also explore these features for free when you take advantage of no deposit slot bonuses in 2024.

  • Wilds: Wild symbols act as substitutes for other symbols (except scatters) to create winning combinations.
  • Scatters: Scatters trigger various bonus features, like free spins or bonus rounds, regardless of their position on the reels.
  • Re-spins: Some games offer re-spins, allowing you to spin specific reels again for another chance at winning.
  • Bonus Games: Bonus games are additional rounds with unique gameplay mechanics and potential rewards.
  • Gamble/Double Up: Some games offer a gamble or double-up feature, where you can risk your winnings for a chance to double or quadruple them.
  • Free Spins: These are the most common form of bonus and are normally triggered by landing 3 scatters or other symbols.
  • Multipliers: These are symbols that increase your winnings by multiplying them by a specific factor.

Video Slot Machines vs Classic Slots

Video slot machines and classic slots offer distinct gaming experiences that appeal to different players. They usually have five reels, multiple paylines, and bonus features, such as free spins, multipliers, and enticing bonus rounds.

On the other hand, classic slots evoke nostalgia with their simpler graphics and retro appearance. Featuring three reels and limited paylines, typically ranging from one to five, classic games are easy to understand and perfect for players learning slot rules. The betting options are usually fixed, with a set coin value and a single payline, providing a more traditional real money gaming experience. While classic slots may offer some basic bonus features like wild symbols, they generally lack the variety of bonuses found in video slots. Instead, classic slots appeal to players looking for a no-frills, classic experience similar to that of the "old school" slot machines.

Rules for Playing Progressive Jackpot Casino Slots

When trying your luck at progressive jackpot games, keep these essential slot rules in mind for a shot at the life-changing prize. First, bet the maximum amount to qualify for the jackpot, as many games require it for jackpot activation. Understand the slot game rules for triggering the jackpot, whether it's through specific symbol combinations or random triggers. Remember, a portion of each bet contributes to the jackpot pool, which grows until won.

What About Slots Strategy - Does it Work?

While slots are primarily games of chance, some players wonder if there's a winning strategy that can boost their odds. It's important to understand that slots operate using Random Number Generators (RNGs), ensuring each spin's outcome is totally random and independent of previous spins. As a result, no strategy can guarantee consistent wins.

However, there are certain slot strategies that you can use to make your experience more enjoyable and get the most out of your bankroll. these tips include choosing slots with a high RTP percentage as well as learning how to trigger the different bonus features that many games include. These will all help to boost your chances and add some extra fun to your games too.

slot machines rules

Real Money Slots Rules to Keep Your Winnings

When playing for real money, it is best to learn the slot machine rules to safeguard your winnings and make your gaming experience enjoyable.

  1. Choose a Legit and Licensed Casino: Opt for reputable online operators with proper licensing and regulation. This will avoid you from having problems when it comes to cashing out your winnings and ensuring your financial and personal information does not fall into the wrong hands.
  2. Claim Welcome Bonus: Take advantage of welcome bonuses and promos offered by these operators.
  3. Check RTP and Volatility: Review the slot's Return to Player (RTP) percentage and volatility level. Higher RTP games have better long-term payouts, while low volatility games have smaller wins which are more frequent.
  4. Select All Paylines: If playing a game with adjustable paylines, activate all available paylines to increase your chances of winning on each spin.
  5. Stick to Your Budget: Set a gambling budget and adhere to it. Avoid chasing losses and never spend more than you can afford to lose.
  6. Check Total Bet Size: Before spinning the reels, verify your total bet size, considering the coin value, bet level, and active paylines.
  7. Don't Use Gamble Feature Too Often: Many games offer a gamble feature to double or quadruple winnings but use it sparingly to avoid unnecessary risks.
  8. Ensure You Play Your Free Spins: If you receive free spins as part of a bonus, you must use them before they expire or you will lose them.

Online Casino Slots Tournaments Rules

Online tournaments are games organized by real money operators for players to compete against each other to win a share of a pot. Normally the top 3 highest players are the winners. Below are some of the more common rules you will come across while playing in an online slot tournament.

  • Eligibility: Participants must meet the minimum age requirement for online gambling in their respective jurisdictions. Additionally, some tournaments may be restricted to specific regions.
  • Registration: Players must register for the tournament in advance. This may involve paying an entry fee or obtaining a special invitation or ticket.
  • Tournament Duration: Each tournament has a specific start and end time. Participants must play their spins during this predefined timeframe.
  • Game Selection: The site will designate a particular game for the tournament. This means that players can only play that particular game during the tournament.
  • Starting Credits: At the beginning of the tournament, all players are given the same number of credits. These credits are used to play the slot chosen by the casino for the tournament.
  • Playing Time: Tournaments may have a set playing time or a fixed number of spins that each player must use during the event.
  • Winning Criteria: The player who accumulates the most credits or achieves specific objectives on the slot game within the tournament timeframe wins the tournament.
  • Leaderboard: Casinos usually display a leaderboard that ranks participants based on their performance in the tournament. This leaderboard shows the top players.
  • Prizes: The top-performing players on the leaderboard receive prizes, which can range from cash rewards to free spins or bonuses. Some tournaments may also award prizes to participants randomly or through other criteria.
  • Disputes: The operator's decision regarding any disputes or discrepancies during the tournament is typically final.

Live Dealer Slots - A New Innovation

Live dealer slots are a mixture of traditional online slots and live gaming, providing players with a unique gambling experience. Unlike regular online slots that rely solely on Random Number Generators (RNGs) to determine the outcome of each spin, live dealer slots incorporate a live human dealer into the gameplay. This dealer operates the physical slot machine, and players can watch the action unfold in real time through high-quality video streaming.

While live dealer slots are still relatively new, some software providers have started offering them. One such provider is Evolution Gaming, a renowned name in the live real money gaming industry. Their Live Slots feature popular titles like Mega Ball and Monopoly Live. In these games, a live host spins a giant money wheel that has similar slot features and bonuses except many players can participate and watch the slot spinning.

Another software provider that has ventured into live dealer slots is Playtech. Their "Buffalo Blitz Live Slots" is a fascinating example. Players can join a live stream with a professional dealer spinning the reels of the popular Buffalo Blitz slot game.

Online Slots vs Land-Based Slots

Online slots and land-based slots offer distinct gaming experiences with several key differences. Online slots provide the convenience of playing from home, while land-based slots require players to visit physical venues.

When it comes to Return to player (RTP) percentages, online slots generally offer higher RTPs, often exceeding 95%, providing better long-term winning opportunities compared to land-based slots, which typically have RTPs of around 85% to 90%.

Furthermore, online slots feature both regular jackpots and massive progressive jackpots, pooling a small portion of each player's wager to create life-changing prize pools. Land-based slots also have jackpots, including progressives, but the prizes are generally not as substantial as some online sites as there aren't enough players.

Best Canada Online Casinos for Big Wins in 2024

For Canadian players, we have a list of the finest online casinos in Canada for 2024. These real money sites offer some of the biggest progressive jackpots, great welcome bonuses and a whole host of other features like secure payment options, customer service and more.

  1. 1 Sign-Up Offer 100% Match Bonus Up To $1600
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  3. 3 Sign-Up Offer 100% Match Bonus Up To $150
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  8. 8 Sign-Up Offer 100% Match Bonus Up To $480
  9. 9 Sign-Up Offer 400% Match Bonus Up To $4
  10. 10 Sign-Up Offer 100% Match Bonus Up To $1500
  11. Load More
slot machines bonuses

Best Free Spins Bonuses to Use at Real Money Online Casinos

When playing at real money online casinos, players can maximize their gaming experience with free spins bonuses. Two main types of bonuses are commonly offered: no deposit free spins, where players receive spins without depositing any money, and deposit signup bonuses that combine free spins with a match bonus on the initial deposit. Additionally, minimum deposit sites cater to low-budget players, allowing them to start with a small deposit and still claim free spins bonuses.

No Deposit Free Spins Bonuses

No deposit free spins bonuses are special promotions offered by online sites that allow players to receive a specific number of free spins without having to make any initial deposit.

  • Jackpot City

    Get 50 Free Spins at Jackpot City

    At Jackpot City, players can enjoy an exclusive no deposit bonus of 50 free spins on the popular slot game Boom Galaxy. This offer provides a fantastic chance to experience the gaming environment and potentially score some winnings, all without the need to deposit any money. However, it's important to note that any winnings from the free spins may be subject to a 70x wagering requirement before being eligible for withdrawal.

Minimum Deposit Bonuses

For players in 2024, minimum deposit bonuses are promotions that require players to make a small minimum deposit, such as $1 minimum deposit, $5, or $10 minimum deposit, to receive a bonus.

  • Captain Cooks

    Captain Cooks Gives You 100 Instant Millionaire Spins for $5

    Captain Cooks casino offers an exciting minimum deposit bonus where players can receive 100 chances to become an instant millionaire by depositing just $5. These chances can be used on the Mega Money Wheel game, providing an enticing opportunity to potentially hit a massive jackpot with a minimal investment.

Mobile Casino Slots Apps for Real Money Wins

For Canadian and international players, mobile casino slots apps are a great way to enjoy your favorite titles on the go. These are designed for smartphones and tablets and include all the features found on desktop. Whether a casino offers a mobile app or a no download instant play platform where the games load in your browser, all iOS and Android users can game on the go in 2024.

Practice Slot Machine Rules for Fun with No Download

If you're looking to refine your slot gaming skills or simply enjoy some casino fun without the risk of losing real money, our free slots games page is the perfect destination. You can practice and learn the rules of various slot machines without the need to download any software or go through registration. Once you feel confident in your gameplay, our reviews of the best real money gaming sites will help you claim generous bonuses that you can use to play for real money. We recommend using free games as a way to sharpen your skills and learn about the different features and functions as well as what combinations you need to win big before playing for real money.


While most online sites offer comprehensive FAQ pages, these are normally related to the casino itself. We have written some FAQs which specifically are about slot rules and how to play slots.

  • Can I use free games to learn the rules of slots?

    Yes, many online casinos offer demo versions of their games that allow you to learn the slot rules and how to play online slots with no registration required and no risking of your own money.
  • Can I play these games on my mobile?

    Yes, most online slot games are optimized for mobile play and can be accessed on various mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Are there slots strategies I can use to boost my chances of winning?

    While slots are primarily games of chance, there is no harm in taking note of strategies to extend your playing time and give you the upper hand.
  • Why is RTP and volatility important?

    RTP (Return to Player) and volatility are important indicators of a game's performance. RTP represents the percentage of money that a slot will pay back to players over time, and volatility measures the risk and potential rewards of the game.
  • How much can I win playing this game for real money?

    The amount you can win depends what the maximum jackpot is set at. With progressive jackpot this can be over a million whereas other titles have jackpots that are a multiplication of your bet, such as 5,000x.
  • Are slot machine rules easy to learn?

    Yes, slot machine rules are generally easy to learn. The basic concept involves spinning the reels and matching symbols to win prizes or trigger bonuses.
  • Can I play slots with a no deposit casino bonus in Canada?

    Yes, some online casinos in Canada offer no deposit bonuses that allow you to play games without having to deposit real money. However, specific terms and conditions may apply.
  • How do I know the games aren't rigged?

    Reputable online sites use random number generators (RNGs) to ensure that game outcomes are entirely random and unbiased. Additionally, licensed sites are regulated and audited to ensure that the games aren't rigged.
  • How hard is it to win a progressive jackpot?

    Winning a progressive jackpot is challenging, as it involves hitting a rare combination or fulfilling specific requirements. In many of the titles, you have to bet the max amount to activate the progressive jackpot so it can be expensive.
  • Which software provider has the best games?

    Determining the best games really depends on player preference but there are a number of software providers that have won awards over the years for their games. These include Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, and IGT.
About the Author
 Quintin van Wyk
Quintin van Wyk - Lead Editor

Quintin is a strategic wordsmith and avid gambling enthusiast who has been editing and writing content for the iGaming industry for over 10 years. With the gaming industry constantly expanding and evolving, he is ready to guide both newcomers and experienced players with comprehensive news articles, unbiased casino reviews and informative how-to guides you can trust.