Online gambling offers a wonderland of options for players—from wagering on sporting events to virtual card games and thousands of uniquely themed slots.

Slots are mainly known for their incredible storytelling and gameplay. However, they can also vary in the types of bets they accept, their bonus options, and their payout structure.

A row of slot machines

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Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

Knowing how these different slot games work can help players identify the best game for their personal goals—ensuring they don’t just pick a game based on the most fun-looking theme. Let’s take a look at the range of slots available online and the benefits of each.

Classic Slots

For players who enjoy a nostalgic gaming experience, there is nothing better than the classic slot. These games are modeled after some of the earliest slot machines, like the first-ever Liberty Bell slot, and feature simple gameplay and graphics.

With fewer reels than most modern slots, classic games offer fewer paylines and often don’t support bonus or feature rounds. Instead, they let players experience the thrill of vintage gambling from a simpler time.

Progressive Slots

Launched in 1986, Megabucks was the first progressive slot game. Using a central computer system, all of the same game slots were linked together, and each bet contributed to a centralized jackpot. It’s for this reason these games’ jackpots can grow significantly bigger than other slot types.

Today, there are numerous progressive slot titles, with the most popular internationally being Mega Moolah by Microgaming. Thanks to its online presence allowing many players to participate, this progressive slot and others like it now offer larger jackpots than ever before.

Megaways Slots

Created by Big Time Gaming, Megaways slots are games that use the Megaways reel system. This system can be applied to almost any game—and in fact, there are a variety of fun, themed games using this system’s unusual gameplay style.

Rather than a standard reel configuration, these slots have a unique grid with varying symbol sizes that change how many paylines are active on each spin. From 243 ways to win at the low end of the scale up to a staggering 117,649 ways to win at the high end, these slots offer an unparalleled opportunity to try your luck. Their funky reels, exciting variations, and mismatched symbols keep players engaged for longer.

Penny Slots

Games featuring the Megaways system or progressive jackpots boast bigger potential wins, but they also have a downside: they have high bet limits, and each spin may cost more than other games.

If you’re looking for great entertainment and chances to win without breaking the bank, penny slots offer the perfect alternative. Generally charging only a penny per line at brick-and-mortar casinos, these slots have increased in price slightly in some online casinos. However, they still offer a much more cost-effective way to play the best games.

Cluster Pay Slots

Cluster pay slots are not entirely new, but they are not particularly well known. First released in 2016, they have only recently gained traction at online casinos. This leads many to ask the question, what are cluster pays slots?

Designed and released by famed developer NetEnt, these slot games don’t use paylines to determine winnings. Instead, your winnings are determined by gaining clusters (or groups) of matching symbols next to each other on the reels—of which there are many more than in traditional slot games. Modeled similar to popular games like Candy Crush, they offer a unique play style at the online casino.

VR Slots

With virtual reality (VR) hitting the mainstream, it is no surprise that the technology has also been applied to casino games. Some of the largest studios in the industry, such as NetEnt and Pragmatic Play, have released incredible VR games.

These slots function like other types of slots in that their gameplay is as you’d expect. However, they are fully immersive, and your gameplay takes place in a virtually recreated environment—drawing you even deeper into your spins. As such, they offer incredible entertainment and let you truly experience the thrill of the game.

Mobile Slots

With over 85% of the world’s population owning a smartphone, online casinos are eagerly offering more mobile services so that players can gamble casually and while on the move. This has led to an entire catalog of casino games designed specifically for mobile devices.

Mobile slots borrow gameplay, reel configurations, and themes from many other types of slots. However, they are purpose-built to look fantastic and work smoothly on the smaller screens and lower resolution of mobile phones.

Crypto Slots

Crypto slots have two stand-out features: they are only found in crypto casinos and allow play using crypto as a base currency for credits.

For players who own crypto, these slots allow them to use their cryptocurrency safely online. As a bonus, many crypto slots are provably fair—meaning that players can verify the outcome of every spin because the way the spin was randomized is recorded in the blockchain.


There are as many gaming preferences as there are players—and luckily, slot developers offer exciting games in every slot category. With a variety of themes, gameplay styles, and risk-reward balances, the perfect game is just waiting for you to discover it!