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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Best Online Slots USA 2023: Online Slots Online for Real Money

Best Online Slots USA 2023: Slots Online for Real Money

How to Slots Online for Free?

Last Updated on 09/12/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

For many, the online slots selection is the first thing they look for when checking out a casino. And they’ll likely not be disappointed, as many US casinos have an awe-inspiring collection of real money slots.

In fact, you may be overwhelmed when first confronted with the slots library of a great casino. Without any guidance on what sets them apart, it can be easy to settle for whatever catches your eye. At TheGruelingTruth.com, the only type of settling we want you to do is settling in for this simple guide to improving your slots experience.

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Social Casino of the month
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Wow Vegas
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Social Casino of the month

Understanding the basics of online slots

They’re an online version of slot machines, the kind you can find at pretty much any brick-and-mortar casino. Indeed, virtual slots are inspired by and play similarly to their historical forebearers, with spins activating the reels and hopefully revealing winning combinations at the end of the spin.

Online slot games also offer gameplay depth through features such as scatters, wilds, additional reels and huge jackpots. There are also the likes of Megaways slots, boasting more ways to win, and progressive slots where the jackpot increases with every bet.

How we rate slots – what we look out for

When it comes to slots, we created criteria on what we look out for when rating an online slot game. So, we highlighted how we put our slot review together with some key points below.

  1. Free games and demo options – Demo games are an excellent way to enhance your slot strategy. We would look through the operator and find a free play option that you can practice before spending your real funds. If the game offers a demo play, we will rate it higher than a slot that doesn’t. It’s always a great idea to start with free slots before you spend because it will also allow you to get to know the game’s ins and prepare your skills beforehand.
  2. Paytable – When it comes to different slot jackpots and online slots, we know that each will have its own paytable. We would look at the paytable, which shows what each symbol on the slot machine is worth and which is the most rewarding if you were to spin those symbols. We also recommend slot machines that have smaller jackpots and a lower variance, as these are more likely to be won. Different online slots have different amounts to win, so it’s up to the customer what they’re looking for. If they’re all high jackpots, they may be more attractive to the potential customer but less likely to payout if they’re a higher variance game.
  3. Jackpot size – As we mentioned, we also recommend slots with a smaller jackpot size and lower payouts on symbols. If you’re new to slots and are not chasing the higher amounts, then the jackpot sizes may not be a big deal. Bigger jackpots can be enticing, and many slots have these, but they tend to have a higher variance which means that although the payout is higher, wins are less frequent and you could quickly blow your whole budget and never land a win. Smaller jackpot slots tend to have a lower variance, so the payout amounts will be less, but wins will be more frequent. They’re often a better place to start if you’re new to slots.
  4. Return to Player (RTP) rates – Each slot machine is different, so we researched the symbols, features, soundtrack, themes, and graphics they have to entice the customer. They also have a different RTP rate meaning the percentage of all wagered money the slot will pay back, on average, to the player over a certain time. It’s better to go for a game with a higher RTP rate, so check the percentage the online casino offers before you start playing.

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The makings of a great online slot

While a huge selection of slot titles is available, the elements that create the best of the best are pretty straightforward. Overwhelmingly, we’d say it comes down to the following vital considerations:

1. Minimum bets and minimum deposits: Making the slot appeal to the masses

First and foremost, we’ve got minimum bets. Essentially what this tells us is how little you’re allowed to bet. It’s often overlooked in great real money online slots, but it’s actually vital to their appeal. Most of the best slots out there will allow you to bet very little at a minimum and bet much more if you prefer so that as many people can enjoy that title as possible.

Also vital to take into account is the minimum deposit slots that you can utilize. For instance, if you can spin for cents but you need to deposit $50 in order to play anything, then that game has suddenly gone from being an everyman to something with a much smaller appeal. What we want, ideally, is a slot which allows you to bet both low and high amounts, on an operator which also provides for those who wish to deposit modest amounts. 

2. Software developers: The authors behind the best online slot games

Finding the right slots for you is helped a great deal by being able to break down what’s available, from penny slots to global blockbusters. One way to do this is through understanding software developers.

Put, these are the companies which make the slot titles. The slot is likely to be good if the software developer is good. In addition, a greater variety of quality developers likely means a better casino all around. Furthermore, many operators allow you to search via software developers, making finding new favorites that much easier.

3. Aesthetic design quality: Ensuring your favorite slots look their best

The key reason software developers are so important to your online slots experience is the design quality. This is the meat and potatoes of what makes any slot great. Remember, it doesn’t matter how many 5 dollar free spins are offered if what they’re available on isn’t all that enjoyable in the first place.

So, what do we mean by design? Firstly, there’s aesthetics. This is a slot’s overall ambience and presentation and how well it puts forward concepts and themes. To an extent, this can come down to personal preference. However, there are certainly some more successfully implemented than others.

4. Technical design quality: Making sure the slot operates to its fullest potential

Then there’s the technical design. This is how well everything runs and also what it runs on, including any mobile app versions. If a slot has a strong technical foundation, animations should be smooth and actions should be responsive. If it’s really great, you should rarely need to consider the technical aspects. A great slot in this regard is one which is seamless. 

5. A brilliant operator: The perfect side dish for your entrée of slots greatness

The fact is that even the most perfect online betting slot doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It must be on a betting site, and in order for us to enjoy any online slots, that casino site also needs to be up to standard.

Above all else, the site must be safe and legitimate. This means a good reputation, licensing, encryption and responsible gaming tools, to give a few examples. In addition, it needs to be available in the right jurisdiction. You could have 50 free spins or 200 free spins, it doesn’t matter if it’s not available to many people. Furthermore, we require a solid selection of payment methods with low minimum deposits, so as many people can use them as possible.

The design, just like the slots’ design, needs to be top-tier. Everything should be easy to find and should work as promised. Keep in mind, that this is also the case for any mobile option or app version.

Also, any promotions need to be fair, add value and preferably be a bit creative. The bonus selection available for casino games is so competitive that we have extremely high standards here. Customer service must also be excellent in case the user gets stuck or needs help.

Only if all of this is taken care of can we begin to truly enjoy the best slot titles out there. That’s why the operator isn’t an additional consideration when it comes to finding online slots – it’s part and parcel of what makes one among the best.

Slot promotions: The ideal casino combination

If fabulous slots and great operators are perfect partners, then the promotional options out there are like the desert. And if promotions are dessert, then we would argue no casino game offers as delicious an online gaming feast as casino slots.

Of course, not all promotions are worth your while – even the tastiest looking low wagering casino bonus can be taken down by a nasty set of terms and conditions. Nonetheless, the best slots promotions are as good as any you’ll find betting online. Here are a few common examples of slots promotions, so you know what to look for:

  1. No deposit bonus – Usually, a welcome bonus is offered during registration, you can receive a bonus without needing to deposit anything. A free spins no deposit offer, for instance, should allow you to use a number of free spins without needing to pay any money into your account
  2. Deposit bonuses – Receive a bonus when you make a deposit. A common example would be a 100% matched bonus of your deposit amount.
  3. Free spins – Receive spins you can use on your favorite slots, for free. For example, you may receive 10 free spins to play on specified titles.
  4. VIP bonus – Receive rewards for playing with an operator for a long time. Typically, rewards are greater the more you’ve wagered. 
  5. Prize drops – Often set up for specific slots at certain times, random prizes are dropped if you play those games as laid out in the terms. 
  6. Competitions – There are all kinds of slots-related competitions out there, with leaderboards for meeting set criteria related to play, or prize draws for anyone who plays a certain title, to give a couple of examples.

Top developers covered- latest developer news

It’s important to have a look through the different slot game developers in the US to see how they’re making changes and improving the casino game industry. Our reviews always consider what these developers offer their customers. So, we listed a few to discover what makes them stand out.

IGT (International Game Technology)

IGT or International Game Technology is one of the most popular slot game developers in the US. They were founded in 1975 and are a huge force in the slot game industry, with their video slots making up the majority of those available in US casinos! They have a huge portfolio of casino games accessible in the US and worldwide, which makes them a reliable choice.

Some of these popular slot games include licensing deals with board games and tv shows, including Monopoly, Star Trek and Cluedo. So, if you’re looking for a developer that has a wide variety of options, IGT might be the right developer for you.

Konami

You may recognize this Japanese company as they have a history of producing the best-known arcade and computer games. Konami has expanded over the years to developing gaming entertainment in different fields, including casino games and in particular slots. They didn’t establish a take on slot machines until 1997 when there weren’t many competitors, so it could grow quite rapidly and expand across America and in Australia.

Konami’s slot games have a similar theme which is usually inspired by their Asian heritage. It is a popular theme for slot games, including Ancient Dragon, China Mystery, and Rising Sun. Their range of slot games is quite impressive, with nearly 400 available to play and counting.

Genesis Gaming

Genesis Gaming is another option of a popular developer to choose from. It doesn’t have a long history like Konami or IGT, as it was formed in 2008. But, it has had years to grow as a slot developer and is a top choice for online casino users. Genesis Gaming built their games on different structures, including Flash and HTML5, to be easy to access by players on whichever device they choose to play with. Some of their popular online slot games in the US include Ragnarok, Orion, Gods of Giza and Temple of Luxor.

Helpful slots terminology – slot machine glossary 

There is a wide range of terms for slots and online casino gambling. So, we created a glossary of the most used words so that anyone reading this review can come back to it to help them understand basic slot rules and improve their player experience.

  • 243 ways to win slot: This is when you will see a winning combination of symbols anywhere on the machine screen.
  • Action: This means the total amount of funds that the player has used in a casino session, including all their winnings and losses.
  • Basic slot: A basic slot is a game that has minimal features, including a single pay line and a fixed jackpot, instead of variety in how much you could win.
  • Carousel: A carousel means a group of slots that share something in common, like the value of the coin you could win.
  • Free spins: These are a type of bonus that can be won within a game after landing a combination of symbols. It entitles the player to a free round of play on the slots. Alternatively, free spins can be used as part of a bonus, giving you free rounds to play on a slot game.
  • Jackpot: The jackpot is the top prize that is paid out by a machine. This value can be fixed, meaning you will win the same amount regardless of how often the game is played or how many times the jackpot is won. Or it can be progressive as the machine could offer different jackpot amounts.
  • Line bet: A line bet is the pay lines on a multi-pay line slot game.
  • Machine – hot and cold: A hot slot machine is a slot game which players believe is paying out more frequently or about to drop a jackpot, instead of a cold slot machine that doesn’t seem to be paying out at all.
  • Multi-line: This allows you to play with more than one pay line to increase your chance of winning.
  • Return to Player (RTP): The RTP is the % of wagered money used in a slot game that, on average, will be paid back to the player over their session.
  • Pay line: This is the line on which winning combinations have to land on in order to receive a payout.
  • Payout: The payout is the amount of money a slot game will pay its players, depending on the symbols that come up.
  • Spins: A spin is one round of slots that is played; a single spin of the reels.
  • Symbols: These are the range of images that line up to form different combinations, either winning or not. Each symbol will vary in value.
  • Volatility: If a slot has high volatility, it is less likely to pay out as often, but it will have a higher payout when it does.
  • Winning combination/ combo: The combination of symbols on the pay line which leads to a win. The amount depends on the symbols that landed.

A personal journey to your perfect slots casino

While there’s no doubt a huge difference between good and bad slots, there’s also an extent to which your favorite is personal. Certain preferences are important to consider to help you find the right titles for you. These include:

  • The kind of operator you’re looking for
  • What deposit limits and banking options you require
  • The level of complexity you enjoy in a slot
  • Whether you’re playing them on the go or on desktop
  • What promotions you’re most interested in
  • If you have any experience with previous games or developers you’ve enjoyed
  • Any aesthetic preferences you might have for online slots
  • The minimum and the maximum amount you’re willing to bet

This should get you started. Remember that finding your favorites is a process of trial and error. If you’re not sure on a slot, you should consider betting low to get a feel for it. Also, take notes of the software developer of any game you really enjoy. Finally, remember you can have as many favorite slots on as many operators as you want.

Slots tips and tricks – how to win 

If you’re new to online casino games and want to know how to win at slots machines, then look no further, as we have put together a list of tips that could be useful! There is no guarantee that your outcome will always be a win, as you will need to practice the slot online and find a machine that works in your favor. But, these tips and tricks would be beneficial for any player to try after reading this review.

Start with a budget

This tip is extremely important for any individual that hasn’t played slots before. You may feel like you’re on a winning streak, but things could all change, and you could lose more than you bargained for if a budget is not a top priority. We recommend starting small and seeing where the lower-priced spins will get you. Budgeting is important for any casino game, so make sure you stick to it or risk getting caught out by enticing slot offers and jackpot claims.

Check out the developers

As we mentioned in this review, we looked at the top developers of online slot machine games in the US. It’s essential to see the competition and discover what they offer their customers who choose to play their slots. As the gambling world continues to expand in the US, there is always room for operators to improve their site’s development regarding the look and feel of the online casino. Customers can check the RTP percentage for each game before they play it and decide if the games are what they’re looking for. In addition, players can have a look at customer reviews of these developers to see what other individuals are truthfully saying about the games and avoid losing out.

Use bonuses

At TheGruelingTruth, we recommend that online casino players take advantage of the site’s bonuses they have on offer. There may be a welcome bonus to use that is risk-free and an excellent way to see the ins and outs of a certain game. These bonuses might not always be accessible, but when they are, you can make the most out of them and potentially generate returns! Most casinos in the US will allow you to sign up for notifications on when these bonuses and promotions are available to use. This can be through a text message or email subscription

Understanding the slot machines

Before you start playing these online slots, we think you should consider understanding how they work. Demo spins are a great way to practice these games before spending real money. And once you know how a game works, you will have the upper hand. Slot machines are based on a random number generator (RNG) software and will decide whether the spin will win or not from when you press play. Each machine is different and will have different odds, so it’s up to you to choose which one is right for you and will benefit your slot strategy in the long run.

Conclusion: A world of slot variety out there

We’d argue that no type of casino game has benefited more from the move online than online slots. Almost every online casino has an enormous variety of options to suit pretty much everyone, no matter how much you want to bet or what kind of slot you want to bet on. From low minimums to those suitable for high rollers, your simple three-reel classics to huge progressive jackpots, the sheer scale of what’s out there is staggering.

Nonetheless, with our list of simple things to look out for – such as design quality, approachable deposit/bet limits and quality software developers, as well as our look at various operators and promotions elsewhere at TheGruelingTruth.com – finding your ideal slot should be a simple and fun process.

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Online Slots FAQ 

🎰 What are online slots?

Understanding the basics of online slots is a vital part of our guide to all things related to these hugely popular casino game classics. We’ll explain everything a newcomer could want to know about slots. That way, they can have the right foundation for finding slots that bring them tons of online gaming fun.

👍 What makes an excellent online slot?

Our look at online slots would not be complete without taking you through some key elements we think are most important in making the best online slots what they are. Well, the good news is we’ll be doing exactly that all as part of our exclusive and extensive slots guide, plus much more.

💻 Can the operator I use have an impact on my enjoyment of online slots?

Regardless of the subject, we’re tackling at TheGruelingTruth.com – with this particular page, we’re deep-diving into the world of online slots – there are always external factors to consider. For instance, does the casino you use can impact your enjoyment of your favorite slot titles? Find out our thoughts right here.

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