How to Play Slots Online: Rules and Strategies

Whether you’re familiar with slots or not, playing them online can be a little bit different then playing them at any land-based casino or pub. We believe it’s very important for Canadian players to know exactly how to play the most popular casino game, so keep on reading below to get all the information you’ll need when it comes to learning how to play slots online.

The Basics: Learn the Different Types of Slots

Online slots come in various forms, each offering unique features and gameplay experiences. This section explores the most popular types, including classic three-reel slots, video slots with advanced graphics and bonus rounds, and progressive jackpot slots.
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Enjoy 3-reels

This classic slot is well-known for its simplicity and ease, as it gives players a chance to have fun without the added pressure of competition.  As you might have guessed, 3-reel slots have three reels with different symbols on them. To add more zest to the game, there are a number of different pay line options that range from 1 line to 50 lines. This extra variety gives players a better chance of winning.

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Bet on 5-reels

Five-reel slots have numerous pay lines and are a small goldmine for players. Starting at 9 lines and going all the way up to 50 lines, these slots have higher maximum bets to make for an exciting and immersive gaming experience. The extra pay lines mean more chances to win, and the higher maximum bets can lead to bigger payouts.

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Some of the biggest payouts in history have come from progressive slot games. Cash is collected from huge prize pools that grow with each spin. In some cases, machines are linked together, with each machine contributing small amounts at a time to the overall jackpot. This converts a game that can be quite solitary into a more interactive experience.

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Megaspin slots are popular among online casino players who enjoy fast-paced and high-stakes games. They are a modern version of Vegas-style slot machines that let players play 4, 6, or 9 slots at the same time. This is a unique feature that gives players an extra chance to win a progressive jackpot.

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Video Slots

Video slots have several layers of multimedia and themes, which are usually inspired by popular TV shows or folklore and magic adventures. They offer captivating animations and sound bites, with bonus rounds that can lead to big payouts. The interactive nature of video slots allows players to immerse themselves in the game.

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Online Pub

Modelled after classic British fruit machines, these games keep players on the edge of their seats with nudge-and-hold and hidden bonus features. The jackpot of 1,000 coins must be converted into cash before the player can withdraw their winnings in these ‘English pub-style’ slots.

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Mobile: play on-the-go

Touch technology makes it easy to access mobile slot games because they allow for a seamless gameplay on Android or iPhone mobile casinos. They are designed to be secure, user-friendly, and often come with exclusive bonuses and promotions that can enhance the overall gaming experience.

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Vegas slots

Offering a taste of Vegas in an online slot, these classic casino games are perfect for those who favour traditional slot machines. Featuring iconic symbols like fruit, bells, and bars, players can feel the vibe of the Vegas strip without leaving home. If you’re all about easy gameplay and keeping it real, these games are for you.

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Penny slots

Perfect for budget-conscious players, these games can be enjoyed for just a few cents per spin. Despite being cost-effective to play, penny slots can potentially offer massive payouts and hours of enjoyment. Their affordability puts them among the most popular games at land-based casinos and online, while offering the chance to win a major jackpot.

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Megaways slots

On Megaways slots, a random reel modifier alternates the number of symbols that can appear on each reel. Your win potential fluctuates with the number of active paylines, that changes on every spin. Payouts in these games can often be generated by matching symbols on the reels, even if they aren’t horizontal or adjacent to one another.

What are 3D slots?
These online casino games take traditional slots to the next level with a lifelike experience. They feature a specific theme and storyline that unfolds as you play, where characters, graphics, and soundtracks form an integral part of the experience. Featuring intricate animations and interactive elements, 3D slots are a favourite among Canadian players seeking both entertainment and fun.

Step-by-Step Online Slots Guide for Beginners

Start by selecting your preferred online casino and creating your account. From there, navigate your way to their impressive slots library where you can choose whatever interests you to play. Look at things like themes, recent winners and popularity when choosing which slot you want to play. Once you’ve chosen the best slot for you, now it’s time to learn how to play:

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Step 1

Learn the layout

Get yourself familiar with the layout of the slot. Know where to change your bet, where to spin, and any other relevant information, like the pay table for the slot, for your gameplay.
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Step 2

Choose a bet amount

Choose your bet amount, and press the spin button, which is usually right in the middle of the lower screen.
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Step 3

Hit spin and wait for results

Watch the reels spin, and keep notice of what pay lines are earning you some winnings.
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Step 4

Play a whole slot session

If you’re interested in playing for longer, hit spin again. Repeat until your session is finished. Avoid autospin because it speeds up the game. Instead, enjoy your slots session at leisure.
Play your first few rounds for free. Free slots are available on almost every site we recommend. Just hover over the game and choose Play for Free. You will be given an amount to bet with, but remember, you cannot win any real money from playing for free.

The Anatomy of Slot Machines

It’s impossible to know how to play, if you don’t know how things work. So, here’s a quick breakdown of what you’re going to see and how it works on an online slot machine:
Infographic showing how online slot machines work.

Slots across the board offer the same kind of layout and buttons. In other words, no matter which game you find yourself spinning, these buttons will perform the same functions.

Auto Start/Auto Stop

Pressing this button will automatically start spinning the rollers of the 3-Reel or 5-Reel game for a fixed number of times. The button will also end the auto-spin mode.


This button will activate additional paylines to bet on. It can also function to reset the number of paylines wagered on.

Bet Per Line

Pressing this button will add one coin to the betting payline.

Bet Max

Pressing this button will automatically select the maximum bet per payline and select all the paylines.

+ and –

Pressing this button will either increase or decrease your wager per spin.


Pressing this button will start and stop spinning of the reels to display the games result. You do not need to “quick hit” the buttons repeatedly; that will not improve your chance of winning.


This special feature is found in certain slot games. During the gamble feature, players will be requested to place an additional bet in order to increase their profits from the previous spin.


Press this button when you have a payout. It will then add your profits to the bankroll.

One thing that is extremely important for us to note, is that slot machines are completely random. There is no such thing as a “hot” or “cold” machine, a machine that is “due to payout” or even slots that are “rigged”. This is good news. Every single online slot is running by the Random Number Generator or RNG like we mentioned above. This RNG ensures that every spin is independent of the one before, meaning that slots truly are random.

Now that you have a better idea of how things work, let’s learn how to play slots online.

Understanding Slots Online

Special game features increase a slot machine’s enjoyment and winnings. Players search for bonus features like wild symbols and multipliers, so here’s a quick glossary of slot terms you’ll want to understand.

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Wild Symbols

Wilds substitute for other symbols on the reel besides scatters. Many types of wild symbols exist: stacked wilds, expanding wilds, sticky wilds, and cascading wilds to name a few.

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Scatter Symbols

Scatter symbols trigger free spins and bonus games. They can appear anywhere on the reels. Usually, it takes 3 or more scatters to trigger free spins or other bonuses.

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Free Spins

Free spins are a main feature in bonus games. Players love these because you can win cash without risk. Some bonus games allow players to trigger more free spins (a feature called re-spins).

Progressive jackpots


Multipliers increase your winnings by a factor or 2 or more. Slots multipliers tend to be between 3x to 100x the standard payout and often appear only in the bonus game.

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Bonus Game

Usually either free spins, multipliers, or an interactive bonus game where you choose the prize. Online slots can have multiple bonus games.

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Slots Jackpots

Jackpots are a huge part of slot machine’s draws. Most online slots have fixed jackpots which range from hundreds to thousands to even millions of dollars. Progressive jackpots increase over time and, on games like Mega Moolah, can reach as high as CA$20 million.

Basic How to Win Slot Strategies

Every slots player should use certain winning strategies. Below are some basic tips you can employ without studying, online research, or mathematical calculations. Make these a standard part of every slots session.

Your Needs

Join the Loyalty Club

Receive bigger bonuses and special promotions by joining an online casino’s VIP club. In a land-based casino, join the slots club for comps and cashback.

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Practice with Free Games

Casino sites allow practice using free-play versions of their games. Play free slots in the practice mode when choosing a new online slot.

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Focus on Smaller Jackpots

Online slots with smaller jackpots tend to have a higher return to player. Your chances of winning the big prize are much better.

Game Variety

Select Games You’re Interested In

Find fun themes that will keep you entertained while you play. Search through licensed slots with graphics and sound bites from your favourite pop culture franchises. Casino websites have thousands of slots, so find the most entertaining ones.

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Modify Bet Sizes with Coin Denominations

Always play max paylines. If the bet is too much for your bankroll, lower the coin denomination but keep the max bet (with paylines) activated.

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Stop When You’re Winning

Set a win goal and stick to it. Lock in your winnings by walking away while you’re still lucky. Riding a hot streak is part of the gambler’s fallacy.

Pro Online Slot Machine Tricks and Tips for Canadian Players

Play Slots with a Budget

Set a bankroll before playing. Your bankroll is the amount of money set aside for slots betting. This should be disposable income that’s set aside for entertainment. Once you have a bankroll, never wager more than that amount.

Choose Strategic Bet Sizes

Once you have a bankroll, make slot bets based on a small percentage of that bankroll (1%-2% is standard). Aggressive players bet 3% to 5% but we don’t recommend that.

Avoid the Martingale Strategy

Avoid all progressive betting strategies — or any exotic-sounding bet strategy that online experts tout. Mathematical research has shown that flat betting (the same wager every spin) saves you money over the long term. The Martingale betting strategy forces players to increase bets exponentially, thus exposing them to a much greater risk of ruin.

Research Slot Games RTP

Learn the online slots return-to-player (RTP) percentage. Compare against other slots online that have similar themes, then pick the game with the best RTP.

Don’t Play Slots While Under the Influence

Don’t drink to excess when wagering. Physical factors have a role in your decisions, so avoid betting the slots when you’re tired, sleepy, hungry, distracted, or impaired in any way. Take a walk and clear your head, because the slots will be there later.

Find the Best Casinos for Online Slots in Canada

Not every Canadian player has the same needs or the same taste in slots. With so many good options, it’s hard to find the perfect casino for your own preferences. Here’s a quick guide to the best Canadian online slots casinos, according to game selection, slot designers, and bonuses.

Category Casino we RecommendTop Feature
Biggest slots bonusJackpotcityExclusive $6,000 bonus for maple casino players only.
Most online slotsPin samuraiOver 2,000 online slot games
Most slots software providersSkycrown5,000+ slot games from top slot providers
Best for online slot tournamentsCrazy foxDaily slot tournaments
Best progressive slots from Microgaming All slots casinoMega moolah, major millions, treasure nile
Best Megaways slot casinoMucho vegasMajestic megaways, queen of wonderland, and 15 others.
Best for daily drops & wins slotsSpin samuraiBig bass bonanza, mustang gold, gates of olympus, and dozens of other ‘daily drop & win’ slots.
Best free spins casinoSOL Casino75 free spins plus $1200 on your first deposit

Slots Software Providers

Before we discuss the best onlines slots for Canadian players, let’s take a look at a few of the best game designers. Casino websites these days often have multiple designers, so you’ll often be able to play games from the designers below at one single Canadian casino site.

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Microgaming Slots

The oldest and most popular online slots designer. Founded in 1994, Microgaming has been a leader in online slots for decades and has over 700 online slot titles.


Playtech Slots

Founded in 1997, Playtech is a top global competitor for Microgaming. Though it’s not in as many Canadian online casinos as Microgaming, Playtech is a top designer.


NetEnt Slots

Net Entertainment is a subsidiary of Cherry, the famous land-based slot designer. NetEnt slots are known for excellent graphics, fun themes, licensed slots, and huge progressive jackpots.

GameArt Slots

GameArt Slots

A newer developer, GameArt designs world-class HTML5 slots that are perfect for desktop or mobile. GameArt provides online slots with cinematic graphics to casinos like Nefertita Hyperways, Hot Fruit Delights, and Piggy Bjorn: Muspelheim’s Treasure.

Our Top Online Slots in Canada

If you don’t know where to start when trying to find the best online slots for Canadians, here’s a head-start on your research. We’d suggest games like Hell’s Grannies from Microgaming or Machine Gun Unicorn from Genesis Gaming, but they aren’t available at our favourite casinos right now. Still, these games should be a good start to your online slots hobby.

Biggest JackpotMega MoolahMicrogamingJackpotCityPayouts known to top CA$20 million.
Best Return-to-PlayerUgga BuggaPlaytechSpin Samurai99.07% RTP beats all the rest.
Best Bonus GameLilly Palmer: London SlotsGameArtNorth CasinoStacked Walking Wilds, Scatter Symbols, Up to 50x Multiplier
Best FeatureRize of Giza: Power NudgePragmatic PlayNorth CasinoUse the nudge feature to make wild symbols fit a payline.
Most FeaturesNarcosNetEntMucho VegasFree spins, walking wilds, the Drive-by Feature, and the Lock-Up Feature.
Best Daily Drops & WinsPower of Thor: MegawaysPragmatic PlaySpin SamuraiDaily big bonuses in addition to the bonus game
Best ThemeSabaton SlotsPlay’n GoMucho VegasTheme: Swedish power metal band that sings about history and heroism.

How Do Online Slot Tournaments Work?

Several Canadian sites like Crazy Fox Casino now offer online slot tournaments. These work much like online poker tournaments, where a large field of players enter. Most lose but many others finish in the winnings. Online slot tournaments are another way for slot players to win big money — but without requiring a massive jackpot win. Online slot tournament strategies are much different than standard slot strategy, though.

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Use the Autoplay Feature

We recommend against autoplay in conventional slot games. Autoplay helps in tournaments because it maxes out your betting ability, giving you more chances for a jackpot spin.

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Play Max Paylines

Like in single-play slot games, always play the max paylines. This activates the top jackpot. If you get lucky, you’ll beat everyone in the field if you use max paylines.

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Use the Max Bet Feature

This is counter-intuitive, but set normal bankroll calculations aside and use the max bet feature to maximize payouts. The coins wagered in the tournament amount to Monopoly money, because your entry fee is the real money you risk. Throw caution to the wind and hope you get lucky.

Online Slots Bankroll Management

One thing we want to remind players of is to set limits for yourself. We all know the feeling of getting carried away on a slot, so setting limits reduces chances of getting too caught up in the fun.

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More Useful Online Casino Guides

New players should study a few other parts of online gambling before playing for real money. Here are a few guides that new online slot players might find helpful.

Welcome Bonus

Bonus Guide

Part of your bankroll strategy should involve welcome bonuses and promotions. Read our guide to casino bonuses for a helpful introduction.

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Deposits Guide

When you fund your casino account, you want the ultimate in convenience, safety, and security. Take a look at our online casino deposit guide to learn how to get started.

Progressive jackpots

Progressive Slots Guide

Players are drawn to progressive jackpots, because they offer a life-changing amount of cash. Read everything you need to know before playing online progressive slots.

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Casino Reviews

Playing slots online is most entertaining at the best online casinos. Study our list of recommended Canadian casino sites that provide a safe, secure, fun, and fair gambling experience.

How to Beat Slot Machines

If you want more tips on beating online slots, read our article titled “How to Win at Slots“.



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