What makes a top online slot site?
Variety is the spice of life, and that is one of the key attributes of a top online slot site. With such an eclectic mix of these games now accessible, the best slot sites have managed to assemble vast catalogues for their players to choose from.
Yet, for the leading slot casinos in Canada, having a stellar library of games isn’t enough. The sites we have handpicked take a holistic approach to enhance further the experience of playing online slots. Therefore, our top slot sites include:
- New releases added regularly
- Generous casino bonuses
- Loyalty rewards programs
- Licensed games with audited RTPs
- Secure, hassle-free deposits
- Fast payouts
- Responsive mobile platforms and apps
How to play slots
If you’ve played a slot machine in a bar or club, getting to grips with online slots will only take a few seconds. However, for those who are new, there are a couple of things to do before spinning the reels. These are the steps for how to play slots online.
Review the paytable
The paytable tells you how much you will win based on the size of your stake. Most modern slots have low, medium, and high-valued symbols, so you can check the payout for each. Additionally, the paytable reveals what the special symbols are, such as wilds, scatters, and bonus symbols. Once you know this information, you’ll know what to look out for when playing.
Choose the number of paylines
For online slots that have fixed paylines, this point doesn’t apply. However, several slots allow you to choose how many paylines you want active. The range will depend on your chosen game, but generally, it’s between 1 and 25 lines.
Select your stakes
Unlike old-fashioned one-arm bandits that used a set stake for each spin; online slots offer a far wider range of staking options. Some slot developers use a ‘coin value’ and ‘bet level’ system, so you must set these to fit your budget. It’s important to note that the stake may be calculated for a single payline. Therefore, a $1 stake on a 20-payline slot will cost $20 per spin. You will see this as you adjust coin value settings before playing.
It’s time to spin
To start your game, hit the ‘spin’ button. You can opt for auto-spin if you prefer. This allows you to sit back and relax. When you land a payout, the payline generally flashes to highlight the amount you won, and the money is instantly added to your casino balance.
Types of slots
There are thousands of online slots with an array of different themes. However, you can broadly categorise them into these types:
A classic slot is often defined as a game with a 3-by-3 (3 rows and 3 columns) reel set. With between 1 and 5 paylines, these are great games for beginners to learn the ropes. Many classic slots use fruits, bells and BAR symbols, just like you find on an old cabinet slot machine.
Video slots tend to have five reels and three or four columns. As there are more symbol spaces on the reels, video slots offer more paylines, with 20 or 25 being the standard. However, you can also play games with up to 243 ways to win. With bonus rounds and other special features built in, there’s never a dull moment when playing.
Some online slots, such as Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune, have a progressive jackpot feature. With these games, a small percentage from each bet is added to the progressive jackpot, which can be triggered randomly or by matching certain bonus symbols on the reels. Mega Moolah holds the record for the largest progressive jackpot payout – a staggering 26 million Canadian dollars.
Originally developed by Big Time Gaming (BTG), MegaWays have pushed the boundaries of video slots to the extreme. These slot games can have 5 or 6 reels with up to 7, 8 or even 9 columns – resulting in up to 531,441 ways to win on any spin. Many other developers have licensed the MegaWays trademark from BTG, so there’s a great selection of titles to pick from.
Top slot software providers
It’s amazing to think that 25 years ago, you could count the number of online slot providers on one hand. Right now, there are more than 100 developers and gaming studios competing in this industry.
While we could recommend more than two dozen top tier software providers, our team has chosen three standout companies which have garnered a reputation for delivering innovation and excitement to online slots players all over the world.
With a portfolio of more than 500 slot titles, Microgaming is one of the top developers in the igaming world. Its progressive jackpot network, which includes iconic games such as Mega Moolah, Major Millions, Absolootly Mad and Sisters of Oz, has paid out more than C$1.7 billion since its inception.
Microgaming also has plenty of branded games like Terminator 2, Jurassic World and Game of Thrones in its collection. Furthermore, it releases new games every month for players at the top online slot sites in Canada to enjoy on both desktop and mobile.
Novomatic has a long history of supplying land-based casinos with incredible cabinet slot machines, and it’s transferred these talents into the online sector. Several of Novomatic’s best online slots have a retro theme which include classic symbols such as fruits, bars and 7s. These titles include Sizzling Hot, Reel King and Mega Joker.
However, this developer’s most popular to date is its Book of Ra series, which features an Indiana Jones-style character who goes in search of hidden treasures and massive wins. We also highly recommend checking out the Quattro titles in Novomatic’s portfolio. These are four slots in one which can combine to create some huge payouts.
Alongside Microgaming, Playtech has one of the largest portfolios of online slots. Its extensive collection offers amazing branded titles like Justice League, Superman and Batman, plus movie-themed classics, such as Gladiator, Robocop and The Matrix.
Yet, arguably its best online slot titles come from the award-winning series: Age of the Gods and Kingdoms Rise. Another thing which separates Playtech from many of its industry peers is that it has several software studios, including Origins, Eyecon, Vikings, Quickspin and Ash Gaming, within its organisation. As each of these developers has its individual style, Playtech slots remain innovative and exciting.
RTP and volatility explained
All online slots have their own RTP value and volatility rating. RTP stands for ‘return to player’. It’s expressed as a percentage. For instance, the RTP of Dead or Alive is 96.82%. This means that on average (based on hundreds of thousands of spins), Dead or Alive will return $96.82 for every $100 bet. Of course, this is an average. A player could win the jackpot on their first spin or spend $100 and lose it all.
A slot’s volatility rating gives players some idea as to the frequency of its payouts. Slots with low volatility offer a steady flow of wins, which help to keep the bankroll ticking over while a bigger payout hopefully comes along. At the opposite end of the spectrum, highly volatile slots require patience. Players can experience a run of spins with no action, before an explosive win.
It’s important to understand that whatever the volatility level of a slot, it doesn’t increase your chances of winning. The RTP remains the same, and the casino keeps its long-term advantage. However, it’s still useful information because players may prefer to play one type more than the other.
Top slot titles
Whether you play online slots with your mobile or PC, there are thousands of titles to choose from. You’ll find every imaginable theme, ranging from Greek gods and ancient Egypt to Hollywood movies and leprechauns. Furthermore, the best online slot titles are packed with features like free spins bonuses, expanding wilds, exploding symbols and win multipliers. Here’s a taste of what you can expect to find at our recommended Canadian casinos.
With 243 ways to win, a profusion of bonus features, and an RTP of 96.86%, Microgaming’s Immortal Romance has become a cult classic at online slot casinos. The game has a vampire theme, which is brought to life by its exceptional graphics and haunting soundtrack.
The game has four central characters – Amber, Troy, Michael and Sarah. Each one has their own bonus feature, but players need to trigger the Chamber of Spins bonus game a specific number of times to unlock the different characters and their respective bonuses. This keeps players coming back for more as the potential wins are better with the latter characters.
Dead or Alive
NetEnt has created dozens of fantastic slots, and Dead or Alive is definitely on that list. The Wild West theme takes players back to the time of outlaws like Billy the Kid, Jesse James and Apache. Aside from the sharp visuals and western soundtrack, Dead or Alive is a fan favourite due to its high volatility.
The slot only has 9 paylines, which means the minimum bet is only $0.09. Also, it has one free spins bonus feature. This is triggered when three or more gun symbols appear on the reels. Players get 12 spins with a 2x multiplier. Like Immortal Romance, Dead or Alive has a generous RTP of 96.82%, so there’s decent value for patient players.
The Dark Knight
Through its licensing agreement with DC Entertainment, Playtech developed the official Dark Knight online slot. The game has 5 reels and 50 paylines, which uses the win both ways mechanic. Among the symbols are the characters from the movie, such as Batman, the Joker, Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon.
The Dark Knight is packed with various bonus features like expanding symbols, respins, free spins rounds and locked wilds. However, it’s also part of Playtech’s DC Comics progressive jackpot network, which means players have the chance of winning one of four jackpots on every spin.
Real money vs free play
When you join an online casino, you don’t need to play with real money straight away. The majority of slot sites in Canada let you enjoy their games in free play mode. This means that you can explore a selection of titles from different providers to find your favourite. Furthermore, it allows you to learn about the game’s features, including how to trigger the bonus rounds, and what symbols you need to win the jackpot.
After learning the ropes, you can then move onto playing real money slots. Remember to follow the steps listed above in setting the paylines and stake to suit your budget.
With more than 100 software development companies working in the online casino industry, new slots are appearing on a daily basis. Providers know that innovation is crucial for these games to continue to evolve. New slots benefit from cutting-edge graphics and gamification elements that immerse you fully into the game. Modern slots involve stories and adventures; some have missions and objectives for the players to complete, which takes them to higher levels. Most slot sites have a tab in the menu for new games – it’s somewhere you should definitely check out.
Playing slots on mobile
The fact that many software providers have adopted a ‘mobile-first’ approach to designing online slots tells you everything you need to know. Playing slots on your mobile is more convenient and flexible. You can enjoy a game at any time and anywhere. However, this can be a double-edged sword if you find yourself playing real money slots too frequently. Setting limits to control your expenditure will help, and it adds to the enjoyment.
To get more bang for your buck, the best online slots casinos have a variety of bonuses and promotions. By taking advantage of these, you can get free games and extra credits in your account. Slot bonuses are a personal choice – some are more suitable than others, depending on your budget and the specific type of slots you prefer to play. These are some of the most popular offers you’ll come across.
If you love online slots, free spins bonuses are made for you. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some casinos bundle them together with a matched deposit to make their welcome offers more attractive, while other sites have them as standalone bonuses. They are also used as no deposit bonuses.
Regardless of the offer type, the fundamentals are the same. The casino awards players a specific number of spins on selected slot games. The bonus will be accompanied by terms and conditions which we advise you to read through before claiming the offer.
The majority of casino welcome bonuses are matched deposit offers. Here, the operator ‘matches’ your deposit, 100% up to $100, for example. This gives you twice as much cash to play with, so you can try different slots or simply play your favourite for longer. Like free spins bonuses, these also have T&Cs, which will include the wagering requirements for the offer.
A reload bonus is usually a match deposit offer, but it won’t be as big as a welcome bonus. Many online slot sites provide weekly reload offers to players if they deposit on a certain day. It’s a good way to boost your bankroll, but terms and conditions will apply.
In recent years, a growing number of online casinos have been offering slot tournaments. In a tournament, the casino will choose the slot and the duration. Each of the players’ winnings is calculated based on their stake, and those with the best amount bet to amount won ratios will go on the leaderboard. Winners of slot tournaments usually receive cash prizes or free spins.