I was talking to my aunt not long ago about online slot machines. She was thinking about trying them, but she wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea or a bad idea.
I didn’t give her much specific advice, because I think gambling on anything is a personal decision she needs to make for herself.
I did provide her with some straightforward, accurate information about what playing slot machines entails, online or off.
If you’re thinking about playing slot machines on the internet, you can find plenty of reasons both for and against doing so.
Your best bet is to educate yourself so that you’re not making a decision from a position of ignorance.
Online Slot Machines Are More Convenient
My friend Zane isn’t a people person. In fact, he’s one of the most reclusive and introverted people I’ve ever met. He doesn’t even go to the movie theater anymore.
He lives not far from Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma, and his family visits the casino at least once a month to play the slot machines there. He used to participate, but he hated it.
He doesn’t like finding a parking spot. He doesn’t like having people brush past him in a crowded room. He doesn’t like breathing the same air someone else just coughed or sneezed into.
He’s able to avoid all of this and still play slot machines, because he has an account at an online casino.
Playing Slots Online Offer More Variety and Availability
When you’re dealing with physical slot machines with people sitting in front of them, you’ll inevitably run into a situation where someone is sitting at the game you want to play. And some of these slot zombies plant themselves in front of a machine for hours on end.
I’ve read stories about slot machine players who have soiled themselves rather than leave the machine they’re playing.
But when you’re choosing a slot machine at an online casino, no one is ever sitting in front of the game you want to play. All the games are available all the time for anyone logged in.
And most casinos offer a huge variety of slot machines to choose from. I contacted an online casino’s customer service department one time to find out how many games they had to choose from, and they told me they couldn’t tell me because it was too many to count.
I think that customer service agent missed an opportunity to make me a happy customer, but at any rate, it does illustrate how many games a lot of the casinos on the internet have to offer.
More Bonuses and Free Spins Offers at Online Casinos
When you play slot machines at an online casino, you start by depositing money. This isn’t much different from putting money into a slot machine at a traditional casino. You put your money in, you play, and when you’re finished, you withdraw your money.
Here’s the big difference, though:
At most online casinos, most of the time, when you deposit money, the casino gives you extra money to play with. The biggest bonuses come when you’re signing up for a new account and making your first deposit.
This would be similar to putting $100 into a slot machine and having $300 in credits.
There’s another difference, though:
At a land-based casino, you can stop and withdraw your money any time you want to.
But when you get an online casino bonus, you’re required to wager an amount equal to your deposit and your bonus combined multiplied by an arbitrary amount.
If you know anything about the house edge on slot machines, you’ll realize quickly that most online casinos make a lot of money by giving away free money.
Still, if you love playing slot machines and hunting jackpots, you get 3 times as many chances to win a jackpot with the casino bonus in that scenario as you would otherwise.
Most Online Casinos, for US Players, Are Located Offshore
In 3 states, online casinos are legal and regulated. In those states, you can feel comfortable that your money is safe. You can also feel comfortable that you’ll get paid your winnings in a timely manner when you make a withdrawal.
If you live in any of those 47 states that don’t have legal, regulated online casinos, you’ll be forced to play at an online casino located in a foreign country.
It would be inaccurate to say that any business located in another country shouldn’t be trusted.
But it would be irresponsible to suggest that every country that allows online casinos to operate within their borders provides the same kind of oversight and regulation you’d get in the United States.
You should spend some time doing some due diligence before signing up at an offshore casino. Reputation is more important than just about anything.
You can find plenty of details about most online casinos just by visiting some of the many popular online gambling forums available.
You can also read detailed reviews on sites like this one.
Online Casinos Offer Games Not Available in Land-Based Casinos
You might have a favorite game at your local casino that isn’t available in an online version. This would be a drawback, especially if you’re married to that game.
In the early days of online casinos, most games were available online or at land-based casinos. Rarely would a game be available both online and off.
That’s changed to an extent.
But one of the perks to playing online is that you can discover fun and interesting games that aren’t available at your local casino.
One of my favorites is a slot machine game from Realtime Gaming called It’s Good to Be Bad. It has a unique feature – a jackpot that rises in value every time you have a losing spin. Get enough losing spins in a row, and you’ll get to play the bonus game and try to win that money.
This kind of innovation is worth checking out.
And different casinos have different games, so it can be worth it to try several different online casino games.
Online Slot Machines Have a Better Payback Percentage
The payback percentage for a slot machine is a statistic that describes how much of your bets gets returned to you in the form of winnings. It’s another way of measuring the mathematical advantage the casino has over the player.
When you’re talking about casino games, a high payback percentage is better than a low payback percentage. And the payback percentage is basically just the house edge subtracted from 100%.
Many land-based casinos have slot machines with atrocious payback percentages. The slots at the airport in Las Vegas are estimated to have a payback percentage of around 75%.
This means every time you bet $1 in such a machine, you’re expected to get 75 cents back. That’s a long-term average, though.
If you think of that in terms of a house edge, you’re looking at 25%.
If that were the annual interest rate you were asked to pay on a loan, you’d probably run the other direction.
When it’s applied to every spin of a slot machine, it means you’ll lose your money faster than you ever thought possible.
At an online casino, you need some customer service agents, some software, and a room full of servers. Sure, you need a website designer, but you only use a webmaster occasionally.
Online casinos just have fewer expenses, so they’re able to offer better odds on their slots.
Should you play online slot machines instead of traditional slot machines?
That’s a question you should answer for yourself. If you’re a social butterfly, sitting home and playing slot machines on your laptop or your cell phone might be the most boring experience imaginable.
On the other hand, if you’re an introvert, playing slot machines online might be a far better experience for you. You can play games that aren’t available in your local casino and face better odds.
My only caveat is that you should investigate any online casino’s reputation before depositing money there. The easiest way to do that is to read reviews on a reputable gambling portal like this one.