When you visit an online casino to hit the slots, you may find these sites using words and phrases that you've never even heard of before. One good thing about online gambling is that you can just pause the action to find out what they mean, something that's not true of gambling in a land-based venue!
A lot of terms used in online casinos and online slots sites are pretty straightforward, self-explanatory even, but on this page we're going to explain a few terms that you may run across when you play for real money online.
This is just a fancy term for the amount of money that you're planning to spend when gambling on the web. You may also see people refer to a session bankroll, which is the sum they're planning to spend in a single sitting.
Good bankroll management is key to success when gambling online, and it's something that will definitely take a bit of practice.
In the context of a slot machine, bet max means to play the maximum number of coins and paylines. It's an easy way to make sure that you're placing the largest bet possible rather than adding paylines and increasing coin size manually.
Be cautious when using it, and make sure not to hit it accidentally, as some slot machines have a bet max of tens or even hundreds of CAD per spin. In such cases, bet max (or max bet as it may also be listed) is probably best left to the high rollers!
You're more likely to encounter betting systems when playing table games like roulette or blackjack than the slots, but some players try to use them here too. An example of a betting system would be doubling your previous bet every time you lose, and another involves doubling your bet every time you win.
The theory is that by using a betting system, many of which have fancy names like D'Alembert and Martingale, you'll always come out on top. In practice, whether because of table limits, losing all your cash or running out of higher coin sizes, betting systems can result in very heavy losses.
They may sometimes appear to work in the short term, but we'd recommend against using a betting system on a long term basis.
Almost every video slot on the web has some type of bonus round, and those that don't will offer some sort of compensatory feature that helps players to make up for it. A bonus round is where players are most likely to recoup any losses from a gambling session and, hopefully, take home a hefty cash prize as well.
Bonus rounds often take the format of a certain number of free spins with a guaranteed multiplier, but may also involve extra wilds. The most common bonus round format is 10-15 free spins with a 2 or 3x multiplier and, while it may be typical, it still offers players a chance to land some big wins.
Again, this is a term that applies more to table games than the slots – card counting involves keeping track of how many high and low cards have come out of the deck(s) and adjusting your bet accordingly.
However, you may also hear other slots players talking about advantage play from time to time. Advantage play is called so because it gives the player an edge, or an advantage, over the house.
Unfortunately, as long as a slot machine is working correctly, there's no way of using advantage play like tracking how often it pays out – which happens at random – to give yourself an advantage
A high roller is someone who spends a lot of money at the casino. The most likely outcome of doing so when playing online is an invite to the casino's VIP program.
It's not possible for online casinos to offer high rollers free drinks, hotel rooms and entertainment packages like land-based casinos can, but they will do things like connecting them with dedicated support team members, inviting them to take part in exclusive tournaments and offering other bonuses and freebies to build loyalty.
Slots players can access games on the web in a couple of different ways – or even more if they want to use a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, but let's not complicate things by bringing that in here – namely, through a downloadable casino client or via an online alternative that might be known as a Flash, no download or instant play casino.
No download slots look and perform almost exactly the same as those in a downloadable casino client, so players certainly aren't at a disadvantage should they decide to play in their browser rather than downloading software.
This is one term that even those who have never played slots in their life will probably know! The odds of a game refer to how likely a player is to win when playing – good odds mean that a win is probable, bad odds means they should be prepared to go home empty handed.
Odds might also be presented as the "house edge" of a game. The lower the house edge of something, the better the odds are for the player.
If you're a slots fan, the pay table (or paytable, depending on where you're playing) is your best friend! It'll show you all of the prizes you can expect to win and the relevant symbols you need to line up to do so.
It's usually indicated with an 'i', and you'll often find information about the game's bonus features, jackpot and mini-games alongside the pay table.
A payline refers to some way reel icons can line up in order to win a prize. The most common paylines are horizontal lines/rows across a game's reels, but there are many more potential combinations out there with some games having tens or even hundreds of different paylines.
In a nutshell, the more paylines a game has the more wins you will probably experience when playing. The downside of this is that most of the wins you land will be of low value, maybe even less than your original bet.
When you play for a standard jackpot, you know exactly how much you're going to win when you line up a certain combination of symbols. You can find that sum of money, whatever it might be, in the pay table.
Progressive jackpots are a little different in that the jackpot builds up by designating a small portion of every bet placed on the title towards the winnings. Most progressive jackpots trigger once every couple of months or so, and may be in the millions or even tens of millions of CAD, and will then reset to a base jackpot.
Going "on tilt", a phrase that's often used when people are talking about poker, is how players describe someone who has become frustrated and has started making silly bets.
An example of going on tilt when playing slots might be drastically upping your coin bet per line to a level that your bankroll can't really afford because you've been on a losing streak all night.
Far better to just log out, take a few deep breaths and come back to the casino when you're in a less rash and impulsive mood!
You might think that slots are a very solitary activity when played on the web – you can't chat to the person at the machine next to yours like you can in a land-based venue – but tournaments add an interesting element of friendly (or sometimes not so friendly) competition to slots.
The format may vary a little, but here's how a typical slots tournament might work – all players put forward 50 CAD to play the same title at the same time. When time, or a set number of spins, runs out the player at the top of the leaderboard will take home the grand prize.
Players should note that prizes are determined on a tournament by tournament basis, not by the number of credits won during the tournament.
Every online casino has wagering requirements that must be met before a player can cash out their welcome bonus. These might be something like 20-30x the value of your deposit and the bonus.
For example, to unlock a bonus of 200 CAD that's subject to wagering requirements of 20x the bonus and your initial C$100 deposit, you'll need to wager 6,000 CAD. Remember that's the sum you have to wager, not lose!
Almost all of the top online casinos offer a welcome bonus to new players, usually consisting of a percentage match bonus and/or some free spins on a slots title.
A match bonus of 200% would yield a 400 CAD bonus on a deposit of 200 CAD but, as we've just seen above, this bonus is subject to wagering requirements before it can be withdrawn. Even so, welcome bonuses are always worth claiming because they effectively give you free cash to use when you're playing the slots.