Free Slot Machines
Free slots are slot machine games you can play online without risking any money. You won't find these kinds of games in most land-based casinos. In fact, we can't recall ever being able to play such a game without risking some real money. These are an online phenomenon.
Our site features a number of embedded slot machine games you can play for free. We include links to the most popular of those games here. Those pages also include detailed reviews of these games.
On this page, we also provide what we've learned about the various kinds of risk free, play money slot machine games available on the internet, as well as games we would recommend that you can go and play for real money right now.
Free Spins at Online Casinos
One of the best and easiest way to play free slots online is to find a casino which offers a "free spins" promotion. The way these kinds of promotions works is that the casino has a particular game they want to promote to new players. To incentivize new signups, they allow a player a certain number of free spins on that game. If the player has a positive bankroll at the end of his session, he gets to keep the money.
These kinds of offers are great and risk-free, but keep in mind that they are a means of getting you to sign up and deposit real money at the casino. These offers also come with some restrictions. For example, most of the time you're not allowed to "quit while you're ahead" when you're using these free spins. You have to use all of them before cashing out.
Another common restriction is a maximum cash-out amount, which is usually a relatively small amount—maybe $25 or $50. It's hard to complain about a restriction like this. After all, you're not risking any money, so free cash is free cash. And you got to play the slot machine game for a while, too.
Some casinos also offer "no deposit required" signup bonuses. Just for signing up and registering a new account at a casino, you're given a certain amount of real money to play.
Usually these no deposit bonus offers are small—less than $50, and often less $20 or $10. But they do give you the chance to try out the casino's slot machine games without risking any of your money, and you also have the opportunity to walk away a winner.
Finally, all the online casinos we're familiar with allow players to try their games for free in "play-money" mode. You get an arbitrary amount of chips to play with, and your bankroll goes up and down. But this money is just "play money"—it has no real world value.
Playing slots—or any other gambling games, for that matter—in "play-money" mode is something that's never made much sense to us. It might be a good way to check out a casino's software to see if you're going to like playing for real money there. But that usually doesn't take long.
We do know some players who do nothing but play the free, play-money games at online casinos. They find the sights and sounds of the gambling games entertaining or stimulating. We don't see much point in that, but if it works for you, great.
Free Slot Tournaments Online
You'll occasionally stumble across slot machine sites which offer free tournaments. These are "play-money" games, too, but you have the opportunity of winning small prize amounts at the end of the day or the week. These sites have leaderboards which track your scores.
These free slot machine tournament sites make their money by selling advertising. Since playing a no download game for free in your browser creates a lot of page-views, sites selling advertising on a cost per impression basis can make a lot of money if they can get players to show up and play their games.
We've also seen free apps for mobile devices where you can play free games that look and sound just like slot machines. The rule of thumb with these kinds of apps is that you can't play for real money if you found the app through the Google Play or Apple stores. Those companies have strict guidelines on what kinds of apps can be sold there, and online gambling apps for real money are on the forbidden list.
Moving Up from Free Slot Machines to Real Money Games
We don't necessarily think everyone should play slots. But if you're going to play, we think you should at least consider playing for real money. After all, the entire point of gambling is to risk money with the possibility of winning money.
Making the transition from free games to real money games is easy enough, too. All of the online casinos we're familiar with offer plenty of low-denomination slots games. You should be able to find plenty of action on the Internet at just a penny or a nickel per spin.
With stakes that low, even a gambler with a small bankroll of $50 can play for hours on end.
The trick is tempering your expectations. If you're only wagering a penny or a nickel per spin, you can't expect to win the same size jackpots as the players who are wagering a dollar or $5 per spin.
One of the benefits of moving up to real money play, too, is the ability to take advantage of larger signup bonuses at the casinos. We talked briefly about no deposit bonuses earlier, but the more common offer on the Internet is where you deposit a certain amount and get a percentage of that amount added to your bankroll as a bonus.
You might be playing at a casino that offers a 300% bonus on your first deposit of up to $100. That means you'll deposit $100 and get $300 added to your bankroll, which means you have a total bankroll of $400.
These kinds of offers come with restrictions, too. They'd have to, after all, or the players would walk away with all the money, and the casinos would go out of business.
One of the first of these restrictions is that you wager the deposit plus bonus a certain number of times before cashing out. The higher this wagering requirement is, the less likely you are to walk away a winner. That's because any time you play a negative expectation game, the longer you play, the more likely it is that the house edge will be realized.
Let's say, for example's sake, that the casino above has a 35X wagering requirement. This means you have to place $400 X 35, or $14,000 in wagers before you can cash out.
If you assume that the slots at this casino have a payback percentage of 95%, then the house expects to keep 5% of that $14,000. That's $700.
Since your bankroll is only $400 to begin with, the mathematical expectation is for the house to win all your money—in spite of the free money they gave you.
On the contrary, a certain number of players will always walk away as winners with a promotion like this. We hit a $6000 jackpot on our 3rd spin once. Even after clearing all our wagering requirements, we had over $2000 in winnings we were able to cash out.
But casinos have another restriction, too, but it's not one that seems onerous to the readers of this page. Most of them only count wagers placed on slot machines toward fulfilling these wagering requirements.
That's because most other casino games have a lower house edge. And a lower house edge increases the likelihood of the player being able to get a mathematical positive expectation against the casino.
Blackjack is a good example. With the right rules and proper strategy, the house edge is only 0.5%. That means your expected losses on $14,000 in wagers is only $350. With a $400 bankroll to start, you have mathematical expectation of finishing with $50 in profit.
Casinos don't stay in business by offering players the chance to gamble with an edge.
Types of Free Slots
Almost any kind of online slot machine you can imagine is available in a free version. One notable exception is the progressive jackpot game, though. Because of how the progressive jackpot is increased using a tiny percentage of each bet to fuel it, it's impossible to offer it in a free version.
Here's a list of some of the different types of free slots you can play online, along with brief explanations of each:
- 3-Reel Slots
These are traditional slot machines with 3 spinning reels and (usually) one pay-line. The 3-reel slots often have the best payback percentage in the casino, but they can seem deadly dull when compared to some of the other games now available.
- 5-Reel Slots
These are games with 5 reels and multiple pay-lines. They can feature all kinds of bells and whistles like scatter symbols, wild symbols, and bonus games.
- Video Slots
All online slots games are video slots by default, even the 3-reel slots. This is just a phrase used to describe a slot machine that's played on a computer monitor of some kind, with animated spinning reels instead of actual mechanical reels.
- 3D Slots
These are video slots with 3D images and sound effects. Some of the most interesting games visually these days are the 3D slots.
- Story-Based Slots
These are games which feature some kind of theme and plotline. They're becoming increasingly popular over time.
Here are some of the most popular free slot machine games you can play on our site along with brief descriptions of each. Click on the link for each one to go to the page with the playable version of the game:Fruit Frenzy
Fruit has been a popular slot symbol since the early days of the industry. At one time, slot machines were illegal, and so they dispensed candy instead of money to get around the laws. This candy was fruit flavored, and so the symbols indicated which type of candy you won. Fruit Frenzy takes this theme to an interesting conclusion, featuring lots of reels and paylines. It's an RTG slot machine available at casinos like Slots.lv.Naughty or Nice?
This is another RTG game. It's a slightly risqué Christmas-themed game with 5 reels and 50 pay-lines. The symbols include Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and even some reindeer. We enjoy holiday-themed slot machines in general and Naughty or Nice in particular. It's a fun game with a fun theme, and if you like the free version, consider trying the real money version at Ignition Casino.The Big Bopper
RTG isn't known for having a lot of licensed slots. Licensing costs money, after all, and they're the lowest-cost provider of casino software on the Internet. They probably just can't afford to license anything that's too popular. The Big Bopper, of course, is a popular oldies singer most famous for the song "Chantilly Lace". It's a cute song, and it's also a cute slots game.
You can easily find multiple ways to play free slots online. You can take advantage of free spins bonuses at online casinos. You can use their play-money games to try out their software. You can even take advantage of signup bonuses that require deposits and some that don't.
What most of these free games have in common is that it's hard, if not impossible, to win any real money playing them. In the case of play-money games, it is completely impossible to win money—after all, you're not risking anything. But even with the bonus offers, the casinos have restrictions and math in place to make it hard to win any real money.
The best use of these free games online is to try the software at an online casino before you deposit money there. You might as well make sure you're going to enjoy the games before signing up.