Considering the high usage of portable devices today, it is anything but surprising that mobile casino gaming is also on the rise. Most gambling operators have adapted their products for play on the go, bringing quality casino entertainment to the touchscreens of spinners’ smartphones and tablets.
Players have a choice from the standard set of gambling options. Yet, there is one type of game that rules over all mobile casino lobbies, the notorious one-armed bandit. Mobile slots are available in spades, allowing mobile users to pick and choose from a vast number of themes, pay structures, features, and bet ranges.
Players can win life-changing jackpots on the go since many progressive slots also have been adapted for mobile play. The games work across a broad range of hand-held devices including Android-based smartphones, iPhones, and iPads. Some were even specifically designed for smartwatches so that you can carry them on your wrist wherever you go.
In this article, we examine closely the two types of apps mobile players can choose from and provide rookies with step-by-step explanations to help them get started with mobile slot play. We finish off with brief overviews of what we consider the 5 hottest slots you can play on your smartphone or tablet.
The Age of HTML5 Mobile Slots
We live in the era of instant-play gaming, with more and more casino software developers switching over to the HTML5 technology. Until recently, most mobile slots designed for in-browser play relied on the Adobe Flash plug-in but this technology is about to become a remnant of the past.
Decline of Flash Technology
In September 2019, Microsoft reminded its customers that the distribution and support for Adobe Flash is to cease as of December 31, 2020.
Many widely used browsers have already discontinued their Flash updates, starting with Mozilla Firefox, which ditched its Flash support as early as 2016.
Google Chrome and Internet Explorer announced they plan to altogether block Flash when it arrives at the end of its life in 2020.
It seems now everyone, slot developers and online casinos included, are converting to HTML5. What does this mean for mobile slot players? The short answer is an improved, more flexible, and safer in-browser spinning experience.
It is no coincidence the Flash plug-in is dying. The biggest problems with this technology result from its inefficiency and its security issues. HTML5 is faster, safer, and more robust.
Unlike Flash, it does not require the user to install a proprietary plug-in on their browser. This makes it less susceptible to attacks and security issues.
Furthermore, HTML5 is not a piece of software as such. It is a markup-based software stack that has become a standard and is even described as such by the World Wide Web Committee. Because of this, all internet browsers now support it natively without the need for any plug-ins.
Then again, HTML5 is very lightweight. Understandably, this makes it faster because it requires less processing power to handle multimedia content like slots and other casino games.
This light weight alone significantly improves the experience of mobile reel spinners for the simple reason it saves power. With less power consumption, smartphone batteries would naturally last longer.
Last, but far from least, we should not forget about compatibility. Mobile slots built in HTML5 can be accessed from all modern browsers and portable devices. You can play the games on a vast range of smartphones and tablets no matter what OS they are using.
The problem with not having an up-to-date Flash plug-in is no more. The player simply opens their mobile browser, whatever it is, logs into their favorite online casino, loads their preferred slot game, and (hopefully) starts winning.
For greater convenience, you can add the slot site’s address to your browser’s home screen so you can get quicker and easier access to your favorite games as you go.
The Downloadable App Option for Mobile Slot Players
Keep in mind in-browser play is not the only option granted to keen mobile slot players. Many of the largest online casinos develop and release native applications reel spinners can download for free to install on their devices.
Slot mavens who own devices running on iOS can search the official App Store to find their favorite casino app, if available. Things are different for those who use Android-based smartphones and tablets, though.
Only slot players from several regulated jurisdictions can download real-money gambling content straight from Google Play. If you reside in countries like France, the UK, and Italy and your slot site of choice offers a dedicated Android app, you will face no difficulties in finding it in the Play Store.
Those who are based outside the listed jurisdictions can navigate to their preferred slot sites to check whether they offer native Android applications.
If so, you can download yours directly from the gambling site. Before you can open the slot app, though, you must enable the installation of software from unknown sources, i.e. sources other than the Google Play Store.
Apps vary in size depending on their design and the gaming volume they contain but the installation and download would rarely require more than a minute.
Installing a downloadable app comes with the added benefit of easy accessibility. It spares slot players the hassles of opening their browsers and tapping in the mobile casino’s address.
You must ensure the mobile slot software is compatible with your operating system. The apps of newer slot sites are normally intended for more modern devices and do not support older OS versions of the software.
Two examples are our recommended Rizk Casino and LeoVegas whose Apple-compatible mobile apps work only on iOS 8.0 or later.
Why Players Prefer Mobile Slots
Getting Started with Mobile Slots
For the most part, playing slots on mobile in no different than playing them on your desktop computer or laptop. Yet, mobile reel-based games come with the added benefits of more flexibility and convenience.
For the uninitiated, who are just wading into the vast world of mobile slots, we have compiled a shortlist with the steps they must go through when they set out on their mobile gaming journey.
- Ensure the smartphone or tablet you own has access to a reliable wireless connection. If you are on a cellular data plan, make sure you do not surpass your data limit while spinning the reels.
- Check if you have sufficient battery power before you start. HTML5 slots may be less demanding in terms of processing power but this is not to say they cannot completely drain your smartphone’s battery. Given that you are avid enough reel spinner, you can extend your playtime if you invest in a portable smartphone power bank or charger.
- Find a mobile-friendly casino with a comprehensive catalog of slots, either in-browser or via a native application. Feel free to check BonusInsider’s list of recommended casinos. All of them are mobile-compatible and offer slot bonuses with reasonable terms and wagering requirements.
- Test the catalog in demo format to see how the games play and then proceed to sign up with an account if you intend to play for real money. Free play is not an option for UK-based spinners, who must register and undergo verification before they can open the demo version of any game. Other customers also need to verify their accounts but at a later stage, when they send their first withdrawal request.
- Top up your new slot account with real money. Do not worry about the security of your payment details. The mobile casinos recommended by BonusInsider are of good repute and ward off hacker attacks with the latest SSL encrypting technologies. Some mobile casinos even enable spinners to deposit directly via their smartphones with the help of mobile-billing payment services like Boku.
- Pick a mobile slot and tap its thumbnail in the lobby to load the game. The slots of some suppliers are intended for play in landscape mode only. If so, the software will prompt you to rotate your mobile device sideways before the game starts. Check its paytable to see how it performs in terms of special features and payouts. Everything you need to know about your mobile slot of choice is listed there.
- If satisfied with the slot’s payouts and features, tackle the gaming controls to resize your wager. Pay attention to the number of coins you bet per win line – some games allow you to cover each payline with multiple credits. The more coins you bet per payline, the higher the cost per spin. Then tap the spin button and keep your fingers crossed for a winning outcome.
- Provided that the mobile slots you play cough up big wins, you better cash the money out partially or in full. Do not forget slots return less money than the overall amounts they gulp down over the long run, which is to say you are bound to lose whatever you have won at one point or another.
Slots and Mobile Devices Are the Perfect Match
In brief, the main reasons why slots are the perfect type of game for mobile devices are:
- Simple gameplay that is easy to follow on smartphones
- Vibrant, crisp graphics and animations pop out even more on small screens due to high pixel density
- Easy adaptation on mobile that allows for frequent releases of new games with fresh themes
Earlier we spoke about how slots and smartphones make for the perfect match but why is that? There are several reasons why this type of game performs exceptionally well on mobile.
For starters, slots stand out with simple gameplay that is easy to understand and follow even on a small-screen device like your smartphone. Let’s draw a comparison with card games like poker, baccarat or blackjack.
The values of the cards are not always clearly visible, particularly on older mobile releases. The gaming control buttons are rather tiny in some games.
It is not unheard of for a mobile card player to make the wrong move, either because they have miscalculated the value of their hand or because they have accidentally tapped the wrong button. This is never a problem with mobile slots where the only decision you face is sizing your bets.
A modern slot is meant to be a feast for the eye with its life-like graphics and smart animations. The higher pixel density on smartphones’ touchscreens adds to the liveliness and vibrancy of the games, making them appear all the more immersive and realistic.
From the perspective of the game developers, slots are the easiest type of casino game to tailor to the needs of smartphone users. They are easily adaptable to the small screens of portable devices. This enables developers to easily create new games with fresh themes and capitalize on the latest trends in both the casino industry and popular culture.
Facts and Figures
We have arrived at an age when the individuals that transfer money via their smartphones outnumber those that have bank accounts in countries like Africa.
Given the rise in the use of mobile devices we have witnessed in recent years, it is understandable that mobile gambling is among the fastest-growing segments of the iGaming industry.
According to statistics, mobile play accounted for as much as 35% of all gambling activities in the year 2015 alone. This percentage has been steadily on the rise in the years that followed. Mobile transactions accounted for 70% of all online gambling-related money transfers in 2018.
Forecasts predict that this trend is to continue in the near future. A market research report published by Technavio predicted a 19% growth of the global gambling market for the period between 2017 and 2021.
Slots are among the biggest mobile revenue drivers, which is not surprising considering they are available in the hundreds and win the race for the most popular type of casino game. Moreover, mobile slots have dropped some of the biggest wins we have seen to date.
One example is the progressive slot Mega Moolah by Microgaming that awarded the biggest ever jackpot on mobile back in 2016. A lucky mobile user collected the prize of $11.6 million with a bet as small as $1.50 on her iPad device.
Our 5 Best Recommendations for Mobile Slot Players
1Berryburst by NetEnt
Berryburst by NetEnt is the sequel of the hugely popular Starburst slot, a true classic in the reel-spinning canon. This time around, the Swedish software developers have opted for luscious fruits for the top-paying symbols. Glamorously styled card suits form the low-value winning combinations.
The game can be played in both landscape and portrait mode, with players having the option to wager up to ten coins per line of denominations ranging from 0.01 to 2.00. Open the settings menu and use the sliders to size your bets. The game uses the trademark NetEnt Cluster Pays format where you collect payouts for clusters of horizontally or vertically adjacent symbols on the 5 reels.
2Jackpot Raiders by Yggdrasil
Jackpot Raiders by Yggdrasil takes mobile spinners on a quest that involves locating the hidden treasures of the legendary Sunken City. The game was released in May 2019 and uses 20 paylines on 5 reels.
You can load this slot in any mobile browser you like, including Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. This highly innovative slot comes with a fantastic pick-and-click bonus game, the option to choose your character, and five progressive jackpots. Its RTP is set at 96.30%.
3Age of the Gods Apollo Power by Playtech
Age of the Gods Apollo Power by Playtech is part of one of the largest wide-area progressive networks in the online gambling universe. What you have here is a multi-tiered jackpot that consists of four levels – Ultimate Power, Extra Power, Super Power, and Power.
But its massive winning potential is not the only drawing attraction of this new Playtech release. The slot is packed with action and special features such as the Apollo Power Respins and walking wild symbols. The game plays on 50 fixed paylines and awards its four jackpots at random.
4Vampires and Wolves by Pragmatic Play
Vampires and Wolves by Pragmatic Play is a visually stunning modern slot that combines two of the most favorite themes of software developers, animals and folklore. You can spin its 5 reels for the chances to win up to 1,000x your bet.
The vampire symbols can transform into sticky wilds, further increasing your chances of scoring a nice payout. The symbols with the howling wolf and the castle are scattered. They trigger the free spins round whenever they cover the first and the fifth reel simultaneously. You have a choice from 14 Wolf free spins or 8 Vampire free spins. The game offers medium to high volatility.
5Lil Devil by Big Time Gaming
Lil Devil by Big Time Gaming is one of the latest 6-reel releases to use the trademark Megaways format. With this pay structure, the number of symbols per reel changes each time you press the spin button.
The game lacks conventional paylines. You win when matching symbols hit from left to right on neighboring reels. The game allows for as many as 4,096 possible winning combinations. Bear in mind volatility is high here, with larger but less frequent wins.
When the Angel Wilds appear on reels 4 and 3, they boost wins on matching combinations with 4x to 12x multipliers. You have a choice from 7 Be My Angel free spins or 12 Dynamite Lover free spins.