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What is the best online slot machine to play?

Nov 14 4 min read

Top-tier online casinos offer thousands of slot machine titles to choose from. This makes choosing “the right one” challenging. With so many games to choose from, where would one start trying to pick a single best game? The following guide aims to tackle the tall task of weeding out games to avoid. While we won’t be picking an actual top slot, we will point you in the right direction to find your favorite title.

The Best Online Slots Have High RTP

When on the hunt for the best of the best online slots, you have to start with Return to Player (RTP) numbers. For those unaware, each slot machine online has its own RTP number representing a percentage between one and 100. This figure represents the win rate you can expect from each machine. An RTP of 95% means the casino pays out 95$ for every 100$ bet on that machine.

In the real world, we have to add variance, or luck, into the mix. Just because you spend 100$ on a slot does not mean you will win back 95$. You might win $100,000 or $1. While the higher RTP games pay out the most frequently, it’s no guarantee you will walk away with anything.

For the most part, online slots have a lower RTP than their counterparts at a brick-and-mortar casino. Most often, you can expect to see games in the 93% to 96% range. No reputable casino would offer a 100% RTP game because it would eliminate their profits. But 99% and higher RTP games are hidden in plain sight at many online casinos. You just have to know where to look.

Games with 99% RTP

As mentioned above, slot machines with an RTP of over 97% are few and far between. But, they do exist, and we thought it best to compile a short list of some of the best RTP games available. These games aren’t available everywhere, but they are worth a look if they are offered at the casino you frequent. 

  • Ugga Bugga (99.07%) – This title from Playtech offers the highest RTP of any reputable game on the market. The game is a bit of a hybrid between a traditional three-reel slot and a modern 10-reel slot. This is because it has 10 paylines and 10 reels that spin independently.

Players have two spins per turn, with the first using only the first set of reels while the second uses the remaining ones. Players can choose to hold any of the symbols from the first spin for the second round. In many ways, this slot is a lot like video poker. Payouts on this machine are usually low due to the frequency of winning spins. But, multiplies between 250x and 1,000x are possible.

  • Book of 99 (99%) – The name of this slot from Relax Gaming is a hint of what to expect. The slot features an RTP of 99% and offers a big reward for collecting 99 books in the base game. Doing so triggers 10 free spins. Multipliers can grow as high as 5,000x in this unsuspecting slot.
  • Ooh Aah Dracula (99%) – This slot from Barcrest lets you sink your teeth into a gothic-themed vampire experience. The basic game has a decent RTP of 96.1%, with prizes up to 250,000 credits.

But, the more you wager, the less risk you take. This is because when you max bet on Ooh Aah Dracula, the RTP shoots up to 99%. You also get additional extras to play for, including a bonus round.

Be Careful with Progressive Slots

You rarely get a chance at a life-changing win at an online casino. For those looking to cash in big, progressive slots are a popular option. They are the only slot machines that offer prizes in the millions, but there is a catch.

For the slim chance that players could hit the progressive jackpot, they have to deal with lower paybacks than fixed jackpot slots. A percentage of each wager is added to the jackpot pool on a progressive basis. It shouldn’t surprise you that that percentage comes from your cut, not the casino. So not only are progressive slots harder to win, but they cost more to play.

There is a time and place to enjoy these machines, just don’t make them your primary stop when playing online. The best time to play is when the jackpot swells above normal levels. The worst is following a progressive payout.

Branded/Flashy Slots are a Money Pit

Knowing which slots to avoid is just as valuable as knowing which games to target. If your goal is to find high RTP games, branded or flashy slots are not your friend. Branded slots are titles featuring well-known TV or movie franchises, bands, sports teams or celebrities. Famous examples include Narcos, Game of Thrones, Vikings, Gordon Ramsay, and Ozzy Ozbourne.

The problem with slots like this is the added cost to the casino. Getting eye-catching slots or big-name celebrities is not cheap, and the casino offsets those costs by lowering RTP. Every extra animation, soundtrack and star endorsement reduces that machine’s value to a serious player.

Slots the Casino Chooses for Bonus Players

Bonuses are a powerful tool for casinos to entice new players and occupy current ones. Some bonuses offer free spins or bonus funds that can only be used on a specific slot machine. While playing these slots as a bonus player is unavoidable; otherwise, they should be avoided.

The most obvious reason the casino forces you to play specific titles is they have low payout percentages compared with other games.  Most of these titles also lack any significant jackpot potential. So play these slots when forced, and ignore them when you have the chance.

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