The Best Sites to Play Slots Online in South Africa
If you’ve ever paid attention to online casinos that are available for South Africa players, then you’ve probably noticed that the vast majority of games available at such sites are online slot machines, or ‘slots’ as they are known as for short. They are extremely popular as they are very easy to play, and you always have the chance of winning big if you are lucky enough!
If you are new to online casinos though, you might wonder what slots are all about. They may look like real-world slot machines and they do follow the same principles, but they are a tiny bit different. They certainly have more features than real-world slots.
This article will aim to educate you about the world of online slot machines, while revealing to you which we think are the best sites to play slots online in South Africa.
Slot machines … a little bit of history
Slot machines have been around for well over one hundred years. The first slot machines had five reels filled with playing card symbols and the object of the game was to land a decent poker hand once the reels had stopped spinning.
Eventually, someone decided to reduce the number of reels down to three and have different symbols. They also added an automatic pay out system.
All this occurred in the United States, but eventually slots spread around the world. Many slots kept the ‘poker’ idea and indeed in Australia and New Zealand slots are known as ‘poker machines’ or ‘pokies’ for short.
The next evolution of slots occurred in the 1970s when games were created that replaced the mechanics of the reels with video screens and computer chips. These were called ‘video slots’ and became all the rage in Las Vegas. Because they were computer controlled, the programmers could add all kinds of extra features such as wild symbols, scatter symbols and bonus games. The modern online slot machine is basically a software-rendition of the kind of video slots that are still found in Las Vegas to this day.
Slot machines in South Africa
Did you know that playing slot machines is the second-most popular form of gambling in South Africa, behind playing the National Lottery (which, basically, everybody does)? Slot machines can be found everywhere, and nearly everybody has taken a slot machine for a spin at least once in their lifetimes!
It hasn’t always been that way, though. In the late 1970s slot machines found in casinos were there illegally, as at the time all forms of gambling in South Africa were banned. This changed in 1996 when licensed casinos were legalised. Now all slot machines in South Africa are completely legal to use.
Online slots machines … your quick and handy guide …
When you encounter an online slot machine for the first time, you may think that it looks too complicated to play. Real world slot machines tend to have three reels and a single pay line, whereas online slots usually have five reels, multiple pay lines and extra features such as wilds symbols, scatters and bonus games.
Once you get accustomed to them, online slots are not that complicated. Here is your complete, quick, guide to online slot machines.
Reels and pay lines
The vast majority of online slots have the same configuration – five reels with three symbols from each being shown on the playing screen. Some slots have different configurations, but most are designed in this way.
With a traditional slot, there’s only one pay line and that’s straight across the middle. With online slots there are usually multiple pay lines that come in all sorts of patterns, some of them quite bizarre.
You don’t really need to memorise all the pay lines when playing a slot as the game will automatically pay out when you secure a win. The rule when it comes to pay lines though is the more pay lines an online slot has, the better!
Wild symbols are just symbols that substitute for other symbols in the same way that jokers are used to substitute for playing cards. If you land a line of winning symbols, but one is missing, but the place of that missing symbol is taken by a wild symbol, then you are still a winner!
In addition, if you land winning lines completely made up of wild symbols you are usually in for a big win!
Scatters are special symbols that do not obey the ‘pay line’ rule! They can appear anywhere on the final playing screen after a spin in order to be winners.
You usually need to land at least three scatters in order to win, and the more scatters that appear, the bigger your prize. Scatters are commonly used to trigger bonus games too.
A bonus game is a special feature of an online slot. Once you trigger a bonus game the reels will disappear to be replaced by something else entirely. Some bonus games are played using luck, but a few require a bit of skill.
The most attractive aspect of a bonus game is that the prizes involved are usually much bigger than you’d normally win via spinning the reels.
This is a popular feature that many slots use. When the reels land and you have a winning combination on an active pay line, the winning symbols disappear. The other symbols then cascade down to replace them, and new symbols appear at the top of the reels to fill in the gaps.
Once the cascading finishes, there is always the chance of triggering new wins. If this does happen, then the cascading happens all over again, and so. Most games though have a limit to how many ‘cascades’ are possible before the features ends.
You may have heard of people who have been lucky enough to win a vast, life-changing fortune by playing an online slot. You may have asked the question how they managed to do this. The answer is that they got lucky when playing a slot with a progressive jackpot.
Progressive jackpot slots are different to ‘normal’ slots in that a tiny percentage of every fee paid into the slot by EVERY player playing it across EVERY online casino that offers the slot as a game is held back and added to a central jackpot.
This jackpot builds and builds until it is finally won, and as it is only won by landing a very specific, rare set of circumstances, progressive jackpots can rollover and rollover for weeks, or even months!
If there’s one thing that’s a certainty in the land of online slots, it’s that to give yourself the best chance of winning a huge amount of money using a slot, you need to play a slot with a progressive jackpot!
Which software companies make the best slots?
Online casinos do not, typically, make their own online slots. There are around one hundred software companies that online casinos use to source the slots that appear at their site. Some companies produce superb slots, while others produce games that are best avoided. Here is a quick run-down of some of the best online slots software vendors.
NetEnt have been regarded as the number one provider of online slots for some many years. These tech-tastic Swedes are responsible for two absolutely stellar software classics, Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest. NetEnt’s slots are renowned for their fantastic graphics, superb gameplay and inventive features.
You cannot go anywhere in the online gaming realm hoping to escape the name of Microgaming. They opened the first-ever online casino in 1994 but quickly moved on to making their own casino games and supplying them to other sites instead. This is something they have now been doing successfully for a quarter of a century.
Microgaming have made so many games during their time in business that it’s hard to pick out which is their best game. Most people go for the gothic Immortal Romance, for its looks, playability and superb bonuses.
RealTime Gaming (or RTG for short) may not be regarded by many as the best online software company in the world, but they are the name that casino players in South Africa will be most familiar with. That’s because they are the company whose titles are most commonly used by online casinos that accept people in South African as players.
RTG began life in Atlanta, USA in 1998, but moved to Costa Rica around a decade later. Two of the most popular games developed by RTG are Jackpot Piñatas and Aztec’s Millions, both of which have progressive jackpots.
So … which are the best sites to play slots online in South Africa?
You can’t just play an online slot on its own as such slots are hosted by online casinos, and you need to sign up with an online casino in order to play. Here are some of the best sites on the internet that accept players in South Africa.
Punt Casino is one of the best online casinos that accepts players from South Africa. Play here and you’ll find an excellent selection of online slots for both desktop and mobile play.
Like many casinos that are happy to see customers from South Africa, the Punt Casino sources all its software from RealTime Gaming. Among the popular titles here are Asgard, Eternal Love (the RTG version of Microgaming’s popular Immortal Romance), Bubble Bubble 2 and Samba Sunset.
This casino is a very long-standing casino that has been around since 2008. It is an international casino in that it accepts online casino players from all over the world, and that includes South Africa and many other African countries.
For players in South Africa, they will find that all the slot games have been provided by Playtech, another long-standing online casino game maker. Playtech can just about rival anyone in terms of longevity.
Among the list of the greatest Playtech games you will find Desert Treasure, Cinerama, The Matrix (based on the film of the same name) and Green Lantern.
Casino Las Vegas
Don’t be fooled by the name! Casino Las Vegas is actually based in the tiny land of Gibraltar and has licensing from the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. Despite this European location, Casino Las Vegas is happy to accept players from South Africa.
This site is, like Casino.com, one that only used Playtech software. There are plenty of superb games here though, including Gladiator Jackpot, Big $hots and Age of Gods: Medusa & Monsters. Don’t forget to check out those games that have massive progressive jackpots, as there are plenty here!
JackMillion is a very colourful-looking online casino with countless benefits including a decent welcome bonus and other perks. It also has the added benefit of having no qualms at all about accepting South African players.
This is another site that, because of licensing issues, only has a limited number of slots but that shouldn’t put you off. All the software here comes from RealTime Gaming, allowing you access to very good slots such as Cai Hong, Cash Bandits and Kung Fu Rooster.
… and others
Some other online casinos you might like to consider when you are hunting for the best online slots for South African players include Springbok Casino, Yebo Casino, Europa Casino, Mr Play, Yeti Casino and Thunderbolt Casino.
… and in conclusion
Playing slots is a lot of fun. Unlike blackjack or roulette, there are hundreds of games to play, and each has its own individual features and aspects. You could play a different slot each and every day of the year, without danger of ever getting bored.
Remember to always play responsibly though. You should never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose, and you should never attempt to chase your losses. If you feel need help with your gambling issues, contact your online casino who will be able to point you in the right direction to get you the help that you need.
The very best of luck!