How to play Slots

Playing and winning top online slots

Looking to give slots a spin? Learn all you need to know about playing and winning slots today including top games to try today

What are Slots?


Slots have been around for over 100 years with the first iterations being 3-reel mechanical games found in bars and saloons. Originally, slots contained a singular payline with the goal to fill the 3 single-spaced reels with the same symbol to win. As their popularity grew, so did the tech, with the first video slot hitting the scene in the 1970s including up to 5 active reels with up to 5 symbols on each reel. Video slots also added a number of changes including colourful graphics, multiple available paylines, and exciting characters that gave each slot their own distinct personality. These quickly grew in popularity and became a permanent fixture in a number of land casinos and other entertainment venues.

Flash-forward to today and there are thousands of slot games covering a wide variety of themes, mechanics, and features. Nowadays, slots contain 5 reels and have a number of available paylines to create wins across. Slot gaming has further evolved in recent times with the creation of slot variations that heat up the experience with over 100,000+ potential paylines, exciting jackpot prizes, and entirely new styles of play meaning there are tons of different ways to play online slots.


A payline is exactly what it sounds like; a line of which a win is triggered. Most slots contain a number of paylines that, if a minimum number of symbols is lined up along them, will trigger a win. The number of available paylines on a slot can be viewed in the paytable in the options menu for each slot. Paylines usually start from the leftmost reel with each matching symbol increasing the expected payout. In most slots, the best payline win is calculated for winnings but others allow for multiple payline wins to be calculated at once with the combined value of the wins being the overall results.

Some slots and slot variants mix up paylines in a number of ways. Megaways slots contain thousands of potential paylines with the maximum number of paylines being determined randomly on each spin. Slots with cluster pays mechanics have no fixed paylines and instead utilise a cluster system where symbols matched in any order together trigger a win.


RTP (Return To Player)

Every playable slot available today includes a calculated percentage called RTP. RTP stands for Return To Player and determines the expected average bet return to player over a long periods of time. It is calculated over millions of spins with each slot being assigned a percentage based on the average return.

For example:

  • A player bets £100 total= 100%
  • The slot played has an RTP of 96%
  • The average return to player is £9.60

The higher the RTP, the more a player is expected to make back on their initial stakes. While RTP is carefully calculated, it is still an average and is not a guarantee of how slots will pay out. Check out RTP Explained to find out all the info you need on how RTP works.


How to play Slots

Looking to give slots a spin? Here is a quick and easy step by step guide to get you started on your journey:

  1. Sign up to MrQ and choose from over 900+ exciting slot games
  2. Adjust your bet level in the bet menu either at the bottom or the side of the reels
  3. When ready, press the spin button and the reels will spin
  4. Once the reels stop, the visible symbols are recorded and any matches are highlighted
  5. Match 3 or more paytable symbols along any of the available paylines starting on the leftmost reel to trigger a win and bag a real cash prize
  6. Most slots contain a Wild symbol that will substitute for any paytable symbol in a winning combination
  7. Scatter symbols are also one to keep an eye on as 3 or more activates free spins or bonus features

How to win Slots

The simplest way to win at slots is to match a minimum number of symbols along the available number of paylines. Dependent on the slot, the standard number of symbols to match is 3 but some slots can trigger high-symbol wins for as little as 2 matching symbols. You will know when a win is triggered because an animation will play to show you the matched win as well as the payout calculated. Check the paytable for more info on what the top symbols are for a given slot as well as the symbol payouts for each match.

To help you on your journey are a variety of bonus features and free spins modes. Depending on the slot, you can add special modifiers, features, and mini-games that will either award you free spins or trigger a feature on the reels to help you make those juicy symbol wins. The most standard one is a free spins mode that is activated for discovering 3 or more Scatter symbols and awards a number of free spins. Check out a game’s options to see what bonus features they offer to heat up the action.

Slot Variants

As well as standard slots, there are also a plethora of exciting slot variations that add new mechanics and features to heat up the action. Here are some of our favourites:

Slot TypeWhat is it?Top games to try
MegawaysAdd some excitement to your slots with up to 7 symbols per reel on a total of 6 reels. Megaways slots heat up the action with up to hundreds of thousands of potential paylines activatable on any spin with 2-7 symbols active on each reel.Rick and Morty Megaways, Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways, Eye of Horus Megaways, The Dog House Megaways
Cluster PaysCluster Pays ditches the traditional paylines to let you create bundles of winning symbols. Have a minimum number of symbols next to each other in any way to trigger a win and cause a cascade with new symbols replacing old ones. Create consecutive wins and unlock exciting bonus features.Sugar Rush, Aloha! Cluster Pays, Reactoonz, Jammin’ Jars
SlingoThe ultimate fusion of slots and bingo comes together for a journey like no other. Create Slingos by matching numbers on the reels and climb the ladder of prizes up to the mouth-watering full house prizeSlingo Starburst, Slingo Centurion, Slingo Super Spin, Slingo Shark Week
Jackpot SlotsSpice up the excitement of slots with a variety of jackpot prizes up for grabs. Some jackpots can trigger on any spin and award a juicy prize or can activate a dedicated bonus feature to give you the chance to bag awesome jackpot prizes.Ted Jackpot King, Big Buffalo Badlands Must Win Jackpot, Reel King Mega Daily Drop Jackpot, Fluffy Favourites Jackpot


Top Tips for Slots

  • Shop around- There are over 900+ games available with more being added on a regular basis to enjoy. Shop around and try out different themes, mechanics, and slot variants to get an idea of what you like.
  • Find your type- Like a high volatility slot? Do Cluster Pay slots feel the most fun? Find the type of slot that click the most for you and explore what games are in that specific category.
  • Check a game’s RTP- RTP is important if you are looking to maximise your time on slots. Have a look at a game’s paytable in the options menu for more information.
  • Find your favourite- Whether you are looking for classic slots with no frills or a game bursting with bonus features; find what feels right for you and establish some go-to games you enjoy.
  • Set your limits- Keep it fun and set limits for yourself so you are always comfortable with what you are spending. If you need some help with setting limits including deposit limits, time limits, and break periods then check out our extensive range of safer gambling tools to give you a helping hand.


Book of Dead- Join adventurer Rich Wilde in his tomb-hunting quest for the Book of Dead. This isn’t just any ordinary book as the Book of Dead is both a Wild that substitutes for any paytable symbols and a Scatter that activates free spins. During the free spins mode, a paytable symbol is selected as the Expanding Symbol that will cover the reels when in a winning combination to maximise your bounty.

Starburst- Blast off on an intergalactic adventure bursting with dazzling gems. Create line wins either left or right and bag up to 600x your total bet. Discover the Starburst Wild symbol that fills the reels and triggers a free respin. Fill all of the middle reels with Starburst Wilds for the ultimate Starburst extravaganza.

Fishin’ Frenzy- Grab your fishing hat for a day on the water with plenty of juicy fish biting. Activate the Gamble feature on any win and guess the suit for the chance to double your winnings on any winning spin. You’ll need a helping hand catching all these fish as during the free spins mode, the Fisherman Wild collects all Fish symbol values and awards their total value as an instant cash prize.

9 Masks of Fire- Scour through ancient temples in search of the fabled Masks of Fire. Discover the Scatter symbols and spin on the free spins wheel to grab up to 30 free spins. Win instant cash prizes when you discover 3 or more masks up to a whopping 2,000x your total bet for discovering all 9 on the playboard.


How do I win at slots?

Most slots trigger a win when there are 3 or more of the same symbol matched along any of the potential paylines starting from the leftmost reel. Some slots also contain bonus features to help create wins including free spins, respins, and other features.

What slots have the highest RTPs?

The Slots with some of the highest RTPs on MrQ are 1429 Uncharted Seas (98.50%), Money Cart (98%) and Money Cart 2 (98%).

What slots have the highest payouts?

The slots with the highest max payouts are Majestic Gold Megaways, Rick and Morty Megaways, and Razor Shark with a max payout of 50,000x your total bet.

Can you tell if a slot machine is going to trigger a win?

Slots work on a system of RNG meaning that the results of each spin are seemingly random and there is no real way to determine when a slot will win. Low Volatility slots trigger wins more often than high volatility slots but RNG is still the main factor in determining when a win will activate.

Can I play slot games on mobile?

You can play all of the top slots including popular Megaways, Cluster Pays, or Jackpot slots, on all of your favourite mobile devices. Sign up to MrQ today and play over 900 real money mobile slots and casino games.

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