Online Slots The Ultimate Guide

Online slots – the ultimate guide

South African gamblers love slot machines. Whether you’re at a land-based casino or an online casino ZA, you will find hundreds of these fascinating, mesmerising machines that draw you in with their fast action, flashing lights, and thrilling sound effects. And the online casino world has only made these game of chance machines even more popular with thousands and thousands of online slots now available to South African online gamblers at online and mobile casinos.

Online slots

Online slots South Africa – what’s the deal?

Online slots are the most popular virtual games in the online casino world. With their vibrant graphics, intuitive interactive gameplay, and high odds of paying out, these machines are one of the major drawcards for South African online players.

Not only has the online and mobile casino world brought an absolutely insane number of online slots to our South Africa gambling community, but it has also allowed online and mobile casino to offer ever-more rewarding online casino bonuses, welcome bonuses, and loyalty rewards linked to real cash, in-game credits, and even free spins on various online slots games.

But what is this fascination with online slots in South Africa? Is it the almost video game-like graphics? Is it the entrancing sound effects? Is it the possibility of hitting a big win? The Online Casino Review team take a deep dive into the world of online slots for South African gamblers and bring you the ultimate guide to online (and mobile) slots.

Online slots started way back

The image of banks of slot machines, their reels spinning as people pop in their coins and pull the lever, is one that any person who has seen a Las Vegas movie will know. These machines had a far simpler beginning with the first commercially available slot machine – the Liberty Bell. Interestingly, at the same time as the Liberty Bell was popping up around America, Sittman and Pitt had developed a five-drum gambling machine that was based on poker. With a 50-card deck and payouts based on poker hands, the Sittman and Pitt was the first gambling machine using a drum- or reel-based system even though it is technically a poker game and not a slot game as we understand them now.


online slots

The first real slot machine was designed and built by Charles August Fey – the “father of the slot machine” – between 1887 and 1895 and called the Liberty Bell in honour of the symbols on his three-reel machine: horseshoes, diamonds, spades, hearts, and a Liberty Bell (a famous bell in America for those South African online players who don’t know). Fey’s innovation relied on mechanical workings, wheels and cogs and levers and springs, and slot machines stayed the same for decades – until the introduction of electromechanical slots by Bally in the 1960s.

The first real video slots were released by The Fortune Company in the 1970s and they opened the doors for the simple slot to become a true entertainment machine.

But it was the rise of the Internet and digital technology that truly created the online slots world that South African online slots players know today. With the introduction of the internet to the world, and the technology and software innovations that have come with it, slots have undergone a drastic reimagining.

Instead of the classic three-reel machine with its cherries and BAR symbols we now have fully immersive video slots that tell stories. Even the way to win has changed. Where we used to see one payline we now regularly see hundreds of ways to win. Megaways have a standard 1,024 ways to win and there’s even an online slot (Megaways Holy Diver from Big Time Gaming) that has up to 586,971 ways to win!

The slot machine has come a long way since the first one was set up way back in 1895. What has stayed the same is the sense of fun and the thrill of anticipation that has made this gambling machine a winner.

online slots

Online slots – technical jargon for South African online slots players

Using a slot machine is incredibly easy – put in your money and spin the reels. But there are a lot of details, options and bonus mini games that change from online slot to online slot. There are also some words and terms that are known and understood by experienced players but could be confusing to novices. The OCR crew have broken down the most common terms to help South African online players new to the online slots world.

Slot machine

A gambling machine that creates a game of chance for players. Also known as slots.

Online slots

Digital versions of slot games that can be played at online and mobile casinos.


The spinning ‘wheels’ that feature symbols or graphics. Each slot has three or more of these reels that spin and stop to display patterns (paylines or ways to win) and determine the win.


The artwork on the reels, normally related to the theme of the slot. Many online slots have card symbols (10, J, Q, K, A) as well as the themed symbols.


Every slot has a theme. This can be as simple as ‘fruit’ for a classic one-armed bandit. Modern slots often have beautifully designed artwork that reflects the theme which can be anything from ancient history to music to movies to adventure and so much more.


A line that crosses through one symbol on each reel to evaluate the winning combination. On video slots these paylines can take various shapes (horizontal, vertical, triangular, zigzag, etc.). Some online slots have cluster pays which work as groups of symbols similar to the way that video games like Candy Crush work.

When you play multi-line slots you pay to activate each line. The maximum bet equals the maximum lines activated.

Max bet

A button that automatically bets the maximum amount and unlocks the maximum paylines across the reels.

Free online slots

At real money online casinos, free slots are usually online slots games that you can play in demo mode. You don’t need to put in real money to play, but you won’t win real money back. Great for testing online slots.

Real money online slots

These are the online slots you play seriously – real money online gambling for real money wins or losses.

Pay Table

Every slot has a table that lists the winning combinations and winning amounts the player will get.

Return to Player

Return to Player (RTP) is the payout percentage is a calculation of how much you will win on average. This is usually based on how much you are betting and changes from game to game.


Wilds are symbols that stand in for other symbols to create winning lines or give you extra winnings, combinations, or bonuses.


A symbol that adds to the money you have won or, if there are three or more, unlocks a bonus round.


Another form of Wilds that multiply your winning amounts.


The turbo button lets you speed up the game by making the reels spin and rest faster.


Auto-play or auto-bet keeps the reels spinning without you having to hit the spin button each time. You can set how many spins you want, the win/loss max and minimum amounts, and whether you want bonus features to interrupt the reels.

Mini games or bonus games

With the advances in technology has come innovations in online slots. The best of these innovations is the addition of extra levels or mini games or bonus features to the basic or base game. Unlocking these features can launch videos, or little games of skill or chance, and a lot more chances to win.


Providers are the studios and companies that design and create the online slots games. Some are huge multinational giants; others are small indie studios. Finding a great provider can help you find excellent games that you may not have tried before so keep an eye on the smaller providers – they sometimes release some truly phenomenal and innovative online slots for South Africans. Some big names include Microgaming (although they don’t allow South African online players – shame!), NetEnt, Play’n GO, Yggdrasil, Betsoft, Spinomenal, BGaming, Booming Games, IGT, BTG, Bally and many, many more.

#2 - PlayLive Casino

PlayLive new

GAMES: 1000+

  • New Loyalty Rewards Program
  • 100% deposit up to R25 000
  • South Africa’s First Live Casino
  • Same Day Pay Outs
  • 10% Weekly Cashback

#1 Ranked Online Casino Site

#1 - Yebo Casino

GAMES: 1000+

  • Fast cashouts
  • 15% cashback everyweek
  • 1000’s of online casino games
  • Lots of Casino Promotions

#3 - Jackpot Casino

Jackpot pic OCR
GAMES: 1000+
  • Brand new, innovative Online Casino
  • 100% no wagering casino
  • Happy Hour Promotions Daily
  • Same Day Pay Outs

#1 Ranked Online Casino Site

#1 - Jackpot Casino

GAMES: 1000+

  • Brand new, innovative Online Casino
  • 100% no wagering casino
  • Happy Hour Promotions Daily
  • Same Day Pay Outs

#2 - PlayLive Casino

GAMES: 1000+

  • New Loyalty Rewards Program
  • 100% deposit up to R25 000
  • South Africa’s First Live Casino
  • Same Day Pay Outs
  • 10% Weekly Cashback

#3 - PariPesa

GAMES: 1000+

  • Licensed and regulated in Curacao
  • 1000’s of daily sports bets
  • 1000’s of online casino games
  • Lots of promos


Online Slots South Africa


 Types of slots

Classic slots – online three-reel slots with one payline.

Three-reel slots – online slots with three reels and more than one payline.

Five-reel slots – online slots with five reels and multiple paylines.

Six- and seven-reel slots – online slots with six or seven reels and multiple paylines.

Cascading reels – online slots with symbols that disappear when a winning combo is hit and are replaced with new symbols for more wins.

Video slots – digital slots found in online casinos.

Free slots – slots that can be played for free (a good way to test out a game or online casino).

Penny slots – low roller slots that accept very small bets.

Progressive slots – a progressive jackpot that grows depending on how many players are playing at the same time. These can grow into massive jackpots!

Mobile slots – slots that can be played from your mobile device using a secure wi-fi connection.

Online slots – usually found in online casinos.

Best online slots games for South Africa

There are thousands of different slots games out there and trying to find the ‘best’ is simply impossible. There are different themes to appeal to different interests, different payout percentages, different paylines, different wilds and multipliers and music and and and…

In the opinion of the OCR team, the best online slot is the one (or more than one) that give you the chance to relax and enjoy yourself. Hitting a big win is always a fantastic feeling but online gambling is about entertainment not just money. And yes, gambling with real money for South Africans is always done with the hope of riches but gambling games are high risk! Our mantra is always to play for fun, expect and budget for wins and losses, and always, always, always walk away. There is always time to play another day.

Best South African online casinos for slots

There are literally thousands of online casinos and mobile casinos looking to get South African online players through their digital doors. Choosing the best online casino for South Africans who love online slots is a tough call – but the OCR team put themselves in the firing line to give you all the best and worst of the online casinos that welcome South African players.

South African legislation is slowly changing to allow more online gambling options for the players of Mzansi, and our locally based online casinos are starting to bring more and more online casino games to our screens. Local online casinos like and Gbets and Hollywoodbets are slowly bringing in better online slots, but the internationally licensed online casinos still offer far more variety.

These are the top casinos that offer a huge variety of slots games, top level security and trusted partnerships for gamers from beginner to expert.

  • Jackpot Casino
  • PlayLive Casino
  • PariPesa
  • TuskCasino
  • Yebo Casino
  • Springbok Casino
  • Thunderbolt Casino
  • Punt Casino
  • Spin247

Online Casino Seven Slots

Big cheats and big wins

Online slots are entertainment systems meant for fun. Unfortunately, many South African online gamblers think online slots are the ticket to a big paycheque. Going into the online slots world with this thinking is a big mistake. Online slots, like any other gambling game, are based on chance and random numbers. The odds are very, very, very slim that you’ll hit a life-changing win. But you will have fun trying.

Often, when players don’t get the win they’re hoping for, there is talk of cheating. While early mechanical slots could be fiddled with to affect where the reels stopped, modern online slots do not have that ability. Online and mobile slots from reputable and trusted providers all run on a Random Number Generator, a software programme that crunches literally millions of numbers a second to land on a random-as-possible number that tells the reels where to stop. Meddling with this RNG is practically impossible.

For those hoping for a big win – the dream is real. There have been some incredible wins over the years, mostly on the international progressive jackpot online slots games. The biggest win to date? US$23.6 million won by a Belgian online slots player playing Microgaming’s Absolutely Mad Mega Moolah in 2021! Interestingly, Microgaming (not available to South African online slots players – booo!) has 3 of the top 5 biggest online slot wins, all from the Mega Moolah series of games, all in the multi-millions of US dollars range.

Tips for playing online slots

  • First and most important: only play with money you can afford to lose.
  • Make a gambling budget and stick to it.
  • Walk away if it’s not your day – NEVER chase losses!
  • Research all the reviews on different online casinos to see who is offering the best online welcome bonuses and has the best games.
  • Only play at online casinos that accept South African Rands.
  • Take advantage of online casino no deposit bonuses and online casino welcome bonuses BUT make sure you read and understand the wagering requirements and Ts & Cs.
  • Check the latest payouts on your chosen game, how often it pays out and how much.
  • Use free spins and free slots, they can be a great way to test online slots games and online casinos.
  • Start with small bets and work up once you have gotten used to the game.
  • ALWAYS check the pay tables.
  • ALWAYS check the rules of play on the game.
  • Keep your eyes open for specials, promotions, and incentives from different online casinos.


Scroll to top