Instant Play Slots
Instant play slots use Adobe Flash Player or Java to run games in the web browser. Players don’t have to download casino software onto their computer in order to gamble.
In this article, I’ll discuss online slot machines players are likely to encounter. These are games which appear on multiple top-ranked sites as instant play slots. The site you’ll find these instant play slot machines on include Slots.lv, Bovada, and BetOnline.
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Let’s take a look at some reasons a gambler might prefer to use no-download slots, along with the few drawbacks. I’ll elaborate on those reasons below.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Instant Play Slots
- No casino software on your desktop.
- Allows Mac users to gamble.
- Often compatible with Linux devices.
- Privacy for computers with shared users.
- More security — no easy access to casino account.
- Graphics and sounds as good as downloaded casino games.
Drawbacks to Instant Play Slots
- Not as many games offered.
- Need for Adobe Flash Player download.
Reasons to Use Instant Slots
Anyone who shares a computer might not want online casino icons on their desktop, or stored anywhere on their hard drive. Easy-to-click icons are a security hazard for someone who doesn’t want friends, family members, and roommates playing with the money in their account. Even if you trust the people who have access to your computer, you might not want them eyeing you gaming habits every time they’re on the computer.
Instant play slots are a way to avoid incompatibility. This is especially important for gamblers who use the Apple Mac computer or Linux computers. The fact is: most casino software is designed for Microsoft Windows. When a game plays in the browser, a computer doesn’t have to be compatible with the downloadable software.
Gamblers who play in public places also have less concerns. Once the game is over, you close out and there is no ready access to your account. If you use your computer in a coffee shop, a hotel lobby, or a workplace, no-download slots are best.
Then there’s the advantage of time. You don’t have to waste time with a full download. Instead you click on the game you want, it loads in the browser, and you play instantly.
Reasons People Download Software
Not everyone prefers instant slots. Online slots in particular present a problem, because no-download gaming is usually not much of a problem for gamblers who prefer table games. All reputable online casinos are going to offer classic blackjack, baccarat, and European roulette. Games like craps and Caribbean Hold’em might or might not be offered, but the basic casino gaming experience is preserved.
Players who prefer instant play slots have more issues. A software developer’s most popular online slots are going to be offered, but the gaming market is more fractured when it comes to video slots. With hundreds of games in a catalogue, your favorite game is not always going to be offered. Finding the best place to gamble on instant slots is therefore pivotal, if you want browser-based gaming that you enjoy.
Progressive Instant Play Slots
One other reason players might prefer the fully downloaded casino is the preference for accumulated or progressive jackpots. This isn’t always a problem for UK, Canadian, or Australian players, because they have so many casino options. For American players, it can be an issue, and they might even have to check the legality of online casinos in each state.
In the write-ups below, I’ll point out the few progressive slot machines which are available for download. As often, I’ll discuss missed opportunities for no-download progressive slots. The information below is based around the three most popular online slots software for US players. Once you finish reading, you’ll know what your options are.
RTG Instant Play Slots
RealTime Gaming has converted over two dozen of its Real-Series Slots for instant play. I wanted to discuss several of the best options among those slots, to point out factoids you might not otherwise know. The games offered are sometimes similar to a more famous game from RTG, as you’ll see.
5-reel, 30-payline slot which includes three bonus games, up to 25 free spins, and a progressive jackpot. This game should not be confused with Aztec’s Millions, which has the same logo and a much bigger jackpot.
5-reel, 20-payline slot with a variety of multipliers and free spins. Caesar’s Empire Slots offers the RTP progressive, meaning it offers a local and random progressive, but not the wide-area progressives some players want.
Cleopatra’s Gold is a 5-reel, 20-payline slot machine with a random progressive, 15 free spins, and wild symbol. Keep in mind this is not Jackpot Cleopatra’s Gold, which has a much bigger progressive jackpot. Cleopatra’s Gold has been used for slots tournaments from time to time.
I include Fruit Frenzy to point out that RTG has games that look a little more like fruit machines, for people who prefer those game aesthetics. This is actually a 5-reel game, but it’s a 5×3 grid, so it has a quaint feel to it. Fruit Frenzy has a small progressive jackpot which reaches into the thousands of dollars.
Ronin Slots looks basic at first glance, but it offers a number of multipliers and a full range of features. The list includes Wild Symbols, Ronin Scatter Symbols, Free Spins, Re-Spins, and the Wild Koku feature.
RealTime Gaming slots are available at top American-friendly sites like Slots.lv and Bovada. Those are several of the best games highlighted. The full list of RTG slots which have been converted to instant player includes Crystal Waters, Derby Dollars, Red Sands, Dirty Martini, Dragon’s Slot, Lion’s Lair, Diamond Dozen, Mister Money, Rain Dance, Tiger Treasures, and Goldbeard Slots.
Betsoft Instant Play Slots
Betsoft has arguably the best selection of instant play slots. The reason is because they offer some of their best progressive jackpots via the no-download process: Greedy Goblin’s and Good Girl Bad Girl. Each has jackpots ranging into the hundreds of thousands, if you know where to look at them. Luckily, OUSC is about to provide you with that information.
Greedy Goblins is a sequel to Once Upon a Time Slots, but it’s much more popular. It is designed on the Slots3 platform, meaning it has interactive bonus games. Most importantly, Greedy Goblins has three big progressive jackpots right now at Bovada: the 2-cent, the 10-cent, and the one dollar versions of those machines. Keep in mind those jackpots are only found at Bovada.
Good Girl Bad Girl
Good Girl Bad Girl Slots is a game which allows the player to choose between two game modes: the Good Girl version and the Bad Girl version. This is one of Betsoft’s patented “Money Wheel” games, which increases the prize potential. It also features some of Betsoft’s best 3D animated artwork. Playing the Good Girl means it’s a 15-payline game, while playing the Bad Girl means it’s a 30-payline game. This is one time you definitely want to choose the Bad Girl, because the progressive jackpot for her game is 10 times larger. Play Bad Girl Slots at Bovada and the jackpot sits at several hundred thousand dollars at the moment.
Genie’s Fortune seems to have everything a slots player would want: scatter symbols, 20 free spins, and a bonus round. It also has 3 bonus games and a max bet of $50 a spin. Genie’s Fortune has been used as a promotional tool in special contests on sites in the past.
Mr Vegas Slots was a breakthrough game for Betsoft, alongside Safari Sam and SlotFather. The three games debuted the popular Slots3 or Slots-cubed platform. While it has no wilds, scatters, or multipliers, Mr Vegas has a lot of free spins and bonus games. It also has a max bet of $150, so high rollers should be pleased.
The True Sheriff
The True Sheriff is an animated game based on Old West tropes. It offers wild symbols, a bonus game, the kind of multipliers players like to see, and a gamble feature. The True Sheriff is a Slots3 game from Betsoft, which appears on their mobile ToGo platform in the mobile casino.
Betsoft instant play slots are found at a number of different websites, including Bovada, Slots.lv, and BetOnline. Once again, this is just a sampling of the Betsoft games which open in your browser. The full list is much larger and includes After Night Falls Slot, Boomanji, Pinocchio, Safari Sam, Under the Bed, At the Copa, Event Horizon, Gypsy Rose, Rook’s Revenge, Under the Sea, and Slotfather.
Rival Gaming’s No-Download Slots
Rival Gaming is a popular choice of many US-facing online websites. Rival Gaming does not have as many progressive jackpots as RTG. Rival’s graphics are not quite as advanced as Betsoft’s 3D animated slots.
Where Rival Gaming stakes its claim is the sheer number of in-game features, such as wild symbols, scatter symbols, free spins, bonus games, and multipliers. These keep Rival Gaming slots fun and action-packed. In a way, Rival’s slot machine transfer well to instant play, because they rely less on animations and progressive jackpots.
Scary Rich 3
Scary Rich 3 is the third installment in a popular series of haunted house slot machines. It has Werewolf Wilds and Multiplier Power, but the real draw of this game is the massive number of free spins. Hit the right combination and you’ll trigger 666 free spins.
Diamonds & Cherries
Diamonds & Cherries is a brand new game from Rival Gaming, but it is also a throwback game. Diamonds and Cherries is a 3-reel classic slot machine if ever there was one. While it doesn’t offer a lot of features, what it does offer is a nice RTP and lots of action (winning spins).
Red, White, & Bleu
Red White & Bleu Slots from Rival Gaming is similar, though it’s an older game and one found on a lot of online casinos. I wanted to list this game to point out it is not the popular IGT game, Red White & Bleu Slots. Rival Gaming wanted this to mimic that game, so anyone who liked the International Game Technology game should like this one.
Sevens and Bars
Once again, this is a 3-reel classic which uses Lucky 7s, diamonds, and bars as its main reel symbols. The jackpots are fixed, but they offer a solid return with small bets. Sevens & Bars can be played as penny slots game, in fact.
Arabian Nights offers wild symbols, scatter symbols, and free games. It is a 5-reel, 50-payline game. Arabian Tales offers 3x multiplier and a whopping 50 free spins.
Rival Gaming software is used at Ignition Casino and Slots.lv. That’s just a small sampling of the no-download games offered by Rival Gaming. The larger list of such games includes 5-reel slots like Cleopatra’s Coins, Golden Gorilla, Jolly Roger’s Jackpot, Lion’s Roar, Ocean Treasure, Whale O’ Winnings, Dog Pound Dollars, Hobo’s Hoard, Leonardo’s Loot, Silver Unicorn, and Vintage Vegas Slots.
Rival Gaming has converted over a dozen of its best 3-reel spinners for instant play, too. The list of Rival Gaming instant player 3-reels includes Chicken Little, Big Cash Win, Eggstravaganza, Firestorm 7, Gold Rush Slot, Milk the Cash Cow, Show Wonder, Bust a Reel, Crazy Camel Cash, Flea Market, and Golden Cup Soccer.
Instant Play Slots FAQ
Instant slots players are likely to have a few questions. In the frequently asked questions section below, I cover some of the common concerns and questions beginners have. This is written in a Q&A format, to make it easier to find the answers important to you.
What is the difference in a download and a Flash-based game?
There is no difference, except in the way the game is accessed. With a download, as soon as new games are added to the online casino software package, it appears in your casino lobby and is available to play. With instant play, the game is accessed directly on the casino’s site.
How do I install Flash on my computer?
Flash is owned and supported by Adobe Systems (since it bought Macromedia), so downloading and installing Flash is free and fast. Many computers come with the Flash plug-in installed on them and they update automatically. If not, you can download the Flash software on the official Adobe Flash page. This takes a couple of minutes to download and another couple of minutes to install. Once done, you’ll need to close out your browser and re-open it. Your Flash Player should work.Flash Player causes a lot of computer crashes and has security issues for some computer users, so Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have stopped running the plug-in as a standard procedure. Anyone using the browsers (or others) can turn on the Adobe Flash Player plug-in through your browser’s settings page. Adobe has announced it won’t support Flash much longer. HTML5 is the future of instant play gaming, but the future hasn’t arrived just yet.
How do I install Java software on my computer?
The Java applications you need are owned and supported by Oracle (since it bought Sun Microsystems), so downloading is simple and free. Not as many online casinos use Java for its instant play games, but it is an option for operators who don’t want to use Flash. Oracle has said it does not plan to support Java applications much longer, so expect Java games to eventually give way to HTML5 slots in the future.
What is HTML5?
HTML5 is another coding language. It is newer than Flash and Java, which developers designed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. HTML5 therefore has better graphics, playability, and security. Designers rave about the things they can do with the newer programmer’s language. Videos and animations using HTML5 don’t crash as often. Players are likely to prefer HTML5 gaming, once it becomes the industry standard.
That day is coming soon. Already, industry drivers like YouTube and Skype are partial to HTML5. In one year’s time, the percentage of YouTube videos using flash went from nearly 25% to less than 5%. Those videos were replaced by WebM videos, which is based on HTML5. Eventually, WebM or some other video format is likely to take over the instant play slots industry, because the language is based by the Worldwide Web Consortium, the most influential organization on the Internet.
Is the RNG on a no-download slot machine less advanced?
No. Random number generators for electronic slot machines have been around since the mid-to-late 1970s. RNGs are nearly 40 years old, so it’s an old technology. The software easily accommodates a full and true random number generator.
What is a bonus feature?
A bonus feature is simply a bonus game mode which takes you away from the classic reel game. Bonus games are triggered when scatter symbols appear on the screen. If enough appear, the bonus mode begins. This can be free spins, an interactive bonus game with coins, a spin on a bonus wheel, or some other game mechanic.
Can I play with a Linux computer?
Linux computers use the Linux operating system, instead of Windows OS or Apple Mac OS. Most instant play slots should work with Linux computers. Obviously, there is emulation software for Linux computers, which makes the computer behave like a Microsoft computer. This helps with the casino download process. Most Linux computer users have no use for a Microsoft computer, but since the option exists, I thought I would mention it.
Which games have the best odds?
As a general rule, games with fixed jackpots have better odds than progressive jackpot games. Games with a lower payout have better odds than games with a high payout. There’s a trade-off. That’s why you see the old-timers playing the 3-reel, fixed jackpot games on slots row in a brick-and-mortar casino.
Which games have the biggest jackpots?
Instant play progressive slots have the biggest jackpots. For American players, the biggest jackpots at the moment are Aztec’s Millions from RTG ($1,852,687), Jackpot Piñatas from RTG ($1,770,446), Monster Millions from NuWorks ($1,018,869), and MegaSaur from RTG ($986,693). Monster Madness from TopGame Technology ($2,737,285), Bingo Slot from TopGame ($2,341,577), and Stars and Stripes from TopGame ($1,210,004) also have big jackpots. The first two of those games have bigger jackpots, technically, but TopGame Technology doesn’t have a sterling reputation, so they aren’t as trusted. In fact, the company has changed its name to Pragmatic Play, perhaps because of a stigma. I’d trust the RTG progressives more.
Three versions of Greedy Goblins Slots found at Bovada also have nice jackpots: Greedy Goblins 10-cent ($580,311), Greedy Goblins 2-cent ($541,706), and Greedy Goblins $1 ($452,467). It might seem odd that the more expensive $1 Greedy Goblins has a smaller jackpot than the $0.02 Greedy Goblins, but the jackpot has grown higher on the game with the lower buy-in.
If you are outside the United States, then the Microgaming websites which offer instant play gaming have the biggest jackpots. You’ll find hundreds of Microgaming casinos on the Internet.
If slots are random, why is it people discuss the payback percentage and house edge?
The question is based on a misunderstanding of how probability works. Slots are not programmed to pay out a certain amount of money. Each spin is a gamble. But the odds can be weighted (according to the frequency of reel combinations and the amount of money paid for each combination) to have an expected return or return-to-player of a certain amount. Results are not assured of matching the theoretical edge, but the more spins happen, the more likely the results are going to be similar to the theoretical edge.
If you wager a hundred times, there is likely to be a much different result than the theoretical payout. If you wager a thousand times, the chances are better the results will match the theoretical edge. If you wager ten-thousand times, the chances the results and the house edge match are even better. And so on it goes. That’s why casinos offer comps, rewards, and other incentives to keep playing. They know, the longer you play, the better their chances of winning.
Is there a known system for beating the slots?
No, there isn’t. Random number generators determine results based on programmed odds. Better put, each reel combination has a set probability of happening. Each spin, all the probabilities are mixed up and a result is spit out. Each of these spins is 100% separate from every other spin on the game. No pattern exists. Whatever pattern you think you see is a figment of your imagination. No magical system for breaking the code exists.
Should I use the Gamble Feature?
The Gamble Feature is the ability to make a 50/50 bet after the results of winning spins. Let’s say you win $100 on a spin and have a Gamble Feature. You’ll be asked whether you want to go for $200, at the risk of winning $0. It’s a double-or-nothing bet — nothing more. It doesn’t affect the odds of the game, because it’s a straight fifty-fifty proposition.