The Best Online Slots in South Africa in 2024 - A Player's Guide

When you hear about online casinos, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably a video slot machine. Online slots are everywhere, and there are many of them - thousands upon thousands, waiting for you to play them. What makes them so attractive to South African players? It must be the endless variety, the casual, relaxing gameplay, the simple rules - and maybe the fact that they give players the chance to win big. Let's explore the best online slots in South Africa in 2024 and see how you can have fun and maybe even win at the same time!

The Best South African Casinos for Slots Fans

If you are looking for the best South African online casino to play online slots, you need to keep some things in mind, like the bonuses, the game variety, and the payment methods. And when it comes to choosing the best online slot machines for you, read on to find out everything you need to know.

Find your Favourite Online Slots

The first thing you need to keep in mind about online slots is that there are a lot of them. Like, an awful lot. There are hundreds of slot machine developer studios out there, from small players like Neko Games to giants like Playtech and Games Global (Microgaming). And when it comes to the number of slot machines, we stopped counting when we passed 10,000 individual titles - there are probably many more. Finding the games you enjoy playing the most in such a big pile of titles is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Our guide to online slot machines, just like a magnet, will help you find your favourite slot machine.

Online Slots Providers

There are dozens upon dozens of casino software developers active today. But not all of them are created equal. The best ones offer a perfect combination of the best themes, the best bonus games and features, and the best benefits like prize drops and progressive jackpots.

Some casino software developers have a long history. Some of the oldest ones are Microgaming / Games Global, Realtime Gaming, and Playtech, both of them around since the 1990s. Other top game providers have emerged in the 2000s, including Play'n GO, NetEnt, and Pragmatic Play. And there are those who have only emerged in recent years but keep treating us with exciting and high-quality slot machines, like Yggdrasil Gaming, Synot Games or Skywind Group.

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Slot Machine Themes

As we said, slot machines are incredibly diverse. If there's a theme or topic that you can think of, there's probably already a slot machine inspired by it. Some of them are more popular than others and therefore used more often by game developers.

Classic Slot Machines

The original slot machine built in the late 19th century by Charles Fey had just three reels and five symbols: clubs, hearts, diamonds, spades, and the Liberty Bell. Later, in a strange turn of things, slot machines were used as candy vending machines - this was the time when they got their fruit symbols like melons and cherries. Plus, let's not forget the symbols of luck and fortune from the reels, like gold bars, nuggets, lucky 7s, and their likes.

This is how classic slot machines, also known as fruit machines were born. Even today, many of the games you can play at South African online casinos have symbols that pay homage to the classic Vegas slots: fruit, bells, BARs, 7s, and their like. Here are some popular online slots with a classic fruit machine theme:

Ancient Treasures

Our history is filled with tales of treasures hidden by long-gone civilizations and by treasure hunters looking for the fame and fortune they represent. Come to think of it, these treasure hunters are a lot like slots players who hope to strike it rich and have fun along the way. This is why the games inspired by ancient civilizations and their hidden treasures are so popular among developers and players alike.

All online casinos have at least a handful of online slots inspired by Ancient Egypt, and many of them also list games depicting the quest for El Dorado and other mythical places in the Amazonian jungle. These are the most popular online slot machines with an "ancient treasure" theme:

Myths and Gods

The legends of ancient times have inspired countless stories, movies, and TV shows - and, of course, slot machines. We have games inspired by everything from fairies to leprechauns, from wise dragons to the gods and the heroes of the past. The gods of Egypt and Greece are prominently featured in slot machines. And so is the Irish leprechaun and the myth of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Some of the most popular games inspired by ancient myths and gods feature the gods of Asgard, especially Thor. The character's popularity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be a reason for this. Pretty much every game developer has games inspired by these characters:

Sweets

Surprising as it may sound, sweets are among the most popular online slot themes these days. These delicious treats fill the reels of some of the most beloved slot machines. A trend that was started by Pragmatic Play's Sweet Bonanza is now followed by an ever-increasing number of slot providers.

Sweet Bonanza

Delicious treats, from jawbreakers to gummy bears, are filling the reels of fun and profitable slot machines:

Movies and TV Shows

From ancient myths and heroes, let's jump straight to our times. Our modern legends and tales - the movies and TV shows of our time - serve as a popular source of inspiration for slot machine developers. Things are a bit more complicated here because there is intellectual property and copyright involved, this is probably why there are much fewer games of this type available. But this makes them even more fun.

Movies, TV series, and even reality shows serve as inspiration for some of the best online slots for South Africans. Some of our favourites are inspired by great successes:

Other Slot Machine Themes

We can safely say that there is a slot machine for everything you can think of. Among the most popular online slot themes we find:

And the list could go on and on.

Understanding RTP, Volatility, and Variance

Not all online slots are created equal. Aside from the obvious differences in the provider, and the theme, there are other things you need to keep in mind when looking for the perfect slot machine for you: RTP, Volatility, and Variance. These metrics can tell you volumes about what to expect from a certain game.

RTP or Return to Player

A game's return to player or RTP expresses how much it has paid out over its lifetime (or how much it is expected to, in the case of new games) compared to how much players spend on it. The industry average RTP is around 95%, which means that for every R100 spent on it, the game has paid out R95. But this doesn't mean that if you play R100 on a slot you'll be left with R95 at the end of the gaming session - this metric is only relevant for a truly large number of spins, in the hundreds of thousands or millions.

Volatility and Variance

Volatility and variance in slot machines are sometimes used interchangeably, and they have a similar meaning - but they don't mean exactly the same thing.

A low-volatility slot machine pays out quite frequently, but the payouts are relatively low. Still, this type of game has the lowest risk for the player and is the most satisfying for casual play.

A high-volatility slot machine pays out far less often, but the payouts are much larger. This is a game type for those who have patience and a sizeable bankroll. It is a high-risk game type compared to low-volatility games - but the potential rewards are also higher.

Reels, Win Lines, and Game Mechanics

The original slot machine built in the late 19th century had three reels and a single win line. It has served as a gold standard for gaming machines for decades. Later, video slot machines and online slots emerged, bringing with them a never-before-seen flexibility. Today, online slots are available in a huge variety of formats, boasting innovative mechanics. And some of them did away with win lines completely.

Reel Slots

Many online slots work a lot like real-life slot machines did in the age of physical reels. As such, their win lines have physical limits. Five-reel slots can have up to 100 win lines, while three-reel games, only 5. It all depends on how many rows of symbols are visible in the play area.

Video Slots

Video slots no longer have physical limits. This makes it possible for them to play around with symbols and reels. Some of the best online slots have 243 ways to win, but we've seen slots with 1024 possible winning combinations, or more.

Megaways Slots

"Megaways" is an innovative game mechanic introduced by Big Time Gaming, now part of the Evolution Gaming group. It adds an extra layer of randomness to the game by using symbols of variable sizes. This means that each reel can hold between 1 and 7 symbols and more than 100,000 potential winning combinations. And it can go even further with the extra reel on top of the game screen in some games.

"Cluster Pays" Online Slots

These slot machines do away with reels and win lines completely. Instead, they work a lot like "match-3" games, like Bejeweled and Candy Crush: to win, a certain number of symbols have to touch horizontally or vertically (not diagonally). This has given birth to some very interesting games, like Pragmatic Play's Sweet Bonanza or Play'n GO's Reactoonz.

Slot Machine Symbols

Slot machines pay out winnings based on combinations of symbols on their reels. The symbols all fit into three categories:

Special Symbols in Online Slots

There are several special symbols commonly used in online slot machines. These all have important roles in the game:

Jackpots

Jackpots are the most coveted prizes you can play slot machines for. Winning a smaller jackpot can make your day while winning one of the biggest can change your life forever. In most South African online casinos, you won't have access to games with record-breaking slot machine jackpots like Mega Moolah or Mega Fortune but you'll have access to plenty of games with local jackpots that are big enough.

How Can You Win A Jackpot?

It all depends on the individual game. In most cases, to win a jackpot, you'll need to trigger a bonus game or a special side game. In some cases, though, the jackpots are triggered at random - this is the case of Pragmatic Play's Drops And Wins, for example, which can be triggered at random in every participating game.

Online Slots Bonuses and Free Spins

Online casino bonuses are a great way to boost your slot machine experience. And all South African casinos have more than enough of these to go around. You can use any bonus you can redeem in a casino to play online slots:

Online Slots Tournaments

Many online casinos run online slot tournaments that you can participate in. These competitions measure how lucky you are: the more you play and win, the more points you get, and the bigger share of the tournament's prize pool you'll receive.

South African Casinos with Slot Tournaments

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How to Choose the Best Online Slots for You?

We all have different tastes in slot machines, so we won't discuss themes and formats - choose a game that you enjoy playing. But we have a few tips on which slot machines give you the best chance to win:

Online Slots in South Africa: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The world of online slots in South Africa offers exciting entertainment and potential wins.  Whether you're a seasoned slots player or just starting, this FAQ will answer your most common questions.

General Slots Questions

  • Is it legal to play online slots in South Africa?

    The legality of online gambling in South Africa is a grey area. While National Law prohibits "interactive games" by local operators, playing at licensed international online casinos is generally considered acceptable. However, it's always recommended to check the terms and conditions of the specific online casino you wish to play at.

  • What is the gambling age for online slots in South Africa?

    You must be 18 years or older to gamble legally at online casinos in South Africa. Most reputable online casinos will require ID verification before processing withdrawals and this is strictly enforced.

  • How do I choose a safe and reputable online casino for slots?

    Look for casinos that hold licenses from recognised gambling authorities like Curaçao or Malta. Check for positive and unbiased user reviews (like those found on our site), secure payment methods, and very importantly, clear betting and payout terms and conditions.

Getting Started with Online Slots

  • How do I sign up for an online casino to play slots?

    The signup process is generally straightforward. Visit the casino website, find the registration section, and fill out the required information. You may need to verify your account before depositing funds.

  • What payment methods can I use when playing online slots in South Africa?

    Many South African online casinos offer various payment options, including debit/credit cards like Visa and Mastercard, e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller, and Instant EFT. Choose a method that suits you and ensure it's secure.

  • How do I make a money deposit to play online slots?

    Once logged in to your casino account navigate to the cashier section. Choose your preferred deposit method, enter the amount, and follow the on-screen instructions. Funds should be credited to your account instantly or within a short period. This should be the same process for all casinos.

  • How do online slots work?

    Online slots function similarly to traditional slot machines. You wager a certain amount, spin the reels, and match symbols for potential wins. Each slot game has a pay table outlining winning combinations and payouts.

  • What are the different types of online slots?

    There's a vast selection of online slots available. Popular variations include classic 3-reel slots, video slots with bonus features and free spins, progressive jackpot slots with massive potential payouts, and Megaways slots with unique reel mechanics.

Playing Online Slots

    • How do I place a bet on an online slot at a South African Casino?

      Before spinning the reels, choose your bet amount using the designated controls on the slot interface. This typically involves selecting the number of paylines and coin value per line.

    • What are the bonus features of online slots?

      Many online slots offer bonus features like Wild symbols that substitute for other symbols, Scatter symbols that trigger free spins rounds, and bonus games with additional chances to win.

    • What are RTP (Return to Player) percentages in online slots?

      The RTP indicates the theoretical percentage of wagered money a slot pays back to players over time. It is important to note that higher RTP percentages are generally considered more player-friendly.

    • What are progressive jackpots in online slots?

      Progressive jackpots pool a portion of wagers from all players across a network of slots. This can lead to life-changing potential wins if you hit the jackpot combination.

    • How do I withdraw my winnings from online slots?

      Once you have accumulated winnings, navigate to the casino cashier section and choose the withdrawal option. Provide the necessary details and follow the instructions. Processing times for withdrawals can vary depending on the selected method.

    Responsible Online Slots Gambling in South Africa

    • How can I gamble responsibly when playing online slots?

      Always set a budget and stick to it. You must only play with what you can afford to lose. Remember to take breaks regularly and don't chase losses. If you feel you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, seek help from organisations like the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP).