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How We Rate Online Slots Reviews (2024)

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Often wondered how online slot reviews are rated? And can they be trusted? We can let you know how we rate slots online here at and our combined 20-year experience doing just that.

How We Rate Slot Reviews Online
How We Rate Slot Reviews Online

We pride ourselves on providing unbiased reviews of slots. We aren’t paid by the casino game studios to rate them good or bad, instead, we take into account a few different factors, as well as the in-game data, and personal experiences playing the slots.

Unlike some slots review sites, we play every one of the slots that we review here on SlotSumo. Sometimes we play for free in demo mode, sometimes for real money, but each one is played until we hit the in-game bonuses and special features to make sure that they offer what they say they do.

Plus, with our two reviewers having over 20 years in the gambling industry and over 16 years writing online slots reviews combined, you can say that we know a little thing or two about what’s worth a bet and what’s not.

We give our ratings from 0 to 5, with 0 being the worst and 5 being the best. These are represented by the ninja stars you’ll find in our reviews.

Slot Theme / Look & Feel / Sounds

We know it’s a cliche, but first impressions count for many online slot players. If you don’t like the look of the game or the overall feel of it, then you’re not going to maximise your enjoyment, no matter how the game pays.

So one factor we consider when writing reviews is the slot’s theme. Does it look good? Does it have smooth animations, are the wins highlighted? Can you see the reels and symbols correctly?

All of this is taken into along with the sounds of the game. If you want a fully immersive gambling experience, then a slot should have a soundtrack or backing sounds that tie in with the overall theme and aren’t so repetitive as to be annoying.

The sounds are just a small factor in the gameplay, as many players often turn the sound off to enjoy just the spins.

But both tie in with our next rating factor, the Style of the Game.

Related: You can find new slots to play by the slot themes

Style of Game

What do we mean by slot style? Well, slots come in many shapes, forms and sizes, with various numbers of reels, paylines, and symbols.

Whether you’re a fan of classic slots, video slots, grid slots, megaways slots, or jackpot slots, the style of the slot should fit in with the theme.

This is a big factor in how we review slots cause every slot is different, but when we review a new slot game, we tend to rate it relative to the slots of the same style that came before.

So we compare classic slots against classic slots, megaways slots against megaways slots, video slots against video slots, and so on.

That way, the rating will be fairer overall.

Slot Variance and Volatility

Here on, we’ve chosen to focus our efforts on reviewing medium, medium to high and high variance slots.

What does this mean? Well, these are online slot machines that often payout bigger but need more patience, a slightly larger budget and a little more experience to play than low volatility slots.

These often offer bigger thrills and bigger slot wins but are riskier as they can take a while to pay out any decent wins.

We consider the variance, relating it to other slots of the same variance rating so that you can compare properly.

Bonus Features

With so many slots offering a huge variety of in-game bonus features, reviewing slots can sometimes take a lot of work.

But the bonuses you’ll find in the slots are important, as a bonus feature often offers a different payout rate, providing more winning opportunities.

How often they hit, what wins you can achieve, how many there are and if they offer value to the game is what we are looking at when it comes to the game’s bonus features.

Sometimes the simplest of slots get a higher rating than the one filled with a dozen bonus games that are hard to hit or don’t payout much.

If you’re interested in the kinds of bonus features, you might find in online slots. We’ve put together a handy slots features list for you to take a look at.

Max Win

The maximum win is a factor we consider, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of our ratings. Is it good to have a bigger max win on a slot? Of course, getting the maximum win is usually a 1 in a million spins deal.

However, the higher the maximum win, the higher, the smaller wins tend to be too. So if a video slot has a 5,000x, 10,000x or 25,000x top win, you’ll be better off that one with one that offers just 500x your bet in theory. In practice, though, these are games of chance, so anything could happen.

Slot RTP

The theoretical return to player rate is essential when deciding a slot’s rating.

We always tell players to play slots with high RTP, cause in theory, they payout more often than those with lower RTPs. However, just cause a game has a high RTP doesn’t mean you’re going to win big.

The RTP, mixed with the paytable and bonus features, are considered as they work together to form slot payouts.

Bet Levels

What’s the betting range of the slot?

Does it have a wide betting range from 0.10 up to 100, allowing for smaller betters and bigger betters to play?

Or does it have a 0.50 or 1 minimum bet and a lower 20 or 40 max bet? Minimising the number of players appeals too.

Slots with a wider betting range are better, giving a broader audience, but it can depend on the slot type and whether this is applicable.

The Slot Paytable

If there’s one thing every online slot player should do before they take their first spin, it should be to look at the slot’s paytable.

Why? Cause it tells you not only what bonus features and special symbols you can expect to find but also the value and number of all the symbols on the reels.

The fewer symbols, the better, as that means you’ll get more occurrences of the symbols on your spins and a better chance of getting a winning combination.

We also look out for higher-paying symbols offering better value wins.

Fun, Enjoyment & Thrills

Overall, we can combine all the best aspects of each of the factors above, but at the end of the day still do not have any fun playing.

That’s why we play all of the slots we review. Yes, our experience could be different to yours, as within any gambling session, you could get a different RTP, wins and hit different bonus features.

But at the end of the day, if you’re not having fun on a slot, move on to another one. There are thousands of online slots and many slot reviews here on SlotSumo for you to read.

Now you know how we rate our online slots reviews, what factors we consider and why you can trust our reviews.

At the end of the day, though, there’s no better way to test out a new slot than to try it for yourself.

At many of the best online slots sites, you’ll be able to play for free slots (minus a few jackpot slots), before you decide to place any real money bets, you might have to sign up first, a small price to pay.

Read our reviews, find the best casinos to play them at, have some fun, and who knows, you might win big too.

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