Online slots vs. land-based slots: The pros and cons of each

Profile Picture: Simon Young

March 25th, 2021

Up to 80% of a casino’s revenue comes from slots. It’s not hard to see why they are so popular: modern slot games are fun, they come in so many varieties, and you can win millions of dollars on a single spin.

To someone who has not tried them before, it might seem that the slots experience in a brick-and-mortar casino is the same as those you find in huge numbers at online casinos like TwinSpires Casino.

But there are some differences, not just in the games themselves but also in how you play them. Here, then, are some of the big differences between online slots and real slots.

Online Slots or Real Slots: Live Experience

Perhaps the most significant benefit of land-based slots is that you’re in a casino. You could be on a fabulous night out with friends, and the casino is just part of your fun experience together. Furthermore, in most casinos, especially those in Las Vegas, you can enjoy free drinks as part of your gaming fun.

Contrast that with playing in online casinos, where usually you will be on your own, probably at home.

But being at home to play online slots does have distinct advantages: you can play while wearing whatever you like, and you can behave in any manner you choose. You also have no noisy people sitting next to you, peering over your shoulder to see what you are winning.

The Click of a Mouse

When you play online slots, you will be using your mouse to click the reels if you're playing on your laptop or desktop. On your phone, you just tap away on the screen. This is a very different experience from sitting in front of a slot machine and physically pressing the buttons. Furthermore, some land-based slots are incredibly tactile, like those that still have an actual lever (a one-armed bandit) that you can pull to set the reels in motion.

Play for Free or Low Stakes Online

When looking for online slots vs. casino slots comparisons, a key difference is the bets you can place. Generally speaking, the betting limits at online casinos start lower than they do at live casinos. Live casinos need to make more money to pay for all those employees and the building costs. Online casinos, however, do not have similar fixed costs, plus they can have more players enjoying themselves at one time.

You can also find some online casinos that let you try out online slot games for free. You can’t win anything, of course, but you do get to work out how a slot plays and learn some basic strategies before risking any real money.

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One-handed fruit slot machine. (Image by Virrage Images/Shutterstock)

Online Slots or Real Slots: Convenience

Real slots are undoubtedly convenient if you happen to be in a casino – they are everywhere. But with online slots, you can play them whenever you want, any time of day, wherever you are. Because all the best online slots work beautifully on your cell, you can play anywhere where you can get decent reception.

A frustration at live casinos is that you might have a favorite slot game but find someone else is playing it, and they look set for the long haul. At least online, you can play any of the hundreds of cool slots whenever you like without waiting around.

Promotions and Bonuses

Live casino promotions are different from the offers you get at online casinos.

In a brick-and-mortar casino, you are likely to sign up for the property’s reward scheme. The more you play on the slots, the more points you earn, and these can be exchanged for something like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Naturally, an online casino will not send around pizza and delicious carved meats; although that might be fun. But it will have some cool promotions. Primarily these will involve deposit bonuses and free spins on your favorite games. At TwinSpires Casino, for example, when it is on, you can take advantage of the Slot of the Week – spend just $10 on the featured slot and get 20 free spins.

And What About the Actual Slots?

Surprisingly, there is not a huge difference in the gameplay of real slots vs. online slots. As technology advances, the graphics in the physical machines display just as well as they do online, with video features and booming, cinematic sound.

You will also find jackpot slots in live and online casino venues, giving you the chance to land a massive payout for just a few bucks. And the return to player (RTP), which is the amount you expect to get back, is the same.

Play Online Slots Now

If you have played slots in a real casino before and would like to experience the online version, then sign up with TwinSpires Casino for an online account. Grab your generous welcome package, then head to the vast slots section to experience all the games available.