Live, Online, and Mobile: What’s the Best Way to Play Slots?

vintage slot machine

Going back three decades, the only way to play slots was in front of an actual slot machine. Today, thanks to the development of the internet and other technologies, players have more options. In this article, we share the pros and cons of offline and online play, as well as tips for having a great experience.

Live, or Offline

Ever since a person first pulled the handle on the Liberty Bell in 1895, people have been visiting bars, casinos and other gaming venues to try their luck on slots. The experience has changed, and today’s casinos are filled with digital slot machines that are driven by high-resolution screens, tantalising sound systems, and colourful and enticing designs. 

But is this the best way to enjoy the game? We take a look at the pros and cons of the offline experience.

The pros

  • It’s easy to get started With a slot machine in front of you, all you need to do is put in your money, tap the spin button, and away you go! No need to fill in registration forms, download software or set anything up
  • There’s a wide variety of games for you to choose from – Whether you like to imagine yourself as a high roller in Las Vegas, an adventurous cowboy or cowgirl in the Wild West, or even a roguish pirate sailing the seven seas, slots offer players a variety of designs to suit their tastes.
  • The experience of the venue itself – Whether you’re at a casino or licensed bar, gaming venues offer more than just slots. For example, casinos offer visitors many additional experiences, such as fine dining, live shows, and of course, other games. You can even play Bingo if that tickles your fancy.
  • They offer a tactile experience – Do you prefer to read an actual book, or are you okay with a Kindle? For many players, one of the main attractions of an offline slot machine is the ability to physically interact with it

The cons

woman is losing during slot machines game in a casino
  • It’s not as convenient as playing online – There are some days when you’d prefer to relax and stay at home. Unfortunately, if you want to play traditional slot machines, you have to actually be in the same physical space as them.
  • Popular games sometimes have queues – Unfortunately, if a game is popular with players, you might have to wait if you want to play. This is especially true at busy casinos.
  • Doesn’t offer the player privacy – Regardless of whether you’re winning, losing, or having an average run, there’s little anonymity when playing on an actual slot machine.

Tips for playing offline

While all gambling games are a game of chance, there are undoubtedly some games where you can develop your skills and improve your chances of winning, such as poker, or blackjack. 

However, slots are games of pure luck. That being said, while there aren’t strategies to boost your odds of winning, there are some tips that you can use to improve your overall experience

  • Set a budget – When compared to other gambling games, slot machines are all about speed, which makes it easy for players to spend more than they had planned to. This is why it’s important to plan how much you’re going to spend, so you can avoid any nasty financial surprises. One way you can do this is by using cash instead of your card, as physical money makes it far easier to track your spending.
  • Don’t fall for the gossip mill – While some players may try to convince you that a machine is hot or cold, remember that slot machines are a game of chance. Each spin resets the odds and is completely random.
  • Understand the rules for each game – Many slot machines include bonus games and exciting features that can net you free spins or multipliers for your potential win. By taking the time to learn the game, you can avoid any confusion that may negatively impact the amount of fun you can have.
  • Take advantage of in-house bonuses – Casinos offer loyalty programs and other bonuses like free spins. When visiting a casino, remember to find out what they have to offer.
  • Make sure to take breaks – It’s important that you stop and check how you are feeling from time to time. Remember, games are meant to be fun, and if you find yourself feeling irritable or tired, stop and go do something else for a while, whether that’s taking a walk or finding a bite to eat. You can start playing again once you’re feeling refreshed and are in a better mood.

Online

Man using laptop for playing online casino game at home

In the past, if you wanted to play slots online, you were pretty much limited to one device: your computer. As the number of games available grew to include the likes of Bingo and virtual scratchcards, so did the number of devices and systems you could play on. 

However, at first there were issues with compatibility. Online gambling started on the PC, which offered game developers a greater amount of computing resources. Unfortunately, this experience didn’t always translate well to other devices. 

However, with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, these game developers realised that mobile devices offered them a great deal of opportunity to extend their reach and connect with players in a new and exciting way. 

Fast forward to today and you can join in the online experience from virtually any desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. As long as you have a fast, reliable internet connection, the world of online gambling is your oyster.

But does this mean that online slots is the premium experience? Here are the pros and cons of the online experience.

The pros

  • Unrivalled convenience – Whether you’re standing at the bus stop, taking a walk, or seated upon your mighty throne, you can play online slots any time, anywhere. Online slots also mean no queues, so you don’t have to wait to play your favourite game.
  • Huge variety of games – As with traditional slot machines, you have access to a large number of virtual slot machines covering many popular themes. Including the genres we discussed earlier, players can also expect Egyptian, game show, and treasure hunting themed games.
  • Play for free – Interested in trying a game out or learning its rules? Many online gaming sites allow you to play for free! Of course, this doesn’t mean that you’ll actually win anything, but it does give you a chance to test out a game before you part ways with your hard-earned money.
  • Good sign-up bonuses – Many sites offer players a sign-up or welcome offer such as a boost on your first deposit, or extra rewards should you win. As with traditional casinos, these bonuses come with some conditions, which vary depending on where you play.
  • Protect your privacy – Whether you don’t want people to know when you strike it big, or you simply prefer to play alone, gaming sites provide you with an extra level of anonymity that traditional casinos cannot provide.

The cons

  • You need to verify your identity before you can play for cash – While online gaming does offer extra privacy to players, the site must still know who you are to legally make any payouts. Many service providers require that you confirm your identity using a verified source, such as your ID, driver’s licence, utility bill, or bank statement.
  • Payouts can take some time – Even if you’ve verified your identity, payouts from online casinos might take a few hours or even a few days to clear. In comparison, traditional casino payouts are virtually instantaneous.
  • Lacks the atmosphere of a gaming venue – Even the most introverted people sometimes want to take in the exciting music and bright lights of a casino. While gaming sites are constantly improving, they simply don’t offer the atmosphere of a live venue. At least, not yet. VR casinos are being developed, and might soon eliminate this con from this list.
  • Ensuring the service provider is legitimate (and legal) – Every once in a while a rogue online casino comes along that hurts the reputation of legitimate online gambling service providers. These legal operations then have to work incredibly hard to ensure they can gain the trust of a player who has had a negative experience elsewhere. Also, even if a website is legitimate, you also need to check if they can legally offer their services to players from your region.

Tips for playing online

 man in casual wear smiling and holding smartphone


Just like we mentioned with traditional slot machines, online slots are a game of chance, and there aren’t really any skills you can develop to improve your chances of winning. However, there are steps you can take to ensure you have a good time.

  • Again, set your budget – While you may not be able to pay with cash online, many online casinos require that you purchase credits that can only be used at that site. Purchase a specific amount of credit and don’t spend more when you run out if it’s over your budget.
  • Know the rules of the game – This is just as applicable to online slot machines as it is to traditional ones. Make sure you know the rules of a game so that you don’t get frustrated or confused when playing. Thankfully with online slot games, you can take advantage of free spins to learn the ins and outs of each game.
  • Check a website regularly for promotions – Many online gaming sites offer limited-time promotions for their games. Be sure to check your favourite sites regularly to find out what promotions they have on offer.
  • Verify that they’re legit – To ensure you don’t fall for a rogue site, be sure to check their licence, as well as any feedback from players on review sites, social media, and online forums. Also reach out to their customer service team, as legitimate sites will invest large amounts of money in their support teams to ensure that any new or existing player has a good experience. You can also check online blacklists to make sure a site isn’t on it.
  • Breaks are just as important when you’re playing online – As with regular slot machines, it’s critical that you check how you are feeling and take breaks once in a while. This is even more important if you’re playing on a device with a small screen, as you may strain your eyes staring at it for too long.

Join in the online action

If you’re interested in playing online, it’s important that you find a gaming site that you can trust. At Mecca Bingo, founded in 1961, we offer a service where you can play online Bingo, play slots, or even enjoy an online scratchcard. While the original focus of the site may have been online bingo, today, we have a variety of games for you to enjoy.
To find out more about what we have to offer, visit our website or get in touch with our friendly support team today.

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