How We Review Slot Games

By Robbie Evans on is dedicated to helping customers find the best place to play online. Your safety and well-being is a priority, which is why all of our expert casino reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, and we highlight the key terms and conditions of every casino bonus we advertise. Whilst we accept commission from the casinos on our list of recommendations, and this may affect where they’re positioned on our lists, we only recommend casinos that we truly believe are safe and fair. is dedicated to helping customers find the best place to play online. Your safety and well-being is a priority, which is why all of our expert casino reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, and we highlight the key terms and conditions of every casino bonus we advertise. Whilst we accept commission from the casinos on our list of recommendations, and this may affect where they’re positioned on our lists, we only recommend casinos that we truly believe are safe and fair.

Each player will have different priorities when it comes to choosing a slot, and we aim to take a comprehensive approach to our slot reviews in order to ensure our readers are finding the right games for their specific budgets and gameplay preferences. 

On this page we’ll run you through all the various different factors we take into account when conducting our slot reviews, and hopefully help give you an idea of your ideal slot. 

How We Select Slots to Review

Generally speaking, we try to review the slots that we think our readers will be most interested in playing. This is based on both our own playing experience of these games, and on the quality and reputation of the software providers that develop them. To help break things down, here are some of the main things we look out for when choosing which slots to review:

  • New releases — We’re always keeping track of the latest slot releases at UK online casinos, and like to make sure our readers are in the loop on the newest titles from a range of different providers. 
  • Top software developers — We make sure we’re covering all the major slots from industry’s most trusted developers. NetEnt, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, Yggdrasil and Nolimit City are just a few of our favourite providers. 
  • Up-and-coming developers — We like to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to new, up-and-coming software providers. So, alongside the bigger names in the industry, we like to review slots from promising and innovative newcomers. 
  • Personal experience — Our dedicated team of writers and reviewers spend plenty of time playing various slots at online casinos, and if we come across a slot we felt was particularly good — or in some cases, particularly bad — we’ll let our readers know. 
  • Variety — Slots come in many different shapes and sizes, so we make sure we’re covering a wide variety of games in our reviews. We review slots that will suit a range of different budgets and gameplay preferences. 
  • Popularity — If a certain provider or genre of slot game is becoming particularly popular at some of our top-rated casinos, we’ll try them out for ourselves and write up some reviews.

Now that we’ve broken down our selection process, let’s have a closer look at our reviewing criteria for individual slots. 

Design, Graphics, and Sound

The quality of the design elements is the first thing you notice when playing online slots, and as such forms an important part of our slot reviews. The best slots should feature smooth graphics and animations as well as a soundtrack that you won’t mind listening to for extended periods of time. 

Despite all this, many slot developers still seem to pay little attention to how their slots look, feel and sound. Newer developers like Nolimit City are breaking the mould with uniquely-themed releases that emphasise the design and storytelling elements of their slots. Although we can’t expect every developer to follow suit — especially considering the grisly nature of a number of Nolimit’s recent titles — we love it when you can tell that a lot of thought and care has gone into a slot’s thematic design and presentation. For those looking for a more design-driven slot experience, we highly recommend their work.

Gameplay, RTP, and Variance

Game mechanics are perhaps the most important consideration when choosing which slots to play. Here’s a list of all the gameplay mechanics you need to be aware of, as well as some pointers on which slot mechanics will suit your preferred style of play:

  • RTP — The return-to-player rate is the amount of total money wagered on a slot that should theoretically be returned to the player. For example, if a slot has an RTP rate of 96% — which is just about average — players could expect to receive £96 back from a wagered total of £100. However, these numbers are calculated over millions of spins, and have absolutely no bearing on each individual session, so you mustn’t take them as gospel. That said, playing slots with a higher RTP percentage gives players a slightly better chance at cutting their losses.
  • Variance — Slot variance — also known as ‘volatility’ — refers to the size and frequency of payouts on any given slot. A highly volatile slot, for example, means that payouts will be infrequent, but are likely to be sizeable when they do come. Conversely, a slot with low volatility should deliver small payouts more frequently. Those looking to play more casually and with smaller budgets should therefore be on the lookout for low variance slots, as high variance slots can have you waiting a long time between payouts. 
  • Reels x Rows — The reels are the horizontal column of symbols in a slot game, while the rows are the number of vertical columns. The classic slots of old tended to have three reels, whereas now innovations like the Megaways mechanic can randomly modify the number of reels in play. 
  • Paylines — Paylines refer to the number of ways there are to win. Five-reel slots tend to have up to 243 paylines, whereas Megaways slots can present over 100,000 different ways to win, resulting in a more varied and unique gaming experience.

Bonus Features

Bonus features are usually where you’ll find the bigger payouts on online slots. Finding winning combinations during the main portion of the game can produce some nice wins, but the big multipliers are almost always found during bonus rounds. What’s more, added bonus features and mini games are often where the most fun is to be had, so we pay particularly close attention to bonus features when conducting our reviews. 

Ideally, we don’t want players waiting too long for these bonus rounds — which are usually triggered by finding a certain number of scatter symbols — so our reviews will also include details on how long it took us to trigger the bonuses.

Mobile and Tablet Experience

Since the majority of online slot players are doing so on their phones, we test out performance on a number of different mobile devices and operating systems when writing up our reviews. Whether accessing a slot on a mobile-optimised site or a dedicated casino app, the gameplay should remain smooth and intuitive, without making your phone feel like it’s going to explode. Of course, a slight drop in graphic performance is to be expected, but it shouldn’t impact the overall enjoyment of the slot. 

Licence and Audit

The first thing we do when deciding which slots to review is to check for a valid licence from trusted gaming authorities like the UKGC — the UK Gambling Commission. These licences indicate that the slots in question are compliant with responsible gambling regulation and are safe to play. With that in mind, we’ll never review slots from a developer that doesn’t hold such a licence. We also check whether the games developer and its slots are regularly audited by independent games testing agencies like eCOGRA, who ensure that developers are maintaining safer gambling standards. 

How Does it Compare to Other Titles from the Same Developer?

An important part of our slot reviewing process is comparing them to other titles from the same developer. Not only does this give you a better idea of that particular developer’s common themes and style of gameplay, but it can also point you towards other titles by the same developer if you want more of the same. Equally, if you don’t like the sound of a new release by a top developer — or if our review isn’t too favourable — we like to reassure you that there are other options out there that will perhaps be more suited to your tastes. 

How Does it Compare to Other Slots on the Market?

It’s hard to tell how good or bad a particular slot or developer is if you have no point of comparison, so we also compare our slots with those from other popular developers. This should give you an idea of what some of the best slots on the market are offering, and provide you with a range of alternative options in terms of budgets, mechanics and styles. 


Robbie Evans headshot

Robbie is an Editor at TopRatedCasinos who joined us in 2022 and has a year’s experience in the gambling affiliate space. Having quickly built up his expertise in all things casino — particularly in the arena of online payment solutions — he’s tasked with writing up guides and reviews across TopRatedCasinos, along with having a big hand in developing the way we format the site to best suit our users. In his spare time, Robbie is a keen sports fan, film buff, travel enthusiast, and all-round thing-liker.

50 Bonus Spins
No prize
20 Bonus Spins
No prize
£5 Bonus
No prize
100 Bonus Spins
No prize
100% Match
No prize
Spin again
No prize