5 Ways Online Slots Are Different from Slot Machines

Playing online slot formats and physical ones is a completely different experience. While the basic principles of the games are the same, there are some notable differences between the two. Physical devices are played at in-person venues, while online ones are played on devices such as laptops or phones.

Online, you get offer a wider variety of games, with different themes, features, and paylines, compared to the ones you find in real life. However, in-person games have been wildly loved across the globe by many long before the digital versions emerged.

I’m a fan of both, so I consider myself a good guide to go through five pivotal differences between the two. You know, to help you make an informed decision – or just pass the time!

slot machine


Location, location, location. I can access popular slots games online from anywhere in the world where there is a live internet connection, while land-based machines require me to be present. Online titles can be played from anywhere with an internet connection, on any internet-connected device, such as a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. This means thatI can enjoy all my favorite games without having to travel to a physical casino or wait for one of their devices to become available. Additionally, digital options are available at any time of the day or night, providing maximum convenience as and when we want it.


As I see it, online reels offer a wider variety of games with different themes, features, and paylines than physical devices provide. Physical devices are generally limited by physical space, which means that casinos can only offer a certain number with a limited selection of games, whereas the digital ones can offer a wider variety of games, with different themes, features, and paylines, due to the virtually unlimited space available on the internet. They can also be easily updated with new features and themes, providing even more variety for players. Additionally, some online casinos offer exclusive games that cannot be found in physical casinos, further increasing the overall variety of digitalised versions.


Online, players can enjoy their favorite games without having to wait for a machine to become available. In addition to the placement being of convenience, timing plays a part too as players can play at any time of the day or night. Digital options are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, whereas you need to travel to an in-person casino to be able to play on the land-based versions, which just aren’t accessible to many people, especially at any time of the night or day. This means that players can play without having to worry about the operating hours of a physical casino.

Additionally, online titles offer a wider variety of games within just a few clicks, so like me, you will be able to play many different games without having to search and find a unit you want, as well as having to wait for someone else to be done with it before you can play. Overall, online games provide more convenience and flexibility for players.

Bonuses and rewards

Online pokies often offer bonuses and rewards such as free spins, cashback, and deposit bonuses, while physical fruities – or, as I like to say, frooties – generally do not. I prefer online ones as they offer a variety of bonuses and rewards to players, such as:

  • Welcome bonuses: Online casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players, which may include free spins, no-deposit bonuses, or match bonuses.
  • Free spins: Many online casinos offer free spins as a bonus, which allow players to spin the reels a certain number of times without having to wager any real money.
  • Deposit bonuses: Some online casinos offer deposit bonuses, which add extra funds to a player’s account when they make a deposit.
  • Cashback bonuses: Cashback bonuses give players a certain percentage of their losses back as a bonus, helping to offset any losses incurred while playing.
  • Loyalty rewards: Many online casinos offer loyalty programs that reward players for their continued play. These rewards may include free spins, cashback bonuses, or other exclusive bonuses.
  • Reload bonuses: Reload bonuses are similar to deposit bonuses, but they are offered to existing players who make additional deposits.

Overall, online machines offer a variety of bonuses and rewards that can enhance the gaming experience and provide additional opportunities to win.


In my research, I’ve noticed, that online slots use the latest technology to provide advanced graphics, animations, and sound effects that can enhance the gaming experience beyond what the physical machines can offer. I believe this also means that these games can be updated quickly and easily by just having an internet connection, whereas the physical reels usually won’t be updated or replaced for years. Overall, I’m able to experience a more modern casino experience from the comfort of my own home – that lovely DFS sofa that I got on sale, surprisingly – which will also continue to evolve and be enhanced over time.

Charu decided to unite her Honors Degree in New Media and lifetime of geekiness to pursue a career in tech and gaming journalism. You can usually find her writing about a variety of topics and drooling over new gadgets and games.