Visiting an online casino and not playing slots is like visiting Montreal and not enjoying a famous smoked meat sandwich or cheesy poutine! Classic slots and video slots represent a broad and exciting category of games at online casinos. Indeed, with thousands of games from dozens of developers, choosing the perfect one requires trial and error.

Online slots for Canadian players

When trying online slots you may want to start with games from leading game developers like NetEnt, Microgaming, Play'n GO, Big Time Gaming and Betsoft. These providers have been thrilling Canadian players through innovation for years. However, these providers are just the tip of the iceberg. All software providers regularly try to one-up the other with the latest and greatest online slots. Some do it using gorgeous artwork and epic soundtracks that will blow you away. Others create engaging slots that use innovative features and special symbols. Themes can be another way of standing out from the crowd, as can jackpot-size payout potential. Slots online can be great when you're at home, but mobile slots from an Android or iOS device are the perfect companion on the road. Let's face it, being stuck in public transport in Toronto or Vancouver can be pretty awful. On the long commute to and from work, you can play a game or two! Canadians can play online slot machines free, which is a great way to get to know them. However, remember that qualifying for online casino bonuses and other promotions is only possible when playing online slots for real money. Best of all, playing online slots real money Canada means that you get to keep whatever you win!

Classic Slots versus Video Slots

The classic online slots are inspired by the physical gambling machines of the late 19th century. They are based on 3 reels and often have fruit themes. They generally offer the least amount of frills in terms of features, special symbols, et cetera. However, don't underestimate their nostalgic appeal. Video Slots can have 5, 6, 7 or more reels and usually come loaded with extras. Because of this, they are a much bigger category of online slots Canada relative to classic slots.

Slots Casino Themes

Canadians will find that casino slot games come in an incredible range of themes. Some slots are branded based on epic movies such as Game of Thrones from Microgaming. Similarly, the Vikings television series was adapted into an exciting slot by Netent in 2018, and the international game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire has been made into a slot by Big Time Gaming. If you enjoy music bands, Play'n GO has several, including Twisted Sister, Demon and Sabaton. You may enjoy slots based on original arcade games like Street Fighter: The World Warrior from Netent. There are many more unbranded slots, and there are too many themes to mention here. For example, ancient civilizations and mythologies (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Aztec, Mayan and Incan) are extremely popular. Cultural and nature themes based on the African Savannah, Mexican Day of the Dead, Irish leprechauns, North American wildlife and Japanese & Chinese history and traditions are also trendy. There are many other themes, including the Wild West, fantasy, horror, pirates, jokers and diamonds, to name just a few. The best online slots Canada just might be better than watching Hockey Night in Canada on a Saturday night!

Casino Slot Games: Special Symbols

Special symbols are one of the best parts of a slot because they are like utility knives, performing many valuable functions. First, their unique abilities make casino slot games more exciting. Special symbols can also increase the chance and magnitude of winning. The random nature of their appearance adds to the suspense. Although there are thousands of video slots, the special symbols boil down to a few familiar ones, some of which we cover:


A hard-working wild is probably the most common type of special symbol. This symbol is the joker equivalent in a deck of cards. At a basic level, it substitutes for regular-paying symbols. It can sometimes create an exclusive payline, often with the top payout. However, it usually cannot substitute for other special symbols like scatters or bonus symbols. Wilds can also come with some additional abilities. For example, an expanding wild will typically grow to occupy an entire reel. On the other hand, a sticky wild remains in position for one or more spins. Walking wilds shift position, left/right or up/down on each spin until falling off the reels. A wild that applies a multiplier to a winning payline that it participates in is called a multiplier wild. Stacked wilds occur when wilds appear on top of one another and can fully or partially cover a reel. Finally, overlay wilds are placed on top of existing symbols.


Scatter slots reward a win (called a scatter win) when appearing in sufficient numbers. The payout grows in proportion to the number of scatters that land. They are a great addition to slots games because where they land is not important. The second function of a scatter is often to trigger bonus free spins. Sometimes the quantity of free spins is proportional to the number of triggering scatters.

Bonus Symbols

Bonus symbols can be used to trigger a casino slot bonus feature such as Pick & Click or Instant Prize. They work similarly to a scatter since their position on the reels usually doesn't matter, provided they land in a sufficient number to trigger the feature.

Mystery Symbols

Mystery symbols appear in several spaces when randomly activated. It is not immediately clear what regular paying symbol it represents, which adds to the surprise. However, they eventually reveal an identical symbol to boost the odds of a win.

Slots Features

A slot without features is like pancakes without maple syrup or coffee without doughnuts. They make slot games more fun and increase the chance and size of winnings, much like special symbols. Although it is impossible to cover all possible features, we take you through a few common ones.

Free Spins

The free spins feature is standard in many of the best online slots Canada has to offer. It is ordinarily unlocked by a minimum number of scatters. Sometimes, the quantity of scatters will determine the number of free spins. Other times, the number of free spins is fixed. The best online slots Canada free spins games often throw in additional special symbols or a feature for added fun. For example, Immortal Romance from Microgaming has the 'Chamber of Spins' free spins with 4 possible modifiers:
  • 5x win multipliers
  • Random symbols transform into 2x or 3x multipliers
  • Rolling reels with 2x-5x win multipliers
  • Random symbols transform into wilds

Pick & Click Feature

The Pick & Click Feature is usually triggered by a minimum quantity of bonus symbols. It's interactive because a player must choose from several displayed images concealing a prize. While this can be cash, it can sometimes be a feature such as free spins.

Gamble Feature

The gamble feature is unique because it is optional and triggered after a winning round during the main game. There are a few different versions, including the coin toss, colour pays, ladder gamble and card suit.

Buy In Feature

A 'Buy In' is another unique feature because it can be activated at the player's discretion for a price. It is used to automatically trigger free spins or alternative feature.

Bonus Wheel

Bonus wheels have become famous for appearing in games like Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune. Canadians enjoying online slots can win real money jackpots or other exciting prizes. These can be randomly triggered or with the help of bonus symbols.

Slots Variance

By referring to variance (aka volatility), we're talking about the expected return and risk of a casino slot. Every slot is designed with its own volatility level falling into either low, medium or high. Canadians all have their preference. It's sort of like chicken wings! Some like them mild, some like them medium spicy, and some like their wings on fire!

Low Volatility

Low volatility online slots are ones where the risk of quickly depleting your player account balance is lower. This is because wins tend to be around the same size as your bet. These types of slots typically allow players to play for much longer between top-ups. They are ideal for conservative players wanting to play for fun and for as long as possible. The drawback to low volatility slots is that they will never have the same maximum payout potential as their medium or high volatility counterparts. There are several very popular low volatility slot machines:
  • Starburst from NetEnt
  • Blood Suckers from NetEnt
  • Big Bad Wolf from Quickspin

High Volatility

High volatility slots are ones where the risk of quickly depleting your player account balance is high to very high. This is because the frequency of wins tends to be lower, although the winnings tend to be higher. These types of online casino slots typically require more frequent top-ups or a larger bankroll. They are ideal for aggressive players wanting to play for the possibility of winning much larger payouts (typically 5,000x your bet or more). Often, high volatility slots contain local or network progressive jackpots. Some network progressive jackpots can grow to incredible sizes. For example, Mega Moolah and Mega Fortune have 'mega jackpots' that often reach millions of dollars. A percentage of bets from every player across all casinos with the same slot contributes towards building the jackpot. Local progressive jackpots can also reach very large sizes. Here, a percentage of bets from every player on the same slot and at the same casino contributes towards building the jackpot. There are several very popular high volatility online slot machines:
  • Mega Moolah from Microgaming
  • Mega Fortune from NetEnt
  • Bonanza from Big Time Gaming
  • Divine Fortune from NetEnt

Medium Volatility

Medium volatility slots casino games represent a happy compromise between expected return and risk. It is ideal for Canadian players who want higher potential payouts while avoiding the risk of high volatility. There are several very popular medium volatility online slot machines:
  • Wild Blood 2 from Play'n GO
  • Gemix from Play'n GO
  • Fire Joker from Play'n GO

Return To Player RTP

It should be no surprise that online slots like all casino games are designed to give the house a natural edge. Although this edge differs between slots, the underlying mechanics are similar. The return to player (RTP) is a theoretical number expressed as a percentage of usually 92%-97%. It represents the percentage of winnings theoretically won back on every spin if played a vast number of times. For example, a slot with an RTP of 97% implies that you would theoretically win back on average $0.97 for every $1 bet. So if this is true, then why play slots online? The answer is that over the short-medium term, anything can happen, including winning an enormous online slots Canada real money jackpot. It's important to understand that the outcome of any spin is determined by a random number generator (RNG). The result of each spin is entirely independent of the previous spin. This concept is so fundamental that independent third-party labs are commissioned to test and certify slot games. They ensure that the stated RTP is correct and that the RNG is truly random. All things equal, a player is likely better off playing slots online Canada with a higher RTP than a lower one. If you're more interested in playing for longer, then definitely consider slots with a higher RTP.

Closing Thoughts

At OnlineCasinoList, we introduce the best Canada online casinos to Canadian players. Each has a variety of classic slots and video slots from a range of software providers. Playing online slots for real money can be fun, and who couldn't use that, eh? Like ketchup chips, more Canucks than ever are making video slots a staple of their leisure time.