What’s the Difference Between Online Slots and Live Slots?

Ah, the constant debate… Live slots vs. online slot games. Which ones are better? Which ones are inferior? How do you know, and which ones will allow you to make the most out of your time?

Surely, there are supporters of either side in this question. Land-based casinos came first, obviously. And it’s really no secret that since then the internet has truly made immense changes to the way we play slots.

But has it been for the better?

Is it more fun and exciting to play live than it is in front of a computer screen? We would like to dig a little deeper into things and lay down all the cards. It’s important to see exactly how one’s gaming experience differs from one option to the other.

This is our hands-on review of both online slots and their land-based counterparts. In it, you will see the honest flaws and strong points of both. And hopefully by the time you reach the end, you’ll come to a clear and indisputable conclusion.

Live Slots: Pros and Cons

Probably the main advantage of land-based slot machines would be the fact that they are actually physically present. You can touch them, you can actually press the buttons with your finger, or you can pull the handle with your hand. It’s similar to why so many book lovers prefer reading hard copies instead of their digital versions. The feeling of being one-on-one against the actual slot game lends the experience a different kind of vibe.

And, let’s be honest, it’s a vibe that you can’t really get from the computer screen. In addition, as most times you will be heading to an actual casino to play live slots, you get to benefit from the perks of one, too.

Of course, this depends on the kind of casino you’re at. If you’re at a fancier place, there are free drinks, friendly staff, and like-minded people all around you. There is a whole atmosphere surrounding your gameplay that also contributes to your overall experience.

That, too, is something you most probably will not be able to achieve in the comfort of your home or while you’re on the go. And frankly, it’s sometimes just nice to get away and spend some time in a different place to switch off.

With that much said, though, there are also plenty of disadvantages of playing live, depending on how you look at things.


That very same atmosphere may prove to be something you would rather avoid. Just picture the lack of privacy, for one. For another, you have to deal with all the cigarette (or cigar) smoke and the loud noises. And if you aren’t much of a people person, well, you have to endure other people around you.

Convenience, on the other hand, is also a major drawback. You can’t just play anywhere at any time, whenever you feel like it. To play slot games, you will actually need to go to a specific place in your area.

And sometimes, there just might not be one nearby. Furthermore, to arrange this, you might need to move things around in your schedule to make time for your trip to the casino. So, lots of things can get in your way of you actually getting from point A to point B and getting to spend time there. And as mentioned above, depending on the type of place, there can be further hindrances.

Some casinos have a dress code, and you can’t just stroll in wearing shorts and flip flops. So, that’s the point of comfort going out the window right there.

And speaking of comfort, say you have wandered into your favorite casino seeking to play that one cool slot machine. But, oh no! There is someone there already playing it! And so you wait. And you wait, and you wait… until they have finally had their fill and they leave. You can’t always just hop on and start spinning the reels immediately.

Another thing worthy of pointing out is the selection of slot machines. Once you have gone through the hassle of making time for the casino, you finally end up there. And what you see in that casino is literally what you get. You can’t just browse endlessly until you finally find that one slot machine that you’ve always dreamed of giving a try.

There will be a limited selection of games (no matter how big the casino), and you’re just going to have to work with it. And let’s face it: with the internet having blasted gaming lightyears ahead of live slots, they may appear quite boring.

In addition, if you don’t have your eye set on a certain game already, it can be challenging to find one that fits your price point. In the environment of a land-based casino, this could mean wandering forever and poking at every machine. And you still might not find one that suits your budget. Or if you do, it will probably be nothing like what you were hoping for.

Online Slots: The Drawbacks

This brings us to the colorful and manifold realm of online gambling. As we pointed out earlier, gaming has evolved immensely thanks to the internet. And online slot games today offer players amazing opportunities at their fingertips. However, to be fair, let us first have a look at what’s not so great about online slots.

For starters, you lack the atmosphere of a real casino. And again, this may be either a good or a bad thing, depending on your personal standpoint.

Playing online mainly means that you will be doing it at home. Or somewhere in public transportation on the way to work. So, you don’t get to dress up and make a whole event out of it, for example. There will be no drinks served, and you don’t get to mingle among other folks.

And now for the main disadvantage: again, that physical moment that we discussed earlier. Online, you don’t get to pull the handle or push the buttons. Heck, you don’t even get to insert the coins and hear them roll down into the machine. And we have to be honest here: there is a very warm, fuzzy, nostalgic kind of feeling about that. Plus, it’s more of an intimate, hands-on experience.

And although it really doesn’t change anything in terms of gameplay, you can still feel like you have more control over things.

You certainly won’t get that exact same vibe while staring at the screen of your computer or smartphone.

The Perks of Online Slots

So, now that we have covered what may not appeal to you in an online slot game, let’s see what will. The one huge advantage that first comes to mind when you think about playing online is convenience. You can play anywhere, anytime, at any point during the day or night. When you’re playing in an online casino, nobody cares if it’s a public holiday or if it’s after hours. You want to spin the reels in the early morning or late at night? Have at it.

Similarly, you don’t need to make plans or arrangements to be somewhere on a given day or at a certain time. You don’t need to worry about parking, finding a place to eat, or even just how to get to your destination. In fact, there’s no need to fit gaming into your busy schedule. You can just play while waiting for your train or during lunch.

Furthermore, as you can be anywhere at any time, you don’t need to dress for the occasion, either. Feel like playing in your PJs? Do that. Still haven’t changed from your tracksuit after a jog? Not a problem! On top of that, there are just endless possibilities of where you can be physically while enjoying a slot game. The fact that most slots today are now available on mobile devices makes gaming infinitely more flexible.

Play at the beach, on the plane, in a restaurant or even in the office – if your boss isn’t looking.

Another very notable and important perk of playing online as opposed to live is the game selection. Once you’ve entered the world of online gambling, it’s like you’re a kid in Toys R Us.

There is such an abundance of offerings available that it’s literally a cornucopia of games. You can never walk into a regular casino and expect to have that many slots to choose from.

And with this kind of selection, you can sift through your options based on so many different criteria. Find games that you just like visually, for example. There are themes upon themes, from horror and sci-fi to fantasy, nature, TV shows, and everything under the sun. The online gaming industry has grown to the point where it virtually has something for everyone.

Not to mention that you will get so much freedom in managing your bankroll. You can have so much fun with the controls, setting stake amounts and playing around with the paylines.

And if a game doesn’t suit your budget, guess what? Simply move on to the next one, which will take you no more than a second to do.


Oh, and as if our list of benefits wasn’t extensive enough, here comes a really juicy one. Not only are slots online more diverse than live, but they also pay better! It’s a victory on every front! It’s actually no secret that land-based games have lower payout percentages than their online counterparts.

Live slot machines will offer players an RTP (return to player ratio) of around 85%. For comparison, that number in most online offerings is around an average of 95%-96%. And there are even slots out there with RTPs of 98% and 99%!

That is a staggering difference. As a matter of fact, that difference alone can be enough to convert some players to online gaming. And speaking of larger payouts, online slots can feature progressive jackpots that land-based ones couldn’t even dream of.

Once again, thanks to the wonders of the internet, there can be networks of slots connected to the same jackpot. Each bet that every player makes on any of these slots will contribute some small portion of it to the pot. Hence, you can imagine just how enormous these jackpots can get.

Last but not least, online, you get to try games out for free. There’s no such thing in live casinos. You can’t just waltz in and start playing games without paying. Online, though, you can very well do just that. So you have the great opportunity to pick out a slot that’s right for you without having to invest in it first.


Well, we’re pretty sure what the better option is between live slots and online slots. And after reading what we had to say about both of these, we think you are, too.

Let’s just summarize briefly to be clear. Online slot games offer more versatility and more convenience. There are tons of different offerings to choose from, with varying themes, setups, appearances, and more. And you will never have the restriction of a price point, location, or opening hours. You can play anywhere, at any time.

Another major point in favor of the online slots – they pay out much better. And it’s really hard to beat that. Not to mention that you can gain access to potentially very lucrative games within large jackpot networks. As these can have vast numbers of players contributing to the total pot, the amounts we’re talking here can be sky-high.

But you also get to play it safe and try new games out for free. That way, you don’t need to risk any money on a game you end up not liking.

Other Useful Resources

Still have questions about online slot games? Want to try some online slots for free? Check out the following links for all you need to know!