Online slots use a Random Number Generator to determine the order of symbols that appear on screen and payouts are based on the combination. While there have been attempts to trick slot machines in the past – from tracking the order in which symbols came up to manipulating the lever – this is now impossible with most legal online casinos, which are regulated and follow strict protocols that ensure fair play.

Modern video slots are more complex than their traditional counterparts, with different symbols and bonus features such as Wild symbols that act as jokers to make winning combinations. These can also be stacked or expanded for more chances to trigger extra spins, bonus rounds and other prizes. Some games even feature a Scatter symbol, which is not required to be on an active payline in order to trigger a win.

Another factor that can affect how often you win is a slot’s volatility. While many casinos won’t display the volatility of a particular game on its paytable, players can test this themselves with free games. Try spinning the reels 100 times in a game and record how many wins you have, whether they are small or large. If you tend to get fewer small wins and a few big ones, the game is likely high-volatility.

Branded online slots are a huge business in New Jersey, with developers releasing games based on TV shows, movies and even rock bands such as Jimi Hendrix and Motorhead. However, they’re not guaranteed to offer higher payouts than non-branded slots.