Do UK Casinos Push Specific Slots onto Players?

Most major online casinos highlight some games more than others. What are the criteria for this? Are online casinos promoting games which are popular with their members, or is there, perhaps, a hidden motive behind the games they choose to recommend?

Having played at online casinos for over fifteen years, I have a good grasp of casino trickery. Given that almost every webpage strategically places elements to catch your attention, why should a casino be any different? 

Join me as I explore why UK casinos push specific slots onto players, if it is ethical for them to do so, and whether you should consider playing recommended games. Let’s dive straight in by looking at the many ways casinos may push slots onto their players.

Slots Pushed Via Free Spin Bonuses

One of the simplest ways for online casinos to push slots onto players is through free spin and no-deposit bonuses. By tying those offers to just a handful of games, the casino can funnel you into trying the games that they want you to play.

Therefore, you should always check the list of eligible games under the bonus T&Cs before claiming any free spin bonuses or no-deposit deals. 

Of course, just because casinos may tie these offers to specific games doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad slots to play. For instance, Pragmatic Play, Play ‘n Go, and slots at NetEnt casinos not on GamStop regularly feature in these promotions.

Of those, the most popular pushed slots (and those that are worth considering because they are great games) include the following: 

  •     Starburst
  •     Big Bass Bonanza
  •     Gonzo’s Quest
  •     Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead
  •     The Dog House: MegaWays

Slots for UK

Recommended Slots

The second way that a casino may push slots onto players is through a section in the lobby or a category in the game library known as “recommended slots”.

The question you must ask yourself is this – recommended by whom? Usually, it is the casino. Again, just because a casino recommends slot titles to you doesn’t make them bad games to play.

However, I always suggest exploring any of these games as demos (which are free to play) before you decide to risk your money on them.

The casino will undoubtedly have its reasons for recommending some games over others, and playing a demo will likely help you understand what those are.

Hot Slots

The third way a casino may choose to promote its slots is by listing them as “hot” or “popular” games. This category of games makes you believe that many other players are having a crack at them and maybe winning, too. After all, popular games are those that many players try, and hot slots should be those that pay out winnings regularly, right? Not necessarily.

You won’t have any real way to verify whether this is the case. Again, you’re just going to have to play them for free (at first) to gauge for yourself whether that is likely to be true or not.

Slot Tournaments

Online casinos regularly support slot tournaments, and this represents another great way for the operators to get you to play the games that they want. Don’t get me wrong – if you’re interested in playing those games, joining tournaments is a great way to pocket a slice of extra cash playing titles you love.

However, it is also possible for casinos to flood tournaments with eligible games that you aren’t interested in. The prospect of bagging extra prizes may tempt you to try these games.

Why Do Casinos Push Slots?

Next – the big question. Why do casinos push slots, either via no-deposit bonuses, free spins, recommended lists or any of the other methods listed above? The truth is that it is in their interests to do so. While we can never truly know what reasons a casino may use for pushing some slots over other games, I can make a few educated guesses, such as:

Low Variance or Highly Volatile Games

Casinos may notice that their players favour either low-variance or highly volatile games. Moreover, they might want to swing you in the direction of one of these types of slots more than the other.

If a casino wants its players to win a small sum to build up their confidence, low-variance games like Starburst may be offered.

If they want to reward you with free spins but ensure that you aren’t likely to win big sums given the number of spins you’re given for free, they’ll opt for something highly volatile, such as Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead.

Lower Stake to Prize Ratios and RTP Rates

Online casinos may also choose to recommend, push, or promote games which feature lower stake-to-prize ratios. Every slot has a stake-to-prize ratio which sets it apart from others.

For instance, one slot may pay out 1,000x a bet as a top prize, while another may have prizes worth 20,000x a bet. If you’re wagering £1 a pop no matter what, it is in the casino’s interest for you to play the first game, not the second. 

At the same time, each slot will have its own RTP rate, which determines how much of each slot wager is put back into a pot for everyone to win and how much they keep (house edge) as pure profit.

Obviously, the casino wants you to have a fair shot of winning but would prefer you to play games with RTPs of 96% or lower. For this reason, NetEnt slots such as Bloodsuckers (with its 97%+ RTP rate) seldom appear in free spin bonuses.

To Promote a New Provider

The casino may also have recently signed a deal with a new software provider. For instance, if the operator has just signed a content partnership with Pragmatic Play, they will likely want to highlight those games in their lobby and push them on you.

This is one of the few times when I think it is perfectly okay for casinos to push titles onto players. There can’t really be any ulterior motives in play when this happens.

Is Pushing Slots Onto Players Okay?

Now for the big question – is it okay for online casinos to push slots onto players at all? My answer might surprise you – yes. As long as you have a fair shot of winning, then there’s nothing to complain about. Remember, you aren’t forced to claim casino bonuses or play the games the site recommends to you.

You are perfectly capable of doing your own homework, realising that any pushed games may not suit you, and are free to choose something else. 

Do all casinos push slots? Almost certainly. Even UKGC-licensed online casinos, which are notoriously heavily regulated, aren’t prohibited from recommending or pushing slots onto players who are already members. The entire aspect of pushing slots is an industry-wide phenomenon and isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

If you’re stuck for something to play, for instance, it can actually be quite helpful to be pointed in the right direction. Just remember to do the legwork first to ensure that any slots a casino promotes are worth your time.