Online slot machines are by far the most popular type of casino games. They’re fast, fun and really diverse – there are themes for every taste and a lot of interesting features. Plus, there’s a huge number of developers making them, and they all want to make their slots stand out in the crowd.

This often means creating new and innovative features, and it also involves coming up with creative ways to advertise them. For example, some developers launch branded slots that feature well-known movie or TV characters, while others create a very distinctive style and focus on it (i.e. Big Time Gaming’s Megaways).

Another way to stand out is by running slot tournaments – these are usually limited in scope and take place within a certain window of time, although sometimes they’re run as heats or stages with each winning player progressing into the finals where the top players compete for the grand prize. These events can be a great way to try out new games and earn some extra cash while you’re at it!

Regardless of whether you’re playing for free or with real money, always check the maximum win amount. This is shown in the information panel and will tell you how much you can potentially win if you land a full screen of matching symbols or trigger a specific feature. It can be quite high, and it’s worth keeping this in mind when choosing your slot machine.