Sports fans love playing their favorite games, as we can see by looking at the popularity of the likes of the NFL, NBA, and FIFA video game franchises in recent years. However, there’s another way of playing sport-themed games that is also worth considering. These are casino slots based on different sports but how do they work?

What Are Casino Slots?

These are games of chance based on the slot machines that have typically been available in land casino, arcades, and other gambling establishments in the past. They’ve now moved online, and that’s allowed the game developers to greatly increase the number of games and themed covered. This article by HowStuffWorks explains what goes on behind the scenes when you play.

The basic gameplay is that a selection of symbols spins around on a set of reels. You’re looking for a winning combination of matching symbols to fall into place when the reels come to rest. This typically means getting three or more identical images together. Bonus features such as free spins and special rounds help to add variety.

Themes are added by making the symbols relevant to the overall game. In the case of sports slots, the symbols often feature the likes of players, balls, and trophies. They might also make the background the image of a stadium, a playing field or something else relevant.

While rugby isn’t a sport you´ll find on many casino slots, some of the other most popular global sports are commonly included. These range from cricket to soccer and basketball, among others. Any sport can be used as a theme, and since this market is growing at a fast pace, we can expect to see more sports slots added over time. For the moment, the following are some of the top titles in this category.

Cricket Legends

Created by the team at Woohoo Games, this slot shows a spectacular cricket ground as the background. The reels are filled with the sort of images you’d expect, as a group of players and umpire give it a great feel. The lower-paying symbols in slots are typically made up of playing card symbols and here they’ve had the smart idea of putting them onto different cricket shirts.

As for the features, the creators have decided to keep it simple, but there are tumbling reels where winning symbols are removed to be replaced by others. One of the most interesting moments is when an expanding wild appears, making one of the slot’s characters take up a full reel. The scatter symbol gives free spins including an increasing multiplier, when you get at least three of them.

Gridiron Glory

American football is becoming an increasingly popular theme, possibly due to the fact that numerous US states have made online casinos legal in the last few years. In the case of Gridiron Glory, it was created by the same developer behind the cricket game we just looked at and they’ve used a similar approach with pleasing visuals and an authentic feel.

The features are also similar to the previous games, with stacked wilds and also a wild event where a player fills a reel and acts as a wild. Free spins can be won with three scatters, and they go up to a maximum of 25 spins if you get five of them special images at once.

Shaolin Soccer

Based on the hugely successful 2001 comedy movie of the same name that has an 84% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, Shaolin Soccer is one of the current batch of sport-themed slots designed with the mobile casino market in place. The five reels have a soccer field above them, and the symbols are different players, although developer PG Soft has gone from a cartoon-style approach rather than trying to accurately recreate the film’s stars.

As with many slots, a wild symbol is used to complete winning combos, as it’s a kind of joker that can stand in for any other symbol when needed. The scatter symbol is needed to earn entry to the free spins round. A Players Transformation feature is eye-catching too, as it’s activated when same player fills all four spaces in the middle reel. When this happens, all of the soccer-playing monks across the reels change into that same player.

Other Games to Try

If you want to try other slots based on the world’s most popular slots, Joe Fortune is an online casino that includes the likes of Street Ball Star, World Cup Football, and Zombie FC, as well as the games we’ve mentioned above. A big slots range is joined by classic table games such as blackjack and roulette. Getting started is easy and you can pick up a bonus to get going in style.

This leaves us with the final question of when we might expect to see a rugby league slot game. Titles like Rugby Star and Game Day has been released in the past to varying degrees of success, but the time seems right for a major new game of this type to be made. With rugby hugely popular in Australia and elsewhere, there’s a huge potential audience for this type of game. Until then, there are plenty of other casinos slot you might want to try.