Basketball. A game that gets massive traction in countries like the USA, Philippines, Canada, and Australia. The sport is also popular on a limited scale across many other countries. So much so that even the best online casinos offer games revolving around a basketball theme. Interestingly, those games are our area of concern for this guide.
In this guide, we’re going to help you figure out which games you should save to your favorites if you’re a basketball fan. Some of these games are available in no wagering casinos which means you can keep the bonuses you win with no strings attached to them.
Without beating around the bush too much, let’s jump right in!
Best Basketball Themed Games at Online Casinos
Back in the mid-1990s, the idea of online gambling was first introduced. It didn’t make much sense at that time because the internet was not nearly as widespread as it is now. As a result, many people mocked the idea.
One brave soul named Microgaming made it happen against all the odds. Well, not “soul” perhaps but you get the idea, right? Since 1996, hundreds of software providers have come to life and they have blessed us with thousands of games.
Some of these games were so advanced that players from all over the world still play them. And some games are lost in oblivion due to their immature development. It’s not just the games that matter. The theme the game revolves around is also a massive influencer on public acceptance.
While Basketball is not one of the prominent themes for online slot games, you will find games. The thing is, software providers have thought of every possible theme and developed games based on that. Sport is quite a popular theme and basketball happens to be one of the most popular sports. So, it’s not hard to understand why these games exist.
Well, here they are.
1. Basketball Star
Microgaming. A name that you’re all very familiar with. Even people who’re not proficient in the iGaming industry will know about this provider. It’s because Microgaming is the forefather of the iGaming industry, making it a reality as we know it now.
Basketball Star is one of the many games in Microgaming’s library. We thought it’s only fair to credit the company that started it all as our first game provider.
It’s a relatively older 5-reel video slot, coming out back in 2015. The visual elements in the game surely capture the vibe from that era. In the background, you can see an arena where the games are held. You can even see the crowd. There are no animations in the background because let’s face it, it was hard back then to include dynamic motion in a slot.
2. Slam Dunk by Vermantia
To basketball fans, this game is quite well-accepted and well-known. If you haven’t heard of this game before, it might be because the provider is not very well-known. It’s Vermantia we’re talking about and it’s a scratch ticket game. If you haven’t guessed from the name yet, the game follows a basketball theme for fans all over the world.
What you need to understand is that this is quite a rare game. So, there’s a good chance that you won’t find this game in many of the online casinos. However, the game features 243 ways to win which is very advanced for its time. Microgaming still uses this mechanic for its modern games. Take the Game of Thrones branded slot for example!
The symbols in the game are all basketball-themed. No surprise there. You get different 3D basketball players in various positions. One thing we really liked is the feature where you click on a symbol and it shows the payout combination.
The player in the red jersey pays the most. If you can land 5 on a payline, you’ll get 12x the stake. It’s not exactly a high-paying game but if you’re a basketball fan, you’re not playing for the payouts, are you?
Then, the player in the yellow jersey pays 6x, 2 players (red and white) pays 5x, 2 players (green and blue) pays 3x, 2 players (indigo and black) pays 2.5x, the gold medal pays 2.4x, basketball shoes pay 2x, energy drinks pay 1.6x, and the court symbol pays 1.4x.
The highest paying symbol, however, is none of the above. Rather, it’s the scatter. It pays in any formation and you can win a whopping 250x your stake for 5 on a payline.
Then, you have the Basketball Star symbol wild which can replace all symbols except for the scatter.
The spins in the game are somewhat slow in our opinion. But you can always enable the “Quick Spin” feature to pace them up. The bet size in the game ranges between 0.50 and 125 currency units.
3. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Keith Rodman is an old-timer rebounding forward who dominated the NBA draft back in the 1980s. He’s often credited as the best of all time in that position. Later on, he became an actor as well as the Peace Ambassador to North Korea on behalf of the US.
But you already know all of these if you’re a basketball fan, right? You’re here for the slot. Well, the game is developed by WGS Technology. It’s a 5-reel video slot with 20 paylines. The minimum bet value in this game start at 0.01 only.
You’d be glad to know that it’s a low volatility game. It means the game will payout quite often. The 20 paylines in the game are adjustable. It means you can turn some of the lines off if you want. It’ll certainly increase your potential payout but at the cost of lower probability.
A basketball-themed game named “Dennis Rodman”. You can only imagine which way the symbols can go, right? All of them are associated with Dennis in one way or another. They’re mostly him wearing different jerseys and projecting different expressions.
The wild symbol in the game is quite interesting if you ask us. It’s Dennis Rodman in a bride suit. It also happens to be the highest paying symbol in the game, up to 10,000x your stake! As for when it replaces other symbols to form a winning payline, it adds a 2x multiplier as well.
The scatter is a Lamborghini, arguably Dennis’s favorite car manufacturer. Landing 3 or more of this symbol will trigger the free spins round. You get 15 free spins and every time you land a winning combination, it’s multiplied by 3.
4. Basketball Pro
This title from Caleta Gaming shares a lot of similarities with other prominent titles on our list. It’s a high volatility video slot and has 243 ways to win. It sure sounds a lot like Basketball Star from Microgaming but with better visuals.
Interestingly, most of the symbols are borrowed from Basketball Star as well. They’re not “exactly” the same but if you play both games, you’ll notice the similarities. It even has the pack of energy drinks and the basketball shoes symbols.
The spin animation is much faster and smoother. The visuals are very crisp. You cannot help but appreciate the sparkly background with all the lights and the shiny court. The symbols too are 3D and they’re all textured to feel real.
There are a total of 11 symbols. 9 of them are core game symbols, 1 of them is a Wild, and the remaining is the scatter. 4 of the core symbols have 2 players in them, in different jersey colors, of course. Then, 1 symbol is a single player going for the slam dunk. Then, you have the gold medal, the basketball shoes, the energy drinks, and the court.
However, clicking on the symbols in the game doesn’t trigger the payout formation.
Things You Need to Understand About Slots to Play them Better
Slots are one of the most straightforward casino games. You don’t need any prior experience to win in these games. However, there’s far more to slots than meets the eye. It goes for both real-life slot machines as well as online slots.
While you don’t “necessarily” need to know this information, it’s crucial if you want to enjoy your experience. Because it’s always better to know what’s happening in casino games inspired by basketball than just to watch it on the screen, right?
So, here are the things that you need to understand for playing the basketball-themed slots as well as all other kinds.
Return to Player (RTP)
For all casino games you can find on the internet, you’ll find an associated RTP. It stands for return to player and it’s denoted in percentages. It’s a theoretical indication of how much you can win back from your bets.
So, if a title has an RTP of 95%, it simply means you’re getting 95% of your bets back over time. The “over time” bit is an important clarification because you can’t expect the game to hit the RTP consistently.
The RTP for a particular title is calculated over millions of rounds. It’s technically the average of the payouts. As you may have already guessed, the higher the RTP is, the more you can expect to win from that game.
There’s another concept that often comes up when casinos are concerned. The house edge. It’s the mathematical advantage an operator has over the players. The house edge is basically casinos make money, other than all the real money losses players incur.
The remaining percentage after you deduct the RTP from 100% is the house edge. You may not get the RTP all the time but house edge is always there. It sounds unfair on paper but that’s how the gambling industry works.
Every single online slot game has a paytable. It’s the “table” where your “payout” information is listed. Essentially, all of the symbols and their payouts, the features of the Wild and the scatter, bonus rounds, number of paylines and how they work, RTP, volatility, etc. pieces of information are listed on a paytable.
The whole idea of the paytable is to explain the entire game and its mechanics to the players without having to reach out to 3rd parties. If you know how to read the paytable, you know how slots work. It’s as simple as that.
For the most part, the symbol payouts on the paytable are dynamic. As you change your bet value, the payout values for different combinations will change. For example, if you bet $1.00, a particular symbol may pay $20.00 for 5 on a line combination. But when you change the bet value to $2.00, the payout for the same symbol changes to $40.00.
The other thing you should check out before you start playing is how the wild and the scatter work. The concept of the wild symbol is more or less the same as any other wild entity. Its job is to replace another symbol to create a payline. Sometimes, the wild pays too.
The scatter, on the other hand, is mostly responsible for triggering the bonus features. Almost all online slots have one or more bonus features nowadays. It might be a simple free spins round as well as complicated jackpot games integrated within the base game. Whatever the case is, you’ll find the explanation on a paytable.
If you’re familiar with the stock market or the crypto industry, you may have heard the expression “it’s volatile”. Volatility, in general, refers to the risk factor. The more volatile something is, the riskier it is considered.
Volatility is an important metric for online slot games as well. Needless to say, you’ll find the information on the paytable. For the most part, there are 3 volatility ratings for the games. Low Medium and High.
These games are relatively safe and are perfect for new players. You’re unlikely to land massive winning combinations but you’ll keep winning frequently. If you’re a new player, it’s plenty exciting and the psychologists agree! From what we’ve seen, most seasoned players don’t go for low-volatility games.
These games are just the opposite of what low-volatility games are. You don’t win as frequently but when you do, it’s a big winning. These titles are mostly very amusing.
Technically, this should’ve been the next entry after low volatility. But it’s better this way because you’ll have an easier time understanding. Medium volatility slots are right in the sweet spot. You don’t win big but you don’t have to wait as long as a high volatility slot.
Apart from these 3, there are 2 additional volatility types that go into online slots. The low-medium and the medium-high. Both of these types are self-explanatory, don’t you think?
Minimum & Maximum Bet
All of the games have a set range of bet values. It can start as low as 0.01 currency units. Then, it depends on how the game is designed for the maximum bet value. High volatility games tend to have a higher bet ceiling while lower volatility games have a lower maximum bet value.
Another metric is the maximum winning. It’s often represented as a multiplier for the stake. So, if the paytable is saying you can win 10,000x your stake, it means a single spin can return 10,000 times of your bet value as the payout!
However, most games have a maximum winning cap. So, if you set the bet value to the maximum and win the most lucrative combination, the actual payout may not be 10,000x the stake, given that the maximum winning is capped at a lower value.
A Little Background on Basketball
A feature on the best basketball-themed slots doesn’t go very well without mentioning the sport itself, does it? If you already know everything there is to know about the sport, you can skip this section. But we believe the newcomers in the industry should be on top of their game.
Most historians agree that basketball, as we know it today first, started in Massachusetts, USA. Interestingly, it was a Canadian who invented the game. James Naismith was a physical education instructor back in 1891 and he was looking for a sport less injury-inducing than football.
It’s not hard to understand if you look at how an American football match goes even today. It’s one of the most physically demanding and sometimes violent mainstream sports out there.
Over the next 100 years or so, basketball changed a lot. The size of the court, the characteristics of the ball, the attire for the players, and everything else changed drastically to make it a more popular and more convenient sport.
The biggest showdown of basketball on earth, the National Basketball Association (NBA) started back in 1946. It created the market basketball needed to grow as a global sport. And look where we are now. Basketball is a massive attraction for both sports betting and as a casino game theme.
Payment Methods You Can Use to Play the Basketball-themed Games
Whether you’re going for slots or scratch cards at online casinos, you’ll need to use a real money payment method. Because you can’t walk into a physical establishment and deposit cash like you’re in a land-based casino. Unless, you live in the US, of course.
So, what are the online payment methods you can use? You’d be glad to know that all kinds of methods are welcome in modern casinos. It includes credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and even cryptocurrencies.
For the most part, there are no additional fees for gambling transactions. Only the fees you already pay for the method itself will sustain.
Here are some of the most popular online payment methods you can use to play basketball-themed games.
- And lots of others
Apart from the methods themselves, look into the limits as well. Some online casinos allow you to maximize the limit of the method. Other casinos will have a separate limit for both deposits and withdrawals.
What is a basketball-themed casino game?
Well, these are casino games that utilize a component of basketball in their theme. The games we’ve listed on our list, all of them have basketball somewhat intertwined in the game. Apart from slots, you may also find board games as well as scratch cards that follow this theme.
Can I win real money from these games?
Of course, you can. Basketball-themed casino games are still real money games. So, you make a wager using your funds and if you win, you get to keep it.
What are the bonuses I can win for basketball-themed games?
Most of these games have a bonus round integrated into the game. It might be free spins, a bonus game, or additional multipliers on your winnings. As for casino bonuses, you may win a welcome bonus after you sign up. Apart from these, different casinos take different approaches to how they want to reward the players.