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    The Best Free Slots of 2021

    Gambling fans always want access to the best products in the industry. The fast development of the latest makes it impossible to keep pace and test every single pokie because they are released monthly.

    The year 2021 was highly productive and made certain companies stand out. There were a few providers which launched a significant number of successful products. Every gambler should announce and try such products to assess their quality and advancement.

    In 2021, more new features were also introduced, so many developers managed to declare themselves and finally take their niche in the Internet gambling market. Today, we will give our readers information about the results of the year 2021, present various ratings, and our list of top pokies in the online gambling industry. Thus, every punter will have a chance to get familiar with the best online casino slots in 2021 and play for free or for real money.

    The 2021 online pokies are more popular than ever before

    Many innovative functions appeared in 2021. Thanks to the work of talented and creative software developers, good old pokies transformed into something absolutely new. They became more diverse, exciting, and attractive due to the better graphics, unique features, and gameplay. Observe the most prominent trends of the year in the best slots online in 2021.

    Nolimit City’s unique features

    The Nolimit City developer became a pacemaker in 2021, thanks to the hard work and many innovations presented to the market. The company presented a set of new features in their slots:

    • xWays. It is a special token, which helps boost the rewards in pokies. When landing on the reel, it can discover a certain item. When more than one such token appears, all discovered elements are identical. The option is purely Nolimit’s. It’s used in all their pokies launched since 2021.
    • xNudge. Another function which benefits punters. It’s represented by an extended wild, which can occupy the whole reel. The token keeps moving until fully revealed. With every mode, the multiplier value of the element keeps growing.
    • xSplit. The function works thanks to a special wild item, which allows splitting one token on each adjacent reel into two and redoubling them. The feature is also widely applied in the pokies from the provider.
    • xBomb. The last but not least option is represented by a wild, which cannot only replace other items for building successful combos but also explode to eliminate all adjacent regular tokens. As a result, a multiplier for the next spin gets increased.

    Sequel to old popular pokies

    Again, the trend to develop continuations or renovated versions of popular pokies of the past became widespread. Some products just got a sequel, while others obtained improved features and game mechanics. Among the examples, we can mention Buffalo King Megaways by Pragmatic Play. Compared to the version of 2019, this pokie was supplemented with a Megaways engine and a few other options.

    Blueprint Gaming also launched the Goonies Return pokie after their original online casino game launched in 2018.

    Hold and Respin option

    This is not an entirely new function. However, it became more widespread in the best online slots in 2021. Thanks to it, a bonus token, which appears on the reels, gets stacked. Then, a respin increases the chances of winning or activating bonus rounds. An example of such an option can be found in the Goonies return pokie by Blueprint. One of the bonus rounds makes a bonus item locked, while 3 spins are granted to win a generous prize or bonus. The same function is presented in Fire In The Hole by Nolimit City.

    Uncommon set of reels

    In previous years, pokies were mostly characterized by a traditional set of reels (5 x 3 or 5 x 4 in most cases). The year 2021 changed the situation and allowed developers to use their creativity in what concerns a playing field. More pokies with uncommon grids were released:

    • Gates of Olympus by Pragmatic Play (6 x 5)
    • Wild Toro 2 by ELK Studios (5 x 5)
    • Heroes Hunt 2 Megaways by Fantasma Games (6 x 6)
    • Fruit Party 2 Pragmatic Play (7 x 7), etc.

    The 2021 edition of the best online pokies has been awarded on other sites across web

    Many products became noticeable. Moreover, many 2021 online casino slots with the best odds of winning were released to attract experienced punters who seem to have tested everything. The leading experts of the Internet gambling industry summed up all the information and users’ opinions to create their ratings and grant the awards.

    BigWinBoard’s awards

    It’s a reputable resource that gives awards based on punters’ voting. There’s no subjective opinion here because every gambler could take part in the choice of the best online slots to play 2021 and top developers.

    San Quentin xWays, created by Nolimit City, became the year’s product. The pokie has all the best options from Nolimit City. Punters can play free online slots on the Internet to test xWays, xSplit, diverse bonus rounds, and free spins. Besides, there’s a Bonus Buy feature typical for all pokies of the provider.

    The company might feel proud of its work. It managed to become better and beat the previous year’s results when its product Deadwood became the second best in the rating. In 2021, more products of the developer were recognized, taking 5 top positions:

    • San Quentin
    • Mental
    • xWays Hoarder
    • Das xBoot
    • Fire in the Hole.

    Bigwinboard, also called Nolimit City the developer of the year, brought even more fame to the software provider.

    AskGamblers’ awards

    According to the competent opinion of AskGamblers, the most prominent online pokies launched in 2021 are as follows:

    • 1st Bigger Bass Bonanza by Pragmatic Play. The pokie is a mutual product of the developer with the Reel Kingdom, which was released in September 2021. The product is devoted to a fishing theme and can make punters relaxed. It’s simple in general, thanks to just 10 paylines and 5 reels. At the same time, the pokie offers pleasant additions, such as extra spins (up to 20) and special tokens. One of the lovely things in the pokie is the RTP of 96.71%, which, together with high variance, promises good chances of wins. The game’s one of the best RTP online slots in 2021.
    • 2nd Fire in the Hole xBomb by Nolimit City. It’s undoubtedly one of the most major releases of the year. What’s more, it’s among the best payout slots online in reviews 2021, with the prize of up to 60,000x the stake.
    • 3rd Aloha King Elvis! by BGaming. It’s a funny slot featuring frogs in Hawaii. It’s exciting and nicely designed. Besides, it’s not sophisticated, thanks to a simple set of reels and 25 fixed lines. However, bonus functions are generous. They include giant tokens, extra spins, re-spins, bonus rounds with high-value tokens, and even a jackpot. The betting options are also adjustable, so gamblers can increase a bet to increase the winnings. Maintaining the previous year’s tradition, the game also has a Bonus Buy option.

    All those products are accessible with free demo play versions, so every gambler can assess them and have fun.

    EGR’s awards

    EGR Operator Awards is an annual event during which the best representatives of the gambling industry in different nominations are defined. In 2021, the Product of the year was won by the Gates of Olympus pokie, created by Pragmatic Play. The game is devoted to one of the most popular themes – ancient Greek gods. The product has a unique set of reels (6 x 5), which is typical for 2021. In general, it’s simple and offers traditional options (which are supplemented by extra multipliers to boost the wins).

    Top-3 successful slot developers in 2021

    2021 became very important for sure developers. Some of the new representatives of the industry managed to become more prominent and win the hearts of casino lovers. Let’s speak about the most outstanding software providers of the year with the best online slots payout percentage in 2021.

    Hacksaw Gaming

    According to the rating of the top developers by Bigwinboard, Hacksaw Gaming became the 2nd best company to release products in 2021. One of the pokies by the developer (Wanted Dead or a Wild) was included in the rating of Bigwinboard, taking the 6th position. And it’s only because all the higher ranks were taken by the games from Nolimit City.

    The provider obtained another critical prize during the CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards, which took place in Malta in July 2021. The company became the third and won the nomination for the best soundtrack for the Chaos Crew pokie.

    Nolimit City

    This provider managed to become a real star of the year. Many products of Nolimit City have been recognized as the best payout online slots in 2021 reviews on various sites. The year turned out highly productive for the developer: the company launched a wide range of pokies, which became surprisingly popular. Besides, the company is the one that made trends of 2021 thanks to the new advanced options described above.

    Many awards were granted to Nolimit City. According to the voting on Bigwinboard, the developer took the first 5 positions for:

    • San Quentin
    • Mental
    • xWays Hoarder
    • Das xBoot
    • Fire In The Hole.

    And indeed, the company became the developer of the year. Fire In The Hole was also recognized as the 2nd best product by AskGamblers, while the company took the second position.

    The products from Nolimit City are unique. They have become more popular thanks to the desire of the developer to meet the requirements of modern punters. The games are characterized by a relaxed look with advanced graphics and effects, a wide range of creative options, which boost the rewards, and exciting plots, each of which tells a story (extraordinary, though).

    Pragmatic Play

    Another developer, which deserves attention, is Pragmatic Play. Throughout its long history, the company has become one of the industry’s leaders. In 2021, it proved it once again. According to AskGamblers, their Bigger Bass Bonanza pokie became the year’s best product. However, the provider took just the 3rd position. Pragmatic Play was also mentioned by the Bigwinboard voters, who made their product the 9th on a list of the top products of the year.

    At the same time, the prestigious EGR Awards in London gave the 1st position to the provider. However, according to EGR’s version, another pokie, Gates of Olympus, became the Product of the Year. The same slot was mentioned during the Gaming Intelligence Awards Latin America 2021. It became the Product of the Year, while the company won the iGaming Supplier of the Year nomination.

    Top-5 favourite online pokies in 2021 by SlotsUp

    Having analyzed a wide range of products and the top ratings made by reputable experts, we want to present our own list of the best pokies. Consider their features and play free games to enjoy:

    Pokie’s name Developer Release Date RTP Details
    Jammin Jars 2 Push Gaming June 2, 2021 96.40% The first place on our list is given to this game for a few reasons. It offers a very unusual experience thanks to an 8 x 8 grid and cluster pays. There’re many beneficial options, some of which can be launched randomly after any spin. Thanks to so many features, the greatest possible reward is impressive – up to 50,000x the stake. Push Gaming managed to create a unique product, which looks more like a 3-in-a-row than a simple slot.
    Mental Nolimit City August 31, 2021 94.20% –  96.08% This pokie is a perfect choice for those looking for an unforgettable experience who adore horror and want to enjoy exciting gameplay. This game was recognized as one of the best in 2021. And due to a wide range of unique options, bonus games, amazing plot, and atmospheric design, we added it to our list.

    The slot offers huge rewards (up to 66,666x the bet), reasonable RTP, and high variance.

    Gonzo’s Gold NetEnt October 14, 2021 96.11% Continuing a popular trend in 2021, this slot is a sequel to the original game by NetEnt. The pokie looks very up-to-date, thanks to high-quality graphics and animated effects. The slot offers a 5 x 5 playing field and traditional options, which launch free spins with special expanded tokens. The game offers traditional for the series cluster pays and a max win of up to 5,000x the stake.
    Buffalo King Megaways Pragmatic Play April 29, 2021 94.51% – 96.52% Pragmatic Play was also included in our rating because this provider impressed punters with a few interesting games. Buffalo King is a sequel to the previous version, supplemented with Megaways and several other options. Beautiful landscapes, an additional reel, wilds with multipliers, and many other benefits made this game one of the top products for our rating. The max prize is 5,000x the bet.
    Hero Clash Hurricane Games July 2021 88.08% – 98.10% It’s a joint project together with Stakelogic (after the acquisition of Hurricane). The first thing to mention is the RTP, which might reach over 98%. The playing grid is simple – 5 x 3. However, many additional functions make the game exciting. There’s a special meter to activate free spins and a traditional Gamble option to redouble the prize.

    In general, the slot is a renovated version of more traditional games, which was improved thanks to advanced graphic design, more unique options, and special rounds. The max win is 5,000x the stake.


    In 2021, punters could see many innovations integrated into pokie machines. The slots changed their look and mechanics, thus, slowing gamblers from diversifying their gambling experience. The products varied in styles, themes, paylines, and max wins. Not all developers managed to impress punters with truly generous payouts (except for Nolimit City), but a lot of products of 2021 deserve attention.

    Many software providers stood out in 2021. Nolimit City appeared the best, being mentioned in every single rating. All best slots can be played at reputable Internet casinos for real cash. Besides, punters can play for fun and test the top products on casino-related resources without downloading or registration.

    Follow new nominations and awards in the following years to be the first to try the most prominent online games available in the online gambling industry.

    Max Bet

    My name is Max, and my passion is online slot machines! I've been working in iGaming for 4 years now, and I just can't stop. I'm working on online slot reviews for SlotsUp primarily. If there would be the most challenging online slot machines quiz, I will beat it with ease.