Slot games are the most popular with numerous on most casino floors today, online and offline, and can generate up to 80% of their total revenue. There are several different kinds of slots, from the very simple to the very intricate, and everyone seems to have their personal preferences. One thing that all players seem to agree on, though, is that no casino session is complete without a few spins of the reels.
Early Beginnings of Slots
Slot machines were first invented by Charles August Fey, a Bavarian-born American inventor, in the late 1890s. The first machine was called the Liberty Bell, and soon the machines were seen in bars all over Brooklyn and New York.
Fey was a mechanic by trade, and his versions of slot machines were actually a simplification of something that had been created by inventors named Sittman and Pitt a few years earlier. They worked on a system of physically spinning reels, upon which bright and easily distinguishable symbols were displayed.
A token would allow a player to pull a lever and activate the spinning of the 3 reels, and when they came to rest the pattern that the symbols had formed would be checked. If they lined up in pre-specified formations, called paylines, players would win a prize – originally cigarettes or sweets rather than money.
Slot machines proved to be so popular that further evolution was inevitable. Electromechanical operations were introduced in the 1960s, which allowed payouts of up to 500 coins to be made from the machine itself without the help of an attendant. This was also when slots were first introduced to Las Vegas, as a side attraction for the female consorts of men playing serious table games. They were soon a main event in their own right, and spread throughout the world.
Microprocessors became common in the 1980s, and controlled the stepper motors that turned the reels or drums displaying the symbols. The slot machine games also became more complicated, involving more reels and skills-based side games. Players could try to complete certain tasks by using the lever to manipulate the reels to move in a certain way, to a certain degree. The designs on the reels were increasingly mesmerising and intricate too.
Video Slot Machines
Video slot machines were first used to create much more intricate worlds for players. There are no moving parts on a video slot machine; it all happens, as the name might suggest, on a screen. Results are achieved with random number generation, and the games feature many more paylines and special extras than traditional reel machines. They’re always centred on a theme or idea, from blockbuster movie franchises to ancient mythology. As technology has improved, the graphics and functionality of these games have developed exponentially.
While the name video slots is still used to indicate these more intricate machines, today almost all slot machines are in fact video slot games by virtue of the fact that they are computerised and use screen displays and random number generation to work. This keeps things fairer for players, and makes the cheating that used to happen a thing of the past. You can’t use fake coins or manipulate the microprocessors of a fully computerised machine, after all.
Online Slot Games
The slot games that you find at online and mobile casinos have, of course, always been completely video-based, but they are also usually categorised as classic or reel games and video slot games, and have the same differences in design that you find in land-based machines. They work in almost exactly the same way, and many of the most popular offline games have actually been adapted for online and mobile use.
The 2 main differences in the functionality of online slots games is that you can often play the games for free, which gives you a chance to get used to them and feel comfortable before you put any cash down, and you can activate the Auto-play feature to keep the reels spinning when you’re very busy. It’s not as much fun as spinning for yourself, but at least you don’t miss any opportunities to win.
A progressive jackpot slot game is part of a network, with every connected game contributing to a central pot from the bets that it receives. This grows and grows until it is awarded, whether by being randomly triggered or by players completing specific tasks. Progressive jackpots can be offered as part of a classic reel slot game or a video slot game; performing side tasks to earn your jackpot is usually reserved for the jackpot on video slots.
Land-based progressive jackpots might link slot games in the same area of a casino, in a few different casinos that are near each other or in all casinos across a state. They are always rewarding, but online progressive jackpots link games all across the world. The only way to describe these rewards is life-changing!