Slot machines have come a long way from the classic three-reel levered slots, or ‘one-armed bandits’ located in every pub and arcade across the UK back in the 19th century. Back in the US before they were legalised, they dispensed flavoured gum and every convenience store in the country had one! Back then, the line between vending and gambling machine was a blurred one. Presently, slot machines have evolved into video slots and are considered gambling machines beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Gained Popularity in the 80s
Reel slots and video slots each have their own distinct features which make them different from each other. What makes these contraptions so insanely popular and attractive to many players is the fact that they don’t require any element of skill, they’re completely based on chance, they can be played in your own time, and they’re incredibly easy to use. There are also so many variations out there that you’re bound to find something to suit even the most particular of tastes.
The video slots we see today all spawned from Charles Fey’s Liberty Bell slot machine in 1895, who probably had no idea what a goldmine he had created. Next, Walt Fraley’s slot machine, Fortune Coin, was introduced to the world in 1975, although it didn’t go down too well with the people at the time as they distrusted handing their hard-earned money over to a virtual machine. It was only in the 1980s that slot machines gained eminence, thanks to the dawn of Video Poker.
Video Slots Today
Nowadays, video slots are not comprised of any moving parts as everything is graphically represented on the screen in front of you. Each slot has an inbuilt random number generator or RNG to replicate the spinning of the reels in live machines, thus, more reels have been added to the standard three to create all sorts of unique reel layouts. Microchip technology has allowed game developers to have free artistic reign over their games; there are no boundaries as to what they can create. In fact, the symbols on these games are highly animated with an array of themes to choose from, compelling graphics, video clips and soundtracks. When you land a winning combination, for example, the icons will move, light up or provide the player with a nifty animation. There are also thousands of winning lines and some exceptional interactive bonus games which take you away from the reels for some sizable winnings and substantial progressive jackpots. This increases the hit percentage and provides players with a more entertaining gaming experience compared to the outdated three-reel games.
Providers are even including story-telling into their machines with the addition of an animated intro clip before you launch the slot. The games themselves are even telling a story through their supplementary features which have been designed to keep players engaged for hours.
So much so, that some slots are like mini video games. Jungle Jim El Dorado from Microgaming is a good example. It’s not a slot as you know it, but it’s visually beautiful and you engage with the character. He’s like a cross between Lara Croft and Indiana Jones and that has tons of appeal. But is it for everyone? Take a video game like Kahoot! or Minecraft. Not only do they rival some of the top video slots for graphics, but they are also food for the brain. Watching someone spend hours building a Minecraft mansion, or groups of people quizzing each other on Kahoot! is a long way from watching someone spin the reels on a video slot. Do you want euphoric highs from hitting the big progressive jackpot, or to gain a wealth of knowledge from brain-testing games? There’s plenty of people in both camps.
An Abundance of Features!
Playing is so simple, there’s nothing to it – you just select the size of your bet and how many pay-lines you want to play on (some slots are designed with fixed win-lines, which means that you can’t choose which to activate), you hit the ‘Spin’ button, and you’re off to winning some lovely cash prizes! The most popular video slots come with five reels of winnings and can have hundreds of unique features like bonus symbols, free spins, Wilds, Scatters, multipliers and even a gamble feature.
Whatever your taste, every slot machine has something unique to offer, and with so many divergent themes and new features added every day, guaranteed there’s something for everyone. For those who prefer the classic three-reel slots of old, there are plenty of these types of games to give players that retro feel. Similarly, there are fruit machine style slots which provide users with a vintage gaming experience (remember those flavoured-gum-dispensing machines?) and a hell lot of fruit symbols, bars, and sevens.