Video slots have come a long way from the simplicity of the first mechanical slot machine, which was created in the late 19th century. Nowadays, most slots can be seen as quite complex to an inexperienced player, but the underlying truth is that they all function the same way.
In this post, we’ll elaborate on the origin of modern slot machines, and we’ll also examine how they work. After having grasped the concept of slot games, feel free to pay LV BET a visit and play online slots for yourself.
WHEN WAS THE SLOT MACHINE INVENTED?
The roots of the modern slot machine lie in the late 19th century, specifically, 1894. In that year, car mechanic Charles Fey produced the very first physical slot called the Liberty Bell. This particular slot machine seemed to emulate the look and function of a vending machine since the symbols — lemons, cherries, plums and grapes — represented the different chewing gum flavours.
The Liberty Bell was extremely simple in nature, and it should go without saying that the game did not include any special features whatsoever. Landing a different combination of symbols would pay between five to 50 cents, which would fall into a small metal shaft for the lucky player to claim.
When gambling was banned in the United States several years later, physical slots began offering actual chewing gum as opposed to money prizes, but this change was reverted when gambling became legal once again in the 1960s.
TYPES OF SLOT MACHINES
The physical reel made way for the virtual reel in 1964 when the first electronic slot machine was created. This invention paved the way for innovation and creativity as inventors sought to explore the potential of newer slot machines.
With all the best digital technology at their disposal, contemporary game providers have significantly upped the bar when it comes to originality and entertainment within the world of slots. The following are the three most popular types of slots found in online casinos nowadays.
All the slot machines created in the early years of slot gambling fell under many names — including ‘coin slots’ and even ‘penny slots’ — but their general category was classic slots. Classic slot machines continued to exist despite their migration to electronic platforms, and they are still developed to this day.
What constitutes a classic slot is its extremely simplistic layout. Classic slot machines feature not more than three reels and very few paylines, on which players will be looking to land combinations of fruit symbols, seven symbols and ever BAR symbols.
The drawback of classic slot games is that the entertainment value is somewhat limited to the first few spins. Once the general idea of the game is understood, most veteran players often pursue other more feature-heavy games. Having said that, the classics are perfect for players new to the world of casino slots.
It wasn’t long after the creation of casino slots that developers explored the possibility of incorporating five reels in a game. This allowed for several modifications to classic slots since more paylines were added.
Today, five-reel slots are, by far, the most popular style of slot machines. Game developers embellish such slots by adding bonus games within the slot itself, including Free Spins features and even Gamble features. This way, not only is the entertainment factor high but it is long-lasting too.
Jackpot games, including progressive jackpots, are often composed of five reels — the difference being that players stand to win more money in this type of slot. In fact, the uber-lucky players can win money going into the millions should they bag the jackpot. Such large jackpots are known to be occasionally won, but this is quite a rare event.
The way jackpots can be won will vary between slot machines. Some can be won by landing a jackpot combination, which requires a specific number of jackpot symbols to appear on the reels before the payout is granted. The jackpot symbol as well as the maximum jackpot can be discovered in the game rules.
Jackpots can also be won randomly with any spin. This makes for great excitement every time the reels stop; however, the probability of the jackpot being won this way is still very low.
The same can be said for progressive jackpot games, with the sole difference that every spin players make contributes to the size of the jackpot. Each player’s spinning reels will kick a percentage of each bet to the jackpot, which will then be reset to a predetermined amount once a lucky player wins it.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONLINE SLOT MACHINES AND REAL ONES?
The most glaring difference between real slot machines and modern machines found at an online casino is the physical aspect of spinning the reels. In most physical slots, the players’ balance can be topped up by dropping coins in a small shaft, whereas their online counterparts require a deposit made by card or other payment providers.
The physical nature of slot machines can prove to be a very significant inconvenience if most machines are occupied. Although physical casinos can offer multiple machines, they are still subject to availability. In cases where machines are occupied, players have no other option but to wait — unless they wish to try their online version. Online slot machines are always available to be played, which is a very big plus in the age of on-demand entertainment.
HOW DOES A SLOT WORK?
All slot machines work the same way, in that each machine pays depending on the bet size and the value of the symbols that make part of the winning combination. Wins are always proportional to the size of the bet placed. For instance, placing a minimum bet will rarely lead to a large payout.
The symbol value can be examined in the game’s pay tables, whereas other symbols like the Scatters and Wilds may serve to unlock the game’s features, which could lead to greater wins.
Furthermore, slot machines incorporate other elements to help players estimate the frequency of wins. These are the Return to Player (RTP) and the game volatility, also known as game variance.
The RTP refers to the average payback percentage that the slot is expected to deliver over time, like a reverse house advantage. On the other hand, the game volatility or variance refers to the size and hit frequency of certain combinations of symbols. This can range from low to high, where a low volatility slot will pay regularly whereas high-volatility games pay less frequently.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PAST AND MODERN SLOT MACHINES
Whereas old slots used to be bereft of features and interesting mechanics, present-day machines are held to a much higher standard. Nowadays, casino games are mainly judged on their graphics, animations and special features. Slots that don’t offer some kind of bonus round or bonus game tend to miss public attention, which goes to highlight the importance of the entertainment value within slot machines nowadays.
WHICH CONDITIONS SHOULD BE FULFILLED BY THE PROVIDER?
The period prior to the release of a slot is often hectic for game providers as they scramble to obtain the green light from their respective testers. Their checklist might include the following:
- Making sure that the product is up to the industry’s standard
- Making several compliance checks
- Verifying that fairness parameters have been met
- Deploying QA engineers to test the game
- Instructing game developers to answer and act upon to the feedback received from the QA engineers
WHAT IS THE SYSTEM BEHIND SLOT MACHINES?
Old slot machines used to work similarly to vending machines, where a braking system puts a physical stop to the actual reels of the machine when a winning combo is struck. Nowadays, the reels of modern slots can be stopped at the players’ behest, but this doesn’t affect their win rate.
Online slot machines work thanks to a computer program that uses the Random Number Generator to randomise the result of a spin.
WHICH SLOT MACHINES ARE SAFE?
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HOW IS A SLOT PROGRAMMED?
The Random Number Generator is the foundation of every legitimate slot. The purpose of Random Number Generators is to continuously cycle through millions of random numbers, making the outcome of each spin completely unpredictable. Although the same number can be selected by the program, this is a completely random event that cannot be predicted.
HOW TO CHECK THAT AN ONLINE SLOT MACHINE IS NOT RIGGED?
The best way to verify that a casino’s machines aren’t rigged is to view their licences. Most online casinos licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) can guarantee a safe gaming experience.
In any case, losing money is part and parcel of playing casino games. The very purpose of the house advantage is to accrue casino earnings from players’ bets, which is why players evaluate the house advantage before committing to a particular game. It is advised to choose games with a high payback percentage in order to stretch your bankroll as much as possible.
HOW TO DETERMINE THE FREQUENCY OF WINNINGS AND THE NUMBER OF WINNINGS?
In order to have an idea about the win frequency of a particular slot, read some game reviews that detail the exact Return to Play percentage and volatility. This information can often be found in the game rules too.