The stars of online casinos, research shows that online slots account for nearly 40% of all online casino gambling. It’s easy to understand why, as they are easy to learn, fun to play, and give players to chance to take home huge payouts from very small bets. And with some casinos offering over 400 slot games of all different kinds, everyone is bound to find a game they enjoy.
Keep reading our slot guides to learn about the history of slots, the various types of online slots available, the features of different games, and the ways that you can maximize your slot play to give yourself the best chance at winning.
History of slots
The First Slots â€“ The Liberty Bell
Slot machines have been a mainstay of the gambling for more than a century and have come a long way since the first reels spun in the late 1890s. Invented by Charles Fey in San Francisco, the first recognizable slot machine, named The Liberty Bell, featured the classic combination of three reels, five symbols, and one payline across the middle. One hundred years later, slots have evolved to five reels or more with as many as 243 paying combinations, while still carrying on the basic gameplay of The Liberty Bell.
The first half of the 20th
addition of more reels and paylines as well as the idea of multiple winning combinations. In 1963, slot machine took a huge step forward as the first electronic slot machines were installed in Las Vegas casinos.
It only took another decade for Fortune Coin, the world’s first video slot machine, was introduced. At first players were wary of the machine, as they didn’t trust a game where the wins were calculated on a video screen instead of the physical reels they were used to. It took a few years and the introduction of video poker machines for casino gamblers to realize that they could trust video slots, and their popularity soon skyrocketed.
Progressive Jackpots and Online Slots
Since the moment when Megabucks, the world’s first linked progressive jackpot slot machines, were installed in nine Nevada casinos in 1986, the world of slot machine would never be the same. The machines became an instant hit, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars and paying off more than 600 Mini and Mega jackpots, with the largest jackpot an unreal (at the time) payout of $6.8 million, in their first three years of operations.
When the first online slots appeared in 1996, linked progressive slot jackpots were able to take one step further. Instead of hundreds of physical machines linked together for one jackpot, tens of thousands of games, from all over the world, could contribute the jackpot at once. Online slots have also allowed for other innovations ranging from interactive bonus games to video game like graphics and sound.
The Lowdown on Slot Machines
- Slots are no longer the once-an-hour winners their ancestors, the one-armed bandits of Las Vegas, were. You can expect most modern slot machine to feature percentage payouts ranging from the low 90s to 96% or more.
- While progressive jackpot slots offer by far the biggest possible wins, it is often harder to win smaller amounts of money than with other slots.
- The largest wins on most modern video slots come from bonus features and games which appear on separate screens and reaching these games is often the objective of many players.
- While there is no such thing as good slot strategy, choosing the games with the highest payouts and following sound bankroll strategy can give you the best possible chance to win.
Features of Slots
Sometimes, the animated graphics, different symbols, and bonus features can make modern slots seem far more complicated than they actually are. Before playing, you should understand the payline structure and the various ways to win that the particular slot machine offers. Here are some of the features found with many modern slots that you should be familiar with.
Wild symbols are symbols which appear on the reels and substitute for any non-scatter symbol to create a winning payline. Sometimes, winning lines which contain wild symbols pay out more than normal.
These are situations where a certain combination of symbols, such as scatter symbols or wild symbols, cause the amount of a win to be multiplied by a certain amount. Also often seen during free spin rounds, multipliers range from 2x to 5x the normal winning amount.
These are spins where you don’t wager anything in order to spin the reels, yet still collect any winnings which appear on the paylines. Free spins can appear as a bonus round, or as a reward for collecting a certain number of scatter symbols. Most free spin rounds feature around 10 free spins while some wins may carry multipliers.
These are symbols which, if they appear anywhere on the reels, not only on a single payline, trigger certain wins. Scatter symbols can pay out multipliers based on the total bet, trigger free spin rounds, bonus rounds, and even progressive jackpots.
First appearing in 1996 on Reel’Em In, these are special games which take place on a second screen, separate from the normal game. They can be triggered though scatter symbols, wild symbols, or special bonus symbols which appear on the reels. The bonus game could be just about anything, and is often similar to a video game where you have control over what to pick and how much you could win.