Video slots the successors of classic slots, the reason so many have joined in on the marvellous adventure of online casino gambling. We’ve come a long way from the time when slot machines were simply mechanical machines with playing card symbols stuck to the reels.
Some might even say that the advancement of technology is to blame, with everything becoming bigger, better and faster we’ve grown accustomed to getting more for less. Classic slots remain popular and they probably will stay beloved among players for decades to come. That doesn’t mean that they are all that is needed to keep players entertained.
With instant access to nearly everything our attention span has become much shorter and we expect bolder, brighter and better entertainment to come just as instantaneously as our access to it. Players tend to have a shorter attention span nowadays so software developers are challenged with creating slots that keep them entertained and interested for more than 30 seconds per game. This is where Video Slots have become the ‘Holy Grail’ of slot machines.
Look at How Far We’ve Come
When you load a video slot it’s almost impossible to believe that the very first slots were styled around poker with playing cards used as symbols. The only way to win with these slots were to create a winning poker hand.
Thankfully the Liberty Bell slot machine changed all of that. As time moved on and technology became more advanced, software developers had more opportunities when it came to the development of slot machines. Moving from auto-mechanical to purely automated slots happened over time but enabled developers to create slots with more to offer including bonus features and bigger winning opportunities.
It is not about strategy! Just a reminder that playing video slots is accepting that you are playing a game of chance. You cannot control the outcome and the main purpose of playing should be for the entertainment rather than the hopes of striking a jackpot win.
Slots have been through plenty of changes since it first appeared in the late 90’s. Back in the day players had to pull a lever to spin the wheel and reveal their wins. Slot games went from having playing cards as their symbols to fruits and candies.
Did you know? The fruit symbols were created because prizes for winning spins normally included food and treats. If you managed to line up three fruits such as a Cherry you would receive Cherry bubble-gum as your prize.
In short the first video slot was developed in 1976 by a Las Vegas company, Fortune Coin. This game made use of a 19 inch Sony TV as display and it was first only available in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. It was only after the game went through tests, modifications and cheat proofing that it was approved by the Nevada State Gaming Commission. It became incredibly popular over a very short time span and in 1978 IGT acquired Fortune Coin.
In 1996 WMS Industries Inc. released a video slot that would break ground and change the future of video slots. Reel ‘em was the very first video slot to feature a second screen bonus round. With the addition of the bonus round came additional payouts which of course made the slot highly popular in land based casinos. There are statistics that show this is the time when slots truly became popular in casinos. In fact they’ve were responsible for 70% of the casino income which was fair seeing as these monstrous machines took up over 70% of the casino floor space.
After this the online casino industry began and video slots became even more popular and advanced thanks to the fact that software developers no longer had to focus on the machine but more on the software and the platform it runs on. When HTML5 came into play it was again a moment where history was being made for video slots.
With the HTML5 technology software developers could create bigger, better and faster games that could be played on all desktop, tablet and mobile devices. These games are now developed with multiple bonus features, quirky animations and high end graphics.
All About The Numbers
When considering which online video slots to play it is important to know the differences between the various types available. The biggest difference between video slots is the number of reels available. Classic slots as you know were created with 3 reels but video slots can offer as many as 7 reels per game. The more reels there are on the slot the bigger jackpot winnings are connected to it. Just remember though that more reels also make it harder to hit a winning combination.
5 Reel Slots
These gems are the most popular and also the most common because of the interesting features they offer, the fun mini games and of course the large bonuses. When opening these slots you can expect anything from video slots themed around ancient Egypt or ones themed around TV sitcoms. The point is that with such a wide variety in themes available there is something for everyone in the 5 reel video slot department.
7 Reel slots
There are very little of the 7 reel slots available and most of them have been created by Real Time Gaming (RTG) and WMS Technologies. They differ from the 5 reel slots as they mostly feature only 7 paylines and they lack in the graphics, animations and videos department. These slots do come with Free Spins bonus features and bonus symbols such as multipliers that can rapidly increase your wins should you be lucky enough to form a winning combination.
Random Number Generator (RNG) – where it began and what it means
Math is an incredibly boring or challenging subject for many but thankfully there are some who are mesmerized by numbers and we have a lot to thank them for today, especially when it comes to slot machines.
In fact, Inge Telnaes, a Norwegian Mathematician, transformed the gambling industry in 1984 when he came up with the idea of a Random Number Generator. This invention meant that a simple computer chip could determine the outcome of the symbols when the reels came to a stop. With Telnaes invention casinos could hold a ‘House Edge’ by reprogramming the chip and setting it up so that only one win can be awarded over an amount of 100 or more spins.
Luckily as time passed and more legislation was put in place gambling commissions were established to keep check on the fairness of slots. Any video slot released nowadays must come with data or information on the Return to Player (RTP) percentage it offers. Thus, you can see from the get go what the likelihood of a win is before playing the slot.
The Random Number Generator has also been modified and changed through the years with the main focus being on keeping the outcome unpredictable. There are regulatory bodies who do regular checks on the RNG’s linked to games to see if they are truly random and fair. This takes away the fear or concern that online casinos might be reprogramming the RNG to their advantage.
What Sets Video Slots Apart?
You might wonder what the big fuss is about and why there are some who prefer classic slots and others who rave about video slots. Their just slots right? Wrong, there are various things that set Video Slots apart from the classics.
1. Number of reels: Classic slots come with 3 reels where Video Slots can have five or more reels.
2. More Winning Lines: The classic slots tend to come with just 1 payline where video slots come with multiple paylines. In fact, some of the most modern video slots come with over 1,000 paylines.
3. A little something on the side: One of the biggest notable differences is that classic slots have no bonus features where video slots are filled with special features and icons. Some modern classic slots might include a wild or Scatter symbol but these are mainly found in video slots. To top it off video slots come with scatter symbols, free spins features and mini bonus games.
Bite-sized Betting! Legend has it that John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was frustrated by the idea that he could not play his card game while eating a plated meal. His solution? He ordered that his meals should consist of anything placed between two slices of bread. It is fun to think an Earl with a passion for gaming is responsible for one of the most popular meals ever created.
4. Ding, Ding, Ding, Jackpot Win! Classic slots are known to have smaller jackpots and there are very few of these games that actually come with a progressive jackpot attached. Whereas video slots are famous for their jackpots and there are even some progressive video slots created purely for big winning possibilities. Then there is the tiny fact that classic slot jackpots can only be won if specific symbols land on the reels while progressive jackpots linked to video slots can be won at random.
5. A theme for you, a theme for me: Another massive factor that sets video slots apart from the classics is the themes and imagery attached to it. Classic slots were simplistic and as such are normally devoid of any theme or theme related imagery. Video Slots come with themes and if you’ve opened an online casino you’ll notice there are hundreds of video slots with different themes. With these themes software developers have added designs and imagery suited to the theme. It makes for a much more interesting gameplay and sometimes it becomes the main reason a player opts to play the slot.
Top 3 Video Slot Software Developers
This industry giant is considered to be a pioneer ahead of its time as they were first to create multifunctional software for online casinos. Many online casinos across the globe make use of their software. Over 2 decades they’ve created over 850 casino games including some of the most spectacular and popular video slots like Thunderstruck and Avalon. Microgaming is so recognised in fact that it has a host of awards on its belt. In fact, Microgaming has been awarded Best iGaming casino software at the A Awards for 4 consecutive years from 2007 to 2010. They’ve also received the Digital Product Award at the Global Gaming Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The truth is that they don’t need awards to show how good their games are especially their video slots as opening one of these innovative creations will tell you all you need to know.
Next to Microgaming, NetEnt is one of the most recognizable names in the casino industry. This casino software developer has created favourites such as the iconic Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst games. Some of their most beautiful video slots include Warlords: Crystals of Power and Dracula. With a theme, graphics, bonus features and animations you could fall in love with. NetEnt has become an industry leader and has won awards for Slot provider of the Year and Mobile Supplier of the Year award at the EGR in 2015. From the looks of it NetEnt is not planning on slowing down any time soon.
Playtech is one of the leaders in the industry that have been around since 1999. They provide it all from sports betting to the best in video slots and live casino games. Playtech is also listed as the biggest online gaming company listed on the LSE. Another fun fact about Playtech is that they offer the progressive video slot series, Age of the Gods. These games are themed around Greek Mythology and are all linked to four progressive jackpot pools.
Before jumping feet first in real money video slot heaven be sure to read the GamblersPick community reviews of the both the slots and the online casinos you’re considering to play. Between their input and the GamblersPick Select casinos you’re sure to make the best choice for your slots entertainment.
Classic VS. Video
While slot machines have been around for decades, a particular type of slot machines has changed the face of the industry and these are the video slots. Video slots changed the way slots look and feel by introducing a great number of themes, gameplay options and mechanics and a varying degree of possible payouts.
Unlike classic slots, where the player is mostly focused on finding combinations of the same symbols, video slots have introduced numerous other ways players can win money. From wild symbols which substitute all other symbols and scatters that pay no matter which position they appear in, to bonus games and free spins which are triggered in many ways. In short, video slots brought a real revolution to slot machines.
Video slots most commonly use five reels, usually with three symbols on each reel. However, as the industry has evolved, additional types of slots were invented and some software developers added additional reels and rows or even completely different setups for the way symbols appear.
Another thing that is characteristic to video slots is the variety of themes and imagery used, which can make the gameplay very enjoyable. After all, most people get tired of looking at the same thing all the time, and video slots provide the kind of versatility most people want by introducing us to different themes, from the wonders of the ancient world to the underwater realms of Roman gods.
With slots themes ranging from historical to contemporary, from music to film and from sports to fashion, video slots provide something unique and fun for everyone. Choose the game you want based on your preferences and enjoy gambling in a world that you actually like and enjoy, surrounded by your favorite things. Choose the most modern of video slots, and you may just end up seeing cut scenes and cinematic equal to those you would see in Hollywood.