Slot Games 101 – All You Need to Know About this Game of Chance
Without a doubt, a slot game is one of the most-played luck-based games in the world. Created in the late 19th century, it became a trend in the early 20th century due to its effortless gameplay. All you need to do is insert some coins, pull the lever, give it a spin, and get your fingers crossed. A slot game is so easy to play, it does not require any skills or experiences from a player, novice or seasoned.
Due to its booming popularity, slot games have infiltrated deep into the gaming culture worldwide. Many video games are incorporating different bonus round in the form of slots as part of the effort to refine their games. This cross-over proves to be the success of bringing together elements of games from different eras to form novel gameplay.
To date, the definitive birth of slot machines remains unclear. Slots allegedly came about in 1887, invented by a mechanic named Charles Fey, though other sources attribute the inventing in 1895.
The slot machine invented by Charles Fey contained three spinning reels and five symbols, which were horseshoes, spades, hearts, diamonds, and Liberty Bell. The game quickly picked up its pace and became trendy because it offered a big win each time a player stroke three Liberty Bells on the spinning reels.
Sittman and Pitt of New York invented another version of the slot machine that encapsulated components of a poker game. It had five spinning reels with a total of fifty card faces. This slot machine was famous and made available in many bars in town, and it allowed players to win some pints of beer and cigars. Though, debates are raging as to who invented the very first slot machine that paved the way for modern gaming.
In the early 20th century, due to the gambling nature of slots, a revised version of the slot machine was built to replace the old ones. The original symbols were replaced with fruit symbols, and it gave out prizes like candies and flavored chewing gums following the combination of fruit symbols on the reels, instead of nickels and coins. The slots were very popular that it appeared in places like saloon and barber stores too.
Slots lasted the way they were until 1963 when Barry Manufacturing developed the first electromechanical slots called Money Honey. It stood out because of its automatic payout of up to 500 coins without the help of an attendant. These slots pioneered what we know as online gaming today. The acceptance of these slots boosted an increasing prevalence of electronic games.
In 1976, the first video slot was invented by Fortune Coin Co., a Las-Vegas based company in California. This video slot was mechanical, with all the parts replaced with electronic components. The spinning reels were replaced with screens, while the lever was replaced by a push-button. It became the next it-thing and eventually took over the casino floor.
The first video slot with a ‘second screen’ bonus round was Reel ‘Em In, a product by WMS Industries in 1996. When the ‘second screen’ is triggered, players get to participate and stand a chance to win some extra payout.
With mobile consumption predominating the betting domain, slots have gone mobile to meet the public demands. Instead of going to the casino and enjoy a few spins, players can now enjoy the thrills of playing slots online on their mobile devices.
Slots will always be in vogue in the betting culture, and you will see more variation of slot games in no time!
One of the most common ways to organize the slots into different categories is by their denominations. Some slots accept smaller denominations while some accept higher limits. The most usual denominations found in slot machines are pennies, nickels, quarters, dollars, and higher limits. Players should take a look at the denominations of the slot games before playing because different denominations tend to give different payout rates.
The spinning wheels that have symbols on it are called reels. Back in the days, they were made of a large metal ring that spun physically within the machines. Today, the slot machines are technology-powered, and the reels are replaced with video screens.
The traditional slot machines have three reels, while the modern slots normally have five. Due to a larger jackpot, additional reels are added into the slot game to increase the complexity of the game and the chances of hitting a winning combination for the players.
Six-reel slots machines are uncommon, but the concept is the same as any other slot games, except it has more reels, it is harder to hit a winning combination, and of course, an even larger jackpot. On the other hand, a seven-reel slot machine is more commonly played within the betting community. For more superstitious players, they prefer betting on a seven-reel slot machine because it is believed that the number ‘7’ brings good luck.
One of the reasons why multiple-reel slots are created is that it increases the number of ways a player can win. In other words, more reels give more creative payline combinations. Although it is harder to hit the jackpot in multiple-reel slot games, there is a lot more payline combination that a player can hit.
With so many types of slots available, players are fed with more and more options over time, providing them with the flexibility to choose one that they indulge in the most.
Many would assume that the slot game is a [game of luck], but little do the players know that it takes skills and the understanding of slots terminologies to make the most out of this game and have a [lucky] start.
Reel ‘Em slot was the first slot machine in 1996 that gave bonus rounds to its players. It also set the Second Screen Bonus in motion, where the players would play the bonus round on a second screen once it is triggered. The Second Screen Bonus is still on-going up to this day.
Bonus rounds are designed to spice things up and boost the entertainment value of a slot game. There are a few common types of bonus rounds in slots:
a) Choose objects – players are required to select objects to reveal the prizes they won.
b) Fight – players choose a character and engage in a battle with the opponent. The player receives a bonus each time they win the battle.
c) First-person shooter/Arcade – players are required to shoot at targeted objects to get the bonus.
d) Wheel – players spin a wheel, which reveals what they will be getting.
e) Boardgame – Players move their avatar around the board to win prizes.
Bonuses and rewards can be crucial when playing slot games because these contribute to a higher chance of winning and result in a heftier payout. Some casinos are generous with their offers and bonuses. The few most popular forms of bonuses are in the form of free spins and promotional offers.
Free spins are normally given after the players have hit a certain number of spins. As the name suggests, free spins give players more spin without meddling with their bet amount. Sign-up offers are one of the numerous promotional offers that most online casinos provide. Players receive the reward after they have successfully registered as a member. In most online casinos, players also get deposit bonuses after they have completed a transaction. All these free credits can help in expanding the players’ bankrolls.
In addition to that, online casinos give out weekly or seasonal bonuses too. A seasonal bonus is a type of bonus presented to players in conjunction with a festive season. For instance, during the Chinese New Year season, the player will receive a certain amount of bonus without a clause.
Free games are not a bonus, but a feature that is handy for players. A free slot game lets a player play for free. Of course, the payout will not be pertinent, though. Players can take full advantage of a free slot game to familiarize themselves with the gameplay or find a game that is to their taste.
Classic Three-reel Slots
The slots back in the days had a simpler operation. With just three reels and one payline, the player wins if three same symbols line up. Different symbol combinations constitute a different number of wins. These slot machines have a lever or a button in modernized slot machines, where the players can pull or press to start the game.
The traditional three-reel slot machines have gotten scarce following the advancement of technology, not only because the online versions are available, but land-based casinos simply do not have enough space to cater to a new slot machine when a new variant comes along. As much as we want to keep the nostalgia alive, traditional slot machines are hardly pertinent in a community where the players simply want their games to be accessible anytime, anywhere.
This type of slot is commonly found in the online slot. Players can choose the number of paylines they want to wager on out of the possible paylines. The paylines can be straight, diagonal, or of any creative shapes of lines. Most multi-payline slots can offer about 15 to 25 paylines; some can even go up to 50 paylines, depending on the game developer. Even though the chances of winning are much higher because more possible payline patterns are covered, a multi-payline slot requires more bet money in general.
Around the 70s, slot games evolved and ventured into the video era. ‘Fortune Coin’ was the first-ever video slot invented, but, it did not take off until the 80s. This type of slot is powered by a computing system and the traditional reels were replaced with electronic components. Like any other slots, video slots have a wide range of payline counts, immersive graphics, and betting options that traditional slot machines cannot compete with. Video slots also marked the beginning of bonus games, free rounds, and progressive jackpots, which provided an unprecedented gaming experience for the slots players.
Progressive slots are introduced after the establishment of video slots. The jackpot gets progressively larger after each round of slot games. After a player places a bet every time, a part of the bet is accumulated to the pool prize. The jackpot keeps accumulating until a lucky player wins it. It will then reset and start accumulating again until another lucky winner comes along.
3D slot games are a newer variation to video slots. Many slots developers are coming up with different ways to attract new players and keep the current ones engaged with their slots. One of the ways is by perfecting the visuals. 3D graphics are introduced in narration and character development, which create a realistic and immersive gaming experience that keeps the players’ attention glued to the game.
In most cases, the symbols are in relation to the theme of the specific 3D slot game. In recent years, these 3D slots begin to model after some of the most popular and trendy television shows and movies. Other than pop culture, some game developers take the risk of developing slot games with their in-house themes, characters, and storylines.
Slot machines are called differently in different places. AWP slots, also known as, ‘amusement with prize’ slots are sometimes a designation used for slot machines in the UK. The clear distinction between slot machines and AWP slot machines would be in casinos where these machines are called slots machines, in places other than casinos, these machines are called AWP machines.
AWP slots generally have a lower betting limit and they are more inclined to featuring traditional symbols.
Fruit machines are another variant of the slot machine. Fruit machines are slots without the elements of gambling. In a fruit machine, players determine their next action by guessing the cash ladder, whether it is higher or lower in the next game. Some bonus features can be activated during the game, and players have to hit the ‘stop’ button to find out what the bonus prize is.
One very distinctive feature that sets fruit machines apart from other slot machines is the extra ‘hold’ and ‘nudge’ button. The ‘hold’ button lets players hold one or more reels on their next spin. The ‘nudge’ button is similar to the ‘hold’ button too. Rather than locking the reel, a ‘hold’ button lets you nudge along the reel, which maximizes the chances of securing matching symbols. The number of times that players can use these buttons varies. These buttons help retain high-valued symbols in place on your next spin.
Slots, in general, have different types of jackpots, namely local jackpots and network jackpots, also known as the progressive jackpot.
The local jackpots are the common ones found in most brick-and-mortar casinos slots. This type of jackpot is made up of an accumulation of all the bets made by the players at one casino. This kind of jackpot is generally smaller in amount as compared to other types of jackpots, as players contributing to the accumulation is much lower. The jackpot for the same slots can vary across different casinos.
The progressive jackpot secures its payout through the players’ bet money from a traditional or online casino and increases each time when the jackpot is not won. This type of jackpot generally has a larger amount because it grows every time a player makes a bet at participating casinos or across a network of linked slots.
Typically, a local jackpot is the safer option for players because the chances of hitting the grand prize are more probable, even though the amount is smaller.
Over the years, slots have undergone an impressive evolution. From a physical machine, it digitalized and became the online slot games that we love today. With the internet, slot games have become more accessible to the public too. It is no wonder why slots remain one of the most popular online games up to this day.
You can now take delight in this impressive evolution by playing some of the trendiest slot games in iBET Online Casino Malaysia. iBET offers a myriad of slot games for its players, some of which you can try out for free. With so many options to choose from, you are sure to find one that you will enjoy!