If you gamble, you probably know about slot machines. The slot machine can be played in a brick and mortar casino or online. The online slots, however, offer a variety of benefits that the land based slots do not. If you have never played or have played a million times, this guide will provide some helpful information.
Basic Information about Slot Machines
Frequently, slot machines are the most popular game in a casino whether it is online or land based. This popularity is probably because slots allow you the chance to win big without spending a lot. When you are playing the slots, the object is to line up matching symbols on a pay line.
Each of the symbols is worth different amounts and have various functions associated with the game. The pay table of a slot machine explains how much each symbol is worth and the required symbol combinations that will return a payout.
You should remember that slot machines are a game of chance where you deposit money, place a bet, spin the reels, and hope you win.
The amount of the bet will determine the number of pay lines available for each spin. The first pay line is the one across the center, and then more are added with each increase of the bet.
Slot machines do not require specialized knowledge based skills like some of the other types of casino games. Blackjack, video poker, and other games require you to understand a core strategy to be able to win.
You can enjoy slot machines without this previous knowledge and still win. The payout percentage of slots ranges typically from around 95% to about 99%. These rates are not bad for a casino type game.
Strategies will not improve this rate nor will it increase the odds. Many people find playing the slots to be relaxing. The biggest advantage of slots is they can be fun, relaxing, and they are easy to play.
They also have great returns and can be an excellent way to destress after playing a few rounds of blackjack, video poker, or any other stressful game. You can win a lot of money with a little amount of preparation or money.
History of the Slot Machine
The history of the slot machine dates back to the 1880s with Charles Fey being credited as the creator of the first slot machine called Liberty Bell. Some people believe the first slot machine was made by Sittman and Pitt in 1891 because the Liberty Bell wasn’t completed until 1895.
Even though both of these machines were called slot machines, they were different in design. The Liberty Bell machine had three reels and five symbols which were a spade, diamond, a heart, a horseshoe, and a Liberty Bell.
The Sittman and Pitt machine had five spinning drums that had ten cards on each one. The drum would stop, and five cards would be showing. These drums create a five-card poker hand that determined any winnings.
Both of these machines required you to pull a lever to start the reels or drums going. This lever is why slot machines were called one-armed bandits. These two machines were just the beginning for the slot machine.
In the 1940s, the popularity of the slot machine skyrocketed. It was originally supposed to keep the women busy while the men played the tables but the profits from slot machines soon bypassed the amount earned from the casino tables.
In the 1950s, all of the slot machines were still mechanical, but by 1960, electro-mechanical machines were introduced. Big Bertha was the first with its five horse powered motor. Money Honey was launched in 1964, and it was the first to detour from the design of Fey’s machine.
With the introduction of the electromechanical machines, you could play multiple coins and bigger jackpots. The 1980s saw the beginning of a digital age for slot machines. Sircoma created the first video slot machine.
With this era of computerization, a wider variety of games and options became available. During this time, bonus features and huge jackpots were introduced. Today, slot machines make up over 30% of a casino’s revenue.
In a casino, a slot machine has flashy lights and is noisy, but does not accept cash. Since the beginning of online casinos over a decade ago, slot machines have become available to everyone who can legally access them online.
Land base slot machines and online slots have split into different versions. Land-based casinos cannot match the variety of online slots. The online slots typically have bonus features and jackpots that are not offered in land-based casinos.
Types of Slots
Slot machines can be divided into a variety of categories. You can call one category ‘denominations.' Land-based machines can accept a variety of denominations of money.
Some machines only accept pennies, but others can take nickels, quarters, dollars, or even higher denominations. These types of devices are rare today because most casinos are going to a card system or offer online slots.
Another way to categorize slot machines is by the number of reels. The reels are the spinning symbols on the front of the device. Land-based and online slots, typically, have three reels, five reels, six reels, or seven reels. Most machines today have three or five reels, but the prize reels allow for higher jackpots.
With the invention of online slots, a variety of variations was introduced. The main types include classic slots, video slots, pokies, 3d slots, awp slots, and fruit machines.
Many states/jurisdictions classify slot machines into two classes. Class II slot machines are typically found in states that only allow casinos owned by Native Americans. These types of slots are similar to bingo or lottery games where you play again other players instead of the house.
Class III slots are the slots typically found in large gambling areas such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Reno. The reels determine the outcomes of these slot machines, and each spin is independent of the other spins.
You can also categorize slot machines into tight or loose machines, also. Loose machines are supposed to pay out more often than a tight machine. This category is subjective because you cannot determine a payout percentage just by visiting a casino.
Slot machines are also categorized as land based and online. Online slots are played via a computer or mobile device using the internet. All revenue is handled between you and the casino through the web.
Bonus feature online slots offer a unique bonus game when you hit a particular combination of symbols. A classic online slot machine has three reels and only one pay line.
Regular multiplier online devices do not offer any bonus for playing the maximum bet where a bonus multiplier online machine will provide a premium for playing the highest number of coins per spin.
The last category of online slots is the five reels online slot machine which is the most popular category. The five reel machine can have over 240 pay lines which will increase your chances of winning.
Slot Machine Features
In the beginning, slot machines did not offer any features, but as the machine developed, more features were introduced. Today, slot machines have various features to interest new players.
A progressive jackpot can be offered where each bet adds a small amount to the top prize. The odds for this type of slot are tougher than a fixed jackpot machine, but the jackpots can climb into the millions of dollars.
One of the most attractive features for online slots is the availability of 1024 ways to win. This feature allows you to win on any left-to-right combination of symbols. A similar feature to the 1024 ways to win is the win both ways.
Win both ways allows you to win both left-to-right and right-to-left symbol combinations. Another feature of these types of slots is the autoplay. The autoplay feature allows the machine to play spin after spin without stopping.
The machine will show you the results of each spin but then continues to play until you stop the autoplay feature. This feature provides stress relief after playing at the tables.
Unlike some of the other features, the classic nudge feature has become almost obsolete because it would allow you to move the reel down once or a few times to form a new combination of symbols for winning.
A gambling feature is available during some bonus games of an online slot machine. This option is available in a variety of forms, but the most common form is where you get to predict the color or suit of a playing card that is on the screen.
If you win, the machine doubles the amount of the winnings associated with the bonus game. If you are wrong, all of the winnings are forfeited. The bonus game feature is just an extra game that is unlocked when you hit a certain combination of symbols.
Most slot machines also offer a premium symbol. The bonus symbol can be used in the place of any symbol, and this symbol typically unlocks the bonus game. Multiplier symbols are similar to bonus symbols except they multiply the total amount of winnings.
A scatter symbol does not have to land on a pay line to create a payout for you. The scatter symbol is the most popular symbol with many players. Many online machines also offer free spins, and they just give you a set number of spins at the current wager without charging you.
Best Online Slots
Playing slots online is different than playing in a land based casino because online slots offer thousands and thousands of options. If you are a new player, the amount of choices can be overwhelming. It can be intimidating and confusing to find the perfect game for you.
However, this issue does not have to be a problem because most online games have similar features. If most of the features are the same, the only choice is the theme or unique features of the slot machine. Many online casinos allow you to play for free before playing for real money, so it is possible to try out a variety of games.
The following slots are considered some of the most popular online slots:
• White Orchid is a nature themed slot with five reels and 40 pay lines.
• Triple Diamond which is a classic slot machine with diamond symbols, three reels, and nine pay lines.
• Golden Goddess offers a fantasy theme slot experience with higher payouts and entertainment.
• Siberian Storm has over 700 ways to win with its five reels and 720 pay lines. The theme is based on snow filled areas and Siberian tigers.
• Cleopatra Slot Machine is based on Cleopatra the Egyptian Queen and contains symbols of the culture of Egypt.
• Cats Slot Machine includes five reels and 30 pay lines with the theme of wild cats roaming in Africa.
• Rainbow Riches which is one of the most famous games which involves the Celtic culture as a theme.
• Zeus provides opportunities to multiply your winnings while enjoying ancient Greece.
These slots are just a few of the thousands many online casinos offer. Slot machines are divided into classic three reel slots and five reel video slots. Many casinos offer over 5000 variations of these two types of slots, so it is easier to choose a machine by theme or features.
Another thing to think about when choosing an online slot machine is Return to Player Rate or RTP. This figure is typically given in percentages. For example, if a casino offers you an RTP of 90%, you will receive 90 cents for every dollar you wager. The house edge, in this case, would be 10%.
Online casinos do not publish this information on their website, but it can be found for the individual slots. You should also look for the volatility of the machine. A low volatility game has lower risks, and lower payouts and high volatility games have higher risks but higher payouts.
Slot Machine Tips
Slot machines are games of pure chance, and nothing can increase your odds of winning. With that said, some believe there are ways to maximize your chances of winning while enjoying the game. Below are some tips to help you accomplish this maximization:
• Many sites will tell you to determine the amount you plan to wager and the amount you can afford to lose and then stick to those numbers.
• The payout odds of the online casino should be verified before making any deposits online. The payout odds can be extremely different between each online casino.
• You should also check the payout odds on the individual game because some games with higher coin requirements come with higher odds.
• When deciding between three and five reel machines, you should remember that the best odds are with the three reel machines, but five reel machines have higher payouts.
• You should also understand the rules of the game.
• If you want to activate all the pay lines, you must bet the maximum wager on the machine.
• Each casino has wagering requirements for bonuses, and slot machine wagering can count towards these requirements.
• Slot machines utilize the Random Number Generator (RNG), so lucky game and other superstitious ideas are impossible.
• One popular tip is to develop a pattern when betting. An idea is to bet lower amounts when you are losing and higher amounts when you are winning.
• The most important tip is to know when to quit.
After exploring a variety of online slot machines, the following three games have been identified as having the best software powering them:
• Immortal Romance is powered by Microgaming and has 243 ways to win.
• Powered by Playtech, the Fantastic Four Slot Machine is one of the best with a progressive jackpot.
• The best NetEnt game is Guns N’ Roses with epic bonus rounds that give outstanding prizes.
Online Slot Machine Terminology
If you want to understand online slots, you must first have a working knowledge of the terminology associated with online slots. Some of these terms are:
Active Pay line: This term means a pay line that is in play and will payout if a winning combination appears on the line.
Auto Play: Keeps the reels spinning without having to push a button
Bet Max: the maximum betting amount to active the maximum amount of pay lines.
Bet Per Line: the amount you are betting for each line
Classic Slot: refers to a traditional slot machine with one pay line and three reels
Fixed Jackpot: the jackpot pay out the same amount of coins
Hit: a spin that wins
Loose Slot: high payout percentage slot machine
Pay-line: the line that will pay when a winning combination is present
Payout Percentage: the percentage of the amount that a slot will pay out
Pay Table: shows all possible combinations and what they are worth
Progressive Jackpot: a jackpot that grows as the game is played
Random Number Generator (RNG): the computer randomly decides where the reel will stop
Reels: online slots use a virtual barrel where the symbols appear
Stacked Wilds: a variety of symbols that are wild that is stacked on top of each other.
Symbol: The themed images that appear on the reels to indicate a winning combination
Tight Slot: low payout percentage slot machine
Video Slots: does not include physical reels only virtual ones
Wild Symbol: can replace any other symbols on the reels
Winning Combination: symbol combinations that result in payouts
More About the History of Slot Machines
Before the 20th century, slot machines are synonymous with vending machines, but everything changed when casinos started to appear in the early 20th century. Slot machines were first used in gambling during the late 1800s in the United States, wherein a horse race would commence once a coin has been put in a slot. These machines attracted some spectators who are also curious about the device. These are placed inside bars, and winners can take cigarettes or drinks, or in some extent, checks. It was in 1888 when machines are disposing money as a prize were introduced, and it has spawned a new generation of gamblers. These machines can spin circularly, and when it stops on the jackpot, the winner can take the prize money home.
Modern slot machines were developed in San Francisco, in 1894. The inventor, Charles August Fey, developed the machine in his home’s basement, and it resembles the slot machines that can be found in modern casinos. The machine is called Card Bell, and it has three reels, and the three should match to win the jackpot. It also has an automatic coin releasing mechanism, and a lever to start the motion. His next invention was the Liberty Bell, which also reached the popularity he never expected. His machines were used inside bars, and are highly popular among bar patrons. Sadly, when the San Francisco earthquake hit in 1906, only a few of his machines survived. The design of the machines was soon copied by his competitors, and they became prevalent across the United States.
The church started to issue bans with slot machines because they are promoting gambling. The city of San Francisco also banned the creation and use of slot machines, and it resulted in the industry moving far away to Chicago. More than 3,000 slot machines in San Francisco were either confiscated or destroyed. Some tried to find loopholes in the law prohibiting the creation and use of slot machines and decided to create slot machines without coin slot, and with a mechanism which would give them a token instead that can be exchanged for prices, but it didn’t work either.
Some slot machine manufacturers tried to circumvent the law by replacing the old card suit marks with fruit symbols. They explained to the authorities that the machines dispense chewing gums and that it is not used for gambling. The idea of putting fruits on the reels was copied by other slot machine manufacturers, and these type of slot machines slowly gained traction. After the Second World War, the government needs to find alternative ways on how they can earn taxes. In the United States, the government finally allowed the use of slot machines, just for them to collect enough money to rehabilitate territories destroyed by the war and to add something in the government funds. This made way for slot machines to become a global phenomenon, signifying its importance inside casinos.
Popular Online Slots Themes
There is an increasing use of online themes for online slots to attract and enhance their appearance to gamers. Note that there is a lot more to online slots than just the mechanics and the mathematics that goes with the slot game. Much is involved in making an enriching experience for the customers. One of these ways is the use of themed slots. Players of slot machines feel more comfortable with familiar themes, and as a result, they have become increasingly important. Its popularity has increased use of online slots and the changing times have also caused their adoption. Themed online slots are known to leave a player with a more rewarding experience.
Several favorite themes get favored by individual players, and different players will prefer different online slot themes. The use of modern day superstars is a theme that has gained a following. These superstars comprise of those involved in sporting activities. The development of such themes gets attributed to the involvement of young youthful male generation in gambling. This new generation of gamblers was unlike in the past when slot machines were the preserve of old female players. This theme has found a following majorly due to increased betting on sports. Many people may often associate windfalls with the superstars in the various industries.
The use of magic and legends is another theme that is known to be very popular. These themes give the players the confidence to rely on certain mysterious forces to grant them victory in the slot machines. Stories of mythical characters like Cinderella is used to represent success and riches. Other fairy-tales are also used to conjure up childhood nostalgia, associating it with success in the game.
In addition to this is that there are other themes associated with different cultures that were characterized by riches and luck. There is a tendency to believe that players often associate such cultures with success. These include themes of China whereby there are slots based on many icons representing superstition and lack. The ancient Egypt and Ireland cultures get associated with luck in certain respects. Developers use common symbols representing such as ankhs and scarab beetles.
Money and wealth is also an exciting theme for online slots. The slot themes tend to encourage richness and much wealth. Popular titles associated with such include cash splash and mega fortune.
The theme of adventure and treasure is also among the favorites. Such will often use brave warriors to associate with luck and success. The players in this category perceive themselves to be in some struggle. Consequently, the view of a struggle causes players to chase a win with some form of tenacity. It is this perception that explains the reason why the theme is favorite.
Although there are several favorite themes for online slots, whichever that works for a person is purely their preference.
For instance, those who love China are likely to go for those with Chinese themes. Another person will like the Egyptian culture and find confidence in the themes associated with the Egyptian culture. As the use of online slot games increases, developers are taking advantage of the same. They are exploiting the subconscious dreams or desires of the players to make them participate in their favorite theme. Nevertheless, the use of themes has changed the experience of players of online slot machines.