This online slots introduction will give you an overview of one of the most popular casino games available. Slot machines have been very popular in land based casinos almost since the day they were invented in the late 1880s and this popularity has carried over into Internet casinos as well.
Slot machines are popular for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is because anyone can play them with no specialised knowledge. Table games like craps and blackjack require certain knowledge and skill to both play the games and give yourself the best odds of winning. With slot machines the odds are the same for everyone because there are no special skills required, just put in some money, push the button, and wait for the outcome. The possibility of large payouts on a small wager is another reason for the widespread popularity of slots.
If you’ve ever walked into a land based casino and had a quick look around you would realise how popular slot machines are. Look at the amount of floor space in the casino dedicated to slot machines versus table games. Slot machines are everywhere and they make up a very large percentage of any casino’s business.
A Brief History of the Slot Machine
The very first true slot machine was built in 1887 by Charles Fey who was a skilled mechanic of German descent living in San Francisco. The Libery Bell machine built by Fey took and paid out nickels. There were 3 reels with 5 symbols on each reel. Line up the symbols in the right order and the machine would drop some nickels into the tray to pay the player.
Although Charles Fey is generally credited with inventing the first slot machine there was a similar machine that was developed a number of years before. In 1881 the Sittman and Pitt company of Brooklyn NY developed a gambling machine with 5 spinning drums and each drum had 10 card faces on it. This machine was based on the game of poker and the 5 drums would spin and then stop, giving the player a poker hand. If the poker hand was strong enough the player would win but the mechanics of this machine were complicated and it did not have an automatic payout mechanism. Winning players would be paid by the owner or an employee of the establishment that they were playing at.
The machine built by Charles Fey in 1887 did have an automatic payout mechanism and wins were not based on poker hands but were much more like the slot machines we are familiar with today. Both the poker machine created by Sittman and Pitt and the Liberty Bell machine created by Fey were very popular. At this time gambling devices could not be patented so other companies began producing and distributing their own slot machines. Herbert Mills of Chicago began making and distributing machines around the country and by 1907 was known as Mr. Slot Machine.
Slot machines have been very popular since they first started popping up in saloons in the late 1800’s and have only gained popularity over the years. In the old days the establishments hosting the slot machine games would take anywhere from 25% to as much as 50% of the money out of each slot machine but today, with all of the competition in the gaming industry, many casinos pay out as much as 98% of the money wagered in their slot games.
Modern Slot Machines
The slot machines in casinos today still bear some resemblance to their early predecessors but a closer look will quickly reveal just how far they’ve come over the decades. Slot machines are no longer mechanical devices with three spinning drums and one pay line. They are more closely related to a computer than any kind of mechanical contraption. The machines today are high tech electronic devices that offer a wide variety of options. Today’s machines may have 3 reels, 5 reels, or even 7 reels with as many as 20 different pay lines or more.
Being able to bet on 15 or 20 different pay lines makes payouts more frequent and this makes the game more exciting for the players. You can also wager 10 credits or more on each pay line which makes it possible to win a very large payout if you hit a jackpot. Another thing that makes modern slots more exciting is that there are a lot of progressive jackpots which makes it possible to win phenomenally large payouts into the six and seven figure range.
Modern technology has also made today’s slots more interesting and entertaining with graphics, animations, and sound effects. There are countless varieties of slots available and each one has different characters and animations to keep players entertained. Many machines will have a number of bonuses with additional animation, sound effects, and of course free spins and increased payouts.
Online slots are very much like their offline counterparts today. In land based casinos there are still machines that have actual spinning drums with symbols on them but many machines simply have video screens with simulated reels just like the online versions of the game. Slot games online do not rely on mechanical devices to produce random results when the reels are spinning but rather a random number generator will determine the outcome. Of course the same is true for many slot machines in off-line casinos as well.
Playing online means never having to wait in line to play your favourite machine. The games you like are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. There is a game for everyone whether you want to play for fun without any money at stake or if you’re a high roller with deep pockets you have your choice of countless options. With online slots there is no need to pack a bag or reserve a room, simply boot up your computer and start playing your favourite games whenever you feel the urge.
Online slots players can also take advantage of the welcome bonuses or sign up bonuses offered by just about every online casino today. When you create an account at an online casino and deposit money you will be eligible to receive a bonus which is basically free money for you to play with. Many casinos offer bonuses that are based on the amount of money you initially deposit giving you a certain percentage of your deposit as a welcome bonus. The percentage varies from one casino to another and some of the bonuses can be quite generous even matching your initial deposit 100%. Many online slots have payouts of 95% or better and if you can find a casino with a generous welcome bonus you increase your odds even more.
Some Internet casinos even offer online slot tournaments. The tournament format gives players the opportunity to win large cash prizes while only risking a small entry fee. If you have a limited amount of money to risk on gambling, tournaments may be a great option because you know exactly how much you have at risk from the beginning. Tournament play is fast and furious and each tournament may only last for about five minutes. Some casinos even offer free slots tournaments that you can enter just for signing up. Prizes for the free turnings generally range from about £6 to £75. The tournaments that require a buy-in will have larger payouts depending upon the entry fee. Entry fees for online slots tournaments may range from as little as £2 to as much as £50 or more.
Whether your bankroll is large or small, or whether you enjoy the competition of tournament play or prefer a regular game where you are one on one with the machine, there is an online slots game suitable for anyone that wants a little action. You have your choice of hundreds of different games at hundreds of different casinos. If you like slots you will certainly be able to find an online game that is to your liking.