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The one armed bandit was born over 100 years ago. Since being transported to the Internet online slots have become more popular than ever before.
Slots are one of the most popular games found in casinos, land-based and online alike. The main reason for that is their simplicity and high fun factor, joined by the chance to win big jackpots.
A History of Slots
The variety of slots nowadays is amazing. Players can find everything from 3D slots, Multiplayer slots, slots with 243 ways to win, and slots featuring deep immersive storylines offering an experience of a full-blown video game. Slots are among the most sought after games in land-based and online casinos. It's interesting to look at the history of the slot machine to see the humble beginning of this great game, invented by a German immigrant in San Francisco, Charles Fey.
Fey, a mechanic in his training, created the first slot machine in 1887. The slot had 3 spinning reels and 5 different symbols including traditional card symbols, horseshoes and a cracked Liberty Bell, which went on to be the slot machine's name. The idea of slot machines caught really quick and gained popularity swiftly. In 1907 Herbert Mills of Chicago invented his "Mills Liberty Bell"; there are many theories as to how Mills was able to create the new machine, some have it that Charles Fey himself aided Mills in order to create "competition" that both men will benefit. It was Mills who left a mark on slot machines that we identify until our days: the addition of colorful fruit symbols on the slot's reels. In the olden days, some of these machines offered players candy prizes, since anti-gambling laws ruled cash prizes out.
The 1960s signaled the next step for slot machines. In 1963, Bally (known today as Bally Technologies) brought to the world "Money Honey", the first electronic slot machine in the world, which could work automatically and give payouts without the attendance of operators. "Fortune Coin" was the first slot based on video which is thought to be the forefather of modern online video slots. From the 1970s to the 1990s slots rose to their grand popularity levels which we know today. The emergence of video and online slots made them accessible to more people who can play slots without ever leaving their sofa. Innovation is never ending with slots and it is very exciting to see what the future of slots holds.
Acquaintance with the basic list of slots terms below will help anyone swiftly become familiar with online slots.
Bet: The size of a wager.
Bonus:Bonus features are usually triggered by combinations giving players the chance to win big payouts with multipliers, etc. Common bonuses are free spins and wilds.
Free Spins:Players receive cumulative spins for which they don't have to bet; these are usually accompanied by multipliers boosting the total payout.
Gamble Feature: Available in many slots, the gamble feature lets players gamble on their winnings and/or free spins in different simple gambles like guessing the suit or number of a card.
Jackpot: The biggest prize which can be won on the slot.
Max Bet: The maximum amount of a wager (or coins) a player can invest in a single spin.
Payline: Paylines are either straight or diagonal lines stretched across the slot's reels; in order to trigger wins, the symbols need to line up on these paylines. The numbers of these change from slot to slot.
Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot which keeps increasing and increasing until somebody takes it; these are also common in lottery games.
Reels: These are spinning disks or barrels with the symbols on them; the players' goal is to match the symbols on these, striving to strike combinations giving different payouts.
Scatters: Scatters are usually triggered by special symbols, these give out payouts without the need to have symbols lined up on paylines. In online slot machines, scatters are usually accompanied by bonus rounds.
Wilds: A symbol which works to turn all other symbols on the reels in order to bring winning combinations.
Winning combinations: In how many ways players can win. Nowadays there are slots with hundreds of winning combinations, even thousands in some rare instances.
Rules and Conduct of the Game
Slots are perhaps the simplest games found in casinos – the player's main objective is to have his symbols match up on the paylines. The abundance of bonuses and mini-games like scatters, wilds, multipliers and more, create plenty of ways to win for players.
There are many types of slot games, and new players will do good to familiarize themselves with the more common types of the game.
Common Types of Slots
3-reel slots: This is the classic type of slots, featuring three reels and usually up to five paylines.
5-reel slots: 5-reel slots became more prevalent with the emergence of electronic slots; these usually have more bonuses and features.
Progressive slots:Progressive slots appear and function like normal slots, the difference is that they have progressive jackpots which are always growing, until a lucky winner lands them. The most common number of jackpots running simultaneously on progressive slots is four.
Slots do not really give players opportunities to practice all kinds of strategies and to flex their skills in order to "beat the machines". This is due to slots being completely random; players have no control whatsoever on which symbols they'll land, on which reels and on what paylines.
With that said, players can play slots more wisely. Nowadays slots come in many themes and variations, and the first thing a new players should do is to play on a slot with a theme which attracts him. From movies to books, music, video games and fairy tales, the themes are plenty – so it'll be hard not to find something to fit one's taste. Once the player has found an interesting slot to play, he should consider the payout percentages the game offers and things like maximum and minimum bets, the slot's jackpots and which bonuses and features it offers. Some slots are known to be suited for high rollers while some are more tailored for casual gamers aiming for low wagers, so this is always a consideration players should make.
- Most online slots are available in free-play modes. You can always try these out to get a feel of how the game actually feels, to learn the ropes or just have some fun without putting any money at hazard.
- If you're going for the progressive jackpot in progressive slots, always bet your max – there are required amounts of coins for these.
- Slots are not a game of skill, always remind yourself of that simple fact.
- Don't stick to just one slot – online casinos are swimming with different kinds of slots.
- Always specify a maximum bankroll and stick with it! Don't lose all of your chips at one slot, play responsibly and most importantly – have fun.