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Whether land-based or online, slot games are by far the most popular and featured packed casino games of all times. Although most people are still rather intimidated by the infamous “one-armed bandit”, we at New Casinos will shed some light on those mysterious gaming anomalies and provide you with a concrete knowledge-base which you can use to liberally tackle any spinning-reel machine.
From the inception of the very first slot machine back in 1895 by the father of modern day slot machines Charles Fey, slot machines have continued to evolve with no indication of slowing down. Over the decades slot machines have made their way from the floors of land-based casinos, to the screens of personal computers, and have now made their way into the palm of your hand.
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The Upraise of the Slot Machines
It all started with the “Liberty Bell”, the very first slot machine invented by Charles Fey back in 1895. It had nothing to do with todays video slots but at that time it was an exceptional invention. It was a simple mechanical gaming machine with 3 spinning reels, 5 symbols and with only 1 payline. The 5 symbols were – diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, spades and the Liberty Bell, the iconic symbol that can still be found on many of todays online slots. The Liberty Bell slot machine was very popular at that time since it was very easy to play.
The next break through for the slot machines was when the “Money Honey” slot machine game was introduced by Bally Technologies in 1964. It was the first electromechanical slot machine with flashing lights and an electric hopper, a mechanism that was used for coin counting. That allowed the slot machines to hold much larger quantities of coins which led not only to higher payouts but also to much more spectacular ones. The Money Honey brought also the multi coin bets and jackpots that created an extreme boost in popularity for the slot machines and attracted many new casino players. There is a saying that the Money Honey slot transformed Las Vegas to become the greatest gambling city in the world.
The next big leap for the slot machines came in the middle of the 70s with the arrival of the microchips that literally changed the casino games and the slot machines. In 1975 Walt Fraley introduced the very first video slot machine that was called “Fortune Coin”. A slot machine that was totally computerized with a large lcd display and without any moving parts. It had exciting graphics, sound and speed but it was a bit ahead of its time since most of the casino players where skeptical about this new technology with virtual reels.
It was thanks to IGTs, a slot manufacturer that bought the patent for the Fortune Coin in 1976, further development in combination with heavy marketing that the new video games became popular among casino players. The biggest boost in popularity came with the linking of multiple video slot machines to create progressive jackpots. The first video slot game with progressive jackpot was the “Megabucks”, another big great product from IGT that was introduced in 1986. This new casino game helped the IGT to become one of the biggest slot machine makers in the world.
The Arrival of Online Casinos and Online Slots
The introduction of powerful personal computers, broadband networks and mobile devices gave birth to todays online casinos and mobile casinos that made it possible for the online slots to be reached by anyone and form anywhere. Nowdays it is not the technology that sets the limits of the development of new online slots, but the imagination of the software developers.
Today the online slot developers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, Quickspin and the list of them is endless, are working tirelessly to create and bring online casino players the best and most captivating online slots to date. Enhancements in color, sound effects, 3D graphics, and heaps of multiple features are creating constructive competition among online slot developers. The absolute latest in development is virtual reality casinos, in which online casino players can have the experience of the land based casino floor from the comfort of their favorite armchair. This allowing interactive and social gaming which is improving a players experience 1000x when compared to regular online slots.
At your journey through the so many great new online casinos in the UK you will come across many different names referring to the online slots and most of them are just different names. The most common may be “casino games” or “online casino games”. But there are also some different types of casino slots, the bellow mentioned definitions on the most common terms should provide clarity surrounding the online slots.
– Classic Online Slots: Are mostly like those original 3-reel slot machines that can be found in land-based casinos and usually have no more than 1 to 3 , on some occasion 5, pay lines. They are pretty simple online casino games with not that many features, and lack the graphics and sound of the modern online slots.
– Video Online Slots: Slots that use a computer screen as oppose to the traditional spinning reels. Video slots can be played online as well on the land based casinos. They are the sane as the online slots.
– Online Slots: The online casino games that are played via a personal computer, tablet or smart phone through an online casino. The most common games on an online casino that you will find everywhere and you will have the chance to play on.
– 3D Online Slots: 3D has to do with the style and graphic presentation around the reels of the online slot games, giving the graphics greater depth and rounding. An online slot developer that specializes in this field is Betsoft.
– Mobile / Mini Online Slots: These are just like the regular online slots, with the exception that they are stripped down versions regarding size and features for being able to respond faster when played on a smart phone or any other mobile device.
The Anatomy of the Online Slots
The older slot machines featured only 3 spinning reels and usually had only 1 to 3 horizontal pay lines. Today’s modern online slots have 5 reels, even more in some cases, and multiple pay lines. They also host tons of features and bonuses that make the online slots even more exciting than ever before. Here follows the most common parts and definitions regarding the anatomy of an online slot.
– Reels: They are the disks that spin inside the slot machine and are in most of the cases marked with symbols, traditionally fruits, bells, numbers and themed icons or pictures. On todays online slots the mechanical reels have been replaced with digital ones. Matching the symbols in a specific combination initiates winnings.
– Number of Reels: It is, as the name indicates, the number of reels the online slot consists of. Older slot machines have most of the times up to 3 reels while todays modern online slots have 5 or even more reels.
– Tumbling Reels: It is when winning symbols on a pay line vanish, and the symbols above those are allowed to fall into the space below, breeding more chances for another great online slot pay out.
– Avalanche Reels: Pretty similar to the tumbling reels, winning combinations disappear, but instead of the reels falling down, the entire screens’ reels avalanche down in a cascade of new tiles.
– General Symbols: The different icons, illustrations or photos that appear on the various online slot reels. Cherries, 7’s, money bags, bells, dollar signs are commonly used on reels today.
– Wild Symbols: Used to substitute for winning symbols when they fall in their place. They can be seen as the “Jokers” in the poker table game.
– Scatter Symbols: This is usually a symbol closely associated with the theme of the online slot game, and substitutes for symbols, often leading to much larger payouts.
– Bonus Symbols: Special symbols that trigger bonus games or free spins. Bonus symbols usually activate the free spins bonus or a progressive jackpot bonus for the online casino players.
– Colossal Symbols: Block of symbols, usually 2×2 or 3×3, that increases your chances of hitting a pay line. These symbols appear as an overlay on some reels, and spins independently on top of the standard reels.
How to Bet on Online Slots
Betting on online slot machines is done by using coins and each slot machine game has an assigned value per coin, denominating the online slots minimum betting value. Today’s online slot machines with their multitude of pay lines, offer anything from betting on 1 to multiple pay lines. The below list should provide clarity to some definitions and terminology surrounding betting on online slots.
– Coins: Signifies the amount of coins you are betting on each pay line. Placing a bet on multiple pay lines increases your chances to win, but at the same time increases your betting amount. For example a £0.01 slot machine with a bet covering 100 pay lines will cost you £1 for the bet.
– Coin Size: Some online slot machines allows the online casino players to determine the value of their coins, which in case of winning can lead to much higher pay outs but at the same time lead to higher cost of betting.
– Coin Value: This is the amount that you can choose to spend on each pay line during the game. For example, on a £0.01 online slot, a bet on 25 pay lines would result in a total coin value of £0.25. But if you choose to spend £0.04 on each pay line then the total coin value will be £1. In case of winning the bet will lead to much higher pay outs but at the same time will lead to higher cost of betting.
– Bet Level: Gives you the option to increase the stake per pay line not usually accommodated by the online slots coin size. For example, £0.01 bet on 25 pay lines with a bet level of 2 will result in a total bet of £0.50.
– Minimum Bet: The minimum amount that you can bet to play the slot game, denoted by the slot machines coin value.
– Maximum Bet: The maximum amount of coins that a casino player can bet per spin. Max bet pays the highest and gives the casino players access to win progressive and game jackpots.
– Autoplay: By simply hitting the autoplay button the online slot machine will reproduce an online casino player last bet and automated betting will ensue. Winnings are counted as per usual wins.
How to Win on Online Slots
Online Slots have many ways to give away great payouts to the online casino players. You can hit jackpots (both machine and progressive), build up a bank-roll, or cash in on a few smaller jackpots. Online slots also have many additional bonuses and features that add to the excitement and winning potential. Commonly, online slots create winnings by matching symbols in corresponding reels. The below definitions should provide clarity to the most common terminology regarding winning on online slots.
– Pay Table: Visible as a feature of the slot game, the pay table gives players information regarding winnings combinations, pay lines and amount of coins won per combination.
– Pay Lines: The line that the winning combination(s) must appear in order for the online casino player to win the payout.
– Winning Combinations: The payout combination of symbols that appear on the same pay line.
– Amount of Ways to Win: It is the maximum number of ways that is possible of winning. It always dependents on the online slot type, but some online slots have up to 1000 ways to win. Winning is determined through combinations by the spinning of the reels, bonus features, scatter and wild symbols as well as bonus symbols and bonus features offered.
– Multipliers: This is in reference to an online slot machine bonus feature where wins are multiplied by x amount of times.
What You Can Win By Playing on Online Slots
The online slots will offer you as a casino player a great number of winning options through the plethora of pay lines, bonuses and free spin features. When winning, the amount of money you can win, when hitting the highest prize, are enormous.
– Highest Prize: It is, as the name indicates, the highest possible pay out you can et from the specific online slot. Keep in mind that it can only happen by playing the maximum bet. The highest prize is noted in the pay table and is usually a combination of specific symbols, sometimes in a particular order, and pays the most that online slot has to offer.
– Jackpots: The top prize that an online slot machine can pay out. These can also be linked to progressive jackpots throughout multiple online casinos. Find out more about online Jackpots.
Besides cash money, you can also win a great deal of other prizes when playing on online slots. Here follows some non cash winnings you may get:
– Free Spins: This special feature is activated through a certain combination of symbols within the casino game and means that you get to spin the reels for free. They can also be triggered during the free spins game to give additional spins. Keep in mind that not all the online slots offer this feature. Read more about Free Spins here.
– Bonus Games: It is a game within the game that is usually activated through special scatter symbols on the reels. It may sound similar to the free spins, but it is not. A free spin means that you can play the same game over again. In the case of bonus games, you get to play a different game that can only be played as a bonus.
– ReSpins: A feature that can be used to spin individual reels after their initial spin. This helps to create winning combinations and is charged at an individual reel rate.
Online Slot Definitions
These definitions will help you to understand some of the more technical terminology around online slot games. It will also help you discover new online slots that better fit your preferences.
– Volatility: It relates to how much and how regularly an online slot pays out. High volatility means that the online slot do not pay out that often, but when it happens the winnings are really big.
– Hit Frequency: Refers to how often a particular online slot machine pays out. A low hit frequency is usually better, for example if a casino slot has a hit frequency of 3 pay outs on average, means that it pays out one time for every three spins.
– Multipliers: This is in reference to an online slot machine bonus feature where wins are multiplied by x amount of times.
– Return to Player % / RTP: It is the percentage that online slot pays back to the casino players. For example, a machine with a RTP value of 97% means that that online casino slot pays £0.97 of every £1 back to the casino players, keeping 3% of its takings for the house.