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Slot machines have proven to be the biggest draw of every casino – with both land based and online slots pulling in the crowds.
Slots is one of the few casino games whose origins don’t go back to Europe; the first machine was invented by a San Francisco mechanic Charles Fey in the United States in the late 1800s. It was called the Liberty Bell, because it had an image of a cracked liberty bell, as well as three spinning reels and diamond, spade and heart symbols painted around each reel. The Liberty Bell machine can be seen today in Reno, Nevada, for any and all who are interested.
Slot machines were an immediate hit, and they also spawned immediate competitors hoping to cash in on this exciting development. In 1907, Herbert Mills came out as Fey’s first serious competitor. Mills made improvements to Fey’s invention that stuck to the game; for example, he came up with the idea of including the now-classic fruit symbols such as cherries, plums and lemons.
With the advancement of modern technology, slots experienced a revolutionary design upgrade – it became the world’s first entirely electronic machine (“Money Honey”). Bally created this wonder in 1963, and included in its automation was the ability to generate payouts from the machine itself, without assistance from attendants. 1974 saw the invention of the “Fortune Coin” by Walt Freely, which was the first video-based slot and a predecessor to the online video slots that hundreds of millions of people enjoy worldwide today.
Online video slots has been the most recent development in slots, and its popularity matches that of online poker, table games and sports betting. Video slots itself has seen innovations such as 3D slots, multi-player slots tournaments and even slots with 243 winning combinations!
Slots is a fairly simple game, but like each casino game, it has its own jargon. Below are some terms that are important to know for online slots games:
Bet: The value of a wager.
Bonus Features: Every slots game has its own bonus features, and there are many, many to choose from. The most popular ones are Wilds and Free Spins.
Free Spins: A common bonus feature of online slots; some of these bonuses offer 15-20 free spins in one round!
Gamble Feature: A bonus round in which players can bet their winnings on doubling, tripling, quadrupling or losing their accumulated spins.
Jackpot: The maximum prize on any given slot.
Max Bet: The maximum number of coins per spin you can bet.
Payline: The payline is a straight or diagonal line across the slot reels where all the symbols are the same. Players need the symbols to line up across the payline in order to win. The number of paylines on an online slot depends on the actual game; there can be anywhere from five to 100-plus.
Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that starts from a minimum jackpot and increases until a player hits it.
Reels: These are the rotating barrels where symbols appear on slots machines, and in online slots, they are computer-generated. The most basic goal of slots is for players to match the symbols on the reels.
Scatters: A payout that triggers a win without the symbols lining up on a payline. Scatters usually bring about a bonus round.
Wilds: As in a deck of cards, a Wild is a symbol that can stand in as any other symbol in order to complete a winning combination.
Winning combinations: The amount of ways a player can win. With online video slots, there can be literally hundreds (and in some rare cases, thousands) of winning combinations.
The goal of slots is to match up the symbols on the paylines. Simple, right? Today, there are many other winning combinations that involve Wilds, scatters, bonus features and more. So before you try out any new slots game, it would be to your benefit to check out all the possible ways you can win.
Below are some basic kinds of slots games that you can find in any online casino. Once you play each game a few times, you can decide on your favorite!
3-reel slots: Based on the original, classic slots and usually have up to five paylines.
5-reel slots: Based on the showier video slots that came about with the electronic era. These usually have many different features, including bonus rounds.
Multiline slots: These usually include more paylines (25, even 30!) than your average slots game. These slots offer higher payouts, but the buy-in costs are also a higher.
Progressive slots: Similar to standard video slots, but the difference is that the jackpot in progressive slots gets larger and larger until a player hits it. Today, progressive slots often have four simultaneous jackpots which can be hit in the bonus round.
Slots is a game that is totally random. In other words, it is based solely on luck! However, there are basic strategies you can use before choosing your game to enhance your chances of winning.
First, pick a game that suits your budget and style. Things you should check out before playing the game: the payout percentage, minimum bets, maximum bets, the size of the jackpots, whether they progressive or not and what the likelihood of hitting them is. Once you have that information you can assess which game will be best for you. For those with larger budgets, higher-risk games might be more appealing; for those with more shallow pockets, a safer game with more regular payouts is probably better.
You should also find the right online casino that caters to your budget, spending habits and tastes. If possible, find an online casino that offers specials and promotions for their slots games. You can find all the information you need about various online casinos on the Online Casino Reports website.
- Remember, slots are random! Yes, some lucky winners have gotten rich quick from them, but just bear in mind that these cases are fairly rare, so if you are playing, play for the fun of it. Don’t expect to come out a millionaire.
- On progressive slots, bet the maximum amount, because this is the only way to claim a progressive jackpot if you strike it! You would hate to find yourself having just hit the jackpot but not being eligible to claim it.
- Try different slots games: 3D, cinematic, multi-jackpot – find your favorite and go for it! The internet is filled with every type of slots game imaginable, and new ones are constantly being created.