Evolution and the future of slots
Slot machines are a staple of casinos around the world. They are considered the first destination for many visitors to gambling establishments, allowing them to get into a gambling mood. But for true fans, the pleasure lies elsewhere: wandering the slot halls to try as many as possible and find the one with the best prizes. Be that as it may, visitors must have made at least one spin to leave a casino.
Most online casinos with ??? ????? ???? ??? also include these activities in their catalog. However, there are certainly huge differences between the machines that first came into existence in the 19th century and those that exist today. Therefore, it’s worth throwing a cursory glance at the history of these popular entertainments.
The first ancestor of slot machines was invented in 1891 by the Brooklyn-based Sittman and Pitt. At that time, it was called a gambling machine, and its features, although new for that time, were not particularly sophisticated and did not automatically give out winnings. Since the machine was based on poker symbols, each of its five reels contained ten playing cards, and a coin was required to activate it. It quickly became trendy in bars and taverns. However, it usually offered no cash prizes because gambling was illegal in most U.S. states. Instead, the owners provided cigars, free drinks, and other goods depending on the game’s results.
The next step was Liberty Bell, patented in 1898 by Charles Fey in San Francisco and considered the true predecessor of slots; although it retained a side lever, it used images other than cards as symbols. So we are talking about hearts, diamonds, horseshoes, and the bell, after which it was named and served as the highest-paying icon. But the changes didn’t stop there. The number of symbols was reduced to five and the reels to three. It reduced the number of combinations, and the machine was endowed with a revolutionary feature: an automatic payout mechanism.
After this, the design changed depending on the preferences of manufacturers. Gradually, the now classic icons appeared in the design – fruit, sevens, BAR, and others. But the primary mechanism in the form of a lever, because of which the name arose, “one-armed bandit,” remained in most cases.
As we mentioned earlier, there was a close relationship between slot machines and poker from the very beginning. So it is not surprising that the next step was a poker game with similar characteristics but using electronics instead of mechanical components. Of course, we are talking about video poker. The machine came to life in the mid-70s and quickly became famous in all the casinos in Las Vegas and other parts of the world. It embodied the solution to a significant limitation that the poker machine had: the inability to pay out rewards automatically. Thus, the calculations necessary to determine the value of a hand were made by a basic computer system built into the machine.
At first, the video poker machine was not as popular as expected. However, thanks to it, manufacturers realized that electronic components could be used to create a new type of slot with a more diverse design and new and exciting features. This capability opened the door to many developments in slot machines and the casino industry as a whole. For example, the foundations were laid for what later became electronic gaming and eventually spawned online casinos a few decades later.
The popularity of slots
Today, video poker, teen patti, and roulette online have gathered many fans, mainly because they can be played on various devices – computers, smartphones, and tablets. But the most popular game at online casinos has become, of course, slots. There are many variants, so many that a player will only be able to play some of them in his lifetime. Among the reasons for the popularity of this product, in addition to the variety, is the extensive range of betting limits, which range literally from 1 cent to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per spin.
Game providers are also constantly developing new features and gameplay elements that differentiate their games from the rest. For example, they offer demos where you can try out a video slot for free before deciding whether to play it for money. So every player can be sure that regardless of their preferences, the chances of finding an online slot that suits their tastes are incredibly high.
The first slots, or so-called Liberty Bell Machines, contained only five symbols:
- a horseshoe,
- a bowl,
- a diamond,
- a shovel
- and a bell.
Chicago producer Herbert Mills later introduced his Operator Bell, in which some of the characters were already fruit. The symbols you can see in video slots today are much more varied and often inspired by a theme, such as Greek gods or even African animals. However, this does not mean symbols such as lemons, cherries, or bells. They continue to be used by many software companies. Usually, these symbols produce the lowest winnings and no additional prizes.
Some slots even have blank symbols that bring absolutely no winnings. On the other hand, the appearance of some special characters can bring players much higher profits. For example, most video slots have so-called Wild and Scatter symbols, which increase players’ chances of winning.
The Future of Slots
Video slots are one of the latest additions to the gambling industry. Their appearance is even more interesting, as they have 3D graphics, modern images, and exquisite animations that fully immerse you in the game. Today, slots are much more interesting and exciting, mainly because of the various bonus games, special symbols, and free games. In addition, some slots will surprise you with the winnings you can get, thanks to the progressive jackpots that increase every minute.