One of the most popular types of gambling entertainment, which is an integral attribute of any self-respecting casino, is slot machines or slots. Even the most experienced players often prefer to play slot machines rather than blackjack or roulette. And there are several reasons for this: the slot game is truly gambling, since winning in it depends on pure luck, and the chances for victory for a professional and a beginner are absolutely equal. For a successful game, you do not need to memorize many rules and develop complex strategies. In addition, you can play slots at minimum bets, and the winnings can be several thousand, or even millions of dollars, if this is a jackpot. With the development of high technology, the “one-armed bandit” migrated from stuffy gaming rooms to the Internet, while playing became even more interesting, convenient and profitable. Any player can risk a large sum, try out online slot machines for free and enjoy a game of chance without leaving your own home.
Slots are considered one of the most popular gambling entertainment. According to statistics, about 50% of visitors to all world offline and online casinos come to play exactly slot machines. It is not surprising that when developing slots, manufacturers use the most advanced technologies and spend huge amounts of money on finding innovative solutions to make their products even more interesting and attractive for players.
Today, online casinos can offer their users hundreds of different models of slots: from classic to ultra-modern, with functional symbols and progressive jackpots, realistic 3D-graphics and bonus rounds.
All currently existing slots can be divided into two large groups – offline and online.
Slot machines offline
Mechanical – the first (classic) slot machines with three reels, one playing line and traditional symbols (bars, sevens, cherries, bells), which are currently used, rather, as a decoration for the interior of gaming halls or exhibits in gambling museums. Now, like many years ago, these devices are called “one-armed bandits” because of the large lever that resembles a hand. The lever was used by players to trigger a mechanism that propelled the reels.
Semi-mechanical gaming machines are the next generation of slot machines in which the rotation of the reels has become controlled by a computer. Thanks to the improvement, semi-mechanical devices received several new options, such as multipliers, several winning lines, the option to purchase an option, accumulation of points, etc. To start the reels, they often began to use the Spin button. True, some manufacturers continued to produce models with a lever – so to speak, a tribute to tradition. Semi-mechanical slots can still be found in the gaming halls.
Video slots – to the latest generation devices, in which real reels were replaced with a screen with their image. Hence the prefix “video”. The use of new technologies in the slot game opened up great opportunities for creativity and each slot manufacturer used them in their own way. The video playing field began to include five, seven, nine reels with a huge number of payment lines (in some models more than 100). Bonus games, bank games and multi-games with the ability to select multiple games on one machine were added to the main game. The slots themselves became themed, with beautiful graphics and animation, realistic sound effects and additional screens for mini-games.
Progressive – slots that are programmed to deduct a certain percentage of the progressive jackpot from each bet made by the player. Such a slot can be single, that is, one progressive jackpot is accumulated by one machine; local – several slots are included in a single network within the same institution; The progressive network slot is part of a large network including multi-offline slot machines and online casinos. For progressive slots, players use a slightly different game strategy than the one used when playing video slots or slot machines with spinning reels. This is due to the high level of rates and variance of progressive slots.
With the advent of online casinos, developers not only transferred all the functions and characteristics of ground-based gaming machines to online space, but also added to the list of varieties of slot games a couple of new options.
Classic slots are essentially a virtual analogue of the “one-armed bandit”. Also, this concept can be attributed to any offline or online slot machine with three reels and one gaming line. Unlike real 3-reel machines, classic online slots can vary in theme. Many developers abandoned traditional characters, replacing them with themed ones. Also, 3-reel online slots may contain special symbols or bonus games and be included in the network with a progressive jackpot. A classic online slot often has one payline, although there are exceptions.
Multi-drum slots are models of online slot machines, the playing field of which consists of 5, 7, 9 reels. Slots with an even number of reels are much less common.
5-reel slots are one of the most popular at the moment. They are always thematic with a large number of paylines (50-100), bonus symbols and games, free spins and progressive jackpots.
7-reel slots are not so popular among players. There are no bonus symbols or games in them, although, in a sense, these models offer more realistic conditions for winning. The playing field contains no more than 10 paylines, and the symbols on the reels are much smaller. To pay, you need to collect any three characters on one line.
9-reel slots appeared relatively recently and, in fact, look like regular 3 reel slots and 3 paylines. Only the symbols in them rotate independently of each other, and the paylines are located in horizontal, vertical and diagonal directions. Also, models with 9 reels can be included in the progressive jackpot system and are not without various bonuses.
Multi-line slots – it’s already clear from the name that these models will have several paylines. The playing field in the first multi-line slots consisted of three reels and three payment lines: top, bottom and in the middle. Now it is no longer possible to somehow classify slots by payment lines due to the huge number of various options. Only a regular online slot with 3 reels and 5 paylines can have from 9 to 50 paylines, which is to say about 5 by 5 models.
Progressive slots are not much different from their real counterparts. In order to hit the jackpot, you need to play at maximum bets, only in progressive online slots the bet limits can be lower than in real gaming rooms, and there is more choice of models.
3D slots – models with more complex graphics and detailed rendering. During their development, 3D technologies are used, which allows you to create a special, dynamic atmosphere and enhances the sense of reality of what is happening. The first 3D slots were presented to users in the online space, but since 2013 they began to appear in real gaming halls. In addition to bright and spectacular graphics, these slot machines are not much different from ordinary video slots. So 3D models are more likely to be interesting to players who want to get not only a solid win, but aesthetic pleasure from the game. If you want to try 3D slots in practice, then pay attention to Betsoft Gaming products – a clear leader among developers of slots with 3D technology.
In general, the slot industry is developing very dynamically, and it is simply impossible to list all the slot options within one article. In addition, the game assortment of sites sometimes includes very unusual models that can hardly be qualified. In any case, when choosing the next online slot, pay more attention to the math and the pay table. It does not hurt to get acquainted with additional information, read reviews of experts and user reviews, view promo videos of the slot, which usually show the key points of the game. After all, the cool design and the new-fangled “chips” of the gaming machine should not distract you from the main goal – the chance of a big win.