Since the first machines were crafted and put out for public use in the 19th century, slots as we know them have come a long way. With a whole host of different variations and designs to choose from, slots are more popular today than ever before, and video slots are making is easier than ever for people from all walks of life to enjoy a spin of the reels! Video slots have brought the game into the 21st century and while they aren’t too unlike traditional reel slots, there’s plenty more that video slots have to offer! Here, we’re exploring the basics of video slots and just what you can expect when you come to play.
What are video slots?
In simple terms, video slots are another way to play your favourite lever-and-reel classics while taking away the mechanical nature of the traditional game. Whether on a video screen in a brick-and-mortar casino or through an online slot game, video slots are a way of playing slots via the screen as opposed to mechanical reels and a lever. There’s a better opportunity for bonuses and side games and features to keep users entertained, which is just one reason as to why players are so drawn to this form of play.
What’s more, video slots also come with a higher maximum for bets than most reel slot machines. Video slots often have a much larger number of paylines and the more paylines there are, the higher number of coins you should be able to bet. This is a draw for players in and of itself, but when accompanied by exciting themes and constantly improving graphics, and these slots are quickly becoming a crowd favourite.
A brief history of video slots
The first video slot game was produced in 1975 by Fortune Coin Company. Titled the ‘Fortune Coin’, this machine was the first to be played on a screen, but it didn’t take off nearly as well as the company had hoped. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that they really gained any popularity. In 1979, SIRCOMA released their first video poker game which became widely accepted across casino players and thankfully got the ball rolling for wider acceptance of video casino games in general and live casino games in particular.
1994 saw the creation of the Bally Game Maker, which had multiple games put into the same machine. As a result, video slots finally started to grow the following it deserved, and the mid 190’s also saw more and more individual video slot offerings being crafted and released to the public including Odyssey and WMS Gaming’s Reel ‘Em In. The success of Reel ‘Em In was what started to shift the industry, and more and more slot makers knew they’d need to start switching to video slots keep up.
Today’s video slots are much more focused on interactivity as a whole and you’d be hard-pressed to find a game that doesn’t offer extra features to make this possible. In a competitive market like the gambling one, providing new ways of entertaining players is a must, and thankfully, there are plenty of game makers doing exactly that.
What are the variations in video slots?
While every video slot uses a random number generator to determine an outcome, the variations within the gameplay itself can alter the way you play completely. From the number of reels and rows to the paylines and jackpot style, here are the variations you’re likely to see:
- Reels – The number of reels can change from game to game, though the standard is usually three or five reels. Of course, the three-reel machines are closer to tradition than five reels, and five reels are more common than something different, but the variation available certainly leaves plenty to choose from.
- Rows – The number of rows on a video slot game can either act solely as a way to see what you could’ve seen as a result, or as additional paylines. In the case that there are plenty of paylines for your game, there could be additional rows.
- Paylines – The number of paylines available for players really does differ from machine to machine, or from game to game. Of course, you’ll always find the traditional horizontal centre line, but video slots have opened up the opportunity to pay out for more than just that single outcome. From V paylines, to zigzags and scatter pays, more and more video slots are making it possible to win on practically every spin. However, you need to make sure you’re actually betting on the paylines to win!
- Progressive Jackpot – A video slot with a progressive jackpot essentially means that the jackpot will increase by a chosen amount after every spin. However, these machines often require you to bet the maximum before you can be eligible for the jackpot, so play wisely.
Video slots are a modern way to play your favourite traditional slots games with a twist. From pop culture influences to increased number of paylines you could win on, video slots are offering players new ways to play and to win and adding something new to an otherwise ageing industry. What video slot games do you want to try? Why not take a look at our roster of the best online slots and try some for yourself? Good luck!