How to

How to play slots?

The flagship game of any casino – online or otherwise – is the slots. So popular are slot games that more than half of all the online casino games available to play in the world are slots. They’re iconic; one of the oldest gambling attractions ever. Have you ever played?

The way to play is so eminently simple that it’s almost ludicrous. Players spin the reels and attempt to form a winning line of the same type of symbols. Some symbols will be worth more than others, while some symbols will be able to “substitute” for others and make up a winning line. Some symbols will be more common, and some will activate a grand prize!

Slots tend to be colourfully designed with bold, vibrant themes. The list of variant themes goes on forever; historical, fantastical, animals, monsters, horror, romance, travel – you name it. Slot games are often designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. And each slot has different odds, different payouts, and different grand prizes!

Different types of slot games

One of the most popular variations of slots are progressive jackpot games. In terms of gameplay, there’s very little difference – but in terms of the prizes, there’s a huge one. While the regular system of prizes and payouts still exists in the game, progressive jackpots feature a grand prize that increases every single time the game is played – and eventually, someone wins. The lucrative potential of progressive jackpot slot games makes them extremely popular!

Slots are also extremely popular in Asia. In Japan, slots are known as pachinko machines, and are extremely common in casino venues. Japan also has a variation on slots known as pachisuro which is a hybrid of Western slots and pachinko. These machines have highly variable odds which can vary wildly from one machine to the next. This is done to make the game even more unpredictable, as well as to encourage people to try as many machines as they can. In any pachisuro parlour, the odds are likely that at least one person at any time is winning, which works neatly as a marketing tool. A common tactic is therefore to hover and wait for someone who has lost money on a machine to leave before playing on their machine, as the odds of winning will be higher. However, the Japanese tend to refer to people who do this by the disparaging title of “hyenas”.

The history of slots

The first ever progressive jackpot was a game known as MegaBucks, which was connected by telephone lines to all sorts of other machines across the country, allowing them to be linked and build up a massive collective shared jackpot. So many people came from all over the world to play the game that the initial $1 million prize rapidly increased to $5 million. Despite this, the game proved to be so popular that it took less than a year for one lucky person to win the total grand prize.

The first slot machine was invented in the 1880s in California by a man named Charles Fey. His prototype product was a very simple machine which consisted of three spinning reels and only five symbols: horseshoe, diamond, spade, heart, and bell. It was this bell (the Liberty Bell) that gave the machine its name. These symbols – all universally recognised icons of good luck – became standard sights on a slot machine. Other symbols that have appeared since include clovers, lucky sevens, and fruit such as watermelons, lemons, oranges, strawberries, bananas, and bunches of cherries or grapes. A row of triple sevens is generally the most sought-after combination, which often pays out a truly massive jackpot. Many modern online and mechanical slot machines often include a bonus symbol, which – obviously enough – rewards the player with a free bonus round if lined up.

The simplicity of the slots relative to other gambling attractions at the time meant that Fey’s Liberty Bell slot machine quickly became extremely popular. Even when the slot machine was eventually banned in the USA, Fey still had heavy demand from other countries wanting more of his invention. Eventually the Liberty Bell machine was adopted by manufacturers and mass-produced, to quickly be installed in soda bars, barber shops, cigar stores, bowling alleys, bars, and even brothels. The Liberty Bell machine still exists and can be viewed in the Liberty Belle Saloon and Restaurant in Nevada.

How do online slots work?

With the power of a computer behind them, online slots are far more powerful and unpredictable than any mechanised slot machine. Online slots work via random number generators that produce hundreds of thousands of different numbers every second, allowing the results on the reels to be variant and highly difficult to predict. While random number generators can be extremely powerful, the name isn’t strictly accurate. It is impossible for a machine to produce a sequence of numbers that is truly random. Because a computer has to use some form of method to produce numbers, what it actually does is attempt to create a number which has no apparent relation to the one that came before it. However, the fact that this method is being used means that the method is not actually random. While some people claim that they can spot the pattern and predict what numbers will come next in the sequence, the fact that the random number generators used in online casinos often create thousands of numbers per second makes them virtually impossible to crack. You’d probably need to live to the age of 300 to be able to figure it out, though!