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The History of Slot Machines

The History of Slot Games

A slot machine, also known as a poker machine, fruit machine or a one-armed bandit, was originally a coin operated machine found in casinos which had three (or sometimes more) reels with different pictures on them and a lever on the side of the machine.

Slot machines were originally designed as a form of entertainment for the wives and girlfriends of the serious players of the table games. The popularity of the slot machine grew fast and the revenue brought in by the slot machines soon exceeded that of the table games. These days slot machines make up two thirds of all casino income in the United States.

The idea of the game is that the player pulls the lever and the reels spin independently, when each of the reels stop there will be various symbols / pictures visible in the front of the machine. There is a line in the middle of the viewing screen called the pay line. Whether the player wins or not will be determined by the combination of symbols / pictures which line up along the payline.

The payout  which is the amount that the player wins – will depend on which symbols / pictures line up on the payline. Each slot machine has a pay table which will list the amount to be won by the different symbols if they line up on the payline.

The standard slot machine had only three reels and one payline. Players could only win if, once the reels stopped spinning, three of the same pictures / symbols (for example, three 7’s) were lined up along the one and only payline.

With advances in technology over the years the original mechanical slot machines have given way to electrical and computer-controlled games and though this gives more scope for different variations, the game is essentially still the same.
Types of Slot games

Slot games can be broken up into two broad categories: Straight slot games and Progressive slot games.

The straight slot game works according to a set payout schedule. If a specific combination of symbols comes up then the slot game will payout the exact amount as specified by the payout schedule for that combination. The set payout does not change.

The progressive slot game works differently in that the jackpot will grow as more coins are paid into the game, the more bets that are made, the higher the jackpot.

There are different types of progressive slot games. Stand-alone, in-house or wide area. The slot game may have a stand alone progressive jackpot so it is only on that specific slot game. Or it may be a slot game with an in-house progressive jackpot, meaning that it is linked to other slot games within a given online casino. The biggest is the wide-area progressive jackpot where multiple slot games are linked across a network of online casinos. Of course the jackpot grows as more slot games are linked in, so the greatest wins stand to made off the wide-area progressive jackpots.

The growing progressive jackpot total will usually be displayed on a digital monitor at the top of each participating game. There is always a default jackpot amount. If someone wins the jackpot the amount will automatically drop back to the default and then start accumulating again.

Players on slot games with progressive jackpots need to bet on all the pay-lines of the game in order to win the full jackpot. So it is advisable so always play the max bet when playing on a progressive game.
Video Slots vs reel Slots Whats the difference

Video slots are very much the same as reel slots, except that there is a video screen showing reels instead of actual rotating reels. Video slots are the same as reel slots in that when the reels (video or actual) stop spinning, a player will win and be paid out if a certain combination of symbols land on the payline.

Here is where video slots and reel slots differ. The standard reel slot game has 3 reels and one payline and the only way one could win the maximum jackpot would be to play the maximum number of coins. So it is to the players advantage to bet the maximum amount of coins. Video slots usually have more than one payline (sometimes as many as 100) and the player can choose how many paylines to play and how many coins to bet. In this way the amount bet on each spin can be higher, but payouts are multiplied by the number of coins per line that are bet.

Video slot designers are working hard to make online video slots very entertaining. There are all kinds of enhanced graphics and video and audio effects, which are not found in the standard reel slots. Video Slots offer bonus screens and other gambling features not possible on the standard reel slots, as well as additional symbols, e.g scatter symbols, wild symbols and multipliers.

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