Slot games have been a casino mainstay since their introduction at the end of the 19th century. And in the last decade their popularity has only increased in the digital domain.
Many of us play online slots on apps on our mobile devices as a way to kill time, on the daily commute, perhaps. The upsurge in number of players and the fierce competition that follows has led to many providers offering slots with free spins to attract new customers to their services.
Slots can be categorized into two groups: regular, classic slots and video slots. We will explore the similarities and differences between the two.
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As the name suggests, classic slots came about first. In 1895 a German born inventor Charles Fey invented the Liberty Bell machine in San Francisco. It was a three reel machine based on a more complex automated Online Cricket Betting ID
game designed by Sittman and Pitt in 1891 and featured an automatic payout mechanism.
The Liberty Bell was the first slot machine and would be classified today as a classic slot due to the mechanical nature of the game. The defining feature of all classic slots are their physical spinning reels that display the winning symbols.
At their most rudimental, regular slots feature three reels and one pay line—the imaginary win line that runs across the viewable window of the reels. Originally a lever was used to actuate the reels, which is where the name ‘one armed bandit’ comes from, but a button was later added to make them easier to play.
Fans of classic slots enjoy the physical nature of the games, to see and hear the reels spinning before coming to a stop and the simplicity of the concept.
Video slots came a lot later to the party. They get their name from the included video screen that replaced the mechanical reels of regular slots games and instead displays a simulation of each spin.
The first video slot was invented in California by the Fortune Coin Co. in 1976. It took until the 70s for the technology required to catch up to the idea.
Since 1976, video slots, like their classic counterparts, have come a long way. The digital element of the games means they are not restricted by physical, mechanical constraints and the sky is truly the limit in terms of their design.
Video slots are more likely to utilize impressive graphics, sound effects and music into their design and many titles will be heavily themed—even collaborations with popular movies and TV shows exist. Modern versions of video slots allow players to interact with the machines using touchscreens.
One useful characteristic of digital slot machines is that casinos can update the software with new games at the touch of a button whereas classic units would have to be replaced in their entirety. Video slots have found enormous popularity both at online casinos and also as apps for mobile devices which is currently one of the most exciting markets in the gambling industry.
Critics of video slots may find the simulations impersonal and also feel that the outcome of the spins are decided by a computer and not in the hands of fate. Enthusiasts, however, love the broad range of themes available as well as the limitless features—dozens of pay lines, bonus games and random triggers.
The gray area
You may encounter sections of online casinos that have a ‘classic’ or ‘regular slots’ section. Obviously these games are still purely digital and not technically classic slots games—but what is meant is that they are simpler in design and truer in spirit to the original Liberty Bell machine. They will often feature only three reels and fewer paylines with sometimes these will be called ‘retro’ slots.
Examples of classic slots
Classic slots titles will often feature playing cards or suits as their symbols. You’re likely to see Lucky Sevens, Liberty Bells, Bars, Horseshoes and Fruit.
Popular themes include Vegas, ancient Egypt and hidden treasure quests that have their history in the themed casinos of Nevada. No matter which title you choose to play, it’s important to be informed of the rules and each symbol’s value since this will differ between each game.
Examples of video slots
- The Walking Dead
A popular video slot title based on the hit TV show featuring 50 pay lines, free spins and bonus games.
- Brian Lara Cricket
A title based on the all time great West Indian cricketer, Brian Lara. There are an eye watering 1024 pay lines that can be activated and jackpots in the hundreds of thousands.
- Irish Riches
From the Luck of the Irish series, this progressive jackpot slot offers plenty of opportunity to get your hands on the leprechaun’s pots of gold. Regular Irish Riches players enjoy the assorted bonus games as well as the chance of winning life changing jackpot amounts.
While physical, regular slots are becoming harder to find, there are still aficionados for the traditional. They can mostly be satisfied with the large number of classic emulation titles available in the digital domain. Video slots, however, represent the future of the pastime and we can’t wait to see what developments will come next.