WHILE many people think of blackjack or poker when it comes to popular casino games, the slots have been an integral part of the gambling house for more than 120 years, informs Britannica.
The slot machine dates back to the 1890s with a first design based on a poker hand with five reels, before it was simplified to three reels by San Francisco mechanic Charles Fey who designed the Liberty Bell – the jackpot paying out when you displayed three Liberty Bells.
Its development over the years saw it become more and more popular in casinos, and walk through any Las Vegas casino today and you’re sure to find hundreds of slots being fed by punters.
With the lure clear to casino owners, slots with bigger jackpots were developed offering multi-million dollar cash returns to lucky casino-goers, with the jackpot win a dream of most Americans.
Stories of blue-collar workers saving up for a vacation in Vegas just for the chance to have a few spins on some of the most famous slots on the Strip are countless, with the record win in Sin City a $40 million (£32 million) success at the Excalibur Club.
But the slots were once synonymous with the non-gambling gambler, and in times gone by the card player would be on the tables playing blackjack or poker while their other halves – traditional their wives or girlfriends – would be playing the slots. Today it’s just as likely to be the other way round, but the attraction of the slots has been a staple of casino life for decades.
That tradition of the casino has transferred to online gambling, with all ‘virtual’ casinos providing its members with a host of different slots, offering them the hope they can follow in the footsteps of the soldier from Crewe who won £13 million playing online slots in 2017 – his stake for that win was just 25p!.
But the online casino is not a new idea, with slots on the internet dating back 25 years. They have, however, really taken off over the last decade with mobile apps allowing players to choose between hundreds of slots in their virtual casino. When registering in an online casino, a player usually receives a bonus either of money on a deposit or you can be presented with 50 free spins in slots, as is done in the UK by online OJO Casino, which offers free spins bonus.
The attraction is simple because while poker and blackjack take a degree of skill to play, a slot is just a matter of pressing spin and hoping for the best.
Many people believe there is a skill to slots – both the physical variety and the online versions – and some even write books about which slots to play and when to play them. However, the pain truth is they are down to luck, and luck alone.
All online slots use a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of every spin, ensuring the results of each spin remains random every time. Each spin has the same chance of success and the result of every spin is not influenced by past results, reports 25Magazine.
For the experienced slot player an important factor to know is the RTP – return to player. This sets a value on a particular slot and is usually around the 95 per cent mark. This means the house edge is five per cent so over a period of time the slot pays out 95p for every £1 gambled.
The key is you just never know when a slot is going to pay out and that, in essence, is its attraction.