Slot machine games are the most common form of gambling in casinos and generate on average around 70% of a casino’s income. Since their invention in the late 1800s they have become increasingly complex, offering many levels of game play and huge payouts for hitting the jackpot. Today’s casino slot machine games take on a great variety of forms and can be found not only in casinos but also in pubs, clubs, bowling alleys and online.
Depending who you believe, the first slot game was conceived in either 1887 or 1895 by Charles Fey of San Francisco as an attempt to create an automated device on which to play 5-card poker. The task proved too difficult using the technology of the time and the device was reduced to three reels and a smaller selection of symbols. The slot machine was born.
As public demand grew, different companies developed their own casino slot machine games. The Bell-Fruit Gum Company used their logo as the basis for what we now recognise as the BAR symbol. The cherry and melon symbols that are now so prevalent in casino slot games are also derived from the company’s early machines.
The complexity of slot games increased in line with their popularity. The first fully electromechanical game came in 1963 from Bally and in Australia 1994, the first machine with a second bonus screen was released.
They are a feature of modern life that is apparently here to stay for a while to come. Although they appear very hi-tech, software-based casino slot machines, with their plethora of symbols, multiple screens and enormous jackpots, owe a great deal to Charles Fey – the original one-armed bandit.
Casino Video Slot Machine Games
In any casino, video slot machine games make up a large percentage of the available entertainment. Players get instant results (one way or another) from a single spin of the reels, often in the hope that that single spin will bag them a life-changing jackpot; it rarely does, but the nature of video slots allows manufactures to offer increasingly large payouts, often approaching and sometimes beyond a million pounds. So, what are the main differences between video slots and standard slot machine games?
- Video slot machines contain no moving parts; Reels are represented in graphic form on a screen and can contain many more symbols
- Software based slot games allow for more features that require higher levels of skill from the player
- More interactive elements mean more fun and more excitement
- Most video slots feature five reels rather than the standard three you find on traditional casino slot machines
- The greater number of possible combinations allows for more and higher payouts
- Multiple pay lines across the reels, sometimes in the hundreds, mean there are far more opportunities to land a winning combo
- Bonus games on second (and sometimes third) screens offer players a bigger experience and more chances to win
Now, thanks to the Internet, video slot games in online casinos can be linked to a network of casinos across the globe. The ‘progressive’ jackpots on these linked machines continue growing until won. The largest win to date was on May 12, 2009 when a lucky fellow in Greece walked away with €6,374,434. You wouldn’t win that on a pub fruity!