Modern video slots online are reminiscent of old-school three-reel mechanical games. But these games have come a long way, and even in brick-and-mortar casinos, gamblers play the game on video screens. So, video slots have practically substituted mechanical reels both in online gambling and in real life.
One of the best things about slots is how easy they are to play. All you need to do is deposit the funds, choose how many paylines to play, how much you want to wager, and wait for the best outcome each time you spin. Despite the simplicity, there are still some things you should know before making your way to video slots, and we’ll explain them today.
Video Slots and Their History
The first video slot machines were designed and manufactured by Fortune Coin Company in 1975. The main innovation was that they transformed the mechanical elements into a machine with a screen. This type of slot machine didn’t gain as much popularity as the developers had hoped. And only in 1994, after game developers had put several games into one machine, did video slots receive more attention.
Of course, the internet has shaken the casino industry, and this shift created wonderful opportunities for developers of online slots. At the same time, it has put quite a lot of pressure on them to constantly change things up and add new features. These days, gamblers can enjoy a high level of interactivity, multiple variations of games, and top-notch graphics.
Differences Between Video Slots and Mechanical Reels
At their core, online video slots and mechanical reels operate by the same principle. A random number generator (RNG) selects the numbers, which are then translated into the symbols. As a result, the actual or virtual spin of the reel determines whether the player will have a winning combination.
But the difference in formats does affect the play experience. Mechanical reels have multiple limitations that are inherent to their design. For example, the number of symbols per reel is limited since they must fit within the slot machine casing.
Another important difference is that in video slot games players have greater control over their wager. There is no pre-determined amount. Instead, players have the freedom to adjust their stakes based on their bankroll, risk tolerance, and personal preferences.
We can also highlight the following characteristics:
- Video reel strips take up no physical space and can be programmed to be anything.
- Usually, they feature more paylines.
- There are more variations, symbols, and winning combinations.
- Almost all the modern video slot games have bonus events that come in different forms.
Understanding RNG and RTP
We’ve briefly mentioned RNGs, but it’s important to understand this technology in detail before playing slots for real money. An RNG ensures that slots remain purely random games with no bias towards any outcome. It combines a seed number with the precise time when the player presses the button to produce a randomized outcome. The technology is an industry standard for a reason. When linked to gaming software, RNGs are responsible for fair results.
RTP, or the Return to Player percentage, describes a theoretical payback figure (%) of a slot game. It is calculated by taking the average returns to players over a minimum play of 1 million spins. The term has been adopted as a generally accepted guide to how a game will perform and how likely players are to win.
Top video slots usually have an RTP rate of 96% or higher. This means that over time, players can expect to receive 96 coins (or more) back if they wager 100.
- RNG = the randomness of a slot game
- RTP = the payback percentage of a slot game
Knowing the RTP of video gaming machines means that you can be sure of the odds before you start playing. At the same time, you should keep in mind the randomness of each spin that is ensured by RNG and mandated by regulatory and licensing entities.
Variations in Video Slots
After you play video slots for a while, you’ll probably want to try something new. Luckily, there are great variations within the gameplay itself that can change the way you play completely. Here are some of the most common ones:
- 3-reel slots. This is a conventional slot variation featuring a 3×3 grid and usually one payline. If you’re new to online gambling, it’s probably best to start off with something simple and easy for your first games.
- 5-reel slot. With a 3×5 grid and totalling 15 symbols, 5-reel titles have become the undisputed king of many casinos. Extra reels mean extra symbols. This gives players a better chance of creating extra winning combinations. Plus, the paylines are different – they can be vertical, horizontal, or several other shapes.
- 3D slots. The goal of 3D slots is to make the on-screen action appear as real as possible. And developers successfully accomplish this goal. They are fun, visually striking, and give the game a novel twist on an old classic.
- Progressive jackpots. A very small percentage of each wager is added to a jackpot, and its size increases until someone wins. The games pay large winnings, ranging from tens of thousands to millions.
- Feature slots. Some games go light on scatters, wilds, and freefalls. Feature slots, on the other hand, are packed with cool features offering unique gameplay and unconventional rules and configurations.
Myths about Video Slots
Before you play video slots, we recommend taking a look at common misconceptions regarding slot machines. This will help you become an educated player and avoid wasting time and money chasing the wrong ideas.
- Myth: There is such a thing as a due hit.
- Truth: Machines aren’t programmed to have hot streaks and cold streaks. Statistically, you have the same probability of winning with each spin regardless of the past outcomes.
- Myth: You need to change machines after a big jackpot.
- Truth: This point is similar to the previous one. If you’ve been lucky to have a massive win, the machine isn’t empty. It may very well generate a jackpot shortly after the previous one.
- Myth: The machines with higher payout rates are hidden away.
- Truth: It is true that the best video slots have higher payouts. But the casino has no benefit in promoting only low-payout games, After all, they want people to play them.
- Myth: Some machines can be rigged by the casino.
- Truth: All licensed casinos must undergo fairness auditing. So, the integrity and fairness of the games are tested during an independent and transparent examination of records and other information.
Video Slot Winning Tips
As you know, slots are a game of luck. Still, we understand that players are interested in knowing how to win video slots or at least how to improve their chances. There are several do’s and don’ts that we want to share:
- Play for fun. This is one of the universal video slots tips that players of all levels can benefit from.
- Maximize your bankroll with reload bonuses and loyalty programs.
- Never play with borrowed money.
- Find a video slot with the lowest edge.
- Play the maximum paylines so that you have more ways to win.
- Set your limits and manage funds responsibly.
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All About Video Slots: History, Variations, Myths, and Tips