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Video Slots Guide

The Origins

In this guide, we are going to take time in exploring all there is to know about video slots. However, before we start talking about video slots, we need to first learn about their origins. The quest to find the origins takes us back to the inception of slots.

Slots have been enjoyed for many decades now. While there are different versions of when the first person spun the reels of a slot machine, whats universally agreed upon is that the first slot machines were dubbed fruit machines. This was necessitated by the fact that the dominant symbols appearing on the reels were fruit symbols. Fruit machines quickly gained traction when they were launched. However, the growth of fruit machines was curtailed for some time in most jurisdictions around the time of the first world war. This was necessitated by a massive (governments) onslaught on gambling activities. During this time, players only enjoyed slot machines in underground facilities and often, they won sweets and the like other than monetary rewards.

It was only after the end of the world wars that a gambling boom was experienced worldwide that slot machines became the ‘in-thing’ once again. From this time up until now, slots continue to dominate casinos as the most popular casino games. 

The First Video slots

For a long time, the terms ‘slot machines’ and ‘fruit machines’ were used interchangeably. This was necessitated by the fact that the fruit theme was the only theme reserved for slots. It was only during the mid to late 1970s that software developers started to consider incorporating other themes in slot games. By the end of the 80s, players upon entering land-based casinos were no longer welcomed by fruit machines. Rather, they could enjoy slots which featured themes such as nature (wildlife), ancient civilisation as well as branded games (inspired by musicians, films, TV shows and sporting personalities). It is at this juncture that the term video slots emerged. During the 90s decade moving into the new millennium, the term video slots’ prominence just grew and grew.

Key Characteristics of Video slots

While back in the day casino players referred to slot machines as fruit machines, contemporary players conceived a new name for fruit machines that is, classic slots. Loosely speaking, slots developed back in the day are classic slots. In the same vein, slots developed nowadays but inspired by the first slot machines are also dubbed classic games. Slots developed in modern times starting in the 80s moving to the new millennium are dubbed video slots. However, note that this is just a loose and broad description of video slots. A thorough understanding of the meaning and nature of video slots is espoused by the characteristics listed below.

  • Reels/Paylines: One thing that’s guaranteed when it comes to video slots is the presence of several reels and paylines. To be specific, video slots have at least 5 reels (in some instances though rare 4 reels). This is a clear contrast from classic slots which come with 3 reels. Moreover, video slots often come with more than one payline. In most instances, there will be 5, 10 or more paylines. Modern video slots come with hundreds or thousands of paylines. These may be termed ways to win, payways or megaways.

  • Graphics: Video slots emerged at a time when significant strides had been made on the game graphics front. As such, the games come high-end, easy on the eye and immersive. This differentiates video slots from classic slots whose dated graphics are arcade-like. Graphically, video slots are forever changing as modern games come with high resolution (HD) and in some instances highly immersive 3D graphics.

  • Theme: Most players simply classify all slots that don’t feature a fruit theme to be a videoslot. This simply shows how much the theme is a great characteristic of video slots. Apart from coming with all sorts of themes, video slots at times come as branded slots. In essence, this means they will be inspired by or based on a real person, group, band, team or event. Often, the graphics of a branded slot will be an adaptation of the inspiring person, group or event.

  • Bonus Features: Another key characteristic of video slots is that they come with bonus features and/or jackpots. The action during gameplay is thus not restricted to the base game. The presence of bonus features takes the game away from simplicity to the complexity index. The level of complexity is dependent upon the nature and number of featured bonus features. At the same time, the presence of bonus features add to the lucrativeness of the slot as players will have more than one way of scooping the payouts.

  • In-Game Control Tools: With classic slots, players simply had to pull the lever (the equivalent of clicking the Spin button) and the action unfolds on the reels. There weren’t many other buttons to click. However, with video slots, players are afforded the chance to adjust several settings so as to take better control of the game. These buttons include:

Autoplay: Sets the reels to spin automatically for a set number of times without interruption

Turbo: Increases the speed of the reels as they spin

Battery Saver: Reduces animation speed and in turn saves the device’s battery for those using mobile devices, tablets or laptops not connected to a power supply.

Finally, we would like to emphasize that video slots are slot machines that followed in the footsteps of classic slots. However, as video slots are now developed at a time of great technological advancements, they come with many great features and tools that bring about much-needed convenience to players.