The slot machine zone is, without any doubt, the most popular zone in any casino. Whether it’s slots in online casinos or “physical” slot machines standing in the halls of gaming establishments – there are thousands of them to choose from, and they can satisfy the most demanding tastes. Let’s find out when the first ‘one-armed thugs’ came along, how they’ve evolved in recent times, and what impact the internet has had on slots. And finally, let’s look at the mechanism and the main ways to win slots.
The history of slot machines
The history of “one-armed bandits” dates back to the end of XIX century, when in 1891 the New York company Sittman and Pitt developed the first slot machine with five drums and 50 playing cards on the backs. The machine was widely used in American bars, and a single game in the first slots cost 5 cents. The line of play was formed, if a player collected one of the poker combinations. In order to increase the margin of the institution, from the deck were taken two cards – a dozen spades and a jack of worms. The first slot machine has not yet had a direct mechanism for issuing winnings, so the payments were made at the bar, and the winnings were non-monetary – free drinks and cigars.
Some researchers believe the inventor of Charles August Fairy slots. He lived in San Francisco and owned a company that specialized in supplying electrical equipment. Around the same years (history has not kept the exact date), he introduced a slot machine that allowed automatic payments. For which the design was simplified – the number of drums was reduced to 3. He also replaced the slot cards with five symbols: worms, tambourines, spades, horseshoes and the bell of freedom. Since the biggest prize could be won by collecting three freedom bells, the machine received the same name Liberty Bell.
At the beginning of XX century slot machines were banned, but their production continued. Just now the drums showed the players the fruit, and the winnings were paid with gum or candy of appropriate flavor.
For many years the slots remained completely mechanical – the player flipped a coin, twisted the drum and could stop it when he wanted, by moving a lever. It seemed that the player has full control over the result. It is due to this mechanism slots and nicknamed “one-armed bandits.
In 1964, the first appearance of the first electromechanical slot machine Money Honey, but it is still equipped with the trigger lever as in the first machines, so as not to violate the familiar principle of the game. Already in the mid 70’s Future Coin company from Las Vegas presents the first video slot in the local hotel Hilton. The game is very popular and is becoming a prototype of slot machines in the form in which we now know them.
The next stage of evolution of one-armed gangsters came with the development of the Internet in the mid-90s and the emergence of the first online casinos. Initially, they were available only classic games like roulette and blackjack, but soon came online slots. At first, they completely repeated the classic look of “physical” machines, but the possibility of computer programming quickly allowed to remove these restrictions and began to appear unusual types of slot games with interesting themes and layouts. To date, there are a huge number of slots with a variety of characters, game lines and ways to win. Let’s look at the last two concepts in more detail.
Game paylines and ways to win
Payment lines (paylines, paylines) is a sequence in which the symbols of the slot machine should fall out, often from left to right, so that the player can win the prize. The classic game line was a horizontal line of five identical characters, but at the moment the lines can be diagonal, broken, etc.. In this case, before the game all lines online slot – passive. The player must activate one, several or all of them, betting that it will fall out. Of course, choosing more lines increases the probability of winning. In most slots the number of paylines varies from 1 to 100.
Meanwhile, today there are more and more online slots with a large number of payouts – they are also called “ways to win” (ways to win). Microgaming was the first company to release a slot with 243 ways to win. The winning line is a minimum of three characters located on adjacent spins. Why 243? Simple math – since this slot machine has five reels with three visible symbols, 243 is 3 in the fifth degree. In this case, you are not forced to bet on certain winning lines – paying once a certain amount of money, you get a chance to win on all possible combinations. Among the most famous representatives of the genre of slots such as The Dark Knight Rises, Thunderstruck 2 and Immortal Romance.
Another extension of such games are slots “1024 ways to win”. Collect a sufficient number of characters in a row (usually from three, and the winning combination is not always considered a match on one horizontal line), and you will win the prize. This number is also explained quite simply – this game has five reels with four visible positions, so the number of possible combinations is 4 in the fifth degree – 1024. This type of video slot includes such popular games as Lucky Panda, Hot Ink and League of Fortune.
Paylines and ways to win – what do I prefer?
It all depends on the preferences of the player. Although at first glance it seems that winning with paylines is much harder, you should remember that winnings in these slots are much bigger (you win less often, but more often). While in slots that work on the principle of “ways to win”, the probability of winning is much higher, but the prizes are much less. In principle, this is what lies behind such a big popularity of “one-armed thugs” – a high frequency of winnings relieves stress on the player and makes the process of gaming much easier and more enjoyable.
What slot you choose, depends on how much money you are willing to spend. If you have a lot of free cash at your disposal, then perhaps you should choose the game lines, because if you win you can earn much more. If you have limited funds or just don’t want to spend a lot of money, then it is better to choose 243 or 1023 or even more ways to win. Most likely, the prizes will be small, but stable.