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Slot Machine Basics

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Everything you ever wanted to know
about slots and slot machines.

Video Slot Machines

Diagram of the moving images on a Video Slot

Video slot machines are relatively new in the world of slots games and they are a great example of how microchip technology has changed many aspects of popular culture. Over time, advances in technology have meant that slots have developed elements of animation and moving images.

In the diagram above you can see a representation of a 5 reel video slot machine. The player has a winning combination of 5 star symbols; each of these star symbols is animated. This is a common feature in video slots.

What are video slots?

Video slots have no moving parts at all, in fact they are all on screen and are a graphical representation of a slot machine. Because these are not mechanical devices this means that video slots can be far more creative in their design and gameplay than their mechanical counterparts.

This has lead to the development of more 5 reel slots and has given far more scope for multiple paylines to be used in slot machines. Video slots can have a mind blowing amount of paylines compared to mechanical slots. Video slots can have 30, 40, 50 and even up to 100 paylines; in an electro mechanical slot machine this would simply be impossible.

History of Video Slot Machines

The first Video slots appeared in casinos in 1975 and the first video slot machine was invented by a Walt Fraley and this game was called Fortune Coin. You may expect that this was an instant hit with slots players, however, many were dubious about this technological advancement and whether a virtual slot could be trusted.

IGT the famous slot manufacturer brought the patent for Fortune Coin in 1976 and with clever marketing and further development of this new kind of slot machine they ensured that this next generation of slots game was a big hit.

Video slots are found in both land based and online casinos and the sort of animation that you can expect to find are animated symbols.  For example, during a winning combination the symbols that create the winning combo may light up or a player may be treated to an interesting piece of animation.

Pushing the Boundaries

Video slots can push the boundaries of what we expect from a slot machine, in fact there have been so many advances so far in the world of slot machines that it is very interesting to reflect on what sort of video slot machines may be developed in the future.

In addition to animated symbols, some online slots have animated video intro's that usually expand on the theme of a slot and give a little bit of a story line.  A great example of this would be the iSlots by the software provider Rival.

Video slots can have bonus, multiplier, scatter and wild symbols, bonus games, gamble features and free spins. They could be classic slots or 5 reel slots.

This makes slots games more interesting and engaging and video slots can be much more interactive. Some of the most innovative slot video slot machines include Slotris by SLOTLAND; a cross between a slots game and the popular game of Tetris and Jenga slots by the software provider Cryptologic, which blends the game of Jenga with an online slot. Maybe we will see video slots become more and more like computer games.