Slot machines have been around for more than a century now, but the game seems to get ‘younger by the day. From the analogic “fruit machines” of the late 19th century to today’s digital versions, slots have come a long way. What does the future look like for the “one-armed bandit”?
Casinos’ Best Friends
Every land-based casino has entire floors dedicated to a maze of slot machines. Not randomly, this game’s revenue corresponds to more than half of the total gambling revenue in many land-based casinos. In fact, gambling income generated by slots ranges between 65% and 80% in most casinos.
The old adage “the House always wins” holds with slot machines too. Casinos love slot machines because they offer predictable and consistent profits, and for players, they offer the potential of mega wins. The game operates with an RNG (Random Number Generator). There are also algorithms determining the RTP (Return to Player).
RTP rates say how much a machine is likely to pay you back from your bets over time. Typically, this rate ranges between 95% and 97% approximately. It means that a machine with an RTP of 95% will keep $5 from every $100 bet in the long run. Online slot machines operate in pretty much the same way.
Slots vs. Video Poker
They look similar, but they’re not the same. Slot games are rooted in pure chance. Video poker involves decision-making and some skill. In video poker, you start with five cards after placing your initial bet. Then, you have to choose which cards to hold and which ones to exchange, based on the rules of the poker game that you are playing.
Prizes tend to be smaller in video poker machines because players can affect the game’s outcome.
Slots and Online Gambling
Slots migrated to the digital world with enormous success. Mechanical issues no longer constrain online slots. So, new games present unique features, like expanding reels, floating wilds, 3D, and more. Computers and mobile devices are now more capable than ever, and gaming studios keep pace with new technologies – in fact, tech innovation in mobile devices and online gaming seems to be moving forward hand in hand.
Here are other changes brought by online slots to the original game.
Gaming studios are engaged in fierce competition for marketing dominance. There are always new games coming out with seasonal themes all over the year. Season themes, like St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, gain different versions every year, driving the seasonal market forward.
Yet, nothing beats the popularity of TV or movie-themed slots. Jumanji, Narcos, and Hell’s Kitchen are a few examples of successful games. Some of them use traditional cards, along with themed symbols, while others only use symbols.
Way Beyond Liberty Bell
Another crucial innovation brought by online slots is skill-based games. In those games, chance still plays a huge part, but there’s some decision-making and skill involved. Slots with narratives and storylines to follow are slowly gaining ground in the online gaming world. Virtual reality and 3D are also set to revolutionize the game.
While slots tap into every new technology and trend, the passion for jackpots shows no signs of aging. Gameplay changes keep attracting younger players, constantly renovating the game’s audience. The future looks bright for online slots indeed!