Slot machines are one of the most played casino games and continue to rival table play in traditional and online settings around the world. As the popularity of slots continues to surge, more players seek out new and innovative ways to win. Before we take a look at the various ways that players can get the most from their games, here is a brief history of slot machines and a closer look at how they have evolved over the last 130 years.
History of slot machines
The slot machine had its humble origins in the late 19th century. The very first machine was created by Sittman and Pitt, a company headquartered in New York. It had a simple five drum setup, each with ten playing cards and was operated by a single lever. That is where the well-known “one-armed bandit” nickname is derived from. Back in 1891, the house edge was increased via the removal of two cards, with the absence of the jack of hearts and ten spaces reducing the odds of a player landing on a royal flush by 50 percent.
Charles Augustus Fey is perhaps the godfather of slot machines as we now know them. The model developed by Sittman and Pitt did not have a direct payout mechanism, so winnings had to be collected at the bar. This process simply wasn’t viable for the fast-paced and exciting nature of slots, so Fey created a coin-operated machine in the early 1890s that had just three reels, five simple symbols, and automatic payouts. This combination was a winner as it became incredibly popular and Fey’s decision not to apply for a patent allowed other third parties to improve on and enhance his work.
The 1960s onward
Fast forward to the modern day, and slot machines have now evolved considerably since those formative years. The 1960s saw the first fully electromechanical slot and the phasing out of the traditional lever to start a game. A decade later, the first true video slot was released by Fortune Coin, and it became a huge hit on the Las Vegas strip.
Innovation plateaued after that until the mid-1990s when WMS Industries Inc. revolutionized slots with the release of “Reel ‘Em”. What was different this time? After years of relatively static gaming experience, the new machine created a second screen bonus round which offered players the chance to win additional payouts. To call “Reel ‘Em” type slots a success is perhaps an understatement as the games became the showcase offerings at casinos and accounted for around 70 percent of income.
While slots brought in more revenue, they also took up considerable floor space. Players eager for slots entertainment also had to make a physical trip to their favored casino. Both of these factors plus the arrival of hi-tech internet connections paved the way for the rise of online slots and casinos. Now, gamers could stay at home and partake in a wide variety of unique slots games. Computer programming finally allowed developers to create slots that provided vastly different experiences to land-based machines. There were unique themes, unusual structures and layouts, innovative bonus rounds and special game features.
Improve your chances of winning
The digital revolution is here. You now have the chance to beat the system and win against the odds by playing slots anywhere at any time, with any connected device. It’s important to remember that slots cannot be defeated in the long run, but you can still win big with a considered, thoughtful approach and a degree of strategy. There are no guarantees, but you can improve your odds of being successful.
Slot machine strategies can be tailored to each individual. Hard and fast rules rarely apply, but there is a range of factors that should be weighed against each other to find a unique balance. For example, consider the chances of winning, the size of winnings, upfront costs, and the thrill and excitement involved. There is help with that on the blog of the well-respected 888casino where there are some slot machine cheats that will help you to make the most of your time playing this fascinating casino game. In addition to some very useful information, this online casino has a large range of slots to choose from, with exciting graphics and smooth gameplay.
Choose a game that fits your personality
A useful first tip is to select games that dovetail with your personal goals and playing personality. For example, three-reel games are geared towards top jackpots, but that is balanced out by there being a lower hit frequency and a greater degree of losing spins. In contrast video slots with pick’em bonuses have higher hit frequency rates, making them ideal for those that want a series of smaller wins for extended play time. Meanwhile, slots with free spins as main bonus events fall somewhere in the middle. You can decide where you prefer to focus. What do you derive the most value from when playing casino games?
Play within your budget
Setting a budget and playing within it is important if you don’t want to lose a significant amount of money. A basic guideline is to create a gambling bankroll that will cover 250 bets. That will be enough to support your slots gaming for three hours 90 percent of the time. If you are playing on a 20-line five cent slot with each bet costing one coin per line, $250 is the recommended bankroll. Also, a $200 bankroll is not sufficient for dollar slots when playing at an online casino. Compared to other casino games such as roulette or craps, slots are easier to budget for. Why is that? Because the odds never change and are the same for each spin. Use this to your advantage and be willing to lower your bet or walk away if you are in danger of exceeding your limit.
Higher denomination slots offer higher yields
The concept of budget planning also feeds into the types of slots you can play. A general rule of thumb is to plump for slots that deliver as high a denomination as your bankroll can support. Higher denomination slots deliver higher yields compared to lower variants, but they also require bigger bets and involve more risk. Again, entertainment value should be accounted for and what exactly you want from your slots session. A 40-line one cent game with a payback percentage of 86 percent will equate to lower average winnings and losses compared to a $3 bet on a three-coin $1 slot with a 95 percent payback.
Be aware of eligibility when playing progressive slot
When playing progressive slot machines in a casino or online, a percentage of the wagers you make will be added to the jackpot. Online video slots usually have a multi-tiered system, but to win each jackpot, you must have made the maximum bet. It is important to make the necessary bets to be eligible for the jackpot as not doing so makes playing progressive slots somewhat redundant.
Players have been attempting to beat slot machines for more than a century and while there is nothing you can do to determine the outcome of these games, a few of the tips here and a recognition of the strengths and flaws that are inherent to these games can help you to have fun while winning some money along the way.