One of the first things that pop in our mind when someone mentions the word gambling are slot machines. The well-known sound of ching-chang when the slot machine pays out gives most gamblers out there goosebumps. All in all, slots have a fan base like no other game of chance. So it’s no wonder then that cities such as Las Vegas or Monaco exist.
Unfortunately, you cannot compete in slots, but the fact that most of the gaming spaces in every casino (70% to be precise) belong to slot machines testifies to their omnipresence in the gambling world.
Do you know why the most significant space in a casino is reserved for slots? Because the owners are such lovely people and want to please their guests? Wrong. The real reason is — slot machines are their duck that lays golden eggs. The most significant part of every casino’s income comes from these babies.
On another note, people are attracted to slots because the rules of the game are pretty basic — a fool could do it with both hands behind their back. Just pull the handle and wait for the reels to stop spinning. On top of slots’ simplicity, the game makers do their best to make a colorful and vivid design, appealing symbols, and many bonuses which promise you (if you play) real money for free.
In poker, on the other hand, you have to use a specific strategy, try to outsmart your opponents, and ultimately win the pot after hours and hours of strenuous showdowns. In slots, you can play thousands of spins per day, since the outcome of a round is revealed just after a couple of seconds.
Either way, there is no strategy you can imply to win at slots — it’s just pure Lady Luck’s mercy. You can win, or you can lose, its as simple as that. Moreover, you don’t have to be a pro player to win big. Everyone has the same chances.
How Did Slots Become so Viral? — History 101
The first primitive gaming machine was forged way back in 1887. Sittman and Pitt, a company from New York, were the creators of this invention. Nevertheless, the layout wasn’t even close to the one we have today. This machine operated on fifty cards and five drums. Mind the fact that two cards weren’t in use since a standard deck consists of 52 in total. Ten of Spades and Jack of Hearts were the unwanted ones. Why? Because that diminished the odds of hitting a Royal Flush.
Moreover, if someone wanted to play, this person had to hit the road and visit a bar or a pub, since casinos weren’t a thing yet. And once players found a pub which hosted this machine, they had to put in a nickel and wait for the drums to end their roll. The cashout wasn’t automatic, and the prizes were usually a pack of cigarettes or some booze. However, since this machine piqued the interest of ordinary folk, naturally, slots developed and evolved more and more.
This led to the first ever slot machine with an automatic cashout, in 1891, to be precise. That wasn’t the only change, though. There were three reels in only one row, having five symbols painted on each of them. At this point, slot machines occupied the space of many tobacco shops and salons. And this was the beginning of the classic slot design and gameplay. The so-called ‘One Arm Bandits’ rose to fame and began growing in popularity with each day.
The slot machines stayed pretty much the same since then. Up until the 1970s, that is. This was the year which changed everything and created the slot machine we all know today. The first electronic One Arm Bandit finally stepped into the modern era.
Even though the handle wasn’t necessary anymore, the designers decided to keep it, for marketing purposes. And pretty soon, as the technology kept evolving, so did the slots. A new addition to this family were video slots, with their very own display (TV screen).
Twenty years later, the first online slots casino opened its digital doors to the world. Now, slots weren’t the first game on these first online casinos. These establishments premiered games like blackjack and roulette before they enriched their range of games with some slots. Initially, there were no machines, just classic online slot games. But soon enough, players could choose between multiple slot offers.
As the number of online casinos continued to expand, competition forced casino’s to introduce different bonus features into their slots. Some of these are progressive jackpots, free games, free spins, etc. Nevertheless, none of these features could guarantee players a win. Luck was and still remains the main game-changer both in land-based and online gambling casinos. But how exactly do these online games work, and which is the best online slot machine out there?
The Judge and the Jury of Slots — The Random Number Generator
The Random Number Generator, or RNG, as many call it, represents the brain, the spine, and the soul of slots. The first time RNG found its purpose was in video slots in land-based casinos. And today, playing slots online would be literally impossible without it. This is essentially a computer mechanism which uses a complex set of mathematical algorithms to ensure the outcome of the game will always remain completely random.
RNG is on the constant move. A combination of numbers spins endlessly. And even when no one is playing, the numbers are shuffling. The RNG works like this so as to prevent players from ever noticing any potential patterns in its way of operation. Finally, the moment you click the spin button, numbers freeze, and the outcome is determined by the combination which happens to get frozen at the given time. Will it be a winning one or not? No one can ever tell.
Let’s also mention a reel stop. This is a position in which the reels land. In video slots, we’re talking about the number range from 60 to 250 per reel. These stops are your enemy, since the more you have at a given slot, the lower your chances of winning will be. So if you hope to win, all symbols which show in a particular spot need to be aligned accordingly, but across an active payline. Your winning possibilities increase with more active paylines. But you should bear in mind that once you start playing multiple slots with more paylines, you’ll have to place bigger bets.
Nevertheless, wilds and scatter symbols are excluded from these rules. No particular order is necessary for them, as long as they appear in numbers. So when you’re playing slots for real money, friendly little features like these two really brighten your day. So what would the answer be to the following question: “What is the best online slot machine?” Well, the answer is simple — the one which provides the most bonuses and wilds.
Good Slots Are the Ones with the Best Return to Player Percentage
If you are a passionate gambler, you must have heard of the term Return to Player. Essentially, there is a difference between slots — some of them pay out more, and some pay out less, or at least not as often as the standard ones should anyway. RTP represents precisely this — a percentage of money that the machine returns on the players over the long haul. Imagine this as an opposite of the house edge.
Let’s say you choose to play slots with the house edge of 4%. If the house took its guaranteed 4%, the Return to Player would be 96%, which is pretty high. Thus it’s a good thing from a gambler’s point of view. Nevertheless, things aren’t always so black and white.
There are lots of gray zones here. Here is the catch — no matter how good these numbers might sound, this is not determined by a single player’s match. These numbers are calculated over millions of rounds. This means that you might as well sit at one particular slot for hours, spinning the reels without any winnings. However, this doesn’t mean the game was tampered with by the casino operators.
Think of Return to Player Percentage as an indicator of game’s generosity, but don’t take this too literally though. You are involved in games of chance. Thus, the outcome will be determined by the amount of luck at a given moment. That’s it, nothing more and nothing less. Naturally, if you play a couple of million times, you will win something for sure.
Another thing you should know about online gambling and slots is their volatility. Some players prefer a more frequent payout, with smaller stakes and winnings, while others like to wait for more rare payouts, but when they win, the rewards will be much more significant. Well, the odds have nothing to do with the pace of gameplay. If a specific slot has smaller but more numerous prizes, it’s called a low volatility slot, while slow but big winning games go by the name of high volatility ones. So pick a slot which suits you the most. After all, the outcomes will be the same in the long run.
How to Pick the Best Online Slot Machine?
For starters, pick a reputable casino. Make sure you read the terms and conditions very carefully in order to avoid any confusion. And if a site seems more than satisfactory, make sure that the establishment of your preference actually cashes out the money players win, instead of tricking them with more than generous welcome and first deposit bonuses and later stealing from them. After all, the only way you will end up happy is if you actually receive the money you’ve earned fair and square.
In addition, many online casinos give their members multiple options on how to play, so you can download the casino software, use the instant play option, or even play their games on your mobile phone. This way, you can satisfy your gambling needs whenever and wherever you are. So what is the best online slot machine? Well, the one you play at an ethical and respectable casino — an establishment that guarantees a certain payout.
In the end, what good is a high RTP percentage if you never get to actually receive your money? So take your time and investigate every aspect we’ve listed above. Your efforts will be awarded, and you’ll get to enjoy the ultimate gaming experience from the safety of an excellent and secure online establishment.