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The roots of slot games date back to the late 1800s. The Liberty Bell machine created by Charles Fey in 1895 was the first slot with three reels and featured card suit symbols.
In the early 1900s, slot machines became commonplace at saloons, bowling alleys, train stations, and other venues. The iconic "one-armed bandit" mechanical slots lasted for decades with a lever on the side to set the reels in motion.
In the 1960s and 70s, slots were transitioned to electromechanical operation. While still mechanical at the core, electrical components were incorporated for the reel mechanisms and payouts.
Video slots arrived in the 1990s, replacing spinning reels with virtual simulations on a video screen. This paved the way for online slots controlled by sophisticated computer programs.
The first online casinos launched in the mid-1990s, and online slots debuted around the turn of the century. Rapid improvements in graphics, animations, and game features led to the advanced online pokies we see today.
Software providers keep raising the bar with new slot innovations like progressive jackpots, interactive bonus rounds, movie-style cut scenes, and 3D graphics. Next, we'll look at how modern online slots work.
While online slots may visually look like their vintage predecessors, the underlying mechanics are different. Instead of intricate machinery determining outcomes, online slots rely on sophisticated computer programming.
At the heart of all online slots is a random number generator (RNG). This program continuously and randomly cycles through thousands or millions of number combinations.
When the participant clicks the spin button, the RNG stops on a random set of numbers that correspond to specific reel results for that spin. Each outcome is entirely independent of previous spins.
The symbols lining up on the reels are just a visual representation of the underlying numbers. The randomness of the RNG ensures the results cannot be predicted or manipulated in the player's favor.
The game developers configure the math behind the RNG. The programming sets the long-term payout percentage for the slot based on the pay table. But every outcome is a random dice roll on an individual spin level.
While online slots may look and sound like their vintage predecessors, the modern RNG system driving results sets them apart mechanically. Next, we'll cover today's wide range of online slot types and themes.
The great benefit of online slots is the immense variety available. While classic 3-reel slots are still popular, most online pokies fall into the 5-reel video slot category, featuring rich graphics, animations, and bonus features. Some major types include:
With new titles released monthly, players have an endless array of unique online pokies to explore. Next, we'll go over some tips to play slots successfully.
While online slots rely heavily on chance, there are some tips and strategies to employ:
While online slots apply a lot of luck, these tips can help extend your gameplay and maximize the enjoyment of your slot experience.
While the themes and features vary across slots, most online pokies are powered behind the scenes by software from major providers. Some top developers include:
This company is the pioneer of online casino software. Microgaming launched the first online slots in the 1990s. I am known for branded titles and record jackpots.
Provider of top-rated slots like Starburst and Gonzo's Quest. Renowned for polished graphics and innovative game mechanics.
Before they were discontinued, the leading brand offered many online slots, including many Marvel superhero games.
RealTime Gaming has hundreds of online slot titles. Their games include interesting themes and generous bonus rounds.
A dominant force in land-based slots, IGT now also produces popular online slot titles, including Cleopatra and Da Vinci Diamonds.
Trying slots from top providers like these is an excellent way to ensure a quality gaming experience. Their titles are featured at most reputable online casinos.
Online pokies provide all the spinning reel excitement of traditional slots adapted for desktop and mobile play. While vintage slot machines relied on intricate machinery, online slots use sophisticated random number generators to determine their outcomes.
Today's online slots include lavish graphics, animations, soundtracks, and bonus features unmatched by their land-based predecessors. With new 5-reel video slots released monthly, players have endless options spanning various themes and genres.
While the results come down to chance, following tips like managing bankroll, understanding paylines, and sampling new slots with free spins can lead to a more rewarding experience. Playing slots from leading providers like Microgaming and NetEnt is also advised.
For slot machine enthusiasts, online pokies give convenient desktop and mobile access to all the lights, sounds, jackpots, and fun of spinning reel games at any time. With such an expansive library of online slots to explore, players can turn away to their heart's content from home.