An introduction to the most popular online casino game – the video slot
The conquering of the three-reel
The slow, reguar rhythm of pieces of change hitting the slot and the three-reels bouncing onto their marks, (occasionally interrupted by the joyful, long thudding of winnings on plastic)… The traditional three-reel slot machine was once the staple of casinos around the world. Over the last 20 years this has been replaced by a dizzying advance in technology as video slots became the king of the casino.
Statistics from the gaming industry show that now in the U.S. more people play video slots in a casino than three-reel slots, or traditional games like poker or blackjack.
And that is thanks to years of innovation from video gaming companies, who have seen how lucrative slots gaming could be.
Back in the 1980s poor video technology and lack of differentiation from the popular three-wheel slots did not help the new video machines as they began to make their way onto the casino floor.
However, as technology improved, video slots became far more interactive, finding ways other than the faint promise of a jackpot to keep gamers coming back.
Bonus events (such as free spins, pick-a-prize events and wheel spins) started to attract more people away from the three-reels and to the video platforms. And then most importantly of all, the gaming companies started using pop cultural tie-ups to hold people’s attention. From the likes of films, to pop music to TV shows, the games were then loaded with famous branding, advanced gameplay and video clips to create an experience far, far away from the three-reel slots.
Moving onwards and upwards to online casino slots
And yet slots gaming has continued to evolve – with gamers now taking their money out of the casino and moving it online, with the advent of online video slots and online casino slots.
While it is a new platform, in many ways online video slots offer much the same experience you would find as if you were in the casino: the much-loved five reel games, pop cultural tie-ups, range of prizes, games and live video slots, are all still there.
But there are key differences between playing online and live at the casino – not least the lack of progressive jackpots and bonus wheel games. However, online you have more opportunities as an inexperienced gamer to experiment and feel your way into the experience with some non-wagering options when you join an online casino. Naturally free games are not an option when you walk into a real life casino!
But if non-wager gameplay still appeals to gamers, then a number of non-wagering social casinos exist, for example on online platforms like Facebook or on Smartphone apps. This allows players to play casino games either alone, or against fellow users for free, but with no payouts.
But once the desire to feel the true casino experience online arrives, there are many ways you can do so. Gamers can upload funds using their credit card or through online fund transfer platforms, such as PayPal or Neteller.
And once you have credit loaded onto your online casino account, you have far more wagering options available to you than if you were in a casino. If you were playing on an in-casino slot machine you would be stuck wagering 1 cent, 2 cents or 5 cents per line, for example, and the same on high-denomination games. Online slots offer you more flexiblity, allowing all the above wagers per line, along with amounts in between and above.
Gamers should remember to check out Return To Player (RTP) percentages before they use an online video slot, with some online casinos offering much higher percentage RTPs than others.
So what is the future for online video slots? Well much regulation on online wagered gambling still exists. For example many online casinos use geolocation tools for players – as online casions will only take bets from gamers who are in a country where online gambling is legal. In the USA legislation is especially tight, with only a handful of states allowing the practice – indeed it is illegal for gamers in those states to go into other states and gamble online. Online casino companies will be hoping legislators will change these rules – as there is an incredible opportunity for this industy to grow and grow.