Slot machines are among the most popular gambling games on the planet. These games enjoy massive following from fans and their popularity is only going to grow further. Now, despite their popularity, many of the slots enthusiasts have never really had to bother with finding out about the technology that powers these amazing games. In a way this is a representation of just how good the slot developers have gotten – the front end, which is by all means what is meant for the players, has gotten so good that most players do not get distracted with the complex mechanisms pushing the back-end.
Still, for anyone who is interested in finding out, the technology that powers the slots games that we know and love is very interesting, to say the least. There is a lot to learn from how slot machines work and we are going to dive into all that juicy stuff in this article.
In case you are concerned about the use of a lot of techie jargon, that is not what we plan to do. We intend to make every bit of the detail included here as easy to comprehend or understand as possible. So, how about we get down to it?
Where We Are From: Looking Back at the Classic Mechanical Slots
The very first slot machine was built by Charles August Fey back in 1894. The Bavarian immigrant and American mechanic’s invention formed the backbone of the slots industry as we know it today. Naturally, given the state of technology that existed at the time the slot machine was mechanical in nature.
Players pulled a lever or handle and watched the reels spin. In case any of the players was lucky enough to line up a given set of symbols, they received a payout from the slot machine. Again, due to the nature of the gaming space at the time, the rewards that the machines paid out included such things as packs of cigarettes, chewing gum, or candy. Pretty minimalistic, right. Things changed a short while later and the machines began paying out cash instead – this was a highly welcomed improvement that propelled the popularity of the slot machines even further.
Mechanical slots machines remained a fan-favourite choice for many people as they become more accessible as more casinos added them. This would go on for decades. As a matter of fact, there are still a few of them scattered around. Finding them will, of course, be quite a feat but if you do, that will be your chance to get a feel of the classic gameplay as it was intended by its creator.
Where We Are At: Modern Retail and Online Slots
Slot machines have involved immensely since they were invented back in the late 1800s. Today, the classical mechanical slot machines that were used for a better part of the 20th century have been replaced by digital machines. The core aspects of the game have remained pretty much the same – the reels and levers exist with players receiving payouts for landing matching symbols. Still, perhaps the most monumental change would be the Random Number Generator (RNG) which essentially changed the entire gambling industry and not just slots.
As you may already know, gambling is all about luck and therefore randomness plays a huge role in digital or computerized gambling environments. This is where RNGs come in. They are simply algorithms that are designed to generate different outcomes or results. Every modern slot machine uses an RNG. In fact, this advancement is what set the stage for the next big leap – online slots.
Online gambling has existed for almost as long as the internet has existed and slots were among the first casino games to debut in that space. Slots developers have leveraged the power of various kinds of technologies to deliver on amazing reel-spinning experiences. Even players not on GamStop can enjoy a ton of great slot titles with mind-blowing graphics, smooth animations, and even very immersive sound effects. Their developers use the latest 3D modeling graphics and programming languages to give players the best possible imitation of the classic slot machine.
To make it even better, online gaming has made it possible for developers to come up with hundreds or even up to thousands of outstanding twists. These are inspired by such things as pop culture, fairy tales, films, and even comic books. Some come with extra features that are intended to add even more value to the gaming experience. You will certainly find something that tickles your fancy regardless of your personal tastes or preferences. Moreover, slots can now also be pooled which means that the very lucky players may walk away with life-changing sums of money with nothing but a laptop and stable connection.
Does it get any better than that? Well, apparently it should.
Where We Are Headed: Slots and the Casino of the Future
If the past two decades or so have been anything to go by, the gambling industry is very dynamic and its openness when it comes to embracing newer technologies plays a huge part in this. The casino of the future is already in development with early versions of their offerings already available for players to try out.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are poised to be a huge part of this future. Just like other casino games, slots will not be exempted from this. Players will just have as much fun with slots as they will all other offerings presented by the futuristic casinos that we are really looking forward to.
One notable development that is specific to slots is the move towards skill-based online video slots. Lots of people already play slots and therefore the addition of the element of skill to it would be insanely attractive to even more gamers. All these are still in the early stages of conception which means that more refinement and tweaking is still needed in order to bring them closer to perfection. Meanwhile, we can enjoy what we have now.
I love tech and gaming, and am always looking for the ‘next big thing’…