Despite being one of the most fundamental foundations on which modern casinos are built, there are many out there to whom slot games are a mystery. For this reason, we thought that today we could spend some time investigating this seemingly simple question. What forms do slot games take, and where do they come from? Here’s what our research turned up.
The very first slot games appeared in San Francisco around the late 1800s, where they went by the early moniker of fruit machines. Using cards, fruits, bars, and the number 7 as common graphics, these early slot games were entirely mechanical and fascinating in their complexity. Rather than offer monetary prizes, these early machines tended to payout in drinks and cigars, a great fit for their early settings.
With a limited initial rollout, the success of slot game ancestors quickly spread them across the continent, and then the Atlantic Ocean. Finding a new home in England, slots evolved to pay out real money. With this development, they continued all over the world, eventually finding homes on casino floors.
From their early mechanical stylings, slot games would adopt more advanced technologies to expand their capabilities. With bright lights, electronic components, and high possible jackpots, what was then the humble casino slot soon took the main stage.
When looking at slots today, there are two main forms of implementation, with each offering its own advantages. The hardware-based slots as seen in casinos are practically an institution at this point, as a famed way to spin for prizes alone or with friends. Relying on physical arms to pull has made these machines the go-to choice for many, with the engaging action playing a huge part in the experience.
The other form modern slots take can be found online, with digital slots. These have travelled their individual roads of evolution over the years, starting with the very first rough entries in the late 1990s. As with the first physical machines, early digital slots were hilariously limited by today’s standards, but they would quickly grow into something more.
With better internet speeds and improving computer processing power, online slots would soon match the capabilities of physical machines, and then surpass them. Owing to a backing of software rather than physical designs, online slots proved themselves to be ridiculously flexible, offering a wide range of different themes, bonuses, visuals, and audio design.
This potential would jump even further with the popularisation of the smartphone, and the move away from Macromedia Flash and towards more device-agnostic HTML 5 programming. Today, these developments have led to major websites offering hundreds of different slot games, each of which can be played from anywhere with an internet connection.
What are slot games? Today, slot games are a range of different hardware and software machines based on the original fruit machine designs. Slot games can be found in small and simple devices placed in the corner of bars, or the massive libraries seen in many online casinos. They’re all slot games, they’ve all come a long way, and they’re all only getting bigger.