Slot machines are one of only a handful of casino games that can boast of American origins. The history of slots can actually be traced to both U.S. coasts. The first slot machine-style game appeared in a bar in New York where a winning combination earned patrons a free beer or food. It would stand to reason then that slots history evolved on the East coast, but in truth the first one-armed bandit slot machines appeared on the other side of the country in California in 1887. The modern history of slots is a relatively short one; the first electromechanical slots didn’t appear until the 1960’s when the Las Vegas casino Bally’s commissioned a simpler, automated version of the heavier one-armed bandits. In 1996 the first video slot machines were introduced, and online slots appeared soon after. All three incarnations of the game are still in use today. Who’s to say what the next landmark in slots history will occur or what it will be.
Online Slot Machines
For decades the fun and excitement of slot machines has been attracting millions of avid gamblers to live casinos. In the last few years the internet has made these ever-popular machines available to everyone. With online slot machines you can now play slot machines 24/7 from the comfort of your own home. Many slot fanatics find they enjoy online slots even more because of their amazing variety and bigger jackpots.
There are many notable advantages to playing slots online. For one, the biggest and best casinos on the web offer free versions of their most popular slots. You heard us right: FREE online slot games…hundreds of them! You can test every slot machine available on the web without losing a single quarter, or you can play your favorite online slots for real money and earn tons of other exciting bonuses and prizes in the process.
There is no denying that online slots have a promising future. They are already better and brighter than the real thing, and new and more exciting versions are being created every day. Why get your hands dirty sitting at a slow, old slot machine in some low-ceilinged casino when you can play hundreds of scintillating slot games on your own computer? We know true slot machine enthusiasts are probably eager to jump right in and try some new slots, so we’ve prepared this guide to get you started.
How Slot Machines Work
An online slot machine works in much the same way as a real one. On a real slot machine there are typically three reels, and each reel is covered in symbols. The slot machine’s display window shows three rows and three columns of symbols for a total of nine visible when the reels stop spinning. Traditionally it is the middle row of symbols that determines the prize won (and the jackpot is usually still limited to this line), but modern slots may also recognize combinations on the lines above and below the center.
Video slots changed the face of the game by allowing for more reels and more symbols in a smaller machine. Players put their money in the machine, pull the arm or press the “Spin” button, and the video display on the slot will show an image of reels spinning just as they would on a normal slot machine. Meanwhile a software program called a random number generator (RNG) determines the combination of symbols that will stop on the display window. Despite video slot machines being electronic and having more symbols and reels, their RNG software ensures that they offer the same odds of winning as a traditional machine.
Online slots are very similar to video slots in that they use the same random number generation software. Players still load their credits, press spin, and watch the reels turn, and their odds of winning remain as good or better than they would be with a real slot machine. As an added bonus, the improved technology means fewer errors, easier use, and more interaction.
How to Play Slot Machines
Learning how to play slot machines in any form is a snap. The only difference between the live and online games is that instead of cash or chips you will be betting with credits from your account. On some sites you will need to download the software before entering a slot machine game screen while other sites let you play with a no-download Flash version of the site.
Once you have logged into the online casino, you’ll head over to their slots page. From here, you can view dozens and sometimes even hundreds of different slot machine titles. Click on one you like and the game screen will load automatically. Online slots are virtually identical to video slots. Your computer screen will show an animated slot machine with three to seven reels; pay, play, and cash out buttons; the machine’s pay scale; and game graphics or occasionally a scrolling progressive jackpot. From this game screen you will select how much you want to wager per spin. Every time you press “Spin” that bet will be deducted from your total credits or points. Learning how to play slot machines is as simple as mastering the bet, spin and cash out buttons.
Slot Machine Strategy
Slot machines are truly a game of luck. Online slot games and even free slots are no different. There is no such thing as a winning slot machine strategy. The only advantage you can give yourself as a player is to choose a slot machine with a high payback percentage. For example, 97% is about average. That means that if you are playing $1 per spin, on average you are getting $.97 of that back. There are many sites that offer machines with payback as high as 98% or even 99%. Because you are losing less per spin, your odds of coming out ahead are better. This is the only slot machine strategy that directly effects your bottom line.
The Best Slots
For new online players, the sheer quantity of options available may be overwhelming. You’re in luck because we’ve already done the hard work for you by hunting down the best slots. To find out which online casinos offer the best slots and even the best free slots simply look to the “Top 5 Casino” window to your left.
Free Slot Games
A quick search of “free slot games” will give you hundreds of thousands of results. We weren’t kidding when we told you you can play free slots; they’re everywhere! Whether you’re looking for the Vegas experience without the high roller risk, or you want to test the waters before making your first deposit, free slot games are a great way to play. Many casinos have point systems that allow even free slot games players to cash in their winnings for cool prizes. Some online casinos will even give you sign-up bonuses that allow you to play cash slots for free.
Casino Gaze offers our readers slot machine tips that are both practical and true. You won’t find any false promises on our slots tips list, only old fashioned good advice.
All over the internet slot machine tips lists are topped by bonus advice. Bonuses may still be a slot machine secret to some, but for most gamblers they’re a much-coveted incentive. We certainly can’t argue over free cash. While a good bonus can mean lots of free money, it shouldn’t be the only factor you use to choose your next casino. Also, before you make a deposit hoping to earn a big bonus, be sure to read the casino’s bonus terms first to find out what you’ll have to do to earn your points or cash.
Play Free Slot Machines
Advising you to play free slot machines actually incorporates several different slot machine tips. Apart from bonuses, we recommend that new gamblers play free slot machines at each casino to determine which site best suits them. Free slots are also a great way to kill time or to get more from your casino experience when your bankroll runs out. You can also use free slots offers to find the best new games without wasting any time working through the cash games.
Know the Slot Machine Odds
If you’re going to play these games, then one of the most important slot tips we can pass on is to know the slot machine odds. That these games are based on luck is hardly a slot machine secret. Payout percentage is something that any long-term slots player should consider. The payout percentage tells you your long-term slot machine odds on any given slots game.