Evolution of Online Casino Slots

Published on: December 16, 2008 

The evolution of the online casino slots started with the development of the Random Number Generator. The movement of the reels could be simulated and hence the physical apparatus of the slot machine was rendered useless. The initial online casino slots had the same format as the traditional land based slots, which were 3 reels and single paylines. These offered limited possibilities and could not engage player interest for long.

The first change was to increase the number of reels to five. Today most online casino slots have 5 reels, though some have even more. A limited number of traditional 3 reel slots are still being developed. The more meaningful change was the introduction in flexibility of coin denomination and the increase in number of paylines. The increase in number of paylines was especially meaningful. One spin on a 20 payline slot game is equivalent to 20 spins on a single payline slot game. Hence the pace of wagering increases tremendously. Today most slots have between 5 and 40 paylines, though there are a few online slot games with 50 and even 100 paylines.

Another development in online slots is the introduction of better audio-visual special effects. This has enhanced the value of theme-based slots. Animations in particular have made online slots more appealing to players. Progressive jackpot networks have been another driving force in the evolution of online slots. These offer life-changing payouts of millions of dollars. The networking of the same games or even a group of games across online casinos has enabled the progressive jackpots to grow faster. This has led to increased interest in slots games.

However the most effective factor has been the introduction of bonus games. These offer payouts in many interesting ways. There are two types of bonus games commonly found in online slots. One type is the free spin bonus games. A particular combination of symbols awards a number of free spins in which the payouts are usually multiplied. However the more interesting bonus round is the bonus round on the second screen. This eliminates the boredom of the spinning reels by creating a game in another environment related to the theme. The most common of the games is to pick ‘x’ objects out of ‘y’ objects. The objects chosen reveal extra credits. Some of the bonus games are multi-stage. Players have to win one game in order to play the next one.

Today almost all land-based slots are also video slots, running on Random Number Generators. International Game Technology and WMS Gaming are the most reputed manufacturers of land based video slots. The video slots produced by them are far advanced of what are available on online casinos. In the Innovation series of slots from WMS Gaming there are slots in which the symbols cascade as if dropped from above instead of spinning. Another series of slots features different number of symbols on different reels.

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