In casino gaming, the slot machines have a special place in casino folklore. Slot machines bring back memories of Las Vegas, and smoke-filled casinos filled to capacity with avid players waiting for good luck to come their way. Maybe it’s the motion, the lights, the sound or maybe it’s all of the above but slots are the prototypical casino game.
The first slot machine was invented by Charles Fey, an American living in California. It was a large beast of a machine that had its 3 reels mechanically put into motion by pulling forward on a long lever. This lever is why the nickname one-armed bandit was first coined. When the reels aligned with 3 golden bells, the Mill’s Liberty Bell paid out a maximum of ten 5-cent pieces.
The slot machine took a great leap forward when the first electromechanical version was developed by the Bally Company in 1963. The next generation of slots came when Reel ‘Em In, the first video slot, was released by WMS Industries in 1996. This game was the grandfather of the video slot games that we play today.
There are a number of different terms that need to be discussed when talking about the today’s online slot market and that deserved to be discussed. Here are just a few:
Slot games are any games that are played on a slot machine. As anyone who has played slots, real or virtual, there is more to the game than just watching the reels spin.
Every slot game has much more to it than just putting the game into play and watching the reels turn. Each game has as its own rules, and therefore, each game has to have its own strategy if one wants to win them. This is what separates the big winning players from the rest – they understand how to get the most out of each game.
Classic slots may be video online slots but their feel is totally different. Classic slots have a traditional look, and a lot of the times they are called fruit machines, like the types of slots games in the Las Vegas movies.
These classic slot machine games normally consist out of three reels and few paylines and the reels are filled with a variety of fruit and of course, the number 7. Although they are video slots, they also tend to go for a Las Vegas atmosphere, complete with potted plants and other-era carpeting on the screen.
Progressive slots are video slots that are online slot games that increase in value every time that the jackpot is not won. That is, a part of the money spent by punters that do not win the grand prize is returned to the pool, growing and swelling the progressive jackpot to enormously large jackpots of sometimes multimillions of pounds.
In addition, the progressive jackpots of numerous machines are often pooled together, as wide-area network progressives, exponentially increasing the amount of the progressive jackpot available to win.
This is how one lucky can win a life-changing quantity of progressive jackpot, like the anonymous UK player who, in 2013, won a whopping £5.1 million playing NetEnt’s progressive jackpot favourite, Mega Fortune.
Best Video Slots
When we talk Blood Suckers, we’re not talking about the disgusting little insects that latch onto you in a lake or shadowy forest; we’re talking about vampires. But although the vamps want your blood, they also give back with a lot of free spins while you play and a high payout ratio.
Blood Suckers is a 5 reel, 25 payline NetEnt slot that is transports you to the world of the undead. Get 3 or more hammer and stake symbols and the bonus feature is activated. You’re taken to an ancient burial chamber with coffins inside and when you open one, you are rewarded a cash prize, up to a maximum of 178 times your bet. There is also a free spin feature which is activated when you get 3 or more vampire brides. Get 5 symbols and you’ll win 100 times your stake. With the multiplier thrown in, it’s possible to win up to 900 times your bet with Blood Suckers.
Spiñata Grande is a 5 reel and 40 paylines video slot. It has a Mexican, Mariachi-style theme and you can bet anywhere from 20p to £200 a spin. The game has Colossal symbols, a mini-slot feature, and lots of free spin features.
Spiñata Grande is filled with spinning piñatas, raining candies and a lively soundtrack. The Colossal Wild is a 3X3 block of Wild symbols and can lead to many times your stake in winnings. So get a taste for Mexico Spiñata Grande!
Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk is a 5 reel, 20-payline video slot based upon the popular fairytale. Travel with Jack in the world of giants. Jack and the Beanstalk uses a unique Walking Wild(s) feature that multiplies your chances of winning as well as your chances for more re-spins at no extra cost.
You can get up to 15 free spins and there is also a Treasure Collection where you can collect up to 9 keys and win up to 500 times the stake. The Jack and the Beanstalk video slot is one that can pay out big winnings while being a lot of fun to play.
Flowers is a 5 reel, 30 payline NetEnt slot that’s different from the rest. These are flowers with anger-management problems. The game features double symbols, a ton of free spins and multipliers, and stacked Wilds which keep the fun going, even if it doesn’t help to cheer up the grumpy greenery.
The biggest possible win with Flowers is £37,500 from a single payline so the free spins that keep coming can mean a pretty good payday. If you’re looking for an online slot with lucrative free spins and as well, with a little twist, check out Flowers. This NetEnt game is extremely popular among high rollers – those slots players who like to bet large amounts of money per spin.
Best Fruit Slots
Mega Joker is a traditionally-themed 5 payline, 3 reel fruit slot with an astronomical RTP of 99%! There is an average payout of £30,000 every two weeks. It’s a major reason that players keep on returning. Mega Joker means mega money.
Just as is the case with most of classic slot machine games – modern versions of one-armed bandits – Mega Joker has an extra bonus screen. If you want to maximize your RTP on this slot, you should always bet on this second screen. As soon as you have earned some credits that you can transfer, do it. The payout percentage on Mega Joker top screen game is significantly higher than in the base game.
Jackpot 6000 is another extremely popular NetEnt fruit machine. This 3 reel, 5 payline game evokes a Las Vegas feel, complete with potted plants and lush carpeting from a bygone era. With its Super Meter bonus game, you can win up to 6000 coins, hence its name. Jackpot 6000 is a fruit machine fan favourite.
This classic slot is based on an old Norwegian classic one-armed bandit that used to be a major hit at land-based slot halls. Today these halls are a part of the history. However, this NetEnt replica has become such a success, that it has attracted classic slot players from all over the world, even those who have never heard of the Norwegian original slot.
Although Joker Pro is a 5 reel, 10 payline slot with a futuristic feel, it still offers bars, sevens, and other symbols that fruit machine players have come to expect. If the Joker Hat scatter symbol appears on any of the 3 middle reels, it will trigger Joker Pro’s re-spin feature. Reels 1 and 5 will become Wild reels and 3 Hot Spot positions will appear in the middle of the other reels. If 3 Wilds land in the Hot Spot positions, you can win up to 1,000 times your stake.
Joker Pro was launched exclusively at Unibet sites, but is now available at all casinos offering NetEnt slot games. It reminds of another classic slot – Joker Jester from NextGen Gaming.