The slot machine has come a long way since the 1895 Liberty Bell. Advancements in technology and new gaming trends have completely changed the way slots are played. Here are 6 of the best innovations that have led to the kind of modern slots we know and love today.
# 1: The Move Online
Back in the mid-1990s, the slot machine made the revolutionary move online. No longer was spinning a pastime reserved for the casino floor. Gamblers could spin slot reels from the comfort of home for the first time in history.
Plus, being digitalised meant online slots were not limited to just 3 reels and a single payline like their mechanical predecessors. Online slots could be designed with anything up to 6 reels and a whopping 100 paylines. This was truly mind-blowing stuff for its time.
# 2: The Mobile Slot
In our busy modern world, convenience is everything. So what gambler would say no to having all their favourite slot games in the palm of their hand?
In 2005, with the rise of the smartphone and better internet connectivity, came mobile slots. These games aren’t just desktop versions squished onto smaller screens. Mobile slots are optimised to provide the same speed and quality of gameplay for on-the-go gamblers. You’ll find them available in handy online casino apps – perfect for playing anywhere, anytime.
# 3: Tumbling Reels
When IGT released their classic Da Vinci Diamonds slot in 2007, players were introduced to Tumbling Reels. This innovative bonus feature sees winning symbols tumble away after every successful click of the spin button. New symbols swoop in to replace them, providing players with the chance to land another win without having to pay for another spin.
The feature proved so popular, it’s now built into hundreds of slot games. You might see it referred to as ‘Avalanche’ or ‘Cascading Reels’ instead of Tumbling Reels, but the principal’s exactly the same.
# 4: Branded Slots
In 2011, the slot-building geeks at NetEnt struck a deal with Universal Studios to create Frankenstein, their first ever branded slot game. This sparked a huge demand for more online slots based on popular TV and movie franchises.
These days you can find slots inspired by iconic childhood shows, such as Top Cat, Inspector Gadget and The Flintstones. You’ll also find online machines built around characters from the DC Universe, as well slots featuring big screen celebs like Sylvester Stallone.
# 5: Slot Tournaments
A few decades ago, slot tournaments became popular in the casinos of Las Vegas. Online casinos have now dragged these competitions into the 21st century, giving modern gamblers the chance to go head-to-head with players from across the globe in online tournaments.
Entrants are usually awarded a dedicated amount of time or spins to play with. Those who rack up the most wins during the tournament are awarded huge cash prizes.
# 6: Virtual Reality
Everyone in the gambling industry’s talking about VR.
Often dubbed ‘the future of online gaming’, VR technology has already been used to transform the player experience in slot games like NetEnt’s Jack and the Beanstalk. Rather than being stuck before a 3D set of reels, VR allows gamblers to explore and interact with Jack’s 360-degree fairy tale world. More compact and affordable VR headsets mean more VR slots are likely to be released very soon.
What’s next for the slot?
The story of the slot doesn’t end here. No doubt new slot game features are being innovated as we speak. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for all the latest developments.