Why Have Slots Become So Popular in Casinos?

When you ask someone to think of the most popular casino games that are played at online and brick-and-mortar casinos, you know that you’re going to hear the usual suspects. There’s always going to be other casino games like poker, blackjack, and roulette. However, online slots are among one of the hottest games in modern casinos.

That’s for a number of reasons, too, ranging from their simple gameplay to the wide-ranging themes and the bonus features that have been added in recent years. So, in this guide, we’re going to look at how slots evolved into what they are today and the reasons they’ve struck a chord with players the world over.

Growing Popularity in Online Slots

The slot machine, often referred to as a fruit machine, has been a staple of the casino ever since the very first game of its type was developed in the United States in 1891. Initially based on poker and using cards as the reels, these five-drum machines introduced players to the mechanism of pulling a lever to set the reels spinning. While they wouldn’t be recognisable alongside most modern slots, they marked the first step towards what we have today.

After that came the introduction of the big, loud, and flashy machines adorned with LED displays, speakers, and depictions of iconic figures of pop culture. You would typically see these kinds of units on the floors of Las Vegas’s famous casinos, with rows upon rows of them stacked up with the sound of eager players pulling the levers making up the picture. The development of these more visually appealing machines was a big step in the ongoing story of the slot as a lynchpin of casino gaming.

Most recently, the advent of the internet as a part of everyday life has seen the casino make the leap alongside all of the other entertainment types that have done the same in the last couple of decades. Slots fitted in seamlessly with their lack of bandwidth gobbling graphics and gameplay. At a time when home internet and mobile connectivity were less than perfect, this meant that players could easily access their favourite titles without worrying about lag or long loading times. The fact that slots are simple games worked in their favour in the early days of the internet, and as connectivity has improved, so have these games.

Wide Range of Themes Available

The aspect of slots that probably makes them most attractive to players is their versatility. While games like blackjack and roulette are limited by the connotations of table gameplay, the slot machine has a more expansive profile, suiting different preferences and styles. Rather than being limited to the classic play style and its admittedly iconic Liberty Bells and cherries, the humble slot could branch out and use different iconography in an effort to stay current.

The jump to the online casino only accelerated this. While themed land based slot games could be found in casinos around the world, their digital counterparts were much easier for providers to create and release on a wider scale. Instead of having to build a unit that could soon be considered out of date, slot publishers could release themed titles quickly to keep up with changes in pop culture. Movie-themed slots became a big draw, with films like The Dark Knight and Jumanji getting the casino treatment. There were music-themed titles, sports slots, and games themed around every genre a player could imagine. This meant an ever-expanding audience.

Evolving Bonus Features

The old-school physical machines of the casino floor can be seen as something of a one-trick casino game. The mechanical nature of them meant that there was little that could be added to them to make them more dynamic. That changed with the advent of digital units and the online slot game. Now, the games were opened up to a world of possibility and developers took advantage of this to introduce brand-new features and bonus gameplay that served to make them even more diverse.

Now, the biggest titles on the market will have additional features that are unlockable as either bonus levels within the standard gameplay or just different ways to win. This can take the shape of re-spins, mini-games or bonuses that are paid out when a certain combination of symbols or spins is achieved.

The internet has also allowed the connection of multiple games and sessions around the world with progressive jackpots that will continue to build as players continue to put money in without claiming the jackpot, potentially resulting in bigger wins than usual. These extras have breathed new life into online slot games and helped build an online empire.

Simple Gameplay

Ultimately, one of the biggest factors that slots have going for them is the simplicity of the gameplay. Unlike a game like poker, which requires players to have in-depth knowledge of the rules, an ability to bluff, and a strategy that will help them fold at the perfect time, playing online slots is simple. The beauty of the earliest machines was the sheer straightforward nature of pulling a lever as you attempted to match the symbols on the reels.

Now, the gameplay may be a little less straightforward - you’ll find more wilds and bonus rounds than ever before - but the beauty of the internet is its ability to make even the complex simple. The fundamentals are still the same, as you look to spin the reels and match the symbols, but the addition of these new features is also clear, even for new players. The best slots will have detailed instructions on how to play the game, including information on what the symbols represent and the importance of the different rounds and wilds a player might encounter.

Take Time to Think | BeGambleAware.org | 18+

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