Slots and pokies are two interchangeable terms used to describe the world’s most popular casino products. Today, most slots are played online, although in places such as Las Vegas, and across the United States’ tribal and commercial casinos, slots are played avidly. There are over 900,000 physical slot machines in the United States alone.
While the interest in land-based gaming has been climbing, so has an interest in the online counterparts which are essentially the digitalized counterparts of slot machines that you would find in most casinos. To understand them a little better, we take a closer look at what those games are and how to understand them better.
Designed for Fun and Down to Pure Chance
Slot machines are actually an old invention. They were first invented over a century ago in San Francisco in the distant 1894. Since then, slots have grown and become a perpetual source of entertainment for millions of adults around the world. Some of the biggest game developers today, including brands such as International Gaming Technology, Konami, WMS Industries, and many others.
Originally, slot machines were called “fruit machines” and they relied on something known as reels (they still do), but the difference is that until 1976, all slots were mechanical. This meant that they needed a lot of manual fixing and maintenance. From that point on, though, electronic slots became the norm.
Nicer displays and machines entered casinos across the United States and casino floors got livelier. By that time, slots were popular pretty much anywhere in the world, except for the countries that specifically banned gambling and saw it as a sinful or criminal activity.
Australia: Slow to Catch On, Quick to Catch Up
Australia is one of the biggest consumers of slot machine gameplay, but this wasn’t always the case. Up until the 1950s, not much was known about slot machines in most of the country – other than the fact that overseas, people would flock to this place called Las Vegas and play at those games that could pay out significant sums of money if they were lucky.
In a short time, Aussie players became some of the most prolific gamers, and some of the smartest, too, noting down strategies and tips on how to improve one’s gaming session in slot games. Of course, no advice can make you a better player, as slots do not require any skills.
However, there may be a few good practices to follow. For example, Aussie players understood that playing games with a low theoretical return (or RTP for short) would not really benefit them. Of course, there are some exceptions. For example, jackpot games usually have a low overall RTP, but they tend to be very much worth your while on the condition that you end up winning the jackpot.
Are Slots Designed to Help You Win?
In short, no. They are just machines that have a fixed rate of success and they follow it without much prejudice if any at all. The RTP is established to give some estimate of what to expect and how likely a scenario is. In the long term, slots are not designed to win but they still manage to pay out a pretty penny. Once the industry would only pay 93% of all $100 placed as wagers, but this percentage has been steadily progressing up, so you can expect an average payout of 97% these days for your $100. While some casinos and slot developers are still short of this target, most are trying to comply.
Even though slots are not by default created to guarantee wins, there are many slot games where you can score big, such as:
- Fixed Jackpots
- Progressive & Linked Jackpots
- Drops & Wins
- Must Drop Jackpots
- Megaways Payouts
These games are variations of the traditional electronic slots introduced in the 1980s, but they come with numerous improvements that make the gameplay worthwhile for individual players. Overall, slots have undergone many changes and while they still favor the house – as do all casino games – the fact is that they allow you to enjoy and benefit from excellent conditions.
The occasional big payday is to be expected, but the truth is that the chances of hitting the Mega Moolah jackpot are pretty slim. Regardless, this doesn’t make the game any less fun to play and you should give it a shot yourself.