In the distant past, when the first slot machines were invented, no one could have predicted that video slots would play such an essential role in the development of the gambling industry. Having been a second-class gambling option for many years, they have always been overshadowed by the more prestigious casino card and table games. However, a lot has changed since the invention of the first video slot in the 1970s. So, video slots machines have become the most popular gambling entertainment at land-based and online casinos alike. With unique themes, multiple paylines, various built-in bonuses and twists, they have high winning potential and unrivalled entertainment value, so they are unlikely to leave the gambling scene soon.
What Are Video Slots?
In simple terms, video slots are computerized slot machines that use a random number generator (RNG), a special algorithm to ensure the randomness of the symbols that land on reels instead of a mechanical drive. This includes video slots installed at B&M venues, games from the online casino collections and video slots free online offered by social casinos. However, this was not always the case. To understand what video slots are and how they work, it will not be superfluous to refer to the history of slot machines.
History of Slot Machines
There are many significant milestones in the history of casino slot games, so let’s find out where it all started and where it all led to.
- The year 1894 was marked by Charles August Fey, an outstanding American inventor from Bavaria, who introduced to the world the first model of a coin-operated slot machine. This invention is the prototype for the slots known as “one-armed bandits.” With a mechanical drive, three reels, only one payline and the very familiar fruit symbols, the first generation slots were simple and very stable.
- Since Fey did not patent the design of his slot machine, the so-called Liberty Bell was created on its basis, a 3-reel slot machine that enjoyed popularity over the next several years. Unfortunately, in 1902, slot machines were officially banned. However, production of the Liberty Bells continued. As cash prizes could no longer be paid out, the era of fruit slots began, rewarding players with matching candy and chewing gum.
- Fortune Coin is a Las Vegas-based company that created the very first video slot. Introduced to the world in 1976, it used a modified Sony television to display the virtual spinning reels of a slot machine. It is noteworthy that after some changes were made to the security system of the video slot machine, it was approved by the gambling regulator of the state of Nevada.
- In 1978, IGT, a major provider of land-based casino equipment, acquired Fortune Coin to enhance their invention and bring it to new markets. A year later, SARCOMA introduced the first video poker machine using a 5 reel video slot game engine with card symbols instead of fruit icons.
- Aristocrat Technologies, an Australian video slots developer, introduced the first game with a 5-reel mechanic, built-in bonuses and free spins in 1990. This inspired many developers to stock their products with various bonus features to make the gameplay more varied.
- 1994 saw the launch of the first online casino. It was CryptoLogic, a company specializing in the development of online security software solutions, who gave impetus to the development of the online gambling industry.
- In 2011, Video Slots Casino, an online gambling platform offering a wide variety of video slots, was launched. Licensed by the MGA and UKGC, this online casino is one of the first to provide video slots compatibility with mobile devices.
So, the real revolution in the world of video slots dates back to 1994 when the first online casino was launched because it was the online segment of the market that made these games so accessible to every gambling enthusiast around the world.
Features of Video Slots
Please note that video slots use RNG, the game engine responsible for the operation of the slot and ensuring that each spin will have a random result. Although you cannot directly influence the gameplay, video slots have some features that set them apart from many other casino games:
- Wild symbol. Used as an extra feature, this symbol can replace simple icons, thereby increasing your chances of landing winning combinations. Most often, designers depict Wild in the form of a game logo or the main character, taking into account the theme around which the game revolves. Besides, Wilds are capable of forming combinations by themselves. Most often, these combinations are the most valuable ones in the game.
- Scatter. Scatter is the key to the free spins round, one of the most coveted symbols in video slots. As its name suggests, it is capable of forming combinations without being tied to paylines. By landing 3 or more Scatters anywhere on the grid, you will be rewarded with free spins if this feature is available in the video slot of your choice. In some games, Scatters form winning combinations no matter where they appear on the reels.
- Bonus games. Since most modern video slots have their theme, they offer themed bonuses that act like pick-me-style mini-games. As a rule, to start a bonus game, you need to land 3 or more Bonus symbols on the reels. During the bonus game, you can reach some of the largest cash prizes that a particular video slot has to offer.
- Free Spins. The Scatter symbol mentioned above is often used to trigger a free spins round. Once you have earned them, you can make multiple spins without spending your money on placing bets. Keep in mind that all free spins come with a fixed wager that is usually equal to the amount of the last bet you placed before the free spins round started. With unique high-paying symbols and additional payout multipliers, free spins are perhaps the most coveted built-in bonuses available in the video slot.
Moreover, video slots are the only type of casino games with special bonuses in the form of free spins on offer. There are many online casinos offering free spins as video slots, a welcome bonus for sign-up, or deposit match cash gifts on popular video slots. By reading Canadian online casino reviews, you will find some amazing gambling platforms rewarding free spins for their new and loyal users.
Video Slots VS Classic Slots
|Video Slots:||Classic Slots:|
|Use a 5×3, 5×4 and other formats of the playing field with some slots expand the gaming grid to giant sizes (7×7, 8×8 and other options).||Use the classic 3-reel playing grid format.|
|Offer a huge number of paylines, most often from 5 to 40 betways. Some video slots using the Cluster Pays game engine boast thousands of paylines (Ways to Win).||Can’t boast of a large number of paylines to place bets, most often have from 1 to 5 betways.|
|Contain a huge number of built-in bonus features – from special symbols to free spin rounds and themed mini-games.||Most often they do not contain bonuses or offer simple extra features like drawing prizes through the wheel of fortune.|
|A huge number of free video slots, no download required. Many video slots include a free demo mode so you can test the gameplay out without spending a penny.||Since the lion’s share of online classic slots was created at the dawn of the online gambling industry, many of them do not support demo mode.|
|Since there is a constantly growing demand for video slots, we often see new releases from the industry’s leading providers. So, you have a great chance of finding a game that fits your preferences in terms of themes, winning potential and overall entertainment value that it provides.||Although classic slots continue to be popular, the number of new releases is declining from year to year.|
|Video slots can be divided into several categories by the level of volatility – low, medium and high volatility titles. Taking into account the fact that the hit frequency and payout multipliers directly depend on the level of volatility, video slots cover almost all types of gamblers.||Almost all classic slots offer a highly volatile gambling experience, so they are not ideal options for casual players.|
How to Play Video Slots
Although video slots have got a lot of additional features, their operation remains quite simple, which makes this type of game really entertaining. Almost every video slot at Canadian online casinos features 5 reels and 10-40 paylines for placing bets. So, here’s what you need to do to play a game round:
- Choose the game that suits your preferences and launch it.
- Select the size of the bet per payline using the special control.
- Choose the number of paylines to be used in the game. Please note that the total bet amount will be calculated as the product of the bet per payline and the number of active paylines. Besides, there are video slots online free with fixed paylines, so you won’t always be able to change their number.
- Click the ‘Spin’ button to make the reels spin. Now, wait for the result, as you cannot influence the gameplay.
In addition, there are video slots free online games offering Autoplay feature, allowing you to run a series of spins at a fixed rate automatically.
Video Slots Machines Strategy
Once you’ve figured out what video slots are and how they work, it’s time to learn how to make your gaming sessions more profitable. We note that you will not find a single video slots betting strategy that guarantees 100% results since we are dealing with RNG-based games for a chance. However, we are here to provide you with some tips to help you avoid unnecessary losses:
- Choose slot machines with the highest RTP, especially if you aim for long gaming sessions. The higher the RTP, the more of the money spent for betting you are guaranteed to return.
- Consider the level of volatility. For example, games with highly volatile gaming math can have large payouts, but low hit rates are their main drawback. So, if you use betting strategies based on numeric sequences (Fibonacci, Martingale and others), you should opt for low-volatility video slots.
- Play new video slots online free to familiarize yourself with their features and payout structures. Only place real money bets when you are ready to do so.
- Make reasonable bets to use your bankroll wisely. However, keep in mind that the higher the stake, the higher the potential payout.
- Set a strict stop-loss on your gaming session to avoid overspending.
Also, when playing video slots, don’t forget the entertainment aspect. Gamble for fun, not for making money.
Real Money Video Slots
Video slots are a source of entertainment for every gambling enthusiast. Let’s take a look at the main advantages of playing video slots machines online:
- Availability. There are many Canadian-friendly online casinos (Video Slots Casino and others) offering a wide variety of video slots.
- Ease of playing. You do not need to spend time studying the features of the gameplay process as video slots offer simple gaming rules.
- Flexibility. From penny slots to high-stakes games, there is a wide selection of slot machines to suit every taste and wallet.
- High payouts. Most video slots can return your bet thousands of times higher.
Moreover, some Canadian casinos hold online slot tournaments that take the slot gaming process to a new level thanks to the social aspect and additional cash prizes.
How to Choose the Right Online Casino to Play Video Slots
The first thing you need to do is find a good place to play video slots. So, in order to choose an honest and reliable casino, you need to consider several criteria:
- Availability of a license from a reputable regulator.
- Variety of games, especially video slots.
- Average payout percentage.
- Bonus offers, while taking into account wagering requirements and other possible restrictions.
- Supported payment options, processing times and measures taken to secure transactions.
- Responsiveness of the player support service.
- Mobile compatibility and the availability of a mobile app so that you can play free video slots, no download required.
Only if you choose a good online casino, playing online slots will definitely be a worthwhile experience.
Video Slots Jackpots
You may have noticed that many online casinos distinguish between regular video slots online free games, and jackpot games. Since the maximum possible payout in the game is the jackpot, the difference lies in its type. So, the progressive jackpot is a prize that increases every time someone plays a real money video slot. It can be won both randomly and in the bonus game. So, here are a few types of progressive jackpots you should be aware of:
- Stand-alone. This type of jackpot is reserved for only one video slot in a particular online casino, so it does not have high growth rates.
- Local. This jackpot can be linked to multiple video slots within one online casino platform.
- Network. This jackpot connects almost all slots of a particular provider available at various online casinos. Although the online progressive jackpot offers the largest prize, the odds of winning it are slim.
Since Canadian casinos prefer to organize their video slots by type, you will most likely find the ‘Jackpots’ tab where all progressive jackpot slots are collected in one place.
Future of Video Slots
Like the entire online gambling industry, casino games are developing and moving forward, and video slots are no exception. Designed to be simple, entertaining, they must keep pace with the times as today’s gamblers expect even more features and advanced technology. It is difficult to predict the future of video slots; however, they have evolved over the years, and there is no reason why they will not continue to do so. With improved graphics, thoughtful themes, advanced game engines and even more bonus features, they will continue to entertain gamblers for many years to come.