Slot games have a long and storied history as an immediately appealing form of gambling, and in the age of online casinos they are more popular than ever.
If you are a fan of slots but have never really thought about what has allowed them to survive and thrive in spite of new forms of entertainment being introduced, here is a look at the origins of these games and the aspects that have helped them to stand the test of time.
Mechanical origins & the appeal of physical prizes
If you play games at this online casino, you will appreciate how seamlessly the digital technologies operate behind the scenes. Needless to say, the traditional slot game was entirely mechanical.
Supremely simple slot machines were introduced in bars in North America in the late 19th century, with spinning drums determining the outcomes and prizes often issued not as currency, but as physical goods which punters could take away with them or consume on-site.
Chewing gum was a popular prize at this point, but bar owners would also offer winners everything from cigars to free drinks if they happened to land the right combination of symbols.
This lies at the heart of what has cemented slot games in the collective consciousness of a now global audience; the opportunity to walk away with a prize that is more valuable than the amount of cash you invested.
In the 21st century, slot game jackpots can spiral into the tens of millions of pounds, but the principle attraction remains identical.
The importance of accessibility
Following on from the glistening possibility of bagging a prize, the next reason that slot games have stuck around for well over a century, and continue to go from strength to strength, is that they are eminently accessible.
Head into a casino or visit an online equivalent and you will be met by a dazzling array of table games, all of which can seem very intimidating to first timers. Even the most basic games like blackjack and roulette have rules, regulations and strategies that need to be understood and appreciated before you start playing, and it is tough to see a way into this world when you are an outsider.
Slots, on the other hand, provide the warm, welcoming glow of accessibility by dint of being designed along the basic principle of spinning to win. While there are certainly games in this category which are more complicated, with the introduction of multiple paylines, minigames, wilds and other bells and whistles potentially putting off newcomers, the learning curve remains approachably shallow.
The draw of solo play
Another aspect of slot games that gives them the edge over other casino experiences is that they can be as sociable as you want them to be, rather than being unavoidably public in nature.
For those who have more reclusive personalities, it is perfectly possible to play slots at casinos or on your smartphone without needing to involve anyone else in the process. There is no croupier to interact with, and no other players to distract you.
Of course if you would rather have others around you, then this is also an option. Slot machines have become a focal point of places like pubs and bars over the years, and the same is true of online games; it is all down to the preferences of the individual.
The dream team of slot themes
The appeal of slot games might have stagnated a long time ago if it wasn’t for the efforts made by the developers to keep things fresh with themes that change the look and feel of the experience, even if the underlying systems are largely the same from game to game.
In fact it is only really in the last quarter of a century that the market has expanded rapidly enough to make a diversification of themes a possibility, with the rise of online slots being largely responsible for this.
Now, players can dip their toes into a cavalcade of different slots, whether they are looking for a game which is fully licensed from the latest Hollywood blockbuster, one which is associated with a famous celebrity, or one which features historical characters and epochs as its main inspiration.
All of these factors come together to keep millions of people playing slots in all corners of the globe, and the traction gained by the industry shows no signs of waning, even with competition from other forms of online entertainment being available.