A Quick Look at the History of Video Slots
Now that we’ve painted a picture of a modern video slots landscape, let’s take a journey back in time and find out how we arrived at this point. However, before we do that, let’s breakdown the basic terminology you’ll find in the slot machine world.
Basic Slots – A game that contains only one win line.
Bet Max – A button that automatically places the maximum wager.
Coins Size – The amount each coin or bet is worth. A coin can have a value as low as $0.01.
Free Spins – A bonus that gives players a fixed amount of free spins.
Hot Slots – A game that’s ready to payout a big win.
Jackpot – This is the game’s top prize and can either be fixed or progressive (continually increasing).
Lines – Called win lines or pay lines, this is a straight line across the reels which denotes a win/ loss. A single game can have multiple win lines spread out in different directions.
Multiplier – An online slots bonus that increases the size of a win by a fixed amount.
Nudge – A feature that moves the reels of a live slot machine up or down.
Reels – The image filled objects that rotate/ spin and dictate the game.
Scatters – A symbol that can stretch across multiple reels and help create a winning combination.
Symbols – The images marked on a reel. Each online slot machine will have its own specific symbols.
Video Slots – These are virtual incarnations of live slot machines and contain animated reels.
Wilds – Dynamic symbols that can substitute for any other symbol in the game to help create a win.
The slot machine world was a fairly mundane affair with three reels spinning in unison; however, modern video slots now contain five reels. Operating on the same basis as their three-reeled predecessors, five reel slots offer many more ways to make money. In fact, if you ante-up on some of the industry’s leading titles, such as Iron Man 2 or Bejeweled, you’ll have access to 243 win lines.
Obviously, and you don’t need to be a mathematician to work this out, the one major advantage of five-reel slots over 3-reel games is that it’s easier to spin in a win. Not only that, but this greater scope for combinations has allowed developers to imbue their creations with even more bonus games; something which also helps to boost your chances of success.
Not only do modern online slots now boast even more payout potential and betting options, but they contain much more intricate detail. From embedded video clips to 3D images and quirky animations, online slot machines are now complete entertainment experiences. Indeed, if you consider Playtech’s popular title, The Dark Knight Rises, you’ll see that not only does it contain clips from the movie, but a 3D fight between Batman and Bane right in front of your eyes.
This kind of technology was largely absent from the first online slots, but as video-based titles have evolved it’s now common to see interactive features in almost every game you play. Why is this important? Well, in terms of making money it isn’t. However, online gaming is as much of a form of leisure as it is a money making endeavour. Therefore, if a particular game is more entertaining than one of its rivals, then it is much more likely customers are going to choose it.
Learning to Control Multiple Actions
Of course, with more gaming options comes more complexity and while it’s not difficult to wrap your head around the latest games, there are a few things you need to know.
The main thing you need to be aware of when playing multi-line online slots at any South African casino is the number of paylines you have activated. Each separate line costs money and as you increase the number of options, the price of each spin also increase. Therefore, it’s always important to consider your coin (bet) size before opening up every pay line possible.
This leads us onto the second consideration when you’re playing these games: your bets. Online video slot machines give you the ability to adjust the size of the coin and the number of coins you’re betting. For example, you can usually adjust the size of your coin (bet) to any size between 0.0 ZAR and 1 ZAR. On top of this you can specify how many coins you’re willing to bet per win line e.g. five coins per line.
So, if your coin size is 1 ZAR and you bet five coins per line, you’d be risking 5 ZAR per line. This number then gets multiplied by the number of win lines you have activated and, thus, forms your overall stake, which is why you must always take this into account when playing multi-line games.
A Bagful of Bonuses
Another aspect of modern slot gaming you need to be familiar with is bonus games. Offering slightly different options depending on the game you’re playing, bonus rounds will ask you to do something and reward you with free spins and cash prizes if you’re successful.
Unlocking a bonus game is usually done by hitting a certain combination of symbols and once inside you’ll generally have to perform a task, such as guess the value of a card or pick a mystery box, until your time runs out.
During bonus rounds it’s possible to win free spins which usually have the added luxury of a multiplier being attached to them. This basically means that any cash you win during a free spins round will be multiplied by a certain amount (usually up to 10X).
Overall, online slots are now much more involved than they once were. Indeed, while the essence of the original game created by Charles Fey is still there, they ways in which the action goes down is a lot more complex and engaging.
A Guide to the Best Video Slots
I’ve been in the slots business for a number of years and when my head isn’t in a spin from the barrage symbols and animations, I’ve managed to take note of some of the industries finest games. Offering a mixture of interactive gameplay, big bonuses and generous payouts, my recommendations are great introductions to the world of video slots.
One point to note before I unfurl my list of top video slots, you will probably notice that most of the options on the market today are based on comics. Usually taken from the Marvel stable of titles, these games are officially branded piece of software. That means you’ll not only experience the same level of quality that you’d expect from the comic or Hollywood movie, but multiple layers of engagement thanks to a complete storyline. In fact, if a video slot doesn’t have a movie or comic theme, then it’s probably not worth playing.
Iron Man 2 Video Slot:
Based on Tony Stark and his ironclad alter ego, the Iron Man 2 video slot is every bit as bold and edgy as its namesake thanks to the developers at Playtech. The first thing that will strike you when you play this game is the opening sequence. Featuring video clips from the actual film, the theatrical teaser certainly sets the mood before the real action begins.
Once your senses have been aroused by the game’s intro, the first thing you’ll notice about Iron Man 2 is that it has a total of 50 win lines and an increasing multiplier. This feature gives you the ability to take a bonus and multiply it many times. Moreover, when it’s combined with wild sticky symbol, it will also earn you free spins.
Basically, if you’re looking for a totally immersive video slot with ample chance to make money then Iron Man 2 is a must-try game, Iron Man 2 can be found in any of the Playtech casinos such as Slots Heaven or casino.com
The Incredible Hulk
Forming one fourth of Playtech casinos quartet of Marvel slot machines, the Incredible Hulk slot game features the comic titles main characters, the machine has five reels and a total of 25 win lines. However, as you’d expect, it’s the bonus games where you can really win some money.
Special features like the “Smash Bonus” add a second level of game play and a whole new aspect to the online slot game experience
Piecing it all Together
Hopefully this whirlwind tour of the video slots world has given you enough of an appetite to try out some of our recommended games. Although I only picked out two examples, you’ll find a bevy of high quality options when you scour our list of options.
In my opinion, while there are hundreds of options in the online slots world, there is no better option than video slots. Because these games contain the right mixture of entertainment, profitability and interaction, they are perfect for players of all persuasions. Add to that a fantastic range of internal and external bonuses and you can’t help but win when you ante-up on one of our recommended video slots.