There’s nothing more quintessentially “casino” than slot games. If you’re a fan of land-based casino games, then you’ll know all about the towering fruit machines that dominate the floor and have been the mainstay of casino culture for decades. Online slots might be a more modern feature, but that doesn’t mean you’re missing out on the fruit machines that you know and love. In fact, the best online slots have mainly been adapted from the most popular slot games over the years.
Despite the popularity of slots in the casino industry, most players know very little about their favourite online casino game. Let’s take a look at some of the most entertaining facts about slot machines throughout the ages, as well as some interesting titbits about slots as they are today.
The first slot machine was built in 1891
With all the modern-day graphics and animations that come with today’s video slots, it’s hard to imagine that this type of game has been around for over a century. But the first slot machine was actually developed in 1891.
Originally, the first slot machines had a 52-card deck rather than spinning wheels, and players would get paid out based on the poker hand that the machine produced. However, it was almost impossible for the developers to ensure that these machines were completely random. Inventor Charles Fey finally managed to create the machine that most closely resembled the ones we know today, replacing the 52-card deck with a three-drum system that had five symbols. This was much easier to standardize when it came to payouts.
Slots don’t get hot or cold
Many people have the misconception when they play online slots or in-person slot machines that they run “hot” or “cold” depending on the frequencies of their payouts. This is an old myth, however. Modern slot machines use highly technical random number generators (RNGs) to determine their payouts. These computer programs generate thousands of numbers per second that ensure every payout is strictly random, and are audited by third parties.
They have many different names
“Slots” is probably the most universally accepted name for these games, especially for Europeans. However, they have a whole host of other names all over the world. In Australia, for example, they are more commonly known as “pokies”; the Japanese call them “pachinko”; in Scotland, they’re sometimes called “puggies”, while of course in the UK they’re widely referred to as fruit machines.
They are the mainstay of casinos
Slot machines account for a huge percentage of revenue in both online and brick-and-mortar casinos. In fact, most casinos make more than 80% of their revenue from slot machines. Due to their popularity, fresh designs and themes are always being developed to keep up with demand and to attract new players to the genre. There are now scores of different slot games to choose from in every online casino. You’ll find everything from classic fruit machines with simple gameplay mechanics to modern video slots that have a whole bunch of exciting features.
The biggest slot win to date is $39.7 million
Some people seem to have all the luck, don’t they? A 25-year-old software engineer from Los Angeles will never forget the day in 2003 when he placed a $72 (roughly £52.30) bet in the Megabucks slot machine and won a whopping $39.7 million (that’s about £28.9 million).
A big win was also triggered closer to home in 2015 by Jon H in the UK. He had only been playing for 25 minutes with a £30 bet when he triggered the £13.2 million jackpot on the Mega Moolah machine!
RTP differs between land-based and online slots
The RTP, or “return to player”, is the theoretical payout percentage of particular slots. In other words, it’s the percentage of winnings that are paid out to players out of the total stakes played over time. It’s calculated over thousands of theoretical spins, and so is a good indicator of the amount of money you can hope to win on any given slot game.
Although this isn’t the case for every slot machine out there, most online slots have a much better RTP than land-based slot machines. The average RTP of land-based slot machines sits at about 85%, while online slots have an average RTP of 96%.
Las Vegas is the most densely populated slot machine area
This fact probably won’t come as much of a surprise given the fact that Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the USA. Due to the city’s relatively small size and the sheer number of slot machines found there, it is the most densely populated slot capital. In fact, there are around 200,000 slot machines in Vegas, which is around one slot per eight people who call the city home.
Japan has the most slot machines in the world
This one might actually come as a surprise to most! According to some recent statistics, Japan has the most number of slot machines in the world, with more than 4.2 million found across the country. Given its relatively small population, numbers suggest that there is a slot machine for every 30 residents.
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