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The Evolving Slot Machine

  • Published date08 March 2020

Of all the casino games offered online, it’s easy to say that slot machines have evolved the most over the years. Newer versions, genres, features, eye-popping graphics and designs have been created to present the most diverse choices for players.

Back in the days of slots offline only, there were 2 genres of slot machines. There was a standard or flat-top game that had a constant top jackpot payout. There was a single payline across the display glass on the front of the machine. When matching symbols lined up, three 7’s for example, the payout was the same every time. In other words - what you see is what you get - as you pulled the handle (remember those?) for each spin.

Then, along came progressives offering growing top jackpots dependent upon amount of monies played through the linked bank/carousel slots. At that time, all progressives were at least three coin max slots. Values were reset to minimums after a win. Maximum coin play was mandatory to qualify for the big hit.

In what seemed to be a flash of time, there were second screen, wild bonuses, multipliers, multiple paylines, multiple jackpot levels and yes, multiple player slots. Whew! I know I forgot some along the way.

However, let’s return to present day and explore some other online slot game innovations that fit into this evolution cycle.

These slot game titles caught my eye recently: Super Wild Megaways, Mystical Santa Megaways and Black Gold Megaways.

It appears that the big draw for the genre of Megaways Slots is that small bets can mushroom into big paydays. Additionally, the moving reel sets provide multiple paying combinations for each spin.

Speaking of moving reels, there is a similar genre known as cascade games where a paying icon or symbol will be replaced by other multiplier or bonus symbols, thus increasing the original wager. This ‘presto chango’ action can be repeated more than once in a single game session.

Slot machine graphics evolved to the nth degree when Branded slot titles based on movies, TV programs and quiz shows entered the scene and were placed on the casino floor in the 90’s. Matched with the movie reels and exciting action, slot players anxiously awaited the next instalment.

The land-based games began with Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Monopoly and Elvis. These titles were followed by Men in Black, The Price Is Right, Clint Eastwood, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek and Clue to name but a few.

Branded slots are standard fare online now with new entries weekly. The history of this genre of slots began with Tomb Raider while Lord of the Rings, Scarface, The Incredible Hulk and Batman followed.

The next two genres are Progressive Jackpots and Classic titles, both of which will always be available to play online.

Progressive slots is likely the largest and most popular slots genre. The attraction for players remains the super paydays in the slots playground that belong to this group. Title examples are Mega Moolah, Jackpot Giant and Mega Fortune.

If you follow the evolution of slots, you will not miss that the vast majority of slot titles are also offered in a progressive format.

Lastly, there are the Classic, familiar slots that tempt us back to play time and time again. Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly, Cleopatra and Wizard of Oz place us in a comfort zone along with a smile on our face. There are times when we evolve too, but like these classic versions, we return to play where we started.

A final note about new slot placement at land-based casinos in Canada.

Loto-Quebec Introduces New Video Slots To 2 Casinos. Video slots feature increased payouts and a fast pace to add excitement to the casino experience. Also, there are special bonuses and regular free play rounds.

These newer game titles include Gem Flux, Cut the Rope 2 and Deal or No Deal Poker will be located at both Casino Montreal and Casino du Lac-Leamy.

In the end, the players win because the slot machine evolution brings not only a wide variety of choices and genres, but additional innovations and exciting surprises are certain in the future.

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