The year is 1976 and counterculture is at its peak. The trusted old slot machines are as popular as ever, but change is in the air. Enter, the Fortune Coin Co.
They installed a 19-inch Sony Trinitron full-colour monitor as the screen, and, for the machine functions, logic boards were used. No one probably knew it back then, but this model would become the genesis of all modern slots, including the virtual ones.
The introduction of logic boards and colour gave the machines a futuristic look, thus pushing the popularity of the game even higher. Some experts say that it probably inspired the arcade game culture that would soon sweep America and the rest of the world. Las Vegas took a fancy to the machines of the Fortune Coin Co., and they became a standard fixture.
The internet, suffice to say, has changed everything. And slots, in keeping with their unique ability to adapt to the shifting times, have gone from analogue to digital to virtual without breaking sweat. Players today need not even move from their homes to indulge in their favourite games. The slots come to them.
The virtual revolution has spawned online casino sites that host games in multiples of hundreds. With so many options, and at our fingertips, there is no chance for boredom to make even a peep, never mind an entrance. Software providers NetEnt are known to make some of the best online slots on the market.
The video slots have bigger payouts, grander visuals and an intuitive interface that welcomes one and all. Where you once had three paylines, you have now in excess of 200. The jackpots and bonuses can make you an instant millionaire if lady luck takes a shine to you. But the variety of themes is the best part of the new-age slots.
You can suit yourself up as a superhero, step into the sandals of a Roman gladiator, strap into a race car, or strum an iconic song for a concert audience. The various scenarios make playing slots a temptation too hard to resist. And with smartphones and tablets, you can now log on any time anywhere to indulge in your favourite game.
With the wins getting bigger and bigger, but the slots remaining the same, developers had to guard against intelligent players gaming the system. That’s where Random Number Generators (RNG) have come into focus.
The technology is so advanced that even if an online slot is idle, combinations continue to be generated, so that no one can predict what comes next. What this means is that even a second earlier or later can decide if you become a millionaire or walk away with your hands empty.
Make no mistake, slots are one of the highest earners for new online casino sites. The maximum payout may sound impressive, but the chances of you hitting one are rare. The reason for that is that the wagering options rest with the house.
They decide how much you can bet, without any certainty of how much you may win back. Other games have a 50/50 chance or a bigger win in relation to the bet.
Slots, however, are designed to extract more and more from you, while reinforcing the hope that you could strike it rich. The beauty is that some actually do. And for those players who choose to spin the reels on a progressive jackpot slot, winnings can run into the millions.