Whether you’re playing on a fruity down the local, or online via a casino’s website or app, there’s one thing in common – we all love slots! I mean we must do because the online catalog is huge and software developers continue to churn out new titles – and sometimes, the more obscure, the better they are! But before you have a quick spin of the reels on a game like Rainbow Riches, here are five facts about slots that you may not have known.
1. The fruit symbols originated from one of the first ever slot machines
In 1907, Herbert Mills introduced the Operator Bell, a three-reeled slot machine. It was different from its predecessor, the Liberty Bell in that it was coin-operated and had a number of different but defining features. One of these was that the symbols contained images of fruit, as opposed to Liberty Bell’s diamonds, spades, hearts, horseshoes, and well, liberty bells. Thus, the term ‘fruit machine’ or ‘fruity’ as it’s colloquially known was born. Of course, they are known by many different names and these vary from country to country.
2. Even when games aren’t being played, they’re still running
This may come as a surprise to some people, as to why would games or machines still run when not in use? Well, don’t be surprised to know that in order for slot machines to remain fair and random with their payouts, the random number generator software needs to keep running. This way, players can’t cheat the system and know when a machine is ready to pay the big bucks. The RNG is what determines the result.
3. Unlike other casino games, there’s no strategy or ‘trick’ involved in winning
Unlike table games, where players can card count or adopt other strategies in order to improve their performance and likelihood of winning, slots are completely random. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in a brick-and-mortar casino or an online one; or whether you’re playing a free game or actually playing with real money, the outcome will always be the same. Some people believe they have strategies or will devise conspiracy theories about the best-placed machines; the ones that are the optimum temperature; the ones that have been occupied for so long, they look like they’re ready to go; but it’s all nonsense! And that’s because, as we’ve mentioned, the machines (whether physical or virtual in an online casino) are controlled by RNGs. You just need to rely on lady luck and a decent bankroll!
4. And unlike other casino games, slots don’t have fixed odds
Again, using the example of table games, we are able to determine our chances of winning. For example, if you’re playing European roulette, you’ll first know that the odds are different from American roulette. But you’ll also know that different bets have different odds and payouts, but these remain static so the payout is always the same. Say, for example, you’re betting on red/black, odd/even, high/low, your payout will always be 1:1 as it’s marginally less than a 50/50 chance of landing; whereas betting on a single number will always house odds of 35:1. In slots, it’s a whole different ballgame and again, that’s down to our trusty friend the RNG. Online slots come with an RTP in the form of a percentage and that’s a return to the player – so the chances of the machine paying out. It’s usually higher than 90% so if you see a game that offers an RTP of 96%, it means if you place 96 £1 bets on the machine, you could expect to see £96 in wins. Of course, this is neither fixed nor guaranteed.
5. The most popular slots are the ones that are branded
This may come as no surprise as there are so many branded slots out there, but there are also so many totally original (and sometimes obscure) ones too. The most popular slots are the ones that gamers already have an affiliation with: TV shows, films, bands, sports stars, etc. Remember watching that gameshow as a child, or that reality show with your housemates? Chances are, there’s a lot about it. Those positive associations make the slots games more appealing and are the reason why developers churn out new titles regularly, also keeping up with trends. In fact, anything you can think of that people have an interest in (whether it be the Ancient Egyptians or even food items!), chances are, it’s been transformed into the slot world.