Almost as soon as slots started to become big business, in the late 1930s, the sheer depth of choice became one of the dominant characteristics of the games. You could opt for Medieval-themed slots, or ones based around animals, or Roman-oriented titles. By the 1970s, almost every idea under the Sun (and even a good number above it) could be found encapsulated in a shiny vibrant slot machine.
How to Play Slots Slot machines have come a long way since the modest one-armed bandits and fruit machines of the early 20th century. But while the aim - scoring winning combinations of symbols (or 'combos') - remains the same, the means of getting there have become rather more complex. Let's go through a few of the more common terms and features.
The original slot machines were very unsophisticated. They mainly consisted of three reels, and just one row of symbols would be displayed at any one time. This amounted to a single payline. Land yourself three of the same fruit, and you got a nice prize. Since then, slots have become rather more entertaining.
Progressive Slots Many slots players repeatedly feed in their coins in the hope that, just maybe, they could be the ones to scoop a huge jackpot. To such people, the progressive slot is God. The standard slot (what the industry tends to refer to as a 'Straight' or 'Flat Top'), has a fixed jackpot. On some games, that jackpot could be pretty significant. But you'll always be limited in how much you can win. Progressive slots, though, change all this. For them, there literally is no ceiling.
Software Providers Pt I Microgaming There at the birth of online casinos, in 1994, it would be the battle between Microgaming and Cryptologic that would shape much of the ground in the online world. Cryptologic has fallen away a little, but Microgaming continues to vault away at the top of the market. It has a much wider selection of online slots available than any of its competitors, and has grasped innovation time and time again. It produced the first wide-area progressive jackpot, Cash Splash, in 1998, and then set new jackpot records with Major Millions, in 2002. It would produce the first branded slot, Tomb Raider, in 2005, and has since tied up deals with a number of high profile content providers - most notably Marvel. It also created the All Pays (or Ways To Win) feature, abandoning traditional paylines in favour of large multiples of combinations. The company remains at the very bleeding edge of technology.
While many forms of gambling can trace their origins back to Roman times and earlier, the humble slot machine is a rather more modern creation. In fact, the initial spark seems to date from the early 1890s, when a wav of wealth was sweeping across America, and poker was soaking up much of the proceeds. A pair of aspiring businessmen, Sittman and Pitt, decided to create a machine that could 'play' poker even without there being anyone else present. Based mainly in pubs, the machine would pop up five different cards, and if your hand was good enough, you'd receive a prize - this would probably amount to a free drink or pack of cigarettes dispensed by the bartender.
Slots of Vegas You can get some brilliant slots from your house with little more than a tablet or a smartphone. However, there's nothing quite like taking a tour to Vegas, and seeing the slots for yourself. Here's a guide to a few of the new or popular slots you might want to check out while you're there..
Slots meet cinema! We've compiled a list of our favourite film-themed slot games that are available to play! Spin to win and enjoy some Hollywood action!