Millions of people around the world love slot games, and it’s one of the biggest earners for both land-based and online casinos alike.
Even if you’ve put plenty of hours into enjoyable slot machine action, you probably aren’t familiar with many of the ins and outs of aspects like the history behind them or how they work.
With that in mind, read on for a rundown of a handful of entertaining and intriguing facts about slots, and what makes them so special.
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Slots used to pay out in consumable prizes
If you play the latest online slot machines today, you’ll expect to receive a jackpot paid out in cash. However, in the early days of slots, players were rewarded quite differently.
Machines developed in the late 19th century were used to provide a distraction for punters in bars, and when a winning combination was achieved on the reels, the lucky individual could expect to be given a reward that they could consume.
This could be chewing gum or a piece of fruit, it could be a free drink on the house or even a cigar. As a result, the symbols on the reels often represented the prize that could be won, hence why fruity symbols are still so commonplace to this day.
Slot jackpots have to be possible to achieve on every spin
The most widely held misconception about slot machines is that they are rigged to only pay out after a certain set of requirements have been met, such as once players have pumped a predetermined amount of cash into them.
If this were the case, then for the majority of the spins being made, winning would be definitively impossible, which would also be patently unfair.
In reality, gambling regulators have rules in place which require slots to always have a chance of hitting the jackpot, regardless of the number of spins that have been played or the money made.
It should be noted that actually winning is made difficult by dint on the requirements that slot designers set for a jackpot to be unlocked. If there are lots of symbols, lots of reels and lots of paylines, payouts won’t happen very often. But the point is that they have to be theoretically possible to occur at any point, or else they will break licensing rules.
The largest jackpot won from an online slot is $24 million
A Finnish player was lucky enough to walk away with $24 million in prize money for hitting the jackpot on Mega Fortune, a progressive online slot game that has a pool that builds and builds over time.
Progressive slots, both online and at land-based casinos, are always going to have the most mouth watering jackpots because of the way they are designed. However, they also fall into the category of high volatility, meaning that the prizes may be large, but the odds against the players are also monumental.
Historical themes dominate the slot landscape
Although slot machines are relatively modern inventions, the latest and greatest games out there all tend to take inspiration from long ago historical epochs that have little to do with 21st century society.
Ancient Egypt is arguably the most widespread slot game theme seen today, sitting alongside other experiences that are based around everything from Ancient China to the Maya civilization of South America.
This perhaps shows that slots players are a sophisticated bunch, more interested in games that have at least a tangentially educational element to them. Of course it also helps that the aforementioned historical eras also have a lot to do with gold and riches!