Slots are big business for casinos with approximately 65%-70% of their revenue coming from them.

Slot machines have been loved for generations. Ever since the American inventor Charles Fey patented the Liberty Bell back in 1895, slots have been a permanent fixture of the casino gaming landscape. (For those who are curious to know more, you can read the full history of slots here)

We all know what these slots look like, but how do they work?

Essentially, slots are simple machines. You put your credits into the machine, you press spin, and you watch the reels turn until they reveal a combination of symbols that reveal either a win or no payout.

Behind the shiny screens packed full of alluring characters, stunning graphics, and mildly irritating music is a well-oiled machine that uses a random number generator (RNG) to ensure the outcomes are entirely random.

Understanding Random Number Generators (RNGs)

An RNG is a complex piece of computer software designed to randomize every outcome on each spin to guarantee that an outcome cannot be predicted or manipulated and is independent of the previous spin.

RNGs that make slots feel more neutral than other casino games. Players don’t feel like they’re up against the house as such. This is gambling on a neutral ground. Yes, slots have RTP in place that are always below 100% to ensure the house still maintains an edge but with the opportunity to win such large jackpots on a single spin, it’s easy to see why players love their slots.

What are Progressive Jackpot Slots?

Progressive jackpot slots are without a doubt the most popular form of slots on the market because they pay out the largest wins. Both in land-based and online platforms, progressive jackpots hold the record for the biggest winners ever created on slot machines.

On March 21, 2003, a 25-year old computer software engineer from Los Angeles won a staggering $39,710,826 playing on the Megabucks progressive slot game at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas. It holds the record for the largest ever slots win.

It was then on September 28, 2018, that the biggest ever win on an online slot game was triggered. An anonymous player was spinning the reels on the Mega Moolah slot and landed the progressive jackpot worth €18,915,721 at the Grand Mondial online casino.

An Evolution of Development

Over the years, slots have evolved dramatically. Fey’s Liberty Bell was the first ever machine to include an automated payout. Every generation since has seen the noble slot machine take its next evolutionary step.

For a long time, developers such as Barcrest, Novomatic, and WMS Gaming focused all their attention on land-based slot machines to cater for the live casino market. The recent growth of the online slots market has seen a new breed of innovative developers pop up and further change the face of the slots genre.

Developers such as IGT, Microgaming, and NetEnt have used the online platform to change how slot machines work. It’s no longer a simple process of pressing the spin button and letting the RNG do the rest. Intricate bonus rounds, 3D graphics, features that involve skill, and even storylines are now included.

What Next?

The way we play slots now is a lifetime away from how they were played at the beginning of the 20th century. Technology has reached a level where developers can do so much more with their titles now.

Virtual reality slots are now being developed, jackpot prizes continue to grow, and there has never been such an intense degree of creativity flowing through the slots industry. It’s looking certain that the future of slot machines is set to continue that tradition.