Video Slot Machines
Video Slots vs. Reel Slots
Slot machines are a casino’s number one game as far as revenue goes. In Las Vegas, slot machines make up over 60% of a casino’s gross earnings, making more money from the average casino player than any other table game. And why not? Slots have always been fun, even back when reel slots were the only kind available. But now reel slot machines are disappearing and video slot machines are replacing them. The new video slot machines are fun, innovative, and highly entertaining. There are so many different varieties of video slot machines and they can keep a player occupied for hours on end. There are still reel slot machines in most casinos but when it comes to which machine to try your luck on, which one do you choose; reel slot machines or video slot machines? Before you go dropping your money into either one, here’s a few things you need to know.
Pros of Video Slot Machines
With today’s technology, software companies that develop video slot machines can really create a visually stunning game. Many video slot machines have animations and video graphics that reel machines simply can’t compete against. Plus, the sound effects can be tailored to suit any specific game. So when it comes to a slot machine that is simply entertaining to watch, video slot machines are, hands down, hard to beat.
Video slot machines also have more paylines and the maximum number of coins you can bet is usually higher than a reel machine. This is good when it comes to games that have bonuses with multipliers based on how many coins you wagered. If you win such a bonus, then the more coins you bet, the more you are going to win.
Another big pro about video slot machines are the higher jackpots. Since most video slot machines have more reels and paylines than a regular reel machine, then there are more possibilities to win which means that casinos can afford to offer larger jackpots and more bonuses.
Since video slot machines are computerized, there are no mechanical reels inside the machine spinning. The display of the reels is simulated on the screen to make it look like there are actual reels. But the results of the spins are calculated by the computer’s random number generator program (or RNG). This program ensures that each spin is separate from each other and completely random. Thus, the machine can hit a big win immediately after a previous big win. The machine is never “due” a hit nor does it go cold right after a big win.
Cons of Video Slot Machines
While visually stunning and offering higher payouts, there are some drawbacks to video slot machines. By having more paylines, your odds of getting a big win decrease with each line. On a reel machine, you have fair odds of getting your money back. But on a video slot machine, you may hit one line but lose on all the others. If you played six coins and won back two, you are still out four coins. Calculate that by several spins and your money will be depleted quickly.
You also need to remember that the video slot machine’s jackpots are only won if you are playing maximum coins. On a reel machine the maximum coins may be 3 or 4 coins. On a video slot machine you might be able to play a maximum of 45 or even 90 coins. While this is beneficial if you when a bonus multiplier, it can also be a drawback. Many of the jackpots on the video slots are not huge, lottery-sized dollar amounts. Unless you are playing a video slot machine with a big progressive jackpot, you may decide to just play one coin per line instead of the maximum. You will save some money and get to play longer this way. The odds of hitting a big jackpot are slim so you may get more entertainment out of playing just one coin at per line and stretching out that bankroll.
Developers of Video Slot Machines
There are several software companies out there that develop video slot machines for both land-based and online casinos. The companies are set up much like developers of video computer games. Below is a list of some of the larger companies.
Aristocrat – This company has been in operation since the 1950's. Aristocrat first started out manufacturing spinning reel slots for about 35 years. Then in early 1985 the company developed their first video slot machine. Since then Aristocrat has grown to become one of the worlds largest manufacturers of video slot machines. Their first video slot games were an instant hit in Australia and their popularity has spread all across the globe. Some of their better known and successful games have been Queen of the Nile, Penguin Pays, Dolphin Treasure, and Superbucks III.
Bally Gaming –Bally Gaming was first established in 1931 and has always been at the forefront of slot machine development. Bally was the first company to invent and introduce electro-mechanical slots and get them into casinos. In recent years they have produced great video slot machines under the EVO platform. Some of their more popular video slot machines are Saturday Night LIVE, Playboy Video Slots, Texas Cash, and Blazing 7’s.
Microgaming – Microgaming is one of the newer companies to develop and market video slot machines. They were founded in 1996 and quickly became one of the world’s biggest developers of online gaming software. Microgaming has developed some of the most popular online video slot machines and their software can be found in many of the biggest Internet Casinos. They currently have over 100 video slot machines available for play and new games are constantly released on a regular basis. Their progressive jackpot network has paid out over $225,000,000 since it's launch in 1996. Microgaming is the company responsible for developing the slot games Tomb Raider, Thunderstruck, and Mega Moola.
IGT – IGT was the first company to bring video screens into casinos with the development of video poker. Video poker is the game from which video slot machines evolved from and is responsible for getting video slots onto the casino floors. Back in the early 1980’s, IGT pioneered these new games and were the first to introduce bill acceptors to their slot machines. IGT is responsible for developing thousands of different video slot machines. They also hold the record for the biggest ever progressive jackpot slots. Some of their games include Cleopatra, The Price is Right, and Wheel of Fortune.
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