Gambling related articles

Mapping the evolution of Digital Slots

By Stuart Williamson
September 2020

As one of the most beloved types of casino games, slots have been a mainstay for generations. Originating as physical machines in 1891, slots saw considerable evolution in their physical forms, but it wasn't until their leap to digital that they really set a new standard. From imitations of the early machines to adding themes and music, here's how slots have changed.

Creating a Selection

For most new players first stepping into the world of online slots, the biggest surprise is usually the amount of choice. Modern slot games are reflective of myths and legends, famous countries, and pop culture.

Taking a look at the online environment of this new Australian online casino, for example, shows just how broad of a selection that modern digital systems can offer. From licensed games like Peaky Blinders to original IPs such as Gonzo's Quest, the biggest online websites don't just have an enormous number of slots, they also have variety. This, of course, helps to reach larger audiences because the more variety, the wider the appeal.

"The Peaky Blinders" (Public Domain) by Terry Kearney

Breaking Boundaries

Investigating further into the nature of digital slots reveals the strength which slots have drawn from their supporting software. Developers like Microgaming and NetEnt have been pushing this envelope for years, leading to a large range of systems and bonuses.

For the main game, these can come in the form of advanced sticky and stacked reel features, morphing a slot into something which barely reflects the starting setup. This feature can then go even further in full bonus systems and features.

In modern bonus games, players can do things like roll dice on board games to progress, shoot enemies, or even play skill games to determine their rewards. This single component can completely reshape the original, physical slot machine and can create opportunities only as limited as the developer's imagination. It is an exciting thought to consider how online slots will continue to evolve in the future.

Going Mobile

The move of slots to PC was a huge hit back in 1996, but just as important was their shift towards mobile systems. Formerly a restricted process due to software and processing power, new HTML-driven slot games run just as well on mobiles as they do on desktops and laptops.

Even better, slots are best suited to simple touch-screen interfaces. Practically every slot can be played this way, and from anywhere with a mobile internet connection. With flexibility such an important part of the experience, it's little wonder that mobile slots have become such a global hit.

Leveling Up

The future of slots is far from being settled, but current trends paint a continued trajectory of progress. Among the most exciting elements now being explored by slots is VR technology which, while currently niche, is likely to become an ever more popular part of digital casino experiences.

Until then, players can enjoy an enormous range of games that constantly push the boundaries of traditional slot game limitations. With the ability to play from anywhere and new opportunities hitting digital shelves almost daily, it's not surprising that slots are one of online casinos' strongest offerings.



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