Video Slots are gaming machines with a principle similar to that of the common slot machine. These slots are played the same way traditional classic slot machines are played and with the same goal of winning cash as you have fun. The difference these machines have is that they are virtual, on-screen graphical representation of the real slot machine reels. These machines possess high flexibility due to their virtual nature hence they can be modelled into various designs as opposed to the electromechanical slots. This has seen the video slot being developed with multiple pay lines– up to more than 1000 pay lines, 3d graphics and amazing features as well as a series of supplementary bonus features.
The first video slot was invented by Walt Fraley in 1975; it was named Fortune Coin. With quick-witted marketing and improved developments in the video slot, the public began accepting video gaming making the Fortune Coin a big hit. Since then, the video slot machines have been evolving exponentially, but with the main goal of the gameplay remaining – creating as many winning combinations as possible in order to win cash prizes.
Digital slot machines today basically include various feature games to make overall gaming experience more fun. The features include wild symbols, free spins, cash trails, mystery prizes, multipliers, scatter symbols, expanding wilds and sticky wilds among many others. With the expectation of players growing and the market competition stiffening, newer features are always developed to give a video slot an edge over the others. The slot machines can be found in both online and land-based casinos with plenty of themes and bonus features.
The Online Video Slot
According to the facts, all online slots are basically video slots since they are all virtual slots. However, video slot itself refers to a particular type of online slot; it is the multi-payline slot that typically has more than 9 pay lines.
Not so long ago did slot machines offer only a limited number of features. There were just three spinning reels with around ten to 20 symbols on every reel, and when a certain combination of the reel symbols lined on the centre line, the player would win a stick of gum or candy. Today, the slot machines come with plenty of extras and a slot machine that comes with all these extras is defined as a video slot game. They come packed with autoplay features, gamble games, free spin features, varying denominations, multiple pay lines and options for choosing the number of coins to bet on every active pay line. In any video slot, the symbols also are no longer just symbols. Some of them represent scatters, multipliers, wilds and specific bonuses which perform various forms of tricks when activated. The standard types of the digital slot features include:
- 1024 Ways to Win: these slots cast aside the traditional pay lines and accord wins to any of the left-right symbol combos.
- 243 Ways to Win: These slots do not add more pay lines. Wins are offered for three or more symbols that match on neighbouring reels from left-right. This slot type works the same as 1024 Ways to Win slots only that it has fewer ways to win.
- Win Both Ways: This slot awards payouts for winning combinations from both right to left and left to right.
- Autoplay Features: This is activated when a button, usually at the bottom of the game`s interface, is clicked. The game automatically spins the reels for you for a specific number of spins you specify in the settings of the game.
- Gamble Game: Most video slots these days offer this feature after each winning spin. You can activate this feature when you click the ‘Gamble’ button.
- Bonus Games: These are the special games offered in a slot. They are unlocked with a certain number of symbols showing up anywhere on the reels. They are alternatively unlocked through a ‘fill meter’. Having a certain symbol showing in a winning combination or on the reels, the meter fills to a certain level. When the metre is completely full, you get the bonus game unlocked.
- Multipliers and Multiplier Symbols: These are symbols that if activated, will multiply the winnings by the multiple defined in the symbol.
- Scatter Symbols: Scatter Symbols can show up anywhere on the reels in order to be activated. The appearance of three or more Scatter Symbols not only activates a free spins bonus but also awards a payout which is double all the bets per spin. This, however, depends on the slot game played.
- Coins: The coins displayed on a game`s interface stands for the denomination of the coin of the wager per pay line.
- Paytable: Video slot games, as well as all other slot machines, have a paytable. The paytable covers every feature of how the game can be played. This includes all the bonus features offered by the game.
- Free Spins: These are the spins of the reels which you do not have to pay for. The Free spins can be activated in many ways, but the common one involves three or more of the Scatter symbols or the Free Spin Scatter symbols popping up anywhere on the reels.
- Wild Symbols: These work similar way as wildcards as in the card games. They substitute other symbols that are on the reels when the winning combinations are able to be formed.
- Expanding Wilds: This popular video slot feature comes with a twist on traditional wild symbols. The wild symbol here expands to fill the whole reel that it appears on.
- Sticky Wilds: These are the wild symbols that maintain their position on reels when they appear. When they do appear, this feature usually includes a free reel respin. In case more wild symbols show up on the free respin, those wild symbols turn sticky leading to another free re-spin.
This list does not exhaust all the features, but just a few of them. The features are generally what makes the video slot games exciting and offer bigger wins as compared to other slots.