There’s no doubt you’ve seen many a slot machine in the corner of your favourite pub or bar, and over time, these have become more complex with unique themes and bonus games. But, ever since the first online casinos took to the scene in 1994 and 1996, slot games have continued to progress, with even better graphics, new mechanics, smoother gameplay and more ways to win than ever before.
Join us as we take a look at how online slot games have evolved throughout the years, to provide you with the state-of-the-art, dazzling experience that’s expected from an online casino in the modern day.
The inner workings
At the start, many people were skeptical about the fairness of online casino games – with rumours that Slots, in particular, were rigged. This is not the case, however, as not only does the Gambling Commission oversee the fairness of gameplay (in the UK), but online slot games are powered by the use of a Random Number Generator (RNG). An RNG is part of the computer software that’s used to generate random combinations of numbers and symbols in a pattern that’s completely undecipherable, essentially generating computerised randomness. The combination of numbers is re-generated every single second, so the exact moment you press spin, is the exact second the combination has been formed.
Random number generators are used for many online casino games, and are not dissimilar to the automatic card shufflers that are now seen in many modern land-based casinos.
Bonus games and features
Whilst land-based slot machines saw bonus features, free spins, scatter symbols and wild symbols – online casinos took bonus games, and symbols, to a whole new level. With the ability to take the player to a completely different screen, many online Slots began to see unique features such as avalanche reels, progressive multipliers, a bigger variety of uniquely-themed games, and even more ways to win than ever before.
Speaking of more ways to win – 2015 saw the launch of Megaways. Megaways was developed by an Australian development studio called Big Time Gaming, who had been on the gaming scene since 2011. The Megaways mechanics were first added to the online slot game Dragon Born, in 2015, but this didn’t gain the popularity the company were hoping for. In 2016, they released Bonanza, which displayed the new mechanics and futuristic gameplay in all its glory – and it all took off from there.
So, what actually is Megaways?
Megaways is a slot game mechanic that’s usually played on six reels which can be divided from two to seven symbols. Described as ‘frantic’ and ‘for thrill seekers’, the games often provide players with up to an incredible 117,695 mega-ways to win! With the potential for large payouts, changing reels and unique gameplay – Megaways has truly reinvented the world of online Slots.
Yet another incredible developer to add to the wonderous world of the online casino is Jackpot King. Whilst these games don’t quite give you as many ways to win as Megaways, they do offer the chance to win some incredible progressive jackpots that just wouldn’t be available on a physical slot machine.
The three main jackpots are available at any time throughout gameplay include:
- The Royal Pot – this must drop before 3,500
- The Regal Pot – which much drop before 35,000
- Jackpot King – which can be won on any single spin.
All you have to do is land five Jackpot King bonus symbols on the reels. The combination of the winning symbols you need can change depending on the specific game you’re playing, but landing five of the correct symbols will transport you to a brand-new mini-game, where you’ll be in for a chance at matching new symbols, in the hopes of bagging yourself the ultimate jackpot!