Slot machine technology has progressed massively from the very first games that were developed towards the end of the 1800s.
However, modern slots continue to have their roots set in those early incarnations, with the premise of risk and reward still very much in play.
The arrival of the internet transformed the slots industry, allowing software developers to come up with multi-faceted creations that have the power to blow your mind.
Whether you enjoy playing free slots on sites like Gambino or for real money, the tech powering the games is hugely impressive.
Read on as we take a closer look at the history of slot machines and how the landscape has changed in the 21st century.
Laying the Foundations
New York-based firm Sittman and Pitt are credited with developing the first gambling machine in 1891, although it lacked the ability to offer automatic payouts.
Charles Fey of San Francisco subsequently devised a simpler automated system featuring three spinning reels with five symbols – horse shoes, diamonds, spades, hearts and a Liberty Bell.
The design was used as the template for the machines that followed, but it wasn’t until 1963 that the first fully electromechanical slot was created.
This laid the foundations for an explosion in the popularity of slots over the next few decades, which then inspired the shift towards online play when the internet was created.
Design in the Modern Era
Fruits, Bars, Sevens and Bells tended to be the symbols of choice towards the end of the last century, but designs have moved on since then.
Themed slots are now all the rage, with movies, television shows and comic book franchises amongst the different subjects featured in modern games.
Sound also plays a huge part in modern slots, with the backing track designed to fit in with the theme applied to each specific game.
By tapping into modern culture trends, slots developers are able to stay ahead of the curve by designing games that appeal to a wide demographic.
Random Number Generators
Slot machines were historically designed to be a game of chance and online slots are certainly no different in that respect.
Modern slots feature Random Number Generators (RNGs), which not only power the games but are designed to ensure that they are also fair.
This is driven by a microprocessor that runs a program which generates numbers to correspond to the symbols on the slot machine reels.
The outcome of each spin is determined by the number selected by the RNG and is chosen when players hit the spin button.
Regulation of Slot Games
The regulations governing slots are dependent on whether you play games at an online casino or on a standalone free slots site.
Online casinos generally require you to play for real money and that element means you must verify your identity before playing slots.
However, free online slots sites are designed to be played purely for fun and contain games that have the same features as their real money counterparts.
The designers of these games have also incorporated elements such as special bonuses, loyalty points and prizes, which don’t require regulation as you are playing for free.
Slots Design – The Final Word
Much like other every other genre within gaming, slot technology is a medium that is evolving at an extremely rapid rate.
Developers continue to push the boundaries of tech and it is highly likely that they will persist in doing so for the foreseeable future.
Whether you play free slots or for real money, the future possibilities within the sector are almost impossible to determine given how quickly trends in modern tech are moving.