Slot Machines: Past, Present, and Future

The slot machine: It’s one of the most recognized symbols of brick-and-mortar casino gambling. A favorite of American casino patrons and gambling fans around the world, slot machines have provided the sound effects for gambling entertainment for more than 100 years. Read our history of slots article to find out how long slot games have been around.

Slot machines have had a rich (and, let’s face it, not so rich) history, and while the idea behind the slot machine has remained relatively unchanged, the slot games today offer a wide assortment of features, bonus games, jackpots, themes, stories, goals, and outcomes.

While the casino industry is notoriously slow in accepting new technology, it is increasingly creative in terms of proliferating a favorite gambling genre. The era of the mechanical reel may be over, but its predecessors bare a strong genetic resemblance.

From the three-reel classic mechanical slot (Cherries, anyone?), the slot machines turned to video monitors powered by tiny computers and Random Number Generators (RNGs).

As the American Gaming Association points out, these RNGs are cycling through millions of number combinations long before a player approaches a slot machine. Each one of those millions of numbers is associated with a symbol on the slot machine, so one particular symbol could be affiliated with thousands of numbers.

Contrary to modern opinion, the video slots “reels” don’t decide the outcome at the conclusion of the spin. The outcome is actually determined as soon as you’ve pulled the lever, pushed the Spin button, or clicked the mouse.

The rest of the spinning and animations are strictly for entertainment—the biggest driving force in the online slot industry. Every new slot machine is the result of 12 to 18 months of designing, crafting, testing, and more testing. So enjoy the show.

Much like a family tree, rooted in those mechanics, the diversity of games today branches out nearly inexhaustibly. From the basic symbol-and-payline games, come progressive jackpot bonus games; where a portion of each wager contributes to an ever-growing pot that will one day make one slots player very, very happy.

Connected to progressive jackpots are the video slots that feature bonus games--some relating to the reels, some completely tangential—all teeming with the potential to earn more and more coins.

What is the future of slot machines? While we could very well be playing slots on space ships, it seems that slot machines are more likely to go the way of the rest of the world—enter social integration.

Slots are currently in development for more social teamwork, more variety, more mobility, and more personalized. No matter how the game is presented, you can be assured that each product will be tested to make sure it captures your attention, keeps you entertained, and maintains the high standards of fair play.