History of Video Slots

Video Slots History – Origins of Video Slots

The Video Slot game can trace its roots back to the One Armed Bandit you’ll find in any casino. The first mechanical slot machine was invented in 1897 by Charles Fey and had three reels with ten symbols on each reel. The symbols were horseshoes, diamonds, spades, bells and hearts. If you managed to line up the three bells in a row, you would win the jackpot. Because the machine had ten symbols on each reel, there were a thousand possible combinations (10x10x10=1000). The total jackpot for all winning combinations was 750 coins, giving the ‘House’ a 25% profit.

Manufacturers then tried to improve on this design, firstly by increasing the size of the reels to give more combinations. Twenty symbols on each reel became the standard, giving a possible 8000 combinations (20x20x20=8000).

By 1970, the number was increased to twenty-two symbols (10648 combinations), but it was soon realised that this was probably the maximum amount of symbols that could be fitted onto a reel. Four and five reel slot machines were built but never went down well with the public. Instead, the manufacturers went back to trying to fit more symbols on the three reel slots.

However, a new device would allow a huge increase the amount of symbols and jackpot sizes.

Video Slots History – The Virtual Reel

In 1984 Inge Telnaes patented a device that would revolutionise the construction of slot machines. The title of the patented device was “Electronic Gaming Device Utilising a Random Number Generator for Selecting the Reel Stop Positions” and it was bought by International Gaming Technology (IGT). This was a smart move, as anyone who wished to use technology would have to apply for a licence from IGT.

Telnae’s device allowed the creation of what is known as the Virtual Reel.

Whilst a traditional slot machine can have up to 22 stops on a reel, a virtual reel can have from 32 up to 256 virtual stops. A random number generator chip provided this facility. Previously, because of the physical limitations of the reels, one could calculate the odds of winning. But because you can’t tell how many virtual stops have been programmed into a machine, you cannot calculate the odds for claiming the jackpot.

With such adaptable technology now available, the introduction of video slots became the ideal showcase for the new generation of gambling equipment.

Video Slots History – Modern Casino and Online Video Slots

The latest incarnation of the Video Slot machine is ideally suited to traditional and internet casinos as it will give out much larger payouts .The video slots can be fitted in machines, or you can download video slots online to play from home. The major players in the betting industry, such as Ladbrokes and William Hill, are taking advantage of online video slots as an ideal introduction to the other games and services on their site. From their point of view, it enables them to reach a larger audience and generate more revenue through the increased amount of combinations that this technology allows.

The game designers can incorporate any number of symbols on each reel, usually between thirty and ninety on each of the five reels. A machine with 50 symbols on each of the five reels can give more than 312 million combinations. The designers have also increased the scope of the game by including more than one pay line and additional bonuses along with the traditional jackpot prizes.

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