What is the appeal of slot games?

How do Slot Games work (video slots)?

Are slot games random?

What is a Random Number Generator (used in slot games)

How are slot games programmed?

Can you win on online slots?

What is a loose slot machine?

What are progressive slot games?

Different types of progressive jackpot

How do you win a progressive jackpot?

Most Popular Progressive Games

What is the appeal of slot games?

Slot Games have proven to be extremely popular since they were first developed and in truth, they’ve changed very little with time. The main reason players cite for liking these games is due to the apparent excitement they are capable of instilling in players.

Gambling is known as being an immersive pastime with the ability to excite, however slot games seem to be particularly effective at engaging the customer. The excitement seems to be due in part to the player becoming financially invested in the game and having the potential to win or lose, the excitement of the unknown outcome is believed to be key with the money invested giving significance to the outcome.

Amongst other forms of gambling, slot games seem to be particularly captivating, principally due to the fast pace of the gaming experience. It’s possible to wager and lose, or for the lucky few wager and win large quantities of money within a very short time, hence slot games being grouped under the category of ‘instant games’ at many online casinos.

The availability of slot games at online casinos is in itself part of the appeal of the games. Slots can be accessed by anyone who has an internet connection and a computer or smart phone - that's just about everyone! This means that the games are discreetly accessible and can be played just about anywhere and with pay by mobile technology starting to become commonplace, even making a deposit is hassle free.

Generally, however, the reasons behind the appeal of slot games can be places into one of three factors; emotional reward, physical reward and psychological reward.

Emotional reward:

The emotional reward experienced differs player to player with some launching on a personal journey, attributing various spiritual or fateful meaning to their wins whilst playing slot games. Of course at the heart of all slot games are random number generators, meaning there is never any sense in reality to be associated with any given result.

Physical reward:

Slot games are specially designed to offer players a number of controls and customisation options, in order to make their customers feel in control of the experience.  Video slots will generally allow customers a large amount of control over how their money is spent with the ability to adjust the number of lines being bet on and the amount of money being staked.

Crucially, the player will always have control over when the reels are spun, usually through pressing a large ‘Spin’ button. Beyond hitting spin, they may even be allowed to believe they have some control over where the reels stop! Any control to this end will of course be very limited, if not completely imaginary, for very obvious reasons.Psychological reward:

Unlike a dealer at the blackjack table who may find it difficult to withhold feelings of displeasure upon a customer taking a big win, a slot game will almost always react in a seemingly positive manner to a payout, often without realising it, players enjoy this feeling of being praised upon a win. It can feel like the machine is working with them, further cementing their feeling of control, whereas in reality the reverse is true.

How do Slot Games work (video slots)?

This section focusses on computerised slot games, often available as a stand alone machine in a casino or as a game featured at an online casino. The mechanics behind these games are fairly basic with a random number generator (RNG) playing a central role in the game.

Are slots random?

Digital slot games that are properly certified are absolutely random thanks to the random number generator (RNG) that is at their core.  This generator will be running constantly in the background of a slot game, generating a string of numbers which are used to determine the outcome of the game. Slot games will always be designed to return a set RTP (return to player), but when they payout is totally indeterminable.

What is a Random Number Generator (used in slot games)

There are two different types of RNG available these are (1) Hardware Random Number Generator and (2) Pseudorandom Number Generator.

The RNG inside your favourite slot game will have a starting point (a basic number) and the next number will be determined by an applied algorithm. The sequence is repeated continuously .

How are slot games programmed?

Slot Games use what is known as a RNG (random number generator), this system generates a constant string of random numbers which determine the outcome of the a spin. When tossing a coin you may get heads five times in a row, but as you know, this doesn’t make you any more likely to land a tails on your next attempt. Exactly the same applies to slot games: the previous result has no bearing on the one that follows.

Can you win on online slots?

Assuming you’re playing at a licensed casino that has been certified as fair (a requisite for becoming licensed) it is absolutely possible to win whilst playing online slot games, but the chances of you doing so vary according to the RTP that a given game is set to. The higher the RTP (return to player), expressed as a percentage, the greater the chances of winning. Beyond that, thanks to the random number generator at the core of the game, whether you win or not is down to chance, but remember, theoretically the longer you play the more likely you are to lose given that the RTP is always going to be set somewhere below 100% meaning the casino will always have the edge, winning eventually.

What is a loose slot machine?

A loose machine is a slot game that is perceived to be more likely than others to pay out, this could be due to the fact that the player has coincidentally experienced a number of wins within a short space of time, or it could be because the game is set to a very high player RTP (return to player).

Both land based and online casinos may decide to set certain slot games to be more ‘loose’ than others, to put it more accurately, configuring them to a higher RTP. The logic behind doing so is particularly clear in casinos where a particularly large elaborate machine may be placed in a highly visible location with plenty of passersby who may be tempted by seeing someone else enjoying a win.

In an online casino the same logic applies, however the ‘loose’ slot will probably be given prominence on the homepage or will be featured in promotional communications from a casino.

What are progressive slot games?

A progressive slot game differs from the majority of slots where the jackpot is a fixed amount. On progressive slot games a small percentage of the money wagered by players is added to the progressive jackpot which means that over time, as the jackpot is ‘fed’ it can become a sizeable amount of money by the time it is scooped by a particularly lucky player

Different types of progressive jackpot:

Standalone Progressives

A standalone progressive jackpot can be found both online and in land based casinos, it’s a game that isn’t connected in any way to other games or machines and as such it has an independent jackpot which it feeds itself, as opposed to relying on a network of machines from contributions. The jackpot you can expect to find on a standalone progressive tends to remain under £10,000 as it can take a long time for it to build into a significant sum. At an online casino, a standalone progressive can accumulate quicker than a standalone progressive in a land based casino, this is due to an online casino being able to serve the same game simultaneously to many different players.

Local Progressives

When a jackpot is referred to as being a local progressive, it means that more than one machine is feeding the jackpot. The size of the network of machines contributing to a local progressive jackpot varies depending on the size of a casino, a small casino may online have a couple of machines connected whereas in the biggest casinos there could be hundreds of machines each ‘working together’ on the local progressive. It’s unusual to find local progressives that are greater in value than £100,000, there isn’t really such a thing as a local progressive online since the concept doesn’t exist.

Wide area Network progressives

This sort of jackpot is extremely common and can be found in most chain operated bingo halls and casinos. The Wide area network progressive is the next step up from a local progressive, that is to say that not are machines located on the same site connected, but machines all over the country are linked in order to feed the same progressive jackpot.  As such, wide area network progressives regularly soar to £100,000’s in value and can frequently top the £1 million mark, sometimes very rapidly on the larger networks.

Online casinos link their slot games in much the same way as wide area network, meaning that the same progressive can be played at many different casinos and the jackpots can be connected. 

How do you win a progressive jackpot?

Regardless of any claims there is most certainly no strategy or method for winning a progressive jackpot and anyone claiming otherwise is not genuine. As already stated, at the heart of every slot game is a random number generator providing a constant stream of random numbers which determine the outcome of the game - it’ll serve you well not to forget this.

When playing slot games it’s important to be mindful that there isn’t a point at which a jackpot is ‘due’ to payout, no matter how large the prize has become the odds are still just the same, meaning there is no logic whatsoever behind chasing a progressive jackpot.

Most Popular Progressive Games

Some progressive slots have been around long enough to have amassed a loyal fan base and in some cases, international fame along the way, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the most popular slot games.

Megabucks is probably the best known progressive network in the world with jackpots soaring from upwards of £10 million into the hundreds of millions! It should come as no surprise why people take great interest in this giant of all progressives, but it’s worth pointing out that the odds of winning are estimated at around 1 in 50 million, making whoever wins very lucky indeed.

This list wouldn’t be complete without giving the Elvis slot machine a mention. As an iconic symbol of Las Vegas it was only a matter of time until somebody decided to cash in and create a slot game in his image. The Elvis game is part of a vast network of slot machines and can be found in all the casinos in Vegas. Starting with a $100,000 jackpot the popularity of this game is no mystery, but its worth pointing out that to qualify for the jackpots a player will need to make the maximum bet, which is 75 cents.

Another popular machine is the Wheel Of Fortune which is available at many different price points to suit different budgets. The most common variant is the quarter version which boasts an initial jackpot of $200,000. Despite accepting low bets, the jackpot on this game can regularly exceed $1 million but is usually won whilst still in the $100,000’s.

The final jackpot to make our list is an online online game called Mega Moolah. Powered by Microgaming, this jackpot is available on many different games and as such, the betting minimums and limits vary, the Mega Moolah jackpot has been known to reach in excess of $1 million from time to time.