Slot machines seem part and parcel of gaming life and have been for generations. Today, you can’t move for slots in online casinos, with some truly splendid titles offering huge prizes and more immersive gaming than ever before.
But slots have been in existence for much longer than the advent of the internet, developing as the traditional ‘one-armed bandit’ into all singing, all dancing machines that are the staples of casino floors. But while we’re sure you know all about Cleopatra, and have enjoyed plenty of games of Starburst, how much do you actually know about slots?
The first slot machine dates back to 1887
It was in the USA where the very first slot machine entered the world, and in true US fashion, it was given a name to reflect that – Liberty Bell. Created by Charles Fey over a period of four years, the slot machine was a relatively basic game but was the catalyst for the fruit machine to begin to develop into what we know and love today.
They aren’t called slots everywhere
While slots is a pretty universal term for the games, around the world there are also some other terms used to describe slot machines. These vary quite considerably, and are often more slang terms. For example, in the UK, they will often be referred to as fruit machines or fruities, while in Australia and many nations in Oceania, you’ll hear them named pokies, or poker machines.
In Scotland, people also have a rather unique name for them. You’ll see slots called puggy in Scotland. This is due to puggy once being a term used for a monkey, and has since translated to fruit machine as a monkey is associated with an organ grinder’s machine.
The Big Bertha is the biggest slot ever created
While we’re often more concerned about the size of the jackpot, the Big Bertha was physically the biggest slot machine ever built. It dates back to the 1950s and cost a whopping $1.2million to build. The machine stood two metres wide and two and a half metres tall, with eight reels and 20 different symbols. Big Betha proved to be a tough nut to crack though, with odds of 25.6billion to one to claim the jackpot. You might want to stick to the likes of Shaman’s Dream or Temple of Iris.
Vegas has 200,000 slot machines
There are a whopping 200,000 slot machines on the casino floors of Las Vegas, that’s more than the number of people who live in the city of Oxford. There’s an estimated slot machine for every eight people that live in Las Vegas, and they come in all shapes and sizes and you’ll find just as many themes as you would in an online slot. Typically, the biggest payouts also come from slots in Vegas, in particularly the progressive jackpot slots which can pay out millions.
RTPs are typically higher online
While there are very few differences between online and offline slots, one of the major ones is the RTP. You’ll generally find that the RTP at land-based casino slots are much lower than offline, with an average of around 85% compared to 96% with online slots. This is largely down to the fact that physical slots require a lot more maintenance and therefore are costlier to upkeep.
The largest win of all time is $40million
Can you imagine strolling into a casino, placing a $100 bet, and walking out with $39.7million. Well, that happened to a 25-year-old software engineer, who headed from LA to Vegas and placed their bet at the Excalibur. Taking place back in 2003, the player took a spin on the Megabucks machine, and to much delight, and cheers around the casino came up trumps.
Professional slot players exist
Professional slot players do indeed exist. While it’s a game that is based purely on luck, understanding strategy and the odds has seen some players get good at playing them. Many of these have then turned professional, spending their time either online at sites, or on the casino floors, enjoying long sessions and a more professional and pragmatic mentality, similar to what you’d find with professional poker or blackjack players.