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Slot machines – the basics explained

Slot machines – the basics explained

11/14/2018

At Bitcasino, we offer over 1,300 games, and many of those are the ever-popular slot games. If you are new to online gambling, slots are a great way to start exploring this exciting and entertaining world, as they are incredibly easy to play and don’t cost you a fortune. However, it is helpful to learn a bit more about online slots before you dive in too quickly.

History of slot machines

The slot machine dates to the 19th century when a mechanic created the first slot machine, which was composed of physical reels with playing cards printed on them, and a lever to one side.

Battling gambling bans early in the 20th century, manufacturers found ways to get their machines into the marketplace by replacing the playing cards on reels with fruits and packs of gum that players could win. As a result, some parts of the world still refer to the machines as ‘Fruit Machines’ to this day.

Pulling a lever to make the gears and reels turn was an exciting way to play and led to the machines becoming very popular and successful. Advances in technology did not reduce the games’ popularity, and from mechanical machines came electromechanical machines, and from those came fully electronic machines. It is these electronic slots that would pave the way for the online slots that so many enjoy today. Here at Bitcasino, we’re taking this exciting and historical form of gaming into the future by offering exciting slot games that use cryptocurrency. The slot machine has come a long way since its innovative beginnings, but we feel it’s still got a lot to offer.

The basics

Slot machines are composed of multiple reels that spin and have images displayed on them, ranging from diamonds to pigs – a fun adaption to the classic fruit machines that keep the game evolving. The full range of what we have available can be found on our games page - and we can almost guarantee you'll find something that you like with a sizable choice like ours.


You win currency, bonus spins and other in-game prizes when the reels stop spinning and the images align in the appropriate combination of symbols. Despite the unpredictable nature of these games, you can have great successes in growing your bankroll by playing slots.

Each slot game has a certain number of paylines. Paylines are the paths on the machine where symbols align to trigger wins. Some games have adjustable paylines, which means you can access more paylines if you pay for them and possibly have bigger wins. Other games have a fixed number of paylines, with that number staying constant throughout your playing time. Most modern games feature adjustable paylines. You will be better off knowing the payline options available on the games you play so that you can plan your spending and win probability more effectively.

Two valuable terms to know and understand are RTP and RNG. The Return to Player (RTP) is the percentage of a player’s spending that is returned to them on average for a given game. So, for a game with an RTP of 90%, a player can expect about 90 of 100 coins spent to go back to them over time. The Random Number Generator (RNG) is a device that is constantly creating new combinations of numbers that are associated with different parts of the slot machine such as the symbols on a reel and the number of reels. The RNG device is the driving force behind slot machine operations.

RNGs use algorithms to determine their numbers, which makes them almost – but not completely – randomly generated. However, in general, casinos do not take advantage of the algorithms, as there is little financial gain for the casino in reducing players’ percentage of wins. RNGs are also tested and approved by third parties in almost all cases, so you can rest assured that when you’re playing online slots, you have just as much a chance to win as the next person.

There are other terms that are also useful to understand. “Line bet” refers to the amount that is bet per payline on a game. The “total bet” is the entire amount being bet at a given time. A “pay table” is a list of payouts and their winning combinations. It is somewhat like a legend on a map that gives a user an idea of what is possible to win – and how to win each possibility – in a game. Games also offer “autoplay” options, which enable a player to sit back and let the game play on its own for a pre-set number of rounds.

These basic tips should help you understand the background of slots and also give you confidence in figuring out what’s the best slot for you. Try one of the many slots we have available here at Bitcasino and get on your winning streak today.

Words: Sean Mcnulty
Images: PA, Depositphotos & Bitcasino

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