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The United States was the birthplace of the classic 3-reel and 5-reel slot machines, which are known as 'one-armed bandits' due to the fact that only one lever was used to operate the machine. Technology has moved on and International Game Technology now creates some of the most popular games, including Mega Jackpots, Monopoly, and The Price is Right.
Fruit machines in the United Kingdom are predominantly bonus game based with an array of extra features, trails and sub games. They also have unique 'hold' and 'nudge' options. A punter can 'hold' one or more reels in order to retain the setting of a symbol during the next spin and take advantage of 'nudges', a single step rotation of a reel, following a spin. Barcrest is the biggest provider of games to the UK slot market.
Australia & New Zealand
Slot machines in Australia are officially termed as 'gaming machines', although they are colloquially known as 'pokies' or 'poker machines'. Multiway 5-reel games with bonus levels and second-screen features are the most popular. Aristocrat provides a wealth of slots to pubs, casinos and sporting clubs in the region. Queen of the Nile is the most played.
Revolving mechanical reels have been a mainstay in casino slot machines for decades. These reels display and determine results. The original machine manufactured by Stittman and Pitt in 1891 used five reels, but three-reel machines soon became the standard. Their limited capability impacted on the size of jackpot manufacturers were able to offer.
|Modern day slots are digital and may feature popular characters|
Video slot machines are now in wide circulation. These machines have no moving parts and are graphically powered, providing manufacturers with a wealth of interactive options and expanding the number of possibilities in relation to the number of symbols on each reel. This led to an exponential growth in the pay table and corresponding payouts.
Straight slots are the simplest form of slot machine and merely payout according to the winning combination of symbols on the machine. There are four types of straight slot machines. A multiplier will increase the payout by the number of coins bet, while a bonus multiplier offers an extra incentive to make a maximum bet by offering a bonus. Multi-payline slots activate a new payline when each coin is bet. A buy-a-play slot only pays out when enough coins have been invested.
Progressive slots are linked with other machines, creating a network. A small percentage of the amount each player bets is added to a jackpot, which continues to grow until a player hits a winning combination and procures a potentially large sum of money.
|A small section of the casino is always dedicated to progressive slot machines|
Manufacturers are currently attempting to employ a number of concepts to ensure slot machines remain relevant in the modern world. These include the increase in community jackpots where players come together to compete in the same place for a shared jackpot. The rise of online gaming has also increased the options available. Sites such as free slots download provide a range of regular and progressive jackpots. Online high-tech 3D slots are becoming increasingly popular and add an extra dimension to traditional games.