Think of a typical casino and in your mind’s eye you probably imagine roulette tables where players in tuxedos and evening dress are wagering fortunes on the spin of a wheel. Maybe there are a few blackjack tables or people playing craps or chemin de fer. You’d also imagine that these high-rolling games would be the real money-makers for the casino with high stakes and fortunes being made and lost in the course of a single evening.

So if you then heard that around 70% or more of a casino’s revenue typically comes from the humble slot machine it might come as a bit of a surprise – but the figures can’t lie.

That’s why, when you go into any casino, you’ll find bank upon bank of the machines lined up with many people playing, looking for that elusive big jackpot.

It’s unlikely that when, in 1895, a young engineer originally from Germany and called Charles Fey invented the very first slots machine, he could ever have imagined the phenomenon that it would become. Admittedly, his Liberty Bell machine did enjoy immediate popularity – so much so that he was able to quit his day job and open a factory to satisfy the demand.

Since the first models there have been many steps in the evolution to the ones that we play today and one of the biggest of these was when they changed from being purely mechanical machines to electrical ones. This allowed them to become both much more sophisticated and even more visually enticing.

Bringing the status of the slots machine right up to date, the digital age has seen another great leap forward in both what the machines can do and the appeal that they have for players.

So, for example, the progressive jackpots that have become such a popular feature of many machines can not only build up on single machines but several can be linked to make them rise even faster. Combine this with the stunning visual and sound possibilities that are now open to games designers and the only real link that today’s machines have with the Liberty Bell is that your winnings are determined by the combination of symbols on the reel.

As with all gaming, there are many slot strategy guides that players can use to try to tip the odds in their favour. While many of these have very little basis in logic – after all, the random nature of the slots means that probabilities are almost impossible to predict –  there are some tips that every player will find useful. 

  • Play the machines with the highest possible Return to Player – any figure over around 90% will give you a better chance of winning.
  • Take it slowly. It can be tempting to get swept up in the play but taking your time can soon pay dividends.
  • Remember, there’s no such thing as a “lucky” machine. The only luck could be that you’re playing it at the right time.

So follow these principles and remember that slots playing should always be fun. Then, while you might not find yourself winning a life-changing amount, you could still be heading home with quite a tidy sum in your pocket.

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