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Slots: the foundation of all casinos

Slot machines are the core of a casino. When you think of Las Vegas and gambling, you automatically see the long rows of flickering slot machines. But slots are also extremely popular in the online world of casinos and slot machine arcades. Playing on a slot machine is therefore not difficult at all, the minimum bets are extremely low and you can still win a nice sum. We have listed all the tips and tricks of playing slot machines for you.

History of slot machines

The story of the slot machine begins as far back as the Americas of the nineteenth century, more precisely in 1891. Sittman and Pitt, a New York company, marketed a progressive machine that remains today as the forerunner of today’s slot machines. is recorded. The innovative game was based on classic poker, with Sittman and Pitt using 50 traditional playing cards as symbols.

A second important figure in the development of slot machines was the American Charles August Fey. In 1899, Fey created the Liberty Bell, the first device with three spinning reels, each containing 5 symbols: a horseshoe, a diamond, a spade, a heart and a clock.

liberty bell - Charles August Fey

The Liberty Bell and its creator, Charles August Fey.

Others soon followed in the footsteps of Charles August Fey and created a number of variants of the Liberty Bell. By 1909, some twenty years after the first models were launched on the American market, Fey’s slot machines and those of its competitors had become such a success that they were banned by law enforcement.

The moral pressure from organizations such as the church, in particular, made the San Francisco government relent.

The result of the banning of the popular slots was a shift to Chicago, where numerous slots were produced. Even during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the popularity of slot machines continued to increase. Slot machines remained popular across America despite the ban.

It was an open secret that slots could be played in many local bars and clubs. Gambling was only legal in the state of Nevada, of course because of the success of Las Vegas, where gamblers from all over the world brought in money.

This was also the reason why government leaders finally legalized gambling on machines after the Second World War. The amount of income from taxes on gambling won out the fight against gambling addiction.

In Europe, too, gambling was gradually tolerated and eventually incorporated into a legal framework. Playing on slots is legal in Belgium, albeit within certain regulations. The Belgian Gaming Commission is one of the official bodies that strictly monitors that the legislation is followed.

The legality of the slots gave a real boost to the various game developers, who kept coming up with innovative ideas. For example, there were the first video slot machines in the early 1970s. Unfortunately not a great success, players remained faithful to the physical slot machine, with or without a lever.

In the mid-1980s, developers stunned the world with the first progressive online slot machines, a turning point in the history of slot machines and the start of a booming business.

How does a slot machine work?

Bluntly

As a player you always decide for yourself what you want to bet on a game. With classic slot machines, you add coins into the money slot, which automatically adds your game credit to the total play credit on the slot machine. In an online game you bet a certain amount digitally. You can start the game immediately after betting.

A slot machine is made up of a certain number of reels on which different symbols are depicted. Each reel can spin separately, which is called ‘spinning’. With your playing credit you can set the reels in motion.

After you have set the different rollers in motion yourself, they automatically come to a stop after a certain time. When the reels stop, a certain combination of symbols appears.

Unfortunately, not every combination leads to a win, but with every spin you have the same chance of winning than the time before or after. The goal is to make a winning combination of symbols appear and thus multiply your bet amount a number of times.

The actual goal

The actual goal of playing on a slot machine is therefore to ‘hit’ a winning combination of symbols on one of the ‘paylines’. Winelines are nothing more than imaginary lines that run, from left to right, and diagonally or vertically, across the various reels. The number of paylines depends on the game that was conceived and created by the game developer.

Certain games are limited to three paylines, other games are very extensive and go up to 20 paylines. When playing, keep in mind that the more lines a player bets on, the greater the chance of winning.

By making the correct combination of different symbols on one of those lines, you win a prize. In what is called the ‘pay table’, it is described which combinations entitle you to which profit. The win therefore depends on the symbols that fall, each of which – separately or in a certain combination – has a different value.

The symbols on the reels

The original symbols used in the classic slot machines, such as the cherries, Lucky 7s and BAR symbols, have since been replaced in many games. Today’s games contain symbols in the hottest colors, shapes and designs. Game developers adapt the symbols used to the chosen theme. The design of a game is often a true work of art!

Wild symbols

Wild symbols were already used in the first slot machines, such as the classic slot machines. A Wild symbol – or ‘joker’ – means a higher chance for a player to win because a Wild symbol replaces another symbol. Wild symbols can also ‘explode’, stick to the reel or cause an expansion. They can ensure that when the reel comes to a standstill, you eventually get enough of the same symbols on the same payline, and still win.

Scatter symbols (scatters)

Scatters are symbols that entitle you to win, without having to be on the same payline. For example, if the scatter symbol is a diamond, and this symbol appears three times on the reels, you have won regardless of where you are on any reel. These scatters are highly coveted and add to the thrill of the game. That is why game designers emphasize these symbols by making them a shiny, glittering or brightly colored object.

Bonus games on slots

Most slots consist of a basic game and a bonus game, with a number of prizes to be won during the basic game, but where the bonus game is played for big money. By hitting a number of scatter symbols, you as a player succeed in opening a bonus game. Game designers are very creative in coming up with all kinds of possible symbols that can result in a bonus for the player. In the game Mega Moolah the purple monkey is the scatter symbol that opens the bonus game, in Mega Fortune it is bottles of Champagne.

Bonusspellen op slots

The Wild symbols may also open the gate to a bonus game. So-called Stacked Wilds or Sticky Wilds stay on the reels for several spins. Expanding Wilds multiply across the reels. Both options significantly increase the chances of winning.

Pure coincidence or not?

It has been a legal requirement for a number of years that a slot machine must show a result that is based on chance. Strict regulations have been drawn up for this in which all machines must comply with the rules and the government also monitors this strictly. Every slot machine is extensively tested for random winning chances. If the slots do not comply, they are therefore also rejected for use.

Each slot works on the basis of a built-in random number generator, making it impossible to calculate or predict the outcome, and playing is purely coincidental.

Why use a random number generator?

Casinos have always worked to achieve a random result, be it by manually shuffling the cards by a croupier at a table game like Blackjack, for example, or by an automated mechanism of a slot machine. It is also possible to use a specially designed ‘card shuffler’ which ensures that all cards in the game are dealt randomly.

Also in the development of online games, everything is left to chance today, in order to prevent players from ‘calculating’ which card will be played, for example, and thus to ensure their chances of high winnings.

Online games make use of the software and hardware capabilities of a random number generator. By applying these techniques, it is impossible for a player to predict the outcome of a dice rolled or card drawn.

What types of random number generators exist?

Hardware-driven random number generator

Casinos have the experience that hardware-driven random number generators are generally more effective, meaning that the randomness will be greater. The reason for this is that with a hardware-driven random number generator there are also external elements that play a role. For example, an external element such as temperature is converted into binary numbers. This sequence of numbers is then converted into a game move, for example drawing a particular card.

In addition, a hardware-driven random number generator is less susceptible to hackers.

The major disadvantage of controlling via hardware is that the system is on the one hand much more expensive than a software variant, and is also much slower than a pseudo random number generator, which is also the reason that many casinos choose to determine the randomness through a software. controlled system.

Pseudo random number generator

A pseudo random generator is controlled by software. Unlike a hardware-driven system, no external elements are taken into account. A pseudo random number generator works purely on the basis of an algorithm in which a number of specific values ​​are set.

When these values ​​are reached, a certain result is displayed. A pseudo random number generator therefore differs from game to game, depending on the design of the game developer. Although these software-driven systems are much easier to ‘crack’, they are still more commonly used in online casinos than the hardware-driven applications. This is because they are cheaper and much faster.

Video slot machines

Today’s video slots still operate on the same random winning basis as the authentic physical slots. In se, both devices are the same, you have an equal chance of winning on both devices. But there are also a number of differences between these two casino games.

And classic game works with images as symbols, while video slot can spice up the game with digital animations on the computer screen. In a video slot there are often more paylines and a more extensive number of bonus games.

Slot machine themes

Most games for a slot machine take place in an attractive framework and are built around a certain theme. The chosen themes are very diverse, but all equally hip and flashy. Game providers are all creatives who surf on the success of certain films, rock groups, television series, etc. Themes such as Ancient Egypt and Ireland also remain popular.

ZZ Top Roadside Riches

For example, Play’n GO developed the game ZZ Top Roadside Riches. A dazzling game starring the American rock band ZZ Top. The payout percentage of this game is 96.2%, has an extremely high variance and 1,020 possibilities to win. You can bet from 0.20€, which allows players to earn back up to 40,000 times their bet.

The Scatter symbol can land on any reel. If you manage to hit at least three symbols, you will be rewarded with free spins. As a player you can choose between 2 free spins: The so-called LEGS FREE SPINS mean expanding walking wilds on every spin. The GIMME spins entitle you to multiplier Wilds on every subsequent spin.

Popular slot games

dice slots

The most played type of slots in Belgium is without a doubt the dice slots. These dice slots can actually only be found in Belgium. The reason for this can be found in our specific Belgian legislation regarding gambling games and casinos, which stipulates that certain symbols may not be used in a slot game in Belgium. These symbols were replaced by dice, creating a new and unique game type.

What are the most popular dice slots?

Just about all game providers have a number of dice slots in their offer. Given the great popularity of dice slots, this is not so surprising.

Gaming 1 dice slots

One of the most famous game developers, Gaming 1, offers a number of dice slots, including Deal or No Deal, a game based on a popular TV quiz and Take it or not, a variant of the dice game of the same name.

EGT dice Slots

EGT is a company that specializes in the manufacture of physical slot machines, but has recently also developed a number of dice slots that have been very well received by enthusiasts: 20 Super Dice, 40 Super Dice and 100 Super Dice.

Holland Power Gaming Slots

Frequently played dice slots from HPG are Dice Shooter, Happy Dice and Jackpot Dice.

Amatic dice slots

Amatic is also included and has several dice slots in its range: Hot Seven Dice and Hot Scatter Dice. Their games are kept relatively simple visually and usually only contain a basic amount of bonuses and extra features, yet these slots are very popular.

WiMi dice Games

In the physical Belgian arcades, the mighty WiMi Games still remains the convincing market leader. WiMi Games, founded years ago by ‘bingo king’ Willy Michiels, but in the meantime, sold to Waterland as part of Napoleon Games, provides its players with a number of dice slots. The most popular are Multi Jackpot Dice and the Jackpot Spinner.

NextGen dice Slots

NextGen Gaming is next in line as a well-known provider of online slot machines. NextGen converted some of their most famous and frequently played slot games, such as Starmania, Casinomeister, Foxin Wins, 1 Can 2 Can, Irish Eyes and Merlin’s Millions, to a dice slot version, especially for their Belgian players.

Win All Ways Slots

Aristocrat, Australian producer of many innovative and dazzling games, invented the Win All Ways Slots a few years ago. An instant hit. The basic principle of these slots is that symbols can fall anywhere on the reels, which significantly increases the chances of winning. An additional advantage is that fixed amounts can be wagered per spin, because you always play for all ways to win. This ensures that betting is much easier, which makes the game more attractive.

In addition, many more combinations are possible, so no spin is the same!

Popular Win All Ways Slots include Whales of Cash and Buffalo Gold.

Whales of Cash

Whales of Cash is a simple game, with a special design that is slightly different from the other games in this genre. Whales of Cash even uses the classic symbols such as the cherries and the Lucky 7s, combined with other Wild and Scatter symbols. This fact makes the game very attractive to players, in addition to the fact that quite large wins can be achieved due to the many symbols, bonus games and jackpots that are woven into the game.

Many other game developers copied the basic idea of ​​the Win All Ways slots. Hundreds of variants have been brought onto the market in recent years. Big Time Gaming also benefited from the success of the Win All Ways slots and even went a step further. Big Time Gaming launched the Megaways slots, where they increased the winning chances even more with every spin due to an ever-changing composition!

How does a win all ways slot work?

An ordinary video slot always works with a number of fixed paylines. The big difference with the Win All Ways slots is that the latter does not work with fixed paylines. In these games the symbols can fall anywhere on the reels, the only condition is that they appear from left to right on the different reels.

Obviously the ways to win are much greater that way, certain games – such as 1 Million BC Megaways from provider Iron Dog Studio – guarantee a million ways to win. The player can place an extra high role in the free spins bonus game, making no less than 1,058,841 ways to win possible.

Can you calculate the number of ways to win of a slot yourself?

Calculating the number of ways to win yourself is quite simple: count the symbols per reel and multiply them together.

For example, a slot with six reels of 4 symbols gives the following number of ways to win: 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 4,096 ways to win.

Smart designs

The Megaways slots work under license, which means that other providers have to be creative when designing new games if they want to incorporate the advantage of the Megaways mechanisms into the game without just copying or copying the game of their colleagues.

For example, game provider Iron Dog Studio came up with branded megaways slots. All online casinos can have their own Megaways slot game developed at an extremely affordable price. The result is a game that is completely unique and tailor-made for a specific online gambling site.

MicroGaming, on the other hand, developed games where players can have one of the reels respin for a fee.

Cluster slots

Cluster slots, also known as ‘Cluster Pays’ or ‘Grid Slots’, is a variant that was created by Play’n Go. A Cluster Pays slot also works on the basis of symbols like the classic slot machines, but does not use reels or paylines. The intention is to create winning combinations of symbols as a player by grouping or ‘clustering’ them. The more symbols you can cluster, the bigger the win.

A good example of a popular cluster slots game is Shangri La Slot, from NetEnt. By grouping elephants, tigers and monkeys, you get more and more winnings and open additional, lucrative  bonus games. Also Golden Glyph from provider Quickspin is an attractive game, where clusters of scarabs and bombs lead you to the big win.

Slots with a jackpot

And winning a jackpot in a slot game can be done in two ways: a fixed prize or a progressive jackpot. Unlike the fixed prize, the progressive jackpot amount increases every time the game is played, but no player can hit the jackpot. The moment a player wins the jackpot, the full amount won is paid out to the winner and the jackpot is reset to zero.

Of course, the progressive jackpot is the most interesting form. It can take a while before a player wins the jackpot, which means that the amount to be won can be high. On the other hand, the variance is much higher and the payout percentage is much lower.

The ‘Buy a Bonus feature’

When you as a player manage to open a bonus game, luck smiles upon you. A lot of extra profit is hidden in this bonus game. Smart designers came up with a new feature some time ago: buying this bonus game.

In exchange for extra bet you can actually immediately ‘earn’ this bonus round. This can be useful if, for example, you only have one symbol short. An additional advantage is that the payout percentage increases exponentially when you use this feature. For example, in the game Rainbow Riches Reels of Gold, the percentage increases from 94% to 98%, which makes a serious difference and the extra bet is more than worth it.

The ‘buy a bonus feature’ can therefore give you a lot of profit, but it also costs you a nice penny.

In the game White Rabbit from Big Time Gaming asks for a bonus 100 times the amount that was wagered. For example, with an initial bet of €0.20, it will cost you €20 if you wish to purchase the bonus.

Numerous variants of the ‘Buy a bonus feature’.

The buy a bonus feature is a hit with all players, how could it be otherwise… That’s why other providers want to implement all the benefits that this feature offers, in every game, in one form or another.

Iron Dog Studio, for example, came up with the locked reels, where the reels can be locked when a certain score is reached. In the game 1 Million Megaways BC the reel is blocked from so that it shows 7 symbols (the maximum score). Multiple reels that are locked will result in more and more combinations and therefore higher wins.

Popular slots with a ‘Buy a bonus feature’

Nolimit City – Mental

Nolimit City is a young game provider that always succeeds in bringing ‘slightly different’ games to the market. So is the brand new Mental X9999. The game takes place in a horror-like setting of a psychiatric clinic and works with spiders and scorpions that grant Autopsy Free spins and Mental Free spins. Also in this game it is possible to buy the bonus game.

Nolimit City - Mental

Blueprint Gaming – Buffalo Rising Megaways

There are 6 reels with 7 symbols, giving a maximum of 117,649 ways to win. You can bet with an amount between € 0.10 and € 10 per spin. Thanks to the high variance and the equally high payout percentage of 95%, Buffalo Rising Megaways is a popular game.

free spins bonus

The free spins bonus can be activated by either spinning a minimum of 4 diamonds or by hitting the Buy a Bonus option, in exchange for 100 times the stake. A major advantage is that the player himself determines what the free spins will be: 15 free spins with a starting multiplier of 1x, 10 free spins with a starting multiplier of 5x, 5 free spins with a starting multiplier of 10 or the choice of a surprising mystery mix of free spins and multipliers.

And that’s not all. With the free spins, every winning combination is rewarded with increasing the multiplier by +1. All winning combinations are replaced by new symbols, allowing multiple winning combinations in 1 spin.

Does the ‘Buy a bonus feature’ fit within the vision of responsible gaming?

The ‘Buy a bonus feature’ yields a lot of money, that much is clear. But there is a good chance that the legislative framework will rebel against this. The disadvantage of such a profitable tool is, of course, that the pressure to bet extra is greatly increased, which does not fit within the vision of responsible gaming. There is therefore a very good chance that this interesting feature will be restricted by law.

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Progressive jackpots in Belgium

Almost every Belgian casino has progressive jackpot games in its arsenal and we list some of them.

  • Blitz.be – Has a multiple jackpot – Have a chance to win €25,000.
  • Bwin.be Casino – Progressive jackpot games – Among others Book of Myths and Mega Bars jackpot are at €3,000,000 at the time of writing this text.
  • Supergame.be – jackpot games – Super Wheels is at +- €10,000 and the 24k jackpot is at €13,000 at the time of this writing.
  • Ladbrokes.be – Super heroes jackpot – More than €700,000 to win! Are you ready to take your chance?
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  • Casino777.be – Giant Jackpots in the Money Vault
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