Video killed the mechanical slot!
The term ‘video slots’ is seen all over the internet and may cause some confusion as to what it actually means. In this context, a video slot game is an electronic slot with elements of computer animation. What that means for you is that video slots are the type you’ll encounter online, as opposed to traditional mechanical slots with moving parts, which are now being phased out in many traditional casinos.
The move to video.
The simple fact is that mechanical reels are not as flexible as video slots. They’re heavy, don’t do much other than spin and their features are limited to lighting up LEDS. They also can’t be changed easily. Video slots, however, simply have an internal computer and a screen, which displays virtual reels. They can have as many features as a computer game and if the game needs to change, a new version is simply uploaded. The inclusion of a simple computer screen makes video machines much easier to move and install than actual reels.
These are the same games that you see online. Instead of turning an actual reel to generate a random symbol, video slots use a random number generator to produce a random result. This RNG is at the heart of video slots. Essentially, the computer is constantly spitting out thousands of different numbers at any given time. When you make a spin, it plucks the next number out and uses that to create a random result. The game then displays an animation of spinning reels that ends with the symbols landing on that result. This is why video slots differ from mechanical, as everything is done with video animation.
The other benefit of using computer animation is that video slots can have much more complex displays. The symbols on the reels can become animated, coming to life when you get a win, instead of just being lit by an LED. Bonus rounds can trigger a whole video sequence where you’re taken into the game and the characters act out what’s happening. This also allows for fun extras, like characters that interact with the reels during the base game, like the reel-hopping bunnies in Microgaming’s Rabbit in the Hat.
The fact that real casinos are adopting video slots shows that online slot gaming is taking off, while the traditional venues try to keep up. The typical video slots you see online are 5-reel games, because video slots are not limited by size. The advent of mobile internet and smart phones means that video slots are even available on your pocket devices, something that traditional machines could never do! This has opened up a whole new world for online gambling, as it’s no longer restricted by anything other than technology, which is advancing all the time. The games can even play on less powerful computers or those with smaller screens, as video slots can be resized. You can even play several at once if you really want!