Online Slot Machines – History

Although somewhat brief relative to the history of gambling, online slots / pokies have had a wild ride since their inception and continue to entertain and excite free and real money players. The words Pokies and Slots (as used at Ozwin) are interchangeable as the less common word Pokie is used in Australia, New Zealand, and some other regions. We will stick with Slots for this article for the sake of simplicity.

What exactly are Online Slots?

Online slots history - Play pokie machines in Australia

In the simplest of terms, Online Slots are the online version of the slot games from land-based casinos. With the introduction of the slot machine or the “one armed bandit” in the late 19th century, there has been no other casino game as popular or more lucrative for the casino then the slot. It was not until the introduction of online gambling that the game could be played anytime and pretty much any place with the assistance of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The functions and rules of the game are the same which in most cases is to spin 3-5 reels with the goal of attaining a winning combination. We have all seen these types of casino games and most of us are familiar with how they work. With the advent of the Internet, online gambling burst onto the scene and has never looked back while continually improving the player experience as well as functions, bonuses, and extras.

How have Poker Machines / Online Slots Evolved since their Inception?

In roughly the past 25 years we have seen the Internet evolve from an awkward, slow and tedious tool to the one of the biggest life changing phenomenon in human history. If you doubt this, go back to 1995 technology for just one day and see how different your life would be compared to today, but I digress.

As the speed and influence of the Internet has evolved so have websites and the technology supporting them. Online Casinos were a big part of this huge wave while becoming one of the dominant businesses/companies to exist online. Much of this began with the advent of Online Poker which was the go-to game for many online gamblers.

Online Poker at a time was all the rage with online gamblers and seemed to the be able to continue its run in perpetuity.  Unfortunately for players, those in power (government regulators) decided that there needed to be a change and decided to cut the cord, so to speak. This created shockwaves through the gambling community and created a vacuum for which a new “player” such as slots could enter the online gambling market.

Although Online Slots had been around since the Internet took off, they were still in their infancy and could only provide a basic experience. The graphics and speed were lacking as well as the choice in games. With online poker all you needed was another player and a couple decks of cards, but with online slots there needed to be an “experience” to entice players willing to play for real money.

What was the Turning Point for Online Slots / Pokie Games?

When you walk into a Land-Based casino you can immediately see the difference between the Table Games and Slots. Table games are a bit more subdued and offer stimuli for the intellect and challenge players’ cognitive skills. On the other hand, Slots are visceral while providing a kind of sensory overload with its colors, graphics, sounds and themes. The goal of online slot developers was to bring this type of experience to the Internet which in the early days was not a simple task.

At the time the 3-Reeled classic slots were the best developers could offer, which was a far cry from their land-based cousins. But as with all things associated with computer technology, it was only a matter of time before these casino games would provide a true casino experience.

The introduction of Video and 3D slots was the turning point in which online developers could properly challenge the casino experience. These types of slots offered video style graphics, bonuses, themes, while staying true to the original experience, which in many cases was the demand for Jackpots.

Progressive Jackpots and Aussie Pokies

The Free Demo slots can be fun to play and provide a bit of experience for those new to the online slot industry. If you are looking to experience these slots the way they were intended, then the Real Money play is the way to go. As Progressive Jackpots can only be played in real money mode, it is essential that those looking to capitalize on what these games have to offer play for real money.

The online Progressive Jackpots are where the records are set with wins reaching over the 10 million mark. On October 6, 2015 Jon Heywood from the UK won an astounding €17,879,645 ($20,062,600, £13,209,300) in one fell swoop. This was accomplished by playing Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, which is a 5 reel, 20 payline video slot.

As with the land-based casinos, many of the Jackpots are progressive which means that the winning pot will continually increase until someone has won. Many of these, similar the Mega Moolah Jackpot, are interlinked to other slots and casinos which increases the amount more quickly.

“Its all about the Dollars”

Quoting Joe Pesci from the movie “Casino”, no matter how good the playing experience is online, all the players really want is to win money. Now we are all aware that no matter what the game, the odds are always in favor of the House but as long as players think they have a fighting chance they will keep coming back. The goal of the online slot developer is to create the excitement to keep them coming back to play. As the technology gets better, online slots will always lead the way in providing gamblers a great way to win this money.