TMCnet Feature
September 25, 2020

The Technology Behind Online Slots



Online slots are simple games. You select a machine, adjust betting lines and press play. A software program then initiates 3-7 reels to spin repeatedly for a couple of minutes. After that, a series of colourful symbols form on the reels.

If 3-7 winning symbols form, you walk away with the money. If they don’t, you get another chance to play. You can play slots hundreds of times without getting tired. But ever wondered what technology makes these games so exciting to play?



We did the research, and here are the results. Ready? Let's dive right in.

Random Number Generator Software (RNG)

RNG is the software that makes online slots possible. It’s a program that randomizes the outcome of slot spins. So, when you play a game, the chance of a specific type of images appearing on the reels is entirely random.

The average slot has at least ten images that could appear on reels. Let’s take a game based on fruit as an example. It could feature melons, oranges, apples, cherries and bananas. It could also feature bars, bells, numbers 777, and a joker.

RNG software ensures the probability of any of the symbols mentioned above, appearing on the reels is random. That way, all players have an equal opportunity to win money.

RTP and Game Volatility

After RNG, casino game programmers create the Return to Player Rate (RTP) and volatility of a slot machine. RTP describes the average percentage of gambled money paid back to players over time. Most online slots have an RTP of above 90%.

The best online slots and you can read about them here, have high RTP rates. We mean 95% to 99% high RTP rates. That makes them the only games you should play gaming websites. After all, they give you the best chances of winning.

On the flip side, volatility describes the frequency that a game pays out money to winners. A low volatility game pays out often but in small amounts. In contrast, a highly volatile game pays out decent amounts but less frequently.

With that in mind, choosing a high or low variance game depends on your expectations. Some players prefer to win frequently even though it’s small amounts. On the other hand, some people can tolerate playing twenty spins without a win hoping for a game-changing victory.

3D Modeling and Illustrations

When you look at most online slots today, they resemble animated characters and not hand-drawn cartoons. They also feature realistic illustrations, from cities and oceans to maps and sports.

In the slot space, 3D modelling helps create realistic 3D characters. Think of Gonzo from Gonzo's Quest or Jack from Jack and the Rabbit slot. On the flip side, 1429 Uncharted Seas, Thunderstruck II and Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven demonstrate the power of digital illustrations when creating slots.

When you think about it, creating online slots is no longer a one-person job. It takes a team of illustrators, 3D modelling artists, storytellers and programmers to develop a game. So, the next time you relish a beautifully crafted machine, keep in mind it’s a piece of art.

Graphics Designing

Online slots today feature incredibly beautiful graphics. And that’s because a game’s design is the first thing most people look at before they play a slot. No one looks at a machine and immediately thinks about RNG or variance.

Instead, they look at a game’s appearance. If it’s beautiful, they then check out its RTP and volatility. For these reasons, many software providers invest heavily in creating graphically superior games.

Truth be told, creating a beautiful game takes more than graphics designing. 3D modelling, illustrations and storytelling also influence the outward appearance of a game. That’s why these artists have to work as a team always to create a well-polished machine.

Mobile Compatibility

In this age of everyone owning a smartphone, mobile gaming is rising rapidly. In some places like the UK, people spend up to 24 hours every week on mobile devices. When it comes to casinos, mobile players also want to play on their iPhone (News - Alert) and tablets rather than desktop machines.

Fortunately, many online slots these days are mobile compatible. They support both android and iOS devices. And they support both web and native apps. So, you could install an app for your favourite casino. Or access it through a mobile browser.

The best part of mobile slots is that they come with the bells and whistles of PC games. If a machine features 3D graphics and 1080p resolutions, it will have similar features when played on mobile devices. In other words, mobile slots are not watered-down versions of desktop-based games.

VR and AR

Virtual and Augmented Reality is a recent inclusion to online slots. In fact, only five slots support VR so far, and many AR slots are mostly free to play games. Still, VR and AR are part of the technology that powers one-man bandits nowadays.

Should you try VR slots? Sure, VR games provide an immersive gaming experience. When playing Starburst, you’re immersed into outer space. If you choose Gonzo’s Quest, you walk with the Spanish adventurer side by side in his quest to find treasures.

In contrast, AR augments the things around you so that you could play Mega Joker slot with London City as your background. Or you could relish Book of Dead with your kitchen as the background.

In-Game Features

Another feature of online slots is that they are complicated. That complexity is a result of advanced gaming technology. Take in-game features as an example. For clarity, they describe bonus rounds, multipliers, jackpots and free spins.

Slots are programmed to trigger specific in-game features at precise moments. For example, free spins could appear after you activate a bonus round. And you can only get into a bonus round when you land three specific images, which happens randomly.

 All the same, in-game features are part of what makes slots fun and exciting. They spice up gameplay by rewarding you variously. Of course, the grand prize is to land a jackpot, which could earn you up to 100,000x your stake.



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