The term classic slots is generally used to describe all those machines that are designed to replicate as closely as possible on a computer or phone screen the oldest, now legendary traditional slot machines from the early 20th century. We are referring here to machines such as Charles Frey’s Liberty Bell, Bally’s Money Honey and other money machines known in typical land-based casinos.
The modern online versions of these games bear a considerable resemblance to their electric-analogue ancestors. The game screen vividly resembles the machine itself, and such a slot machine also makes similar sounds – buzzes, noise of spinning reels, bells announcing winnings and so on.
Usually, a classic slot has 3 or (more rarely) 5 reels, simple rules, meaning there are no scatters, free spins, bonus games, and no embellishments in the form of elaborate animations and graphic effects. The game is simple, fast and aims to play on the player’s nostalgia by reminding them of the old days.
Some titles include wilds on the reels – but this is not the rule. Instead, almost every slot machine in this genre uses symbols such as beams (BAR) in different variations (single, double, triple), bell, red or gold sevens, fruit symbols and various antique items. The most typical examples of such classic slots are mainly titles such as:
Whether you’re a fan of modern slot machines with as many extra features as possible, or a persistent lover of one particular title, the classic slots are always worth a quick glance to remind you of what it used to be like to gamble in a traditional land-based casino where you could legally smoke back then!
The category referred to as “online fruit slots” includes slot machines that are similar in general concept to classic slots, but are slightly different games. Firstly, they no longer look like the old analogue gaming machines, instead a typical fruit game has a screen that is generally clean, clear and devoid of unnecessary elements and decorations.
Secondly, the set of symbols used on the reels includes a wide range of fruits. The most common ones include lemons, cherries, watermelons, oranges, grapes, bananas and plums are slightly less common.
The fruit machines themselves can also have quite extensive additional features – apart from the most common 5×3 layout (i.e. 5 reels and three rows of symbols) it is not uncommon to find wilds, scatters, free spins, sometimes even bonus games.
Generally speaking, you can treat the fruit games as the quintessential slot machine itself in terms of gambling – it has everything you might expect to play and nothing else. That is, there are no extra water features or generally elements that don’t affect the gameplay itself.
Some of the most popular titles in this category include:
- Fruitoids Online Slot by Yggdrasil
- Fruit Spin from NetEnt
- Wild Cherries from Booming Games
- Fruit Zen Slot from Betsoft
- Berryburst MAX from NetEnt
But really, fruit slots are a common product offered by virtually every manufacturer – so it’s worth browsing the list of available games!
Hot Spot Slots
There has long been a debate among casino gaming experts as to whether the Hot Spot category should be listed separately or together with fruit games. The reason for this difference of opinion is the very high degree of similarity between this type of slot machine referred to as Hot Spot and standard fruit games. However, we felt that for the purpose of our article we would make this distinction in order to provide more clarity on both types of gambling.
In general, the basic features of Hot Spot slot machines are identical to those of fruit games. So here we are dealing with five (more rarely three) reels and three rows of symbols. The reels mainly feature fruit symbols (lemons, plums, watermelons, cherries, grapes, etc.) and a few additional elements such as sevens (red or gold), bells, BARs and so on.
The game screen, as with the fruit machine, is also devoid of any superfluous embellishments – we usually have a background in the form of a shaded picture, a simple frame around the symbol window and a simple to use game control panel. In addition, Hot Spot games also do not contain too many additional options. Usually, apart from wilds and possibly free spins, it is hard to find additional attractions.
However, there are two main differences between Hot Spot slot machines and typical fruit games. The first (though not the most important) is that these games usually offer much higher winnings than fruit games.
The second difference is related to the gameplay itself. The titles belonging to the Hot Spot category are characterised by the fact that the greatest emphasis in the whole project was placed on the dynamics of the gameplay. The reels spin for a short time, stopping after a second or two, tops. Furthermore, clicking on them usually stops them instantly. Winning combinations are highlighted instantly, and the due amount from them is immediately credited to the player’s account, without unnecessary delay and presentation of winnings in the form of impressive animations. Of course, there are occasional water effects – but the thing about Hot Spot games is that you can always just stop them!
Generally speaking, a standard online Hot Spot fruit game looks like this: you click the PLAY button, the reels start and immediately stop, you see a winning combination, you get your win and you can immediately continue playing. In the best titles of this type the interval between spins is less than 5 seconds! These really are extremely dynamic and fun games. Moreover, they are designed in such a way that lower wins are common, and higher wins are not uncommon either.
If we were to list the most interesting and best gambling titles belonging to the Hot Spot category, such items as
Overall, if you value dynamic gameplay over flashy visuals, then the Hot Spot category is something that should interest you right away!
From here, we gradually move on to the most impressive and popular slot machines. It is in this category that you will find the greatest number of attractions, bonus features and different solutions.
In general, video slots take their name from the numerous impressive animations and video interludes. For example, animated backgrounds, symbols that are also moving in some way, and when you hit a winning combination, the whole thing just explodes with a frenzy of colours and graphics. There are also video interludes which are transitions between different game screens – for example, when you win free spins or activate the bonus game.
Furthermore, there is no rigid 5×3 or 3×3 scheme here, as is sometimes the case with fruit games or Hot Spots. Of course, there are plenty of games with five reels and three rows of symbols, but it is not uncommon to find titles with, for example, 4 reels or 6. Moreover, in this category you can find various strange and unusual solutions, such as a Tetris-like layout, where symbols forming a combination disappear and another one falls from the top, filling in the gaps created in this way. And many other interesting solutions.
In addition, it is in this category that you can expect the largest number of add-ons making the game more attractive. Wilds are basically a must-have item. In addition, they can have many extra options – a typical wild simply substitutes for any other symbol. But video slots can offer, for example, expanding wilds, which, when they appear on the reel, expand across the entire reel (that is, across all 3 or 4 fields), or form a different pattern of several wilds.
In addition, there are numerous scatters in such games, which, in addition to creating high paying combinations, also provide additional options, such as winning free spins in varying numbers. Sometimes it is 5 or 10 spins, and in some games you can win even more than 100 free spins. Scatters are also used in many cases to activate bonus games – you usually have to make the right combination to do so, or simply hit a certain number of these symbols – 3, 4 or 5.
The bonus games themselves are also extremely attractive and almost always result in significant winnings. Therefore, when playing video slots, the player’s goal is really not to create winning combinations, as is the case with fruit games or Hot Spot, but rather to focus on symbol combinations that give the chance to activate the bonus game.
Another element that cannot be overlooked in video slots are the win multipliers. The right combinations of special symbols increase the win multiplier. This can apply only to the next spin, or to the entire game – especially the free spins round. Win multipliers can usually be increased multiple times, typical values are x2, x3, or x5. But there are slot machines where the maximum win multipliers are, for example, x81!
And, of course, one of the most interesting subcategories for video slots should not be forgotten either – here we mean gambling games using popular themes from blockbuster movies. So, if you like Hollywood blockbusters and movies, you’ll be delighted to play games like Terminator II, Baywatch, Casino Royale, Bloodsport (based on the cult film starring Jean Claude Van Damm), Naked Instinct, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Ace Ventura, Ghostbusters, Jurassic Park, Robocop and plenty more!
Another subcategory of video slots that deserves special mention is the altogether rather narrow group of games dedicated to music. This list includes highly sophisticated slot machines branded by such well-known music bands and performers as MegaDeth, Guns N Roses, Motorhead, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, Michael Jackson and The Phantom of the Opera, for example.
All in all, if you like elaborate games with lots of action, great graphics and movie interludes, then video slots are something you should undoubtedly be interested in right from the start!
Another category of slot machines are the so-called 3D slots. In principle, they do not differ much from video slots in terms of attractiveness and functionality, the only really significant difference being the widespread use of 3D graphics in them.
In some simplification, we can say that such slot machines resemble modern computer games, which basically cannot do without 3D graphics. All elements of such slots are fully three-dimensional, animated and in many cases extremely impressive during the game.
With 3D slots, however, there can be some problems related to hardware requirements – well, as you can guess, 3D graphics require a much higher performance from the device you are playing on. Whether it’s a smartphone, laptop or tablet, it needs to have really decent components in order for you to enjoy a fully seamless gaming experience.
Fortunately, in a growing number of cases these considerations are no longer relevant – game manufacturers have come to their senses and now often use a kind of ‘cheat’. The game works and looks exactly like a typical 3D slot, but at the same time it has the same hardware requirements as a typical fruit slot machine. How did the game developers manage to achieve such an effect? It is very simple in fact – the nature of slot games is such that virtually all objects behave in a fully predictable manner.
So instead of telling the computer to calculate the displayed animation of a 3D object each time, it is enough to render such an animation only once, and then save it as a typical short movie. Then simply play the short film in the game and that’s it.
The effect is identical to that of a complex 3D animation, but with a fraction of the computing power required. This is what this little “cheat” is all about. It is then safe to say that we are dealing with a 3D slot that is actually a video slot. For the player there is no difference, except that he can play on a really old phone or tablet and not experience any problems with the fluidity of the game.
And what are the most interesting 3D slots we can recommend to you? Here the list is quite extensive, for a start we suggest you get acquainted with Playtech’s portfolio, specifically its part containing Marvel licensed productions. So, for example, X-Men, Superman, Hulk, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Blade, Elektra.
Next, it is worth paying attention to the slot machines produced by Betsoft, with a brilliant game entitled Good Girl or Bad Girl. Other 3D slots you absolutely must explore include Robin Hood by NetEnt and Orc vs Elf produced by RealTime Gaming. But that’s just a short list, which you’ll no doubt be filling up with your own suggestions in no time!
Progressive Jackpot Slots
The last category of slot machines we want to introduce to you is progressive jackpot slots, sometimes called jackpots. In their case, the matter is very interesting, because games from this category can easily fall into any of the groups described above.
What is more, some of them do not look stunning from the graphic point of view, and they are also quite old on the market. Many of the products belonging to this group are, at first glance, average slot machines that neither look exceptional nor have many attractive features, so what makes the Jackpots category usually the most visited section in practically every online casino?
It’s very simple – these games have progressive jackpots. If you don’t know exactly what this means, we are here to explain. A progressive jackpot is a separate amount of money, completely independent from the standard paytable, which continually grows during the game.
Generally speaking, the idea is that a certain fraction of every bet that players from all over the world make when playing that particular title goes into a common pool called the jackpot. This is why you can watch the amount accumulated in such a jackpot grow.
The game itself, on the other hand, has a special solution. It can be a combination of symbols on the reels or it can be a purely random thing that happens during the game – if it happens, the player who gets it wins the whole amount in the jackpot right away.
Of course the amount varies depending on many factors. The most important of these are the specific game played, the portion of the bet that goes into the common pot and the frequency of winning the jackpot. But sometimes the jackpot amounts can be truly gigantic.
For example, you may have heard of a game like Mega Moolah. This title even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the casino game that paid out the highest jackpot in history – yes, the jackpot amount taken by one lucky player was a staggering €18,915,872.81. That is no mistake. Almost 19 million EUR, that is almost 80 million PLN!
Below is a table showing the Mega Moolah jackpots won in just 4 years, from 2010 to 2013 – this is not a complete list, as some winners preferred.
||Amount in millions of dollars
||Date of reference winnings
Some of the most interesting progressive jackpot games in our opinion, besides Mega Moolah mentioned above, are Mega Fortune, Arabian Nights, Aztec’s Millions, Hall of Gods, and Jackpot Giant. Of course, you can always choose another title – just aim for those with a high jackpot amount.
When it comes to slot machines, the boundaries between the different categories are quite fluid. For example, you can easily identify titles that meet the criteria for two or even more categories. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind the most important features of each of them, as this simply makes the gameplay more attractive and the orientation in an online casino easier!