It is something of an anachronism to think that the modern day online casino is populated by players who predominantly play the traditional casino games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat.
While in the halcyon days of casino gaming, when Las Vegas was expanding from a sleepy desert town into a gambling mecca, these traditional games were what drew in the droves of people, that hasn't been the case in offline, or online casinos for quite some time.
The reason for that is because of the popularity of one particular form of entertainment which has grown so vast and has increased so much in importance that it is estimated by those in the industry that many casinos owe between 70 to 90 percent of their entire revenue to their popularity.
Those games are slot games and while they may not be a "traditional" casino game in the purest sense of the phrase, there is absolutely no doubt regarding their importance to the online and offline casino industry. Suffice to say, if all slots players stopped playing the games, the industry would likely implode very quickly indeed.
So what is it that makes slot games so special for casino players, whether they play online or offline? What is it about the slot game that makes it so appealing to players?
That's a good question because in purely statistical terms, the appeal of slots games is counter-intuitive to the notion of playing at the casino for profit.
The dichotomy of slots popularity and the house edge
It has long been known that in terms of house edge, slot games offer among the worst odds for a typical punter of any game you can find at the casino. While the likes of blackjack, roulette, baccarat and video poker can offer punters an almost 50/50 chance in some cases to win cash, when it comes to slot games, the odds are far more heavily stacked in favour of the casino.
This seems counter-intuitive to many; why are slots so popular with so many people when there are other games available to play that offer you a far greater chance of a win and therefore a profit when playing at the casino?
Clearly, the prospect of losing money or not making a profit is not foremost in the minds of most slot players when they elect to play at a casino, so what is it about the game that makes them remain the number 1 choice of casino entertainment for the majority of customers?
To understand this, we need to understand what is the appeal of the modern slot game and why these features exert such an influence over which games they choose to play. In truth there are many different reasons as to why casino slots are the favoured choice of many:
1. Variety - If you are playing at a high quality online casino then one of the best things is the amount of choice you have to play when it comes to slot. Casinos may have a couple blackjack variations if you are lucky, but the same casinos will usually offer hundreds of slots. Furthermore, new slots are being released every month, giving slot fans plenty of new games to try out with their money. If one slot doesn't appeal, then you can easily move on to another and this wealth of choice is clearly a huge motivational factor.
2. Progressive Jackpots - Without doubt one of the biggest motivators is the fact that on a game like blackjack, you can only ever win double your money (or 1.5x your money if you hit blackjack). On a slot, it is possible to win thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even on some slots, millions of times your initial wager.
Slots not only offer generally bigger base game wins, but the addition of progressive jackpots to some games, many of which offer prizes in excess of millions, means that playing a slot game could be life changing for the lucky player, as it was for Jon Heywood in October 2015, when he scooped the biggest ever online slots win playing the MegaMoolah.com progressive slot.
3. You can trial slots for free - Visiting this Free Spins website, the great news is that many of these games can be played without deposit. Just look around this website for the latest no deposit offers. Another way to try slots is to play them in 'fun mode'. What better way to decide if a slot is the right one for you by actually playing it for pretend money, before you risk any of your own cash on the game? So there's two easy ways to test a slot game.
4. More new player bonuses are available for slots - Given the popularity of slots, it is not surprising that many casinos target slots players with their new player bonuses. As such, there are a much greater number of slot-based introductory offers to casinos than there are for other entertainments in the casino. This gives customers a wide choice of slots to play and casinos to join.
5. Not a lot of skill element is required for slots - Perhaps the biggest argument for why many casino patrons choose slots is because they are relaxing and sociable. You can chat away playing slots as there is no skill element involved, meaning you don't need to focus hard on what is happening as you would in blackjack. You can even put the game on 'auto-play' mode while making a cupper! As such, slots is generally a more relaxing game to play than skill-based casino games.
6. Wide range of stakes - Slots are not unique in that they offer a variety of stakes to be played for, but by selecting how much each coin is worth and the number of lines in play, you can effectively manage how much you spend. You can play some slots for as little as 0.01 per spin, right up to games that allow you to wager 10s on a spin. That means that from the lowest of stakes player, right up to the high rollers, you'll find a slot to suit how you want to play. And the best thing is that stakes can be constantly changed.
Add together these half a dozen factors and mix in some truly innovative programming that sees new features on slot games being released regularly for players to try out (such as Rolling Reels, Pick em bonuses, Free Spins rounds and many, many more) and you can see why so many casino patrons elect to try their luck on the slots ahead of other casino games.