Slot Games

From One-Armed Bandits to Digital Marvels: The Changing Face of Slot Games

Slot games or machines have been extremely popular among Casino-lovers since they were introduced in the early twentieth century. Slots have come a long way from the lever-based machines in Casinos that were manually operated by the players to the online machines that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home.


Over its long evolutionary history, Slots have had several names, from One-armed bandits to digital marvels. One-armed Bandits and Digital Marvels both are hugely popular titles that can be found on most entertainment platforms, like PokerStars Casino.

In this blog post, you will come to know the origin of the names and why, despite technological advancements, the attraction for the game has remained the same.

One-Armed Bandits

One-Armed Bandits

Nobody knows for certain why and how the name one-armed bandits evolved, but there are two theories that explain the name. In its initial days, the slot was simple, and so were the machines. A manual lever was used to operate the machine and change the figure, object, or design that appeared on the channels of the machine.

The lever was present on one side of the machine, hence the name “one-armed”. The term bandit was most likely associated with the nature of the game. Bandits would rob people of their hard-earned money, and these gambling machines were equated with notorious bandits who robbed players.

Another theory that was proposed to explain the quirky name given to the machine is as follows: people believed that the patterns that appeared on the machine could be manipulated to stop at a certain pattern that would be difficult for players to win. So, the name suggested that the casinos were like bandits.

Development of Electromagnetic Slots

With time, the old mechanical machine with a limited number of patterns gave way to more variety in terms of the patterns that were displayed on the machine. With the development of electromagnets, the manual handling of the machine was reduced to a great extent. With time, automatic coin dispensers were introduced in casinos. Themes based on videos took the place of simple patterns.

Soon, there were personality or fictional character-based machines. Machines on the theme of Michael Jackson or Captain America appealed to the die-hard fans of these heroes. Multiple channels (four or five) with distinct patterns have taken the place of the simple three channels.

Growth Of The Internet And Development of Digital Marvels

The Internet And Development of Digital Marvels

Several technological developments, like the penetration of the internet and the development of microprocessors and computing power, led to the development of online casinos. The online games worked on the same principle as the manual ones, but with the introduction of online games, the level of thrill and excitement rose.

In contrast to older machines, which used to generate numbers or patterns at random, modern online games generate random patterns based on a computer algorithm. So, the thrill and excitement of the game have increased, but the uncertainty associated with it has not undergone much change.

Modern machines give out huge payouts, and the popularity of progressive games where the winning amount continues to increase every time a game is not won has increased.

However, at present, the casinos have undertaken numerous steps to assure the players that they are not being robbed by the house. For instance, a random number generator that gives out unique, unpredictable numbers for a given input seed ensures fairness. Moreover, online casinos take several measures, like encryption and digital signatures, to ensure that no player can manipulate the system.

Entry Of Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality

There has been a phenomenal rise in the number of people who love playing casinos online. However, the casinos are not stopping at just giving an online experience to their customers. Modern casinos have started experimenting with the latest technologies like augmented and virtual reality to make it more interesting.

In the case of augmented reality-based gambling, the player will be able to not only see the video play out before their eyes but also smell and feel the scene. Likewise, with virtual reality-based games, this environment will give a simulated world and an immersive experience to the player.

Apart from the inclusion of new and emerging technologies, modern online casinos are also paying attention to the social aspect of the game. So, they have introduced features like leaderboards, chats, and multiplayer experiences so that you don’t miss the feel of a traditional brick-and-mortar casino.

Despite Evolution, The Joys Of Slots Remain The Same


In the above discussion, you have seen how mechanical lever-based machines have changed into modern immersive games. Yet some of the major characteristics of the game have not changed. Some of the intrinsic characteristics are discussed here.

Randomness Of Outcomes

In all machines, be they mechanical or virtual, the patterns generated are random. This randomness brings a lot of uncertainty and thrill to the game. The thrill of the game is one of the reasons why it is so popular among players, despite the fact that most of them may not win any grand prizes.


The patterns that are generated, the videos that players see, the themes or stories that are told, and the background music appeal to the players. The theme of the game has become more complicated with time, but the aspect of interactivity has remained the same across generations.


Slot machines and their complexity have undergone a sea change over time. However, Slot machines remain a hot favorite among gamblers because of the uncertainty associated with it. Moreover, the addictive potential of the game is also a constant. The strategies for winning have also remained the same.

If you want to win, you must choose the suitable machine and check for factors like return to player or RTP to decide which machine increases your chances of winning.