How Jackpot Slots have evolved over the years

Published on the 2021-02-18

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the popularity of jackpot slots and this has been evidenced even more by the number that is now available for online casino enthusiasts to participate in. 

Jackpot slots have actually been around a lot longer than most people realise. Introduced to the industry in the 1980s, these offered a great alternative for casino enthusiasts when technology had improved markedly to offer more pay lines than the standard three or five reel slots. 

It meant that this very small tweak laid the foundations for slot machines to offer a lot more prizes to players without having to increase the number of reels that a standard issue slot had in them.

Although this was only a fractional change, online gambling technology company IGT (International Gaming Technology) came up with a way to develop the very first progressive slot after this. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, which at the time was starting to become a major gambling attraction - effectively beginning its commercial journey towards the heights and colossal success that it is today - IGT brought out the very first.

This new product included a number of different slot machines that were connected to a network, with each one making an overall contribution of 10 percent of the wagers that they got from players, towards a total jackpot prize. This meant that the more players that these slot machines had over a period of time, resulted in more money being wagered and as a result of this, the total jackpot prize would grow. 

Because of the fact that in excess of 60 different slot machines at the time were making a contribution to a particular jackpot that ruled the grand prize could be won at any time by any player, these very quickly became popular and because of this, a considerably huge success.

It wasn’t long before casinos all over the world caught on and soon after, progressive jackpot slots were available to play in many different countries across a number of continents. While these became a huge success in the years that followed, the mid-nineties brought with it a gamechanger that would take the potential of these effectively into the stratosphere.

Birth of the internet paves the way for jackpot slot boom

In 1995, businesses all around the world (and existing casinos), realised the huge potential that the internet or world wide web could have and also what this meant for the gambling industry.

This new platform was essentially ideal for progressive jackpots. Providing a whole new landscape, the possibilities for growth and innovation were endless. It effectively meant that casinos were no longer limited in terms of what they could offer. In a land-based casino for example, there is only so much room to fit slot machines and games tables and often having to choose how many of each could previously be a tricky task.

By launching online, it meant effectively that they could have thousands of machines represented digitally on websites which all paid into a single jackpot prize for 24 hours each day all around the world.

Furthermore the internet provided the opportunity to attract an unlimited amount of players, which for jackpot slots is one of the biggest benefits for players who are looking to win big.

In the two decades that followed the internet being born, it has led to hundreds of online casinos appearing online, which for those which offer jackpot slots is ideal, because it means that the awareness is being spread across multiple websites to potentially millions of different players in a number of different regions.

When you factor in the speed at which information travels over the internet as well and the power of marketing as well as online innovation, it has provided even bigger benefits for jackpot slots and their players, whose attention is captured quicker and a lot more efficiently.

Also, compared to a land-based casino which might not have the best building design architecturally and as such might limit the placement of slot machines, online casinos can choose where to place certain slots in order to best capture their visitors attention. For example, they could choose to place jackpot slots near the top of the page if they realised that this might be of value to both them and the player. In a land-based casino it could be that there are constraints in place with regards to where machines can be placed and it can be a hard to decision making process as what to put where.

Because of the power of the internet and also the unprecedented growth over the last couple of decades, it has resulted in the online gambling industry becoming one of the most lucrative in the world. As part of this, jackpot slots have grown not only in popularity but also in demand and there are now more to choose from than ever before, with each one differentiating greatly from the other. 

Impact of software providers

With the birth of the internet also came with it specialist online gambling software providers specifically for catering towards online casinos. As a result of this, online software developers became high in demand and led to the establishment of a number of technology companies in the online gambling industry, while IGT also moved online as well, in addition to their land-based function of the business.

While there are now in excess of 100 different software providers all around the world, each one differing in the their unique product offering, with some being more niche and others being bigger, it is hard to ignore some of the major ones that have been around the longest. 

There are of course giants such as Playtech and Microgaming, though NetEnt can also be classed in this particular category. Over the years, they have quickly forged a reputation for creating jackpot slots for the online gambling industry and it is often hard not find a reliable and popular online casino that does not have a NetEnt jackpot slot available for players.

NetEnt especially can count itself as a premium developer of jackpot slots such as Mega Fortune which is responsible for some of the biggest payouts in the industry. The impact of software developers on the jackpot slot niche of the online gambling market has been considerably significant in terms of how popular they have become. 

It has also led to the capability for more and more to be developed to cater for what is a swiftly growing demand for them. Fundamentally, the expertise and innovation that these software companies have is game-changing in the industry and we have already seen great and sophisticated steps forward, especially in the last 20 years. 

As opposed to the original jackpot slots where there were often only paylines in the single figures, some jackpot slots have paylines that can amount to being in the mid-twenties which is especially advantageous to the player.

In addition, it has also meant that software providers can tweak these according to player demand and behaviours. While some players might like to win to take more risks and win big less often and others may prefer to enjoy playing it safe and have lower but more frequent wins, this has led to jackpot slots being developed with different levels of volatility. 

With low volatility jackpot slots, players can win lower amount more frequently which is advantageous for keeping their bankroll going while they are playing towards the grand jackpot, while for high volatility slots, players will invariably win bigger amounts but less frequently on average.

Furthermore, software providers were also quick to realise that some players like a story to go along with their online casino experience and as a result of this moved into designing jackpot slots which were based on different themes such as Ancient Egypt or even movies, while there was also a significant improvement in the visual and audio quality of these, which was considerable testament to the talent that such software providers have at their disposal