The major difference between video slots and true reel slots is this: online games appear to have reels because they "spin" and settle on certain symbols. But the reels are just images. This does allow casino sites to offer more combinations than mechanical reels on slot machines. The casino is able to offer more bonus and jackpot options because of the increased number of possible combinations. (Read our Free Spin Slots For U.S. Players article) You may find some online games imitate traditional slot-machine design very well, (three reels and only one pay line). Fruit symbols and coloured bars are often used on these basic games. This key difference - video slots don't have the mechanical, moving parts of classic slot machines - is at the heart of the story about odds, chances and luck when playing slots.
There are some myths about which variety is better for the player and better for the "house." But in the last few years this has not been quite the issue it was years ago. There just aren't too many classic slot machines left. The best way to understand the brave new world of video slots is to get down to the basics. All slot machine play - mechanical or video - is a game of chance. The games are now entirely run by computer software that determines how much a casino will win over a period of time. (Notice we did not state "if" the casino will win.) One of the best explanations anyone can give for how video slots work is to state that when the player sits and watches the "reels" spinning the outcome of that "spin" has already been determined. This is determined by the random number generator programmed into the game. That's quite a difference from the older, mechanical machines.
Depending on the number of "reels" a video slot machine might have as many as 100 symbols on each "reel." If we just take something in the middle, or average, say 40 stops on each reel the chance of hitting the jackpot might be 1 in a million, literally. With random number generators based entirely on computer programs, manufacturers of video slots can truly say that each spin is entirely unrelated to the last spin and to the next spin. *Tip - The odds are about the same on three-reel games and five-reel games. Don't believe all you've heard about that. Video slots are the "only game in town" in the online casinos. Today, slot machine play is based on video slots and computer generation of numbers.