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Slots, Slots, Glorious Slots

I have always loved slots. There is something about the regular, rhythmic scrolling of the reels that is just so relaxing. It is like being hypnotized. In the good old days, they were entirely mechanical. Hence the nickname ‘One armed bandits’. The lever was like a single arm and the ‘bandit’ was the same sort of affectionate, ironic term that golfers use. But there was always that chance that you might line up the symbols and that coins might come clattering out. There was never any hiding a good win with all that noise going on.

Here and Now


Like everything else, it seems, the humble slot machine has been given a second life online. There are now thousands of different slot games available online that recreate that simple combination of spinning dials and the chance of a pay-out. Online casinos are now not the only place where you will find all sorts of pay slots, free spin slots, slots bonuses and even slots tournaments. There are slots themed on just about any subject you could care to name. I love the ones that have hooked up with Hollywood blockbusters. A few of my favourites include Jurassic Park, Avalon, James Bond, The Terminator and the Pink Panther. There is something about that hypnotic turning of images on these retro slot games that are all so happily evocative.

The amount of graphic art that goes into the designs can be quite staggering. If you have got the Pink Panther popping up and winking at you every minute or so, you cannot help but feel good. Even thinking about it brightens my mood. I bet you can hear the theme tune in your head right now. The world is most definitely a better place when the Pink Panther is on the walk.

And if you are feeling a little bit more racy or adventurous, there is guaranteed to be a theme to match your mood. I tend to go for James Bond when I am feeling dangerous, Rocky when I am feeling like a long-suffering underdog, and South Park hits the spot every time when I am feeling really rebellious.

Back in the day

Back in the day the designs on actual slots were much less free range. They were pretty formulaic, to be honest, but no-one seemed to mind. When the machines were first invented back in the 1800s there were just three reels and only five symbols. They were based on the hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs of playing cards plus the Liberty Bell.


by  garryknight

Shortly afterwards machines were produced that gave out prizes in the form of fruit flavoured gum. That is when fruit first appeared on the reels. There are still plenty of us who think in terms of ‘fruit machines’ rather than ‘slots’. Cherries and melons replaced the playing card suits. This is also when the bar symbol first appeared as it was the logo of the Bell Fruit Gum company.

The first electronic machines were developed in the 1960s. Once lights started flashing and cold, hard coinage started flowing, the popularity of the humble fruit machine/slot machine/one arm bandit was cemented. That is still the case even if some of them do not pay out as often as others!

Going online

Of course, like everything else, slots have made the move into the digital age. But somehow they have managed to maintain their retro charm. It is not just me who thinks so. Slots online are a massively popular pastime. They are perfect for smartphones. Because they are so quick and so simple to play, they can fit into all those down spots in a day when you would otherwise put your brain on hold. Take it from me, when you are waiting at the dentist and fearing the worst, a quick catch-up with the Pink Panther can be just what you need.
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