For many people, online casinos mean traditional games like poker, blackjack, and roulette. The image in our mind’s eye often depicts men in tuxedos smoking cigars and surrounded by mountains of playing chips.
However, the reality of the modern casino, online and offline, is in fact quite far removed. Today, online casino gaming is more accessible than ever, with players from all backgrounds and with all levels of experience grabbing a slice of the action.
One of the major catalysts behind that diversification has been the growing popularity of online slots games. Once unfairly stereotyped as being less glamorous or not as exciting, today the modern online slot is entrenched as a key asset of most leading gambling platforms.
In this article we will uncover the reasons why online slots games became so popular and try to explain how they have succeeded in becoming a major contributor to the overall success of a booming global industry.
The nature of slots games makes it easy for themes to be incorporated into their design. While games like poker, blackjack, and roulette are a little more limited, the vast majority of slots games are characterised by an overall flavour or aesthetic.
Some of the games are influenced by TV and cinema, others by international culture, while some draw inspiration from ancient mythology. for example, the games available on jackpot king on Paddy Power, like Vikings of Fortune and Tridentia, demonstrate the diversity of themes and sources of inspiration quite clearly. It’s this variation available that make the games such a hit with players.
Not only do the themes make the games more fun to play, they also make the products themselves easier to market. In practice, somebody new to slots may not feel a connection to the game itself, but they may be enticed by the name and imagery.
Just act casual
Another major point of distinction that slots games offer from more traditional fayre is their compatibility with players seeking out a more relaxed, casual experience. Certain games such as poker can be psychologically draining due to the intense strategic thinking required throughout. Slots games, on the other hand, are generally considered as less strategic and more chance-based.
Chance certainly still plays a part in games like poker, while blackjack and roulette are also heavily dependent on good fortune. But games like these are unable to rival slots games when it comes to unwinding and enjoying some relief from critical decision-making. This could be because slots games seem more casual than its other chance-based kin.
The casual nature of the games is particularly important given the gaming industry’s broader obsession with so-called ‘casual games’. The Apple and Google app stores are teeming with games intentionally designed to be more relaxing rather than particularly challenging. Industry reports show that casual games enjoyed huge growth around the world during the first three months of 2020.
More and more online casino players are choosing to access their favourite games from their phone or tablet, and initially, this migration to the smaller screen posed a challenge to brands and their developers. Fast forward to 2020 and the growing popularity of mobile casino gaming has helped underpin major growth for the wider industry.
Once again, the humble online slots game has been perfectly positioned to capitalise on these changes in customer habits. By their nature, slots games are simple to play and enjoy on a small screen. The game grid is generally well proportioned to fit neatly on phone displays, meaning little wasted space. The action is also more self-contained than in a game like poker, where there are multiple players and multiple hands to consider.
The latest data shows that there are more people accessing the internet from a mobile device than on a laptop and the industry at large has had to move quickly to address changing habits. It’s clear that online slots have played a key role in them conquering this challenge.
Throughout history, games like blackjack, poker, and roulette have categorised the casino industry and set the industry’s cultural narrative. But it’s clear to see that online slots games have also played a key role – and it appears certain that their influence will continue to rise.