Skill-Based Slots – Are They Any Better Than Regular Slot Machines?
The casino industry has evolved a great deal over the past few decades. This metamorphosis has mostly been in sync with various technological advancements that are taking place across all industries today. For instance, slot machines have morphed from the traditional mechanical type to electronic slot machines, and now to the modern virtual slots we see everywhere online.
The variety of casino games has also increased over this time to satisfy the diverse player preferences. And it’s not only the mode of gameplay that has shifted from brick-and-mortar to virtual. The complexity of games is also on the rise as players seek new challenges. A good example are the skill-based slots whose popularity is growing steadily aside from changing how we play slots.
The rise of skill-based slots
For a long time, slot machines allowed players to play and win based entirely on luck as the results are purely random. You simply placed a bet, spun the reel, and waited for a chance win. Indeed, it is this kind of simplicity and pure randomness of regular slots that have made them so popular.
Recently, a new type of slots has hit the casino space, both in physical establishments and online casinos. Skill-based casinos allow players to influence the results to a certain degree. They include bonus rounds that require a high degree of skill to win. This means your decisions impact both your chances of winning bonus rounds and the overall outcome of the slots.
Why are casinos warming up to skill-based slot machines?
As we already mentioned, slots are the kind of games that rely primarily on luck – all you need to do is place a bet, spin the reels, and a Random Number G enerator (RNG) decides whether you win or lose. The only control you have is deciding when to start and stop playing and how much money you’re ready to stake. You can also pick a slot machine offering a high Return to Player (RTP) to improve your profits.
The main reason casinos are introducing skill-based slots is to appeal to the millennial generation. Millennials have grown up at a time when technology has been booming which means they’re able to enjoy all the convenience and variety of gameplay at their hands via smart devices and the Internet. Consequently, the millennial generation tends to prefer casino games where the level of knowledge, skill, and participation impacts the outcome.
This modern generation of casino game enthusiasts is no longer impressed by fancy graphics and the thrill of wagering alone. Rather, they are looking up to a more dynamic challenge with some level of control over the outcome. This is where skill-based slots are coming in as alternatives.
How skill-based slots work
Essentially, skill-based slots and traditional slots operate the same way. In both, you place a bet, spin the reels and wait for the random number generator to determine whether you win or lose. The only key difference between the two is that skill-based slots include bonus rounds that require some skill to win.
Some skill-based slots allow you to choose between playing interactive bonus rounds and claiming free spins. The bonus rounds aim to improve participation and boost your profits.
Is it worth playing skill-based slots?
You might ask. Well, this depends entirely on your preferences and tastes. As such, we’ll try to dive deeper on what these slot machines offer you and you can decide whether they’re suitable for you or not.
Thrill of gameplay
With today’s advanced technology, classic slots players enjoy simple gameplay without missing rich contemporary graphics. On the other hand, fans of skill-based slots access a more challenging dynamic video-game-like adventure. If all you want is the rush of adventure, then skill-based slots will please you more than their classic counterparts.
Possibility of winning
Skill-based slots are a little deceiving as most come with a high house advantage. This means you need to raise enough RTP to gain an edge over the casino, making them somewhat unfair to the average player. On most platforms, bonuses account for only 3-5% of the total return to player (RTP). This doesn’t offer a sufficient degree of control for most players.
Though the bonus rounds may bring in more rewards, the returns are hardly sizeable enough to impact your overall profit. At best, you can hope to earn higher payback than in traditional slots by playing the bonus rounds well in skill-based slots.
Choice of games
Developers of skill-based slots are still struggling to woo players with the right slot games combinations. Most are also still figuring out the right type of bonuses to offer players. The infancy of skill-based slot gaming also means players have a limited choice of games to choose from.
The future of skill-based slots
The primary aim of developing skill-based slots was to rejuvenate gamers’ love for slot games. In theory, they give players a competitive edge over the casino by offering the ability to influence the outcome. However, the player’s skill alone doesn’t determine the winnings- luck still has a hand in it. To the end therefore, there’s no true guarantee that these games will sit well with modern gamblers.
At the moment, there’s no a solid legal structure that govern skill-based slots gaming. For example, some elite players may try to cheat to the system by intentionally setting their skill level to ‘amateur’ to access bonuses. This also helps them gain an unfair advantage over the casino and other players. There’s a need to come up with clear-cut regulations for skill-based slot gaming if the new technology is to be grow and be embraced fully.
Our recommended slot games
Given that skill-based slots are yet to find stability and the acceptance they need in the online gaming scene, we’re a little coy recommending them to you at the moment. Our position may change in the future but for now, we advise you to try out the following classic slot games:
Narcos is a hugely popular online video slot game from NetEnt that was set in Columbia in the 1970s. The game revolves around the time the DEA set out to bring down Pablo Escobar and his vast narcotic drugs empire. Unlike the Narcos TV series that’s laden with violence, Narcos slot is fairly calm. Nonetheless, you can still expect guns, piles of cash, and explosions as the 5 reels spin.
There are 243 ways you can win against the Narcos slot machine. The game is feature-rich to give you a high when playing. Besides, you can exploit its free spins, walking wild symbols, and the ‘Locked Up’ bonus to gain high payouts. The game is highly recommended for players who love action-packed slots.
Starburst is another popular NetEnt slot that features a simple 5×3 layout and has 10 paylines. The game offers you 20 ways to win and gives a respectable jackpot of 50,000 coins. However, it excludes bonus rounds.
With its 50,000 coins jackpot and a relatively low variance, Starburst offers plenty of adventure for both new and established slots players. Besides, it comes with a mobile-friendly interface, autoplay, easy-to-understand bets, quick spin, and the option to view game history.
Mega Moolah is an online slots game created by Microgaming and one of the most popular due to its gigantic progressive jackpots. The exciting animal-themed game features five reels and 25 paylines while it comes loaded with bonuses, free spins, and an exhilarating jackpot.
Mega Moolah is an entertaining slots game in both standard gameplay and progressive jackpot play. With its random mega jackpot that’s always above 1,000,000 coins, the game is a potential fortune net.
Book of the Dead
This video slots game is inspired by Egypt’s ancient history and is created around the explorer Rich Wild and his adventurous exploits. Its developer uses intriguing graphics and in-built features to enliven the ancient Egyptian theme. The game runs on the Play’n GO software platform and its layout consists of 5 reels and 3 rows.
Book of the Dead features 10 customizable paylines for players to bet on. It also contains a bucket-load of special inbuilt features designed to make gameplay more involving and up your winning stakes. Its most conspicuous features include a wild symbol, scatters, and a gamble round that’s activated whenever you make a winning combination in your base game.
Book of Aztec
The Book of Aztec slot is an ancient Egyptian themed adventure slot from Amatic. You will need to follow the exploits of the sexy Indiana Jones explorer on her adventure to the Pyramids and the ancient burial tomb of Ra.
This game comes loaded with themed prizes, expanding symbols, free spins, and numerous adventure bonuses like the ‘Scattered Book of Ra’ and the ‘Wild Books of Ra’ bonuses. With its 10 different pay-lines and various line-bets, it’s sure to appeal to slot players of different levels.
Jackpot Raiders is a video slot game that challenges you to venture into a jungle loaded with lost cities and jackpot treasures. It’s powered by Yggdrasil Gaming and comes with 5 x 3 reels and 20 paylines. The game integrates wilds, two free spin bonuses with a multiplier, scatters, and a click-me bonus.
You can play this game across various devices from 20p to $/€40 a spin. The Indiana Jones themes adventure slots game packs other extras including cash prizes and 5 progressive jackpots.
It’s quite evident that the slots world has experienced a lot of transformation over the past few decades. And while skill-based slots are a positive step towards attracting millennial players, it’s clear that they still have a long way before they can finally catch up with the new and highly selective generation of gamblers. To attract more youthful players, developers need to tweak a few things including introducing more modern games, enhancing their bonus packages, boosting the RTP, and reducing the house advantage.
For now, we recommend that you continue playing the classic slots as we hope that more positive changes will be made to the skill-based slot machines.