Advancements in technology have sparked massive growth within the global gambling industry since the turn of the century.
The days were people had no alternative but to visit land-based casinos are now long gone, with the internet opening up a wealth of possibilities for operators.
Online casinos are now all the rage, with games such as blackjack, roulette, poker and craps attracting a massive number of players throughout the year.
However, while table games are hugely popular, playing online slots is undoubtedly the number one activity amongst casino players.
While they produce a steady flow of income for casino operators, slots are also hugely appealing to players due to their ability to pay out life-changing amounts of money.
Aside from the bumper jackpots on offer, another major factor that makes slots so appealing are the different themes in the games.
Read on as we take a closer look at slots themes and assess why it is important to join a casino that has a huge portfolio of games for their players.
Introducing Online Slots
The theory behind slots has remained the same as the first ever machine to be created during the 1890s – the Liberty Bell.
The three-reel mechanical game required players to successfully line up symbols on the payline to receive a cash prize. The jackpot for three bells was just 50 cents.
The Liberty Bell did not have a ‘theme’ as such, with the game containing just a handful of slots symbols and no additional features.
Things moved on apace when video slots were created, with developers able to add more paylines and extra features into the mix.
The arrival of the internet powered further changes in the slots sector, allowing for increasingly immersive games to be created.
Modern online slots bear little resemblance to the Liberty Bell, with the latest wave of games containing loads of features and those all-important themes.
How Slots Themes Work
Graphic designers, game designers, developers, animators, game testers and project managers collaborate on creating online slots.
One of the main elements they must consider during the design process is the theme and how this will be incorporated into each individual game.
The days where slots were limited to featuring traditional symbols such as bells, fruits or bars are long gone, with the them determining what is displayed on the grid.
For example, if you play a game show themed slot such as Deal or No Deal, the symbols are based on popular elements from the television programme.
The slots music and the additional bonus levels are also structured around the theme, all with a view to make the game appealing to a wide audience.
Many slots themes are used to make sequels as developers and operators try to tap into the popularity of the original version of the game.
Why Slots Have Different Themes
The online gambling industry is an extremely competitive sector and operators must be innovative if they want to stand out from their competitors.
This is often achieved by offering a wider range of games than their rivals, thus giving players more choice when they visit their sites.
Using familiar brands as slots themes has repeatedly been proven to help casino operators grow their online businesses.
Respected gaming expert Dr Mark Griffiths describes this culture as the ‘psychology of familiarity’, with players eager to interact with brands they already like.
Nostalgia is another element that slots developers use to their advantage by creating modern games that have links to popular titles from the past.
While winning big is still the ultimate aim for most players, the gameplay experience they extract from the slots theme is almost equally as important.
Which Slots Themes Are The Best?
Deciding which slots theme is the best is purely subjective. For instance, if you don’t like a particular television programme, you probably won’t enjoy playing a slots game themed around it.
Themes that have proved popular with players include Ancient Egypt, with characters such as Cleopatra becoming synonymous with slots games.
Many online casinos offer a wide range of Viking mythology slots, while horror slots and Oriental slots are also hugely popular with players.
Movie slots are unsurprisingly one of the most common themes you can find at online casinos, particularly when it comes to the adventure and fantasy film genres.
Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pirates of the Caribbean are amongst dozens of movies that have been successfully transformed into slots.
Superheroes and comic book characters are other popular slots themes, with Spider-Man, Superman, Batman and The Incredible Hulk all honoured in this way.
Why You Should Choose A Casino With A Huge Portfolio Of Slots Themes
Now we know how slots themes work and why there are so many different ones to choose from, we can look at why you should choose a casino with a huge portfolio of slots themes.
One of the primary reasons can be linked to the phrase ‘variety is the spice of life’ – why would you play somewhere with just a handful of games rather than hundreds?
The best online casinos have link-ups with leading developers such as Evolution Gaming, International Game Technology, Microgaming, Playtech and many more.
Each of those companies produce a vast array of slots games, all of which are based on a particular game theme.
If you choose a casino with a limited choice of slots, you are effectively denying yourself the opportunity to play some truly fantastic games.
Casinos that have a huge portfolio of slots can generally be trusted to offer the best service, as they will not want to jeopardise the relationships they have forged with game developers.