Slot machines have offered a popular way of gambling for more than two centuries, with manufacturers taking advantage of technological advances in that time to improve them.
Online ones, like the ones you can try here, are becoming more and more popular, especially after the pandemic forced people to shift their wagers more into digital devices.
The big question now is whether future changes could include the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI).
What are the most important issues to take into account when looking at whether this technology will lead to major changes?
How Do Slots Work Currently?
Slot machines were originally created on a mechanical operating basis, with the player pulling a lever to spin the reels. The reels then stopped randomly, and a prize was awarded if a winning combination could be seen. This method was replaced in the mid-20th century with electronic slots and now we have virtual slots that are played online.
Slots still have the same general idea and even some of the classic symbols from the past still get used. What has changed is the way the game runs using software rather than a mechanical set-up, with modern technology used to make it smoother and ensure that it is always totally fair in terms of the results.
How do you know that a slot game will give you fair results every time? The key to this is in their use of a random number generator (RNG) to give completely unpredictable results on every spin. There is simply no way of knowing what symbols will come up, or for the operator to decide what’s going to happen. The RNG software keeps things unpredictable and fair for everyone.
We also need to take the return to player (RTP) figure into account. This tells you how much the casino expects to return to all of its players overall. The closer this number is to 100%, the more confident you should feel that you will get some wins, although it doesn’t guarantee the exact amount you’ll win.
Another factor that currently controls these games is volatility. A high volatility slot usually has larger prizes but pays out less frequently. On the other hand, if it is classed as being low volatility the prizes may be smaller but the payouts more frequent.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is now used in a wide variety of aspects of life. It isn’t a single approach, though, as the term refers to a segment of computer science that covers a wide area. AI can be used to create things like smart chatbots, self-driving cars, and systems that bring up personalized recommendations based on your previous activity.
Some factories use AI to make their manufacturing processes slicker, while it’s also used in the financial industry to analyze large amounts of data and spot potentially fraudulent activity, as well as helping customers to budget and work out how much to save each month
What Could AI Add to Online Casinos?
By now, we can see the AI could be used by online casinos in a number of ways. One of the simplest would be to give each player a recommended list of slots they might like to try, based on their profile and activity. This might be similar to how Netflix presents its users with a list of recommended titles.
This could be part of an overall improvement in the way that casinos collect data about their customers and tailor the experience to suit each one of them. They could also use AI facial recognition technology so that you could sign in just by scanning your face with a mobile device, rather than having to remember a password.
It can also be used to give a better level of customer service. Chatbots that learn as they go can eventually provide a very similar level of service to a human operator. This is especially true in areas such as casino playing, where many players ask the same questions about bonuses and banking issues time after time.
Responsible gambling is another issue that online casino operators take very seriously. They each have extensive sections on how you can look after yourself and spot any patterns that should cause you to take a break, as well as letting you set your own gambling limits. AI could help in this respect by spotting any signs that someone needs some help.
The Gameplay Factors
What we have looked at so far is largely around the overall service that players get from casinos while playing slots games. While many of these changes would be extremely worthwhile, they are the kinds of things that you probably won’t notice and that wouldn’t affect the gameplay on slots games.
It’s easier to imagine AI being used in table games like roulette and blackjack rather than slots. The reason for this is that the technology could be used by players to make more informed decisions, as AI software can crunch a lot of data instantly and work out the best option in each case.
In fact, an AI program called Pluribus was developed by Carnegie Mellon University and went on to beat pro poker players Darren Elias and Chris Ferguson over thousands of hands of the game. However, slots are a simpler game of chance where you don’t need to analyze the situation or make any decisions once the reels start spinning.
What Happens Next?
Unless there is some drastic change to the way that slots work, it seems unlikely that AI will be used in any way that seriously affects the gameplay. The idea of a few reels of symbols that spin and then drop randomly into place has been incredibly popular for a long time and there is really no need for any changes involving artificial intelligence software.
However, it seems far more likely that slots players benefit from changes to the way their casino accounts are run or how easy it is for them to get hold of customer support in the future. These changes aren’t going to be very noticeable, but they will help to make the whole casino experience even slicker and more enjoyable than it already is.